Surrendering to the Fire Alarm

The interview for my first office job was one that I would never forget. Halfway through the interview, the fire alarm went off. There couldn’t have been a worse time for a fire alarm to go off but there was nothing we could do; we just had to stop everything that we were doing, let it go and wait. 

We had to let go of the feeling of inconvenience to prioritise safety, let go of our annoyance at being interrupted, and turn this moment of unscheduled time into a pause. We had to make sure that everything was ok before we could return. All the services were called in to survey the scene and give the all clear. 

I have never learnt such a fast lesson in surrender as I did that day. And yet, it’s a lesson that is hard to remember and I still resist.

Recently when I was reading Sulieka Jaouad’s book, Between Two Kingdoms, it reminded me of this act of surrendering: we have to surrender to the fire alarm when it comes to our health. Everything goes on hold in life to take care of the emergency – the sick or injured person, their survival and the amount of people surrounding that person to help care for them. It disrupts everything in not only the sick person’s life but their nearest and dearest too.

It becomes impossible to continue doing anything normal when there is a blaring alarm going off in your mind and body. The people who love and support you won’t let you sit there and ignore it either. The people who can help get called in and your survival is not a choice but the only thing to do. You have to let go of how you thought things were going to be and go with how they actually are. (Feel free to scream out about the unfairness, inconvenience and annoyance of it all though).  

As the saying goes, health is everything. It’s your foundation to be able to do what you want – anything that may be as simple or as complex as you desire. (I do disagree with the saying ‘health is everything’ to some extent because I know and believe that you can still live a full and glorious life even while dealing with medical conditions. Being in a state of survival does limit your ability to do what you desire.) 

Ignoring an emergency, especially when it comes to your health, isn’t an option. What else can you do but surrender to the process?

I hope you never have to experience it, but if you do, I hope you have supportive people around and you can surrender to do what needs to be done. 

Take care, Readers. I’ll keep the light on.  

[Image Description: Old movie posters on a wall with old dark film equipment in front. On the poster a lady is in water and screaming.]
[Image Description: Old movie posters on a wall with old dark film equipment in front. On the poster a lady is in water and screaming.]

“It’s because a lighthouse is two-faced, and this is how she feels each time she visits. A lighthouse is both an invitation and a warning.

A lighthouse says Welcome Home.

But next to that, right after that, it also says Danger.”

― Nathan Hill

If you or someone you know is affected and needs support, please contact the following organisations: 

Beyond Blue – 

Lifeline – 

SANE Australia –

Black Dog Institute – 

RUOK? – 

Headspace – 

Kids Helpline –

MensLine Australia – 

Managing Both A Chronic Condition & An External Crisis

Being in pain or managing a chronic condition while also having an external crisis play out in front of you, can really add to the stress and therefore the symptoms that you manage. From my own experiences, here are my suggestions for managing both a chronic condition and an external crisis.

The Time I Lose To Managing Chronic Conditions

Chronic conditions are a full time unwanted job. There are hours each day that are dedicated to keeping me functioning – and I’m not alone in this unseen part of daily life. Today I’m shining a light on what you don’t see.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. clareellen7 says:

    Great read! ❤


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