Do you ever have one of those days when you don’t feel quite yourself? The type of day where everything feels a little out of step, but you can’t put your finger on what it is that’s wrong?
Parents of newborns often feel like this in the early days, and much of it is purely down to lack of sleep. People who lose their life-partners often feel out-of-sorts, sometimes for prolonged periods as they adjust to life without their ‘moon’ to keep their orbit. Indeed, some people never really get their life rhythm back, whilst others, given time, find new purpose.
Sometimes, there is no obvious explanation. No trauma, sudden loss or sudden life stress or pressure. You just wake up feeling badly drawn with a subtle but slightly worrying feeling of being out of tune with the world around you.
I know a man who, without fail, wakes every single day with that selfsame experience.
For a significant amount of the time, he has virtually no memory of what he has done in the past few days. When looks out of his window first thing in the morning, the scene below is strangely unfamiliar and vaguely familiar at the same time. From that point forward, every single day, he fumbles and bumbles his way through the day, trying to make sense of everything that flashes before him.
The people that he meets during the day, trigger an altogether bewildering (excuse my language) ‘mind fuck’ that convinces him that he knows them, but at the same time tells him that he has never seen them before. He knows that it can realistically only be one of those things, but he gets both sensations regardless.
Only his sense of humour carries him through the day. He speaks to most people with warmth and friendliness, like they’ve been friends for life and he jokes that he’s probably right half the time. In fact, he doesn’t really know for sure. Strangely, he still seems have some ability to spot a wrong ‘un (as they say in Sheffield), which is useful, as most large cities have less savoury elements amongst their ranks.
He completely loses days on end, and the date always takes him by surprise. When asked what day of the week it is, he’ll always guess Tuesday, unless he knows otherwise. When asked why, he simply replies ‘I like Tuesdays’. He doesn’t know why. He’s a very private person. He keeps his thoughts to himself, because, like many proud people, he doesn’t want people to know that he is unwell.
I know this man very well and I wish that I could do more to help him.
I see him every day in my mirror.