(a snippet of)
Chapter 1 Mary
Tuesday 19th February 2019
I’ve returned to this awful place, but I must remember the magic I just experienced. Focus on the good things, the positives in every situation. That is what I must do because that is what Doctor Knoll always said. I must think about the smells, the warmth, the stretching, the zen. A total contrast to where I find myself now: the same four walls, the dreaded magnolia, the clinical scent because I deep cleaned yesterday before I ran out of bleach – alone. I am always alone. At least I always feel it and even when I am in company I feel as if I am all alone.
I must consider all her coping techniques whenever I feel stressed or lonely or sad. The simple breathing exercises that I have always relied upon. The experience of the moment and the act of simply being. The noticing of details that bring me into this space of living right now. Of living as me. As a perfectly fine specimen. That’s right, I am me and that is fine. I AM FINE.
These methods are very similar to what my teacher was attempting in the yoga class. I have never allowed my mind to go fully into meditation before. At least I tried to get into it, into the zone, like completely with my mind and my soul, but always failed and ended up failing to see the point or benefits of the practice. Yet today it seems to have helped somewhat, for now anyway, and on exiting the class I felt the same sense of calm as everyone else, for once.
I have tried many meditation applications on my mobile phone and none have worked, yet this time I focussed and reaped the benefits, within the moment at least. Maybe a lack of being able to focus has always been my problem, but today I managed it. I think being on my bed with my thoughts was never going to work when sitting in a class surrounded by others took my focus off my terrifying thoughts and allowed me to meditate properly for the first time. It felt so good.
The drive home wasn’t so calming mind you. This was largely down to the rain slamming onto the windscreen of our car and my aunt, who has never been a confident driver, trying to cope with the weather conditions. We drove along and swerved through the bollards, near missing every single one and hitting numerous curbs. We even mounted some along the way occasionally which added to the terror of the journey. I wanted so desperately to take the wheel and bring an element of sanity to the despair coming from the front two seats, but then I remembered that I can’t and may never be able to drive again. I was petrified, though I know how I can exaggerate sometimes. Oh, I have been told.