I walk back to our caravan hastily, although conscious of the smoke that I am inhaling from a nearby campfire. There is just something about campfires that grounds me, it smells familiar, like home, like the bush. I am however faced with our not-so-friendly camping neighbours, and so put my head down, but bring my eyes up to peer through my lashes to make sure that I am not going to walk into a pothole or something as I try and direct myself back and to our caravan… safely.
It was time for a shower, as declared my Mr. A.
Master X had been asleep for sometime, although Punk’s high-pitched, anxious barking kept interrupting Master X’s otherwise exhausted (perhaps growth spurt-related) slumber. Anxious owner = anxious dog. Yup, and shamefully he is medicated as well, although we are trying to wean him from the need for constant medication. I walk slowly over the shower block which is situated just next to our campsite, mulling over the conversation that Mr. A and I had just had about how much is too much to divulge in the blogosphere. About what direction our lives should/could take. How we might be able to travel and work. Or just live to work, and work to live like the masses. My mind is obsessed with Constance Hall and her recent viral post. The part of my compulsive personality to be perfect, to be the best is making it so that my thoughts centre on this awesome woman, and her shot into international fame. Not that I think that everyone knowing me by face and by name would be fantastic- actually, it would be my version of living hell.
So I am already comparing myself to Constance, when I walk into the bathrooms and am faced with three twenty-somethings who (it becomes apparent) are getting ready to out on the town. I consciously divert my path quickly to go into the neighbouring shower blocks, catching a glance of myself in the mirror as I do so. They are my epitome of good looking – tattoos, voluptuous bodies, ruffled but neat hair- all in all they had a sense, and aura of being strong.
This is not meant to be a deliberately negative commentary, but rather a capturing of the current conditioning of my brain. The tear between the ‘perfect/strong mum’ who does not give a f**?k what people think, and the twenty-something invincibility of youth.
I am stoic in the shower, trying to placate my thoughts about my body with positive affirmations:
‘You made a person!’
‘One breast is two cup sizes larger than the other because you fed your baby’
‘Your gut is big because it’s either this, or be super thin and bony due to being so sick’
My brain dwells and slides across these thoughts like a penguin on thin ice in the Spring, caught on the wrong side of the world.
As I hurry out of the bathroom I realise that I did not even notice the exit of the ladies in the bathroom.
My depression is so self-centred (is this even depression, I don’t know what to call it anymore).
And even while writing this I realise that the focus on me is so prominent, that it drove pretty much the entire conversation with Mr. A tonight. But I guess that it better than letting it sit in my head, in my stomach, or on my chest in the myriad of emotions and sensations that are the hidden being-ness of mental illness.
And perhaps this is a sign of becoming good. Looking good on the inside so that I can be well.
For Mr. A.
For Master X.
For my family.
For my friends.