Life takes its toll on us. Cares, worries, pain and loss of health impact our emotional well-being as much as our physical. I know many people hate the inspirational quotes we see around us. I find such wonder in some of them. After all, many have come from the clearest thinking or deepest considering philosophers and brains that the history of many cultures have to offer us. Now and then I see one that offers a succinct message which suddenly focuses a problem or offers its solution to me.
We are luckily not islands as we try and weather the storms of life. In conversation with a friend the other day, he reminded me that we are all alone in our journeys, but luckily we meet others on the way. Some are nothing but a fleeting conversation, while others remain with us as we cross continents.
Much is made these days about our carbon footprint. We are not supposed to take more of the earth’s resources than we put back, and are encouraged to offset what we use, with measures to replace. I seem to have spent the past four or five days in deep, constant and exhausting thought. I think there is an emotional footprint to us all too.
We can pay back what we receive from those around us by means of time given, support offered and a calm and listening ear. I feel we truly should do that. I am old, feeling very old at the moment, and sometimes I can listen as someone younger tells me of the trials which have them on their knees and am able to calmly tell them there’s no need to worry. Things do get better. I can tell them of my many mistakes, in the hope they can learn from my hurt and not make them.
This year has been such a hard one. I seem to say that with each year that passes, and always look to the future, with hope, but too often it seems our hardships today are only us in training for even worse to follow. This year one of my younger friends has tried to kill himself, more than once. He’s young enough to be my son and it tore my heart to hear of it. To hear that at what I feel is still such a young age, he was at that point. I know what he’s been through. I know the awful things he has lived through and how he climbs mountains far steeper than I have ever had to. I wanted to give him calm hope and support. I tried through my words to make him see how valued and needed he is in the world, not only his world, but that of those around him. To turn that on its head though, I didn’t want to believe that this was all that life had to offer him. I wished I lived nearer to be able to say “Stand behind me for a while and let me battle this with you until you feel stronger again.”
I do worry that the state the world is in strips our spirit too. We are constantly bombarded with the horrific tales of war, pain and human destruction which go on. Global media has made the world a smaller place, but has also done much. I was about to say that each day seems to bring some new tale of loss of life, but many times this year a day has brought more than one story in a day. Speaking for myself that takes a little of my spark. It reminds me that there is such darkness in the world.
To describe how I feel right now, and have for the past few days, where my heart should be, somehow it has been exchanged for a rock which dropped to the floor and is constantly being dragged behind me. My neck and shoulders ache from the weight there of worries and hurt which refuses to allow me the peace to relax and sleep. My head is a throbbing mess. Nausea is always constant fun when I am feeling like this. As a diabetic I need to eat for my medication. I am managing to eat as much as I can face. This state has been coming on for a few weeks, but has recently become far more acute and got me to a point the other night that I had not been at for many years. I sat at my desk late at night and realised that if I could simply cease to be, I would have chosen it at that time. I couldn’t carry any more. I was too exhausted and wanted it all and the pain to simply go away. That scared me and brought an explosion of tears.
There is darkness in me. My life has created and fed demons which lurk deep inside myself and like nothing better to hear the words of others that I have hurt them, even by mistake or omission. The demons open the vault which lets forth all the voices of people, some of them dead and long gone, who have told me and shown me how worthless I am. People are happy to air opinions about me, and those they tell them to at times share it with me. I am sure it’s to let me have a chance to change myself and make myself more socially acceptable. I have been called ‘Destroyer of Dreams’ and told by many that I am an obstacle to the happiness of others. Let me see… I am a sociopath whose life is so boring, I can only seek to take the happiness of those around me. My friends are told they should not waste their time on me. I am a drain on their time and attention. My demons remind me that so many say this and always have, so it must be correct.
2008 was the last time I wanted my world to simply end. Luckily no matter how much I thought driving my car fast at a wall would bring this about, I was too scared to. What if I didn’t manage it and was left in a worse off state? I can admit that now. Back then I was deep in the middle of grief and actively being told at the same time that I was worthless and hurting others. I don’t know if my young friend knows any of this, but in reading this he will know his thoughts are ones many of us have at times.
Back then I believed I didn’t deserve to continue for myself. I was a coward, but then my stubbornness reared its head. It’s something I have inherited from my Grandfather. It has proved to be a strength for me at times, and perversely is a reminder of him being with me, even though he died decades ago and is sorely missed. No matter how many times I mess up, there’s part of me wants to try again and see if I can prove people wrong. Yeah… I know… it’s not likely as I am trapped in seeming to mess up over and over.
The other night, the shock it gave me was enough to kick my backside. I have people who depend on me and something has happened since 2008. I have become a much tougher person. I am no longer the person I was back then. Exhaustion got to me the other night though, but then a spark of strength did too. For once I sought solace in others. I don’t lean easily but I told my oldest friend how I was feeling and she dealt a gentle kick to my backside too, along with her opinion of me as a friend and somehow she has managed to be my friend for over eight years now, which is pretty much a record, huh. *chuckles*
Believe it or not, I am a positive person. I don’t like to feel down and I HATE to wallow, but at times like now, I have been feeling too exhausted to pick myself back up. What I didn’t realise was that little by little contact with others has restored enough of my spirit for me to look at things a little more clearly. From my dear Steph, who reminded me of how she sees me, to the wonderful Dane who reminded me what I bring to his life. My friend Nico sat up with me while we both worked on pictures late one night. We both dragged laughter out of each other and I managed to sleep from it. Even one friend who I thought would no longer be speaking to me, sent me a meme about keeping my head high and alerted me to a song she had shared.
I still have all those things affecting my emotional and physical lightness and have a very long way to go, but I am stubborn enough to get there, one small step at a time.
Something happened yesterday which has given me strength and courage again. A long time ago now I was encouraged to write. I have a ‘manuscript’ which has been constantly nagging me at the back of my mind. I reopened it and was surprised at how good it was to read. I have a lot of work to do on it, but the main character shamelessly has much of my younger self in her. In reading what had gone before, and adding to it, I reconnected with her. I felt she was once again in my heart and although I have much to achieve and much to alter about myself and how I am towards others, she’s strong enough to combine with my stubbornness and prove the naysayers wrong.
I don’t have enough of my heart and energy left to worry about my yesterdays. Life will never be the same again, but it DOES still go on, and so must I! I have more fight left in me yet 😉