Sometimes, I have so many words inside me, that they fill up my brain and fall out my ears. I can see them cascading away and vanishing with little silent pops. I try to catch the good ones and put them down here but, those escapee words are resistant to straight lines and they vanish.
I have stories to tell, so many stories to tell, but balanced against the telling is my reluctance to open myself up to the reactions that come from lining up words in a public space like this blog.
I am fragile you see, so fucking fragile.
I have spent most of my adult life telling my negative interior voice to, “Shut the fuck up!” In my late teens and early twenties I tried to silence that voice with drugs and alcohol, but that never works. The negative voice inside my head is the voice of my father shouting at me, loudly insisting that I am stupid and useless, lazy and worthless, ugly and fat. That voice is the colour of blood and violence, of anger and pain, relentlessly vitriolic and mean.
It is hard work ignoring that level of internalised negativity but I manage to do it by excessive use of theatrics and hyperbole. And by being brilliant and hilarious of course. If you meet me in real life I am loud and enthusiastic and given half a chance, I will tell you ridiculous stories in order to make you laugh.
Having been the outsider for most of my adult life, I well know how horrible exclusion feels and I try my very best to be inclusive in all I do. We all deserve to be treated with loving kindness, especially by our ownselves, but it takes a conscious and sustained effort to remember that I am worthy of kindness too.
I have been unwell for the past fifteen months or so, dreadfully unwell, so fucking unwell that it has severely impacted on my professional life. Last November I stepped down from the head of the organising committee responsible for bringing the Australian Ceramics Triennale to Tasmania in 2018 . I stepped down because I was because I was tired. I was tired of the relentless negativity thrown my way by super special snowflakes who were grumpy that we were not stroking their oversized egos. But mostly I was sick, really sick, so sick that standing up was an effort. I hid my illness well because I am a consummate actress and because what is the point of moaning about it? Whining about being sick didn’t make me feel better, so I just quietly withdrew into myself and listened more and more to my father’s voice.
By February this year, the reality of the restrictions that my hernia was causing me really began to hit. A day spent at a market with Veronica took me three days to recover from. I organised my working day in the studio around trips to the house to sit in my recliner with my feet up.
I apologised from more meetings than I attended and so in May I officially resigned as the President of the Tasmanian Ceramics Association, leaving another fabulous committee in the lurch. I know I did not have a choice in the matter as it had become just too hard to think of anything other than getting through the day with minimal pain, but again that voice was there, insisting I was useless.
Fast forward to the end of June when my insides really tried to kill me properly this time and I was rushed off to hospital in an ambulance for emergency surgery.
Which brings me to the whole point of this story.
I have been overwhelmed and stunned by the outpouring of love and support shown to me. Such loving kindness has come my way, that it has taken me this long to be able to begin to process the fact that people actually like and care about me. My negative voice is shouting at me constantly because I am being still and deliberately clayless but I am able to ignore the shouting because of you, my dearest internets. My Friends.
On Monday I went to see my surgeon, expecting to be given the all clear. I had questions about timelines and how best to gently regain my core strength as I am impatient to get back to work.
My surgery has failed. It looks like in the first few days after I returned home, that the internal stitches have given way and the piece of mesh keeping my bowel in place has shifted.
I left the surgeons meeting in a state of stunned disbelief and went to catch pokemon in the mall with my daughter and a friend. Oh my word, there are so many fucking pokemon in the city that I really hate you all, the mall just boggled me and I was able to level up by judicious grinding of pidgeys, spearows and bats. If you do not understand that last line, don’t worry it is all good.
Late that night the 3 am blues hit. I hate 3 am, I really do, it is fucking awful o’çlock. And as I sobbed into my pillow Monty peremptorily sniffed my wet cheek and nonchalantly went back to squashing my foot. I missed my empathetic boy Harry and his soft furry neck and so I cried for my dead dog and I cried for myself.
Yesterday morning I put a woe filled status up on my facebook and was absolutely blown away by the level of support and loving kindness shown to me again. I was a bit stunned and the shouty voice was silenced.
Today I am in a much better headspace, though I did cry a little bit here and there writing this post.
Tomorrow I have a CT scan, next week we meet with the surgeons again, I am taking Veronica in with me as she is my rememberer, plus she can spin all the pokestops for me as we drive past them.
Then I will go and have another operation and hope that this time it works as it should.
I realise that I had been listening to and paying too much attention to, the negativity flung at me from ego driven arsehats, rather than focusing on the loving kindness shown to me by you, my friends. And if I continue to listen to that negativity, I am in fact doing you a disservice as your voices are much more important.
Thank You VERY MUCH you gorgeous people, here are some positive vibes that were given to me by a friend. I am sure these will be on a t-shirt of mine very, very soon.