In many ways I have been afraid to write this book. For a writer, this is very difficult; being afraid to do what it is that you do naturally to help you through your fears and healing. I have never felt this way about writing before. I used to write because I loved it and it would give me an adrenaline rush like no other. I used to write because the words would practically fall out of me and I felt like I had no other option than to madly scribble them down on any scrap of paper I could get my hands on. ATM receipts, backs of old envelopes, bills; anything that was close at hand when the words started cascading through my brain and needed to be released. There have, of course, been some of these moments whilst writing this book. However, of late, more often than not I have consciously filled my moments with meaningless things to avoid tapping back into those dark places of hurt. Afraid to disturb them again for fear of the emotions they may reveal that I mostly feel like I have already faced the worst of many, many times.
The words, my pain, seem like an unpredictable wild beast who I do not want to nudge in case he wakes again; as he has many times before. I have done so well to sometimes escape, but mostly survive his vicious claws of grief and I do not wish to re-open any of that pain again. That pain is so familiar to me. Like a bad dream, it seems a little hazy to me, all of these years later, however not blurry enough for me to have forgotten the deep, aching stings it gave, the torrents of tears it caused and the heavy blows it dealt.
I have never been the type to deny my pain and walk around it. I have spent much time walking through the treacherous jungle, which has been my grief. I have fallen, more than once, into those deep holes, which I thought initially were just a path covered by leaves. I have been knocked over more times than I like to remember and I guess that once the worst of the deep-seated grief had passed I feared that it would return if I rehashed it all with my words.
I have procrastinated and prolonged this story from being written longer than I would have liked; however I know that it could only be written when it was time. Now that the time has come and the words flow again I know I was never meant to share my story sooner. Perhaps one might say this was due to my emotional readiness; however I know it was much, much more than this. I was never able to avoid all the pain involved in recalling this journey through my innermost thoughts. I have endured those days, many in fact, where I scribbled down my thoughts awash with tears.
In retrospect I know this is when the most beautiful and deepest feelings were recorded. This process has not only been healing for me, but I hope also healing for you, the reader. As I write now I feel somewhat more detached from this dark pain. It still lingers around the edges, no doubt, as no doubt it always will. However it does not pull me to a standstill any longer, frozen with a loss so unbearable I wondered what the point was in continuing forwards.
This change, progress if you like, allows me to see that the hardest parts are already written and the end of this cathartic journey for self is almost over. This journey was always meant to come to an end, and when I say journey I refer to this book. It had to end, as all books do. I am not naïve enough to believe that this means my soul is miraculously healed and I have totally cured myself of all which I have endured. Although I do feel much stronger now than when this journey began. I also know this means another journey is about to begin.
Now, instead of keeping these words to myself, to heal my own loss and grief; I extend these words to you, the reader, like a loving embrace. Hoping this story will warm your heart and make you feel a little more understood and perhaps stronger for the road ahead. And, yes, you may receive these words as a loving embrace of understanding at times but, I warn you, at other times, these words may come as heavy blows or result in a torrent of tears. Ultimately I pray these words help you with your journey.
Try not to be afraid of these emotions as they present themselves in the same way I tried not to feel them as I dredged them back up so that I could deliver them. Know that it is only by walking through our greatest fears and pain that we can come out of the dark jungle of sadness and into the healing light of the present to build our new future with greater understanding, compassion and awareness.Until next time,