Not linear, gentle or consistently successful
I relate to that perception of failure and commend you for steering yourself toward nourishment instead of added pain. In truth, you gave Norman and Simon so much just by being with them in their final days and by being your loving, caring self. As someone on the outside, it's easy to see, but we're always harshest on ourselves, aren't we?
Thank you for giving us insight into your journey and the critical moments that shaped it. I'm in awe of your ability to draw light from dark experiences and weave it into something beautiful for people to read and respond to. I hope the acute pain from these recent losses (and your back) lifts soon. No matter how long it takes, how not linear, gentle, or consistently successful, it's okay. ❤️
Oh sweet Chloe, I'm so sorry. We lit a candle today for Simon and Norman 💚
One of my favorite lessons from nature is the saffron crocus. It waits all summer underground and doesn't surface until things get cold. Then, it pokes it's head out of the soil and blooms into the most beautiful violet flowers with the fiery red, precious saffron threads in the middle. Everything else around it submits to the cold and dies back. Saffron crocuses bloom through the cold, frost be damned. They bloom because of it. You remind me of a saffron crocus 💚
Love is never wasted. A lot of people struggle with investing emotionally in sick animals on the internet only to feel crushed when they die, (yep, I am one of them) so don’t blame your honesty for that maybe? Don’t blame yourself at all. Norman and Simon received care in their short lives, that matters.
I'm sorry to hear about your back. I've suffered terrible back pain myself and I wouldn't wish it on anybody.
Regarding the drugs, I've always remembered the words of a teacher when I was at college: "Your parents probably told you not to accept sweets from strangers, but it won't be strangers who offer you drugs, it will be your friends. He was right. Drugs never appealed to me I don't even drink. I like being fully compos mentis.
I agree with Michelle, love is never wasted. We once drove fifty miles on a Saturday to take an injured Robin to a wildlife rescue centre, only to be told that it will probably die anyway. We felt pretty upset, but even if we had known that in advance, what was the realistic alternative, not only for the robin, but in terms of what we would be able to live with?
The important thing, it seems to me, is to do what we can. The outcome is not in our control. What you do at the rescue place is wonderful
Sending you much love Chloe. They were happy to be together. You gave them that. ❤️ Take care of yourself please, you’re needed here.
Once again I opened this up to read on my journey home from work. I just nearly missed my train stop (!) due to being carried along by your own journey and the sad news of Simon and Norman, as well as the heartache that that has brought you (not to mention the back issues).
As others have said, this was an incredibly vulnerable post and I applaud you for your openness. You express it all so effortlessly.
I am grateful that I have never had to deal with addiction, though my feet have on occasion stepped in wayward (and, well, let's be honest: wondrous) places. Thank you for sharing your journey, though. I was inhaling your words, my eyes wide.
Sending you much love. Rest up, look after yourself, let David look after you, and know that we all appreciate everything you do, as no doubt Norman and Simon did in their brief but well-loved existence. May they be returned to the great mystery once more.
Your words sing Chloe. Thank you for drawing lines between subjects that are entangled in life, but rarely in our discourse. I hope you can take the time you need. 🐦⬛
Chloe this was touching. It is such a vulnerable and honest post, one which really resonated with me.
I struggled with addiction in my teens and twenties and your observation that it is in no way - “linear, gentle or consistently successful” - could not be more accurate.
I’m sorry to hear about Simon and Norman, and about the hard time your going through at the moment.
I wish you all the best.
Keep fighting the good fight; and thank you for sharing.
So sad to hear of Simon and Norman’s passing but I’m even sadder to hear your grief. It’s a strange cat grief and we just have to go through whatever it deems.
I appreciate your honesty about being an addict and what it does to us and continues to do to us long after the drugs are gone.
You were the first read I had on this wonderful thing substax. I had no prior experience of social media except for a brief misguided interaction on a sports thing on Reddit. Suffice it to say it was brutal and demoralizing.
You were a great balm to my fragile social media skills.
I am thinking of you and praying for you and Simon and Norman are together praying for you too. Take care and be gentle with yourself
So many feelings...
And so much honesty and truths
I wasn't prepared for 'death of birds'
My heart hurts for all of it
I have found, when times are hard, and your raw inner soul is revealed, there are certain people who slink away. But the beauty is that the ones who remain, lift you higher than you could have ever imagined, just by the sheer power of their love.
WE ARE HERE!
We love you
And we honor you
Take care of yourself, as you took care of Norman and Simon. You have so many others who will need your kindness and generosity of spirit when in need - “He whose life has a why can bear almost any how.” You have found a beautiful “why”.
I’m very sorry for your losses, Chloe. And the way you wove your story to connect your grief now to how you felt in the midst of a binge was just fantastic and sad and I really appreciate you sharing. Sending out prayers for all of you and some for the people on the train platform, too.
You said, “I am trying to deal with these thoughts by acknowledging them, being open about them, respecting them while not acting on them, and by orientating towards the things which nourish me in times of heartache: rest, ritual, reverence and retreat.”
St. Basil the Great, writing in the mid-300s, in a homily introducing the biblical book of Proverbs, had this practical tip that sounds an awful lot like what you’ve said. He likens the mind to a steersman (the fella up in the crow’s nest), above the conditions of the waters and able to direct the ship aright, avoiding taking on bitter seawater and protecting the cargo. The mind, while aware of and acknowledging what is happening below in the realm of our heart and memory, remains clear-sighted above the circumstances so as to navigate the ship towards the safe harbor of “rest, ritual, reverence, and retreat,” as you’ve said, which for him would have been the God that Jesus is and reveals to us. It sounds to me like you’ve found something like this.
I think it is precisely your having endured a good many of life’s storms that has made you capacious, a storehouse of affection. We can’t give what we haven’t got, and you’ve been forced to get hold of yourself, which you generously give to arguably one of the weakest among us: the hatchling and sick fledgling and bird with broken wing.
If any creature existed only long enough to know your love, to be in your care, then their existence was, I must believe, a very full one indeed.
Sending up a prayer for Norman & Simon.
Sorry for Simon & Norman. Prayers sent up. You’re words are making me love reading again. Thank you 🙏🏼
I'm so sorry you're having a time of it, Chloe. Simon and Norman's memorial birdhouse sounds like the perfect tribute, what a pillar David is. Wishing you peace and the speedy recovery of your back.
You may find a very odd echo of your imaginary picture crashing in my post next week, I've been working on it for a few days, read this and thought, "Whoa." I have not shared about my own sobriety, but I commend your candor. 💛💛💛