24th November 2020: Granted Permission to Fly

Photo by Anthony Cantin

As time swiftly passes, I am greeted by a kind reminder of a piece of writing I’d written back in the Summer months, during the first Lockdown. Now a piece shared via social media, for the individual and blogpost it was intended for, but now a deep echo in my soul as I felt the depths of this inner release. The blogpost I speak of is this:

CCCU Partners in Learning – The Poetic Nursing Heart


So here I am, no longer afraid.

This evening, I choose to share with you what I’d written back in 2015, speaking at the conference for Psychological Practice and Quality (if you haven’t read the above link, then this is completely out of context – Go give it a read!).

It is a personal and honest reflection on my struggles with sense of self, depersonalisation, body dysmorphia, and dissociation. Whilst it is personal to my struggles with mental illness, it is of course relatable to many others who also face challenges with mental health and even physical health illnesses.

I am here, ready to allow myself to be free. I know that each step is going to be a challenge, and each challenge a journey – But they are all journeys I am willing to travel, with every beating of my heart.


My body is present in the room,

My mind and soul seem to be elsewhere.

I can’t seem to connect with the world,

When the feelings aren’t really there.

I am struggling to find my feet,

The ground seems to swallow me whole.

Each time I reach for that strand of hope,

I seem to lose sight of my goal.

I’m sat here feeling lost,

I’m distant and in despair.

The emotions won’t let me show you

The desperate need I am in for repair.

I don’t know why I’m silent,

I don’t know why I cry.

I just wish I could speak up,

As all these thoughts go racing by.

I cannot seem to focus

On this world around me.

I’m always zoning in and out

Feeling lost in reality.

I wish I could escape

Whatever it is making me so numb.

Because I feel like I’m drowning inside

And the thoughts and pain have finally won.

When I wake up, the first thing I wonder is who I am going to see in the mirror. I could spend seconds or minutes staring into the empty reflection trying to decipher who I am today. The problem is; every reflection shows someone new, often someone I don’t recognise.

I don’t think I have ever known who I truly am. I don’t think I ever will. I feel invisible, distant from reality and although my body may be present in the room, my mind is elsewhere.

The thoughts are scrambled. The voices in my head are often frightening, I try my best to ignore them but they just keep coming.

Who am I? I keep asking myself this question and I am still no closer to finding out the answer.

I’m lost in a world of imagination, overwhelmed by the thoughts of existing in reality. I am frightened of what I might find, I often feel as though I am best in my own little world. Of course, this is really isn’t the case. My world is unsafe. My world doesn’t really exist.

I often feel numb and alone, and when I want a taste of reality, it leads me to a dangerous place of self-torture, only able to feel pain.

I feel misunderstood by the few friends and family, and often wonder why they continue to stand by me. I don’t feel as though I deserve such kindness for what I’ve done.

Perhaps, it is the case that I have not done anything at all, but the problems I have created in my mind which feel all too real, that I have only come to believe.

This was written in 2015, as I read back on it now I realise how much of it I still feel. Yet, I feel more of a sense of self, in that I am studying a wonderful course at university and that I have an idea of where I would like it to lead me to!

The learning in life, comes and goes as we do. We sometimes fall back a few steps, but that’s ok. We’re only human. We can take the time to breathe, heal, breathe, and move forwards.

I’ll always be healing, I’ll always be flawed. I don’t intend to be perfect anymore. I realise now, more than anything, it is these ways of my being which have got me where I am today.

So, I’ll be brave.

My gratitude to having this space, and being able to share with you today this piece means a lot.

I know I did not need permission to share, but I hope that reading my post to Tom Delahunt, on The Poetic Nursing Heart, that you can understand my reasonings.

Me and My Shadow
– Illustration by Erica Terry-Rose, @sparkleroses

Thank you again for your continued support.

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