In the past few weeks Colin and I have been continuing to support our clients and ourselves to express the inexpressible in this time of coronavirus.
Witnessing the ever-increasing, economic domino effect, we started tallying-up the vacant shop fronts on Argyle Street close to our Finnieston studio.
Each tugged at our hearts signalling a poignant reminder of dreams evaporating during lockdown despite years of hard graft to build and create local friendships, relationships and community.
Last Sunday we were shaken to see more familiar landmarks with their empty windows and windolene smudges.
All day their closures haunted us like a dark melancholy cloak, in contrast to the brilliant sunshine and queues of excited people waiting to be served their pavement pints from The Finnieston doorway.
We know and understand the origins of fear and anxiety and how it can manifest and spread like a virus itself.
‘Safety and security’
The change going on in the hyper-local business community is felt and feared, at a low level shaking the foundation of everyone’s comfort, safety and security.
Later that week we were hit with a further morass of emotions that came in the guise of two polite emails.
Each bringing news of the cancellation of two anticipated contracts we had worked long and hard on since early lockdown.
One contract was to provide emotional support to staff worried about returning to their physical workplace post lockdown and the other was enhanced counselling to young carers.
Both had a red pen put through them by decision makers higher up the organisations.
The messengers who had invited us to deliver the work were gutted with disappointment that their assessment of need had been overridden.
‘Abruptly and uncontrollably’
Reading the correspondence felt like being on a snakes and ladders board. Climbing the ladder one day optimistically to slide back down abruptly and uncontrollably.
The false dawns of larger scale work during lockdown was unrelenting and messy.
It meant we had to face our business reality to survive we would have to make a brave decision to give notice on our beloved Hidden Lane studio and extend virtual working arrangements.
Hope & change
One thing we have learned in the years of our therapeutic work is sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life.
Our relationship with loss and grief has been enhanced during lockdown. Where there is change there is loss, a living loss with all the emotions of grief- fury, sadness.
Humans experience grief in a cycle of differing emotions.
We found ourselves riding this cycle with initial denial, avoidance, overwhelm and anger tinged with shame to publicly admit our news to others.
‘One contract was to provide emotional support to staff worried about returning to their physical workplace post lockdown and the other was enhanced counselling to young carers.
‘Both had a red pen put through them by decision makers higher up the organisations.
‘The messengers who had invited us to deliver the work were gutted with disappointment that their assessment of need had been overridden’
Charley and Colin Gavigan
However, once we reached out to Hidden Lane neighbours we were able to allow ourselves to accept their kindness and compassion.
In the midst of our emotional turmoil we recorded the last episode of Series 3 of our Brave Your Day podcast.
It focuses on how to care for, love and accept ourselves. The psychological process of exploring this subject helped us to take our own medicine.
Now the decision has been taken and our bravery compass bearing is firmly reset to optimistic new beginnings, to survive and thrive beyond our loss.
It is important to remember some days we will be the light for others and some days we will need light from them.
As long as there is light there is hope and there is always a way.
* You can find out more about Charley and Colin’s work at www.braveyourday.com. Or you can follow Charley & Colin on Twitter/Instagram – @BraveYourDay. A Brave Your Day podcast produced by @thebiglight_ is also available to download.