I haven’t written anything for a while. I’ve been steering clear of the internet and the news because, well, it’s better for me. I’ve always been quite a sensitive person but recently the part of me that experiences empathy seems to have gone in to overdrive and I can’t seem to stop over-identifying and worrying about anything, everything and sometimes nothing. So I guess I went into a bit of a self-imposed quarantine. I haven’t read any blogs or watched the news. I’ve tried to exercise some self-care by switching off for a bit.
To a degree, it’s helped. I can’t tell you what’s going on in Syria or what the political parties are up to, but on the most part I’ve been calmer as a result of detaching myself.
Until yesterday. I read a news story so horrific that I can’t even write the words here. It’s shocked me so deeply that I still can’t seem to shake an awful feeling of panic and dread.
Writing is cathartic for me and I’ve often found that putting the proverbial pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) helps to exorcise ugly thoughts, so I’m sharing what went through my mind yesterday as I fought off a panic attack. I hope that after I share it I’ll feel lighter.
In Plain Sight
Too many thoughts for one head
Such a cold and cruel world
A self-imposed bubble and a head in the sand
Smiling and chatting and going about day-to-day life
Hidden in plain sight
Avoiding the news and the internet, too much pain
How do people to it? Carry on as if everything is fine
It’s not fine. It’s just not.
Fragile, raw, exposed.
Salty wounds. Bad news everywhere.
Shallow breathing. Panic.
Wanting to take my children and loved ones and lock us all safely away. Where the horror of the world can’t find us
Too much love for one heart. Too much worry.
Happy thoughts being quashed by dark ones
Rising hysteria and hot tears
Worry. Endless, incessant worry
Breathe. Concentrate on your breathing
Remember the small ripples. The things you can control. The good in the world
Counting blessings. So many blessings.
So much to lose
Small. Inferior. Ineffectual
Remember your self-care
Stop. Stop reading.
Hold them. Squeeze them.
Wrap them in an impenetrable blanket of love
Keep them safe
It will pass.
The lights will change.
You are loved.
You are brave
I worry that sharing this may seem attention seeking, but I’m also pretty sure that there are lots of others who, like me, find life painful and hard sometimes. Who feel too much of others’ pain and who sometimes forget that in our own way, we are making a difference. We are casting small stones into an enormous lake and starting ripples. We are significant. We’re brave.
You see, bravery comes in many different forms. Sometimes being brave means running in to burning buildings and performing heroic acts of greatness. Other times, being brave means taking the next breath, drying your eyes and putting one foot in front of the other.
Onwards, friends. Bye for now.