On Saturday I swam in the Liffey Swim, an annual swim that takes place in the Liffey River that bisects our lovely Dublin city, alongside 400 other men and women. It was the culmination of a season of sea swimming and felt like an appropriately big occasion to mark how important my new hobby has been over the past 4-5 months.
The day itself was nervy and fun. Much like many volunteer run organisations the atmosphere around Leinster Open Sea swimming events is a warm and welcoming one. I've met some lovely people over the course of the summer/spring and am excited to be a part of it all again next season. Some of them knew Liane, some of them have never met her. It can be hard talking to strangers about what motivates me to swim - I don't want to upset people and yet I like talking about Liane and how she's changed my life so much.
The night out that followed was predictably heavy. I feel like lately there's almost a monthly blowout where I push the boat that little bit too far and pay for it the following days. My mind and body can handle it for now but I'm very aware of how unhealthy it is. The release is cathartic, the resulting fear, paranoia etc less so.
Somebody asked me what my next challenge would be and it got me thinking... What is my long-term goal? What do I want out of the Epilepsy Ireland fundraising? How long will I push myself to organise events and take on challenges in Liane's honour? Is it honouring her? How do people keep moving forward when surrounded by such deep pain? What can we do to help others in times like this? Is this my life from now until I die?
There are probably more questions for me than answers at the moment. I'll keep teasing them out - here and with friends/family in person. I don't know if I'll ever find answers that will satisfy my heart or mind but am not sure what else I can do but keep searching.