It’s An Inside Job

Where do I begin from here, where do I even start? I am curled in a chair with my best friend opposite me. I am trying to explain how life has been for the past 6 months. I have just come home from a day spent at a job I will never return to. I have a glass of wine in front of me and a friend speaking to me across the way – calmly, logically, with love and understanding. ‘What you need isn’t advice right now,’ he says slowly. ‘What you need is understanding’. My counsellor this morning said something similar, as I listened to the rain falling outside our Highbury & Islington home and wiped the tears from my eyes. ‘What you need right now is to be nourished. What you need right now is to be fed. What you need right now… is to be held’. ‘I feel that I have all of that,’ I said. ‘That’s good’, she said, smiling. ‘That means you can heal’.

Healing. What a word. It fills my stomach with such hope. My stomach where the wound still lies, just below my chest. It feels huge, gaping. And yet, when I take my clothes off, there’s nothing there. I have learned now. This is not a wound that needs or in fact, will ever require a plaster to be put over the top. It needs love, compassion and self-acceptance. Three things that I find so hard to do and yet so joyful to do for others. Why do I find it so hard? Even as I write this I can feel it there. Waiting. I need stitches, but they won’t be ones you can see. “All you have to do when you start repairing something is know one place to start. One place in the torn fabric that will hold the knot. You start there… you find one place and you test it – will it hold? It’s torn, but will it hold? If you fold it over it will hold – there – a stitch. You’ve brought two pieces of fragment together. And you just keep going, one day at a time.” Anne Lamott.

So who is holding me? My partner. My wonderful partner. My sister. My beautiful sister. My mother. My incredible mother. My friend who talked long into the night with me about embracing this – my shadow self. But let me begin at the beginning. 6 months ago, I had a breakdown. It was slow to come at first and then all at once. It was an electric storm in the brain, getting stuck places I couldn’t then return home to, compulsions that felt like the world was ending, and fear. The fear. I have never experienced such pain and fear before. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Why am I writing this? Because I feel I have to. Because if there is any way that I too can help someone else then – God – that is what I am going to do.

Three podcasts have helped me so far are:

Reading and Mental Health – BBC Front Row

Fearne Cotton’s ‘Happy Place’ with Gok Wan

William Paul Young on Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Conversations

In Love&Light FS XOX

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