My scars are invisible to the human eye and the only way of knowing they are there is by me bringing them out into the light; talking about them and accepting they’re real. If I think back, anxiety has been a part of my life but not in a debilitating way until I experienced a breakdown at the age of 35. From the outside all looked fine but on the inside my world had crumbled… I’m scared of everything. I can’t do anything. I can’t even walk outside let alone string a thought together. It feels as though my body has been taken hostage by my mind and it’s all consuming… Nothing feels right. I am trapped in my mind with intruding, noisy thoughts I can’t control – and the rest of me is like an empty shell… Where is Nicola in all of this? Where is my heart in all of this? I can’t see or feel any light. It’s dark. I want to escape but I don’t know how to and I can’t find my way out. I feel very alone.
I used to be able to do anything…what’s happened to me? Very real feelings of failure, unworthiness, not being loved or good enough consume me. Why can’t I go back to my old self…10 years later and today I can answer that question honestly by saying I’m grateful I didn’t go back to the ‘old’ me, trying to be everything to everyone and forgetting to show myself any care. My life now has a depth and richness I’d never fully known. I’ve learnt to be real with both myself and others. Thinking back, I could’ve hidden my scars to ‘protect’ myself, pretending everything is just fine and not allowing people to get too close to my scars. In that way I’d seem like I’ve got it all together and able to cope instead of being thought of as weak. By choosing to show people my scars I’m allowing a glimpse into what was once a war zone which has been transformed through friendship, faith, counselling, love, understanding, and acceptance into a field full of healing and resilience.
As my scars continue to fade, they’ve allowed me to make a most important discovery – my very own hidden treasure which has been in me all along…I’ve called it CareBox, because it’s come from a place that has given me the courage to be vulnerable. I’ve been there. I understand. I hope CareBox can be a blessing and encouragement. As my journey continues, my scars have taught me that this is not something I have to do on my own because love lends strength.
Let your heart break daily:
In conversations over song lyrics, during the pause right before the sun rises, while you’re sipping coffee and looking into the eyes of someone you love,
For it’s when we break a little, we come alive, it’s in this space of feeling, we expand, and it’s here, in our vulnerability and openness, we step into our greatest selves….Danielle Doby