A daily battle

HUGEvery day I face a battle. The battle is between what’s going on in my head and my inner critic sitting on my shoulder heckling me and kicking me in the guts, telling me I’m useless and difficult. Most days I win; I go to bed feeling victorious. Some days I lose and go to bed feeling defeated.

I know I have the control button, I can choose the outcome, but some days I don’t have the strength to fight. I don’t have anyone at home to put their arms round me and say ‘there, there it will be OK’.

It is at these times I miss Toby the most. Even though most of the time he didn’t answer my phone calls, if I really needed him he was always there and spoke such wisdom to me.

So when I feel defeated like I did yesterday, I come home and talk to his picture and think ‘What would Toby say?’

And I know he would say ‘don’t let it get to you. People can be idiots, you’re doing great. I love you Mom.’

I am fortunate I have good friends who know me and understand me. They know that I can be prickly but behind the sharp exterior is a heart of gold and huge compassion.

I am grateful I can still talk to Toby and hear his wisdom whispering in my ear. We all need a support system for tough times and must not be afraid to call in the troops on those days we fear we are losing the battle.

Years ago when I lived in America I found a poem that really spoke to my soul. I wish I could have written the words that express so beautifully the need that comes from inside to just be loved and accepted as we are, warts and all. My dear friend Mary managed to track down the book and send it to me.

Will you be my friend? by James Kavanaugh

Will you be my friend?
There are so many reasons why you never should:
I’m sometimes sullen, often shy, acutely sensitive,
My fear erupts as anger, I find it hard to give,
I talk about myself when I’m afraid
And often spend a day without anything to say.

But I will make you laugh
And love you quite a bit
And hold you when you’re sad.
I cry a little almost every day
Because I’m more caring than the strangers ever know,
And, if at times, I show my tender side
(The soft and warmer part I hide)
I wonder, will you be my friend?

A friend who far beyond the feebleness of any vow or tie
Will touch the secret place where I am really I,
To know the pain of lips that plead and eyes that weep,
Who will not run away when you find me in the street
Alone and lying mangled by my quota of defeats
But will stop and stay-to tell me of another day
When I was beautiful.
Will you be my friend?

There are so many reasons why you never should:
Often I’m too serious, seldom predictably the same,
Sometimes cold and distant, probably I’ll always change.
I bluster and brag, seek attention like a child,
I brood and pout, my anger can be wild,
But I will make you laugh and love you quite a bit
And be near you when you’re afraid.

I shake a little almost every day
Because I’m more frightened than the strangers ever know
And if at times I show my trembling side
(The anxious, fearful part I hide)
I wonder, will you be my friend?

A friend who, when I feel your closeness, feels me push away
And stubbornly will stay to share what’s left on such a day,
Who, when no one knows my name or calls me on the phone,
When there’s no concern for me – what I have or haven’t done-
And those I’ve helped and counted on have oh, so deftly, run,
Who, when there’s nothing left but me, stripped of charm and
Subtlety, will nonetheless remain.

Will you be my friend?
For no reason that I know, Except I want you so.


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3 Responses to A daily battle

  1. It’s a wonderful poem Anne, thanks for posting it.
    I sometimes feel that it’s so hard for anyone to love someone like me now, because my wound is such an elephant in the room, and I think I drag people’s spirits down just by arriving in a group, although I don’t mean to!
    We need support so much and yet it’s hard for people to reach out and love us these days…
    Henrietta x

  2. Soojin says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Your description on your battle brought me to tears, but also gave me some comfort. I’m not alone. Thank you, Anne.

  3. Soojin Kim says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Anne.

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