I have never walked slowly

I’ve never walked slowly because I've been running. Running for as long as I can remember. And the pace has been getting faster and faster year after year. But as the speed increased I got better and better at creating new tricks to create distance between me and those accumulated horrors snapping at my heels. I worked harder and harder, I created more and more lines of communication, documented my every move, checking in on all the people I know, lists and lists and gymming and doing and new projects and dating, and classes and things and things and new recipes and multi tasking always doing so much never stopping and never breathing and swirling and whirling in my head.

But this week finally huge cracks appeared and with the force of a dam breaking, every single horror poured out, and fuck me I have never felt so much.

I often wondered when people talked about healing and feeling and sitting with the darkness, how. How do you do that? I’ve talked about a lot of things in therapy, but I had learnt to talk and not feel. To share stories as if I was reading them from a book written in a language I didn't speak. I have used my kid as a crutch for never being still, for never being alone. I have used my business to always be doing, talking, responding. I have made a life and a personality out of these tricks. But this week a few things were the catalyst for the walls crumbling. Well, two things happened.

After my internal dialogue getting worse and worse over the last few weeks, tormenting me after every single interaction I had, telling me that I had done or said the wrong thing, worrying constantly that all my friendships were about to end, telling myself over and over that I am bad and weird and unlovable, I had a coaching/therapy session. In this session I shared all of this, and she asked me to take some breaths and scan my body to find somewhere in it that felt safe. I searched and searched right down to my toes and nothing. And then my whole body started shaking and I cried. Like really really cried for the first time in so long. This was the beginning. Part two began when my kid came back from school. My kid is now 14 and for the first time in his life he told me he was happy. Sure he’s had happiness in his life but also a lot of sadness. But for the first time I realised that he is really,l not only ok but happy. He has the friendships he always longed for (which have been hard with all our moving), a life he loves, independence and his first girlfriend.

So my greatest rock to hide behind just rolled away, and behind it was so much terrifying space. So I tried to pick up some old habits to fill the gaps but I just couldn't any more. My body just wouldn’t let me. I wanted to download dating apps and make reels and message everyone and go for a run whilst responding to emails and for the first time I saw it all clearly and I couldn't hide anymore.

So I canceled everything. From photo shoots to meetings, I deleted instagram from my phone and told everyone, for maybe the first time ever that i just can’t do it. And then I lay down and cried and cried and for the first time ever understood what it means to feel it all.

I feel like a lamb learning to walk again. I feel scared and freed and lost and hopeful. I don’t know where the grief for the world ends and mine begins, I just know I feel it all so very deeply. I don’t know how long this will last and what it means. But I know I’ve been preparing for this. I have never walked slowly but it’s OK because running got me here.

That in my running I have woven a safety net of friends and a life and a home to catch me and hold me as I fall.

I have never walked slowly but it’s ok because I walked slowly today. I’ve never walked slowly but today I did and tomorrow I will again.

I hope that if you’re still running maybe you can just try and walk a little slower today and tomorrow and the next day because too much running makes you real tired.

So I won’t be doing anything that isn't urgent or important for a while, I’ll mainly be hugging my cat and my friends and walking real real slow. And I hope you can do the same.

Sending so so much love
Sal x

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