I believed that resilience was like the song,
‘I get knocked down but I get up again.’
I thought it meant,
‘Even though I am in pain, I will be the better person
and I will be forgiving and turn the other cheek.’
I guess mostly I believed that I was the problem and the people around me were the
resilient ones because they had stuck around.
I have learned that resilience is something you really can’t understand.
Not until you yourself are so adrift in the labyrinth
of your own anxiety and doubt-filled mind, that you become lost.
So lost you can’t find anything, not even your soul.
At that point, with no reason to get back up again,
you realise that resilience is the thread, the fabric, that your being is woven from.
I discovered this while looking for my own soul in the pitch black darkness of my own terror.
I learned the hard way that resilience is not a rainbow that appears in the dark
to give you the strength to leave, stay, fight or flight.
It is more subtle than that.
It is found beneath the thoughts:
‘no more’, ‘this can’t go on’ and ‘help, please’.
It is not big and brash and singing powerful songs.
Resilience is low frequency, you can’t see it.
It is only when the whole world has gone dark that you see its ultraviolet light.
The darkness reveals that resilience was quietly glowing there all along.
It whispers, ‘Come on now, breathe, pick yourself up.
I am taking over and things are going to be changing.’
And they do change.
Not like in a film where the hurt get rescued or the hero sweeps in and protects the weak.
It’s more like you don’t feel so hurt because you are starting to believe in plans that
no longer involve ‘this shit’ and the phrases, ‘fuck this’ and ‘fuck you’.
I mainly found resilience was there in the times when my duvet was
pulled up around my head and I didn’t or couldn’t move.
Or when I was making breakfast for the kids but couldn’t remember where my soul was
so it all felt like a job that was too hard to do.
Or when I wished to die but then fell asleep, woke up and carried on anyway.
Or when I finally saw through to the truth and let myself witness all the tricksy lies,
so that I could try to remember that things just weren’t fucking right.
I did all this and even though it all burnt me through to my core,
I still found a way to move.
And when finally I moved and let my scorched bones be soothed in the sea breezes,
no one witnessed it.
No one except me.
And I saw,
it was an act of pure,