Yesterday we went for a drive through the glorious local countryside.
Pretty villages we had never head of, leafy dappled lanes with sunlight mischievously playing in the leaves, streams glittering beneath an azure blue sky, broken only by soft puffy white clouds and the foaming streaks of high up aeroplanes.
It was a warm day. Not hot, not the baking sun that harshly decimates the landscape but a warm, enveloping heat that wrapped me briefly in cotton wool.
For a while everything seemed right in the world.
But such moments are both few and far between and, regrettably, an illusion.
As I sat there, watching the world go by, studying the impeccable thatched roofs, the neat white washed houses in their studiously maintained gardens and listening to the gentle swirl of the streams that flowed on by, I encountered a deep melancholy.
Unaccountably I found myself growing despondent. I found an aching sadness growing within me.
My mind was dredging up the past, bringing unwelcome memories to the fore.
I remembered days like these. I recalled the long hot days of summers of my youth. Days when I was innocent and free, before my illnesses, before the mental strain became too much, before I’d even heard of Autism or Fibromyalgia, perhaps even harking back to a time when I was happy ?, if I ever was.
And I regretted my life, regretted what I’d become.
The missed opportunities, the lost times with people no longer with us, my academic failures, my life failures, hell, my life itself.
I questioned my very existence, why I was still here, what benefit I was to anyone, how much better off my partner would be if I wasn’t around, what was my purpose ?.
So much beauty in the world, so much to admire.
It’s not jealousy. I don’t envy other people their lives. I don’t want to be them. I don’t want to be not Autistic.
It’s regretting decisions made or not made.
It’s also realisation.
It’s realising that now I no longer have the strength to fight. My energy has been sapped by diabetes, fibromyalgia and the hideous fibromyalgia fog that clouds my brain, Anhedonia and the supreme loss of pleasure in anything and everything, from the food I eat, to the books I read. Two small strokes have reduced my stamina and left my right hand side weaker and unreliable.
It’s realisation that I’m a failure. That I have nothing to offer. That I can’t provide for the people I care about.
They say that beauty can be a curse.
Perhaps it’s true. Everything I saw yesterday, so lovely, so perfect, only served to remind me of my inadequacies as a friend, partner, lover, colleague and human being.
And I now lack the strength to put it right.
It really was beautiful yesterday.
On the surface.