There is so much despair around me everywhere I go, in person or online.
I understand despair; the feeling of not being able to breathe, the feeling of not knowing where to turn, the feeling that the world has turned upside down on it's axis and that nothing is as it should be.
I understand hopelessness; that all my efforts have availed me nothing, the crashing knowledge that something has happened that is completely outside of my control, that I cannot change what has happened and that I must live with something that I find soul-detroying.
I understand fear; the kind that visits us in heart wrenching dreams and greets us in the morning when we wake.
I understand feeling powerless.
I understand feeling dislocated.
I understand despair.
I understand because I was there in 2004. I hobbled around for a long time, dragging myself through each endless day, and night, unable to think or plan or hope. Unable to find comfort in anything.
One day, I realised that I could not go on like this.
I made a decision to carve a new life for myself out of the ashes. Being a book lover, I turned to books to try to find some answers but I was so low that I found it hard to read and even harder to digest what I was reading. More despair....
I turned away from books and began to focus on really small pleasures; a good cup of coffee in the morning, a robin dancing on the clothesline, a beautiful family photograph, writing a letter. I gradually realised that these simple things were grounding me in life and living again. I began to feel a slow unfurling of my frozen self. I began to find pleasure. I began to feel a purpose in this life.
As time went on, people asked me how did I do it? How did I climb out of despair?
So I wrote it down. I wrote down what I had learned about creating a life out of despair. I wrote it simply as a series of suggestions written clear and bold on a clean white page without much commentary. I wrote the kind of book that I needed in my despair but could not find. I wrote about how the repetition of small, seemingly insignificant tasks can bind up a broken spirit. I wrote from my experience that these small tasks have a cumulative effect. I made the book small so that it can fit in a pocket or a handbag and be carried around easily if needs be. I made the book bright and colourful because everything seems so grey when we despair.
There are many people in despair in our world today. But not all of them are ready just yet to climb out of it. Maybe you are a person in despair.... I hope you can hear me when I say that there is a way out. With all my heart, I wish you a safe journey out of your despair. And if these words or my Book can help you then I shall be very glad.
With warm wishes
If my small granny could see me now
An afternoon among the women poem
Growing up in a white world
When people say genealogy is boring
Anger and Truth
Where do you come from?
The House on an Irish Hillside book review
Mammies for Mariage Equality
Aw go on, say YES
Homeless in Ireland
When wide sky opens poem
I love my work
Celtic New Year
This small house
Rhythm & Rest poem
The Hidden Self
The Lonely Road
Kerry Pride 2013
Letting the Light in after Loss
Letting go is hard
Pick up the phone
Her name was not Magdalene
Do what you love doing!
My small granny
Praise the child and boil the dishcloths
My invisible brother Michael
I don't want to be Irish anymore
Alone on Valentine's Day
I love my country but I am not blind
Truth no. 2
How we tell the Truth
From Clare to here
Mother's Day is bittersweet
I will not be part of that
No Blacks No Dogs No Irish
Thank you for the days
Baby Marion Howe
My Irish Identity
When my Mam was dying
Violence against women
Take back your power
Draw the line
My small granny and other stories