Monday

61. Chemicalisation, Vulnerability and Shame.



I was going to write today about 'earthing' and walking barefoot on the moor and all sorts of lovely things.

But I feel like shit and I've been in bed all weekend with a flare-up in my neck that hurts like hell and has made me look like the Elephant Man. It's a little better today so I know that it's probably okay (mostly), and a Goddam healing crisis from the homeopathy. I'm also coming to realise that riding may not be the best thing for me to be doing at the moment. It's obviously jarring my neck badly and it has enough to deal with as it is.

This morning, a friend, David Wetton, posted a link to Brené Brown on Facebook which was just perfect timing. Brené talks about shame and vulnerability and that's so appropriate for me today.

Why? 

Because I'm not physically better yet and there are so many people cheering me on and believing in me. I think I'm not doing enough. I'm not doing it right. I'm afraid I'll end up in hospital being dosed with chemo by doctors who tell me that I've left it too late and I should have been more sensible.

Because I think I am going to have to tell Carrie the horse's owner that I'm not well enough to help her out right now.

Because Britain's Got Talent is airing from next weekend. And that means it's very likely that several million people will watch me failing and being told I'm not funny by unimpressed judges.

No, I don't know yet that I will be on the TV—apparently they'll call to tell me if it's so. But, if I am, I don't want to watch it because I remember so well that awful moment when I'd finished and looked at the impassive faces of three judges who didn't clap. I don't want to tell friends and family because I don't want them to see me fail. They know I didn't get through but telling them with a light-hearted "well, it's probably for the best and they didn't get me" is one thing. Having them watch it is another.

And also because the guy who promised to fund me for Edinburgh seems to have vanished off the planet. He's not answering messages or emails so my precious 'therapy fund' is empty again because I paid out for the entry fees and air fare and the posters in the happy knowledge that I was being sponsored. And there's a load more expense to come now that I'm now committed to Edinburgh. So I need to ask you guys if you can help out again please? If you can and if you want to sponsor me to perform at the Edinburg Fringe, please donate. I'd be so grateful. Thank you.

Several people have said to me how brave it was to ask the first time. Well it wasn't easy. I did feel shame and vulnerability but as I'm on a very, very healthy diet, I can't hide them behind a bar of chocolate or a glass of red wine any more. They have to be faced and dealt with. And that's one of the fascinating things about this journey—all my cover-up techniques are gone. 

Brené Brown says that when we numb shame, we also numb joy, gratitude and happiness. We can't have total delight if we are not willing to face our darkness. And I say that she is right. Because even though it's been a shit weekend and I hurt, there have still been moments of such joy and such peace and such profound prayer. I asked Lion to ring my Bishop and ask him to pray for me and he has phoned twice and been so kind. Until I was ill I always kept him at a bit of arm's length but now he is one of my best friends as well as a teacher and we love each other.

Brené quotes Theodore Roosevelt (and that really helped with the BGT thing too):

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Yes, I am in the arena. And I can be proud of that.


And Simon Cowell, of all people, said "yes." He didn't say it because he thought my performance was good, I believe he said it because I was in that arena, failing magnificently. It may also have been because when I looked at him, I loved him. Not in a sexual way, in an 'agape' way. I can't explain that, but it must have shown.

And, you know, even though some days are shit I can in all honestly put my hand on my heart and tell you that I've never been so alive; I've never felt so filled with joy; I've never known I was loved so much; I've never loved so deeply; I've never had a heart so open as I have had this last year. I would not have missed this experience for the world—even though I so want to be healed physically too. I don't know what the outcome will be but (as someone said) faith is not about being sure, it's about not being sure but betting with your last dollar.

Thank you for being with me on this journey.

To read more of the story, please click on 'newer post' or 'older post' in black below.
If you are new to this blog and would like to start at the beginning, please go to the side bar and click on 'January' to find post no. 1. Thank you.



5 comments:

dee20man said...

Bless you Maggy for your honesty in your post. My heart sank when i read you are feeling 'shit' and reading your post almost made me cry. Cancer is a bloody bugger and I can't tell you how much i am willing you on to get well soon, with the choices you have made regarding your treatment. What a triumph that is going to be, for everyone of us who believe in this route. You are doing enough, and i don't see you as having failed on BGT.. failure would have been not stepping up on that stage in the first place... My god woman you are putting yourself out there and standing in your vulnerability and i just wish i had your bravery. You are wonderfully inspirational. :-) Dee x

BeckyJohnsonJones said...

"Britain's got talent" hardly ever has there been a bigger shortfall between a programme title and it's content.

What you do isn't mainstream, and the bear pit of the TV talent show would crush anyone starting out in comedy. You know full well it takes 10 years of dying to become an 'overnight success'.

There are no shortcuts to success, or wellness.

When you are more than halfway across the channel, it makes no sense to turn back.

Maggy Whitehouse said...

Bless you both. You did make me cry! But all the tears are healing tears. Being loved is such a wonderful experience.

And I AM more than half way across the channel and I'm not turning back :-)

hayley coles said...

Maggy thank you for having the guts to be so raw and honest. It is a light to everyone that experiences this and I am sure it must be all of us!

Britain's Got Talent generally churns over the same kind of things, in the same 'safe' arena and look at how many don't even get the call as you said you stood in the arena, I would have just frozen and ran off.

You are looking fear in the face it can be scary at times, that fear then starts to look smaller or change (like the Demon exercise you showed to us that was scary and it morphed into something amazing at the end of the exercise) but with all your tools and knowledge, what a bag of magic you have to use. Much love - sending you a prayer and whatever healing you need xx

hayley coles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.