Guest Blog: Ali from RISE recovery

Sunshine beating down on my skin nourished and calmed me. In silence I left my Tribe – this journey was one that I had to do alone: to think, to reflect, and ask myself what was my truth, what had drawn me to this quest.

I climbed over the stile and headed into the woodland. In a split second I had entered another world – cool air stroked me, damper danker smells of mystery demanded to be drawn into my lungs. I felt safe here; safe in the knowledge that I am just a tiny insignificant spec amongst a beautiful landscape.  I was safe from the noise, rushing, pushing and jostling of everyday life that I can still struggle with.

Slowly drawn towards the beat and lure of the boron drum I walked up the winding track. Tingling within as my thoughts and senses were captivated by the beauty around me, I stopped and picked up a piece of stone, the colours spoke of the autumn to come. Into my pocket it went, a memory to keep and treasure.

This weekend for me was about answers: Who was I, what purpose do I have in life and how to move forward keeping my truth pure. The drum beat drew me onwards whispering its song, you’re nearly home, you’re nearly there just keep on going we’ll all be there. Like a heartbeat slow safe and comforting.  I reached Caspar and Ben – they invited me to take off my boots and socks. The moss slightly damp between my toes felt good, my toes wriggling and spreading with delight. I was then blindfolded reassured that I would be safe in the hands of another warrior. Trust is part of my struggle in life – when people and life has torn you apart the instinct is to go it alone, leave the pack behind. The experiences over the last couple of days were encouraging me to challenge that belief and curiously it felt good to hold onto a strong arm and be led.

Without sight my other senses were heightened. I could hear water and feel every small differing texture between my toes. My heart was racing, roaring, fast – a different drum beat.

After what seemed like an eternity we stopped. I was calm now. I was beginning to trust my brother, he hadn’t let me down. He had kept me safe and steady. I was learning to trust again. Unsure of what was to happen next, I caught my breath, felt the sun on my face and smiled.