When it hurts more than you can bear, when you can’t see how to go on, or why you should even try to go on. When the world is sorry and hopeless and every single breath is hurting, I hear you.
I am so sorry it’s so hard for you right now my dear. It is really, really hard. This being human is not easy and that sucks.
I am afraid I don’t have any wise words for you, no tips, no tricks, no strategies, nothing motivational or inspirational. I am not even going to try and ‘make you feel better’ because I believe in this instance even to try would be an insult to the magnitude of suffering you are experiencing.
What I can say is this: I too have felt such pain, I have been lost where you are now lost, I have felt that searing, branding, shattering torment on my own skin, I have felt my soul shattered and gathered up the pieces so many times, working, praying, striving to build a person from ashes and scars and to move forward because breaking down was a luxury I couldn’t afford.
I have done this, until finally there was nothing left to hold on to and I have sat in that pain. As much as it hurts you are not alone in it.
I know what it’s like to cry until you vomit, except you can’t vomit because you haven’t eaten in three days because of the crying.
I know what it’s like to reach into the place in yourself where strength lives and find it used up, empty, with not even crumbs under your fingernails as you grasp and search in that dark internal void, desperate for the strength to just carry on the motions.
I know how it feels to be entirely used up, hopeless and broken.
I know how to feels to be asked to live through beyond what you can bear and then some, to discover new layers of torment because what you thought was bad was certainly bad, but so much more bad came too.
I don’t know why this has happened to you, I can find no meaning in such senseless pain. I believe you are a good person to whom terrible things have happened. If you have been struggling with illness, pain, abuse, rape, trauma, violence – it is not your fault. If you have lost a love, a loved one, a parent, a friend, a child, a marriage, a lover, a life, a career, an opportunity, a possibility, a future – I am sorry and I hear how very much it hurts.
I am so sorry you are hurting like this.
I would never have wished this for you.
When you hurt this much, when you are shattered and wounded to this extent, you loose a certain kind of innocence, it’s an odd initiation, unwanted, uninvited but present nonetheless.
I suppose as you are reading this, I feel we are holding hands across the ether, that I may be acting like your midwife for this strange birth of a new self through this world of struggle that you are immersed in. The birthing pains are hot and hellish.
This kind of pain can change you in a way that can’t be undone.
Afterwards I can’t pretend you will be the same person. Something changes after surviving pain like this, but I can tell you there are good people on the other side waiting for you.
Many people will never experience anything like this, but you are and although it is unfair and unasked for it is happening and let me tell you, you are doing so wonderfully.
You are surviving something life-changing, life-threatening which many never could. I know that survival seems like a mixed blessing right now.
But you know, so many people through history have been where you have been, you are entering a special sisterhood, we may be scarred but we are legion.
Keep going, we are here on the other side with open arms.
We are walking by you in the journey, and you can follow in the footsteps of the women who have trod this darkest road before and found the way through.
Look to the old stories, to go on such a journey to the darkest underworld, the hardest places in life and in yourself, you need tools, you need light, you need a guide.
I can also tell you that I lived through it, lived onwards. That I had laughter and joy again, even when I never thought that possible.
I still carry the scars. Sometimes when I take a hit from life all the old wounds flash and itch, lighting up across my body and soul crying, ‘this is where it happened, this is where the hurt was done’.
I have a lot of scars, they hurt somedays, I am not the same as I was before.
“You can do the impossible, because you have lived through the unimaginable. Believe in you.” – Christina Rasmussen
Once you’ve been broken you can’t un-know the feeling, you can come back together again, dragging yourself back together, finding yourself arising in pieces over time, but you also know that you’ve lived through some of the worst torment life has within it and you survived.
Survivors know the sacredness of joy.
Survivors know the meaning of peace.
Survivors know the truth of life.
When you need to re-build a life from the ashes of a soul and bloodied fragments of what used to be a beating heart, I am here for you. You are heard, seen, cherished. You are not alone.
If you need to talk, call:
(UK & ROI) Samaritans – 116 123 (their new freephone number)
(USA) Suicide Prevention Life Line – 1-800-273-8255
(Australia) LifeLine – 13 11 14
Grace Quantock is an award-winning international wellness expert, coach, author, motivational speaker, certified Reiki master and spiritual response therapy practitioner. She is the founder of Healing Boxes CIC and The Phoenix Fire Academy. Currently living – and thriving – with often debilitating illness, she is the real deal and knows, firsthand, the emotional and physical roller coaster that accompanies diagnosis and life struggle. Currently, a resident of Wales, Grace loves reading, gardening and early mornings. She firmly believes that life is meant to be celebrated, and has made it her mission to help others do just that …joyfully and on their own terms. You can follow Grace on Twitter.
Image courtesy of Katii Bishop.