It became my own little Garden of Eden, of sorts: but also, my Secret Garden; or a place which wasn't really a garden at all.It was a rainforest, a desert; a tropical island, a fantasy kingdom. A wilderness that ranged as far as the eye could see. A kingdom of grass and trees and flowers the colours of the rainbow; of which I was its only queen.
And at its very heart was a little blue swing with green pulley ropes and a narrow wooden seat.
Often of a fine evening, when the sun began to sink behind the dusky forms of the rosy-tinged mountains, I would slip out to my garden and skim across the dewy grass. I would clamber into that seat and grip the soft rope between my fingers, my toes arched like a ballerina. I felt like a golden-feathered eagle, ready to lift my wings and take off from the ground.
Then I would inch my way back a little on my toes, my heart beating in my chest like a coursing rabbit's, and then I would lift my feet and let myself go.
The rushing air slapped at my face; my hair lifted from my skull to stream behind me like a rippling golden banner.
Yesterday while I was outside, pegging the washing out on the line, I glanced across at my old blue swing, now rusty and covered with cobwebs and fine green moss.
I remembered how it felt going up - the sheer elation; the longing to not come back down to the ground. And then, having reached the point at which I knew I was going to fall back down, a strange, sharp sense of some indescribable fear.
And so I suppose that the dips in my motivation to recover are like the rise and fall of the swing.
The strength, the vivacity I feel when my motivation has shot upwards like an arrow loosed from a bow; and then, the counter feelings; ones of fear and doubt and sadness; ones which swiftly move to establish themselves as soon as I begin my descent.
I get a little lift..when eating something I really enjoy; getting a hug from my mam, a comment from a reader, talking with a friend who understands..
but when I am alone, or full, or looking at my body in the mirror...I come crashing down to earth with a cry...
How do I keep it up?
How do I allow that motivation to climb up and up; and, once it has got to the top - to stay there, essentially?
But then I came to realise today, standing outside, my tired eyes fixed upon my little blue swing.
Going up, and coming back down is inevitable.
It's an unavoidable part of recovery.
Recovery is not like a swing that never comes back down. It's more like a dipping, swinging rollercoaster: you go up, you cry out with thejoy, the delight, the exhileration at being on top of the world. But then you see you are going to come back down again, and your heart swells with both fear and apprehension.
But it need not fill you with fear, as you can and will survive them..
So rather than seeking to achieve that impossible feat; of striving to avoid and completely inhibit those dips and falls in motivation...
I must learn to be brave and steadfast, and face them, head on.
And I now have identified precisely the things that will help me see these times through.
- Talking to a friend who understands and will not judge me.
- Reading through the past comments of my readers upon my blog.
- Playing with Daisy and stroking Benny's velvet like head, or sitting on the sofa with the warm fuzzy ball which is Felix upon my lap.
- Talking to Mam; or Gran, or my sister.
- Reading through my reasons to recover and reminding myself again and again of the importance of fighting on.💛
And I know, that if I keep on fighting, keep on persevering, keep on being as strong and as brave as I can every single hour of every single day - that some day I will reach a place where I do feel on top of the world. Recovery is the highest place that I could ever hope to go. Getting there is like reaching the very top of the shining peak of Mount Everest; beautiful and glowing with pearl white snow. It is a place where there will be more highs than lows, It is a place where I will experience peace within myself; high above the choking grey clouds of loneliness and depression and self-hatred. That's recovery. It is there and only there where I will be able to again experience those sensations I had felt when swinging upon my little blue swing. The exquisite, palpable, authentic sense of joy: the kind that stems from that being in that state of true and beautiful freedom. 💜 xxx