Blog entry by Alan Chapman
talking and writing about traumas
Humans have evolved because we've talked, and so probably talking is natural and helpful for our health and survival.
This depends on what we say, or write, given that writing also uses words to communicate.
I'm communicating this, probably mainly to myself, because it seems important.
It might be important or helpful for others.
I want to make two points:
1. Some experiences of my life, especially since 2015, are impossible for me to explain, including to myself.
I doubt I'll ever be able to attempt to explain. There is no need anyway, especially if I see it that way.
As I recover my emotional balance - (it's a sort of rebirth) - I am more able to assess myself and my life.
I'm very proud that I've survived, although I recognise that millions, and probably billions, suffer much worse things than me.
I would not say that the 60 million people who die globally every year have suffered worse, because for the past nearly six years my death has seemed to me, and continues to seem to me, a much preferable state of being, than my continuing to stay alive.
Incidentally I cherish life and every moment of it.
And this is the magical point.
There is an expression, "Nobody died," when referring to something difficult that has happened, meaning that the difficulty could have been a lot worse, and so be grateful that it wasn't.
My personal extension of this saying is:
"Nobody died - unless they did of course - in which case it could have been much worse :) "
The smiley :) is because we must be able to laugh at death :)
We must be able to laugh at death or the taboo of death starts to terrorise beyond death itself.
We see this terror very widely now among well and comfortably situated people, for whom death is much less likely than for billions of others who are actually dying or who live precariously close to death as a normal way of life.
There is a time in the life of anything and anyone, when death is is better than resisting or denying it.
As a brief yet relevant diversion, I met a young woman a few years ago who was serving in a coffee shop in a London railway station. She was from Ethiopia and her dream was to have her own coffee shop. I had been working in suicide for a while, and I asked her about suicide in Ethiopia. She said that in her village and the surrounding region suicide was not a problem, because people were too busy finding food and water, trying to stay alive.
I found that very interesting of course. She cherished life and her dreams, because she knew a life in which death is part of the cherishing.
I want to explain why I use the expression, "Nobody died - unless they did of course - in which case it could have been much worse :) "
Simply, there are some things that are worse than death.
To me this seems a statement of the obvious.
And when we realise that death is not as terrifying as we might fear, we cherish life and every moment.
2. Further optimistically, I noticed a lightness in my feeling about myself since earlier today I explained very briefly a couple things about myself to another person. I did this almost casually and certainly laughed about it a lot, as I tend to do about most things when engaging with other people about anything.
This couple of things had actually nearly killed me, literally.
I'm talking about actually surviving what would have been suicide.
I am infinitely luckier than the most fortunate cat.
A cat, according to the saying, has nine lives.
Every moment is a life to me.
Here's where things become very strange, and Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration is the main reference I use in trying to explain it, and myself....
There seems a point at which a person can become so comfortable with the idea of dying and wanting no longer to be alive, that this naturally and logically equates to, and/or becomes, a fearlessness of dying - or an embracing of one's own mortality - so that life then becomes magical.
Obviously I can only speak for myself, but for what it's worth, Dabrowski made a lot of sense.
Just like the young woman in the coffee shop.
I imagine she now has her own coffee shop, and it is beautiful.
and/or talk to someone who can make light of death :)