Saturday, September 17, 2005

Darker than grey.

I'm sorry. It's been a while. But I thought about this and I have to write this. You know, for all this blog is meant to be the god-honest truth, sometimes it's not. I'm aware that even if I feel down, I feel myself telling myself to end my diary on a major, not minor chord. For myself, for everyone who still reads this, it's important that things don't spiral down, that light still shines. I write to cheer myself up and to understand myself.

Sometimes though things aren't exactly - well, not sunny - no-one expects sunny all the time - but they're darker than grey.

I've been checking in via email with Kings Cross United, and the relief is, I'm not alone. The people who were fine, no really, no really really just fine, are this week not sleeping. Snapping at people. Suddenly, can't breathe in the middle of the night. This week, there was a wobble in the hopeful equilibrium.

And yet the outside world has moved on, and our immediate work of day-to- day dealing with stuff connected with 7th July has moved on too. But, dammit, now the dark gritty grey descends. And the bigger picture is sometimes, suddenly harder to see. I wish I'd seen this coming.

It's not life and death anymore. It's no longer the exhultation of survival. It's not the trembling shock of the blast. It's no longer the practical business of stitches, burst eardrums, what I am going to do about taking the tube to work. It's the slow hard slog of the small things. The taste of things being different. The constant, unwelcome comparison between Before and After. That is held within the self; the private grief for the small lost things.

See, the world , London, other people have now gone back to how they were before. Or they look like they have. And more than anything, that is what we want too, we people from the train.

But this last week it hasn't quite worked. The concentration is still shot, the sleep is still disturbed, it is as if now that the shocked self has finished reverberating, the insidious damage to the sense of humour, the sense of fun is embarrassingly obvious. The damn cracks are starting to show.

Unfortunately, so are too are the fissures in peoples' patience - and in my own ability to move as far on as I want from this bloody, bloody thing.

I've hunkered down, and used what little concentration I have on getting through work. I haven't even done that great a job of that either.
I'm sorry. I want everything to be like it was before, but right now I'm an itchy, jumpy, mopey anti-social shadow of my former self and my resources are low. I feel paper thin sometimes. I feel angry with myself for flaking.

I'm scared of how, if I gave in to this gnarliness, this greyness, my present popularity and support system would likely fail. I'm fed up with myself. I wouldn't take me to the pub right now.

Best to lay low, and trust in what I know from the last time: keep breathing in and out, keep putting one foot in front of the other, feel the ground beneath your feet, count the heartbeat. It's always monochrome before the sunrise. This is the greyness that you don't remember when the colours are beautiful. These are the the darker times, but it's still only darker than grey. The familar shapes are still there. And they will be there in the morning.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel,
There are all these people out here reading about you, learning from you, growing with you, gaining so much in finding out what really is important in life.

It's your bravery that has allowed everyone to continue leading their lives as close as possible to before. For some it never changed, to me it felt like a huge loss and I cried.

So, surely, after all you have given us, this is our time to give something back to you. I don't know how to help, or what to say, I can sympathise and read, but I can never understand what and how you feel - the closest I can get is that I understand why.

Rachel, how can all of us help you?


September 19, 2005 9:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rachel,i am sitting here feeling quite concerned:

please talk to a counselor...maybe theres one at the london hospital that treated you.or maybe a minister or someone trained to do counseling

if theres anything we can do to help you..please let us know.


September 20, 2005 12:37 am  
Blogger LottieP said...

Dear Rachel

Dealing with the ordinary is always hardest after something inside you has irrevocably changed. After the sound and fury dies down, when everyone else wants to move on, part of you is still stuck with the knowledge of what has happened and that things will never be the same.

At the risk of repeating myself (the Whie Stone of Lewis came from me), here is another poem I think you might like:

All of us out here are thinking of you.


September 20, 2005 8:57 am  
Blogger LottieP said...

Complete link here:

September 20, 2005 8:58 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sorry to hear you are feeling down - just wishing you all the silent support possible.
S x

September 25, 2005 8:47 pm  

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