How do you ask your friends and families for help when for most of your life you have been the strong one? The one who has always sorted out everyone else’s problems.
How do you cope when your body betrays you?
How do you keep your body, soul and heart intact when loneliness attacks after seventeen years of living alone?
That is my life in a nutshell. I ask myself these questions every day. No-one answers. Not with real solutions anyway.
It was my choice to live alone, but it wasn’t part of the plan to still be alone nearly two decades later.
I have always kept my body well-nourished and reasonably fit despite a variety of health issues over the years, all dealt with, yet in the end pure happenstance had me falling down a flight of concrete steps and damaging my spine and hip. Perhaps it would have been a lot worse if not for my interest in alternative therapies, good nutrition and yoga. But still – when all is said and done, I am severely limited now in my mobility – no more cycling, no more long distance walks, and worst of all – no more dancing.
And now, in my need and awaiting an operation that might just give me full mobility and might just as easily not, I find it hard to ask for help when, maybe, my family do not understand just how damaged I am.
So, I have to authenticate my life in other ways. I write and paint, meditate and read. My novel is almost finished; I’ve sold a few paintings … but I’m still alone, and fighting just like I have done all my life because I will not give in … to age, to my injuries, to my loneliness. It just doesn’t quite make up for being alone no matter how many afternoon teas and cake I partake of, how many poems or stories I write, how many pictures I paint, or how much meditating I do. And yet, on most days, I am content
Like today, I am sitting at my laptop, writing this to the songs of birds hopping about in my heavenly, flower and herb filled wildlife garden. On sunny evenings it is also full of delicious scents. I meditate there whenever the weather allows and get all the authentication I need through nature. The birds, bats, frogs and toads that inhabit my garden, the fox that flits through it, have become my companions; the bees and other insects my helpmates; even the snails have something to teach me. Nature infiltrates my writing, my painting and my dreams – my tiny urban garden, and the artistry it inspires – has become my salvation. Within this context, the words of the campaigners of the sixties, my era, are relevant … I will overcome!