This post is in response to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday prompt of Friday 13 June 2014.
“Write hard and clear about what hurts”, said Ernest (and Kellie).
Despite trying, it seems I can run but I can’t hide. Writing hard and clear about what hurts is precisely what I’ve been trying not to do.
“Enough“, I’ve been telling myself. Enough about what hurts. Enough about my unfulfilled desire to be a mother. Enough about my parents dying within five weeks of each other. Enough about losing my brother to depression. Enough about the sea of it (depression and anxiety) that surrounds me still. I try not to contemplate too much. Familiarity breeds contempt and I’ve been there. A healthy mind is something I don’t take for granted. Out of the corner of my eye I keep a watch on the black dog. Lose sight of that monster and before you know it, you’re in bed with it. Literally.
That stuff is hard. That stuff hurts. Family, or absence of. Illness, be it physical or mental. And the death of our loved ones. Yet we all experience these life events to varying degrees, don’t we?
Through online mediums I’ve written, said and done “the stuff that hurts”. The time has come to begin writing about joyful subjects. It’s a process. One which I’m working my way through. Part of that process involves running and hiding from the painful states and learning how to draw creative inspiration from happier ones. I know I’m not alone in using sorrow as a resource.
Irrespective of this, and not discounting the gravity of what I’ve experienced throughout my life, there are times I have to run and hide from pain to maintain some degree of equilibrium. It allows me a brief reprieve, an ignorance of sorts, and it’s so very good for me. So if you don’t mind, I choose to continue hiding for a little longer and not delving too deeply into this week’s Free Write Friday prompt. I will though, share with you this…
As I sat beside my dad’s hospital bed and he took his last breaths, the pain in my core after having just lost mum a few weeks beforehand was intense and profound. It engulfed me. An image formed in my mind. It was of me, lying alone and in a fetal position on the beach at the front of my marital home, screaming so loud that I could be heard along the coastline. As days went by, the image returned time after time and continued weeks after dad’s passing. So vivid was the image, I believed I needed to act it out so that it would go away.
But really, could I?
Our local beach is a popular one, a tourist attraction in fact, and I didn’t want my physical and emotional release to create a panic. I will never be ready for an audience like that. So I continue to run and hide from the urge to act out this mental image that so completely symbolises the days when I lost my champion and my hero, the man I looked up to and argued with most, my father.
Thanks to Free Write Friday, I have at the very least stopped hiding for long enough to speak up and express the image and hurt in words.
One day it will be just a memory.