Since the day I can remember, I have always had FRIENDS. I have always had enthusiasm. I have always had love for others. I have always had passion. I have always had adventure. I have always had abilities. I have always had talents. I have always had unique and incredible experiences flowing into my life.
But have I really always had these? I think so. But they don’t really feel real. And they didn’t really at the time either.
Because alongside this one face of life was life’s other face. And this face was full of shit. Shit that was so tough I’ve been told its a miracle ive made it through as sane and shining as I am. (I find this hard to type that because I don’t feel that way right now!)
I look back and see that life has always been such a crazy struggle. Yet also totally amazeballs too. It’s always been so damn tough and painful and full of mountains to climb. But with these mountains, these wounds, and these muscles built to bounce through the tough, came beautiful special and totally unique memories and moments. And not just a few of them – a TONNE. A lifetime of them in fact. I have more than I could ever say a proper thank you for.
In and amongst all the beautiful and amazing adventurous and fun times with friends and solo, I have also felt like CRAP. I have felt so ill and exhausted for so long, that I’ve just needed to fall over and not get for a long while. But I haven’t, not properly anyway. I have been hurting so much I’m amazed you couldn’t see the inner wounds growing out of me. I was abusing myself so deeply and badly, with my food battles and with my literal use of harm in the later years, I’m amazed I appeared ‘normal’ and shining. I was holding so much responsibility from the age I should be running around with flowers in my hair and worrying about where my teddy was, rather than whether my mother was alive, that I’m amazed you couldn’t see the rucksack of guilt and worry strapped to my back. I was dealing with intense, three pronged, abuse when all I should have been dealing with was my captaincy and coaching of sports teams.
Yet in all this, I still shone through. My spirit still took me in her arms and carried me through. In these times I did still run through fields with flowers in my hair. I just did it with a rucksack of ten tonne weights on my back. So I just had to learn to skip harder until I skipped just as well as everyone else, if not lighter.
Maybe I can take this with me now.
Maybe I can trust that whatever is in my rucksack travelling beside me, my inner spirit will be shining through. Whatever face of turmoil and hardship is showing up, life’s face of resilience, and ability to bring beauty and joy to each of my days, will always be showing up too. This ability to resource automatically is something I have only just recently realised as a skill to very much be honoured and appreciated. I guess I just thought it was normal. But when it becomes your survival, I guess you don’t see the shine of it. I remember deciding that I was not going to let my mother ruin my life. And so I didn’t. She just tried so fucking hard to. And I’m amazed she hasn’t succeeded. But she hasn’t. And so why would she now? I will try to remember that when I’m in the midst of my ever-flowing and persistent anxiety. This is not the beginning of a mess forever. I could look at one face of my life that way, yet when I look at the other face I see that so much joy has come too.
I just now want these faces to blend to become one. I want the hard and hideous times to not be held in he shade of all this beauty. I want the beauty to cradle the sorrow and tell it it’s going to be okay. It is okay. I want this to happen so that the joy and happiness and adventures I find, feel REAL. They feel real because my face of pain and sorrow is being seen too. It’s not being hidden for just me and my self harm.
I hope you can find trust that your faces of life will always live hand in hand, cheek to cheek, whatever the weather, whatever the crap.