Survival

When did simple questions become so complex.

Someone asks me ‘how are you?’ and I freeze for a moment. I know what they expect, because they asked me with a smile and some excitement. They want ‘things are good thanks’ or ‘yeah I’m fine how are you?’ The problem of course is that I don’t have enough words to explain how I am, but all I know is I am definitely not fine.

Although on one level I may be a little bit ok. I woke up this morning, I may have even had some moment of prayer and reflection today, I had a shower, dressed well and took out my moisturised hair twists from the night before. I arrived at work calm and on time despite my commute and enjoyed my colleagues and students. I went to the gym and had a good dinner.

But then.

I sat down in my lounge about to watch the next episode of Good Girls and my heart filled with an overwhelming feeling of loss and sadness. It has been building all day really, and it all floods in although I’ve been keeping it at a distance. The triggers were all there: the Fred Hammond song that reminded me of mom’s constant singing, the mom and daughter on the train, the song at morning worship that we sang at the funeral. The grief, like a fire, then sets aflame any other material it can find. Feelings of isolation that force me to right down all the names of people who love me, the fear of being alone which almost makes me call that guy I let go for good reason, the anger that I thought I had conquered but now again forces me into silence before God.

I heard someone say depression grows in isolation. So I pick up the phone, scroll and call, and she answers and says ‘Sel, how are you?’

To her, I can tell it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The View

Authentic stories and self-expression have always had a powerful impact on me. I can sit at a poetry jam and my eyes will fill up as people use their art to wrestle with who they are, what they have suffered and what they hope for in life. I am a sentimental soul.

I am also deeply philosophical, which means I can find meaning in most things. Sitting on this beach on holiday I wondered about the sea, which brings life and death together. Just enough water can quench your thirst or allow you to be free between the waves…too much and well…we know how that ends… Life sometimes feels like a similar balance, containing so many moments of fun and laughter, as well as the potential to overwhelm you at any moment…

Having kept so many of my musings to myself, I feel brave enough to share some of them as they evolve and give them wiiiiiings 🙂

I want to use this space to end illusions and embrace truth. I want to be honest about the great joy and the deep pain that is both mine and yours. I want to share my journey of finding freedom; to explore and risk, to believe and question, to leave and return.

I will be sharing poetry, reflective pieces of writing, pictures, recipes, music and anything else that communicates something truthful about life as I am experiencing and witnessing it. Some of it will be beautiful, some hard to hear and some insightful. I seek to share my life and my art in full colour, as purely as possible, in the hope that you might say YES! and realise that you too are not alone.