Honoring one of our dearest friends and long time SOSA team member; Bex Tyrer – who as many of you know, had a serious accident some months back, meaning she had to be medevaced out of Bali to the UK for treatment.
Anyone who has met Bex knows what an exquisite, big hearted and deeply knowledgeable human she is. Perhaps her voice echos in your mind (it does in ours!) citing the Dali Lamas words:
“Today I am fortunate to have woken up,
I have a precious human life,
And I am not going to waste it.”
Transforming pain and shock into bravery these last months into depth of clarity and wisdom, Bex’s ongoing healing journey and gratitude for her own precious body and life continues to inspire and touch our hearts.
Bex you are one of a kind and we are so very blessed to know and love you.
SOSA and Bex are so deeply touched by how many of you have reached out with love and donations and we wanted to share Bex’s words of thanks with you all:
Here is a long thank you, for this story would read very differently if you didn’t care, but you do, and that’s why I have fallen in love with what it is to be alive and to be what perhaps I have always in some part tried to deny: That we are an intricate part of the collective. That each one of us inhabits a fragile, vulnerable shell which is filled with ancient wisdom. And as much as we might try to deny it, when one part of an organism is damaged we all feel it. For many of us the enormity of what there is to feel appears overwhelming. When faced with earthquakes, global warming, refugee crises, to name just a few, we can feel disabled. Without a real avenue to actually be of use. For many, it can feel easier to just put our heads in the sand and pretend nothing untoward is happening. Likewise, in the beginning, I couldn’t bare to see my wounds. Its only recently that I have seen photos of me without skin. Now I can look in the mirror with admiration. It’s also difficult for me to write retrospectively about a journey which hasn’t yet reached its end.
However, perhaps when these small individual accidents happen they are somehow more accessible, for we have ways which we feel we can actually help. I have a new-found respect for my Bali home. For the power of my community which really showed up for me in a way which I could never have imagined. Friends from around the world reached out with money, experience and resources. I was very ill. Yet it could have been far worse. And the way people responded gives me so so much hope for our collective future. The collective human heart beats a strong song.
My healing is not just something that the intellect of my body has initiated. Nor that the skill and kindness of the doctors and nurses has demanded. My healing has been guided by your prayers and love and I wish I could say thank you in a way that let you know the depth of what that means to me. My vision and understanding of what life has handed me changes constantly, so I am weary to write in case it is to set in stone that which is still waiting to settle. But here goes:
Over two months ago, I was accidently set on fire in my bedroom. I stood engulfed in flames knowing that I was entering a portal which was about to change a great deal in my life. I say “accident” as there was no-one to blame for what happened, and it was not a great tragedy. Thankfully my mentors, friends and own resilience has meant that I haven’t had the chance to fall into victim mode, and I’ve surprised myself for my ability to receive this with a certain amount of surrender. Perhaps it is nothing more than a survival mechanism. Perhaps we are conditioned to look on the bright side of life, for any alternative is simply too crushing. Or perhaps there is also a deep knowing that certain life situations are karmic in their nature, that they can’t be avoided and need to be met head on. This feels like a major one for me. Other accidents seem somehow more palatable. Yet to be on fire is a trip unlike none I could have predicted nor prepared for. My heart also extends out to those who I live with and who had to witness my pain and my burnt body. I feel so much love and gratitude to a long list of close friends who put their life on hold in order to hold me.
I sustained second degree burns over 30% of my body. This army of friends swooped in to catch me. Perhaps something like this could only every happen on the Island of Bali. The island of fire and magic. Yet also an island full of very good people, with huge hearts, and who sent the message out far and wide to those of you reading this. When I first heard about the gofundme campaign I was really reluctant to receive outside help. Yet it was just the remainder of my pride clinging on to trying to control something which simply was way out of my control. For from the moment that this happened I was down on my knees, totally reliant on those closest to me to make some pretty huge decisions in terms of my treatment and welfare.
At one point, I was in intensive care, pumped full of opiates and only allowed to drink 50 millimeters of water per hour. Each drop of water was a gift to be worshiped. My friends took it in turns to measure out the water and give it to me. The gratitude I felt every hour was one which I will never forget. I hope I will always drink every mouth full of water remembering that. Over the coming days and weeks they also took turns to wash me, walk me to the toilet, hold my hand throughout the night and nurse me through my initiation into “pain”, for the sensations I experienced took me into a new dimension of both feeling and seeing the world. On my fourth night in hospital there was an earthquake and as the ward shook, I have never felt so vulnerable and so very human.
After two weeks in Sanglah hospital, including three “debridement” surgery’s, I was flown back to London. As soon as the plane touched down, something in me breathed a sigh of relief. It is said that for a glass of muddy water to settle the glass must be first put down – it must be put “home”. I have never been so grateful to the National Health Service and the care and compassion of the doctors and nurses who work twelve hour shifts and witness the immense power of fire – daily. I have the constant support of loved ones who have helped me to change my bandages, dried my endless stream of tears and bathed me with such love that I am constantly in awe of their generosity and gift of kindness. I am surrounded by great teachers. The autumnal British weather suits this stage of my healing, as the green leaves of the summer have now dried to an orange crisp and the wind blows them down to the ground to be remade. The darkness of winter and its association with the element of water is the perfect antidote to the perpetual summer that I have been immersed in for the past 13 years. My yoga practice has been my constant companion and as soon as I was able and yet still hooked up to an IV drip, I would stand by my hospital bed doing my very best to invite life to continue to flow into the hurt parts of my being. Moving hurts. Yet I have always believed in “Freedom through Movement” and that is exactly the discipline which is liberating me from the residue of the fire.
I am well on my way to recovery and apart from some intense symptoms of PTSD and a great deal of physical discomfort, there is no “lasting” damage. My skin has rapidly grown back and I now only have two open wounds left. The scar tissue is setting in. Its pinching my nerves so although the nature of the pain is changing, it is difficult to fit into this new skin. Just like a snake shedding its skin, what is arising is tender and unfamiliar. I wake up in pain but more in love with this body. I’m just so grateful for its ability to rejuvenate, for it is working so hard to fix what has been broken. Many times, strangers ask me what has happened and sometimes they are not satisfied with my “I was trying to tame a dragon” story. So now I first make a deal with them: After they hear what caused my injured they must reply with an empowering statement. It has flipped it all around. Rather than pity, we both receive strength.
The glass of muddy water is going to take some time to settle. I trust fully that the way will become clear once it does, but for now I will wait for the wounds to heal and for the scar reduction treatment to begin. I am desperate to resume “normality” yet aware that something rather major has happened to me and I better listen carefully for what I am meant to hear, so that I can welcome the treasures to come and have the ability to share them if necessary. It appears that the element of fire is wishing to be heard for is spreading all over the world. Yet the very nature of fire is a mystery. It can’t be seen. The flames are simply the residue of the chemical reaction which has already taken place. Yet fire gives us warmth. It transforms. It is associated with both laughter and action.
To all of you who have donated money, time, prayers and resources, please know that you have had a huge impact on my health and wellbeing. Our bodies are so powerful. We are more resilient than we could ever realise. We have more courage than we could ever imagine. If collectively we can heal individuals then for sure we can heal our personal and planetary communities. I could write a list of hundred names right now to say how brilliant each one of you is. Yes, you. You know who you are. Thank you so very much.