Early morning thoughts

Chloe MacLean

The mind and body are separate? Oh aye, gid yin Descartes! Try tellin ma body that. It kens what I’m thinkin’ before ma brain consciously understands it. I woke up at 5:45am today, a Sunday, unable tae sleep anymare. This not-sleeping-at-night is becoming an infrequently frequent pattern for me. I was a bit shocked when I woke because yesterday I had a really good day. In the morning I delivered an online group exercise class for ma pals via zoom, and went a long walk tae the meadows. The meadows is absolutely beautiful just now, the cherry blossom trees are in full blossom sprinkling the air with pink petals. The trees make me feel hopeful, I don’t know why, but they do. Maybe it’s a feeling of continuity – that they blossom every year – or that there is always beauty tae be found in horrible times. I also had ma fav dinner last night – fajitas – and a chatted to ma pals on zoom. So it was a good day. I felt calm. Felt content. I felt ‘things are alright’.

But I find maself with under 6 hours of sleep lying wide awake with an anxious buzz across my body. I’m not entirely sure what this buzz wants me to dae, or what its anxious about. It’s a feeling that’s been supressed, but now I feel the anxiety buzzing in my arms and chest, and I canny sleep.

Really, if I was tae think about it, I’ve been thinkin a lot since the pandemic about ma contribution to…life? What am I doing and what can I be doing to help the wellbeing of others? I’ve always kent that time is short, so I’ve always had these thoughts since I was a wee girl tae be honest. But now time feels more pressin. I feel like I have a lot of thoughts in response tae those questions, but, those thoughts are all over the shop. They are flyin all over the shop, fast, so I canny even pick them up to put them in the right order. Ma thoughts are messy, knotted, and difficult to unravel. These thoughts are moving with panic.

There is a storm coming that ma body is bracing itself for. Ma heart canny take the thought of the austerity to come. It’s possible that now I’ve got a gid chance that my bank account will be okay after the pandemic. I’m from a working class background but work as a lecturer now. If there are redundancies to be made at ma work, once the temps and 0hrs staff have been cut, then, I guess, staff that are still on probation like me are easier tae cut. But, even if that was tae happen, I’ve saved as much as I can since starting my first academic post two and a half years ago, so I’d be okay for a bit. I grew up on benefits, I don’t need much money to get by. Without being told I’ve been taught to hold onto money when you get it cause… well, you don’t want the really skint days. And even though the likelihood is that I’ll be economically okay, ma body still feels that panic. Its alert system is on. Ma partner, ma dad, some of ma pals, ma neighbours – things look a lot less certain for them. What’s gonna happen tae the communities like the one I grew up in? Ma heart canny bare it.

These thoughts I feel across ma body as a sickening anxious buzz. So, I am awake at 5:45am trying, with urgency, tae make sense of it all. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day again.

Published by

Mary Holmes

Mary Holmes is Professor of Emotions and Society @ University of Edinburgh, email mary.holmes@ed.ac.uk

One thought on “Early morning thoughts”

  1. Aye that…..trying to get your thoughts and ducks in a row at the same time! Normally it would be one then the other …thats what we are taught. Now the pace dictates we try to do both at tne same time. Keep safe and well and clarity lets hope will come x

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