Yearning for bare foot freedom

I hadn’t realised how deeply patterns engrain themselves into our being, our selves. This time last year and then literally to the same day, this year, I suddenly HATE my life in the city and need to get the hell outta here. I feel this a LOT anyway, but this time of year it hits, it’s different. I realised this morning, in a light bulb moment of clarity, that this sudden and desperate surge, and need, to be submerged in the wild, to go back to the roots of living, to be free from responsibility, to be barefoot on the grass all day, to be surrounded by what-life’s-about in its pure wholesome goodness, is because this time every year I would be at the annual small camp/festival I’ve known since I was a kid. 600 folks in a field. Me and bunches of friends camp in circles, eat off the fire or under the marquee of the camp cafe, dance, sing, hug, laugh, play barefoot football, create art, perform acts, attend workshops, run workshops, wear ridiculous clothing and wigs, MC talent nights, and just spend twelve wholesome days in a field not knowing nothing else. Not leaving the four green walls once, apart from to walk to the adjacent field to go for a swim in the estuary.

It’s such a breath of fresh air to realise THIS is why I get this panic that I feel so somatically. This is why suddenly I have been looking at my life and wondering what the hell I’m doing. This is why I suddenly feel like a fish out of water or a leaf fallen from a tree – I feel this a lot here, in the city, but this is different. This is so set to this time of year and so set to the particular needs that this camp meets – the Wild Needs. This is why yesterday I was suddenly furious with the way we all live. My blood was boiling with the fact that so many live (including me) so far from how we naturally should live or were born to live or used to live as human beings…the way so much of the world lives so far from the connection with nature that we so innately have and need. I wanted to run away to the place I know I can get this freedom. I was feeling so puzzled at how these feelings were/are literally here to the day, as they were last year.

But my body remembers. I can basically hear the atmosphere – the music, the drumming, the singing, the chatter, the laughter – in my ears, I can smell the cafe, the chai, the fire smoke, and I can feel the wild loving vibe in my being. I can feel in my body what I get from going to the camp: the freedom from responsibility, worries, ‘real life’ stuff, the disregard of my needs and focus on just living…I can feel the going-back-to-the-earth essence that the camp brings. I can also feel the arrogance the place kinda brings – the looking down my nose on everyone living a different life, not experiencing this…there’s a an element of ditching anyone who doesn’t understand and sticking with the people who do. But I can also feel the intensity of the place. The confusion it brings up in yourself. The conflict between a life you dream of leading – a simple, wild life – but also the frustration and the small mindedness of it, and the desire to be submerged in the modern world and away from the hippy shit. There’s the self judgement and self hating that I so often experience, during my time there. There’s the isolation – when you’re so deep in a loving community, your pain can surface and leave you feeling swamped and bizarrely alone. There’s such a mix and I know I have a habit of just remembering the good but now I come to think of it, fuck it’s full on! 12 days in a field? Yeah…

The goodness though, that is something that is so overflowingly there and what I need. This is why the day before yesterday, as the heavens opened and poured, I lay out in the heavy rain in the garden for ages and felt like I was being healed. And it’s why I went for a two/three hour walk in the pouring rain afterwards too. Getting drenched from the moment I stepped foot out the door. Water soaking and filling my shoes, so I walked right through ankle deep puddles. I sat on a hill and let myself get completely soaked, as I grinned no-end. Healing waters.

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That’s why yesterday when I lay in a friends garden for hours – hours of peacefulness – and had an outdoor shower, it felt like the greatest medicine, ever.

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This is pretty neat, and pretty exciting to realise this all. When something I so desperately want and more importantly, need, can’t be right there at my fingertips – ie. the camp – I can look at what this thing provides me in goodness, nutrition, health, and then find ways to meet those needs in my life now. And in a way, it makes it even better. I don’t want to be at the camp this year, but my body, sprit and soul does. I need what the camp gives me. So, I’m gonna go out and find it on home-ish turf.

Roller-coasters and text book living

We all live with emotional triggers. We all live with the dipping up and down and around this roller-coaster of emotions every day. I believe our entire emotional experience effective of our surroundings a little bit. And maybe health is when our inner landscape is so vast and steady, and our love for ourselves too, that no roller-coaster -our own or someone elses can rock it up.

There are the those people whose every day roller-coasters are pretty average – not too high, not too low, not too bumpy, not too bendy (the kind that if it was at an amusement park you’d think was shit). In other words, not so sensitive. Their emotional triggers are subtle, with only the odd big bump or big bend in their roller-coaster. Then there are the other kind of roller-coasters – the kind that you’d stand in a queue at an amusement park for hours, just to get a go on.

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Wahey! PTSD is one of those roller-coasters. That means folks, that we are fucking cool. This kind of inner roller-coaster rarely appears outwards – for me anyway. Sometimes it’s dramatic – like I can be rolling along smoothly and then hit a big bump or bend or wobble because of a big trigger. But most of the time it’s just my emotions subtly changing, my clarity and confidence subtly nose diving… In other words, I’m super sensitive at the moment. My inner triggers are so mighty finely tuned that I often don’t notice it’s happened, when it’s the subtle stuff, and because a lot of the dramatic triggers are healing (EMDR) it is the more emotionally triggers that I notice being a lot more delicately ‘up’.

Today I just noticed a trigger that is so delicate and fine tuned, yet when it kicks in it’s so efficient and taking me on my own nose dive. So it was nice to really see it kick in today and me be able to catch it and get on here and write about it, before I ran away with the story.

One of my triggers is the lack of family and my aloneness. And then all my theories/stories about what that means – for example, “I’m screwed…There’s something wrong with me…I’m a loser…I’m unloveable…I’m not deserving of family or people who love me in my life…friends don’t love me as much as they love other friends.” and then I circle back round to the “somethings wrong with me” theory. blah blah blah. What a load of bullshit.

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It’s not a trigger that is often dramatically up anymore – for a long time it was, big styley – instead it sneaks in on special occasions, like Sundays. I spent a couple of hours with good friends in the mega-heat-wave and I remembered that when I hang out with these guys this trigger comes up. It’s partly because they are all in couples and so I ALWAYS feel like I am the One On My Own (which, technically I am) and so there’s something wrong with me (which there isn’t). But I also think it’s because they are, in a sense, like extended family. They’re the longest friends I’ve had here. I don’t see them a super frequent amount anymore but they are all bloody lush and we’ve been through it together and they’ve been there for me in mega ways.

But as we packed up I got all teary. And when I got home I felt so incredibly sad…I think it’s because I just really feel like I need good solid family-like friends and that gap feels like its staring at me at the moment. Especially with the changing around of therapists and the feeling of loss that’s so fucking present right now…and something that I don’t feel I’ve given proper tears or attention to.

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No matter how many people or how many conversations I have in my life, I just think this is a gap that is rawly and gapingly open at the moment…it’s kinda like a wound that is just gonna be raw for a while, but that has begun to definitely heal as I have begun to love myself…and I know it won’t properly heal until I soothe it with the creation of My Own Family. (I NEED A BOYFRIEND FIRST.)

It was just funny, in a ha-ha sense but also in a heart warming sense (once I’d clocked on to what was happening), to watch myself drop into all the old dialogue of feeling so desperately alone and like there is something wrong and like I am screwed, because I don’t have a family and everyone else in my life does. That because it is just me in the world, I can’t be lovable and that my friends don’t really love me…and even if they do, friends love isn’t enough…blah blah blah again. It’s just that it hits me when I hang out with these folk. These folk who seem so together, in the unity sense. It just hits me like a fist in the chest and wakes me up again to the fact that I have no family…I really am just me. Shit, how was I going along thinking this was okay? Yes I have friends, but in a text book sense, this isn’t family. But fuck text books. I never liked using them at school so why should I use them now? All this self judgment comes down to the thing of being normal. Whatever the hell that is. It’s the judgment that my way of living isn’t the classic, family in your life, thing. But, there ain’t no bloody text book for living and there ain’t no bloody normal way of having no or all of your family in your life.

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And isn’t it kinda always just you? Even if you do have a family, you still have the feeling of being alone…right? That even if you have someone there by your side, in sickness and in health, or as just a nice crush, you still are – to a certain extent – in it on your own? Please say you are. I just prefer knowing that this feeling isn’t so alien, because I have a feeling it isn’t.

Yo’ own business

I love looking on my blog for the google searches that have brought people there. It always warms the cockles of my heart to know that my words have helped in some way. Or if they haven’t actually helped, then they’ve at least been found! Sometimes my heart breaks a little to read the searches that all link in with the painful shitty topics I speak about on here, like the “better off alone – feeling shame after my overdose” search that I found the other day. I am always always touched and honoured that it takes people to the pieces I write though, and just gives me more

Today though, one of the searches made me laugh out loud:

“My friend says she has cfs but she’s just lazy”

To which the Googler then found this post.

This search just cracked me up (in a whole hearted way). In a way there are too many words that would just take away from the point I was sharing it, because in a way, the search itself is enough. It sums up one entire chunk of the chronic fatigue experience. And it summarises the relationship and the judgements I have always bloody had on myself, and I have found other people to have too, with cfs. I’d forgotten about this for a bit so I think that’s why I can just feel a whole load of humour around this, because let’s face it – it’s pretty fucking funny, the whole saga of chronic fatigue. The way that we can just look so super healthy and actually feel like we’re dying inside. Heartbreakingly hilarious.

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Chronic fatigue isn’t the headlines news of my days at the moment (THAT’S AMAZING!) like it has been for these last long months. The fatigue I’m experiencing is mostly all EMDR related at the moment, with just a coating of the chronic fatigue, and so any judgement I used to have about my supposed ‘laziness’ is completely kicked out of the shop and instead it’s filled with shelves of compassion and space and allowing for it to be here. And frustration, but that’s just a given. So when I read this, it just made me smile as I remember all the complex shit chronic fatigue brings, but also it made me smile at just how much we don’t understand about people’s situations. How this world is so fucking confusing and hilarious because of that. Yeah it can be so painful, but it does always make me laugh that we literally have no clue what’s going on for other people yet we can get so wrapped up in our own judgements, theories, opinions, worries, blah blah blah. Even if we’re wrapping ourselves up in whatever it is, with the aim of helping, it still is just none of our freakin’ business. Our business is our business and the rest is everyone else’s.

Even if this persons friend is lazy, that’s her business. I’m guessing she’s not, she’s got chronic fatigue, but even if she was, she still would deserve love and friendship. And if this person doesn’t wanna give it to her, then that’s cool – that bit of her friends business clearly doesn’t work for her. And that’s normal too – none of us can be into everyone else’s business, just like its impossible (or its a miracle) if we walk into a shop and like EVERY SINGLE item of clothing.

The way I’m using the word business, is the way Byron Katie uses it. That woman did my bloody NUT in, but I did like the way she spoke about ‘business’, yo.

This search fills my face with a smile and fills my heart with warmth, and it fills my head with a buzz of words I wanna say. But I’ll leave it at that because I have a fondness to rambling.

One long hangover

the nausea
of chronic fatigue
whirls
and stays.
it cripples
days
leaving them
hazed with
a nauseas ache,
an acute pain,
sensitive eyes,
sensitive head,
sensitive bod.

brief moments come
and the nausea
fades.
but in these moments
the tasks that
must be done
outweigh the
urge for
a break
and fun.

so the nausea
hits again
because
you’ve done too much
in an effort
to stay on top
of your dwindling life.

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the day goes
up
down
up down,
spinning
and spinning
from your head
to the ground.

it’s one long
intense hangover
that comes in
waves
just like a normal one
does.
except this one
hasn’t been
invited
by fifteen pints
of beer
and
a pack of cigarettes.
this one has
been invited
just because
it fucking wants to.

how can something
so simple
so known
become impossible
to push through?

how can something
I once only knew
as an aftereffect
of a shed load of
fun,
now be something
I know
just because
of nothing.

I’m 25
not 78.
I want to thrive
in this life
yet on days like this
all i can do is
walk the pace of a snail,
wrap myself up,
stay out of the sun,
away from screens,
with closed eyes,
and if open
just absorbed
in a book.

i hold myself
as i cry
from the pain
the aches
the spinning
the nausea
that cannot
be soothed by
nuffin’.

to text
to reply
to speak
takes so much
effort
through this
haze of crap,
yet I will
always continue to
because that’s
what keeps me
me
and that’s what
keeps me going.
and,
that’s what i’ll
always have
as a priority.

losing myself to
the sickness
and the pain
is something
I’ll never fully do.
but on days like
this
it’s impossible
not to.

maybe tomorrow
i’ll be back.
and maybe one day
i’ll have a hangover
that’s
for real again.
and,
i cannot wait.

My tea party with Guilt

Guilt is a birthplace for isolation and withdrawal. Since the anniversary has passed, guilt has invited itself round for tea in my head and stayed for a 48-hour long bender, but it seems to be heading on its way now. (Thank fuck.) During this bender tea party, there’s been a whole host of other guests too but I have only been sat on the doormat with – I haven’t invited them in. Why? Because I JUST DON’T WANT THEM TO BE THERE. The isolation, the longing for withdrawal, the shame, the embarrassment, the unworthiness, the belief of undeserving and unloveability, the overflowing self hatred, the negative future tripping, because of what I did. These have all been here with such a strong presence, but somehow I have managed to keep a slight distance from fully believing them…but it’s pretty fucking hard as when I’m not sat there with them, they’re banging on my door until I listen and join my ignoring tactic has worked a bit.

The guilt is the guest that’s marched through the door and sat itself on a chair inside my freakin’ head. It weighs a tonne – my whole body aches from this bitching thing. I notice that when I don’t share things when I get the urge to, they then nestle their way into my body and bring such intense psychosomatic symptoms or just kick up chronic fatigue big time. It kinda makes sense when you think about it. And I believe this nestling of the unspoken feelings happens to all of us, just some are more sensitive to it. I am finding it hard to tell this guilt to pipe down and back off, and to not give in and believe all the crappy theories it comes up with, or conversations with my inner critic it starts up…they are just so convincing.

The main guilt is the one of what I put my friends through by overdosing. The guilt that I did something so seemingly ‘selfish’ and ‘pathetic’. These are definitely not the words I would use to describe any attempt, or my attempt, but it is how I imagine it being seen from the outside, even though I know it’s not true. With the guilt of putting those I love through what I did, comes a shed load of doubt and wondering whether I deserve to live a happy life or a life at all because of what I did. This is a doubt that I have kicked in the nuts, but I cannot deny that it has been there, lingering in the shadows. This is normal. And one that can feel empowering to work through. But it still sucks.

My friends are my family and so to me, it feels as though I committed a crime by doing what I did to them. Knowing how much judgement I held about my mothers attempts, I just assume they hold the same for me too. That’s what’s happened here: I’ve got all twisted up in the story of her attempts and the story of mine, leaving the blur of truth a hard one to navigate. The only thing that helps this is to hear reassurance from them that they don’t feel that way. And the fact that they are still here. That’s the main one and the one I keep coming back to: they are still here, they still love me, they are still my friends. It breaks my heart that I needed them so much, that I did something so desperate and had to let them piece the parts back together again for me, that I caused such upset and pain, and shock… But in my heart, broken or not, I also know that this is the way life works too. We are there for each other in times of need. As humans it’s what we do: we love each other. This was the first time I have ever experienced such love and support and help, and so naturally with it, comes guilt and shame about this because that is how I was brought up to see help and love, and needs. For me what happened is a huge massive fucking deal – the love, the support, the care, that followed is something I have never truly known in that way before – and so my feelings of guilt, and GRATITUDE, are somewhat huge around it too.

I never would have thought I would do what I did. I never truly wanted to, but that’s the thing – it’s not a matter of want, it’s a matter of need. Never ever would I want to put people I love through what I did, and somewhere inside I believe they know that. They know me.

The only person I know well in real life who has attempted suicide is my mother. (Great.) This proves a touch tricky in deciphering all the fucked up theories and beliefs about what I did, because growing up I had to develop a defence mechanism to be able to cope with her attempts and her abuse…but these theories and beliefs are still there, they just have turned themselves onto me because that is all I have known. And that is why I feel so self-judging about what I did, because of all the unresolved shit I have about her attempts.

I long to not have to talk about what I did, but truthfully I don’t really, I’m just scared. To not have to even admit that I did what I did makes me feel sick and want to run a mile, but I know that is not how healing happens. That’s my shame, that’s not my heart talking. I dream of not needing my friends anymore, of having the conversations I know we need to have, of really being able to hold and hear the pain that they felt around the time of the event, but I can’t…that is just me wanting to just be able to be fine. This weekend passed I tried to speak with friends a little, and am so glad I did, but the truth is that I am not resilient enough yet. And guess what, I feel guilty about this too, but it is a big lump I am choosing to swallow and accept…that it just takes time and I am not ready yet. This is big, in fact massive, for me to admit that I am not strong enough to do something yet. I just am holding the trust that one day, like life does so well, I will have the conversations I know I need to have…when I am ready and when the other people are ready. That is something I am blessed with – good timing.

I realise why this tea party got as raucous as it did. From the feeling of guilt, I then followed the story that my critic came up with. This suddenly clicked earlier this evening, as I was cycling home after kickboxing. This is why I have spent the last two days barely able to move. Yes, I feel guilt. I feel the pain about what I did to those I love, about what I did in general, but I don’t need to feel the shittyness that the stories our mind conjures up too. Those are the things that screw us over and leave us festering in a pit of darkness. No matter how hard we try to shift it, when we’re finding meaning, telling stories, linking up theories in our mind, we stay in the darkness. We don’t deserve that.

The feelings are painful, they feel horrible sometimes, but at least they are clean and they are true. They are a whole lot better than the stories. The stories are full of shit. Believable shit. I know the truth. I know that my friends still love me, I know that they always tell me that, I know that they are still here, I know that they don’t want me to feel guilty…I might not believe it, but I know it is true. I don’t truly now how to work with this guilt I hold, but I hope with time I’ll work out how.

So, in times of guilt or worry, this is what I now know to do to avoid another chaotic tea party with guilt: look at the facts, not the fantasy.

Love.

Beginning the million stories

There are a million stories I want to tell and a million things I want to yell at the top of my voice, telling the world every last detail. Sometimes I get overwhelmed at the desperate need to do this. Other times I know that over time I’ll get this chance. But sometimes the need feels so so strong I don’t know what to do with it, or I don’t know who to call. And so it gets buried.

This week it’s been something new. It’s been a story that I haven’t really shared with anyone properly. It’s a story that still feels so bizarre that it hardly feels mine. Yet the rage is here with it now, and for me anger feels the most ultimate way of connecting. Connecting to whatever has happened and owning it as yours, in the most empowering – and as a result, healthy – way. And when this rage, and this connection, is here it is safe to talk. In fact, at the right time, it is essential.

It’s not so much the details that I am feeling about this incident right now. It’s the rage that I want to yell about. I want to yell thousands of what the fuck?’s just to The World and anyone who is listening, and hundreds of you selfish bitch right to my mum’s face. And then so many more things, so many more times. The details I am desperate to share just to paint the picture behind this rage.

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July 2010 I walked in on my mother hanging herself. Hold fire here, it is not the horror movie type thing you may imagine, but it still is incredibly fucking awful and horrendous in its own unique way…as all these things are. They are never like you see on the movie screens – instead they are their own fucked up thing that happens in its own fucked up way. Just like break ups are never what you see in the movies, life changing or life haunting things aren’t either. The image of what I found that night was one I struggled to shift from my mind for quite a few months afterwards. The whole thing still feels so surreal, but so clear at the same time. In some ways it feels like it just happened yesterday.

What was she thinking? How did she think it was okay to do that? To let her daughter find her doing that? But that’s the sick and twisted thing in this – it was just so normal. This kind of thing had never happened quite like it did that night, but the heart-breaking piece in this crazy puzzle is that to find her like that just fitted the bill. Her crazy and messed up bill. Sanity wasn’t a theme here.

To put that on your daughter…? The one who has cared and looked after you for all the years before. All the years she could have been being a care-free child. She didn’t know I was coming home, she thought I was staying at a friends, but I don’t know if she would have actually followed through. She’s too much of a coward and always was. Instead it was like her own psychotic play date with herself…putting up the rope and hanging from it. Teetering on her tiptoes on the stool below, hanging over the railings that led out of the kitchen. Stuffing a tonne of grass in her mouth. That was how I first found her – the sound of her breathing through this mesh of greenery. Lunatic. Maybe she would have followed through. This I’ll never know. She left a note…a lengthy detailed one.

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I’m so effing mad at the whole situation. I’m mad at the fact that this kind of thing was even ever a part of my life that I had to get to know and see continue to grow. I’m mad that I had to see this and have this happen. I’m so fucking mad at her. Her selfishness. Her bizarre sickness that shadowed itself so well into normality. If she was just constantly Plain Sick it would be so much fucking easier. To have some more clear cut, black and white lines where I could see sanity and insanity would have made each and every year of my life a whole lot more fucking clear. But instead it was never like this. There were chalk drawn lines that were brushed and bruised with the back of her crazy hands. There was just one massive grey area that my sister and I tried to navigate our way through, never getting it right – always getting it wrong. This night was a perfect canvas on which I can paint my whole fucking life. Yes, speaking with therapists or professionals now, I can be told til they’re blue in the face that she was sick all my life. But she was my mum. So this title of ‘sick’ just doesn’t cut it. Yes for many months or weeks she completely lost her rocker, but this night she seemed ‘sane’. And for so many of the other years too. Yes she was fucking hard work, abusive, narcissistic, a rollercoaster of behaviours and edges of personalities, but she was still present.

But this night she wasn’t. She seemed it all those hours before, just like she had seemed it in all those years before, but actually she was just in her early of psychosis. It was the middle of summer. It was when these things just always happened.

This makes me even more mad that she had an air of sanity to her yet she still chose to do this. To let her daughter find her like this. The word selfish doesn’t even cut it. To walk in and find her when I was desperately trying to navigate my own life – a recent split up and the severe peak of my Chronic Fatigue – just meant this hit harder. The emotions that I have flying on the surface feel blinding and irate. It was almost like just another tally on my widespread tally chart of the shit in life. This was just another teaching that ‘life is hard’. It was just another thing that paved the way for me to just take what came my way at the end of that summer – the nasty word beginning with R. The shit with my mother just meant I thought this is just how life goes. 

And you know what? It turns out it doesn’t. Yes shit happens. Yes trauma happens. But you don’t have to take it. You can get mad at it. I know we can’t change what has happened, and that’s okay. But what we can change is the knowledge that, after a lifetime of just taking abuse because we don’t know anything else, we can begin to Own what happens as ours, because we deserve what follow this. The healing and the empowerment.

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I want to tell the story of that night in each and every darkened detail, because for me it is getting that night back and letting it pave the way of this road now. Rather than dragging with me all the shame and guilt that came from what happened then. I should never have ever had to cut the rope of my own mother, but I did. I can’t change that but I can change what I do with it.

What followed this event was one of the best weeks of my life. I headed to where felt like home the next morning, to friends, the ocean and the most beautiful week of surfing, beach fires and fun. From one extreme to another. This too is the most perfect canvas on which I can paint my life. So much pain, but so so much beauty.

A Lack Gap

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?

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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.

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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:

Self love.

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?

Love.

Let the love in

“I wish I could see how people could love me” – that’s the inner dialogue going round and round the last few days. And it has been there since…I can remember. It does my head in. This inner doubt of … Continue reading

It takes strength

Recently I have been having headlines of teen suicide, jumping out at me in papers and online news bulletins. Initially I jump away, out of fear of PTSD trigger. But then the fire of justice inside burns up and I look back and read on. It makes me livid. It makes me mad. It makes my blood boil. It makes me want to do everything I can to change it all. And most of all it makes me so sad. I have since used the anger that this subject raises, to overrule the PTSD that it taints to trigger. There are so many words I could share about this, and I will do soon. For now I want to share the following to lay the foundations of the story.

I don’t know if this use of anger method I’ve adopted is ‘right’. I don’t know if this is a good method, or a not-so good one. But I do believe anger is a real tool to express energy once suppressed. And suppressed anger and energy only ends in tears. I guess this is me attempting the ‘mind over matter’ take on PTSD, to a certain extent. I don’t know if this is how it works. I don’t know what the ‘after effect’ is. If I could be bothered (which I can’t) I’d write down every thought, every thing I did, and every state I felt, to see correlations over the days and weeks of my mood and anxiety state and see whether such things as the above help or hinder. But, like I said, I cannot be bothered and so I will just have to hold out hope that I roll with the ebbs and flows of life and my healing journey. And that whatever I choose to do in that moment, is something done listening to my guide of intuition and not my head, that sparks of PRESSURE.

I feel stuck in a bitter sweet, bitter sweet circle of healing. So many have said to refrain from talking about all the trauma that has happened in my life. These many people, a lot professionals, say to step back from it – even if just for a little amount of time – to let it settle from its heightened state, before you start to ‘work’ on it. In my soul I feel this to be true. But then there is that part of me that feels so much is there, on the tip of my tongue. And I feel suppressing it just digs it deeper and further into the nooks and crannies of my body. But what about a balance? This is what my soul sings for. This need to connect with the trauma and the pain, but not necessarily in a speaking, wordy way. This is where the details get triggering, and the images get frightening I crave and long for physical healing, physical release and mind-body connection with the damage that has been done. I do too, long for emotional sharing, but I long for it in a broader, day-to-day emotional health kind of sense. Not-so-much the digging up kind of sense.

I wish there was a guided way to do this. I wish someone could tell me how to do it. How to go down this path, without turning crazy or without doing it ‘wrong’ and ending up overdosing. But I guess there is no way of knowing, apart from holding a trust that whatever route you head down, it is the right one for you at that time. And within this trust, to gain awareness of the ‘worst-case-scenario’ angst processes that end up ruling your being so you can distinguish what is YOU and what is anxiety talking.

I fear listening to a song for fear of it taking me back to the time before I overdosed. Or the time after I did. I fear opening up that wound and increasing the chances of doing it again. But like I share here breaking the silence is the best medicine for suicide survivors. And I long to do that. I long to follow what I so strongly preach. And yet I am terrified that by sharing it and speaking about it, may leave me wanting it. Yet I know this distorted theory to not be true. I know it holds no words of wisdom or words of help at all. It is simply the classic ‘worst-case-scenario’ voices of anxiety having their fair share of speech. And this surely shows a sign of health: the fact I dread it so much that it halts and alters my daily plans and thought process, shows I do not want it…right? But it is hard when lines become so flickered and fluttered with such an intense subject. It is hard to trust it is just anxiety or a dampened mood. But it is. It really is. It is now something to which I long to let go of the fear that I will do it again, and see that embracing the moment in time and the new burning energy I feel within my self, can help you move beyond that. And because it happened before doesn’t mean it’ll happen again.

What is a life, if it is so constantly lived in fear of the road ahead?

Come out of the shadows and share. Let us all get a glimpse and stare at the beauty and admiration we all hold within ourselves when we come across someone who really CARES. Cares about themselves and about their subject, and does not worry about whether it is cool. Whether it is ‘PC’. Whether it is ligit. They just go ahead and share it anyway. And there is always someone, if not hundreds of someones, out there who connect and light up and are grateful and want to do the same. So lift your arms up and let the inner strength spill out. Because no matter how lonely, how fragile, how fearful, how unsure, we feel, there is always something to be said. Even if it is just to help shift the rattling thoughts from your head. I long to be like those people I admire. And maybe, in some snippety way, I am. And maybe, somebody would look at me and think the same, yet I sit here wishing to be different. To be something else. To be more of that, or more of them.

What if we are just simply perfect, the way we are? It is just our worrying and our loathing that trips us up?

Today I was feeling so cruddy cruddy cruddy crap. I felt sick to the bottom of my stomach with hate for myself. I tried to run from it, by spending the morning in the woods. It worked for a bit – I felt at peace and at home. But I was cold. So I tried to come to a cafe to bypass it and fill my time with niceness on the blogosphere. But it didn’t work. The voice of hate felt stronger than any outside distraction. So as I stepped foot off my bike, unable to bike any further up the hill because I just felt so SHIT, I realised I need to FEEL this feeling. I needed to hear this voice. This feeling, this voice, is just like any other feeling or inner critic’s voice, that therapy folks encourage you to feel. Be it anxiety, fear, worry, hate, anger: feel it and it plays itself out, just like a song. But these kind of self loathing and hate feelings I really fear…I mean really fear, because of what it tends to lead to. That I would be better off no longer here. I hate to type that, but it is true. I catastrophise. I become dramatic. If I cannot live in any inch of happiness, what is a life worth living? The problem is right here: any kind of down talk and self hating, loathing and wishing for difference, then tends to mix itself with anxiety about these thoughts. The lines of truth and worry, and sure-thinking and deep rooted anxiety, blur into a haze of hate. For me and for the situation. The ball spins round like this, whirling and un-understandable and unmanageable.

But then. What do you know. After typing and sharing, and expressing and hating it, for a few hours, it has shifted. It has softened. Just like they said it would. Just like I knew it would really.. And the feeling has reached the end of its haunting heart wrenching song. It has gone on its way, and has been replaced by a song of confidence and a song of longing socialising. For which I was intensely worried about before this. So now I am off, for a dose of friends. Something I have not had in a few weeks. My knees still clatter and my stomach still flutters but my heart knows that this is what life is about and just longs for a giggle and a share without a care of all that shitty life stuff going on out there.

See: it really does work. The feeling really does bring itself to an end, provided you give it the ear-time it deserves.

Tonnes of love.

Award nominations: The Liebster blog award

The other morning I woke to the wonderful news that I had been nominated for the Liebster blog award by the beautiful Claudia of dipitblack – highly recommend a visit and a follow of this chick. So thank you so … Continue reading