In Plain Sight

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
Remember this.

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.

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5 thoughts on “In Plain Sight

  1. This is not in the least bit attention seeking. Because what you are talking about is very real. The real world has some horrible things in it and we have to learn how to cope with them in our own ways. We see it again through our children as they learn about bad things. My daughter is doing the Tudor times and she was very disturbed by the human side of what people did to each other. And I can’t protect her, because the truth is that people still do equally bad things to each other today.

    A lot of the world has learned to become hardened to this type of thing. But it doesn’t mean that the pain of it is not very real.

  2. Absolutely you are brave honey. And as much as any other way you have been brave (and there have been lots), writing this post was brave. Seriously brave.

    Every time you bare your soul, each time you admit your darkest fears for the world to read, you are brave. And for others to read this and be able to think “It’s not just me! Thank G-d!” … well, that’s just another way you’re making the world just a tiny bit better.

    Helping others to deal with their own pain and fear and trauma while you’re in a period of utter overwhelming weakness yourself is brave and strong and amazing.

    So proud of you yet again, my special, inspiring friend xx

  3. Sending you lots of hugs and positive energy Rachel. I had to stop reading and watching the news for similar reasons a few years back, and it was one of the best things I ever did. I can’t watch overly violent scenes in films anymore. Can’t even listen to, let alone watch, rape scenes. If a story catches my eye online and I start reading only to discover it’s going to be beyond horrendous then I will shut down the Internet page (this actually happened to me earlier this week, and I’m wondering if its the same story that you’ve mentioned).

    Self preservation is a valuable lesson to learn, and so very important for folk like us. I hope you found writing this as cathartic as you had hoped. Chin up xx

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