8am: I find myself sitting at the kitchen table this morning in a dangerous state of apathy. It is a horribly familiar sense of hopelessness, and it terrifies me, leaving me feeling as though I am staring into a deep, dark hole that I am about to tumble down.
It’s hidden within the feeling of intense irritation at the messiness of the kitchen – only a surface clutter that would take no more than minutes to tidy up, yet I somehow can’t bring myself to get up and do the thing that would make me feel better, so I sit feeling increasingly frustrated, hopeless and scared. What is it that propels us forward, that has managed to get me out of bed each morning this week despite my intense desire to stay safe and warm all day long, but which seems to have vanished? At least in writing I am briefly doing something other than staring at the table – a positive sign?
2pm: The feeling hasn’t shifted – I have just crawled reluctantly out of sleep, but everything feeling as empty as before. There isn’t a single thing I want to do apart from simply not be. I have tried reading, throwing myself into a familiar and usually gripping Patrick O’Brian novel, but even Jack and Stephen fail to grasp my interest today. Instead of all the beauty I usually see and appreciate every day, today I have only been aware of the ugly, the broken, the dirty, the unpleasant. I haven’t felt this hopeless in a long time, and I as I turn inwards to try and find a way out, I find I lack the will to even try. As I attempt to put this feeling into words, I find that I don’t want to: I have no desire to share this awful emptiness, and I suspect that those who have experienced it will understand without my needing to say more, and those that haven’t probably won’t, no matter how I try to explain. It’s far beyond the reach of logic.
7:30pm: ah, there, the solutions exist if I just find the smallest bit of energy to begin – I finally overcame my many internal resistances and returned to my mural, and oh! the joy that floods me as I dip my fingers into the paint and feel them swirling over the wall is indescribable. Suddenly, I felt purposeful, focused, happy, and alive again. As the hopelessness recedes I feel a wave of relief wash over me. It was less than twelve hours, in the end – not days, weeks or months, and I always fear it might be.