R U OK? Sometimes, we’re not OK. But we don’t know how to say it. We don’t know who to entrust our most private self with.
The earlier part of my life, from my teen years to early adulthood, was marred by intense emotions and mood fluctuations from which I thought I’d never emerge.
Some of my lows were very, very low. Anxiety. Depression. Body dysmorphia. Agoraphobia. Suicidal thoughts. And, yet, one day, in my twenties, I did emerge. Life felt easier. Hard still happened, but didn’t hold me as much. Like it used to.
Counselling. Meditation. Plenty of self-work. But most significantly, my own version of spirituality and creativity transformed my everyday life.
If you want to know more about my healing from personal and intergenerational grief, read my book Where The Light Lives. In the meantime, I’d like to share some of my writing with you from those times when I felt very much in the dark.
Desperate. Despaired. Alone. If you are feeling this way, you are not alone with it. I’m here. And know that there are others who feel like you.
If you want to share how you feel with someone in your life (friend, family, Dr., or counsellor) but don’t have the words, you can use my words. Share a link to this post with them, with the words…this is how I feel…and press send.
I have more writings like this, and I’m going to start sharing them. *Watch this space*
Rest the canvas in the window.
It is weary from standing all day and night.
Put the brushes in a bottle and leave the bottle by the door
If you please
Watch that you do not step on the colours and mark
the polished floor.
The oils are over there
on a scrap of waxed cardboard.
Ah yes, so it be
that the turpentine has spilt upon the floor.
Dab it with a page of crumpled paper.
From yesterday’s news.
It makes your nose burn, does it?
But I tell you that I have certainly come
to like the smell.
It doesn’t bother me anymore.
To breathe. I no longer heave.
As I once did.
I’m used to it I suppose.
A person can get used to anything.
So it is that I’m an amateur artist with a heavy head.
It has never been any other way.
A heavy heart.
And a heavy breath.
Heavy with thoughts of how this world
could be such a better place.
That I may hold my head up high
Though now in doubt
And out. Again.
By the side of the room.
In a silent corner.
I mutter unto myself.
Where may my fellow artists be?
Are they in grief like me?
Alone in their rooms.
Removed from society.
Sitting on their knees.
As I who sits on a satin pillow that is stained
Pivoting on my bony bum
with legs that rub.
Yet slightly ajar.
That sacred vows may run as dogs on heat
Jumping up and down
Erupting from one’s deepest desire.
To stick out an accusing finger at the stars.
To ask why?
And again, why?
Can you hear the absent talk that perspires
Burnt fingers against the glass pane.
Tap the flame.
I can see a picture of me.
And eyes are filled with whispers.
What to do? I do not know.
What to do at night
when the house is still
and I’m without company?
What to think and who to tell it to?
Have I a spontaneous friend in you?
Can I tell you what I feel,
what it is that I hide inside
from the world
that spirals in a chill? In a pain.
In my sad eyes that see into the troubled night.
Drained of every delight.
I’m dying. Again.
And the wind blows in a flustered flight.
Ah yes, my eyes they shine
but my tears are dry
and too sad to cry.
As rivers run dry
in memory of last summer’s heat,
endless motions are felt.
T r i c k l e.
If you extend a hand over the land
you will know where it goes.
P r i c k l e.
Follow it down your spine
Leave your load behind
I cannot act another lie
Nor will I carry you on my b r i t t l e
Too tired I am.
Dried out like a desert flower
thirsting for the drinking hour.
Soon to turn into a rock.
Tomorrow will come woman and man with a chisel
to seek out a flower
with their naked hands.
There shall be those who marvel
Those who don’t believe.
Of he, nor of she.
Then history will speak of they
who sculpted a rock so hard.
He and she who brought forth a flower from rock.
But before I die
allow me to dispense my final breath
upon this life.
The flower was always before the rock
and not in the hands of woman and man.
Having believed in tomorrow and not today.
Having stretched my mind around the world
I have dreamt of loving every soul.
I have talked to myself about the all.
Life and death and something more.
To say that it has come to this again.
I am dying. Again. As before.
Having been everywhere inside my head.
There’s nothing more to be said.
If you’re having suicidal thoughts, please seek assistance by contacting your trusted healthcare professional or calling Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you’re concerned for your safety or the safety of others, seek immediate assistance by calling Triple Zero (000).
R U OK? is calling on all Australians to let the people they care about know they’re here, to really hear them.
Tips to help support neurodivergent people.