Ive not done the blogg for a while, I’ve been writing a memoir and now I’ve hit 30,000 words I wanted to stop and breathe and to say hello. It’s such a roller coaster, writing stuff, especially life stuff, but it’s a rich experience too, it’s like weeding an overgrown patch of land and finding the flowers you’d forgotten about. I’ve been pitching to literary agents as the writing continues, each day having an encounter with the past, remembering good and bad things, happy and painful things, just life really. This time last year I was at home recovering from a severe breakdown and preparing for a giant walk of 183 miles back to London for Missing People. It was a limbo time. When you have been missing, coming home is terrifying. Not because you don’t want to be there, but because you have to face the reasons why you left in the first place. Some people have been less than kind about my leaving without considering why, they based their decision on who I left behind. To them I say, that’s ok. Your judgement doesn’t change my experience and it is yours to choose, I have no malice. The irony here is that the one I left behind understood the most because she had been there through the chaos that preceded the crash, she got it. Others, professionals who stepped in to hold me up, called it ‘burn out’, a form of PTSD, after ten years of caring and after losing eleven of my closest people in quick succession. Good friends gently welcomed me back then gave us space to settle again, others pushed for more information, taking my leaving as a rejection of them. Others never mentioned it again. Others demanded more detail, more information, for their own satisfaction, creating pressure that we couldn’t carry. It’s a little bit like coming out, you don’t just do it once, it’s a lifetime event. Being missing becomes like a scar, either a public event or a dirty secret, the cowards way out. Trust me, leaving doesn’t afford you such strategies, it is an explosion in your head, like a map that’s spinning so fast that your giddiness stops you standing still for fear of falling. Every road is blocked, you can’t breathe. I hope that my story will shed light on the missing experience, although I appreciate that everyone who leaves has a different narrative. If I can leave you with some thoughts. Imagine your life, what makes you feel your authentic self. Society tells us that we are valuable if we have an identity as partner, parent, professional, member of a social network. What titles would you give to yourself? I mean the things that get you up in the morning, the reasons you are motivated. The routines, your dependents, your rhythms. Imagine a day, then a week, then a month, then a year of those rhythms. How does it look? Comforting? Validating? Reassuring? Affirming? Then, close your eyes and imagine that one day all of those patterns, those rhythms, those objectives, those traditions, those motivators, those identities, they’ve all gone, blown away on the breeze. The birds have stopped singing. There is no more colour. The cycle of the day isn’t turning. The routines you held are over. The battles you fought are won? The passions that held you have left. My friends, that’s the ‘Missing moment’. When the hearts that you beat for have stopped and you can’t find your way back.
Back to the book………….. xxxxxxxxxxxx