This is what I’ve learned about humans and healing in the last year

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It’s not particularity straight forward to just decide one day that you feel better after going through something hard. We can’t track exactly how long it took to feel more or less back to normal. It kind of just gradually happens. If I’m having a bit of a rough time I sometimes try to predict how long it will all last so I can countdown to being back on track. Of course this is not possible. Being human is a lot about not knowing, and you just have to learn to be okay about that.

When my mum got diagnosed with cancer I remember it being weeks of worry, then weeks of limbo, then some relief, then just this period of time when things slowly started to piece back together but there’s still this strange feeling that clings on around you. It’s weird when something bad happens how everything just changes. I think the best way to describe it is being thrown into a pool, with no warning, straight into the deep end. Once you’re in, you test the water and just try and keep yourself afloat. Then you have to deal with staying in the pool for as long as things are hard. You keep swimming but you never quite reach the sides to have a rest, and sometimes you can barely even swim because the water is too thick to get through.

Cool story right? But that’s my perfect interpretation of dealing with hard stuff. That’s how I think me and my family felt for a good few months, how we still feel a bit even though we’re now holding onto the sides and starting to climb out. Getting over thing isn’t straight forward. There’s no simple way to help someone. After my experience, I felt more empathetic to people around me having a shit time of it. I felt less inclined to tell people to man up or get over it, no matter what the problem was.

We’re complex things, us humans, and we have complex, detailed, busy brains that keep us floating, sometimes make us feel like we’re drowning and sometimes makes us feel like we’re back to normal. It’s just a thought really, drawing on the last year of my life, but we should probably all help those who can’t reach the sides yet a bit more if we can.

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