The Void

Im not really a writer but here’s something i don’t really talk about much so i thought i’d write it down instead.

Ill start the story with me hitchhiking from Berlin in 1994 i guess…

I’d lost my passport a couple of months before leaving and had been busking to get by whilst waiting for a new one, so i was pretty skinny by the time i started the journey home to Dublin (my guitar playing is obviously not that good! @_@).

Anyhow, about a week into the journey, and after an interesting few days stopover in Hannover smoking with some cool kids i’d met and drinking stew from bottles with a gang of drunk polish sailors, I arrived in Cherbourg in the middle of the night.

It was lashing rain and the hostels were either closed or full, so I found a little playhouse in a dark & wet playground and settled in to keep dry until the morning.

As the rain was coming down I remember asking my heart to help me find a way to be truly myself when i got home. I suppose I knew that I had been hiding some part of me for what felt like my whole life up until then.

The next day on the ferry I met a girl with the darkest eyes i’d ever seen who seemed to look straight into me and wanted to show me something that felt like magic. I think she was magic actually, even after all this time.

When I got home she came with me and gradually over a couple of weeks I became more and more open to this totally new type of energy which seemed to come from inside me but which I also become increasingly aware of all around in everyone and everything.

I began to see a lot of weird stuff and I guess I knew that I was opening myself up to something I didn’t really understand but it felt so amazing that I didn’t want to stop.

One night, after a few weeks of this feeling becoming more and more intense, I was discussing a particular dream I’d had with my friend when I began to feel an incredible surge of energy rising through me until it reached the crown of my head. I knew something strange was happening but i felt unbelievably elevated and clear.

The place the energy had reached began to make a repeated cracking sound. Like static electricity discharging every few seconds. I thought only i could hear it until my friend asked me where it was coming from… weird!

Soon after that she headed on her way and I had to go back to College. Unfortunately I didn’t really know how to channel my new found hyper intense energy into finding a flat, doing college work and generally getting practical stuff done.

So gradually I began to loose my balance and soon found that I didn’t know how to switch this energy off that was taking over whole days and nights at a time.

I began to realise I couldn’t control it and became anxious, and then afraid, and then my fear become more real that the things that I was supposed to be doing every day.

I tried my best to process it all, but I began drifting further and further away from the ‘normal’ world, seeing visions and signs in everything around me.

One night as i was walking home by the sea i saw a dark figure at the roadside. It didnt move but just stood staring at me as i passed.

It felt like a black void within the world. No emotion, no feeling, just a being of cold black emptyness.

A minute after id passed i went off the road onto the beach and turned to stare back at it. I was angry and fed up being scared i guess.

When i looked back it was no longer there, but i sat on a rock and stared at where it had been for quite a long time anyway. Daring it to return so i could confront it.

After a while I noticed some lights coming over the horizon out at sea. Like super large flood lights sweeping the sky. I approached the water and leaned down to touch it.

It was dark and fluid and i could feel a vast awareness within it which was also aware of me. I took off my shoes and walked into the sea, each step further out becoming more part of the oceans being whilst the stars moved in patterns within the void of space as i watched.

Something brushed against my leg and I reached down into the water. I felt a rope and lifted it. The rope was connected to something further out away from shore. I pulled and it came loose.

Im not sure why it happend, but as the rope came loose everything seemed to collapse inside me. Everything that existed became empty, a vast cold void of shadow and light, and i was utterly alone within it.

I managed to make it to shore and eventually got back home somehow, but that night I felt like i was living through the end of the world.

The next day I went up to Dublin and met up with my sister and my Mum and agreed to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

It is hard to describe what i went through over the next few months. Everything i had ever known or thought about the world and who i was was broken and burned away. Like a living nightmare that i couldnt wake up from. My mind eventually shut down and i spent two months in a catatonic state which the doctors didn’t know how to get me out of.

Thankfully the psychiatrist who was looking after me was very patient and let it all work itself out without assigning any “diagnosis” or prescribing too many drugs, so when I eventually did come round and leave the hospital six months later I was able to try to pick up the pieces of a normal life without too many hangups about what I’d been through.

I went back to college, but my heart wasn’t really in it, so I gave that up and was just happy enough working in a record shop and getting used to the person I’d become which was very different than the way I had been before.

I still feel that energy and know its right there below the surface of everything ready to reveal itself at any moment, but I’ve always kept it at a distance because I’ve been scared it would overwhelm me again.

I started working as an Architect a few years later and still find that drawing, playing music + some yoga helps to keep me grounded as I muddle my way through life these days.

Despite how difficult it was, I’ve started to see that my experience has also given me a lot. A perspective on things that i’m still learning to appreciate.

Anyway, thats my story for now x