Tag Archives: light in the darkness

Grasping at sparks

rainbow road

So…I haven’t been writing for a while. Since August last year, apparently. I’m not really sure how it happened. I still had all the feelings and thoughts that I had previously been pouring onto these pages, they just stayed inside, churning, repeating, wearing away at me like endless waves onto an already fragile and crumbling rock.

The last time I wrote I was just about to leave for Nepal, for a study tour. I wanted to be changed over there, I wanted to come back a very different person, physically as much as mentally. I wanted to ditch the Negative Voice, prove to myself that I could live without being disrupted by all the head crap, be present and immersed in a new place. Spoiler: it didn’t happen.  I spent so much time up in my head that I feel like I missed a lot. I got on a plane to get away from all the shit but it snuck on board with me and lingered inside of me, still does.  This is not to say it wasn’t a beautiful, challenging and enjoyable trip- it was all those things, and more- I just wasn’t fully ‘there’.

I’ve been struggling on, since then, to be here, alive. I think about suicide every day, or more correctly, every night. I think, tomorrow, no next week, no I just have to finish my placement first. I propel myself from one day to the next, thinking not of the future but instead of when, when when when can I just let go? And it takes over, those waves again, crashing, blocking out the light, am I dead yet, no, just drowning, endlessly, gasping for air.

And then I wake up. And (most days) I get out of bed, and go to placement, get engaged in the work, enjoy it even. Most days I talk to people and they talk to me, laugh with me, don’t look disgusted at the sight of me, and so goes another day that I thought I wouldn’t be alive to see. They contrast so much, the person I am and the person I become when suicidality and depression take over. I know this, and try to hold onto it, but it’s like trying to chase a tiny spark in a dark maze where you can only see immediately in front of you, into blackness so terrifying that to continue on seems futile.

I guess it’s just about trusting that the spark is there, even when I can’t see it, or feel it or find it. Trusting that people are being genuine when they say that they want me around, that they want to help me stay. Trusting that change is possible. Trusting that reaching out into the unknown tomorrow is a better option than giving up today.

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Light In The Darkness

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness

 -Peter Benenson, founder, Amnesty International

Tonight it’s dark within me, and around me, and if not for that spark of light deep down inside, I would be gone.

I often wonder about this spark, this tenacious source of light that sometimes flares up with passion and conviction, but far more often flickers on the edge of extinction- yet never completely goes out. It keeps me alive, and it also keeps me doing- working, studying, volunteering for a more just world. And working on myself, too- talking with the Wise Woman, writing, reading, reflecting.

Other people see this light within me. They recognise it as compassion and kindness and determination to create change. They call it leadership, courage, willingness to speak up. They tell me I am smart, funny, open. They say these things when I ask why, why would anybody want be around me, such a disgusting person, a worthless thing? Why is it of any consequence if I die, what does it matter if I go? I asked these questions, though not with words, in 2009. Those were the answers I got. I didn’t believe them then and I struggle to now.

But I do know that it’s there, and sometimes I allow myself to consider that my life- my future- will be about working so that this spark of ‘me’ can develop into a stronger light source, one that outshines the Negative Voice, feeds my spirit and my soul, helps me stay in the world and contribute in many ways.

Well then. Carry on.

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