Despite my more positive mood, the mental battle has shifted from ‘should I stay or should I go’, to beating myself up. Mentally reprimanding myself for my lack of productivity, contribution and for how little I seem to be getting done and therefore, being overcome with guilt.
Especially, when I compare myself to the ‘old me’s’: the one of 4 years ago who used to work 8 til 6, looked after 2 pre-school boys, ran a house, a husband and a social life; the one of 4 months ago who ran a home based business, volunteered passionately on two programmes working with children in schools to grow in confidence and self-esteem, trained for triathlons, looked after 2 school children, ran a house, a husband and a social life…
More recently, the days of the ‘current me’ consist of getting the boys ready for school by 7.20am, going back to bed to meditate and read, but finding myself falling asleep for 2, 3 and sometimes even 4 hours, despite having had a decent night sleep.
Sometimes I muster the energy, or force myself out to the gym, a spin class or on better than bad days, a run.
Sometimes I muster the courage or energy to meet people, or someone for a coffee… The courage because I know they will ask questions, albeit well meaning, they are still questions requiring me to recognise my ‘black box’.. and the energy, because sometimes, just deflecting their negativity towards my story or their own sorry tales is exhausting, again albeit offered in empathy, still directs me backwards. And that sounds awful and selfish when I write it, my natural intuition to listen, help and empathise, but I am too busy empathising with myself and listening to my own story to hear theirs authentically, so it ends up just being another thing I beat myself up about and to feel guilty about. I used to hate small talk coffee dates, finding them meaningless and pointless, but now I crave them, just for the interaction and distraction.
Sometimes, all I can muster is a hot bath at midday and then clock watch until it is the very last minute for me to pack up snacks, prepare a supper and hit the road to pick up the boys.
Yes, I have been beating myself up recently. The battle rages on, just a different topic.
But that was until yesterday, when I opened up to our therapist about my concerns about becoming ‘a lazy person’. She is very calm, and in her soft voice she explained that stress from traumatic events, such as the shocks of October 23rd, 24th and the sledgehammer of the 25th can impact the adrenal glands, causing chronic fatigue. And if I think about it more, this was on top of months of stress watching my Mum die, the countless trips to hospital with Tom all under highly stressful situations, single parenting with an absent husband, any parenting is cause for stress apparently and a hugely sad and stressful time when I had fallen out badly with my one most trusted confidante in life.
And as I sat on the sofa this afternoon after my midday bath, I reminded myself of her words…and I started toturn all my thoughts around and actually started to congratulate myself to how much I am contributing right now. I am contributing to the most important aspects of life and ones which I probably used to put behind my career, my job, my pay cheque, my image…. And that is my health, my happiness and the health and happiness of my sons and the health and happiness of my marriage and relationships.
Before the bombshells hit, I was healthy and I was happy. And that was because I had spent the summer putting self care and self love first in order to help with the grief of losing my Mumbo, to stall my plummeting self esteem and a last resort to show the world how I wanted to be treated, rather than trodden on; putting in daily habits and routines that have become my safety net and probably even my ‘bounce back’ mat, enabling me to be where I am today, on my love rock.
There have been so many lessons from this experience and the experiences spanning the last year, 18 months. I had no idea that this tragedy was going to hit me or our family. But my foundations in health and self-care, abundance and gratitude, compassion and forgiveness may have been mocked by some, but who is laughing now? Because when it hit, and hit and hit again, I have been shaken, but I have not crumbled to the floor and I will continue to rise and take another step to rebuilding and filling the cracks and holes with gold.
And as if by magic, I did a pot luck audiobook as I drove to pick up the boys and it was ‘The Secret’ and a passage which can be summarised as:
‘Love yourself so others can love you.
Do what brings you joy so you can bring joy to others’
And if that means taking a bath at midday, or sleeping 4 hours, offering rain cheques on coffee dates, I will continue to do so without guilt; I love the ‘new me’, the ‘lazy me’, the ‘resilient me’, the ‘strong me’, the ‘loving me’, the ‘healthy me’, the ‘mindful me’, the ‘bathing me’, the ‘guilt-free me’, the ‘hopeful me’, the ‘compassionate me’, the ‘present me’.