When my father told me as a young child that I would never amount to anything if I became a writer, little did I know it would be the very thing that saved my life…and that of others.
A number of people commented about me writing a blog about overcoming ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). You can see why they shorten it to ME can’t you?
…Or To break it down
My = muscle
Algic = pain
Encephalo = brain
Mye = spinal cord
Itis = inflammation
So, in summary, this thing had well and truly affected every part of my body. Living with it was not an option so I chose to be one of the statistical 20% who’ve recovered fully from this disease.
I deliberated about starting this blog for some time. Not because I didn’t want to share how I’d discovered how to recover from this incredibly debilitating condition or the fascinating links I’d found to help so many people with other similar conditions. What I was procrastinating over, was the writing itself!
I recently had a meeting with a film producer and during that meeting I heard myself saying “…but I’m not a writer.” I could feel myself fiercely protecting the little girl in me and after that meeting I found myself in tears over my disclosure.
What was I thinking? I realised I was protecting that vulnerable part of me that I’d held back for years in an attempt to guard myself. So, I put forward an aspect of who I was in the hope that he wouldn’t discover that frightened, exposed little girl inside.
When I was a young child I told my father I wanted to be a journalist. “A journalist?” he scoffed “You’ll never make any money writing silly stories.” And so, I learned that dreams were not what I wanted but what my father felt was best for me. I hasten to say that took me down a very turbulent road for most of life until now.
For the majority of my journey I ignored that dream, those yearnings, that still small voice that gently caressed my inner most feelings and encouraged me to take that small step. As I chased other people’s dreams, what others expected of me, I fell down each time and after patching up my grazed knees I started again with another.
Life has an incredible way of coaxing you onto your chosen path though. Sometimes your oblivious and other times we look back in hindsight and realise the ruse. As an Intuitive Consultant for over 20 years I’ve found myself hiding behind my role, dipping my toe in the water with writing my brochures, websites and eventual classes. It evolved to writing articles for magazines and other publications including material for my own radio show, but still I was in denial.
I was asked to write my memoirs in 2008 by one of the directors at the radio show I was presenting for, but was abhorrent to the idea. Why would anyone want to know about my life? And more to the point, I felt I couldn’t possibly expose myself. I was an unskilled and unheard of writer after all. In fact, I had no qualifications whatsoever, so I would be ridiculed and laughed at by those who’d studied and worked hard for their trade.
When I allowed myself to imagine myself as a writer, the thought made me feel giddy, like I was standing on the edge of a cliff, totally exposed to the elements and being a very private and sensitive person, I couldn’t think of anything worse. But the seed had been sown. It burned in me like a hot knife trying to open my insides to set them free.
Sometimes you have nowhere to go, but go with it!
2 years later and laying in a hospital recovery ward after head surgery, I had nowhere to go and nothing I could do but write…and there it began.
I convinced myself it was therapy at first. Private and secret, between me and my journal, it felt like I was opening a part of me that had been muted for years. I was in the early stages of a relationship at that time and unbeknownst to me it turned out to be highly volatile. We’d moved to Suffolk for my recovery with the intention for me to write whilst my partner worked, but as soon as we moved into our new life I found myself immersed in the frightening stark reality that I’d just committed myself and my kids’ lives to a narcissistic monster.
For the protection of my children in their new environment, with new school and new friendships, I went out and worked long hours as a cleaner for very little money whilst my partner did little to contribute. He was bipolar so anything I earned, he spent and he created debt like a leaky water pipe that was slowly drowning us.
I continued to write in secret. Writing was my guilty pleasure, my release valve, my secret weapon that gave me strength to survive to keep me getting up every day, despite the volatility of our daily lives, to do what I needed to do to put food on the table for my kids.
Writing became my daily feed, the nurturing connection to my inner self that I protected so fervently. Whenever I could, I painstakingly used my thumbs to write on my Blackberry phone notebook which I stored on my computer at home. For 3 years, it kept me sane, alive and safe and woke the warrior in me to do what it took to keep from ‘arousing the beast’ in him.
Finally, that warrior woman found her voice and stood and faced the beast and said “No more!”
Up to that point I had almost finished the book. It was as if I was running parallel lives, as I experienced the horror of my current life whilst reminiscing and writing about the horrors of my past. As the book started to come to a close, it seemed the creative process had patched my wounds and given me the all clear to leave.
I left that relationship and never attracted another volatile, abusive relationship again. I had finally broken the spell that released me from the program that attracted one violent relationship after another which I’d endured by then for 42 of my 45 years of life.
It took me another 5 years before I finally allowed my little girl within to come out and share my broken life, my challenges and how I overcame them.
She’s no longer the timid, frightened little person holding desperately onto me and begging me to protect her though. She is a strong willed creative spirit with a wondrous heart and inquisitive mind who sucks life in, including all the bad stuff and channels it into something beautiful for others to see. In that process, she now helps others to find their way, their creative saviour, their essence and authenticity.
Many years ago, I was fascinated to learn that when we’re born, every cell in our body has 2 programs from the onset which stay with us for life and are housed in our blueprint, the essence of who we are. One is to learn how to love and one is to learn how to be creative.
I can certainly say I never really understood what that statement truly meant until now. Learning how to be creative allows us to honour who we are in the most authentic way and sometimes that learning can be our salvation, our discovery of who we are. Only then can we truly discover love at the deepest level.
When my memoirs were adapted recently to the screenplay “Angel” I felt truly humbled and was much more than I could have dreamed of. The film version is musically and magically driven by real life and animation combined, a fairy tale for grownups. When I was a little girl, I lived for reading fairy tales but they ultimately end up with the hero rescuing the princess. “Angel” perfectly captures the essence of my memoirs, “The Guys Upstairs” as it’s working on a new paradigm…the princess rescues herself!
We all have the ability to rescue ourselves!
So it is through my creativity that I’ve mended my broken self after the years that it’s tolerated such abuse. I am teaching my body that it’s safe now in this world and the adventure before me for the next 50 years will be one of freedom, peace and love in all its glory.
Recently I was moved by the speech that Meryl Streep gave at the Golden Globe Awards when she quoted her friend Carrie Fisher “….As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia said to me once….take your broken heart and make it into art!”
And that’s exactly what I intend to continue to do! I hope in this lifetime, you find your own art too….whatever that may be!
Warmest wishes with love
Amanda Hart x