It’s not a great time of year for me, or should I say it hasn’t been in the historical sense.

My mum passed away on February 6, 2001 and I’ve missed her every day since.

Lord knows there have been times when I genuinely believe one cuddle could have changed things but, just as you have to let go of pain, you have to let go of dreams of unrecieved hugs too.

You make peace, when you stop falling. You breathe.

Then, of course, March looms. The 17th to be precise – and ironically what would have been mum’s birthday.

It was this day, in 2016, I walked into Colchester County Court, broken, and was declared bankrupt after a three month road closure saw to the end of my pub – a business opened to claw myself back from the brink after whistleblowing and losing the career I had loved in the police.

But you make peace, when you stop falling. You breathe.

I was left with nothing – selling even childhood posessions for food – and served my time in a “shared house.”

The soundtrack to my nights were the shouts and screams of the man upstairs as he fought his alcholic demons and urinated on the floor above my head in long, deafening streams. My days were filled with the sharp, omnipresent headache and perma-tiredness of malnutrition while doing a physical job. I was a wreck, living on rationed biscuits.

But you make peace, when you stop falling. You breathe.

Knowing that there are people who will never forgive the loss of money is something which simply takes time to get over and there is no easy reconciliation with your sense of self-worth, I assure you. But I found happiness after the horror, once shame faded away and all the emotional pain stopped.

The social leprosy of a court ruling does its work in this.

But you make peace, when you stop falling. You breathe.

I was discharged from Bankruptcy a year on, on mum’s birthday, and soon it will be another year down. In four years I will have served my credit sentence and return to being a financially acceptable human once more.

It is a relief, the weight of a quarter of million of debt being lifted, but nobody must ever think this comes for free. The worst of it isn’t the public record, the sneering, or the assumptions, either. It’s what you do to yourself.

But you make peace, when you stop falling. You breathe.

Rather than spiral to terminal velocity, I stopped the sharp descent and even fell in love, real love. Which was just coming home in truth.

One day, I may even be to soften up on myself too. Because once you can breathe again, and you come home, you can move.

And I haven’t stopped moving since.

I’m flying, I suppose. Completely free for the first time in almost forty years of life.

2 thoughts on “Flying.

  1. Hope it goes better now for you JJ, you deserve it.
    From an outsider’s, total stranger’s perspective, you have certainly been flying, more than, you’ve been soaring above most of us. Many thanks for your tireless work and courage. Wish more were like you.

    Liked by 1 person

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