on the other side
I have space to breathe again
passionately – not merely for survival

six years it took
to find my dancer in the dark again
to come out on the other side of illness, as a survivor

it’s hard to function with a nervous system convinced you’re in permanent danger
when living in perpetual shutdown
in disassociation, unable to feel reality
when the slightest pressure makes you black out, dizzy and numbed
when EVERYTHING becomes a stress trigger – food, people, noise, exercise, todo lists
when all energy goes into trying to keep your head above the water
fake some kind of functioning existence
hide from stimuli
control what you can

it’s exhausting


for the last six years that’s been me

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is what worked in the end
somatic reprogramming
ten months ago I could rarely eat without going into a shock-like state
booking a flight ticket or packing a suitcase would have me faint
it’d take me a day, in tiny steps
laying down in between, too dizzy
trying to be self-compassionate
to not feel like a failure

slowly, slowly, things’ve been shifting
little by little, my nervous system has relaxed
until one day it daunted upon me:
I’m free again, I made it through!
I’m a PTSD survivor

since, there’ve been tingles of anxiety, sure
but they’ve stayed like that: tingles to be breathed away
not full-blown system shut-down


this week has been my first real test
a potpourri of all things overwhelming – packing, planning, organising, buying stuff, travelling
getting the house and garden ready for photo shoot and short-term renting
whilst planning future projects with my builder, architect and landscaper
whilst sorting out appointments and todos
whilst packing the car for the move to Sydney
whilst negotiating a critical contract for work
decisions decisions decisions
and a tight timeline

and although I’m exhausted
I’m fine
I’m more than fine
I’m in flow


I’m sitting on my verandah, enjoying the morning sun
it’s going to be a hot day
my plan was to head south today but I changed my mind, I’ll wait a day or two, to enjoy the nice weather, to relax a little before the long drive
to appreciate where I’m at
to fully feel the shift, and celebrate it

because this is a big deal for me!
this is like…MY moon landing
this is me winning my war
this is me finally knowing what all the hard work was for
and realising that whilst I was trying to merely survive, I created something beautiful, personal, extraordinary:
this house

yes this is a big deal for me
this is me trusting myself again
breathing again
dancing again


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