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What healing means to me…

Healing is defined as the process of becoming or making someone or something whole. The Bible re

fers to the word as the restoration of health, the making whole or well physically, mentally or spiritually.

Whilst I am not a religious person, this definition resonates with me the most as I believe a person cannot be whole if they are not healthy in every aspect of their life - physically, mentally and spiritually - and feel truly fulfilled. Healing is a process which I prefer to refer to as a journey.

Throughout our lives we experience loss, we lose loved ones, relationships, jobs, homes, beliefs and friendships we must overcome. Life is a journey and we will of course be met with challenges alo

ng this journey however, by choosing to move forward and overcome these obstacles we heal, and we build new identities. We are given the opportunity to crack ourselves open and discover deeper parts of ourselves in order to become better individuals.

Healing can only truly come when we allow ourselves to feel the emotions and the pain...not to block them out or push them to the back of our minds in hope that they disappear. Not dealing with your negative feelings and emotions has a funny way of catching up with you along the way and this can hit you ten times harder, I unfortunately learnt this the hard way!

I was never one to enjoy expressing my emotions as I had always felt this would make me appear weak. I have always been a strong and independent person and always took it upon myself to look after both myself and my sister through the many ups and downs we experienced through childhood. The problem however with always wanting to be strong is that you begin to believe you can get through life without needing the help of anyone and telling yourself and others that you are always fine. Nothing is too big to break you. But this makes falling eve

n harder.

After my father died, I felt like I was living in an alternate reality. I finally understood what it meant to feel your heart ache. Your entire body becomes numb and it’s like you simply forget who you are. I had never felt such intense pain in my life, and despite years of practice I just couldn’t see how I would ever get over this blow. Because I had never dared to show my pain and weakness to others in the past, why would I start now? Why would I give the world the satisfaction of knowing that this time it had got me?

Instead I chose to be fine... I threw myself back into work so I wouldn’t have to think about it, and when I wasn’t working, I turned to drugs, sex and alcohol. If I was always busy or not fully conscious then I wouldn’t have to think about the fact that the person closest to my heart was gone and I wouldn’t have to feel the pain.

A year and a half went by, this behaviour continued and I continued to say I was fine! My sister continued to say I had not dealt with my grief and I continued to say she was wrong. Suddenly it was October and I received a call from her

saying it was time to come to Brussels as our mother was close to the end and it was time to say goodbye. She died that night.

Suddenly we are at our mothers funeral and this is when it hits me! I am hit with the fact that my dad has been gone for over a year and I am currently at my mother’s funeral. The pain engulfs me, the tears begin to flow and I realise I will never be the same again.

I returned to Kenya and got straight back into work, however it was not until a few months later, after my new puppy was run over and I was betrayed by one of my closest friends, that I was finally able to admit I was not fine. I was less than fine, I was severely depressed and for the first time ever I had lost the will to live. I had no reason to move forward and overcome all this. As all the repressed grief came flooding in and I felt the reality of life hit me, I knew it was time to accept defeat and finally allow myself to feel everything I had refused to for almost 2 years. For the first time in my life, I was able to show my weakness and to ask for help. This is when my healing journey began...


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