After 46 years of not knowing who I was, you’d probably imagine that when I finally got the answer I would be happy?
Maybe, for other autists this is the case?
The truth is that I’m not a happy person. I feel happy occasionally, but mostly all the nice stuff is weighed down by anxiety, pain, and sadness.
It hasn’t always been this way. I’ve known happiness. Real happiness.
Until the age of five, I was happy. The world was a magical place. I was in-tune to the oneness of the universe and while I’m aware that some might consider that a bit ‘wanky’, everything is connected. The problem is that we grow older and become disconnected.
Children are open to most things because they are new. They accept what they see and feel because they’ve yet to be brainwashed with jaded and narrow-minded opinions of their elders who tell them:
1. There’s no such thing as ghosts!
2. Santa doesn’t exist!
3. There is no heaven!
However, none of these statements are fact.
1. There are such things as ghosts if you’ve seen one and I have, twice, and if you understand that we are energy and energy can’t be destroyed ( it can only change form) then ghosts are completely viable, no?
2. Santa existed in human form. His name was St Nicholas and as Santa Claus he lives on in every parent/guardian who ever put a present under a Christmas tree in his name.
3. People who have been clinically dead who come back to life with stories of heaven or a place beyond normal consciousness.
‘If heaven existed, then everybody would experience the same thing!’
It depends how you think of heaven. Maybe my heaven will be a massive library? Maybe yours will be that special beach you visited once? Or do you associate heaven with clouds and a bearded bloke wearing sandals? The point is that many people experience another state of consciousness during cardiac arrest (even brain death) which suggests that our consciousness does not die with our bodies.
Children are open to the unseen and the mysterious, this is partly what makes childhood so magical, but childhood is brief and there comes a day when it ends and my childhood’s end came when I was 11 years old. Bonfire night. Talk about ‘out with a bang’? The stomach cramps I’d been experiencing for weeks turned out to be the onset of my periods. I wasn’t ready, but is anybody ever adequately prepared for puberty? Not us and certainly not our parents who have to put up with their sweet little children turning into argumentative arseholes!
The big P coincided with a house move and a new school where I was bullied from word go. Here is where the sadness became a constant emotion. Magic struggles to thrive in such conditions and a few years later I discovered the numbing effects of alcohol and it all but vanished into the vaults of my mind. But there have been moments where the universe has reminded me that there is more to this life than what people think. I’ve always known it, but sometimes I forget it because mental illness clouds the mind. This is when the universe has to work harder to get me to notice but when I do, it lifts me enough to keep my head from going under.
Recently I was having one of those days.
I was on an old fashined steam train and I was alone in the carriage. The track was only about a mile long so we were going slow enough to be able to appreciate the countryside. Something told me to look to my left and when I did so, I noticed that a massive bumblebee was flying level with my window. It flew in a straight line with my window for about fifteen seconds, though it felt like hours. This tends to be the case when a connection is made. Time as we know it, changes. It slows down. The movies depict this by freezing everything around the subject (s).
A thought crossed my mind..
I was racing a bumblebee!
There was this connection. The bee and I were one and, no, I hadn’t been at the cider!
It was magical.
It was funny and uplifting and amazing and all those wonderful feelings that had been covered up with the haze of mental illness.
We forget that everything is connected, but the universe has a habit of reminding us and often at the exact moment that we need the reminder the most.
“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.”
This was one of those moments.
This was the magic of my childhood. I noticed this kind of stuff all the time and I couldn’t understand why other people couldn’t see it too? But growing up does that to a person. Those spaces in our mind where the magic is recieved are gradually replaced by worries, sadness and useless information.
Enchantment gives way to stress.
Mental illness is an enchantment killer. Catastrophic thoughts are like weeds that strangle the life out of every beautiful thought you’ve ever had, You stop feeling the magic. Sometimes you stop feeling full stop. You become disconnected from the universe and eventually, yourself. It’s at this point that you struggle to know what the point of it all is. The years of suffering yet to come stretch out in front of you and you feel a sadness of such depth that you cannot begin to describe it. It scares you. You don’t want to feel this way, so you fight, but it’s like quicksand; the more you struggle, the quicker you go under. It’s only when we stop struggling that we get chance to breathe and in that moment we can see that the universe has sent us a life line. All this time, we thought we were alone, but we were not. We never are.
The only issue I’ve ever had with that is when I’m having private time on the loo. Do the unseen respectfully float off elsewhere? I hope so because there ain’t nobody, alive or dead, who needs to witness me having a tricky bowel movement, you get me?
To you, the bumblebee race might seem insignificant. Fanciful? I can see why you would. But this was something you had to experience.
Of course, you can choose to ignore such things or write them off as coincidences, but you will never know magic or enchantment if you continually slam the door on it.
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it ~ Roald Dahl
Then there’s the sea.
A lot of humans have a connection to the sea. This could be because we’re mostly made up of water, but there is also this spiritual connection to water. Except for boys who develop an aversion to it until they discover start fancying girls (or boys).
Or it’s simply the desire to try and conquer the sea because it’s bigger and stronger us? Despite having nearly drowned, I love to look at the sea. It calms me. It always has. The way the waves crash when it’s stormy or gently roll when it’s calm. It’s moody, like me. The sea has the capacity to kill me, but it also has the capacity to calm my anxious thoughts in a way that no drug ever has or ever will.
“Look at that sea, girls–all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.”
Then again, I am the Cancer water sign so maybe that’s another reason why I’m connected to it? It would certainly explain why I walk sideways. Or is it to do with being deaf in one ear? You know, balance? Either way, my walking is very crab-like!
So, in one week I got to race a bumblebee and stare at the sea and it provided a lull in the chaos within my tired middle-aged brain.
More importantly, it gave me hope.
I know that enchantment exists. It’s never not been here. I just lost sight of it because anxiety and illness clouds the mind. It’s like when a radio loses it’s signal. The capability is still there, you just have to re-tune the station.