I guess I might wake up in the morning and decide this post is self-indulgent navel-gazing which should have been kept for a private journal, but all the same it's been fairly therapeutic to work through. And I would like to encourage the people who are struggling with life's challenges that they don't need to hide behind the 'Happy New Year' or 'Happy Whatever It Is' obligations in silence, because actually not everyone's happy all the time and it's good to share some of the madness and get it out so that it's less likely to kill you.
I had a cosy New Year's Eve tucked up on the sofa with a blanket and my dog at my parent's house. Mugs of tea followed by a little of the whiskey from the bottle my brother gave me many years ago which I only ever drink on New Year's Eve so that it can last forever. My final Christmas chocolates, a lit candle, and a creepy film with my mum and dad. Wonderfully comforting.
Checked Twitter for updates on what my son was doing - nothing directly from him but the group that he is with in Scotland were reassuring in their tweets about a 'rip-roaring ceilidh' and a 'magnificent feast'.
New Year's Day and on the way home, alone with my dog, we went for a walk. And I suddenly saw a part of myself in the landscape I faced.
The kind of empty, bleak and abandoned part.
A long way away from the motivated, grateful and nourished part.
And when I got home it rushed in, like a hungry sea. The grief I've been holding down so that I can be strong for my son, for my dog, for my parents, for myself.
The grief for the relationship I haven't been able to save - 19 years of memories and shattered expectations of how it was going to be, of how it should be able to be healed. And I can't heal it.
The grief for the secure and happy family I've failed to provide for my son.
Grief for the brother or sister he never had.
Grief for all his pain that I cannot protect him from.
Grief for the partnership that I have lost.
And so I fell right down a deep pit of bleak, empty, abandoned self-hating despair, coloured with all the other self-hating griefs of the years. Of not being a good enough sister to save my brother. Of not being a good enough friend. Of not being a good enough dog guardian. Of not being a good enough daughter. Of not being a good enough lover. Of not being a good enough mother. Hate, hate, hate. The pit of generally feeling pretty crap about everything. Hideous negativity which I'm actually not very used to dealing with, as I'm usually too busy, and I generally do pretty damn well at being 'fine'. The sort of sadness which feels like it's sucking all the air out.
Not a nice place.
Then something happened and I remembered I'm a witch. Really not a very good enough witch of course, but even so, just the word is alchemy. It means I can choose to work with the powers of nature and life to create change, to transform, to survive the fire.
And I began to stoke the fires within. To remember what ignites me, what feeds my passion.
To remember that despite all my hated perceived failings, I am earth that supports, earth that has been walked on by the sacred feet of all I have loved, their footprints always in my heart. Earth that is powerfully strong and regenerates, however much it has been harmed. That I am fertile soil which any day now I can plant with the seeds which I wish to germinate within myself, and that Spring is coming soon to aid my growth.
To remember that I have tides always flowing within me, lifeblood in rivers of hope with every heartbeat. Oceans of emotions that means I feel and contain despair and joy and all the wild horses inbetween. I am waters which enable me to flow in and out of creativity, in and out of the story I am imagining, giving myself permission to be the ebbing as much as the flowing. I remember something my son said when he was four about having an ocean of joy inside him. I can find that ocean, and do my best to help him find it again.
To remember that I am air. My life is breath moving through my lungs that I guess has been circulating around this planet for billions of years. Air that is shared and connecting me with everyone. We are all this breeze, this change in the weather. I am winds which are blowing in from the East, purifying, bringing fresh beginnings and a clearer dawn light.
I breathe in. I breathe out. And at last there is some respite from this storm and I am grateful, I am nourished, I am motivated... enough.
Enough to meet my boy from the train tomorrow, to be the solid earth to support him always.
Enough to begin rebuilding my path, weeds and cracks and stones and all, my own way.
Enough to remember how it's all held together with love, all of it.
So I ended the day with kindness, with a climb out of that awful pit, and a doodle of some of the places I find comfort. Just to remind me.
I checked Twitter one last time before bed, for any news of my boy:
"Everyone is relaxing in the library and the fire is roaring".
New Year Blessings to all. xxx