Solo

Right now I feel the need to go to a special place I go to sometimes in order to survive.
It is a free place – and a very cheap place – in my head.
It is simple solitude with no outside contact.

It might seem like a dark, lonely, troubled place to an onlooker, but to me it is called peace; it is my long hot bath or my book on the beach or my trip to Mexico (only cheaper).
If I can’t get there I feel frantic – hunted almost, and trapped.

I don’t want to fight this feeling, and I don’t feel I need curing, rescuing or stopping from going there – simply going there in itself is the cure.
The deepest dark washes over my head like an inky tide and then it sucks softly away leaving me levelled like a beach freshened by the ocean.

Afterwards I can walk into the light again feeling soothed and rested.

But I need to go now, and I can’t.



I went for a walk with the dog earlier today and tried to put my feelings into words. But when I feel like this everything seems tangled and busy and thoughts are difficult to map out in a straightforward way. It’s as if thought processes are scrumpled up; it’s all there – there’s nothing new or bigger or different to cope with but it’s confused, messy.
Tangled.

I feel childish when I’m like this. Sulky, grumpy, at the mercy of others.

Perhaps I could write a childish poem, I thought – as it’s National Poetry Day.

So I plished through the wet fields, whilst Dylan ate cowshit and carried a cricket in his mouth (- so gently it survived!), and I typed a few words into my phone:

They are strange these days: of feeling like a child;
Neglecting the domestic and desiring to run wild.
Fighting against life.
Sulking because it’s raining.
“I haven’t eaten!” (Whose fault is that?)
I thrive on this complaining.

Perhaps a hug or an icecream?
An early night or a good scream?

I’m tangled and I’m messy
I’m sticky and I’m stressy
Turn down the lights, stroke my head.
Whisper “There, there” and put me to bed.

I don’t want this! or that! or the other!
Leave me alone – you’re too much bother!
But don’t say “Act your age!”, whatever you do
Because today I am barely more than two!



It’s such a selfish and guilt-ridden feeling, having what I have decided to call “A charmed strife”.
Life should and can be good – but part of that being good means giving my head time out on the naughty step. Otherwise I feel permanently unhappy.

I think standing in the mud and staring into puddles helped a bit today.

Bug in muddy puddle
Bug in Muddy Puddle, by Rachel, aged 2 and a lot



13 thoughts on “Solo

    • There’s solo and there’s solo isn’t there? Being “in that place” means avoiding tasks, the phone, and stopping worrying about “things” – which also includes people-contact of all kinds. Writing a blog post and a crap poem helped me too but I had to have a tantrum in order to do it πŸ˜‰

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    • Thanks, Bridget, my inner child likes the grunge look of this blog theme! I do feel better. My head’s been exploding for days πŸ™‚ Cheers!

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  1. You know, I try to spend as little time inside my head as I can because – for me – that way lies madness. So I push a cushion down over my inner cake hole and drown out the muffles with scrabble, dogs, non-creative work/writing. And not listening to my insides makes me more at peace with the world and less likely to spend each day in a puddle of tears.
    Horses for courses, lovely xxx

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    • Hi, Nettie,
      I spend weeks ignoring the inner screaming to stop and take time out. I push myself to be practical and get on with duties but I’m such a perfectionist and bad organiser that all the stuff and practicalities completely shove any creativity and the quiet imagining that I need so much out of the way. Eventually I feel like I’m losing myself and start to resent people (not sure resent is the right word…) I simply can’t ignore the screaming after a while (not sure screaming is the right word either! πŸ˜‰ ). I can feel myself withdrawing – whether I want to or not – and losing the ability to make any social interaction. All I can do after a while is blurt out like a faulty toy – not giving and taking like a normal social being. The bit leading up to the stepping away and the process of allowing myself time is the worst bit. I can often feel explosive and incredibly unwell. I think that moment after letting the thoughts flood out is the best. I think I’m quite a nice person afterwards but I’ll let my family be the judge of that! πŸ˜€ xxx

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  2. This all resonates with me and your reaction seems very healthy. And apart from that you write so beautifully about your feelings – and the poem is cool too. Keep up the writing Rachel – you have a real talent.

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  3. You’ve really summed it up for me when you talk about feeling like a child. I often get like that – I don’t know what I want but I know its not this thing or that thing that is on offer. Yes sulky, and yes grumpy, without being able to find the end of the ball of string to help me unravel myself. At the same time I feel all unravelled! Here’s to feeling more mature very soon πŸ˜‰

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    • Hi L-J,
      I’ve spoken about this with other women (not saying it’s a women’s thing but I’ve never spoken to a man about it) and we’ve agreed that when times are tough we want to be someone’s child again. I guess modern life expects too much of us and being overwhelmed/low/frantic/etc is normal but we feel we shouldn’t allow it.
      We call older children “young adults” (well, I don’t!) when really perhaps we’re all big kids and we all need to throw things sometimes.

      I don’t feel I have anywhere for my big kid to go because I feel pressure to be mature all the time. But I know that my little kid, years ago, liked to withdraw and have quiet time to fantasise and be solitary as a way of coping.

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  4. I can’t speak for any man other than myself but I want to be a child again when things get tough. I suspect that deep down all writers are child-like. Tell me a story, Mummy. Except the story-teller become oneself.

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