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Somewhere in the first week of Feb. ’22, I had what I could only describe as some sort of breakdown, hence the title of this post.

I guess looking back now, ‘Broken’ also refers to the state of my ankle, which had broken in 3 places on Lingmoor in the first week of January. I didn’t know it then, as I lay in the wet waiting for Mountain Rescue, that walking is the foundation stone of my mental health. I didn’t know that not walking the dog twice a day would be my undoing. I lay on the hill wondering how I would take Georgia out (I needn’t have worried – you find out who your friends are, and I had many people repeatedly reporting for dog duties… thanks especially to Steve who did the early-morning-very-wet-Saturday-Sunday walks). Cheery faces arriving for dog duties forced me out of bed. Everything seemed extremely hard. Food tasted of nothing and I didn’t eat for a while. But the people who cared accepted me for who I was at that moment in time. Which is what was needed. No-one chooses to feel so horrible and powerless. Thank you to the people who arrived at my door, if you’re reading this.

At that time, holed up on the sofa for days on end, I started to read again, and to write. My mind was calming down. Ant Middleton’s ‘The Fear Bubble’ for starters and it has bite marks in the cover! I had to carry it around the house whilst on crutches and I didn’t always remember to have my rucksack! And I wrote. For the first time really. About 30 poems, some short, some long, some private, some not.

I’m glad I broke my ankle. Even if the screws itch from the inside out… It was the best thing to have happened.
It forced a reboot and a rethink about how I work and balance my life.

Coming out of the other side, writing more, travelling and living #vanlife, creating food in the confines of the van, and now working again… well, that’s all just fab and I’m excited about what I can create in the kitchen.

Hooded adult foetal curl,
Hands defend face from more,
She falls on torn breaths,
Eyes on nothing.

Her mind took her in the end!
Fearlessly taking charge, taking what it needed,
Her carefully constructed world useless; cards fluttering in a breeze as her mind shut down.

She’d known it was coming. Years of losses tightly sewn away. Stitched down flat. Trouble was she’d caught the joy in the knotted threads.

And here in this still silent room where people and sounds bruise her purple skin,
moments make days and weeks.

Memories and dreams come during endless wide-eyed nights days running together,
Lying staring at the dark.
Waking from wakefulness, screaming from the deepest place, her maternal space where the first loss was.
Reaching for another heart beat. The safety of the dog fur. Georgia’s deep dark dog eyes,
steadily blinking reassurance when lights were flicked to stop the panic.

Observing herself as if from a shelf, she sees her head on her mother’s lap.
Snivelling as a child without the perspective of time.

From where she lies she sees the February sky,
Clouds running rain.
Draws the curtains to turn away,
to sleep-sought solace
And yet.

She feels the light change one day.
A patch of blue.
Poking her head through the curtain then,

The easy task to walk through the doorway out of there is not. But still. Rainbow.

18 Feb 22
Image grabbed whilst writing this, from my home in Kendal