I've always been quite attracted to the old fashioned sign on the locks of toilet doors. Vacant. Engaged. Straightforward. It seems nowadays they are few and far between. (Nowadays? Did I just say Nowadays? When did I grow up? Jeez, I've just insulted myself!)
Lately, it seems toilet door locks are plastic or metal and have a colour strip to show whether someone is in or not. Or, all too often, nothing at all. I like the old ones. Even better if accompanied by a reassuring, turning handle and the smell of Jeyes fluid. I digress...toilets are not the purpose of my nattering today you will be relieved to know.
I am generally vacant...I have hidden my low from almost everyone in my life. Mainly, that is what holds me together. Perhaps some suspect but they do not ask. The task of becoming engaged seems all too demanding, too big, too humiliating to voluntarily throw myself into the arena. To have to explain and then feel attitudes change, or feel bad refusing offers of help that are not helpful, or politely accept offers of help that are not helpful, feels like a wall I have no ladder for.
I trusted a friend a few years ago and she knows, she understands, but we talk little of it. She too has lows but hers can be defined, and improve with treatment and then she moves on. She was the first person to make me feel normal. She engaged with me, I engaged back. We share a similar sense of humour (the text that says "omg, just realised my trousers are on inside out and I'm in public, what will I do?" has us both doubled up). We talk of our lows little, nigh on never, and yet there is comfort in knowing that there is a shared understanding should it be needed.
When I have been very low recently, I thought I could not hold on to my secret any longer. I thought I would burst with the effort of making myself appear me. I did not burst. The worst passed. And now I ponder a little longer whether to remain vacant or become engaged with those around me.
One thing I am sure of is that engaging here, with you all, is helpful. You are here, silently, standing in the same toilet queue as I am, and I know if my cubicle has no toilet paper left to soak up my tears, that one of you will chuck me your roll. As I will chuck you mine.
And that, my friends, concludes all the toilet chat for today. May your visits be little uncomplicated oases in otherwise complicated days.
The room above the garage.
A Moodscope member.