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When we can process how we feel,

we can think more clearly about how to act.

Listen to contributor Sally Butcher reading her transposed story:

015: What We Yearn For

Me and my body have gone through the experience of arrest four times now; certainly less than some, but more than most people will go through to fight for social change. I had started to take it in my stride, but writing it down, you realise what you’ve gone through. When it got a bit tough, I had to remind myself I am physically healthy, at least, for now. Although it is a disease: our failure to grasp the severity of the crisis should officially be registered as a disease, after all it is literally life threatening. But I reassured myself we in the global north aren’t dying yet (well, mostly) and to get a grip.

Your body goes through a lot. I’m tired, but I’m so lucky this movement exists and I’m so lucky to be privileged enough to take the risk. For me the support and assistance I received, however invasive the arrest process, far outweighed the bodily discomfort. Without this, I’m not sure I would be able to make my voice heard and the thought of that is hard to take.

I’ve just started to believe a new era is possible and I’m weaning myself off all my dread. I’ve felt more sick this time round, physically drained and frequently nauseous. I am older of course; not only officially senior for a protester, but now in a high-guilt state because of my more mature years.

With all the dread I was feeling I began to question if we really could cultivate new social values and bring them to fruition, or it was just the fear making my mind feel this way. They don’t really know what eco anxiety is anyway; a rational response or a mental health condition?

I thought I was just in an artificial dread-fuelled sickness blur for months, with my phone vibrating three times a day to remind me to read more crisis related news, take in more, take in more, and perhaps my inner resources were actually empty, but being told to keep pretending everything is all ok.

But the news is also showing there is something new emerging, wriggling and kicking away, wanting to be birthed. I feel like we’re reaching an official milestone: when the majority start to realise how amazing society could be, even if they need to believe social change will happen ‘naturally’. But we’re getting there, eventually, in our own way. Just the rest to get through now. Well done humans.

By Sally Butcher

See Sally’s own page about this project