The shadow

There’s a darkness here at the moment. Like a big motherfucking ugly dark cloud that surrenders onto me. I want to say it’s got its own weather system but it hasn’t really…so far it’s just one motherfucking heavy cloud with not even any drizzle. It’s like a black storm cloud without the actual storm. It drifts in the moment I begin to dip into myself. Be creative, draw cartoons, write in my journal, or get left on my own for too long. I don’t trust it. I don’t fucking like it. I don’t trust the clouds heavy, fat, clinically obese, limbs and arse. I don’t trust her ugly, podgy, spotty face. I don’t trust her convincing story, her convincing energy draining narrative. Her addictive, absorbent nature. The way when she’s in, when she’s creeped in, once the cloud has settled on me, in me, she is seemingly IMPOSSIBLE to budge. And I hate the way that she literally sits on my face. I don’t trust the way that a lot of the time there isn’t even any sensation or feeling, there’s just blurgh. Blurgh in every inch of my being, even the muscles in which normally feel so light and easy to move and use – my smiling muscles.

It’s been around for the last couple of weeks, this cloud. It started off as me just noticing something there, something outside of me but part of me, whenever I did my mindful meditation/breathing. I suddenly had this sense of an energy, a part of me, curled up in darkness as I breathed into my belly, lying just in front of my solar plexus. It was surrounded by a black cloud and just all I saw was black, and she was curled into a ball. She had something to say. One main line, with a few others too. It felt kinda profound to find her – it made my heart open a bit more. But it also felt kinda scary too. I know this is my shadow. We all have it. My therapist said so. And the fear is there because she’s not yet integrated. The shadow felt at a distance, at a place that I could just be with her, offer her compassion, be a gentle witness. It felt beautiful. And it felt like within that shadow lies a shit tonne of healing, too. I was quite happy just watching, but I also really felt this desperate need to share, to let her speak and be witnessed – not just by myself. The urgency though, felt like something I could sit with too.

But then I’ve had this weird couple of weeks, apart from the five days I’ve been passed out to a slipped disc, where this cloud has just been motherfucking present. Before I hit the hospital and had my MRI, I had a few days where it was really scary. Like, I couldn’t shift the cloud. She was heavy as fuck and I found it really daunting. I read into it, I panicked, I freaked out about what it meant, and the effect she/it had on me. But just now I realised that maybe, part of what’s been going on the last couple of weeks is like an eruption of this shadow, this darkness. Whatever it is though, it’s fucking weird. It’s not all encompassing all of the time. It’s only all encompassing when I touch in with it. And, when I touch in with my parts work and try to write out dialogue from my parts, the cloud sits on the face of all of them. She covers any positivity, squashes the fuck out of any optimism and cracks any feeling of strength. That’s when I suddenly realised that maybe it’s The Cloud….the shadow. It’s not ‘me’, as such.

It makes expressing myself hard. It makes being creative hard, because I am scared at how I would slip…I’m aware that if I go too deep, I end up retreating into myself. I noticed it today – I get the urge to just isolate, retreat, be with myself and only myself. It feels really beautiful. It feels really healing. But I notice that I don’t want anyone else, I don’t reply to messages, I don’t ask for help, I don’t put myself out there…basically, within a super short space of time I become depressed. I slip from healing to desperate. I slip from nurturing and releasing and witnessing, to swimming, drowning and then wondering where the hell the surface is. It happens without me realising. The fat chubby spotty black cloud descends and stays. Or at least she did last week, but today she didn’t. She did for a little bit and then I had a friend come round and I kicked the shit out of the cloud. It’s weird though because within it, within her, I know is a load of healing. I just feel like my tolerance, my ability to keep my ground, my ability to not drift entirely into it/her, is not yet there.

I know I felt this way about anger. When it first started to show it freaked the shit out of me. It made me absolutely terrified and it was a trigger within seconds of it being around. Now I can spend an hour breathing like a metaphorical dragon and it fucking rocks. I can really feel my anger myself, and know it’s safe. I wonder whether this will slowly happen with the shadow. Today showed me I didn’t slip into her/it, I did for five minutes and then realised what was happening. I wonder whether in a little while, I’ll be able to sit with my shadow and paint, write, draw, cry, talk, listen, share, and know it’s completely safe, even if it scares me. I won’t be so heavy that I can’t even move my freakin’ face.

The amount of stress I feel when I’m not with the shadow, is overwhelming too. It’s like I’m running. I’m running desperately from this darkness and the drifting, and so I think it’s a balance. One that I am learning before I dive head first into the cloud, goggles and snorkel on. Writing about it helps. Like, writing about the qualities, the sensations, the way the cloud – the shadow – effects me, effects my daily happenings. It’s like the elephant in the room – I’m not going to get anywhere if I just bloody try to express and write about the shit that’s within the shadow. All that’s been flying around whilst this cloud’s been lingering too, and it makes for one CONFUSING experience. Racing mind, full of theories and thoughts and memories and realisations, mixed with a heavy dark body full of shitty shit shit. Stuck energy, in other words. But writing about the cloud itself – the way it is effecting me, its qualities, the resistance, the fear – is like I get to slowly break that cloud down and find within it, the shadow. All the shit within the shadow can come out when I’m ready. Right now the most important thing is this heffa cloud sat on my face.

I’m getting to know my shadow, but I don’t need to get to know it all at once.

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