It’s okay not to be okay.

“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

I so loved this. It reminded me it’s okay to be human and say I can’t do it. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to tell the world you’re struggling. It’s okay to tell people, to tell the world, of your weakness.

It’s okay to not be okay.

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That last line reminds me of the song I literally had on repeat last week…my poor housemates. So loud, and in my ears  or in my speakers at every opportunity:

I have never been a fan of Jessie J, except for when she was on The Voice…in fact, I don’t think I’ve even ever heard her sing, except for snippets. But the other night, I was at a friends making sauerkraut (it’s lush!) and she played this to me. I almost cried then, and then on the walk home I cried properly…and then when I found it on youtube, I sobbed.

I love it the way a song does that. I love it when it hits something inside you, and makes it – you – burst open and let go of any worries about being seen. Or it lets you just notice those worries, rather than be all consumed.

I love it the way music is like a gift, that resonates with every moment – it’s just a case of finding the right one. Song, not moment.

In times of loneliness, music resonates so much more…picking the right song connects to my heart. I don’t feel so lonely anymore. In this case, I had someone telling me “it’s okay not to be okay”…I had Jessie J telling me to “be who you are”…that’s pretty rad. A superstar but also another human, who feels the same feelings and shares the same pain. She just puts hers into music, and I put mine into words.

I love that. And it never ceases to bring so much solace, song.

This song, for this last week, came at such a perfect time. It powered me through the beginning of getting published on a super cool online journal/magazine. I feel like Jessie was yelling into my ear and drowning out my critics. I’ve gone cold turkey and haven’t listened to her for a bit, but the couple of times I have, I’ve remembered the power and the spirit that I soaked up from this song.

It helped me feel less isolated on the beginning of another stage of my journey with writing and getting my voice out her. I feel like she helped me see that I can kick the shit out of the voices telling me I can’t do this, and she helped bring comfort to the worry and the fear and the doubt and the uncertainty…all through a song. I’ve been feeling so much vulnerability lately, and perhaps that makes sense because I’ve been putting my words out there, so bravely. But I feel like my heart is on my sleeve. I feel wounded by the slightest wrong look or slightest wrong touch. I just want cuddles, I don’t want any difficulty or confrontation. I just want peace.

I want to be nurtured and I want to be held. So I have been doing that for myself, and I think it’s been working. I’ve been on my period and I think that’s hit extra hard, sensitivity, tenderness and exhaustion wise, so I’ve been listening to my body. I’ve been keeping her close, and keeping her safe. I’ve been wrapping myself up warm and not going far away. I’ve been listening to the need to just love and keep gentle. I’ve been listening to the need to just be connected to the ones I want to.

I’ve been listening to the joy that’s been singing, when I’ve been doing all these things.

I’ve been listening, and saying it’s okay. I’ve been telling myself I’m proud of me. I’ve been telling myself I’m listening. I’ve been telling myself I deserve this, I deserve this life – I deserve comfort, safety, happiness, joy, nurturance, comfort, acceptance, peace, stillness, stability. I deserve it all. And I can have it all.

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I notice that voice is so here, so there, lately – the voice telling me “You can have this”, when I see something I long for or feel something I love for even more. Rather than jumping to the feeling and voice and belief that I can’t have it, or won’t…I tell myself I will. And immediately, my body fills with relief and a smile comes across my face. Because in my heart, I know it’s true.

I can have this. I can have stillness and peace and stability and calm and consistency. I can say goodbye to crazy chaos, and just have fun stuff instead.

I’ve also been noticing so much fear around this. So much fear. That I can’t live like this – I can’t live comfortably and calmly…that it’ll disappear in a second. That this is just pretend. That I don’t deserve it. That I can’t actually have it – that this life can’t actually be for me. That it’s a bit of a joke. That it’s tempting me and then it’ll be taken away because it’s not something that can sit, or be, underneath my name – stillness and stability, consistency and calm, love and connection, homeliness and safety.

But in my heart, again, beneath this shit that lies on the surface, is the untraumatised me…the me that knows I deserve this all, and can have this all, and will have this all – I just need to fake it til I make it, and let time help me do this too. This part of me notices that things have changed SO much since even a year ago, or two, or three.

When I look at, for example, my journey with self-destruct, I never thought it possible to live in a different way…it was possible for others, but I literally never ever could see how it would be for me – I knew it would be in my heart (she’s a trooper) but had no idea whether this would actually happen and how. I was so so lost. But now look at me. I am millions of miles from where I used to be, living a different life with myself to the one I knew.

So this can happen with the rest of life too – things can change and I can change, and I and things will change and are changing…even though I have no exact idea of what it’s going to look like, or how things are going to be, the fact I find myself where I am now, is proof that this change will keep on happening. I hope. I never thought I would be here, and as much of so much of me fucking hates it and wishes it was different, so much about where I’m at is healing. Me healing.

And that is what I’ve needed to do for like 24 years…and I’m doing it. At 26, I’m doing it now, and I was at 24, too. I’ve needed this since I was so young.

That is a gift I am giving myself, even though it’s fucking confusing and painful…it’s a gift that will pay off. And is already in its funny little (big) ways. I just hate it too.

Life is so fucking paradoxical, always. I love that. But part of me hates it… 😉

Go hit play on Jessie J and turn it up LOUD.

Or just go find another song that does the same for you! We ain’t all meant to be sung to by Jessie J.

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I wish I could see myself for who I really am

I wish I could feel like I know where I’m at. I wish I could really know that the person I am, is enough. I wish I could really know that who I am becoming is a healthy wholesome being. I wish I could see I’m not becoming my mum. I wish I could see myself for who I really am. I wish I could see that I am thriving and shining and I am only going to continue to. I wish I could see how independent and powerful I am. I wish I could see that I am someone who is going to succeed, and is succeeding already.

I wish I could see myself as I really am.

I wish I could see myself as other people, the loving ones, see me.

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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.

I’m meant to know…that I am home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m meant to know,
That I am me

I’m meant to feel
that I am strong.

And I’m meant to feel
that I am home.

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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.

Hmm.

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 healing puzzle

Today, as I was writing, I realised that healing/life feels like the journey of putting together a puzzle. And it’s the process of putting together the puzzle that we experience the highs, the lows, the frustrations. We meet the pieces and the people or the things we know we’ll need in the future but we don’t need right now. We come across bits over and over that we can’t work out where the fuck they go, and we meet bits of ourselves or notice patterns that come round over and over again, until one day something clicks, a piece fits, and we don’t need to revisit it again or for a while – maybe when the puzzle falls apart a bit. The process of looking for the piece we need, the person or thing or element we need in our healing, feels important too. And it can feel hell-of-a confusing, but it’s where we grow. We need to find the piece, the bit of our puzzle, that fits together with the bit we just found. That just clicks. And when we do, we know it, and we can move on…to the next piece!

The end result matters too, and the sense of achievement and the sense of awe and appreciation and respect we gather for ourselves when we get there, is huge. And totally needed. And maybe within the giant puzzle, is a tonne of mini, baby, ones. Like one big fuck-off puzzle that isn’t just made up of one big one…it’s made up of hundreds of pieces that make up hundreds of puzzles, within the one big puzzle of life.

Healing feels like that. And so does life.

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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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Healing is…

Learning, adopting and practising the art of mindfulness. And weaving it into your daily life and how you connect with your body and daily surroundings.

But…sometimes, I know with ptsd, to be able to actually be in a place to practise mindfulness is healing In itself…sometimes our bodies and our minds just can’t go there. There’s something else in the mix: severe adrenaline overload and trigger-ville.

I’ve learnt to be gentle with myself in times I can’t actually do mindfulness or when dropping into myself sets off triggers left right and centre…it’s during these times that the healing comes from not dropping into myself. But once the anxiety softens – through herbs, supplements and time – when I can catch my breath and practise mindfulness, a deeper sense of healing – and connection – has begun again.

It’s a motherfucking process. A long, intricately beautiful, confusing, and profound one.

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