IN REARVIEW // March 2017

With the soft, faint glow of hope still warming my fingertips, the month of March begins. A first in quite some time, it seems that something light and positive lies almost within my reach. They say I have to prove myself, so I work my hardest to fan that ember into clearer, more tangible flame. I am tired from the effort of constant kindling; tense from the concentration it takes not to step outside of their strictly-set boundary lines; but I am focussed and determined - this will all be worth it if it comes good.

I so want it to come good.

But in the act of wanting, much else is tied up: there is fear and guilt and heavy undeserving and so much pressure not to mess this up.

I need this. I must keep my colours within the lines. I must not screw this up.

I am trying so hard not to ruin this, but all of a sudden the lines meant to contain me no longer fit. Everything is shrinking. My body is no longer predictable or cooperative. Something happens and though it is not deliberate, it is entirely my doing. Even when I'm most determined not to, I destroy everything.

It is a scary moment and emotions are running high. Not just mine. Things are volatile and unstable and a difficult week passes us by. I am angry - at myself, more than anything - and in one explosive episode I find fragments of china, coated in shame, lying amongst my broken hopes and dreams.

Other people don't know what to do or say and the first person to try is perhaps well-intentioned but their tools are inappropriate and they wield them, clumsy and wounding. I feel like an archaeological dig gone badly: they are excavating in the wrong places; looking for all the wrong things. I am injured by the process and I presume they speak for everyone when they stab me with their words.

Only, they don't.

Things are overwhelming and frightening - so very frightening - but no one else is running away. This is out of control - the monsters have trampled all the fences that once hemmed them in - yet there are people here still standing, willing to fight this with me and figure out how to contain the risk. There is my family, whose love would battle any demons. There is a friend whose letter in the post teaches me love and grace and acceptance. There are nurses with their (almost) irritating optimism, who listen to my fears and sadness; who make me smile with their silliness and dancing; who have seen me at my worst yet somehow still believe in better things. There is an O.T who doesn't act surprised or laugh at me when I sign up for a half marathon and ask her to refer me to ridiculous things. There is a doctor who thinks she makes things worse; who doesn't understand that my conversations with her are some of the most positive parts of my week. I cry because she "gets it" and the getting-it makes me want to say so many things that the words all get stuck inside my mouth and I am frustrated when I can't get them out. I weep because these are the moments when the road ahead seems most apparent; when Hope and Optimism seem most real, but also most foreboding and daunting; when I can most clearly see the forward momentum.

Because, in spite of everything, there is forward momentum. The messes are taking less time to clean up. With every fall or disaster I am getting back up - with all these people for support - and though I can scarcely permit myself to believe it, it seems things might be progressing, at long last.

That flicker of hope - far from being extinguished by that dark and unexpected week - was allowed, instead, to grow. By the end of the month there is a crackling, burning flame. I can't look at it directly - afraid of hurt and disappointment if I allow myself to be too caught up in it - but it is there and impossible to ignore. They say I did the right things - that I somehow earned it - but it seems to me another shining example of grace: a gift freely given, though entirely undeserved. It's a struggle, but I'm slowly learning to accept this.

As the month of March draws to a close, it is more than just the clocks that spring forward into action. There is change in the air - a season of transition fast approaching - and though it is unnerving and alien; unsettling and overwhelming; it is also hopeful and progressive; positive and predominantly good.

Kusudama flower ball
Maximus - german shepherd
March selfie
Pancake day
The coffee apothecary


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  1. I'm so pleased to hear you are feeling some hope at last. I am a total stranger who fell upon your blog by chance but I have often thought of you over the past few months. I pray that your flicker of hope becomes a raging fire and that you know peace again. All my very best wishes.

    1. That's very kind of you - thanks so much.
      - Laura xo