A little while ago (as daughters often do) I tried to call my mother to unload recent events upon sympathetic ears. She had visitors, so I committed to call again ‘soon’, but as I hung up the phone I could feel a wave of numbness come over me (my go-to coping strategy) as if something inside me knew what was up ahead. Now, no one has died, and I’m not writing this from prison, but at the time I placed that call a whole string of events had already unfolded and little did I kn...ow it was just the beginning.

One thing after another went wrong. And not ‘wrong’ in a way I could at least anticipate, but out-of-the-blue-random wrong. Things that ranged from trivial to very serious played out seamlessly; barely dealing with one, before another appeared. To list them here would be as painful to read as it would be to write, not because the events were tragic or life-changing but because they were relentless.

During those weeks, I had no words. They were all issues that only I could deal with. My husband in his infinite wisdom knew that the best thing he could do for me was to sit quietly and hold my hand…or make me coffee.

Call it what you will – a run of bad luck, a test of faith, or a curse from the pit of hell – but it left me speechless.

I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because I couldn’t form words to describe what I was going through and there was so much happening that I didn’t know where to start. I likened it to being in power-saving mode with only 6% charge remaining. But stilling my soul was not just all I could do, it was the best thing I could do.

Deep down I knew it would pass, but if I continued to run that battery despite its warning signs, I ran the risk of damaging its core.

It wasn’t until a month later that I was finally able to call my Mum and begin to tell of my saga. It was disjointed and simplified but I was comforted by her incredulous gasps, her sense of injustice and most importantly, her laughter at the ridiculous number of things that had rallied to bring me undone.

The lesson in that for me? – Life is so intense sometimes it leaves us speechless. And instead of swimming against the current and flapping about in the depths, sometimes it’s not a bad thing to just be swept along in silence.

Cancel appointments, don’t return calls – don’t even answer them! And don’t feel bad about it. Listen to your body and heed its advice. Take refuge in a warm bath, or tuck yourself safely under the covers. Walk in the sunshine and breathe deeply. Eat well and sleep often.

Speech will return. Words will once again form sentences, and rest assured normality (whatever that is) will be reinstated.

Just take care of yourself in the meantime.


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