Tonight I think I need to confess how I'm feeling. Well, I probably don't need to, but I want to; so forgive me for using you as a kind of therapist's couch this evening. For I am confessing to being a mess.
In fact, it was last night when I realised what a mess I was, as I struggled out into town to band rehearsal, full of some strange flu-like illness, and sat wobbling on a high black stool listening to piano keys clunking and red wine being supped. I felt tears pricking my eyes and a familiar welling up inside. Shit. The penny dropped. I am all over the place.
Then something else happened. Something that rarely happens to me. Instead of feeling upset, anxious, fearful, confused and stupid about feeling a mess, I suddenly was overcome by a feeling of alrightness. Absolute alrightness. And I liked it.
I'm one confused human being at the moment. I wonder if this is why, when I am falling asleep last thing at night, my heart keeps doing little pirouettes in my chest and why my dreams are filled with psychopaths. Why I keep having to trim my hair just that tiny bit shorter. Why one day I wear low-cut tops and the next I find myself in high collared shirts. Why I reel from reading the biography of a saint to writing songs about strange animals to compulsively watching a tv show where women are dressed as men and strap-ons are as commonplace as the next soya-decaf-frappucino. All this might not sound too significant, perhaps a bit drama queeny, if you don't know me that well. Or maybe even if you do. But who I am doesn't add up anymore. It doesn't add up.
Tonight I feel less welcoming of this fact. I feel disarmed by myself. I'm also aware of the fact that I'm going to be back in Wales in a couple of weeks, and I know, deep down, I'm really frightened because it brings the mess of me right back into sharp relief. It brings back how confusing life is, and how hard it is living under the shadow of Mum's state; knowing how I've been blocking it out these last months, because if I didn't block it out, I would have become a mess, and I don't want to be a mess, I want to be ok.
So the mess has to cope with only getting little outings, little forays into the world of Clare. And the rest of the time, it is strictly relegated to the world of dreams.
As usual, there is a good side to this. Whether I let it in or not, the devastation of Mum's condition is working on me night and day. And the price I may pay in sorrow for this, is reaped back through all the cracks that grief shows up in my life. It prises the cracks apart so I can look inside and see what truly makes me tick.
I thought I liked it better when I supposed I knew what made me tick, even if it felt constricting and suffocating, like a silk stocking tight around my throat. Now, I don't quite know what to do with all this air. Or what this feeling is in my lungs. I know too well the sting of life. And how things can fester. But this breath inside me, well, it's equally as terrifying. Such a grave responsibility it is: stepping into one own shoes.