All the preparation in the world will never, EVER prepare you for the moment when circumstances move out of your hands. However, what practice and anticipation will do is provide a toolkit required to navigate from one end of disaster to another. Remembering how to breathe, not getting emotional, grasping that shouting and threats do nothing but make matters worse. These are the key components that allow your sanity to remain intact, and help light a path through to a satisfactory conclusion. It is, I realise now, like having a virtual backpack in which all the things one needs to avoid anxiety are carefully packed and labelled, instantly accessible when required.
Today, therefore, it is vitally important that my coping tools are checked, to make sure nothing is missing or damaged. I’ll re-write the labels affixed to each one to remind myself how useful they were, and that some of these can have surprising other uses. Then there will be the parts of the kit that weren’t available or did not operate as expected. Fortunately, there’s only one item really missing from my internal assistance package, and I’m already creating that, with the accompanying space required to carry. All in all, in a robust test of the Emergency Assistance System yesterday, I’d mark myself at over 80%.
Nothing is ever perfect, however. Now there’s the awareness of consequence, that the unexpected can happen after the fact. Part of the issue yesterday will require long-term maintenance and a fundamental shift of focus. The other might feel as if it is done with, but my sixth sense knows better, and I’m betting that story is not yet fully told. So, this then requires an integration of new variables, which would normally hack me right off. However, cycling is helping the learning curve. I took an unscheduled rest day yesterday, which annoyed me greatly, but by 9pm I was simply too mentally wiped to function. We’ll get back on the bike today, and nothing substantive will have been lost.
My writing site post yesterday, it transpires, was oddly prophetic for an unfolding situation. I saw at first hand what happens when someone thinks long and hard about the words they say and write, and how brilliantly inspiring and helpful that can be. On the flip side, another set of actions was enough to make me seriously question someone else’s ability to not only be rational but be accepted as serious. That is, I am afraid, all the detail I will go into and as of right now, this is the last blog that makes any mention of yesterday’s events. Unlike some, who feel that sharing other people’s deeply personal issues is somehow acceptable if they are involved, I do not have either right or permission to do the same.
What I can do however is write down a personal account of circumstance, and make sure I’m happy everything that should have been done, was. After that I’ll be doing a meditation, walking to the Gym and beating the living crap out of a punchbag for half an hour. I make no bones over knowing how effective this is for me to decompress. Then it will be PT, with bike later and tonight’s sleep will be due to physical exertion trumping mental stress by some distance. Then, we’ll get up tomorrow and start all this again, because that is what life is all about. As a new friend put it so very succinctly yesterday: process, reflect and move forward.
I know some people positively detest all this ‘new age’ bollocks but you know what? For someone like me, who never got taught how to deal with all this shit as a kid, it is fucking lifesaver. When Life isn’t in your hands, be more than grateful for these tools to survive.
I wish more people realised that than clearly do.