‘I am not Brave’

‘I am not Brave’

I am not brave.

I am not strong.

I am not formidable.

I really am quite fragile.

I do concur that my outer self is confident.

I do concur that my outer self is self reliant.

But what else – the fuck – am I meant to do?

If I allowed Art a moment or two in my head space.

A moment to unstring my internal monologue.

Every letter, word and phrase that forms my controlled mind would come undone.




Overtly fragile.

My bravado – or what some call my outwardly positive attitude – ┬áreally is a controlling mechanism.

A way to control that tiger from lavishing his claws in my back and bringing me down.

Or bringing that grey – almost black – dog into my world.

So, what else – the fuck – am I meant to do?

Drown in self pity?

Bemoan my lot?

Question the point of life?

Or, just fucking get on with it?

I am not brave.

I am not strong.

I am not formidable.

I am fragile – in every way.

Every day.

I just cope the best way I know how.

And that way how?

That way how is to make that concerted choice.

To not let Art unstring me.

And most days, it is fucking hard.

Fucking hard – mentally, physically and emotionally.

I need support – more than you can ever imagine.

So please – don’t just call me brave, strong or formidable and think you have done enough.

Rather, please acknowledge that Art survivors will always place their feet on the ground and take steps forward.

And we will always need you there for those steps.

Just in case, one day.

We do break.

12 thoughts on “‘I am not Brave’

  1. I do love your way with words… you really have a gift for writing…. with such brutal honesty and clarity.
    Now my students have given me a Pacific Coffee mug & cap to keep my Vanilla Latte hot, I’m happy to have my ear bleeted into any time :)
    Keep writing…..

  2. In the struggle is victory and you know how to fight. You have my upmost admiration, Shan.

    I see you have- even if you think not – Art under control. How awesome is it that you can clinically (and metaphorically) assess the bastard yet keep him under your control…. That’s because you are a winner through so much. I don’t know your other pals here but I get the drift they are ALL warriors of the elite brigade. (Hang in there, Stu.)

    I’m supporting my close friend who has lupus … I think a form of Art is screwing with her too. I take from you, a few bullets for her to fire at her demons too. I know I’m not in the front line here, but you know you have friends who have your back.

    Hang in there. Love, Brenda

  3. Hi Shan,
    I write this from my hospital bed. Yep we arrived home but I still haven’t slept there – admitted to hospital. A surprise infection. Not all bad news, I’m out on Monday after a week and a half here. Then for another 3 weeks confined to home.
    So, what of your post? Well, in my hospital time it struck me that I really needed signs of support and love from family and friends more than ever. At the start I didn’t feel I’d last another minute let alone a day. Yet now I can sit and check emails. I think we tend to just mosey along. But when the proverbial hits the fan (a flare or worse) we need help. As you say “we do break”.

    • So what – the fuck – are you meant to do?! No way! I cannot believe you were admitted to hospital. You know when you were in Hong Kong recently I was amazed at how physically and constant you were with your daughter. I do not know how you keep up the pace. No wonder you crashed – in some way. The older I get the more I think I will break. Take care, Stu. xo

  4. Very moving my friend. Made the hairs on my back and neck stand on end.

    It’s always refreshing to hear people being honest about what they feel, in contrast to what we see or persieve.

    I admire your resilience…. How you put your feet on the ground day after day, and walk, even though sometimes it feels like you are walking on glass. You’re competitive, a fighter. I love that you fight. And you fight to win.

    Keep winning my friend.

    I love you xxxxx

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