A favourite quote and a way by which to approach life.

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Monday, 25 February 2013


I have so much going on in my head at the moment that I feel practically immobilised by it, strangled by it.  It frightens me.  A lot frightens me right now ... In fact, most things frighten me, but one of the things that really frightens me is that my words aren't working.  I mean, they're not coming ... I feel like I've lost the ability to express myself through them.  I make a mess of situations requiring words, which, let's face it, is most situations.  I can't explain my thoughts, my feelings, my opinions, anything coherently or in a way that actually gets my point across.  It's like the mess in my head is strangling the life out of my words, suffocating me in a different way from the asthma.  The only expressive language my body seems to know at the moment is tears, of which there are torrents.  Huge, uncontrollable sobs rise from nothing, suck my energy from me, and toss me out on to the devastated landscape of what was once me.  A tsunami.

I saw my psychologist on Friday and I wept throughout.  I have wept almost constantly since, except when I've had company, in which case I've somehow managed to put on the mask of sanity ... except, perhaps, that I may have clung a little too tightly and a little too long to the friend that gave me a hug.  An accidental give-away that all is not as okay as it may seem.  The truth was that I didn't want to let go.  I didn't want to return to the isolation of my mind.  I didn't want to relinquish the comfort of friendship's tenderness that touches the soul through a hug.

The contradiction, though, is that I don't feel worthy of that tenderness.  I feel as though most of what I touch at the moment turns to dust.  It is selfish to touch others when you know that doing so will destroy them, so most of the time I avoid it, even though I crave it.  I don't trust myself with their precious lives.

The time with my psychologist goes too quickly.  It is the only place at the moment where I feel that I can truly let go, not because others don't want to help if they can, but because to do so would be to make me vulnerable ... and to do so would be admitting failure ... to do so would be to let them down ... to do so would be to let go of the final thread of something that I'm hanging on to.  I said something of this to the psychologist.  She seemed to understand what I was saying.  She also said she's concerned about me.  Some others have said the same.  This puts me in a difficult situation - not the psychologist saying it, but others - because I feel as though I ought to reassure them, but with all honesty I cannot turn and say, 'There's no reason to worry.'

If I whisper this then maybe it's not like admitting it.  If I whisper this then maybe I'll have said it without anyone really hearing.  If I whisper this then perhaps it can pass unnoticed.  I will whisper it very quietly, but if you hear you must promise me not to tell anyone my secret ... I am worried about me.

I cannot tell you all that is going through my mind, that would be a step too far, but it is a tangled mess of knots that have been steeped in black tar and treacle.  There are some very sharp, and dangerous-looking things in there, and I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt by trying to touch them, so I will keep my distance for fear of accidentally harming you.  If I'm lucky they won't harm me too much either, but I'm not sure I'm destined for that kind of luck.

Did I tell you that I'm scared?  I think I did.  I am.  I'm very scared.  Many have told me I'm brave, but believe me, there is nothing brave about me.  This is not the mind of a brave person.  These are not the tears of bravery.  When told that I am brave it feels like it's the other person's way of saying, 'I'm glad I don't have to go through what you do.'  If I had the choice I can tell you with absolute honesty that I so wish that I did not go through what I do, but the truth is that I have no choice.  What is mistaken for bravery is actually a primordial instinct to survive - a very basic fight for life.  There is nothing brave about that.  To say that I'm brave almost strips me of my right to be afraid, because if I am seen to be brave then my fear - and more importantly to them, their fear - is overcome.  I am very afraid ... and I need to be allowed my fear because if I am not then I have no option but to keep running from it.  If I keep running then I will always be being chased by it, hunted by it, and as soon as I run out of energy (which is sometime round about now) it will destroy me.  It is only by being allowed my fear that I can begin to be able to face it, and then possibly, maybe, perhaps find a way to beat it.  Again, that is not bravery; it is basic human survival.

And now my words are sucked from me again.  Something, again, has strangled me, and I have nothing.


Joy said...

Brave does not mean an absence of fear. You are an incredibly brave person, Becky, and I just wish I could help.
Lots of love and gentle (((((hugs)))))

J x

vivinfrance said...

Exactly as Joy said. You ARE cofronting fear, and that takes COURAGE. Don't worry about all the tears - it's the body's way of getting rid of excess adrenaline. I wish I could come and give you a great big hug.

You are hung up on words: try writing haiku - whenever I can't write (which is often) haiku pull me out of it. The intellectual challenge of distilling lots of words down to 17 syllables takes your mind off other troubles. Hugz, ViV

Anna Hopper said...

Hi Becky, I was once told that if you are brave you are afraid, that it is foolish in suitations that need bravery not to be afraid sending hugs

Amanda said...

You're bound to be scared after going through and surviving such a traumatic time recently. I'm sure anyone would feel the same. We're all here for you; even if it's just through FB. Big hugs {{{Becky}}}. xxx

catfood said...

You sounded pretty eloquent there Becky.

You need to let go of responsibility for others. When we say you are brave it os acknowledgement - not an instruction. No one believes that it is easy or that you should be bright and chipper, simply that you have been through a lot.

You are not responsible for our peace of mind or happiness...if we worry about you it is because we choose to...because we care.

And as for causing destruction, we are all capable of that. Don't imagine that others are in control, or calm or that you could somehow destablise us. We do that ourselves. We lurch through life going from crisis to crisis and those of us who fare best are the pones that grab hold tightly to the moments of joy that punctuate the crises.

This has been a horrible winter and you have had a hard time. But spring will come. The sun will shine. In the mean time we bite our lips and battle on. And we will damn well care for you whether you like it or not.

Hugs x x

BeckyG said...

Thank you, all, for your comments. I'd love to respond to each of them individually, but as you might have picked up, I'm struggling a bit at the moment and trying to work out what I want to say to each of you is proving difficult. However, I am very thankful for all of you and for your words of support and encouragement.