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Of Blackouts and Masteries

Ahem. The official announcement first for all those who missed it elsewhere or didn't get the benefit of me shrieking it on the phone to them.

I am now a Master of Science :D Weee heeee.


On a different note the luminous Ms. Cooper's musings about astral travel got me thinking...

I had a blackout probably a week and a bit ago, i am getting hazy with chronology (my grasp of date and time are only vageuly correlated with those of the *real world* ).

I can feel blackouts coming a long way off, building the way a storm builds, and I can usually avoid them. It starts as a feeling of being disconnected from the self. Sounds are faraway and seemingly reach me through cotton wool. A pressure starts in the base of my skull and travels towards the front of my head.

My heartbeat and breathing start to feel weird to me as though they belong to another person. My limbs get heavier and more difficult to move, reflexes slow down and my mind begins to feel more and more detached from my body. My vision gets blurred and it becomes harder to judge distance and co-ordination.

Often there is nausea, which tends to be the most distressing symptom for me because I hate being sick. A good idea at this point is to lie down and close my eyes, possibly drink something sweet. If I sleep, that generally helps a lot for reasons still unfathomable.

Sometimes, just before a blackout there are some interesting visual effects normally associated with LSD, walls moving, things aquiring a weird colour, and it feels like the bones of my skull are alive and malevolent, they are drawing in closer pushing against my brain and it becomes more difficult to breathe, the way it does during a full moon sometimes, like there is a perssure in my chest, in my throat. I am on the edge of a precipice, a high and narrow wall. The harder I try to focus the more certainly the blackout will hit, the only solution is to relax, slow down my heartbeat and breathing, try as much as possible to unwind, let the pressure flow through me, become hollow, drift on the pain waves.

Sometimes it works, sometimes I can't do it.

The way a blackout hits reminds me of a wave, and it knocks me off my feet. Literally. It feels like a massive weight of water slams into my mind and sweeps me up and I am on the edge of something, a tunnel, or an abyss, and then I am falling, falling, plumetting headfirst into a long and narrow well.

It sounds like it takes a long time but it doesn't. A few seconds maybe. I can usually feel my body when I start to fall in real life and then afterwards I lose time. And then it is just black and I have no idea how long for, it can be a second, or a minute, or an hour, because it is like I have simply been switched off and on, like a computer being restarted with no awareness in between.

Except coming back into the body is not easy. My body never works properly afterwards. And even though the most distressing blackouts when I could not speak properly were years ago, it is still unpleasant I guess because it is undignified. I am helpless, or close to it and there is an immense feeling of tiredness. The entire experience of trying to move the body is somewhat like running underwater, everything seems somehow strange, taxing and maddeningly slow.

The last blackout was slightly different from the others, because I had a half- sense of drifting above myself on the bathroom floor. I was still semi-connected to the body, only partially out of it and it felt like my mind was divided.
Part of it was in the body, which was tired and resting, making sure that the body was ok while the other half of me felt someway detached, and although it didn't *see* things exactly, there was a great awareness of everything going on. it was even though I didn't have *eyes* as such, my entire being was a receptive sensory organ where a thought sent off a cord of light, a bit like the tentacles of a jellyfish.

The world was made of energy and strewn with what seemed like ribbons and streamers of mist. There was a cloud of it around the body and pathways trailing from the body leading to it and away.

These *lines* were different colours and seemed to have different *intensities* or frequencies. Worry, concern vibrated quite densely and had a feeling of heat and they tugged at me. others were light blue and seemed to belong to a less loaded, *resting* frequency.

there was a pleasantness in teh drifting and even though I was not fully detached from the body I felt a reluctance to *merge* with it, and part of me wanted to just stay like this semi-floating and follow the pathways of energy with my mind. i felt warm and comfortable, peaceful, resting.

except at one point the world always calls you back and I am no longer in a pleasant underwater kingdom, sheltered in the heart of a wave but flowing through the threads of pain and memory and time back into myself, gasping, breathing, surfacting.

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