So, Time. When I was in my youth (yoof, if you’re from London), I was completely wedded to science, black and white thinking and a rational, cold view of the world. Classical physics that was ordered and precise. Time was a linear straight line and the ‘present’ moved along it at a constant speed, just as the speed of light is a constant. If it wasn’t a constant, the entire laws of physics would need re writing and imagine how much of a ball-ache that would be.
As a young adult (or Pre Illness Me) time seemed to speed up. I was busy. I was one of those busy people that busy-brag on Facebook about how much time they don’t have because they have a to-do list as long and as full of random tangents as a Donald Trump speech. I was parenting, which is like entering into a time black hole and you spend literal years doing laundry, moaning about lego on the floor and having entire discussions about Minecraft despite not actually having any understanding of what Minecraft even is.
Since getting sick five years ago; life imploding, losing everything, yadda yadda, time has warped yet again into a snail paced plod. There are times when it moves so painfully slowly that I wonder if it’s actually moving at all. I have conversations in my head wondering if I’m actually dead and this is what eternity looks like; this soul crushing void of action, progress, events. The bad days where I’m too unwell to do anything except play Scrabble or Candy Crush on my mobile phone and stare out of the window, each feel like they’re a week long. I look back at something that happened on a Tuesday and realise that it’s now Friday, and only three days have passed. Three days. In those three days I’ve done absolutely nothing but in my head an eternity of suffering and pain has occurred. 2014 and 2015 were relatively good years. According to my Facebook photo albums I actually managed to do quite a lot. 2016 has been a festival of shit and it feels like I’ve just time travelled back to 2012 where I was bedridden.
Due to extreme fogginess and toxicity, I’ve lost the entire summer. I don’t mean I just wasn’t out throwing myself down water slides, taking sunset walks along the beach, or turning myself an attractive shade of ‘lobster’ at festivals. I literally can’t remember most of it. From June until about the start of October, I can only really remember 3 or 4 days. The rest were spent looking out of the window and crying, I presume. I lost a month to a PPI that was poisoning me, a month to insane candida that was poisoning me, a month to a viral flare that was crushing my brain… and then a month trying to kill the candida and actually nearly killing myself in the process. It’s been a very long few months, mostly because I was too unwell to distract myself from it and keep my mind busy.
I think not having enough time and running around like a headless chicken is unhealthy and leads to nothing but trouble, but I also think having too much time is unhealthy as you sit there wallowing and worrying. It shines a spotlight onto the physical and mental suffering and it can end up consuming you. I’ve found trying to keep busy, even if it’s just in my mind, helps. Since my imagination pretty much stops at kittens with muskets riding rainbow unicorns, which is only entertaining for about 5 minutes, my lovely partner has bought a computer game for me that has historically sucked hours and hours of my time up. It’s pointless in itself, but if it allows me to escape the reality of the situation for a few hours each day, then it’ll be priceless. I also obsessionally take photos of everything whenever I leave the house, in case I can’t remember that I’ve actually done it. It’s so lovely to look back at photos of me doing normal things on the rare few good days that it really helps me to get through the bad ones.
My conclusion is that classical physics is wrong, time is not linear. It might be our perception of it speeding up or slowing down as according to quantum physics, observing something then changes it, so by observing time to be as erratic as Trump’s thinking, we could actually be making it erratic. Now there’s a take home message if ever I saw one. Stop talking about time going too fast or too slow and it might go at an even speed. Stop watching Trump, and he might cease to exist. We can hope. Or we could just put him in Shrodinger’s box and let him take his chances.