I’ve been wrapped in an uncomfortable cocoon through the depths of Winter. Unhealthy, unwell, still very much in recovery from the Spring of 2020, with post viral fatigue still eviscerating my ability to function other than work, rest, sleep. I took a break, both from writing and from work, so that I could focus on resting and healing. I rested. I slept. I drew within, in the cold, damp dark. Constrained, restrained, trapped by my own desire to not move, not hurt, not prolong.
Now I feel a gentle unfurling, not unlike the very first snowdrops that start to show us peeks at white at the tips of their green. Still tightly wound, still vulnerable to the frost, yet determined and succumbing to the inexorable growth that happens in such times of hibernation ending. I ache for more light, more air, to be able to finally look around at what’s surrounding me again, to join with the others peeking out from their cocoons. I miss the sun, music, movement and most of all… people.
Lockdowns abound, it’s heading for a year of living this way now, quiet, withdrawn, alone. So many suffering both within my client work and within my own circle of family and friends. Struggles in health, finance, boredom and loneliness.
So I learned to be alone, within. I support many with heart and passion, love and physical needs. I choose to, am humbled and proud to, devoted to even. Yet in the cold dark alone I feel the same as everyone else. It’s hard. Really hard.
Yet the common phrase I hear is ‘first world problems’; We are well clothed, fed, sheltered. We are most importantly together, in a good-sized home with a lovely garden. We four, my partners and our youngest, are able to support each other in all ways, every day. One dog who gets all the love, and exercise walks for those who can. My beloveds elsewhere have withstood the test of time and distance, even though we’ve all only been able to be together once or twice for almost a year, those relationships are a testament to themselves, solid, deep and profound. Friendships are so precious in that we know that no matter the time or the distance, once we are together again they will be just as treasured and beautiful as always.
I know we will drink in fiercely and deep when we are able to be together again, looking, touching, breathing in… all of us.
But dear sweet all-the-gods, how I miss holding my children, my grandchildren most especially. Watching them grow up on camera or at a physical distance will never be enough. I ache to wrap my arms around each and every one of them and just hold them and hold them until they tire of being held. Breathe them in so deeply, absorb their scent, their physical self, store away the memories until I can do so again. If only we had known how long this would be. Oh how we would have held and held, laughed and cried, danced and kissed until we were spent, to store up a wellspring until we could be together again. Oh how we’d have gazed into each other’s eyes, if we had known how long it would be before we could be so freely close again.
I miss my loved ones, all of them. I miss fun, adventure, parties, play. I miss the joy of living a full life surrounded by those we choose to share it with. So much so that my chest hurts simply writing those words. I miss my horse, my motorbike, the beach, sea and woods. I miss travel, exploring the world some place new every year has been my aim for years. I miss the freedom to walk down the street and hug someone I see, the freedom to kiss, to wrap my arms around and entwine with other humans I love. I miss the adventure, intimacy and connections of living this truly blessed life we live.
I’d like to think that none of us will ever take those things for granted again. I’m sure many will, once we ‘return’ to some semblance of life as it was before. I know that I shall never again take any of those precious moments for granted again. Ever. For as long as I have left to live, I shall treasure every breath, every experience, and every person. Forever.
Holding others pain, whilst still feeling and having my own; that could be the greatest description of being a therapist in these times.
Holding my own pain, whilst holding others. That could be the description of 2020 for me.