Wednesday, December 26, 2012

He Would Not Let Me Go

This post was difficult to write and describes one of the darkest moments of my life.  If it wasn't for my husband I doubt I would be sitting here today sharing these words with you.

Hot metal spikes stab deep into my cheek bone with the force of a pneumatic drill.  Meat hooks tear at my flesh and the weight of the large rotting carcass they carry suddenly overpowers me.  My whole world is turned upside down as though Quentin Tarantino and Roald Dahl have cast me in a sinister version of 'The Twits'.
In this altered state of reality everything appears normal but is anything but.  Badly furnished doctors’ offices become the norm where the ticking of the clock is always too loud and time takes on the appearance of a bad car wreck.  The waiting is almost as unbearable as the pain.
While my house begins to resemble a small pharmacy, and the list of side effects I experience reads like a bad novel, I acknowledge that now is not the time to be an anomaly.
Blood work and tests, CT scans and MRI's, surgery and acupuncture . . . . . nothing alleviates the pain and I feel the blackness closing in, trapping me in some kind of living hell.
Days turn into weeks, weeks roll into months and the sofa becomes my life raft.  I cling to it desperately . . . . . sleep my only respite.
For over a year his grip remained strong.  Even as my fingers weakened and I began to lose all hope his determination never faltered . . . holding on . . . holding the two of us, knowing that if he could keep going we'd find a way through.
Misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis eventually led them to a label . . . . 'Atypical Facial Neuralgia' also commonly referred to as the 'Suicide Disease'.  Not that giving it a name helped.
Every direction I took I faced yet another road block and the blackness continued to close in. Not the comforting black of a night sky but a thick dark all consuming black that wrapped its gnarly fingers around me, choking the air from my lungs and plunging me into depths I'd only ever heard about in hushed whispers.
The person I was no longer existed.  No thoughts.  No feelings.  Just excruciating pain and whether I had the strength to make it through one more minute.
With no obvious way through I wanted out and so I began to let go . . .  to release my grip.  First one finger, then another but I could hear something in the distance.  It was a voice.  It was his voice telling me "you are strong”, "you are the brave".
I was slipping, slipping, slipping.  My fingernails bloody and broken from trying to claw my way back . . . my muscles tired and weak from the long fight.  Every fiber of my being wanted to let go but that voice was like a niggle that I just couldn't shake.
Then up ahead I saw a flash of light. Not in the aaaaaah, singing angels kind of way but more a twinkle of light that you know deep down holds the promise of hope.  Moving towards it I held my hand to my eyes, shielding them from the sudden brightness and there he was saying "you are strong", "you are bravest person I know".  What he didn't realize was that it was his own strength and his own bravery that saved me.
Cross-posted over at Jason's blog 'Love Letters & Suicide Notes'.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What Was Lost: Reverb12

Prompt:  What was lost, what was found?  What was lost in 2012? What do you intend to find in 2013?

My muse got herself lost (a lot) this year and no amount of yelling, sulking, bribing, cajoling or threatening was going to bring her home.  But wait . . . listen . . . do you hear that music?  I think she's putting on her dancing shoes and getting ready to twirl me into 2013.  I'm ready!

What about you?

Inspired By: Reverb12

Prompt:  Who inspired you?  Who inspired you in 2012? And why?  What gifts did they give you? And how will you carry these forward in to 2013?

My blogging friends . . . . they inspired me.  They have given me the gift of words, the gift of photography, the gift of art, the gift of friendship, the gift of encouragement, the gift of understanding, the gift of experiencing the world and seeing it with new eyes.
Whether it's been through your comments on my own blog or through the gifts I've found on yours I would like to say thank you.  Thank you for showing up, thank you for being there and thank you for being you.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Some Days . . .

Some days it's all about snuggling on the sofa while the rain beats down outside.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Learning: Reverb12

Prompt:  What did you learn?  Compare the “you” from the beginning of 2012 to the “you” that you are now. What new skills or talents have you learned or discovered this year?

my muse needs to sit in the shadows every once in a while
patience remains my teacher but I am a slow learner
pain can take you to the darkest of places
animals make life interesting
it doesn't hurt to ask
to breathe
to be

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Celebrate: Reverb12

Prompt:  How will you celebrate you?  How are you going to celebrate yourself this festive season.

I thought I would celebrate me by not being me
but maybe its about being more than I can be
confused?  you should be
are you with me?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Most Significant Expenditure: Reverb12

Prompt:  What was your most significant expenditure in 2012?  It doesn’t have to be necessarily the biggest expenditure, just the one with the most impact.

I have always been close to my mum so living in a different country can be hard, even more so when I know she is ill or in pain. 
She has had quite a rough ride this year with numerous doctors visits, emergency room visits and surgeries so I wanted to do something (other than calling) to let her know that I'm always with her.
I decided to have a stone etched with the word 'cwtch'.  Cwtch is a welsh word that means snuggling, cuddling, loving, hugging, protecting and safeguarding all rolled into one.  Being welsh it was a word that was used frequently in our home and even though I don't speak welsh I still use that term today. 
Her reaction when she received it just blew me away, the perfect gift that meant so much.  I now own my own 'cwtch' stone that she bought for me in return and even though we are separated by many miles, our love knows no bounds.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

How Do I Feel: Reverb12

Prompt:  Take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself the question: how do you feel . . . in your body? in your mind? in your day job? in your creative life? in your heart?
I feel
lost and found
happy and sad
free yet stuck
creative but lacking
confident but insecure
good yet bad
optimistic and doubtful
motivated and indifferent
loved yet unloveable
seen but unheard
here but not present 
but the point is . . . I feel!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Photo Heart Connection: November

Winter arrived trailing its fingers across the landscape, draining all color in its wake.  Death and suspension litter our surroundings and I find myself tinged with sadness as though experiencing this as a personal loss. 
Temperatures dip and the days grow shorter forcing me into my own form of suspended state. . . retreating, reflecting, reassessing.
It's a time for winter coats, hats, scarves and brisk walks; for hot drinks, comfort food, warm blankets and books; for bubble baths, slippers, lotion and warm cotton pyjamas; for curling up in front of a log fire and movie marathons.
It would seem that we all need a time of rest . . . but even in this state nature is still the best elixir.

Linking up with Kat for this months' Photo Heart Connection.