I’m going on holiday. As I sit on the train headed south, watching my favourite surf film, that’s how I’m seeing it. I’m going on a mini break to the countryside! And THE SEA. Oh how I’ve needed one of these!
Holy smokes the last day and a half has been intense. Since my last post I fell apart a bit. I’ve cried a lot. And I have spent the last 24 hours with people, because Wednesday night sleeping at home on my own was so so painful. It’s like when I’m on my own I start to unravel, but company eases it and softens the physical stuff. That’s what it is – it’s the physical sensations that are hitting me hardest. Emotionally, I know I am fine. I am here solid and cool beneath it all. But fuck, the physicality is intense.
But it’s the memories stored that are surfacing and releasing. This time last year my body had its biggest trauma ever, so no wonder it is experiencing the memories and the sensations as though it’s happening or will happen again. The only way I don’t get overwhelmed is when I am in company – their nervous system eases my nervous system. So that’s why I’m off on holiday – to hang out with my lovely friend.
There is an abundance of emotions and feelings I want to describe, but most of all the overwhelm and relief, and grief and sorrow, of that time. This time last year. It changed my life in a million ways that day. It is a year since talking with my parents and sister. It’s a year since I thought that I had to do this on my own. It’s a year since I learnt that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s a year since I realised I began to discover that I truly matter. It’s a year since I said goodbye to that part of me that was only here to serve my mum. It’s a year since I stepped into the self I am today. It’s a year since my friends literally went beyond any love I have ever known, and blew me away in their support, organisation and the way they stepped into the role of sorting things out in ways I will only ever be so so grateful. It’s a year since I let go of the desperate need to push on through. It’s one whole freakin’ year. In some ways it feels like yesterday, and in others it feels like a lifetime ago.
So much physical pain and terror is surfacing, with a constant shake as though I need a stiff whiskey. The psychosomatic stuff is bizarre. Headaches galore. Dizzy spells. Gentle shaking and spells of dissociation. It’s all goin’ on. But last night I slept, and oh how that was a relief. Clenched jaw and mental dreams but I slept through. I was in my friends cosy abode – tucked in and safe. I think this was why.
I’m scared for the next few days. I’m scared that I’ll unravel. I’m scared that I won’t get through it okay. I know I’ll get through it – I know that in every bone in my body. But y’know what I’m most scared of? Not today. I know I’ll get through it. I’m having a birthday party baby. What I’m scared of is the days that followed the overdosed. I’m terrified. What I experienced was the most terrifying experience of my life. Sure, I have technically had worse (not that you can compare trauma), but this one was the first one I had ever felt. The trauma I’m talking of is the psych hospital that I spent 24 hours in. It was fucking protocol. It was terrifying. It was like a prison, except everyone was mad and sleeping in the same room. The toilets were covered in shit, the noise was insane – literally. But there was me, sane and completely indescribably terrified. I spent every hour slightly ‘checked out’ for survival reasons, holding onto a list that of my friends names and loving things that they had said to me the two days before, that I had managed to write out when I got there. But even in that experience, there was an angel. The nurse that came on duty at the end just looked at me and asked what the hell I was doing in there?! Within an hour I was out and she gave me the biggest hug, and told me never to come back there again! I most certainly will not.
So that’s the bit I’m feeling terror for. It’s so so physical. I know it won’t happen again. I know there is no way it could. Just like I know I won’t overdose again, I know I won’t end up in that place. But I’m scared I might somewhere else? This is all anxiety – it’s technically irrational but to my fear it’s rational.
But I see I’ve come so far in the world of trauma healing. Part of trauma release of past trauma stored, is that you need to experience the physical and emotional sensations that you would have at the time. So that’s why I’m scared. I’m scared that at the time of that trauma, I
But that’s not here yet. It’s in a couple of days. And y’know what, I’ve got a funny feeling everything will be okay. I was worried about yesterday and it was okay. I was worried about today and so far it’s turning out okay and I know it will only continue to. I’m experiencing all these uncomfortable and deeply painful memories or feelings or sensations, but there’s a bizarre solidness of okayness in my being.
That’s where the jumpsuit comes in. I am seeing it as I am wearing this jumpsuit of memories – physical and emotional – and sensations that gets all puffy and huge, but beneath it is me. I just am wearing this jumpsuit because I need to, to let it heal and become just another jumpsuit part of my life closet. But this jumpsuit needs to be worn and loved, as a terrifying but also so transformational experience.
I feel like all the last month or two has been prepping me for the next few days, big time. I have been healing and releasing some deep traumas from long ago that have been so fucking painful and overwhelming – the physical and emotional states. But I have got through those so I can get through now. So Bring. It. On.
Through somatic experiencing therapy I can now distinguish what is physical and what is feedback that becomes emtional. Our mind interprets what the body is saying. So take now – my body is full of terror and pain, so even two months prior to this I would have been feeling this emotionally too. I look back on this year and my heart opens, because I see I didn’t have this skill before. Now there is a distance between me and the trauma memory – hello, jumpsuit. Before my jumpsuit covered my insides too, now it’s an outer shell. This is huge. This is how I know that I will get through the next few days. There is a deep fear that I’ll not be able to handle it and lose the plot, but fuck if I haven’t lost the plot this whole year then I’m not going to lose it now.
I know how to be with the physical states, how to not let the memories flood and become all encompassing. I need people to help me do this, and this is normal. I know how to hold myself, give myself a cuddle, take short moments to be with the now, mindfully breath and connect to the earth, cry, allow the trauma to slowly and gently release through noticing the shakes, rather than thinking I needed to let it go all at once…stuff I never knew just months ago.
So, as my train journey comes to an end, I know I have done the right thing. And as I look at my bikini in my bag I hope that get to use it and go dive in that big blue sea, baby.
Time is crazy, this year has been crazy, and fuck am glad it is over. But it bizarrely holds so much beauty too. With pain comes a shed load of this, always. And this year and this time now is total proof of that. As the tears fall out of relief for it all, my heart widens even more for myself and all the love and life changing shiz that has come from something that I will never do again.
Now it’s time for some healing from those country hills, people.