The last few weeks have been easily the most stressful few weeks of my life. I plunged into a dark phase that I never knew was possible to reach. I struggled with the fact that that was where I found myself. In the pit of some dark place I had never previously visited.
During this phase (which I am slowly coming out of) I have had to learn some serious lessons. Lessons that I have known, felt and adopted as my own knowledge before this, but have had to re-learn. Here are some of them. I share these difficulties with the hopes that they make some impact on someone else. I share these here, publicly, because these words will outlive me.
- Friendships and human connection are a very vital part of life. Never ever disconnect from this. It turns you into a cold, lost whisper of a soul.
- Debt is a real form of slavery. Grips you by the wrist and takes your freedom of movement, freedom of enjoyment and freedom of being human and alive. The shackles are real and very uncomfortable.
- Be patient. Why? Because “This too shall pass” as with every, single thing in our lives. This is but a bus stop on a much longer journey. It is the natural order of things (let’s call them the ebbs and flows of life, the peaks and dips of a mountain range, the calm and turmoil of the weather, the beauty and equal ugliness of our world, both inner and outer)
- Each new day is a step towards something. You might not know what this something is, but oh boy, it is there and it is important and it will reveal itself soon enough.
- Surround yourself with goodness, as much as you can. People who make you laugh, friends that come to your house, cook you a meal and then sit in your warm bed with you while you watch Cloud Atlas.
- Pray. I talk to God often and throughout my day. I forgot him in this past little period. I lost contact with him. Things were much much heavier because I carried the burden of my worries and struggles by myself. Remember to share the worries with God (or your version of God – whatever positive force that may be for you)
- Be honest. About the state of affairs. Both with yourself and with others. If you can’t afford to pay rent that month, see it, realise it, be okay with it and then be honest about the fact. Most people are understanding enough to get that it happens sometimes.
- Kiss someone you fancy. I kissed a boy last week. I enjoyed it. It made me feel loveable and beautiful and added an extra spring to my step. The boy in question is a rather beautiful being and I consider myself lucky to have been in a position to do so and to explore this with him, even if for a little while.
- Red wine is a remedy of sorts. I have not been drinking for a long time now – nearly a year. Very intentionally so. I won a trip to Belgium (the beer capital of the world) and started drinking again. I came back and for the first time in almost a year enjoyed some wine at home with friends. We cried, we laughed and we saluted what was, is and still shall be.
- Pick up the pieces. Because those pieces lying all over the floor are the pieces of a puzzle you are yet to figure out. Just pick them up. They might be shards of glass for now, but one day they will fit into a bigger picture. Without them the puzzle will never be completed.
I am by no means ready to fully face the world and bounce about with joy. No, not yet. I still need wheelbarrows of love and hugs and home-cooked meals. The sadness of my difficult hike in the dark woods still lingers and sits inside me. But it is slowly coming to the surface and will soon leave me and I shall no longer be its host. I don’t know when this will be. But I have to be patient, with the kind reminder of #3 listed above.