Refinding Recognition Reflection


The Spotlight Is On Me

Once upon a very long time ago it was almost impossible to get home at any decent time. The route to the underground was full of meetings with people who wanted to talk, to bring me up to speed with their lives, tell me which level their complaint had reached or to introduce me to someone else we could advocate for.

I enjoyed it. 90 mins over a 20 minute walk and the occasional offer of a cup of tea. Then it got a little wearing and I took to using a car. Which is when all the hiddden fears I’d found a dark recess for, in my brian, reached out to throttle me. It wasn’t the avoidance, the need to get home or the car itself. Other things were going on I was losing everything. Bereavements, threats of homelessness, homelessness, the loss of my job and relationship. Everything. It had all gone.

The spiral twisted down and down, growing ever darker and underground started to mean something else entirely. It was where all my hopes and dreams went. Buried, deep down inside. Feelings, thoughts. numbed, suffocated. The old defence mechanism pushed itself forward but the outside world and all its events kept on calling. I became very ill. My life was darkened.

This is why the new feeling for life, the calling for enjoyment is so prominent.

I’ve not intended to go for the story, explain why its so important. I don’t even claim to call for us all to survive – its proving worth it for me, right now, but its not going to fit snug for all of us. This call is just for me.

Recently I popped into a post office only to hear a voice saying hi rich. A long journey followed and at the other end of the line, a car came around a corner, the window was open and a voice said hi rich. It felt good.  Suddenly I was recognised again. People offered me greetings. Two voices, two communities. My world was growing again.

Now I’m reflecting on refinding recognition. Its not just outside me. its inside me. Here it is. I’m home, i’m working, my relationship is secure again. But its not that which I need to recognise. These are the things I fought for, what I stayed alive for, the promise I made to myself. Its more than that. Its about recognising myself, reflecting on myself, refinding myself. Only this week on the Kent coast I spent five hours on two days talking to strangers and having a good time. I don’t like to talk, I don’t like to phone. Writing is my thing. Except its not. I’m back out there. I’m alive. And I’m living it.


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