Like a Phoenix rising from the Ashes

OK, so that all sounds very dramatic but it popped into my head the other Monday morning whilst negotiating the school run.  This is how I felt, like I was beginning to rise again from the chaos and uncertainty of the past.

I can pinpoint the turning point as ridiculous as it may seem.  I woke up on a Tuesday 27th  and felt different, really different.  I felt motivated and happy with a distinct spring in my step.  I felt like my mojo was returning.  Why it happened on this day I’m not sure, but I’d like to think it was a dear auntie who had passed away a couple of weeks before that was giving me a nudge in the right direction.  It was also around this time that I had begun to realise that I was often sat waiting for something to happen.  This is what we had become used to.  Waiting for blood results, appointments, chemotherapy, medication, visitors, the next phase.  I slowly began to realise that there was nothing to wait for.  This is it.  I had to re-engage with life and stop waiting for things to happen.

Around the same time as my auntie’s funeral and my Tuesday morning awakening, I was contacted by someone I didn’t know offering me a hand of support.  Until this point, I didn’t really think that I needed any help.  I am usually of the idea that your body and mind have natural ways of dealing with stress and anxiety and in time, everything will realign and all will be OK. As I read this lovely message from a complete stranger, concerned about my emotional state and offering help, the tears tumbled down my cheeks.  As this lady had tapped into my emotions just through a message, I readily accepted her offer of acupuncture and reiki.

Over a period of three weeks, I feel as though I have climbed Everest.  Through the acupuncture and reiki I have realised that emotional health and strength is paramount and sometimes we do need a little help.  I have also realised that it’s important to look after yourself and give yourself time.  This is something I have always denied myself working full-time.  Anytime I have had, I have always prioritised the needs of my family and I still believe that I was right to do this.  However, having now experienced time for myself, I fully see the value and importance of having space and freedom just to be.  This has been quite a learning curve for me and somewhat liberating.

My fleeting image of Phoenix rising from the Ashes whilst negotiating the school run that morning, whilst rather dramatic is totally accurate.  When Felix was diagnosed, my world combusted into flames.  As the initial shock of the diagnosis abated and the flames slowly died away, I have been smouldering.  There have been occasions throughout the intense treatment where the fire has flared and burnt out of control and then returned to the grey, flaking state of the simmering ashes.  In recent weeks though, the fire has abated enough for me to take control of it.  To put it out and smother those feelings of uncertainty and fear and enable myself to rise again.  Hey, I’m by no means a Greek legend and my story will not become legend but this analogy does symbolise the feeling of strength, recovery and liberation that has followed this prolonged period of turmoil and trauma.

Everywhere you look you will find a phoenix; someone who has risen from the ashes ready for another day.  I don’t think I’ve really seen them before and for this I apologise.  They truly are the epitome of strength, recovery, promise and liberation.

To all phoenixes out there – I salute you.




4 thoughts on “Like a Phoenix rising from the Ashes

  1. So beautifully written and expressed as usual Kerry and this has struck such a chord with me. My caring and giving of my all to my very elderly Mum over many years, despite being ill myself, left me with that constant feeling of waiting and expectations long after she passed away last year. The emotional ups and terrible lows while she was alive was exhausting and then the guilt and thoughts that I could have done so much better after she died destroyed me. The impact of all the emotional stress that I had tried to control in my own way all that time, as you said, totally engulfed me and reduced me to ashes not even smouldering and a few months ago I just wanted to end my life. Having resisted thru many difficult challenges to take antidepressants my ever present, through many dark times, guardian angel broke through my destructive thoughts and I found myself picking up the phone and against all odds got an appointment with my lovely caring doctor. The always dreaded pills are what fanned the dead ashes of myself slowly back to life and your analogy of the Phoenix rising so describes how I feel. I too am learning to care for myself, to just “be” and “be still”. There feels a promise of living rather than serving even though my own illness will only allow me to do it in a gentle way, and I am even discovering “me”.
    Thank you so much Kerry for putting so many difficult things into words and please forgive me for whittering on about my own situation but it has given me the opportunity to see clearly that this Phoenix too is rising and that is such a good feeling.
    Bless you and all your beautiful family. Felix is looking and doing amazing. Lots of love xxx


    1. Dear Mo, thank-you so much for sharing your experience. Sometimes I wonder why I need to write and expose my inner most thoughts to the scrutiny of the world. I then I receive a beautiful response like yours and I know that this is why. So that we can all draw strength from each other to help us get through whatever challenges we are facing. Life is tough but how we react to it is the important thing. It’s not about the blows we’ve been dealt but how we choose to respond to them. I am so pleased that you are ‘rising’ again after your prolonged period of uncertainty and heartache and that you have found the means to start the process of coming out of the ashes. I think that is often the most difficult part. I truly admire your inner strength and love. Thank you so much for the taking the time to comment. It means so very much to me. Lots of love xxx


      1. Thanks so much for your reply Kerry. So many people hide their pain behind their outdoor smiles and I have found many have benefitted from me being open about challenges, weaknesses and mistakes – it allows the opportunity, as you say, to support each other and not feel so alone and different.

        Yes, Life is full of challenges – The School of Hard Knocks as I call it – but feel our time here is about growing through those, learning from them and sharing all the empathy that comes from them becomes a gift and blessing to others. Thank you for being a very special gift and blessing to many 🙏🏼. Lots of love 💜 Xxx


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