“When the uniqueness of a place sings to us like a melody, then we will know, at last, what it means to be at home.”
~ Paul Gruchow
I feel so grateful for my home, right now.
Last night I went to bed with the flu, and woke up with it…because that’s how flu works, apparently. (Motherfucker.) I can’t quite believe how it’s one thing after another, physically….like, really can’t. I flip into thinking that I must have done something wrong, there must be something I’m doing wrong for my body to be so unhappy. But then I also wonder whether it’s the opposite – my body is finally collapsing, and has been for the last five years. My body is in a time of rest and healing, because it finally can…but FUCK, gimme a break.
It’s in these moments I feel like I swing between the old and the new. My mind checks into the Overdrive Lounge and my body checks into Adrenaline Central…I lie there suddenly thinking of ALL the things I want to do with my life, with my day, with my SELF, and so therefore, all the things I ‘cannot’ or ‘won’t ever be able to do…blah blah blah blah.’ I worry about money and how I’m going to support myself. I worry that I’m not going to be okay because I don’t have anyone to support me… I lie there and can’t connect with my body because it feels too awful. My heart feels like it’s breaking, to be ill AGAIN. I can feel it breaking, but I can also feel it pounding with adrenaline to keep my body and mind moving – even if just a little bit in bed. I then lie back and realise this isn’t old news…why I am so surprised and as though this is new? This is normal…this struggle with feeling ill.
This is Old Territory.
New territory is something very different. Something quite beautiful and profound. And something very new. Still as heartbreaking, just in a different way. Kinda heartbreaking with a healing twist. A twist of grief. All the tears and all the pain I feel in these new moments, is grief and sorrow and a feeling of loss and injustice – all feelings I am totally legit to feel. And by feeling so – really feeling – it heals. Old territory, feelings festered. New, they release. New there’s a gentleness, a fragility that is welcomed…a compassion and warmth towards myself. There’s an ability to sit right here in the moment and give myself what I need, and NOT be tortured with future tripping. With stories of how it’s all going to be shit forever, or looking back on the past and realising just how awful this road of health has been. Instead I am able to sit with myself, with the young and wounded parts of myself and really parent them. Nurture them. My therapist used the term ‘my Inner Healer’ and I love it. In this new territory, it is like she is there with me. Sometimes it feels like she takes a fag break or a mini vacation, but the majority of the time at the moment, she is there nestled in my heart, offering warmth and compassion.
It doesn’t stop it FUCKING SUCKING though. It just makes it a little less festery…less heartbreakingly isolating, because rather than needing someone here with me to understand what’s happening and have compassion for me, I can sit there with myself. I can give the compassion I’m needing, to myself. It strangely makes this all more painful, but rather than tortured isolating pain, it is a healthy, healing and allowing-for, pain. It makes for the moments to be more beautiful and more gentle.
That’s all pretty beautiful.
Today as I went for a
jog walk in the cloudy British morning sun, I sat on a hill overlooking the city. It’s the perfect spot to feel away from all the city madness. Saying that though, the city I live in is more like a big town, and the neighbourhood I have moved to is more like a nice little English village. Still though, I need those spaces that just make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. They are hard to find amongst the city streets, so instead I went for feeling like you’re sitting above the city. That works just as well, if not better sometimes.
Last night I spoke a lot with friends about my cartoons. For those of you who have been following this blog for a while, will have seen them evolve over the past few months. I’ve been loving it. And I have also been loving the bits of feedback to do something more with them. This has been going in, and not that I believe it, I have been trying to see that maybe people could benefit from them, or at least connect with seeing a comical doodle of something (negative thoughts or other stuff) that they battle with too.
As I sat on this hill, I just cried. I realised I so long for a mother or father, or any kind of family member, to share these Life Ideas with. Friends are amazing, but you want those people that know you inside out and you can bounce off any random little quirky idea or thought with. Someone, or some people, that have seen you evolve and develop and grow throughout your life, or the life of your idea. Take my cartoons, for example. I dream of having someone here alongside me as I step and trip and step some more, along whatever journey lies ahead with them. Friends do do that – they are amazing for this but in smidgen ways. You see each other once a week, or randomly speak on the phone, but it is different to having someone to voice all the little developments with. Does anyone else feel this too? That gap of having someone to share it all with?
Maybe I just need a boyfriend.
That’d be nice. But that’s a whole other conversation. Watch this space. Although I’ve been watching it for a WHILE now…bloody ages in fact. And for the record, there’s not actually anything in this space to watch – just space!
Back to the longing. I feel like this kind of longing runs deeper than just that I’m OVER being single. It comes back to that lack of parental support. And it got me thinking…all my lack of sticking something out for long periods of time…all my doing a million things in my life when friends around me have stuck to a handful of specific things…all the travelling, exploring and adventuring…all the need to be doing something amazing, somewhere amazing…all the stuff that rises up emotionally, once I stay somewhere longer than a few months…it has just kept me moving, and has kept me from ‘settling down’ anywhere. For the record, I am still only 25 so I feel like that is what life is when you’re this age! Moving around and exploring: your twenties could not be a more perfect time to do this. I would not change it for the world because it has been what I’ve needed to do and hell, I have had the most incredible experiences, met the most brilliant people and done the most amazing things. But there has been a strong element of fear about stopping anywhere for long periods of time. I’ve still lived places for a year or so, but never with a long term view of being there. That’s totally fine: that is what being young is about. But there has been an underlying thread that I noticed in the recent year or so, that I felt like maybe I actually have been ‘running’ from something. I totally believe it’s okay to run away sometimes – screw all those theories that you shouldn’t run away. Sometimes you need a break, and so sometimes to run away is your only option. But there does come a time when things catch up and the running needs to come to a halt, or a steady gentle stroll, for a while.
This is what has happened to me. And in many many ways, it feels so exciting. To want to stay somewhere, to want to settle down for a bit, fills me with a buzz that I’ve not felt before. It makes me feel alive, just like other people get that buzz at the thought of heading off on their next adventure. It’s like the ‘buzz’ has swapped places: it used to be there in the latter scenario, and the thought of settling down made me nauseas and with dread the weight of a small car in my stomach. That nausea and dread float by from time to time, and maybe will always be gently nestled there because I know that exploring is such a deep part of my veins. I will type about this another day, but I really believe you can fuel this adventuring desire without moving about and travelling everywhere. You can find your adventures in your everyday life.
Back to the running. Today it has just occurred to me that this running may have been because of this a gap in my heart. A Lack Gap. It’s a gap that’s been holding the pain, loss and grief of the lack of parenting or parental support in my life. I have been trying to fill this Lack Gap full with fun, adventure, socialising, love of others, passions…etc, until I hit a point where I couldn’t keep on going. This point I mention above, where you have to stop running. This point for me was overdosing. (Not recommended). For others it can be a more gentler breakdown, or for some, simply a big realisation that change needs to occur is enough. Whatever and however this point comes, what it brings with it is the need to address this Lack Gap in your life. Not in an ‘add-another-thing-to-your-to-do-list’ kind of way. But more in a, this is what happens kind of way. Without you knowing, just as life moves on its way, this Lack Gap seems to become gently filled. It just happens – don’t worry and stress about it. Just notice it.
Today, for the first time, I saw that maybe this pain of not belonging to anyone or anywhere, of not having having parents to say well done or to reassure or support me, of desperately trying to find someone who feels that way towards me (parent style), has been because of this Gap. This gap for me, feels fundamentally parent based. For others it might be different. I’d love to know.
Now, I see, this gap is slowly beginning to fill. Not fill with what I have always dreamt of and feel am lacking – parents, love and family support – but something even better and something even more important:
That’s the biscuit. Anything else can take a hike when it comes to the ultimate most healing thing you can do for yourself. Love yourself. That’s it. Because the rest then follows. Obviously, sometimes it’s ‘easier said than done’ but I do really believe that this lies as the foundation for any healing or growth to take place. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, the self-love can be coming so subtly that changes start to occur, and then you begin to see that it is actually self love that you have to thank. And by self love, I mean yourself.
So maybe with this time of being able to, nervously, embrace settling down for a bit and letting whatever arise, arise, this little Lack Gap will slowly begin to fill with a love for myself that no parent or family member could ever give. Only something I can give myself.
Any of you notice how you try, or have tried, to fill a Lack Gap in your life?
As I pack up my room AGAIN, I am also stopping all meds. I have spent the last twelve days feeling so ill and swimming in a haze of nausea, burning stomach, fatigue, pain, headaches, sinusitis. Not to mention such … Continue reading
As the shadows fall and the nights draw close,
I look outside to the thunder and think of what I love the most.
I feel this in me, so longing to shine, blossom, and grow.
I feel this radiance blocked by a continual flow,
Of negativity and pressure and should’s,
Of worries, and fears and would’s.
As I long to cradle this need for love in the arms of my own,
I can’t help but feel like the words I say to myself only make my heart stone.
I have one side of me that’s shining and one side that’s burning.
The heat of the latter could bring an iceberg to shatter,
Yet the glow of the first, should be all that mattered.
Maybe one day, the two will blend?
Maybe one day this isolation and pain will end?
Although I know it never will,
I know life will always hand us turmoil and thrills,
I don’t really mind this,
Provided I can survive this.
Provided my parts can blend,
Into a being who’s strength will never end.
I long for health and energy and vibrance,
Rather than living in either a wired angst, or a sleepy trance.
But as I want to trust the above, I also want to trust this.
That as time flows on, and this work moves forward,
This healing will bring with it bounds of energy and light.
Bounds of what I have wanted to be all my life.
Bounds of what I think I can be if I keep trying with all my might.
Love to you beautiful souls. I share with you one of my favourite songs of all time. This video is a treasure, so put it on repeat and let it flow through your bones and remind you how it feels to be alive.
Until now, I have been living with a deep ridden fear that every choice I make or every route I take, be it big or small, will lead me to life happening as it has done until now. It has only been this way the last six months.
What if maybe, this is just life?
What if maybe actually, those things that have happened to me might not happen again? It was just something that came along in my life’s path. It wasn’t something I created or made.
This doesn’t really make sense…but it does to me.
Six months ago I took an overdose and after ICU, ended up in a haunting traumatising psych ward. (The latter was not due to any state of mine, only due to the covering of medical profession’s back).
Since then I have been living each and every day, moment and millisecond in a mist of bone rattling anxiety, trying to make sure I live a life that doesn’t lead me to that happening again. It was a blip. A massive blip that happened. But what has come from it is huge. I can’t even begin to explain the transformation it began and in many ways, solely created. But I never want that to happen again. Ever. It was haunting, terrifying, traumatising, scarring and hideous. And many of those scars are now only just being seen.
But just the past few days I realised that this fear has been literally ruling every decision I make. The most recent being which therapist to go with and which route to go down. I don’t share this fear, because I don’t think I had quite realised how directly it was linked to the trauma of the overdose, and what followed. I’ve heard myself share my pain that it was me who made it happen, and that all of what I did before in my life, led to the overdose. Almost like a build up to this end finale. But as two therapist friends of mine have both said: No. I see that as a blip following a traumatic call with your mother (which, for the record, was what it was). It wasn’t that you were building up to that, or that all your choices before that had been ‘wrong’ and resulted in you doing that. You were desperate, you were scarred, you were scared, you were hurting so deep you could only see that way out.
What’s weird is that only now am I maybe starting to believe that.
I realise now that perhaps this is the trust for me growing and building. Doing something like that – attempting to take your own life – must be the number one crusher of trust in yourself. For me it was. For me it took weeks, and months in fact, to really even trust that it was safe to be on my own. That I wouldn’t do that to myself. This shows me deep inside how little I wanted it, or want it, to happen. It was out of a dissociated desperate state that it did. And it wasn’t even, consciously, a cry for help. It was real. 100% real attempt. Not that others aren’t, but I believe there are different after effects of if an attempt is 100% real and if there are edges of awareness that it is a cry of desperation. I do believe though, that every attempt, whether you realise it yourself at the time, or not, is a cry for help – sometimes it just comes deep from within your spirit. And I think that’s the scary thing. Afterwards I saw how determined I was and how definite it was to work. There wasn’t even a question or a doubt, anywhere below.
So how could I not think that all of what I had done to lead up to this state, was wrong? Or my fault? Or, if I had only done things slightly differently, I would not have been hurting quite as much. Or would not have been in quite so much of a traumatised, dissociated state.
The thing is, I cannot think like that. It’s understandable that I might, and that I have, but what if actually, it was just a fluke hideous and tragic thing that happened?
I find it easier to let those worries go with the overdose but I think the element to it that I struggle the most to believe is what followed. I can’t share the words yet, but the hospital was haunting. Haunting beyond words. And every folk from San Francisco will know what I mean. I have seen the reaction on Californian faces when they hear that is what happened, and their face says it all.
This is what I struggle to not see that I made happen. What if I could just have done things differently? The overdose – sure, that was one thing…but this? This exposure to such terror and trauma, and proof of my deep rooted fear that I’m crazy or might end up crazy. This seed was watered and grown into a blooming tree within 24 hours in this place.
So how can I not sit here and think that I could have done things differently? But, as my therapist’s text message read to me in the ambulance over there: they are just covering their backs. Only she and I knew what this meant for me. What was about to follow once I stepped foot in that door. And even I was blown over sideways at what did follow.
I’ve gone off track, as I tend to. And am feeling a little spaced from the trauma of this post now, so will gently bring it to an end. But what I wanted to share from these words is the shift I’ve felt in the letting go of these fears, and a growing trust to go with the ebbs and flows. Meaning: that what happened above, won’t necessarily be a part of my life again. Just because it’s happened before doesn’t mean it’ll happen again.
I fear, deeply, beginning with a therapist in case I reach that state again. (My trauma was heightened and brought to the surface through therapy…which was kind of inevitable I think, but has left me really fearful of beginning again in case this unmanageable PTSD state occurs again. I began with a therapist 4 months before my overdose, and in my subconscious angst mind, I put the two and two together…but I realise this is not how it works. It’s just hard not to trust that sometimes.)
Does anyone else find that – that trauma creates such obscure and deluded logic in your mind? That you wind up linking events before, after, during the traumatic time, that leave you totally believing that something caused it to happen, that you caused it to happen, that if only you had not done this thing, or if only you had not done these million things, then it would not have happened, and so you must never do that thing again…??
As I go for a swim down the pool lanes, I just wanted to share a glimmer of hope. A little candle of maybe. Maybe I can slowly let go and begin to trust this funny path called Life. Maybe what happened before were simply boulders for me to climb and collect, to build the mountain of strength that’s mine. Maybe the choices I make now, even if they aren’t the best ones, will not lead to that happening because they aren’t right. Maybe I can afford to make some mistakes in this path of healing, and know that these mistakes won’t lead to that trauma happening again. Or even any other. What if I am free to choose, and free to trust, and free to STOP ANALYSING every single decision I make.
What if I can trust that I will take care of myself. That I will cope. That I have always coped, no matter how distant from coping I’ve felt. That I have grown. I have changed. I have begun healing. My PTSD is changing, and is different now. My way of dealing with it is so different now too. I was in the midst of new pain I did not know how to handle. What if life is ever different and moving and changing and growing, as am I. It would make life a hell of a lot easier, that’s what if.
I hope you can all hold some trust in letting go of these theories we create for ourselves, based on the trauma we have seen or been. Know that it was not your fault. Know that sometimes in life, things happen. Sometimes all the time. But it does stop. It does stop eventually, and when it does, please find moments in that space to see that no matter how many theories or conclusions you can draw up that prove that you did it, it was your fault, you failed, the choices you made led to that/it, hold a little flicker of faith that actually: it doesn’t work like that.
As buckwheatsrisk would say: there is hope.
In the midst of transformation, In the midst of change, Be it within yourself or within your life, It can often feel like your foundations are slipping and your isolation is growing. In all those lonely moments when you don’t … Continue reading
I just found this quote and felt it very relevant to my moment in time. The pain and joy that can be found together in harmony but in big disjointedness too. As I stumble my path and wonder how it will be okay, I bring you these words and snippets from one of the most inspirational, enchanting and captivating things out there: nature. Get out there and dive in it.
There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin.