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This is where I occasionally write a piece about the healing process that I began back in 2000. You can provide anonymous feedback (which I'd find very motivating) by clicking one of the numbers under each post, rating it on a scale of 1 (awful) to 10 (awesome). You can also feed the fish by clicking on the water.

If you're looking for specific information on the Child Sexual Abuse issue, please scroll down to the bottom of this page and click one of the links of The Askios Projects. If you don't know which link you need, start with Askios 2010 which has information about all the projects.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Magic mirrors.

Today I looked into a young woman's eyes. They were puffy, red and  heavy-lidded from tears that had poured out, and alcohol that had poured in. Looking at her was like looking into a magic mirror, and it left me feeling sad, angry, scared, guilty, envious, relieved, proud, embarrassed - all at once.

I looked into this mirror and I saw myself as I once was:  a wonderfully funny and bright young woman, bleeding her pain all over the floor and trying to staunch the wound with alcohol. Not entirely oblivious to her pain, but desperately trying to obliterate what she can see of it.

It made me sad because I know first-hand the kind of pain that brings her to this. Sad because her jokes weren't funny enough to hide her despair and embarrassment. Because every forced smile of hers seemed more like a scream to me. It made me sad to remember that I have been there.

It made me angry that I could not tell her that this place she is in is not the end. Angry at the circumstances that brought her to this place. Angry that she could not and would not listen. Angry at myself for not having the words that might save her, for not being able to rescue her.

It made me scared to think of her going back out into the world on her own like that, mind fogged, heart vulnerable and body uncoordinated. It made me scared to remember the dangers I've faced in that condition, and only barely escaped, and it scares me more when I think that there are no guarantees that she will escape too.

It made me guilty to think that if she got hurt, I would blame myself for not doing enough, for not staying by her side till she sobered up. It made me guilty even though I knew that I had to let her go, and let her go through what she had to, before I could meet her on the other side.

It made me envious that she still had access to that wonderful lying liquid that promises to make us comfortably numb. That she was still free to do that - go out and drink herself into oblivion - something I no longer can do:  even after 12 years of sobriety, whenever life's pains get too much for me, the first thing I want is a drink.

It made me relieved that I've reached a point where I can take note of that craving and see it as a warning beacon from my inner self telling me to step back, rest, heal, take care of myself. It made me proud that I am free to do that - to know that I can easily go out and drink myself into oblivion, but to choose not to.

It made me embarrassed to realise that just as I see her pain clearly now, my friends, my colleagues, my family, my neighbours must have all seen my pain ten, fifteen, twenty years ago. It made me embarrassed to wonder what thoughts went through their heads. Did they judge me? Did they understand my pain as I understand hers? Or did they just shrug, stick labels on me, and carry on? I now know that some of them stayed with me through my pain, perhaps without understanding but also without judging,  even though it did not seem that way at the time. I wonder how soon she will recognise those few in the sea of people she calls friends. It took me years.

All these things I saw when I looked into her eyes, but I don't know what she saw when she looked into mine. Alcohol cracks the magic of a mirror, and I'm guessing that what she saw, if she looked, was distorted.

I wish I could swoosh her along with me to a magic mirror, stand there with her and tell her, not just to look - any old mirror will do for looking - but to see, to really see.

"See, this is me, as I once was." But also, "See, this is you, as you will be one day. We are broken but brilliant. We are wounded, but we are still warriors. We are nowhere near where we want to be, but also we are nowhere near where we once were. We sometimes think we are still victims, but actually we are survivors. We sometimes think we are just surviving, but actually we are transcending and living far greater lives than we give ourselves credit for. We are beautiful. We are worthy of love, and we will receive it. We are some of the most amazing people on this planet."

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?

You are.

You are.

You are.


  1. Moving. Direct. Honest. This is a superb piece motivational and spiritual without being preachy. Love it Nazu, bravo and thanks for telling me to check it out.

  2. You won't believe how hard this was to read. But I'm glad I made it to the end. I don't know how you wrote it, its almost a feeling you want to bury deep within and forget about because its too overbearing to experience. I'm not sure why, but thank you for going through with it and putting it out there for others to live through.

  3. Well written Nazu. Proud to have known you and be your friend

  4. Rae - I'm sorry it was hard to read. But I have to explain to you - it wasn't hard for me to write. This is something I'm done with, I've dealt with. That makes it easy to share, because I want to show people that they can get to this point too. It's not something I want to bury deep or forget about or find too overbearing. The feelings you ascribe to me are yours, not mine. As you heal, you will see this; from where you are now, you can see things only from your perspective. It wasn't bravery or courage to go through writing and putting it out there. The bravery and courage was back when I accepted that I had a problem, and took steps to do something about it by getting professional help.

  5. Dear Nazu,
    Truly well written, very honest and inspiring.

    Someone once said "sometimes you wake up, sometimes the fall kills you and sometimes when you fall, you fly."

    Well done. Good bless you.