Category Archives: The Emotional Stuff

Sometimes I Forget

Sometimes I forget. Just for a minute.

I forget  I live in a city where anything is possible.

I forget  I live in a time where anyone can have instant access to anyone they choose with the click of a button.

I forget I live in a moment that has limitless potential.

 

Sometimes I forget. Just for a minute.

That people are good. Are so good. So kind. So brave

That I am never alone.  Ever. Not even when I lay dying on my bathroom floor.

That we are all loved beyond a capacity to comprehend.

 

Sometimes I forget. Just for a minute.

My life is beautiful.

My life is a miracle.

My life is whatever I choose is to be.

 

Then I remember. Then I say Thank You.

 

Then I keep going.

 

 

 

 

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Tell it Anyway.

The truth cannot stroke your hair until you fall asleep at night. it cannot entwine itself with your body because it feels there is no other way for it to rest until morning.

Tell it anyway.

The truth cannot convince you of your beauty when you know your ugliness is showing for all to see. It cannot be a physical barrier between you and the disappointment that may face you today

Tell it anyway.

It cannot soothe the fears that come to taunt you, or whisper comfort into your ear when the world becomes dark.

Tell it anyway.

Tell it and open the door for anyone who needs to go. Tell it and keep telling it-even if the only ones left to hear it are you and your truth, alone, together. Speak it until you feel like the person you were always meant to be. Own it until you don’t fear the consequences of it anymore.

Speak it knowing that the truth cannot make you the centre of its universe. cannot hold your hand for the world to see. Will never shout your achievements from the rooftops. Shall never announce to the world “This is my person, my someone and I am proud of them”. Knowing it won’t. It can’t. It can only be what it is. A fact. An open admission. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Say it and discover that there is a power to the truth. A solid, certain, sureness. A stabilising quality that keeps us sure of the ground beneath our feet. Voice it and realise it is a comfort within itself. A reassurance that another cannot provide us. A deep, true, core, foundation that so many lasting things of real substance can be built upon.

Say it and feel the comfortable, easy knowing. The rightness within ourselves. The sensation of finally fitting into our own skin.

Mark it and finally know peace. A peace that inevitably comes with acceptance. Acceptance of who we are, a deeper sense of trust in where we are going. A reassurance that all is fine.

The truth cannot stroke your hair until you fall asleep at night. it cannot entwine itself with your body because it feels there is no other way for it to rest until morning. But it can ensure that you are closer to finding the person that will-maybe closer than you’ve ever been in your entire life. So;

Tell it anyway.

Bring on the Knight

I love a good old fashioned fairytale, me. Maidens with great hair and pretty dresses. Knights with square-jaws lepping around on trusty steeds. Bit of a romantic sing-song thrown in for good measure, possibly a talking mouse here and there. It’s a recipe for a Happy Ever After as far as I’m concerned. Unhappy girl meets boy, boy kisses girl and makes her happy. Job done. Right?

When you have a big gap where your mid-to-late 20’s should have been. When you spend the years in isolation that other people dedicate to their careers, or world travel, or whatever they fancy really- you begin to foster these ideas about how the world should treat you in order to make up for it. I used to think I would find a man who would know. Who would just know without me telling him what it had actually been like. What it took to get here. What it cost me. What I had done alone. That he’d pick me up and just take it all from me. Just take it for a while. Just make it all a bit better, a bit easier. That I’d be able to lean on him and he’d be strong enough to take the weight of it all.

He didn’t show obviously. Thank god. If he had then I’d never have learned how to be accountable. Responsible for my own emotional well-being. I’d never have figured out for myself that if there is no one to lean on then the only other available option is to become consistently balanced all by myself. I would have just kept leaning-and what happens to a person that leans but has nothing to lean on? They fall. Hard.

For the most part we seem to take it for granted that we should be able to physically care for ourselves. It’s a pretty horrible feeling when we can’t.  It feels very wrong actually. It feels against the natural order of things. We are all taught how to physically care for ourselves, it’s a huge part of life. Anyone who has the physical capacity to take care of themselves but doesn’t is frowned upon massively by our society. We have talk-shows and newspaper column inches dedicated to these people and we verbally lambast them daily. Daily our outrage is vented at those we feel we are providing for because they don’t want to provide for themselves financially or materially.  So why doesn’t it feel just as wrong to rely on someone else to care for us emotionally?

Where are the programmes dedicated to those of us who want someone to make us feel better? To buoy us up emotionally and be solely responsible for making us feel good. Make us feel attractive or worthy of love? It’s a very Big Ask to hold another person responsible for how we feel.  It takes way more effort than asking them to dress or feed us. And unlike both of those tasks it’s impossible anyway. No one can actually make us feel anything. Feelings are internal things-not handed to us by anyone standing on the outside.

It’s nice to love someone and to have them love us back-if it’s an added extra to the love we have already found for ourselves. People do need people.We don’t exist well in isolation. If we did then those of us who spent years housebound would have had a whale of a time.  But can we really fully enjoy a person if they are our emotional caretaker? If we are afraid of being let down or displeased by their behaviour? Really? Love is a truly wonderful feeling-it’s the concept of caring I find hard to swallow. It’s a dangerous thing as far as I am concerned. Love feels like a healthy state of being. Something that comes from us and can be directed any which way we choose. Needing someone to care for, or wanting someone to take care of us comes from a place of filling an internal emptiness. And since no one can have our emotional wellbeing as their top priority 24/7, an attitude like this is going to lead to disappointment. It has to, it’s inevitable

I don’t doubt the world is full of Knights. That people do find and embark on wonderful relationships every day. It’s part of the journey that is so worthwhile- when we are well enough to do so physically. I just think it saves a lot of trouble all round if we make sure we are emotionally as ready as possible too. Otherwise we are just using them to fill a void. And no one likes being used. It feels much nicer to create a lovely life for ourselves, a life full of things that excite and inspire us-then ask a person to be a part of the fullness of it.

The Knight will find you. He will. Everyone is deserving of a fairy-tale ending. Just make sure you’ve rescued yourself first. And when he does turn up, before you leap into his arms? Take a breath. Take a pause. Check your balance.

Saying the Unsaid

There’s so much silence around isolation and illness. So much left unsaid. But when confidences are trusted and whispered to me by you from all around the world, they are the same whispers every time. And it’s always about That Date.

See when we have been very poorly for a very long time there comes a moment where we just can’t take it anymore. When that day arrives there is a magic date in our heads that we give ourselves. The day we hit rock bottom and we know we surely cannot survive living like this any longer. That no one would expect us to. On that day we give ourselves a year, a year to that exact day-and if things do not improve by then we give ourselves permission to take control. We will make sure that it is over once and for all.

Everyone thinks it is only they who have this thought, but it’s simply not true. Because if it was then I wouldn’t need to be writing this. I wouldn’t have had the people who find me all whispering me their date, finally saying what hitherto had been left unsaid. The date it will be over by, the carrot dangling on the stick that ensures getting through the here and now is possible.

I meet so many people frighteningly close to their own date with ending it all. So many.  Far too many. I came very close to my own, so close, far too close.  That date when it is too late to say the unsaid because the unfinished has now been finished.

I’m used to people finding me randomly, whether it’s through my website or a chance meeting with a friend or relative literally on the street sometimes (I’ve a massive mouth and will talk to anyone who stands still long enough). It is always a friend or relative because the person who needs to be helped cannot leave the house (yet). But today for the first time ever I realised there will be a point where I am too late. Where the person talking to me will start with telling me about their loved one being housebound, but end with telling me that they couldn’t take it anymore and took their own life. That the help they needed did not get to them in time. Today I sat on a London bus and I cried at the futility of what I seem to be doing. When so many need help and the answer is here and it is free and it can be provided so easily. Yet it seems to be reaching so few. To the majority who need it-it is still left unsaid.

Sometimes acceptance of a situation is just resignation. If it seems like the fight has gone out of a loved one when it comes to their hope of recovery then we need to be aware that there may be something far more sinister occurring than them simply finding peace with where they are. It’s not ok to be housebound for years, to have a body that does not work. It’s not easy to deal with being cared for full time. To watch your life slipping by. It’s not simply to be endured. And it’s okay to admit that you have the feelings of being unable to bear it any longer. Just saying it out loud is enough to start finding the help you need to get you past this part.

I have also played my part in building this wall of silence. Of not being as open as I could have been about how far someone can be sliding into their pit of despair without any outward signs showing. I have allowed people to wear their masks in front of me and said nothing. But it needs to stop. There is no shame in admitting that life can seem unbearable. That we are standing in the dark and no longer have any hope that the light will find us.  Just speak it out loud is all I’m asking. Let someone else carry it for you for a while.

There is hope. There is always hope. We have to keep edging as near to this feeling of hope as we can- living the really tough days out moment by moment. We have to keep talking to each other, keep sharing the things that we know work. Be generous with our own cures and our miracles. Not be afraid that we will be laughed at by experts or peers. Everyone laughed at me. People still don’t take me seriously when I tell them I can help them get well- and I don’t blame them.  Don’t exactly look like a powerhouse of knowledge, do I? I don’t look like anything special at all. Because I’m not. That’s the point. I’m just an ordinary lass with a slightly unusual story that I refuse to keep quiet about . Until my recovery becomes an accepted norm.

If I say my unsaid things-and you say your unsaid things and we all hold each other’s hands during the bits we are most afraid to speak. If we just keep repeating ourselves anyway-even through the fear of ridicule then it is my greatest hope that people will listen. And people will get well. Now. Today. And all the tomorrow’s to come. There will be no need to set ourselves any dates for when it will be over. There will be no talk of endings. Only endless beginnings. And then the real living can start.

Old Scar New Scar

Back in the day when my arms and hands weren’t working properly and I really should have known better I tried to lift something out of the oven. My hand stuck to the grill and I had an almighty scar for the longest time. Last week I noticed that the scar had disappeared. It felt weird having that little reminder of my old life permanently gone. Weird but nice.

This week, with a fully functional body I managed to do exactly the same thing, in exactly the same place. And now the scar is back where it used to live.

Last time round I knew it was stupid of me to even try to do the task the got me burned, it hurt like hell, but so did everything else and I was too weak to cry so I didn’t bother. I wasn’t able to take care of the burn myself, someone else had to do it for me. I did have someone to kiss it better for me though. I  was ok at that back then. I must have been.

This time I’m able to take care of  the situation myself. I’m able to take care of every situation myself. I’m probably a  little too good at it these days.

This time there is no one to kiss my hand better. And I did that. I made it that way.

When I found the cure that ultimately worked for me I was warned that my life would change. That every single aspect of my life would and had to change in order for me to not just get well but stay well. I don’t think I fully appreciated what that meant at the time. I certainly never imagined my life would be like this. I don’t think I was capable of visualising any aspects of the life I have now back then.

I pass the same information on to everyone,who comes to lifeafterthechair.com for help, never knowing if they fully appreciate it either. The fact of it, what it means. That they, all their relationships, the lenses they put on the world. That it will all totally transform.

Some changes are sudden and dramatic-and vital if any progression into wellness is to be made. Others are gradual, gentle, incremental. But always there is that temptation to stop it all in its tracks, to give in and run back to what we know. Even if that world was not a fulfilling place. Sometimes we miss the familiarity of the old scars and unwittingly wish them back.  Any change can feel scary, full on all-encompassing change can be terrifying. luckily some steps are smaller than others.

I can’t go back, not to a house that is no longer mine, a relationship that was over long ago, a body that does not work. None  of it exists anymore. If I want to find someone to kiss my hand better this time it will have to be someone I see when I look forwards to the person I am still becoming. Or maybe I’ll just pucker up and kiss my own damn hand better. I’m not sure.

The person who warned me my life would change did not make me move hundreds of miles from my friends and family. He didn’t make me go on TV for a living. Move to a city that terrified me. He didn’t make me run in the opposite direction of every man I came across. Nor did he insist I go from being the most private person I know-to writing an incredibly personal account of my recovery for the world to see. That was definitely all my own doing.

Not all scars disappear completely but they do fade. No scar ever has to be recreated. Not if we are so fully focused on what’s to come that we forget why it was there in the first place. None of us need to drag our histories around with us everyday. The past can be left alone, it can be gone forever if we choose to let it.

Even new scars aren’t all that bad. At least they show that step by step we are making progress. And finding out who we are going to let in enough to kiss them better for us is probably one of the best parts…

How To…

I lost my home today.

Which was interesting…

In a summer filled with one unbelievable blessing after another-and during what has to be hands-down one of the best weeks that’s ever happened to me, it has to be said I was slightly unprepared for this.

I wandered around my beautiful little corner of London in quite a daze for much of the day. As I did I started thinking about how much everything had changed for me since I moved here. how much I had changed. So much so that I started making a list of the things I learned to do here:

How to Walk

How to Use Transport

How to Food Shop

How to Work

How to talk to a stranger

How to look a person in the eye

How to make a new friend

How to be around people

How to be alone

How to make it through an entire day without crying

How to say yes to a  date

How to say yes to a date and then actually go on one

How to live in a city

How to live

I’m so glad my life has shown me that always when it looks like the end of something it’s really just time for a new version of me to appear. Stronger, better, wiser, braver. Every time. No exceptions. I’m so lucky it’s not just an idea I read somewhere that I’d quite like to be true. That it’s a fact I see presented to me so many times I have to believe it. That I know when I’m truly ready to go life gives me a massive shove in the right direction. That when I look at my How To list and I realise it’s all to do with putting myself back together-then it’s time to go find the place I am going to live and  be a Whole and Fixed person. I don’t know where my next little corner of the world will be, I don’t know what I’ll be doing when I get there. But I know I’m more ready for it than I’ve ever been. That it’s time my world got a little bigger-and maybe just maybe that this version of me is finally ready to share that world with someone-instead of just liking the idea of it but feeling safer alone.

Now I’m just excited to see where I’m going-and what my new list will look like-almost as excited as I am to see yours actually…

Have fun writing it and seeing how far you have truly come,

Cx

Falling in Love With People Again

Parts of recovery I expected. I knew I’d get to the point where I’d be able to walk far enough away that I wouldn’t be able to see my house. I knew the day would come where I’d be able to use public transport again. That I’d be able to walk around a shop, or stand in a queue at a bank. No details, just tasks to tick off a list.

One thing I never expected was to be able to enjoy being around people again. I really thought I’d never get there. I remember reaching the stage where I could sit up in my wheelchair so my mum could take me out on errands with her. I’d been away from people for so long that it was distressing hearing and seeing so many in one place. Then there would be the way strangers reacted to me, seemingly managing to stare at me whilst totally ignoring me in conversations that were conducted far above my own head height.

Worst of all was the reaction I’d get from people I knew. People who had known me for years. The horror on their faces at the state of me. 6.5 stone and being pushed around in a chair I could barely stay upright in by my tiny mother who I’d towered over for years. They were mortified. I was mortified. Nothing good ever came of any of the exchanges. It just shut me down further.

Then there was the point I could walk, badly, and I was scared, incredibly. So I’d try and conduct conversations whilst grabbing onto things to steady myself and stay upright. Shaking violently, my body, my voice, I sounded and looked like an old lady. Again the reactions I got were never good. Again it just made me retreat further.

So I just stopped speaking to people. The only person I would talk to was my mum, she was the only one I trusted. I persevered and got good enough at walking that I looked normal, and just stayed as quiet as life would allow me.

I watched though. You get a lot of opportunities to people-watch when you have to spend time sitting down and resting between walks. I’d see girls my age just sitting around in groups, laughing, chatting, just being totally relaxed, it looked great but I knew it was over and never going to happen for me.

Then I began to realise I could talk to children with no problems. Children don’t notice if you are different. They either like you or they don’t. So l would hold conversations with a 3 year old no problem…and slowly progressed from there.

Life went on, l was now well enough to do the Bare Minimum. I’d go to work, l’d keep it together most of the time by pretending to be normal, then I’d go home. I’d exist. I wouldn’t socialise at all, it was too hard, and I was done with everything being too hard.

After living like this for far too long I realised it had to be worth the trauma of speaking to people socially just so l wouldn’t be alone anymore. I knew I’d never be very good company but at least I’d not be existing entirely in solitude. So I would go meet friends one at a time, for an hour. And it was dreadful, I was as panicked and uncomfortable as I had been since the first day I left the house. Some weeks I gave up and went back to solitary living. But most weeks I did ok. I did that for a year.

Then one day it was just ok.

It really was that Simple. One day I just had a conversation with a stranger that I really enjoyed. So much so I didn’t care if I was shaking or my voice was shaky or if I could stand up that long. It was beautiful. It was life affirming. I’d finally got there. I’d fallen in love with people again.

From that moment on the love affair has gotten stronger and deeper. I appreciate every exchange I have with every person I meet. It never goes away. The enjoyment factor is indescribable. the glass partition I felt separating me from life finally lifted. It was worth every second.

It’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. My life completely changed because of it. I feel more love than I ever thought possible. I’m better with people than I ever was before my Life After began. It’s a blessing and a relief I am eternally thankful for. To be with someone and be able to connect with them and feel a part of the world and be ready for it is like being in love with the entire world.

I spend a lot of my conversations with people just saying thank you in my head. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for bringing me out of the darkness. Thank you for letting me love like this. Because that’s what every conversation is for me now. That’s what every single person does.

Thank You

Cx

Six years and One day

If every journey has a beginning, then six years ago today this particular journey started.

Sometimes we have to stand as far back as we can from something to be able to see it all. maybe six years is long enough to do that. I don’t think too much about that day. the day everything changed for me. Enough time has passed for me to be able to talk about it without reliving it or I would not talk about it at all. Nobody needs that. Neither do I go into much detail about the day-to-day living of the years that followed, the minutes and hours that weren’t directed at finding a cure, the drawn out time I spent just existing. there’s not a lot of point in going there. It is all pain. All loss. All unwanted.

There’s an element of wonder about my life now. Every moment is remarkable. Totally memorable. The small almost imperceptible things are filled with Joy. Every conversation I have is special-every interaction with another. Nothing is taken for granted. Not ever. And if I was ever in doubt about how dramatically things have changed for me then I only need go back to six years and one day ago. The last real normal day I ever had. A day I don’t remember at all. Not a bit of it. I couldn’t tell you how I spent if you paid me.

If I could go back to that day, six years and one day ago- before events took a turn I could never have anticipated, what would I tell myself? Go for a really long walk? Go sit with your friends and have a conversation for hours? Go dress yourself in something beautiful? Go look in the mirror and love what you see? Go eat something amazing because its going to be years before you are hungry again? Go on an adventure and see something awe-inspiring, because your world is about to get very, very small indeed? Go write every thought in your head down because the person you are right now is about to disappear and you will never see her again?

I can’t do anything about those lost years. They are gone. I won’t ever get them back. But that doesn’t mean anyone else has to spend years searching for their own recovery. That’s why I set this place up. Why should it take years? There are so many ways to get well, and it’s entirely doable. Not just well enough to simply exist. I’m not having that. It’s not good enough. I always believed I could get well again. I just wish it hadn’t taken so bloody long to go from ill, to well,to existing, to really living.

I don’t think it should take years at all. I think a full physical and mental recovery can be achieved so quickly now. It took me years to sift through what worked and what didn’t and then to come up with some stuff of my own. I honestly think we have enough information now to choose from so many of the physical treatments that work-and then very swiftly build up mental resilience to face the world again. Properly. Without fear. Without isolation.

So yes occasionally when those thoughts that are all pain and all grief and all loss come and bite me on the ass, when I am faced with thoughts of where those lost years might have taken me had I not been forced down this road, the places I may have gone, the lives I may have led. The relationships I could have built. I think of the people who are getting so well so fast now, who bounce back so quickly they don’t have those missing years. I think of the jobs they have taken, the people they said yes to because they were ready to share their life, the friends they have made and the places they have seen. And it helps. It helps a lot.

That and of course the fact that if all of this had never happened I’d be sitting here with just another six years and one day that I took every minute of for granted. That I never stopped to gaze at the wonder of. That I just walked right through-and that I can’t quite remember..,

Cx

Want to hear something weird?

This Olympics I’m interviewing athletes, on television, in magazines, in London.

Last Olympics I hadn’t left my room for two years.

This Olympics I’m working 12 hour days surrounded by crowds of thousands of people in the capital.

Last Olympics I couldn’t lift my own head off my chest.

This Olympics I’m being sponsored by clothing companies during particular publicity events

Last Olympics I relied on my Mother to dress me.

There are always going to be points I reach that weird me out a little, when the world I live in now bears such a stark contrast to the place I used to inhabit that it gives me pause for thought. The Olympics have pushed this into overdrive. I’m interviewing people I was watching on a screen 4 years ago. When I lived a reality that was a total polar opposite to the people who were in peak physical condition. When you don’t really remember how it felt to work your own body properly, and you’re watching someone perform miraculous feats with theirs, it makes you feel like one of you has to be an alien. Because truly how can two people who have all the same equipment have such different experiences in their own bodies?

I did expect to get better. I always expected to get better. I didn’t expect to get so much better that I’d be well for a living. Clearly I’m never going to compete in the Olympics. This is the closest I’ll get. It’s pretty bloody close. It’s a lot bloody closer than it was 4 years ago. So my point is, if I can get this much better, to the point where I’m working these insane hours and interviewing the fittest people in the country. then you can expect to do that because it’s already been done. So whilst I’m having my little freak out about how weird this all is for me. You can go beyond that. You can know it’s perfectly doable and aim for bigger. Because for me this is the biggest  thing. I just wanted to get better, and then in some abstract way be able to show people that it could be done. I just wanted a platform so you’d have someone to go home and google when doctors told you to aim lower and be more realistic. So we’ve done that now. It’s normal. Now its your turn to be weirded out next Olympics by the absolutely incredible feats you’ve reached in your own recovery. Because you can and you will. And I know this and you know this. But thanks to the people that keep giving me a platform to do this we can have yet more evidence of it…and then you’ll go and do the same picking up where I leave off…and then the person who reads about your progress or sees you on your platform will continue on from you… after all who says you have to be an Athlete to have a relay race…?

Cx

For Claudia

For Claudia…

We met ten years ago at Drama School where Claudia sported a full set of the longest acrylics known to man-before nail bars were ever a common sight even in Central London. She always smiled, and I have never to this day heard her say a bad word about anyone. She could also do a version of Hammertime that would put MC Hammer himself to shame-not bad going for an Essex bird…

Whilst some people dipped their toe in the water of life, Claudia would take a running jump off the highest point she could find and dive-bombed into it. She studied full-time, had a job, sang in a band, did a two-hour commute to school everyday, and still found time to go out with us most nights, life was a total adventure with her around. Even when we left Drama School and found ourselves on the inevitable rounds of thankless auditions and living on next to nothing, Claudia managed to buy her second property and make it all look incredibly easy. It was a no-brainer who most of us wanted to be when we grew up (it also didn’t hurt she was the spitting double of Daryl Hannah, you know, if Daryl was from Essex…)

We somehow blinked and found we were in our mid-twenties. Still working as jobbing actresses a lot of us would spend our summers doing various plays and musicals in Edinburgh (a reasonable excuse to drink in another city for a few weeks if ever there was one). Claudia would also be there-except she’d have written, directed and cast the production she was part of. Obviously. The last night out I had with her I had a Mohawk and a green painted face but she looked ridiculously good as always and we said we’d see each other back in London very soon. But it seemed fate had other plans for both of us. A few months later I got sick and spent the rest of my twenties housebound then in a wheelchair being cared for by my parents full-time back in Newcastle. And Claudia met a lovely boy.

Claudia’s boy was very lovely indeed. I used to look at photos of them on Facebook, (a lifeline when I was housebound but not something that I can bring myself to use now without feeling like I’m back there again) and marvel at how happy she seemed, even by her usual standards of joy. Then one day her lovely boyfriend went sailing for the day. And never got to come back. Your boyfriend isn’t supposed to die when you are in your twenties. Accidents like that are supposed to happen in films. They are headlines belonging to people you’ve never met. Your life isn’t supposed to shift irrevocably in a matter of hours. But Claudia’s did. It did and it wasn’t fair. Suffering like that is not something most people can comprehend, never mind see their way out of and through to the other side.

Claudia did.

She mourned and she suffered and she got through the hours and days and weeks. But then she did something extraordinary. She made a new plan. She moved from London to NYC and attended Drama School there. She uprooted her entire life, left all her friends, (and trust me she has a lot of those) and went alone to start her Life After. It will come as no surprise to hear that they all fell in love with her on that side of the pond too. She created an amazing network of friends, had a wonderful social life and worked very hard. She also fell in love with an equally incredible man and yesterday they got married in a beautiful ceremony in New York State.

So many things about Claudia have always impressed me, her energy, her humour, her individuality. But what truly astounds me is her willingness to love and to trust. Whist most of us can relate to have our hearts broken and finding it hard to trust again, very few of us have experienced the level of shock and loss that Claudia has, and at such a young age. But she never wallowed in it, never felt sorry for herself, she put all of her energy into believing that she could create a life after this horrible thing that happened to her. And she did, she fell in love and loves her husband fearlessly, he in turn worships the ground she walks on, you can tell just by looking at him that he feels like the luckiest man on the world. That’s what happens when you take a risk and decide to give your heart to someone else fully, they  recognise and care for it like the precious gift that it is.

Whenever I feel like I’m too scared to trust my heart to another, or leave myself open for whatever hurt or rejection could come my way, I think of Claudia, and I remember how with a willingness to let love into your life regardless of where it may take you, we can create something truly extraordinary. And then I know i’m going to do just fine.

Cx