I received a letter tonight, containing diary entries and poems from my ex. “A goodbye letter”, she called it. We’ve been communicating almost every day, but now that’s over. She’s stopped all communication between us, and removed me from her social media. I understand why she had to do it. I just thought we could still be friends. Because I don’t understand how you can just “turn it off” after sharing almost 4 years together. But it was the right thing for her to do, for her to heal and be able to move on. I have so many emotions and thoughts. I don’t know what to do with them all. All I can think of to do is write this post in an attempt to survive. I’m not talking suicide. Rather feeling that my body is going to give up on me, and I won’t wake up in the morning. Maybe writing this will force it to just keep going. To hang on.
I was involved in combat sport for a few years. Mostly Muay Thai and MMA. MMA only lasted a few months, as I discovered I didn’t enjoy the ground work and having big, sweaty men in awkward positions between my legs. I still learned a lot from the experience though. In Muay Thai I found my home. And in that gym, I found my spark. It was as though something had come alive inside of me.
It helped me develop discipline, and enabled me to release all the pent up emotions that had built up over the years. It also gave me a boost to my self esteem when I became known as the small, innocent looking girl who’s strength didn’t match the outer package. The female coach, a former world championship title holder, took a particular interest in me. We became good friends outside the gym. But during training, we were just coach and student. I respected her as a coach, and because I’m extremely good at compartmentalizing certain things, I found it easy to forget we were friends outside the gym, while training. She would still “discipline” me if I was doing something stupid and unsafe. And I would still feel embarrassed and shy and like I just got crapped out by the coach. Ouch. She would always tell me I have that “thing”. That I could be a world champion. I never saw it. Which is why I turned down going to Thailand to train and fight (besides, I couldn’t afford the trip anyway). She kept encouraging me though. I had a few small light contact fights, but that’s as far as I ever got. I didn’t care about getting hurt. I just couldn’t bring myself to hurt another girl. If I were allowed to fight against a guy, it might have been a different story.
There’s a particular memory that brings a smile to my face whenever I remember it. A new guy had joined the gym and it was a Saturday morning sparring session. My coach/friend came over with the new guy. I was in a bad mood that day, so was taking it out on the punching bag instead of sparring. She asked me whether I’d spar with him. I’ll never forget her words to him: “Don’t let her appearance fool you, she’ll knock you out if you’re afraid to hit her. So make sure you get in there and fight.” She winked at me and walked off. My bad mood vanished.
My favourite though was sparring with the coaches. I felt I could go all out. I received a few beatings, but it was great. I relished the challenge and the laughs. I also met one of my closest friends in that gym. She actually reads this blog. The day I had to leave my Muay Thai home was awful. I was devastated. It felt like a part of me died. A couple years later I found another gym, and I started Muay Thai again, as well as starting in Krav Maga. But I hurt my shoulder during one training session. It wasn’t major, requiring a hospital visit, but it was bad enough that I couldn’t train for a few months and would have to go for “therapy” sessions with a physiotherapist. I still have pain in that shoulder from time to time if I bend my arm a certain way, but most of the time I don’t struggle with it. I wanted to go back, but unfortunately I couldn’t afford it anymore. Until today, I have this missing part of me that longs for my sport. I found an MMA/Muay Thai gym close by, so as soon as I get a job, I’m going to start training again. It’s perfect therapy.
During my training, I didn’t know that it would be years later where I would finally connect it with real life. Now I face the true fight. The fight for survival. The fight for life.
I haven’t had suicidal thoughts for a few weeks now, which has been refreshing. But I feel that all I have the strength for right now is to survive. That’s the focus of my day. Just surviving. I don’t feel I’m living, like I have the strength to live. What do we do when we don’t want to hurt ourselves anymore, and suicide isn’t an option? We survive.
It doesn’t seem to make sense that I’m fighting to survive, yet don’t have the strength to live. How do you explain something like that to someone?
Maybe an analogy will explain it better. Muay Thai and MMA taught me to fight. Krav Maga taught me to survive against attacks on my person, as well as against knives and guns. I’m not able to fight right now (as in MMA and Muay Thai), but I can most certainly survive (as in Krav Maga). Eventually I’ll start fighting Muay Thai again. All I know is that I’m still standing.
So even though I can’t fight to live right now, I can fight to survive. And that’s enough for now.