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'Give me life. Give me pain. Give me myself again.' - "Little Earthquakes" - Tori Amos (1991)

'I'm so happy because today I've found my friends. They're in my head.' - "Lithium" - Nirvana (1991)


This won't be another tirade about managing to make it to the end of the day. Nor will it be an excessive list on survival tips. Instead, this will be about waking up each day and knowing that you're still alive and functioning... Barely. However we'll choose to focus on the operative word here: 'functioning'. From this point, it's uphill. A rucksack ladened with enough bricks to build a small house is firmly strapped to your back. Your feet are covered in red-hot weeping wounds which are sandpapered down to the bone by a pair of uncomfortable shoes. Your chest is caught in a pulsating death-grip by a python the size of a swimming pool and you can barely make out where you are going through bleary eyes.

But you're alive, you made it to this point and you tell yourself that you can get through it. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time and hell, if needs be, one second at a time. Sometimes you stumble and sometimes you can't find the words. Those are the bad days. When the words won't come and you end up resembling an inarticulate ventriloquist dummy and wonder if people notice. You know that they notice.

It's like you're caught in perpetual exorcism with yourself trying to free your mind from those entities that clog and perverse the functions of a normal, healthy brain. 'But that's okay' you tell yourself. What 'doesn't kill you makes you stronger,' right? It's about feeding yourself moments of hope. It's about having the shield up when those arrows come at you from all directions. It's about allowing yourself to run away even if it's in your mind and finding those moments to appreciate a spectacle such as a setting sun or a blinking star.

Sometimes that's all you need.

It's not easy when people expect more from you especially at the point where you feel a little bit triumphant because you've managed to make it through the day without completely losing it. Yet of course they don't see that. You know it's not their fault and you have to suppress the ideas of screaming at them how proud you are that you made it this far. That something that might seem mundane and down-right easy to them is not always that easy for the rest of us. Cut us some slack.

There's a quote from Plutarch that I often think about, 'what we achieve inwardly will change outer reality'. It's a simple concept and yet it's probably one of the most difficult theories to adopt in our everyday life, especially when our instincts may default to pressing the big ol' 'self destruct' button with a furious temper. It starts from within. We have to learn to make friends with those demons and then politely show them the door. Banish the free-fleeting thoughts about what other people might think and look after ourselves. It may sound selfish and self absorbed but battles can not be won when we are still waging war with ourselves.
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Not an Oracle

January 2016

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