I’m meant to know…that I am home.

I’m meant to be upright.
I’m meant to be moving.
I’m meant to feel blood in all of my system.

I’m not meant to be lying,
and screaming from inside.
I’m not meant to be lying there,
wondering how I got left behind.

I’m not meant to hold my energy
as a stranger,
I’m not meant to leave notes for myself,
reminding me I’m not a stranger.

I’m not meant to feel distant,
from the entire human race.
I’m meant to feel connected,
and like I have a place.

I’m meant to feel a sense of living
inside my weary chest.
I’m meant to be using my body
at it’s ultimate and its best.

I’m meant to
– most of all –
have inside of me,
A sense of purpose
and belonging.
I’m meant to have still,
inside of me,
a sense of everything
and a sense of nothing.

I’m meant to have the sense of creating,
a future of everything
I continue to dream.
I’m meant to have everything
I continue to feel.

And I’m meant to know
that I am whole.

I’m meant to know,
That I am me

I’m meant to feel
that I am strong.

And I’m meant to feel
that I am home.

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Fear of being well

Lately, I’ve been so aware of this fear of feeling well and healthy that’s running through me like a mouse on speed. There are so many angles and reasons why, and I feel so aware of all the little parts of me that have their opinion about it. And it’s a theme that’s been here for a while. Hence the wellness resistance post the other day.

This morning I realised something different. By being ill, having health struggles, being in bed all day, I am looking after myself. I’m giving myself the attention and the love I deserve and need, and needed as a youth but never received. But what if there’s another way of giving this to myself? What if being well and thriving and feeling healthy, I’ll be nurturing myself in a whole other way? And what if I still dedicate mornings, day, hours, moments, where I’m solely meeting my body’s needs – sacred one on one time where noone else is involved. It doesn’t need to be days in bed. It can be days outside, days inside, days at work, days with others, days by myself, days of all of that, but it doesn’t need to be days just holed up inside feeling so ill and afraid to move further than the bathroom or the kitchen, out of fear I’m going to crumble and fall and never heal.

What if loving myself doesn’t have to be though having health struggles?

What if there’s another way?

I wanna find that way. And I want myself to know its safe, I can have it, and it’s okay. I want to trust that I won’t forget myself if I’m feeling healthy. I want to know I’m able to hold the hand of my health and the hand of my LIFE and feel like they’re walking together. I want to believe I am worth it and I want to believe I don’t need to be my mother. I want to know I can nurture and nourish my being and my body, whilst also nourishing and nurturing my desire to live my life beautifully and successfully. I want to know a struggle with health doesn’t need to be the only reason I love myself.

I want that. And I don’t think that’s too much to ask. I think it’s an innate human need – to feel like you can have it all. Because it might look a little different to how I imagined it would, but I can still feel like I’m nourishing and nurturing it all – all of me.

I want to be able to tell that little scared part of me, that’s it’s safe to be healthy and safe to feel well. And to tell her that I won’t forget her.

I’ll do that. I’m just scared to, because then it means I’m safe. And then it means I can be healthy…

It’s a bit of a spiral. It’s the unknown. I feel like I’ve forgotten what it feels like to feel well and live feeling healthy, and the truth is I’m learning a new way of living. I’m learning a healthy life, so of course it’s going to feel terrifying. It’s going to feel completely unknown and blindingly scary, and seemingly impossible and just incomprehensible.

But it’s not. Just like who I am now was someone I didn’t know how to be, the person I am becoming and the life I am learning how to live – one with balance, self nurturance, stability, consistency, boundaries, self love…that’s all something I can have, and am having slowly, I just feel like that’s why it feels so effing terrifying because its so effing peculiar and foreign.

It’s a bit like (I can imagine) when you’re pregnant and becoming a mother – you know your life is about to change and your way of being is about to, too, and I can only imagine that it must feel terrifying. But also fucking exciting and incredible… Well that’s how I feel about where I’m headed too. This journey is taking me to a place I’ve never known before – a place of health. I can’t do things I’ve always been able to do before and all the ways of coping I can’t do. I feel like its been a mammoth journey of the emotionally for the last year and a half, and in many ways always will be because that’s what happens as humans – we grow – but now it feels very physical, this learning. It’s been coming for a while and maybe it’ll keep on coming til I fully learn it – the finding new ways, and healthy ways, of doing things physically. That’s what’s happenin’.

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The Wellness Resistance

So tonight I feel like I just realised the power of blogging, a little bit more. I found myself reading a post I wrote a while back about the fear of healing and the fear of feeling healthy. It’s definitely the theme of my current moments, big time, and I then remembered this post I wrote. First off, it makes me realise how we must have these cycles and these running themes along our jlurney that are there until we heal it or figure it out or maybe are just always there – this fear of being well is one of these themes, and it was so healing to realise that this evening, reading this. And the other element of the power of blogging is that basically you’re just writing a fuck load of letters to yourself…love letters, advice letters, reassurance letters, hate letters, angry letters, but all written by you and they’re there for you to tuck into whenever you need to. The pride and admiration, and appreciation of the me back then was overwhelmingly beautiful and huge as I read it. I felt like a child going to their mum for some reassuring words, except the mum was me back in May and the child is me tucked up in bed now, worrying about my life and this fear of being well.

Whenever I’ve dipped back into notes and posts from this blog, I’ve always been astonished with how brilliant, wise, healthy, capable and talented I sound, and am.

That’s pretty beautiful. I need to re-read more often. And for this reason, I’m re-blogging this piece too.

Love.

metaphorical marathons

So for a while now there’s been this thing I’ve noticed. It’s the resistance – the fear – of healing. It’s like an internal battle I’ve got going on with myself. And I feel like the deeper I get, the further along the healing ladder I step, the greater the fight becomes. I love ‘parts work’ – the foundations of Gestalt Therapy – and it is something I do myself at home, through the use of cartoons, and dialogue between each part. This is a mega subject and project of mine that I could type on about for hours, and I will someday.

But for now I want to talk about this battle of wellbeing that’s happenin’ inside. The part of me that’s still living in the abuse, still stuck in the memory of the past, still believing it will all be the same now, is the one that is…

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Chronic fatigue = Chronic Confidence Whacking Syndrome

As I was meditating (it wasn’t really meditating it just sounds good to write that…I was more like daydreaming) just now I realised something that I’ve been really aware of the last few weeks…months…maybe even years. Yes, definitely years. It’s my fear of health but it’s also my theory about my health. Like, I just feel like I noticed a core belief and worst case scenario that dance together to haunt me and cause havoc with my anxiety and fear about the future and certainty/confidence with the now…:

W.C.S: “I will always have health struggles throughout my life. I won’t be able to do anything I want to because of my health. Nothing will go to plan. I will be a failure. My life will be a mess. I will turn out like my mum – fucked up, constant health struggles, and a mess.”

C.B: I am not worthy (of health). I am not capable. I am my mother…I am destined for a life like hers. (core beliefs always start with ‘I am’).

Thing is, having constant health struggles fucking knocks your confidence. And I feel like it runs deeper than I give it credit for, or realise, or allow for…allow myself to notice. I can’t imagine anything else. I can’t imagine a healthy life…I hadn’t realised that. I cannot put the picture of ‘me’ within the picture of ‘healthy and happy’. Let alone “healthy and happy and successful and rich and loved and accepted and part of a community.” It’s like it just doesn’t fit. This idea that my life could be like this, that maybe my life will be like this, feels like a total joke…an absurdity. Almost as strong as the sense of ridiculousness I used to feel towards the idea that someone could unconditionally love me…and despite not completely believing that, there’s a part of me that knows it must be true. But even just a year ago, this part of me was so much smaller and felt this belief could only be a fantasy. The idea of unconditional love could not be the truth. It could for everyone else, but it couldn’t for me. But that’s changed and is continuing to change and beginning to get deeper…like, I definitely don’t completely believe that anyone could unconditionally love me, or that act is even possible, but I definitely know that it exists. And so if it exists for others, it exists for me…even if that concept/idea blows my freakin socks off. Part of me believes it.

So maybe, just like the idea or theory of unconditional love not actually being physically possible towards me, despite hearing stories of others and trauma survivors learning how to love/be loved too, maybe the idea that I cannot and will not ever be healthy, and therefore successful and all the rest, can maybe change too. Maybe, just like with the love thing, I can begin to see that if its possible for others, it’s possible for me. If other people have health troubles, have a healing crisis and up and move on. Or they have to constantly look after themselves, and constantly give themselves the love and credit and attention they need but their health does get to a place where they can fucking function. And all this need for love and care that my body has, is healthy. And okay. And something I can learn to love too.

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I’m scared if I really notice this belief/fear/theory I feel like I’ll realise just how deeply it’s gone. But then if I don’t truly notice it,give it voice, let it be heard, soothed and healed, I won’t ever get better and feel capable. So basically it’s a fear filled situation. But I feel like the voice has been there for a long while – the negative prediction of health getting in the way of whatever I’m about to do, ending up then ringing true…so it feels like my theory is fucking hard not to believe. But always in ways I wouldn’t have imagined – never in my worst case scenario ways. That’s something.

Basically, there’s a voice inside me that is terrified. And convinced. Terrified and convinced that I am going to be fucked up because of my health, forever. Again, a worst case scenario. It’s also a critic voice though. One that slates and brings up all this proof of all the times before that I’ve failed or have been ill and had to quit or just not started in the first place, or struggled through and fucked myself sideways and felt like absolute shit (which I cannot do anymore…the pushing madly part).

I feel so frustrated. I feel so utterly convinced with all my heart and soul and body that I’m going to be screwed and have health struggles forever, that i can’t see. I can’t see properly. I can’t see all the ways in which this possibly isn’t true. I can’t see the beauty and potential and opportunity that lies within myself. I can’t see the madness in this theory.

I can’t see me. I can only see my mum. It’s a fucker.

What I’m getting at, is that it’s fucking hard when you have constant health struggles to really believe that things are going to be different. To believe that my body will get to a place of health and stability and strength – the place I know it can be and has been and knows how to be. A place where I feel able.

But funnily enough it feels very much like the journey of trauma and learning to trust that my life won’t be as jam packed and as traumatic as it has been before… To learn to know this is possible, is just like the unconditional love thing – the idea that I can live a life where I’m not constantly traumatised and under stress is like someone playing a practical joke. But it’s not as strong as before. It still puzzles me, because I still have these theories. I still feel like my life is different, and destined to be different, to everyone else’s. Because they are them and I am me.

But it doesn’t work like that. When I look at people who are healthy and happy and surrounded by love and not chaos or pain or abuse, I can have that too. It’s not some fairy-tale that’s out of reach for me, just because I’m me.

Just like the idea of my body healing isn’t either. Just because my history has offered me so much proof that this theory could be true, there’s also the mystery and complete unknown that lies ahead too.

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The art of asking

Learning to ask for help is like learning a new language or a musical instrument. It’s an art form. And it takes time. We stutter, we stumble, we sometimes cock up royally, but we’re always learning and we do always get there – wherever ‘there’ might be. It’s a constant journey, and just like with a language or with an instrument, you can never stop learning, you can never stop learning when it comes to asking for help. Partly because, what you’re asking for help for is constantly changing – sometimes only very slightly, sometimes dramatically – every single day.

Watching this beautiful TED talk below I felt like I connected with so much of what she said, in a direct and indirect way. Since having my two slipped discs arrive on my body’s doorstep, it’s like I’ve been handed a new text book on a new way of living, I just haven’t learnt the language properly yet – I’ve been on the beginners course, until now. It’s a text book in which I’m learning a new kind of life. One I need to learn to lead to help my body heal. And one I’ve been thrown face (or back) first into. Literally. It’s a life my body’s been trying to get me to lead for a while now, through various things – chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, viruses, ptsd, etc, and I have been getting there slowly and brilliantly, compared to how I used to be. It’s a life of gentleness, love, calm, compassion and not STRESS…and a life led with support. The latter has been the hardest thing to get my head around. Actually no, it all fucking has. When I first started learning about all this stuff – gentleness, compassion, unconditional love & care, calm, slooooowness, safety, comfort – it was like a foreign fucking language you only heard spoken on the movies. The idea of it actually existing and being a possibility for me, was like a hilarious joke that I didn’t ‘get’…except eventually I did get it, and I did discover – and am continuing to discover – that this life can be for me. And is.

My back has meant that I have to learn to ask for help, to ask for support, and in ways I never knew how to before – because what I was asking for help with, was different. I was on the beginners course of learning the asking-for-help-language and that probably definitely helped bring me here – to the intermediate text book stage of asking for motherfucking support. This support is for daily physical needs. Basic chores. Basic. Stuff. But essential stuff. Stuff we all need, and when I pretend I don’t and throw my text book out the window, it all goes to shit. It’s stuff I’ve always been able to just do before – even if it was with a bitch of a struggle, I could still do it – but right now this is where I’m at. And yeah I need people to support me in these ways, but I now am able to support myself in ways I wasn’t able to before. In ways I used to ask for help with/for…I can now love me, whereas before I desperately needed other people to love me for me. I still get that – obvs – but just not as deeply.

It’s swings and roundabouts this asking for help/support, and this self love, journey. Sometimes I love watching myself unfold along the ride, and sometimes I motherfucking hate it. But I am cultivating the ability to have compassion for whatever I’m feeling – hatred or appreciation – and a compassion that’s unconditional, a compassion that is observing, rather than judging. I still feel very much at the beginners stage of this cultivation, but sometimes I catch glimpses of myself and I feel like a fucking pro. And I’m guessing that’ll keep on happening.

That’s pretty beautiful.

Enjoy:

My stress-head team

When you’re ill, I feel like I’m in constant fight mode. Like, constantly fighting to keep alive – survive. To keep it together, to eat, to be dressed, to be met where I need to be met, to get the help I need to get, to write, to read, to wash…to just get by, it all takes fight.

It all takes my sympathetic nervous system in full swing for me to be able to do anything. This can’t be (and isn’t) healthy. This is like a recipe for adrenal fatigue – introducing here what I already have, in heavy dosage and has been so acutely here this last week or so.

But it’s because I push. I push I push I push. I push myself from a place of survival and a place of needing to be alive, and i push from a place without the proof that the world would still go round and I would still be okay, if I didn’t push push push. I feel like I haven’t lived enough years of gentleness to have any proof that it works. It’s only been a matter of weeks. And within those weeks it’s somewhat come and gone. It’s taken me months to get here, to this place where all I need is gentleness and to a place where I’m beginning to perhaps trust that maybe it is actually safe and okay and it ‘does work’, so maybe these months count too. I have a feeling they do.

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It’s all a bit of a mammoth journey, and as I continue to deepen into the idea of gentleness and the idea that you can live a life that isn’t based on STRESS or living in a constant place of fight (or flight), I begin to see that this is my lesson and my journey and my teachings. Amongst other things.

It’s to listen to that motherfucking voice in my head that’s ALWAYS telling me to push myself harder. To always do the tough thing. To always choose the option that will make me feel like shit or stress me out or push me to my limit.

The funny – not fucking HA HA funny (well maybe a bit) – thing is that these lessons keep on getting more and more extreme. And the ways of pushing become more and more small and tiny. Like, rather than before it would’ve been drinking three cups of coffee or working a 13 hour shift, it’s slowly dwindled down to whether I hang out the washing or whether I do one too many dishes that trip me up. Fuck me, that’s ridiculous. But it is what it is…Even if it is a silly bitch.

Like, with my back I literally cannot hardly move if I do too much. I’m in bed for a few days and go shooting backwards on my road to recovery. If I do only just a bit too much I have to lie down for twenty minutes at least to make up for the one bowl I just cleaned.

Mental.

And y’know what’s more mental? The idea that the world would actually go round and I would actually be okay if I didn’t push myself and push myself and be constantly stressed. Even if what I’m stressing about doing or trying to do is much smaller than anything i’d have stressed about doing before. I’m guessing this is a core belief – a belief that things can’t be easy, things can’t be smoothe, things can’t be different.

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What I hear the most as I write this and as I witness my inner thoughts today is the crazy loud shouting coffee drinking monster who is constantly on a bender. Who has clearly been to Starbucks and has a daily fucking membership down the drive thru isle. It’s my inner bully who likes to snort white stuff out of a topless girls belly button. It’s the rally car driver who revs the engine up full speed and doesn’t stop til he crashes over the barriers or runs out of petrol.

I think I need to draw this guy out, whoever he is. He sounds great if he wasn’t IN MY HEAD and my bod. Maybe I need to find a way that he can become my mate rather than my coffee drinking, coke snorting, rally car driving nemesis. He hangs out with my perfectionist too – I think they compliment each other. Two blinding opposites, but when together – a motherfucking Stress Head Team.

The helping bitterness

I’m finding it hard not to have a bitterness, a hatred and a total sense of injustice, flood my being right now. I fight it but it’s there. I listen to it and it all encompasses but at least it feels heard. And it’s fucking fair enough too, considering.

This is my constant journey of feelings though, of learning that I don’t need to work out why I’m feeling what I am, I just am. And to let them be here. To let them shine but not intrude. To let them guide me but not run the show. To let them tell me what they need to, but also to realise that sometimes they aren’t here to tell my anything – they’re just here to be.

This bitterness and hatred and a fuck load of festering loathing, is here because there is noone here to look after me. There is noone here to care for me, to tend to my needs, to nurture, to feed, to provide me with all the things that I need so I can just be. It feels so fucking shit. And so fucking unfair. And I really need it. I really need someone here. I really need someone to just do my washing up. I just need someone to ask me what I need, that isn’t me. I just need someone to tidy my room so I don’t use up the time I have upright with my back, to do all the fucking mundane tasks I have to do.

I find the anger trips up and floods onto people. Not literally – I haven’t dumped it on anyone, but I am completely livid and pissed off and motherfucking bitter towards friends…there’s like a bitter hate that festers towards them. That’s projected upon them. I end up feeling flooded with hatred and feelings of let down because (this is how my feelings and dialogue goes):

a) they have boyfriends or mums or tight friendships, so they don’t need me and are looked after, and I’m not.

b) they can’t or don’t just drop everything to help me – because they don’t care enough or they just don’t want to or I am a big mega massive major burden

I then wonder whether i have any friends and all this feels irrelevant and I just feel overwhelmingly lonely. But there is something to be said about feeling such overwhelming bitterness when friends are healthy and they’re not here to help you. When they are busy, yes, but they have the beans to go out and do stuff…so they could come out and see you. Help you. Support you.

This stuff is hard to share and have here. It makes me forget I have anyone. It makes me feel ashamed because I know it’s not true. And I know that there are all these motherfucking self soothing dialogue I can do, and have with myself about why they’re not here – it doesn’t mean they don’t care and it doesn’t mean they’re not there.

The injustice and unfairness feels overwhelming and it feels really fucking true, because…well, it probably is. It definitely is. Like my herbalist said to me a while ago when I first has my back show up with two slipped discs (my poor bod), I probably do need someone to come and look after me. I probably am depleted. I probably am in need of some deep deep care from outside me.

And in many ways I got it. I got a big chunk of it when it first happened, in lots of many ways from lots of different people. But now the quiet time is here and I’m in a transition between homes and in a new part of the city and well, I feel like I can’t cope. I feel like I can’t fucking manage the constant holding it all myself. I can’t fucking focus on washing up when I can hardly stand up. I can’t hold the fort with consistency in the kitchen – the tidiness, the cleanliness, the order. I just want it to all go to shit because I want to too. Because i can’t go on keeping it from not going to shit. I want to go to shit because I’m finding it hard to do anything. I’m finding it hard to do anything more than my basic needs. I’m finding it hard to find focus and stick with it, whatever ‘it’ is. I’m finding it hard to not just feel like I already have fallen to shit.

There feels like bigger things. My back. My poor back. My happiness. The world. The destruction that’s happening. The loneliness I’m experiencing. The collective loneliness we all are experiencing. The earth.

Not the fucking washing up.

I never did have anyone to fucking look after me when I was a kid so no wonder I’m going to feel angry that I still don’t have someone here. And I also know that these are all feelings that everyone experiences to some extent – the desperate need for support and for care when you’re ill. And I am feeling it majorly right now.

Beneath this desperate need is a compassion. A new found one. One towards myself and the world and everyone in it. Towards the friends I ask for support but they then can’t give it. There’s a warmth and an awareness there that hasn’t been there so much before. Beneath my desperateness and intense feelings, is a loving openness and gentleness and compassion…beneath the fire are the coals that are bringing solidity and are a platform for my grief and for my sorrow. My tears. The fire is the frustration and the anger and the completely, but the coals burn through and are unconditionally there. To support as I grieve and to support as my fire rages outwards, rather than inwards.

They’re these just to support. I need a bumper pack of those coals right now.

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Listening to symptoms: ptsd, chronic fatigue

Lately I notice when things are too much. I notice when I’m dropping down, drifting back to, or stepping into, the past too much. Into my trauma. I notice when I am unravelling and uncovering things too quickly. When I am swimming before I can swim. Something I have normally always done before, but this is different now…I am different. I paddle and I learn to splash in the little, baby, waves. I don’t dive head first into the white watered ocean minus a surfboard, grabbing onto my life and loving the adrenaline that comes with it, anymore. I don’t do adrenaline.

Instead, I think I am moving from the all or nothing, from the black or white, to the little bit of grey or the inbetween-the-all-or-nothing that I have gotten sights of lately. Inside myself, how I treat myself, and also how I do things in my life too.

In this journey of finding, and learning to live on, middle ground, I notice how my symptoms are here to tell me stuff, and I am beginning to learn that this language is solely for myself…it’s a language noone else will ever know. It’s a language just for me and my ears and my body, and my mind. There’s the physical symptoms in all their glory, their colours, their intensity. And then there’s the emotional, mind, symptoms in all their complexity, and intensity. God it’s intense. And it’s one motherfucking journey. But it’s one I’m on and it’s mine, and it’s one I’ve been given and in many ways, I’ve given to myself because I’ve chosen to not start snorting vodka or smoking crack to get me through the days. I think that was just about the only thing I had left in my self destructive repertoire. I ticked off the other boxes.

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I remember reading a piece a while back by Rebelle Society – best piece of writing EVER – that describes your journey with ‘symptoms’ (in my case ptsd), as learning to hear what they have to tell you. Learning to hear what they are here to say. I have learnt that so much with my body in the case of chronic fatigue – and continue to – but ptsd was a new fucking venture and until the last five or six months I feel like I have been more surviving and riding the confusing and wacky and seemingly un-fucking-predictable and intense (obvs) rollercoaster of it. But then something began to happen.

I noticed that even my mind could be telling me something. Not just my body. I felt like I had gotten really good at listening to what the ptsd symptoms in my body were telling me – when I was doing too much pushing myself, when I was scared, when I needed to stop, when it wasn’t safe to share, when it wasn’t safe to go out at night and when it was. I am meaning safe in myself. Like, when I was retraumatising myself and when I wasn’t, rather than just shoving myself out there anyways.

But as for the mind, I just thought the symptoms were a given and they would subside over time. I never thought they were here to help me. Fuck that. It has always felt like they do the opposite, except obviously being here to be healed…which is motherfucking helpful. But that aside, I never thought I would need to listen to those too…but it turns out I do.

Like, when I’m experiencing a racing mind, looping thoughts, it is when I am doing too much. Too much therapy. Too much sharing, too much attachment, too much bringing up of old wounds that aren’t ready yet. When I am experiencing terror and trauma, flashbacks and a feeling of freshly traumatised (god this state is heartbreakingly horrible) it is when I have been digging too deep too. It is when I’ve been taking myself ‘out there’ too much and not letting myself nurture me. It’s when I’ve been asking for support too much. It’s when the grief inside of me is right up here on the surface and it motherfucking hurts. And it’s the grief that needs support from me first, before it is safe for others to nurture and hold me too.

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I am very much learning, I am very much at the beginning of trying to figure it all out, but it is starting to make a bit of sense. And the most important thing I am also learning is that I don’t have to try and figure it all out…I can let it be what it is. Maybe that is what I am trying to figure out.

Sometimes, all I can do…

Sometimes, in the pain, all I can find is a breath. It doesn’t always feel like mine. I don’t know where it comes from, but somehow it’s there for me to take refuge in. One small one after another.
Sometimes, in the nausea, all I can find is an image of me on a beach, with the sun in my hair and the sea wind on my face. I imagine myself there. The nausea doesn’t fade away but there’s a glimmer of possibility that its not here to stay.
Sometimes, in the physical stress, all I can find is a sense of peace from stories I’ve heard of what people have come through and what they once were, and what they are now.
Sometimes when my eyes are too sore to open, I find comfort in the blackness they see. I hear the small voice inside myself telling me it’s okay.
Sometimes when my ears can’t handle the ringing inside me, from the nook and crannies in discomfort and pain, I put on a song and let it sit there on repeat. The words are like softness and sing through my body. The singer is like comfort, company and an air of courage beside me as I cry, into my stranger’s body.
Sometimes, all I can do is find a part of me that isn’t in panic or turmoil or pain and sit there. Most of the time it’s only my breath. Every other inch of me is in agony. Places I didn’t know existed until this shrew of pain has taken nest inside my body, and continues to find new homes.
Sometimes when all this is going on and all I can do is lie there, by brain runs wild with panic, but there’s an essence of connection with something bigger than this. Something bigger than me. Something that must be doing this so I can learn a new corner of me.

Sometimes all I can do is remember – I exist.

Nothing I have experienced is as lonely as this. As a slipped disc. As chronic fatigue. As severe dizziness and weakness and newfound, or worsening, elements of the chronic fatigue. As moving house a bunch of times in two months. As just all of this.

Sometimes, when I have to do something and I have no idea how I will be able to, when my body can’t leave the bed, all I can find is a memory inside myself of how I used to be. Of how I will be again one day, only different and healthier and gentler. With myself and how I am in this world.

Never have I longed for someone to look after me more.

Sometimes, when all I can feel is the terror, the blinding discomfort, pain and fatigue rippling through the grains of my body, shredding open any pockets of comfort or joy, and the desperate longing to be looked after, all I can do, is cuddle that part of myself. Sob with that part of myself. Share her fear and listen to it, and realise that in this, I am parenting it. I am the one that’s coming to the rescue, in a moment when I can hardly feel like I can rescue myself, I realise I am doing it.

I don’t know how I am going to get through today. I don’t know how things are going to be okay. I don’t know how my body is going to be okay. But I find the knowing inside myself – buried beneath the fears and pretend truths – that I know she will be. And she already is. Somehow.

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