It feels like a fizzing, spinning, burning catherine wheel, right in the centre of your rib-cage. Its heat runs through your veins, making you want to rip out these lifelines, just so that you can be rid of it. You can feel it throbbing in your fingertips, lump in your throat, well up in your eyes. And then you feel like a fool.
Because for heaven's sake, who cries out of restlessness?
We do. We even have a name for it. We call it the COA keeda*. All three of us have had it, and continue to have it. It isn’t always bad. Most months it lies low, occasionally erupting in an urge to ‘do something different’. These are more easily dealt with. A good play, a new hobby, a get-away-from-it-all-trip, they work. There is calm, even if it is uneasy. But you know you’re only suppressing symptoms, rather than curing disease (which is the most perfect word for this sickness. Disease: dis + ease). And you know, that like anything held in, when it explodes, there is havoc.
We know better than to offer solutions to the stricken. Suggestions will not, cannot be taken, opinions will be feverishly sought, then ignored, kind words will only lead to teary breakdowns.
So we listen, patiently, as people who have been down that road. We listen to the raving, the longing, the agonised debates, the justifications. And we empathise, but can do little else. It’s like a fever, it will run its course and only then, burn itself out.
All we can do is hope that we survive the fire. Or failing that, that phoenix-like, something beautiful will rise out of the ashes.
* Keeda: bug / worm.