I have been in a low place for the last few weeks. It’s unusual for summer, but so is all the rain. I’m in the midst of surgical anniversaries, body traumas I have not been able to write, harm done to me by those I have loved without reservation, and pain I am still struggling to shed. It hurts, this space. But it is also a growing space.


What you are offering me is not love-2

I am learning about myself. Each time I dip into the angry valley, I climb out better equipped to help other writers change their expectations and create new, positive outcomes.

It may seem odd for me to say this when I am barely clinging to the sky, but the thing about me is I always remember there is a flip side. Even when I can’t see the light. And that is not the way I was born. It’s definitely not the way I was raised. This way of thinking is one I have taught myself with the help of therapists, friends and the page.

I have a piece up today on what is becoming a sister site to The Honeyed Quill. I’d love to share it with you. It is the first piece I’ve written about what this body has been through. Click here to read “Scars that Wear Me” on On the Verge with Shareen Mansfield.

I know that I said I see the silver lining, but this place is hard. So, if you have words to help me lift myself, I’d love to read them here or there.

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

6 Discussion to this post

  1. Michael T Heath says:

    I survived the worst emotional trauma possible 25 years ago, and perhaps making it out of that rough patch helped recently when I dislocated (and fractured) both shoulders, then, just this winter, broke my back. Those physical nightmares were nothing: I had 3 months off from work for each incident. When Carol Coletti Heath shot herself, I barely took two weeks to heal. Things happen to us. We try to recover. Do not berate yourself for struggling to get past such trauma – be kind to you. As each year recedes, you’ll better frame your reactions couched in wisdom and experience – defying the nightmare scene you’ve been through and persevering in spite of it.

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  2. There are no magic words that lift us out of the dark places. However, I just want to say that I am one that has appreciated what I read on your page from time to time. I don’t check in all that often, but I do appreciate your posts. I don’t have the same experiences as you. Not nearly the same. However, there are days that are very dark and I can’t see the sun. On those days, the only thing that helps me is to think we’re all created in God’s image. I know many don’t believe that. That’s OK. It helps me. It lifts me up just enough to then be able to reach for the sky. Could help others to think it, too. 🙂

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  3. Alice says:

    Bodies remember pain, don’t they? Even when we may not want to remember, our bodies will carry those memories on their own.

    I am so sorry that you are struggling right now. I am sorry that you still hurt in places you have not yet been able to write down.

    Or to write out — out of the body, onto the page.

    I choose to believe my body carries burdens because it believes that I will someday need to go back through each memory before I can release it. I choose to believe that my body is doing what it can to help, painful though the memories may be. Perhaps, through all the hurt you now feel, there is your body loving you back. In the midst of the pain, in the midst of the grief, there is you loving yourself fiercely.

    That love will still be with you, after you pass through this low space.

    Peace to you, in darkness and in light —

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  4. […] it seems a bit like I’m in orbit. I have only just landed after a long, unexpected journey. Body trauma has a way of dredging up past trauma. And hardship has a magnetic setting, gathering filaments of […]

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