For a couple of weeks, now, I’ve been trapped in a snow globe. One of those things that you are occasionally gifted as a child. A pretty scene or photo surrounded by plastic flakes of white stuff.
As a child I would enthusiastically shake it up; watching the plastic pieces create a blizzard, hiding the image enclosed. It would keep me occupied for a while – watching as the flakes slowly calmed down and covered the floor below. It would never get completely calm, though. I never let it settle. As soon as things began to die down, I would shake it up again. I much preferred to watch the chaos than the calm.
My scene isn’t the prettiest or most picturesque at the moment. I am on a ward getting some help with things I have been struggling with for a long time. It’s probably not an image you would choose to encase in plastic and display on the mantlepiece for everyone to see.
However, in some ways my current scene is beautiful. It’s a seen of some of the kindest, gentlest, most caring and selfless people I have ever met. It’s a scene of incredible people changing their lives for the better. People who have been struck down by an illness doing its best to kill them and destroy their lives. People with so much resilience and strength that one day, they will be unstoppable. People who have decided that enough is enough, this illness isn’t going to kill them – they are going to kill it. The process is rarely beautiful, often messy, and almost always the hardest thing we have ever done. But the people that I have met so far are all beautiful.
My life has been shaken up in a similar fashion to the way that child-me, enthusiastically played with a snow globe. I hardly know what is up and what is down any more. I feel like I have been shaken and shaken until I’m utterly dizzy and confused. Nothing makes much sense. I don’t know which way I’m going or what I’m doing, if I’m honest. Rules and beliefs that I’ve had for years are being torn apart on an hourly basis. I struggle to understand things that make so much sense to others that they don’t even think about them. Some of these things make me cry, make me hide, make me want to run a thousand miles in any direction, just so long as it’s as far away from here as possible. I feel permanently confused and disorientated.
I live in continuous chaos.
At the moment, my snow globe never settles. There is little calm. The ward can be busy and it can be noisy. A stark contrast to the quite life I was leading at home. The people and noise often feel as though they’re bouncing off my body like sharp plastic pieces of snow. It fills my brain up. It’s a non-stop buzz and creates so much white-noise in my head that I can’t think. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it makes me cry. I crave peace, order, and calm. I crave my own space. I miss my house.
It can feel as though I’m trapped here. Though I am here by choice, able to go down to the courtyard unsupervised, and allowed to escape to my room, there are times when I have to spend emotionally difficult times surrounded by others. I can bury myself under a dressing gown or some crochet, but jumping out of the window would probably be frowned upon. I don’t have any leave at the moment (I’m very new here), so though I have internet, TV, and my phone, I am largely cut off from the outside world. In many ways that’s a relief.
This snow globe is where I need to be for now. I know that. Despite often thinking to myself that I want to escape, or to return to my old life, I know I need to be here. My old life was ordered and ‘safe’, but apparently it wasn’t sustainable. My body stopped letting me do it. I don’t believe it (yet), but those I trust have told me that it was killing me. So, for now I’ll continue to live in this snow globe, and hope that eventually it settles down.