When they speak, listen.

** Trigger warning** The aim of this post is to share my experience with honesty. Therefore, this blog post may trigger an adverse reaction. If this post is beginning to upset you or trigger you in any way than I encourage that you please stop reading immediately and talk to someone you trust or call lifeline on 131114.**

“I feel it coursing through my veins. Feel it caressing my mind. Gripping my heart. There’s no discrimination towards a single cell, organ or thought. It’s all consuming. Suffocating. Absorbing. Sucking every moment I once felt joy or pleasure into a sense of sadness and anxiety. 

I hear it whisper gently. Manipulating words I hear alive which are dancing through the air from faces I once knew. I hear it reminding me to smile. Be polite. Tell them you’re fine. They’ll believe you. Smile. Laugh. They’ll believe you. After all isn’t it easier to believe it’s all ok.

I see it. The darkness. I see it all around. I see the heavy eyes mirror the heavy body which reflects an even heavier heart. The darkness is so scary to the sound part of my mind yet it is somewhat comforting to the pained side. Every part of me hurts on every level. I’m drowning in it. The pain. I’m drowning in it. I don’t know how or where to find the escape. I’m not even sure I believe that there is one… Could this be the end of me.” – Cristy

Welcome to me. Me at bottom of the deepest hole I’ve ever been down. It was at this precise point in my life, this very moment that these words spilled out of me that I was actually scared of what I was capable of doing to myself. It was this moment too that I knew I needed to do something to start breathing myself back to life before there was no life left to breathe. It was a significant moment. It was also a moment that I realised I am one of the lucky ones. Not every one has the ability to pull themselves out of a hole that deep. Their voices are stronger. Their holes are deeper and it is devastating to know this.

The decline to that level was slow. I almost didn’t see it coming except now in hindsight I was probably very aware of it entangling me and slowly pulling me under. The last 11 months has been rough and I know my rough would be someone else’s easy – I’m very aware of that. I have been so completely and physically unwell while the deep darken hole was idling beside me just waiting for it to all become too much mentally allowing me to fall into it. I was never prepared for those mental shadows that would secretly creep up on me, envelope me and suck the joy out of everything that was left in my usually brightly lit world.

I have now come to accept that the effects of the virus may never completely go away but with that acceptance I am now moving forwards. It’s not the end of the world. Acceptance is like I’m finally taking my first deep breaths of fresh air. My lungs are filling up again and colour is coming back into my world. I’ve had to really learn that without the bad how could I ever understand how fucking good the good is. Without sickness how could we fully appreciate health and vitality and boy do I fucking appreciate my good days! Without unease, stress and anxiety how could we possibly enjoy the cruisier “life-ing” moments which so many of us are fortunate enough to have more often than not.

I’ve been wanting to press ‘publish’ on this post for a few months now but it’s been hard to do. It’s hard to share for many reasons none of which I can truly put my finger on. I worry that sharing this tarnishes me somehow. Will people see me differently. Will I be judged. Will people steer clear of me. Or worse still will people begin to tiptoe on eggshells around me. But I’m sharing now. I’m exposing this time in my life to hopefully, hopefully help someone else feel hope. To help someone start that conversation with a loved one. To help someone know they are not alone. To help someone breath in the possibility that life can be better, more colourful.

Life can be better. Reach out. Speak up.

And to those in colour – when they reach out, when they speak up, listen.

xox

rm drake