“There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.”― Lemony Snicket
Well, I did it!!
I did exactly what I needed to do last week to achieve the outcome I hoped for coming into this week. I feel like this is a big testament to what I am learning about myself on this healing journey.
The last few weeks of my life have been jam packed with challenges. I feel like I have had a counter running in the background dinging off each loss as it comes. Sadness has been as deep as the ocean, and equally as raging as the waves during a storm.
Here’s how I am weathering the storm.
Structure & Schedule
I mentioned in a post last week, as I try to find the necessary balance between sharing my healing journey in the raw with providing consistent and reliable content I came up with a schedule of topics.
The schedule gives me a place to focus myself when my words get lost during my process. Sometimes I have a lot to say but the time to share it isn’t right. Sometime I just need a day or two for something to sink in before I am ready to start organizing it in my head. This new schedule has given me more freedom to be patient with my process while being a reliable source for information.
So last week, knowing full well I needed to check out for a day or two, I wrote out a few days worth of scheduled pieces so that I could take the time I needed. In that moment as I took care of the responsibilities I knew I had with my own mental health in mind, I devised a plan that accommodated both.
I feel like it worked, and I am proud of that. SCT stayed active in sharing while my mind and body got to rest.
Bonus: the time to process has prompted a few pieces to come this week.
Over the weekend, minus the occasional show on social media (I am pretty active on my instagram) I checked out of all things trauma related because it has been too much lately. I needed some time.
I need time to sit with the fact that my mother in law has COVID and each day is a gamble based on her age and health. She is suffering moderate symptoms which she is battling at home. I hold my breath every day hoping we don’t get a call that her oxygen has dropped and she is heading to the hospital.
I am still trying to figure out how to balance acceptance and my grief over everything with my son.
And then, the general stress of this new world filled with divisiveness and hatred (you pick the topic) while a pathogen with no bias at all kills hundreds of thousands worldwide. The economic hardships that my family has suffered are huge. Everything we thought was strong and secure in our life has crumbled in a matter of months as we struggle daily to keep our home.
So for the last few days, aside for the absolute necessity of work, I did nothing. I checked out of anything remotely “responsible” and allowed my mind to wander to mindless stuff like binge watching hulu and playing games on my tablet.
For my shifts in the car (we deliver food now), I listened to music, I thought a lot, and I cried. My husband and I have been talking it all out together, feeling our pain, being patient and understanding with our stress. In general, learning not to judge ourselves while figuring out how to keep moving forward, together as a team.
Time to Get Back to Work
If I am honest, I feel like if I let myself I could get stuck in all of this grief. There is so much of it, so many layers to my sadness that it is easy to slip into thinking happiness is not something I deserve. Or that being happy is some how invalidating all of the my pain – but it isn’t.
I cannot do that to myself.
I deserve more than that in this life.
I don’t feel fully rested yet, I don’t feel fully recharged, but I do feel like I took the time I needed to just be. I am still sad, I still feel stressed out – but I am ready to get some work done again. It’s Monday, I have things that need my attention, and I am here and ready to work; both on my mission, and on myself.
I guess this is what it means to practice self-care. Knowing how to take a few days, without getting stuck. It means pushing through. Perhaps this is why is has never really worked for me. I’ve always viewed it as a reset button – once I do an activity that is supposed to be fun or relaxing, all of my sorrow and discomfort should go away. It just doesn’t work that way.
Each day I am developing new understandings of what it means to carry my trauma with me while living a full life in spite of it. I am going to have bad days but I am learning how to be present with myself on those days so that I can move through them with more self-compassion. In that alone, I am learning new ways to transverse my emotions more fully, and properly.
With that in mind, I will close. After all, being “back” means I need to get to the tedious stuff on the back end, not just the enjoyment of connecting with all of you!
Be patient with yourselves! Be well friends.
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