In response to BerryWinter’s Monday meme “Hope” – “Aftermath”

I don’t know you well Berry, but I was so sorry to hear about the pain you are going through right now. You seem like such a sweet and lovely person. I’m so glad to see such an outpouring of support for you and I want to add my voice to the mix since so many people have been brave enough to tell their stories.

I’ve been seriously tested to the point where I didn’t know how I was going to get through it twice in my life. The first was when I was 17, coming out to the person who raised me, with my partner there for moral support, only to be told – “I will help you two find a place to live when you graduate high school, but don’t contact me again after that.”

The second time, more years later than I want to admit to given the youthful appearance of my avatar, that partner has a debilitating long term illness/disability – and for the past year has been home a total of four months over the summer, the rest of the time being spent in hospitals and nursing homes – and is still in one now. Hence the reason my time in SL is sporadic and limited, although it has become more and more of a sanctuary for me.

The three things that helped and still help get me through – listed in no particular order because they are all equally important. Friends, Creativity and Music. I didn’t have too many close friendships other than my partner when I left home, but the following years brought some very special people into my life who I consider my “chosen family” as I have no contact with my biological one. I would be lost without them and they have held me together through some pretty harrowing times. I always expect and tell them that I’m too much trouble, or too depressing to be around, but they always assure me that I’m not and that they love me. If you have good friends like this, lean on them. They will want to be there for you.

If you can bring yourself to do it at all, be creative in some way. Doesn’t matter in what form or how well or badly the end result is – it’s the act of creation that’s important. Write, draw, sing, cook , knit, take lovely pictures in SL – whatever you have the energy for. I believe people who make things learn a lot about themselves while they are doing it. It also takes you out of yourself, gives you something to focus on, and a way to process your pain. I used to write a lot more than I do now, and singing has always been an important part of my RL. The writing has evolved into a 5 year long written para-RP that I do with a close friend over IM’s instead of stories or songs but it’s still writing and fulfills that need until I have the energy to tackle something more demanding. I had to put that on hold at the beginning of this year when things got too difficult for me to be able to concentrate so instead I’ve started putting together bizarre little outfits and taking pictures of them in SL  as one way to fill the creative need to be artistic, since I have no real talent as an artist.

Music is where I can always go when I feel down. I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s like air to me. Songs can lift you up, or surround you with emotion while you let yourself cry. So – I leave you with a song that has become sort of an anthem for me, when I feel down on myself or like I’m all alone.  Adam Lambert’s “Aftermath”  The most important lines in the song to me ( see lyrics below ) are “Don’t be afraid of what’s inside”  and “Just remember you are not alone – in the Aftermath”

I hope this can help in some small way.

“Aftermath”

Have you lost your way?
Livin’ in the shadow of the messes that you made,
And so it goes,
Everything inside your circle starts to overflow.Take a step before you leap,
Into the colors that you seek,
You’ll get back what you give away,
So don’t look back on yesterday!Wanna scream out,
No more hiding,
Don’t be afraid of what’s inside!
Gonna tell ya, you’ll be alright,
In the Aftermath!Anytime anybody pulls you down,
Anytime anybody says you’re not allowed,
Just remember you are not alone,
In the Aftermath!You feel the weight,
Of lies and contradictions that you live with every day,
It’s not too late,
Think of what could be if you rewrite the role you play.Take a step before you leap,
Into the colors that you seek,
You give back what you give away,
So don’t look back on yesterday!Wanna scream out,
No more hiding,
Don’t be afraid of what’s inside!
Gonna tell ya, you’ll be alright,
In the Aftermath!Anytime anybody pulls you down,
Anytime anybody says you’re not allowed,
Just remember you are not alone,
In the Aftermath!
In the Aftermath!

Before you break you have to shed your armour!
Take a trip and fall into the glitter!
Tell a stranger that they’re beautiful!
So all you feel is love, love!
All you feel is love, love!

Wanna scream out,
No more hiding,
Don’t be afraid of what’s inside.
Wanna tell ya, you’ll be alright,
In the Aftermath!

Wanna scream out,
No more hiding,
Don’t be afraid of what’s inside!
Gonna tell ya, you’ll be alright,
In the Aftermath!

Anytime anybody pulls you down,
Anytime anybody says you’re not allowed,
Just remember you are not alone,
In the Aftermath!
In the Aftermath!
(Gonna tell ya you’ll be alright!)
In the Aftermath!
In the Aftermath!
(Just remember you are not alone!)
In the Aftermath!

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