Regeneration

I had to stop the car this morning, to write when an idea struck me, and this is happening with increasing frequency. There’s also an emerging, almost infant sense of understanding that never really existed in my head until now. It will undoubtedly be the combination of my time away at the weekend with a series of current events that make some uncomfortable truths unavoidable.

On this lifetime journey, I’ve made some pretty significant wrong turns. There’s no avoiding that now, what’s done is done, except it is apparent that the consequences of those actions is yet to be successfully resolved in the eyes of others. That means stuff has to be fixed. It’s not nearly the huge deal it was pre-counselling either. All things are doable. They’ll be done. Once they are, maintenance becomes far easier overall.

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Some things however I have never been good at. I’d try, then fail: for many years that’s happened with the same depressing consequences. This time I’ll try and know deep down I’m the problem, and that’s okay. Accepting you are fault is an important step forward, in the general scheme of things. Knowing you are the thing that keeps refusing to fit and tow the line is a bit of self-awareness that was never really apparent until now.

More important still is the understanding that it is selflessness that you’re being looked to provide. Is that something I can do better now than was the case before counselling? The only way to work that out is to do it, but at least now all of this isn’t being fuelled by anger or resentment. That’s the biggest shift of all. Before, everything was bad. Now, far less so, and because of that there’s a way forward that didn’t exist.

Understanding I’m different was never the problem. Dealing with it has always been problematic. Let’s see if we can’t finally break the cycle.

The Greatest Love of All

Okay, where to start…?

My PT knows I like taking pictures, so asked if I’d be willing to come visit the site where lots of clients were taking part in a sport that could one day be considered as an Olympic one. The plan, of course, was to try and persuade me to take part. Here is your test of ultimate fitness. My trainer does not as yet grasp the real reasons why I’m exercising, that the assumption initially is that ‘oh look, I need validation of my efforts…’

Three hours I stood, taking pictures, before anxiety finally consumed me completely and I had to leave, simply did not want to stay there any longer. My counsellor has now taught me to ask ‘why’ such things happen in these circumstances, and so I did, in the car. Why was I so anxious? Because I was lonely.ย The feeling of comfort and security I’d felt on Friday had simply vanished and this was difficult, exposing. What had happened?

You could tell instantly the people on the course who were racing for themselves: these two, for instance, the early (super fit) part of the Gym team who didn’t need to have a GoPro strapped to them or be part of a group of others for encouragement. Their race was theirs without the need to be be part of a collective whole. They were comfortable in their ability, something that still needs to happen with me, because being part of a ‘tribe’ has always been a struggle.

I thought it was the concept of FOMO (fear of missing out) that was my problem but actually, it’s far more judgemental. I am the person who suffers from FOBC (fear of being criticised) and that if I couldn’t do the course, I’d simply not be good enough. It didn’t help that my husband didn’t want to come with me yesterday, and an opportunity to talk (which hasn’t really happened for weeks) didn’t take place. That’s why anxiety rose, clear definition to it’s occurrence.

So I came home, got upset when I couldn’t help my daughter with a trivial issue and ended up taking over in an effort to show how helpful I was, cried some more and then had a bike ride, which was a small but definite improvement on the last bike ride, before making my husband stop and make time to talk about stuff because it has been bothering me for ages. At the end he told me he’d enjoyed the fact I’d come and found him to do so.

Only now, this morning sitting here as the rest of the house sleeps does the complexity of what’s now taking place inside my brain begin to really make sense. No, I’m not lonely now, like I was yesterday, and if I find myself in that situation again now I know what to do. I still don’t have a Tribe, I sit on the fringes of many places and actually, given the choice that’s where I’d like to be.ย This isn’t about feeling like I am a particular type of person.

This is about feeling like I’m being true to myself.

My PT messaged me, after she’d raced, and asked me if I’d been inspired to compete. When I am sent to Hell, whenever that finally happens, it would look and feel like this obstacle course, and I’d be forced to compete it wet and cold for the rest of my days, appropriate penance for the sin of refusing to conformย to other people’s perceptions of my worth. I was honest with her: it made me uncomfortable and frightened. Both of those feelings are easy enough to deal with, but I’d still not need to do the course even when they are

When I’m finally comfortable and confident, I won’t need a medal as validation.

Confusion the Waitress

Monday, it must be said, seems a very long way away.

It didn’t help this week that I’ve not had a regular PT session, that my son spent Monday and Tuesday at home, that I spoke to a Therapist on Wednesday and yesterday went outside for longer on my own than I have been for a while. This morning, therefore, I inserted 45 minutes of ashtanga yoga into my day and frankly, the benefits make me wish I’d done this again sooner. The biggest problem I’m having right now, without a doubt, is making sure what I want to do actually gets accomplished. My brain would rather stop thinking, especially with some of the frightening stories I’m reading from across the Globe. I have to remember that there’s only one thing I can control, and that’s myself, so above all else that needs to work ahead of anything.

I am now considering Mindfulness as a way forward in my personal development.

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There is an online course which costs a paltry ยฃ30 to access, and I can’t honestly see why I shouldn’t be doing it, especially as my therapist suggested I’m probably going to get at least some kind of benefit from just listening through to the concepts once. Having a willing and open mind can often be a hindrance, because everything gets taken in, good and bad, and then it is up to me to filter and find a level for it all. These are techniques that have fascinated a curious mind for years anyway: rooted in Buddhism, the desire to eliminate noise and to learn to focus on things that really matter whilst elimination the stuff that doesn’t. With a world that is full of stuff I cannot influence, there needs to be a means by which I separate the possible from the damaging.

This, to be honest, seems a great way forward.

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I’m tired of accepting there’s no better way. This is an alternative that I’m prepared to grasp, and willing to learn. If it helps me sleep better and feel more confident, it will have been worth the effort alone, and for the price of a meal out? It’s hardly going to impact on my finances. I’ll take the first part on Monday before my PT, and we’ll see where we are from there. I’ll keep you updated on how things go, but I’m already cautiously optimistic that this could be a significant breakthrough, and if it is I will be falling over myself to share. What I really need right now is a continued and clear path forward, but without anybody else’s agenda to worry about but my own.

I think, on consideration, I have absolutely nothing to lose.