Ah, and breathe.
Today I was basking in gratitude. My husband is home, my kids are on the right side of healthy, as am I. Maybe there’s a lack of sleep and a mountain of worry (that I shouldn’t be worrying about) but life is beautiful. My mental health has been pushed to it’s limits recently but I’m proud to say I’m still on the right side of this fight – I’m still standing with both fists up, ready to attack those negative emotions. PTSD will not win this. I will win.
I received this wonderful message from a football fan this morning, so eloquently put – telling me to go easier on myself. From the outside he seen all the perks of our lives. He complimented our children, my husbands high flying career and he complimented me in the most kindest way. Not once did he mention the word ‘ungrateful.’ He simply pointed out that I was an amazing mum. He pointed out how happy my children were and how if he were to have his own kids with his partner and his kids laughed like ours, he’d know he was doing a good job. It got to the point reading this that it made me focus solely on ALL the positives of our lives. It made me reevaluate my worries from this morning about my daughters short burst of sadness and it instantly lifted me. The best part was, he described himself as ‘just a normal plumber’ – he had no idea how special he was. Hopefully, now he does. The best people reach out the way he just did. Completely unbiased. He didn’t stereotype, he didn’t bash me or ridicule me for being open about my emotions. He respected every one of them and looked for a way of lifting them. He gave me a hand.
You are entitled to fall. In life, we fall plenty. It’s about how we get back up that counts.
I shed tears this morning just after 9am. I’d call them healthy and pretty relatable. It coincided with my worry for our eldest. She had that sad little walk into preschool again. I’ve noticed it happens when there’s been illness or change in her life. It’s been a week with big emotions for her and a few new ones that I’m just learning how to handle. Parenthood just hits you with these new responsibilities each and every day doesn’t it? So once I called preschool to check on her and was told she was ‘belly laughing’ and I’d just read these kind words in my inbox from a stranger. I had a decision to make. To get on with the house work, tackle the mountains of washing and siv through a load of mundane paperwork OR spend the day doing something that many others, (myself included) very rarely get the chance to do.
I put the cover over my head and not in the unhealthy sense. No seriously this was super healthy, this was exactly what I wanted, what I needed. I made not one but three slices of toast and Nutella. I poured myself a hot cuppa and I repeated the mantra (the reasoning behind the journal I’m designing),
“F*ck it. I will not feel guilty, I will not feel anxious. I will give myself this time. The rest can wait.”
I’ve learned that grounding techniques are so ridiculously important to me. To find comforts within my ‘safe place’ and go to them when I feel that shift of negative energy. This blanket, that little corner, the dogs and a hot cuppa are all my ‘first aid kit’ essentials. So I plucked them altogether and I sat filling my cup with gratitude. I gave myself peace.
All of that other stuff could wait. I did this for me. I did this for those who can’t and would love to. I did this because I had a choice to put me first for a little while. I did it because I was fortunate enough to have the time, the comfort and the means to do it.
If you are faced with a similar situation, consider what will benefit you the most and rationalise the outcome of putting the rest on hold. Pick all those positives and squeeze it into that precious ‘me time.’ Let the negativity start to weigh off as you nudge it over in a bid to invite all the good back in.
It’s funny because if you asked my own mum what she’d rather do? She’d be folding those clean clothes like no tomorrow – she doesn’t like to sit still. That’s not her relief. For me however, the washing can wait. Until the pants run out. Then the priorities shift!
We all have our unique ‘first aid kits’ and each persons will hold the key to grounding them. It’s just finding them and it’s allowing ourselves to use them.
The change in my mind, my posture and my overall well-being tonight, just for giving myself that time is unmistakeable.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I could sit here and say I did nothing, like it was nothing. I could put myself down and feel like I achieved nothing.
But the reality is, I did nothing and gained massively. My cup is full.