Part 2 of 'There Is Light In Darkness': Mental disorders can wreak havoc on the mind.
|The black. The night. The moon. Or was it the moon? Was it just a light, a cluster of energy projecting out from my soul and into the air? It hovered around me for a while; then again there was no telling how long a time had passed, as it was the only thing I could see. I don't know where I am, it is like an endless abyss with nowhere to go, no place to lead to. The black was suffocating me. It was as though all of my senses had been muted, there was no smell, nothing to feel, and even the air seemed non-existent. All I could see was this ball of light.
I must have fallen asleep as I awoke to the sensation of water lapping at my feet. It was water for sure, dark water at that. I picked myself up off the ground, and proceeded to rather haphazardly trot through the water after that ball of light that was now drifting away. At first it was only ankle deep, but as I moved farther and farther from where I started it got deeper. Now it was up to my waist, the cool water was slowing down my momentum. I had to persist in following this light; it was all I had left. My pulse was quickening and my breaths, shallower. I can't swim. It was unreal, the ground beneath my feet was not sloping, it was the water level that was rising like a running tap in a bath. I was now reaching on the very tips of my toes to stay above water. I went under. The water forcibly cascading down my throat and into my lungs like a waterfall I had once seen in a hanging valley. I had never felt to weightless, so pure and free. If this is all I could feel for a few moments before I go it will be worth it. The last breath I could muster escaped me and I watched the bubbles float around me. They ran along my body, down my legs and past my feet, until I almost lost sight of them. Wait! My brain turned on like it had been struck by lightning, air is less dense than water! Which way up was I? My body started twisting and contorting, rolling around in the deep abyss of the dark water. I must have been crazy but there were two surfaces. I raced after the bubbles of my own breath and suddenly crashed into the surface of the water with an almighty force but it was hard. The water was moving but it was hard water. My body was beginning to shut down; I only had a matter of seconds left before the Reaper would claim my soul. I saw my reflection, my face, my eyes. That light was there on the other side, but I had no way of getting to it. My muscles relaxed and eyelids dropped my heartbeat flat-lined.
The sand and pebbles are cold against my skin, smooth but cold. My chest pushing into the wet ground that my body wrests on. It smells like rain, like mountain rain and wet grass. I can hear the rippling of water at my feet, tickling me as I lay here. The reluctance to open my eyes is crippling me, I bid with myself to open them. I countdown from three...three...two...one-and-a-half...one. I open them. It appears I am lying on the shoreline of a lake, there are jagged mountains surrounding it. So tall they almost block out the moon. Everything is in shades of grey; it looks like a black and white picture taken decades ago. I again, pick myself up and begin to walk along the shoreline on this pebble track. It is quite a strange place, everything seems quite unusual. How did I get here? But I drowned; yet I feel quite all right. Why is it always night? How is it everything is so colourless? I gaze down as the ground and notice even I am grey, my clothes are black and grey, my skin is grey. I am darkness. It bothers me to think I am grey, when really I do not feel all that unhappy. I look around and all there is to see is silhouettes of the mountains and the mirror like surface of the lake. How did I break the surface? Why were there two? I have so many questions about this odd place.
Just as I lower my gaze I hear this dripping, like rain into a puddle. I look at the sky yet there is no rain; I then look at the lake. The lake is pushing out droplets of water into the sky, way up past the mountains, each of them glittering like little crystals. I have never seen anything so bizarre in my life. Why is it everything is so abnormal in this world? It just seems to defy gravity, and that suggests that this cannot be my world. My world was far too ordinary to be like this. It appears as though the water is the method of transportation in this world, everything revolves around water. Maybe if I get submerged back into the water I will get to go home, but what is home? Home is constant fear, resentment and paranoia. Here, despite everything I am free. That is something I have not felt in a long time. If only I could just have a little light to help guide me along the way.
Just as I said that a ball of light appeared in front of me, that same ball of light that helped guide me through the dark abyss from where I came. I reached out to the ball of light and as my index finger touched it the ball of light erupted into a giant spectacle of rays and lightning strikes. It spread so far out into the distance that all of the sky was lit up. Just as soon as it happened it ended and all of the light shot back into this little cluster at my fingertips.
The rain was rattling down my bathroom window; I was laying in the bath. The water had now gone cold and my fingers were wrinkled. How did I get back here? I didn't want this! Shit! How did this happen I was just there? SHIT! I sat there in the bath for a while, watching the rain, watching the water. The bathwater was so normal, too normal. It did not ascend into the air, it was not dark and bottomless, it did not have two surfaces. It was just normal fucking water. Standing up I reached for the towel and wrapped it tightly around me as though it possessed some secret protection power. I looked at myself in the mirror, at my face, my eyes and I wept.
Later I sat in the front room, looking out of the window that I always looked out of. I watched the children, the cars passing, and the sun shining. It makes me sick. The book with the missing page still perched on its spine laid out on the side table, where it had been for a while now. As you see a long time I had been away in that other world, I have been gone now for over 13 years. It only felt like hours, but time here did not sit still for too long and now in this world I am older. When I left I was a young lady of 26, but now I am almost forty. The children I used to watch playing outside have now had children of their own, with whom they are now chasing around. The cars that used to be parked on the pavement are now all changed and modern. Even the houses look different and some are even replaced. Yet here I still sit at this window, watching from inside as though I am trapped inside a snow-globe sitting on a shelf in a children's shop that has been closed, never to be opened again. I yearn to go back to that place; I have never felt so emancipated.
It was nearing sunset and I knew that I had to go back into my basement to stay safe, safe within the circle. But I couldnât bare the thought. I am just so sick and tired of dragging this problem around with me, when it is just too heavy. I am constantly being held back by this weight. I think now is the time to cut that bond and let it go. I am not going anywhere, YOU CAN TAKE ME! I DON'T CARE ANYMORE!
The lights dimmed and the floor began the rumble as thought there were a hundred buffalos stampeding down the corridor towards me. The dust shook off the shelves and clouded the air choking my breaths. I stood facing it with hands clenched and sweat beaded on my brow. For once in my life I was not afraid. The deafening noise grew closer, the floorboards trembling uncontrollably. Suddenly the light bulbs blew up, ejecting shrapnel in all directions, a shard grazed my cheek causing a droplet of blood to role down my jaw and onto the carpet. It was dark, so dark it was familiar. I felt at peace. The noise persisted, now surrounding me. The air whirling past my arms and face so quickly it was like being in the eye of a tornado. This growling started like all of the pits of hell had been awakened. It was as deep as history and was as sinister as Hades himself. A hand reached out of the circling cloud of dust and grabbed hold of my throat choking me. My body was raised off the floor. The arteries in my neck straining as my face flushed a shade of crimson. With one fluid movement all of the furniture was wrenched off the floor and strewn out like ejecta from an impact crater. I was not ready to beg for my life, I do not plead with the devil I thought. The talons on this hand began to rip into my skin as the air in my lungs was squeezed out. The rhythm in my body began to fade. The light from within me turned to black. The life inside me started to die. I looked into its eyes, the eyes that looked familiar to me. They were my eyes. I was in a war with myself all this time. I was the one hurting me, I WAS MY WORST ENEMY! I WAS THE DARKNESS IN ME! With that said this darkness released me and I fell out of its fingers. I fell so far down. I kept falling past the stars and the moon, through the clouds and down the mountains. Back into the water. The water cradled me as I fell into it, so soft it surrounded and soothed me, holding me in its arms like I was an infant. I could see the light and I swam up and breached the surface, swallowing the deepest breath of air my lungs could take. I was back in this bizarre world of grey, at last!
I was circling and whirling in the water, I was swimming. Something I had never been able to do before, now I felt like I was untouchable. The water was cool which was nice as it kept me awake and cautious. It was still dark but from beneath me I could see this little light. In fact it was a congregation of lights in little waves. They twirled and danced around in the currents like little fireflies in the night. It was beautiful, no it was more than that, it was magical. Without hesitation I dived down to this light, and to my amazement they were not lights at all but little glowing jellyfish. So small and inadequate, smaller than my fingernail, yet so crucial. They seemed to emit this humming noise, like a vibration of melodies, music as such. I danced amongst them for a while, like I was dancing under the stars. I never wanted it to end. We all moved together in a fluid movement, without hesitations or second-guessing. It was just natural and for a moment I forgot about everything. For a moment I forgot I was underwater in a dark lake, in a distant up-side-down world. I was just happy, a feeling I had said goodbye to a long time ago.Then as if by command these little glowing jellyfish started to float away, naturally being mesmerized I followed them. I glided along behind these little jellies as they gracefully drift by with their bodies pulsating rhythmically.
Before long I noticed we were approaching a tight opening in the mountains base. I was unsure if I would fit. All of the little jellyfish disappeared through the opening and the light began to fade. I was determined to follow so I squeezed and contorted my body, forcibly pushing it through the hole. Eventually I got through. I was swimming as fast as my legs would allow me, my muscles were beginning to burn and cramp. There were so many little tunnels and passages some appeared to have air pockets at the top and some were fully submerged. What was this place? Oh no the passage was starting to narrow! I could only go a few more meters without getting stuck, dammit! I screamed out after the jellyfish to comeback, but they just carried on drifting through. The light started to fade and soon I was back in black.
I asked again, if I could only have some light to guide me through the tunnels and to help me get out, with that said this orb of light descended before me. It then shot past my body as if telling me to hurry up and turn around. I twisted in a most uncomfortable and inelegant manor as the passage was so tight, but eventually I was ready to start following this light. We turned left and right went up and down through all of these passages, the way I am sure we did not come before. Nevertheless I followed without questioning until I saw the surface of this body of water I was it. The light shot through the surface without causing so much as a ripple, I followed excitedly. When I breached the surface and looked up it was like nothing I had ever seen before. There were millions of twinkling lights, nebulas and shooting stars. It was a spectacle. The roof of this cave system looked endless, like the black abyss I had struggled through. As I clambered up and onto the shore I noticed that there was dripping coming from one of the exposed bare rock walls. As I walked up to it I could here this almighty crashing sound coming from within. Beside it was a narrow hollow that I could just about squeeze through. I proceeded to shuffle along this crack in the rock until I found the source of the noise. It was a waterfall, but the water was glittering like a thousand diamonds under the sun. I threw myself into the direct path of the water and got carried off my feet. Before I could blink I was being swept down through this channel deep under the mountain, through twisting tunnels until I was washed out into this pool of water. Even though I felt so exhilarated I couldn't shake the feeling of nervousness, it was as though I could feel something below me, watching me, waiting for me.
I looked down, there was nothing but shear black beneath me. Where had the light gone? Where were the glowing jellyfish? Where were the glittering diamonds and shooting stars? I looked back down and then up and round and round. There was no way I could get out of this one, the hollow that the waterfall had brought me through was over three meters above my head, there were no cracks or passages I could see. I had to go down, back into the darkness. I dived down; I positioned my body into a streamlined position and kept kicking. As I descended through the black I felt as though I was being pulled in by gravity, but how? In fact now I was no longer swimming but falling, down, down, down into the darkness. I looked back up to the surface and let out a scream, releasing my breath only to see the bubbles role down my body and past my toes. Now I could see a faint light, not like the orb from before, it was much larger, almost square looking. Wait! There is something in the light, like an object. Could it be a room? It looks like a room. Wait there is a girl, she's lying down. It's my bathroom, that's me in the bath. I'm, I'm drowning. I'm dying. The bottom of this body of water I was in started dripping like rain into the room, onto me. I started screaming at myself, begging for myself to wake up. I started feeling breathless, then it felt as though all the air within me was being pulled out of my lungs. Now I really was dying. I was watching myself die and no matter how loud I screamed I was not waking up and I could do nothing to change it, nothing but watch. As I watched the water began to go murky and the image of that scene faded to grey. I turned around and saw nothing but darkness all around me, closing in on me. Creeping.
I feel this force pushing me up, rising from beneath me. A surface comes in contact with my feet; I am now standing as the water is being forced up around me. Then as if by magic it stops, the water level begins to drop and now I can see where I am. I am back in the basement. How is it possible that I keep travelling between worlds like this? What is happening? AM I DEAD? AM I ALIVE? WHY DO YOU KEEP TORMENTING ME LIKE THIS? Can't you just let me be? I looked down to the floor to see the same salt circle which had now just been reduced to a few marks on the floor, for I had been gone from this world over 30 years now. I picked up a piece of glass off the floor and looked at my reflection, for now I am an old woman. A mere shell of the person I used to be. This world I had been sent to has now taken up over 43 years of my life, I am now almost seventy years old. How could this happen? Why me? WAS I MEANT TO FIND SOMETHING, IS THAT WHAT THIS IS? HAVE I FAILED YOU 'MASTER'? THIS IS MY LIFE AND YOU HAVE TAKEN IT AWAY FROM ME! With that I fell to my knees, then to the floor. I lay there in the circle with that piece of glass to my chest, chanting 'safe within the circle, as long as I stay in the circle I can't be touched, yes, safe in the circle'. With my cheekbone pressed against the cold hard floor I looked ahead, only to see what I had been dreading for far too long...nothing.
I sit up to see all of these people in white looking at me, pushing these pills into my mouth, people putting cuffs around my hands. Yelling at me, staring at me, pulling me up off the floor. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE? WHAT ARE YOU...GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME, YOU CAN'T? WHAT ARE YOU DOING, STOP IT! I was dragged from under my arms, out of the room and up the stairs. People still everywhere! Only when I got to the open space did they let me down, hurling me up onto this bed. I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE BUT YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF ME! They were mumbling around me, looking like they were trying to make an educated decision. Then they grabbed my arms and placed this tight wrapped cloth around me, I couldnât move, I was trapped. Next thing I knew I could feel this sharp pinprick stinging sensation in the side of my neck as they lowered me down onto the bed. I could smell a chemical; I wasnât quite sure what it was. I could feel my eyes going heavy and my muscles relaxing. The lights above me started swirling around and around...I passed out.
I was back in the water now, calm and collected. WAIT! WHATS HAPPENING? I was being thrashed around underwater then above it, round and round. I was catching my breath then being forced under...WHAT WAS THIS? My whole orientation was set off, I had no way of telling up from down and the water was cold, deathly cold. I could still hear these murmurs from within the water, when I was thrusted up out of the water I could briefly see those people in white looking over me like giants. Just as I saw them I would fall back down into the water, beneath the surface, it was such a violent event I could not see anything familiar but the darkness.
I let go; I decided this a long time ago. To feel free was worth the sacrifice, I took a deep breath and I floated away into the water. I let it engulf me, I let it hold me and comfort me. I was old now and I knew this would be the last time I would see this place so I was at peace. I knew when I returned I would die and I was prepared for that. I have never been afraid of death itself because that it indefinite, but life, now, that is frightening. As I floated in the water I saw that page I had so yearned for over the years, on it was my death certificate. I have died already, that is why I am at peace now. With that said I submerged my head and allowed the water to take me.