Courage 

I’ve been pondering about, what it means to be courageous? This is difficult because it means different things, for different people.

For instance, being able to stand up against a bully. 

For me, I see that courage comes from being able to be vulnerable enough to open up your heart. To be open enough to ask for help. To share a part of your life that has been kept secret. 

For seven years I’ve fought my self, my doubts and insecurities. Some times courage is the simplist thing, going out.

As time has moved forward, I realised I’m surrounded by courageous people. People who decide to help other for no reward or praise.

Some people have called me courageous, I’m not. I’m just one voice of many. 

Not counting my chickens

For the first time in months, I’m feeling confident in myself. I feel that, I want to do things. To be around others, I hope this reciprocal. 

My depression has lessened and I’m not so anxious. My confidence has always been an issue, believe it or not. My outlook has changed, I seem to smile(really not a false smile) more, I have more energy. 

Even triggers aren’t so bad, I here a certain persons name and know I’m safe. The next few weeks are going to be tough, but I know my awesome friends and family will be there for me. When I look back to a time when I would struggle to get out of bed. Now I’m so full of life.

However, I know that this could be temporary. So I’m not counting my chickens.

But for now I feel So alive.  

Mental health awareness 

One of the hardest conversations a sufferer can have, is the first one. I remember when I realised I had a problem, I left it stewing inside for three months. This almost cost me my life, now I see that I should have spoken out.

Now I see that the stigma needs to be broken. If you’re struggling with any form of mental health issues, just seek a friend and talk. 

If you’re worried about someone, just be there for them. Give them the time to share if they want to. 

It seems that it’s now more famous people are sharing their stories. 

You should never be ashamed of have mental health issues. 

Someone, once said to me “if you break your leg, do you just limp on in pain. Mental health is the same and sometimes just talking and having someone to listen. Can make the difference”

Time to break the taboo, have the conversation. 

Ever evolving

Last August I came out as bi sexual, as the months have gone on I’ve realised that it’s more complex. I’m realising I’m not totally bi, I’m more asexual- bi romantic. I don’t really want a sexual partner. I’m looking for companionship and close friendship. 

It just goes to show, that I’m ever evolving. Always changing, I know one day soon I will meet mr or ms right. Then my life would be complete. 

A letter of hope

Dear Ed (aged 13)

As in my previous letters, I just want to reassure you. I’ve spoken of my admiration of how you’ve dealt with this over the years.You remain a wonderful person who brings joy to others.

As time goes on you will feel more human and start to live again. However you must not take this for granted. You can become a ray of hope.

Hope is one thing you can give freely, hope of recovery, hope to face the future and hope to others. The last one is so important, it gives you an opportunity give back something.

And finally, keep a smile on you face. Sometimes you’ll have to fake it, to make it.
All my love Ed (the thriver)

What I want

Over the last few weeks and months, I’ve been thinking about what I want. I’ve realised that I can give something back. I am seeing that one way for me to give something back, is to be there for others.

One of the things I’m considering is to study to be a counsellor. Some of my hidden tallents are, being able to listen, understand and empathise. I feel that I want to be able to help others, to stand up for those who are in that dark place that I’ve been.

As my therapy has progressed, I can see a clearer picture of what I want to do. Whether I succeed or not I’ll give it my best. Another option would be to speak about my experiences the bad an the good. Sometimes I feel that I have a duty to share my story. 

So, what do I want, I want to help others, as others have helped me.

The unexpected gift

When all of the sexual abuse stuff came up I saw no bright points. All I saw was darkness and pain. Easter is for me a fulcrum, a cross roads. 

I struggle on Maundy Thursday because in my lowest moments I feel that I am walking in the garden of gethsemane. Then on good Friday I always feel tearful.

Easter Sunday I have the feeling of being reborn, this has happened each of the last five or six years. 

The unexpected gift I talk about in my title, is that I’ve been able to understand others pain and try and help them see that healing is possible. As I do this my own healing is increased and my mood changes for the positive. 

Also as I grow, I see that it’s ok to ask for help and to accept it when offered. I’m beginning to understand that I my be in my forties physically but I’ve had to go back to my teens to deal with the emotional issues. This was told to me at the start but I never believed this.

The gift of a second chance of growing up, I’m so glad that I never took the ultimate solution. I’m glad I made the choice to live and to be alive. 

So many people have been there for me, from family to priests and colleagues to the best friends a bloke can ask for. 

Walking in light

I’ve found that over the years, as I’ve healed I see the light. I realise that I’ve been walking in that light. I feel that I’ve I’m becoming so much stronger. 

It’s an inner strength I never thought I’d have. I don’t know where I got it from but I feel that I can be a light in others lives. 

I’m walking in the light, 

A light that shines from love

The love of friends, the love of family

A light that give me life

And shatters the the chains

Progress

These posts are difficult to write. Over the last few years I’ve charted my progress. Either by looking to anniversaries or memories.

This one is different, because I realise that I forgot an anniversary. Well seven years ago I had some conversations about the then Pope’s visit.

These conversations brought up the abuse stuff, as I look back I see that I’m better off by dealing with it. I seem to be progressing towards thriving and beating this. 

I said when I started this journey I wanted to help others, I feel that I’m now achieving this in my small way. 

So what progress have I made, I’m more self assured and open about my sexuality. I realise that only I can put this to rest. 

As far as my abuser is concerned, I pity him and I feel no malice towards him. What has happened, has happened. I can’t change my past, but I can make my future.