Monthly Archives: July 2011

There is Always Hope

So many people that contact me through this Blog do so because they have lost hope. Hope that life can actually get any better from this point on. Hope that even if they stay in the Hell they find themselves in now, it will be bearable as long as it does not get any worse. Hope that they will be able to do basic things again like take care of themselves physically, financially, emotionally. That they will be able to be fully present spouses or parents. So many hopes so much shattered faith…

I understand what it means to have lost all hope, all self-belief. To truly believe that there is no way out. That life will never get any better. The mental tiredness as well as the physical exhaustion. The bitter disappointment as yet another miracle cure fails to deliver on it’s promise. ¬†To forget what life was like when health and independence were the norm. I know that place. I lived there for a very long time indeed.

I now stand in a place where I can fend for myself in a world that does not terrify me. Where I am safe to love life and all that comes with it. Even when I was at my most hopeful (not very often trust me but I had my moments), never did I believe I could have the life I live now. Never did I even imagine I could feel this happy, this free, this excited by everything. The life I had now is now is one I never thought I deserved. But I believe I deserve it now. And I believe it will only get bigger and better with every moment that passes.

Because I do believe that we don’t have to count our lives in years, weeks, days, hours or even minutes. Our life is just Now. Just this moment. I’m not asking you to be hopeful about where you will be this time next year. I’m not asking you to be hopeful when you wake up tomorrow even. I’m asking you to take this journey moment by moment. It’s all any of us can do regardless of circumstance. And I right now you cannot summon the hope to believe you will be able to ever take a step again, or feed yourself. Or drive, or do your own grocery shopping, well that’s okay. There is something that you can achieve now in this moment. Even if you are bedbound, there is always something we are capable of doing. Even if that is simply allowing ourself to daydream of a better now without the frustration of our physical reality creeping in and spoiling for us. The more you try it the better you will get at it. I remember how upset I used to get when I would even dream I was in a wheelchair or bedbound. It took a lot of focussing my belief to get me to the point where my dreams, and eventually my reality went beyond this.

Be kind to yourself. Not every moment is going to be one filled with belief, or positive thought, or even a little hope. When you do have a dark moment that you feel you can’t control, there are always people to talk it through with. If you don’t have the energy for a friend or family member, there are many professional organisations that talk to people who have lost hope everyday. Use every resource available to you. Don’t give up. You deserve a wonderful, healthy, satisfying life. Don’t ever tell yourself you aren’t worth it. I know you are.

Carrie xx

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Facing It

Last week marked 5 years since I became ill. It’s the one week of the year that freaks me out because for some totally illogical reason I always feel like it’s going to happen again. But this time instead of spending the entire week feeling like a total lunatic I decided to face it all head on and go back to the place where it all happened.

I don’t think I was actually expecting anything to come of it. I thought I’d go there and maybe remember some of the stuff I thought I’d blocked out-like it would hit me in a rush of memories the second I stepped off the train. But it didn’t turn out that way at all. I had to force myself off the train. I really questioned the wisdom of me being there. As I re-traced the steps I took that day I had no memories come back to me-if anything I felt more confused-the layout of the town was so different to the sequence of events I had in my mind that I now realise whatever happened that day couldn’t have happened in the order I think it did. The buildings were in all the wrong places. It felt like a total waste of time. I got to the Town Centre and felt like an idiot for wasting my day off as I was now more confused than ever. I stood still and gave up, ready to turn around and go home.

But the second I gave up and let my mind go blank I started walking, I instinctively remembered where I needed to go. I led myself (?!) down a side alley into the hidden entrance to a Multi-Storey Car Park. That’s where it all started coming back to me-not as emotional memory-but my body remembered, it’s really the only way I can describe it. The Car Park has loads of different exits but I knew which one I needed to take. That trip up the stairs to it was not good, my entire body was shaking. I opened the door and went straight to the spot where I knew I’d taken my last steps before collapsing. I sat down on the floor where I’d fallen and I cried. I cried for a very long time.

 

Before I’d left London that morning I’d run back into my flat and grabbed a notebook and a pen-it seemed like a really random act at the time but as I sat there I realised why I’d done it. I got them out and I wrote myself a letter (I’m aware of how odd that sounds but it made perfect sense at the time). In my letter I told myself I was sorry the past 5 years had been so hard, that I knew I was going to be ok from now on, and a big thank you for getting through it and becoming the person I am today. I folded the letter up and hid it inside the metal bollard where I’d been sitting so it could stay there unseen.

I thought that I’d gone there to face myself-to see the Old Me and know in my heart that I was not that person anymore. But as soon as I’d started writing the letter I understood that I hadn’t gone there to meet anyone. I’d gone to leave the Old Me behind. The scared, ill, vulnerable version of Me I’d been carrying around with me all of this time. I had to say goodbye properly because I did not need her anymore.

 

As I left the Car Park and the letter I felt incredibly light and very free. I went home and slept for hours. For the next week I was insanely tired. I could barely put one foot in front of the other. I knew I’d changed when these physical symptoms didn’t scare me-when I didn’t feel vulnerable anymore. I’m still left with this feeling of lightness. Everything feels so easy now. I’m effortlessly happy, And a big knot of tension I’ve been carrying around in my stomach for years has melted away. I didn’t even know it was there until it went. It’s really incredible because quite honestly I didn’t think going back there would make any difference to me at all. I just did it to prove to myself that my thinking was illogical. The rewards I’ve gained have been immeasurable.¬†Perhaps the biggest change of all is that I now feel Safe all of the time. I now realise I haven’t felt Safe for years. The relief this has brought me is beyond description.

 

I’m so glad I faced up to all of this. But I’m also glad I didn’t force myself into doing it before I was ready. If you are in a similar situation yourself then my only advice is to definitely Face It-but only when you are ready. I spent years of my Journey trying to Force myself to deal with situations like this one before I was anywhere near ready. When you are ready you will Know. And when it happens it will be effortless and you will Step Into being the person you know you are meant to be. That’s how I feel now. And I know that because of it everything is about to change. And all of the stuff I’ve been holding myself back from without realising it-all that stuff is just going to show up for me now, because I’m finally ready for it. And all because I stopped looking for something to complete me, and instead left something behind.

 

Carrie xx

 

Carrie xx