Monday, 13 March 2017


"You haven't been writing," said my dear friend Christine, "so I've been going back and reading some of your old writing." I'm so humbled by this confession. So here I sit, having just showered at 12.30 on a public holiday. A beautiful day that I've taken little enough notice of. I've showered and dressed and now I'm sitting here and wondering what to write about. I love to write. It is joy. It is relief. It is celebration of life to me. Yet I've been cut off from this 'life-blood' because of life itself. How strange. Things I as yet choose not to write of. A conundrum. 

Perhaps this simple act of committing to write something will begin to stir my creative energy. I choose to trust that opening myself up just a little will allow my veins to carry this decision to each of my cells and bring healing and joy back to what has been crusty and shrivelling for too long. My life has been consumed for too long with itching and scaling and shedding and peeling and flaking and moisturising and weeping and fear that this affliction will be upon my skin forever. Yet I challenge that belief knowing that I, for years, was free of it. Eczema. It fills my waking moments. Every thought, every action is underlayed with constant irritation or pain. I grit my teeth and smile. Or cry.

I have allowed this to dull the pleasures I usually find in life. Is this depression? I don't know. My wellspring of joy is still there. It is there but it sits deep. It feels hard to reach. But the great thing is that I know it is still there. It needs me to nurture it. Anxiety creeps in. It was overwhelming when I went through the 'change of life'. Every breath a torment taken through a strange burning weight on my upper torso. For months. Perhaps years. I am strong. I got through that time. Now I am mostly free from my old fears. Or my hormones have settled enough that anxiety is a rare visitor and not a constant companion. Thank all things good for that. But it is back now. And I am tired. Of being uncomfortable.

You know, I had a bit of a revelation the other day. I realised I have been so focused on everything that has happened to bring the eczema back into my life. It started three years ago with a simple Asian dish containing prawns. Prawns are a trigger for me. But I didn't want to upset or disappoint the person who made their special dish for me. So I ate it. Of course, it was delicious. I enjoyed every mouthful. But it set the scene for three years of suffering. Because, strange though it may seem, after that it was one thing after another that seemed to not quite allow me to heal and be strong again. It's a little crazy. What is the lesson? Why did I allow this to go on for so long? And it led me then to consider, this revelation, what was I doing differently in all the years I was free of eczema. I will go back to doing those things and slowly my skin, and my life, will improve. Makes sense. 

It occurred to me that I have spent much of my life pleasing (or at least, trying to please) others. I have said things that were what I thought I was meant to say in certain circumstances. I feel so much like an actor on the stage of life that it sometimes seems utterly surreal. The end of my sixth decade on this planet, in this life, is fast approaching. Eighteen months away. And I feel as though I need to stop doing that. Saying what seems right. Doing what seems right. I feel as though I need to slow down enough to ask myself what I want to say and do. I need to listen to myself. My soul. And not the scripts that have been fed into me over my lifetime. I'm tired. Of filling a role. And yet even saying that feels somehow terribly wrong. But I know it's not. We've been duped.

This confession. Of weakness or struggle or not coping. It is barely the tip of the iceberg, but to be writing is good. I do not need you to know all of what has transpired. I just need you to know that I am back, albeit a little battered and scattered, ready to nurture my soul back into wholeness. Talking to you is part of that. Baring my soul, tortured though it is feeling right now, buried under a thick layer of what might be helplessness (but I am not sure yet). It is hard to do. I am scared. But I am also tired. And I need to find my energy for life again. 

Writing from a point of joy and wonder is what I love to do. It feels like I am gifting others with the same excitement I usually feel for life. Oh. My. God. It is so very wonderful. To be alive. To be me. I am grateful to have this experience of life and to know that in sharing my experience, it can help someone else to understand their own. How precious that is to me.

There is not much more for me to say right at this moment. I feel overwhelmed with my lack of doing. Yet I have not the energy to do. My sink sits full of dishes awaiting my attention. My old car waits to be sold. A generator waits for attention to get it going. I have not the tools to do it. I have a buyer for it. This is good. But he wants to see it going. Of course. Anxiety will leave as I get these things done and free myself from my list of to-dos. My hands play on the keyboard with their raw fingers and tragic appearance. This is what they want to do. Healing is mine. Wholeness is mine. I breathe and go on. The fog is thinning. Soon I will be able to see my path again.

Always with love

Soon with joy