The floor is cold, damp. I am awake. Awake as in I’m no longer asleep but not truly awake, not a real awake that I later come to understand as a conscious presence. I slowly peel myself off the damp floor. I look up at my bed. I must have not made it onto my bed when I stumbled through the door at 8am. How funny, I think to myself, given my bed is only an arm lengths away from me. My head is sore and my eyelashes are crusted together with the mascara from the night before. I look down at my dress, that is loosely hanging off one breast and the hemline is partially tucked into my knickers, revealing a pretty lace covering my pubic hair. I slowly pull myself up onto the bed. I part expect to find some stranger sleeping in it. Its empty. I look at my bedside clock. The time is flashing at me 10.00am but I’m pretty sure it is inaccurate. The repetitive flashing irritates me. It reminds me of me. I’ve done it again. I’ve gone out and partied hard and now I’m smashed to bits. I let out a big sigh. What would my mother say if she could see me now, huh?
I lie on my unmade bed, badly propped up with a pillow and reach for a local magazine that covers the South West London area; it’s rather unimaginatively titled SW. As I flick through I see a small advert for reiki, it passes me by, eventually I finish the boring magazine and return it to my bedside table. I am no more inspired and my head still hurts.
I slowly drag myself off the bed and stumble down the corridor to look at the clock hanging on the kitchen wall. Shit. Its 12.30. I’m due to meet my friend Miriam for a coffee at 1pm. I am involuntarily spurred into action. I throw my sorry self into the shower and drench my face and hair in the warm water. I barely dry myself before pulling on a pair of crumpled jeans that are lying on my bedroom floor. As I pull my wet legs into them, they cling to me all the way up and require several jumping up and downs before they stretch over my hips. I open my wardrobe and pull down hard on the arm of the nearest garment to me that happens to be a pink fluffy mohair jumper. As I stretch it over my head, I remember this jumper is itchy but I’m late and there’s no time to make another decision. The mohair clumps together as I pull it over my damp body. I can feel my wet hair dripping down the back of my jumper. I ‘slip’ on my trainers, only made possible by crushing down the backs of them and I’m wearing no socks. I grab my slouchy suede tassel bag hoping it still has my wallet in it and dash down the corridor, swiping at my keys, that are laying helplessly, on the floor, by the front door. I must have left them there this morning when I returned. I slam the front door behind me, diving into my car and speed down the road.
When I arrive at the café, I spy Miriam through the glass frontage. She looks pinched and uptight. My heart races slightly. I know I’m late. She doesn’t mention my tardiness but I can see my wet appearance irritates her slightly. After a few niceties, she mentions this new treatment she’s enjoying. Its called reiki and would I consider trying it as it might help ground me. She’s right. I am pretty ungrounded right now. I’m full of grief. My ten year relationship has come to an end and well, basically, to put it simply, I’m struggling to do life.
She has scrawled a contact number on an old petrol receipt . As she hands it over to me, I glance at the number, written in purple pen and stuff it into my leather wallet. Two days later, I pull out Miriam’s old petrol receipt. I call the purple numbers. And this is where it gets blurry. I don’t know what happens next. Maybe I have a treatment, maybe I attend a reiki share, I actually have no idea. What I do know, is the universe scoops me up, in the form of a wonderful lady called Tripuri. On many occasions I end up on her couch, feeling the warmth and healing of her hands. Eventually or perhaps immediately, I end up on her Reiki I course. My brain was quite fried at the time; I was desperate and so life was very much a blur. With all the drinking and partying, the black outs, I’m not sure what really went on. However what I do know is Reiki found me. Reiki saved me. Gradually the reiki shifted me. I started to feel safe. I didn’t need to party so hard to face the grief. I wasn’t sure what was happening at the time but there was a change, there was healing and slowly my vices, my coping strategies, didn’t have such a hold over me, and it felt like I was this rising phoenix, coming out of the ashes. So no, it wasn’t me finding reiki, I didn’t feel like I sought it out…rather one day it was there and part of my life. I grew another limb, or perhaps hand is more appropriate! And that was 16 years ago, back in 2003.