We are animals

I just saw this article and it broke my heart. But it has also baffled me and brought me a massive whack of connection with the natural, animal, world. Seeing this Orangutan injured – in the photo below – and so clearly in pain and terrified, breaks. my. heart. beyond words. I want to reach into the photograph and stop its suffering. And the fact I can’t, leaves me feeling helpless.

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But when I see how it’s lying, I realise that that’s how I lie when I’m crying in therapy. I lie on my side at the moment (because of my back being sore) and when I cry, I cover my face with my arms up, exactly like this animal. And I cry like that by myself too. It makes me feel safe. It makes me feel like I’m protected when I’m feeling big feelings, or feeling scared. Realising, and seeing, this, blew me away.

It’s overwhelming beautiful but overwhelming tragic, as I look at the photograph and see this animal doing it too. Because we’re the same. Us humans, the animals, the earth.

I feel blown away by how we’re all so connected. We’re humans but we’re animals. And that’s why cruelty like this is just even more wrong. It would be wrong if we weren’t animals, but we are and by doing this to them, we are doing it to ourselves. By hurting animals, we are hurting ourselves. And by hurting the earth, we are hurting ourselves too.

I feel livid and full of sorrow. But I also feel grateful for people being able to show these things on the media, otherwise we would never know it goes on. And I know that there is a shed load more shit we don’t see, but know is there.

I had no idea the palm oil production was so destructive, and for that I feel ashamed. And I also feel a deep, deep, concern because the destruction keeps happening. It’s in these moments I am grateful I eat a Paleo style diet, because I don’t eat products pre-made. Not that I did before this anyway, or rarely have I ever in my life. It may sound hypercritical because I’m still eating meat, but health-wise I have decided I need it – and I really do. And my sources are organic – and when I can, local. I have made peace with this, almost. I can’t shed all the guilt but I have learnt to shed a lot of it.

We need more photographs like this, because photographs like this open up a place inside ourselves that makes us feel connected. And by feeling connected, we can feel love. And by feeling love towards something or sometime, we naturally want to protect it. We protect those we love.

Get your shit together Palm Oil producers, this is far from okay.


Vitamin D, where art thou?

I think I need some vitamin d. My insides feel like they could go on forever. They feel vast and empty and dark. And open yet closed off, all at the same time. It feels never-ending. It feels like a sensation – it’s in my body, yet my mind tries to make sense of it and come up with story. But it’s defo in my body. And I’m not surprised. It makes sense. Because of my back, I have only caught sunlight THREE times in the last three weeks…that’s mental. This here, is me needing vitamin D. No wonder I’ve been craving and just thinking about it almost non-stop it lately.

I found myself googling ‘vitamin d lightbulbs’ cos I don’t wanna fork out for a light lamp – 26939 pounds – but it broke my heart. I WILL NOT BUY ARTIFICIAL SUNLIGHT FOR MY BEDROOM. But I also don’t wanna spend this time in such deep darkness – deep. Like, I am really good at dealing with the surface darkness and places I find myself in, but this feels physical. Like, my insides are black. I don’t feel depressed, but my insides feel suppressed. Ancient. On vacation. Disappeared, and in their place is black. I notice how I just want to go inwards too – weird seeing as I am not usually one to walk into the dark. I have massive cravings to be looking outwards and connecting with the world, but the bigger pull is to go in. I notice how much more I thrive when I’m connecting both outwards and inwards – watching things, talking about things, thinking about things, that are out of my immediate world. When I’m on my own so much, and so stationary, this feels sooo important. I hadn’t quite realised until just this month – it brings me that reminder that there is so much going on in this world, even if it doesn’t feel like it from the four walls of my bedroom.

But the last few days I’ve tiptoed back onto the old ground I was walking on, just the week before last – before I had my episode of going-outwards – and it’s frustrating me, yet it feels…again…so physical. Like the draw of my insides and my internal world is SO much stronger than that draw for the outer one. It feels like a muscle, one that’s pulling inwards. The muscle pulling me outwards is one of thriving, light, hope, anger, power, and a desire for connection, a break, the bigger picture, perspective, and solace. The muscle pulling me inwards is one of inquisition, curiosity, comfort and self-loving, but also destruction, and a desire to just Hide. Away. I can’t tell you how much I have been feeling that the last two days. Like I have had to really PULL myself awake – metaphorically not literally – from my inner daydream and inner dozing (yet the pull only seems to last for a moment and then I’m back there, within).

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I just so long to crawl under my pillow and hide. Again, it’s felt so physical. I feel like I can’t close my eyes hard enough. I forget that I’m here, living a life. I feel like I’m just waiting for it to get started. I sorta feel like I’m in a constant dream and I need someone to wake me, gently. I just want to sleep and wake up and everything’s new.

I think I crave spring. I crave seeing that light and life in the world, too. A reminder of everything that’s living and cycles, new beginnings.

I also know I’m due my period any day now and so that kinda explains this all too. But I defo need some sunlight, artificial or real. PREFERABLY REAL.

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Yesterday I was on the phone to my friend, and that woke me, gently. Heart connections, I realise do it daily. I can be so drifted into My World but then a connection comes and bah, it’s gone. I’m back and here and my heart is open, and I’m home. I’m no longer dreaming or wanting to hide – I’m wanting to thrive. It only takes seconds for this to happen. This is health. It’s still there and always has been, will be, and is.

We were talking about my back, and I said – I hadn’t said this in full sentence out loud before, but it’s been on my mind lately a LOT – how I’m afraid for my back to get better, because I’ve forgotten what life outside my house is like. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to not be at home all day. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be active and upright and moving, and busy and free and out there living. Instead I’m so used to Inside Living – metaphorically and literally – I’ve simply forgotten what anything else feels like. Yet it’s Life and its life I want. My friend said, kindly, “oh, it’s so much better being better”…I think I needed that external reminder. It’s motherfucking hard keeping that for yourself all the time, when its yourself that’s forgotten. I know though, that the whole of me hasn’t forgotten, it’s just a strong part of me that has. The rest of me kinda feels like it’s lying dormant, yet ready to KICK INTO ACTION at the slightest flick of the switch. And hopefully that switch is coming…and in a way, it comes daily, it just looks a little different.


It’s ridiculously 5.20am and I need to get back to sleep.

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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.


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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Today, I need someone there

Sometimes I just want someone to hold me. To tell me it’s going to be okay.

I want their arms to lie where I usually put mine.

I want their mind to know how to read mine.

I want them to feel all that I feel, and neither need to go searching for words.

I need them to tell me they won’t desert me.

I need them to tell me they’ll do anything for me.

I need them to tell me they’ll offer me bread, in times I’d rather think than eat.

I need them to nurture and nourish, and nestle into, my tender and in-need-of-love feet.

I need them to tell me it all will be over and I will know myself and the body I miss, again.

I need them to hold me and to tell me they’re grateful that they get a chance to know me, and share this.

I need them to help me make arrangements for my visits to osteopaths and herbalists and things.

I need them to arrange me lifts.

I need them to do for me, what I do every day.

I need them to take an inch of the responsibility away so I can break down a piece of my hypervigilance, and let peace in.

I need them to share what’s mine and what’s theirs, with clear cutting boundaries of what’s mine and what’s theirs.

I need them to wash me on days I cannot.

I need them to shop for me, on days I cannot.

I need them to hold me and tell me I’m going to be okay.

I need them to be there so I know I can let go.

I need them to be there, so I know I don’t need to be strong.

I need them to be there so their arms melt into mine.

I need them to be there so I just know someone’s there.

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Magic hedgehog hangouts

I haven’t seen a hedgehog for years and they are rare little things to see. Tonight I was stood on the phone in the garden and out-of-the-blue one was stood less than a metre from my feet, looking up at me. It must have pottered out from the hedge/fence thing marking the line between our garden and the neighbours’, beside me.

It then gently walked underneath the compost heap. I’m pretty sure it would’ve stayed a while longer had I not been (gently, and not so gently) squealing with excitement and disbelief. It was magic. I couldn’t quite believe it was a hedgehog because those guys should be asleep for the winter…but I’m guessing it was looking for food.

I’m not sure whether to leave some food out because I’m worried why this little fella is out on a January night…but I also don’t wanna step in when I’m not needed, and I don’t want it to get used to me feeding because I’m moving soon.

Hmm. Perhaps I’ll make some phone calls in the morn and enquire.

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2014, that was pretty magic. Yesterday I swum in the rain in an outdoor pool to welcome in the new year and honour my tradition of swimming outdoors on New Year’s Day (it’s always been the sea or rivers or a lake and last year was the FIRST year I didn’t and I think that goes to show how shit (intense) that year was gonna be…), and today I had a little hangout with a ‘hog. In all the intensity and the overwhelming feelings, the magic is pretty special stuff.

It’s funny how much joy, tenderness and compassion moments like this bring me. And my body. I feel like I can store the sensations and the pleasure in my bod to come back to…and the sense of joy, tenderness, connection, compassion and fulfilment is so strong, it’s overwhelming. But beautifully overwhelming.

And these moments happen so so often. There’s magic everywhere, we just have to look. I think the magic makes the SHIT bearable…that must be what it is. Lately my feelings have been so intense. Like, so intense. And my sense of hopelessness and anxiety has been blinding and pretty damn consistent…yet somehow I keep going. Somehow I have and find resources and a way, to keep on trucking through. And it’s moments like this that do it. They stay with me and fill me so full when they happen, that the sense of disaster and desire for self-destruction feels bearable and I feel able to resist it, steer away from it…watch it rather than be it.

Things have been so awful lately I feel like I’ve withdrawn myself as nothing, no connection or vulnerability or openness has felt safe. Everything and everyone has felt triggering, and in some ways still does. It’s felt like only surface stuff will do – writing and talking – any depth is unsafe because of the shit that comes with it, in myself…the projection and the disbelief of the love offered and the beliefs I hold within of what it means and what I am.

But maybe something’s different now, now that I can notice and be with this need for surface stuff and honour it…and know when to gently push through and find deeper connection, and know when to stick with it and honour my defences. Rather than only listening to one channel of my responses radio…instead I think I’m learning to listen to both. (I’ve got two channels…rational and irrational, reactive and centred, conscious and subconscious and so on.)

I will keep on looking for the magic. I seem to naturally do so anyway…it only gets really hard when I don’t. It kinda feels like when things are so intensely awful and my sense of doom and haunting from present trauma (here visiting from the past), things also feel even more intensely beautiful, magical, and overwhelming incredible too. It’s like my volume switch gets amped up a gear.

It can feel pretty nuts but the special, always feels pretty damn special.

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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Wholeheartedly believe

One day, I hope I’ll wholeheartedly believe that you can be imperfect and be loved. That you can make mistakes and be loved, like people say you can…I want to truly believe it and not believe all the other shit I do.

This is when the difference between telling yourself you can be loved, and believing you can, is all the difference.

One day I hope I’ll see that all that I’m doing, is good and healthy and beautiful and resourceful and it’s me coping. It’s not me destructing, falling apart, falling off the wagon even more.

One day I hope that I’ll realise that all this stuff is just my inner critic. Worst case scenarios. Fears. Disasters. Catastrophes haunting my inner space. Not truth.

One day I hope I’ll wholeheartedly believe, that I am enough.

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The one time philosophy

Yesterday during a session with my therapist, the therapist that was there when I attempted, we touched on the beauty and the philosophy of my – and a – suicide attempt. It was towards the end of my session and it was only brief, but that five minutes felt like it was one of the nuggets of conversation that will change my life. I’m having a lot of that at the moment.

But the thing that blew me away was the idea that it was a one time thing, it was an event that won’t happen again. I know I’ve said this before, and I even typed it yesterday but the conversation still only just feels like its seeping in, and it very much feels like the beginning of it. It was, and is, the idea that it happened as a culmination of all that I was holding through my childhood, teenage years and early adult years until that point. That concept just blows my mind, and yet I know it is true. Like, the idea that it was something that perhaps was going to happen some day and I managed to create an environment and care for myself whilst all the shit surfaced, in the ‘run up’ to it…by seeking a therapist, creating a nugget of family out there where I was, establishing some form of security and stability even though I was living abroad. My innate ability to survive, and thrive whatever my circumstances, was in tact.

My therapist has often said, what would’ve have happened had she not been there? What would have happened if it hadn’t have happened then? Just the idea makes me feel sick because I think a part of me knows that it probably, or perhaps definitely, would’ve happened whether I had been in the position I was in or not.

The rebel in me wants to yell and scream and say that’s not possible, that’s not true, that’s a load of bollocks – it wouldn’t have happened. It was someone’s fault. It was either her fault or mine. It can’t just be life. That theory fucking sucks. I don’t have anyone to yell and scream at that way. Bollocks .

But the inner healer in me knows that this is true, and that it was ‘just’ life. And, she also knows that this rage and anger and fire from my inner teen is here to be heard and healed, and to fire me through this healing process. It’s just it sometimes gives me indigestion or a headache too.

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