Every night this week I have listened to ‘The Nutritionist’ by Andrea Gibson, on a loop. Like it will reach a new part of my soul the more I listen. I mean I think it’s safe to say 300 times is enough to hear their words but for some reason I can’t stop listening.
To the words, or the crack in their voice just as the background music starts.
You see, I’ve been in a bit of a writing rut recently. The words just don’t seem to fit right, every poem seems to be missing it’s ‘wow’ factor and every story, missing the point.
Every word that fills the page feels as though it’s too tight, or too loose. Like it’s just going to fall off the page without meaning, without purpose. Sometimes I think the words for what I want to say don’t actually exist, and then I remember that even though this world has many words, sometimes there really are just none.
Sometimes, life hit us in a way that just can’t be described.
And then I hear the line in ‘The Nutritionist’ that reads:
“the doctor said an anti-psychotic might help me forget what the trauma said, the trauma said: don’t write this poem, nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones but my bones said….write the poem”.
There is a chamber of shame that lives within my body. It’s a heavy weight to carry and putting it down is easier said than done. Sometimes you think you’ve left it at the bus stop and you get home and there it is, waiting on the doorstep. Staring up at you.
And other times, it falls off your back one day when your laughing with your friends. You forget how badly it weighed you down, then months later on a summers day in July it creeps up your spine and your crushed by the heaviness of it.
That’s when your trauma tells you not to write the poem.
I am learning that that’s always when you should write the poem. You need to hear the grief inside your own bones. Which can be unbelievably unbearable at times. Processing the grief when its imbedded into your flesh, your bones, your heart – that’s healing, that’s allowing yourself the chance to breathe again.
But it’s never easy, and it isn’t ever pretty. Once someone described it to me as feeling terminal, like a cancer you can’t quite fight but the healing is never as painful as the thing you are trying to heal from, and you already survived that.
So if you need to hear it, write the poem, let your grief breathe somewhere outside of your body.
I am currently fighting a battle that I thought I had already won, but I’m also realising that I’m never going to win the battle if I keep starting a war with myself. Which is also easier said than done when your default is destruction.
Nevertheless, I am working on emptying my shame chamber. It feels like I lost the key some time ago and letting something out that’s locked in so tight is something I am still learning how to do. I know where I left the key, I’m just not sure I’m ready to go back and get it.
But I know I will get there, and how I got there won’t matter. Because some days it can feel as though I’m digging my soul out of my body with a teaspoon and burying it but ironically, I know it is the same feeling that will one day unlock the chamber and I will finally be able to breathe.
For now, I am allowing myself to look forward to a future that I cannot see. Healing is never beautiful, but I am hoping that the life I’ll get to live will be.
Feature image credit: kidadl.com