Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Still talking about the same old thing...

I made a new friend this year. At the circus. No, she isn't a fire eater or clown, she does make me laugh though! Every Thursday and Sunday, I traipse across London and take Saskia to circus school where she is learning the flying trapeze. And whilst she flies, I am learning about politics and ethical shopping. My new friend used to own a children's bookshop, the kind of space where children fall in love with books and the faraway places that they can take you to. A bookshop we see in the movies, before Amazon and their drones.

Chatting with my circus friend the other day, I realised something profound. I am no longer in the depths of my grief for what we have lost when Lyska got anorexia. I am beginning to see another path, another way, another wonderful. Somebody said to me last year ‘why are you still talking about anorexia, Lyska looks great, leave the past in the past.’   Perhaps he had a point, he wanted us to talk about other things, ones that didn’t make him feel uncomfortable. But he isn’t right, we need to talk about the things that hurt because they make us who we are.

When we walk through the valleys, the desert places, it changes us. We get broken up into parts and then we get put back together again in a new way. This is life.

For our family it was mental illness this time and for you it will be something else.

That is life- standing on the mountain top, the sun on your face, joy seeping into your heart- your wedding day, your graduation, the first night in your new home. Life is the laughter of your child ringing through the garden as she skips through the sprinkler, the perfume you catch as you shop that takes you back into your mother’s arms, the warmth of somebody you love next to you on the sofa as you watch a movie.

And life is wandering around the desert like the Israelites, thirsty, lost and lonely. Darkness threatens to take you, grief sits on your chest and makes it difficult to breath. Your child gets ill, the doctor shakes his head, the phone rings at 3 am and you know….

That is life- a dance through the spring and summer and a trek through the wilderness of winter.

What matters is how you walk, how I walk. Do I allow myself to grow hard and bitter when I am surrounded by ice, do I close my heart up tight and shut myself away? Or do I remember the mountain top and chose to thank God for the moments the sun shone on my face?

This Christmas, I will not stop talking to people about anorexia and anxiety and self-harm because when I do, it allows people to be real with me about what their desert place is. And then we can help each other up, dust each other off and trek back up the mountain together to find the Son. The Son who came as a baby and made my life worth living, even in the desert places.

No comments:

Post a Comment