Following the last session I am defiantly doing a lot better. I am hoping that it is not because the last session was fairly easy going. I am hoping it is because that initial storm has passed. That all the emotions spilling out of me have finished their job. I am still aware there might be hard conversations ahead but it is nice to find a little inner peace again. I have also been trying to force those positive behaviours that might help me. Here are a few things that I have been focused on in the last couple of weeks.
Keeping a routine
It is a hard one to sustain at times. Driving to work the other day and I made it all the way through the 45mins commute only to consider turning back at the door. I could feel a wave of emotions over whelming me once more and I dread the idea of breaking down in work. Yes I am sure partly because of the stigma of mental health or even just the stigma of being a women crying, but also because I find it helpful to have that space where I feel detached from all this treatment and if I blur the lines by letting my emotions spill into the office hours it feels as though the barrier will be undone. Work is a constant battle between the value it gives me for routine, grounding, focus and the challenge it presents in avoiding these waves of emotion. Still I keep up the routine and overall I definitely know it is beneficial.
Arranging nice things
It has defiantly been helpful to be able to book in lots of things to look forward too. A trip to get my hair done, a midweek family movie, seeing family and friends. In a lot of those moments I don’t mention the treatment or how I am feeling. I just allow myself to try and enjoy the moment. And most of the time I do, there have been some wonderful moments laughing out loud or enjoying the company of others. I actually think I should do more of it always.
When I have been able to deploy mindfulness techniques effectively they have been helpful. I have used standard techniques like counting the variations of a colour I can see. But the most wonderful mindfulness I have been able to master is simply allowing myself to be in the moment. Watching the girls laugh or play, holding them close connecting with all the senses… sounds, feelings, smells, sights. I have found such peace and bliss in being totally focused on the here and now, and reminding myself I am not there any more.
Creating Space to feel
I still wish the waves of emotion could arrive in a nice planned organised fashion, they don’t. On a couple of occasions I have been able to successfully create some space to connect with rather than avoid the emotions. I sat in the park where we always sat with mum and cried, I paged through boxes of old letters and was reminded of many things I had forgotten. In my latest piece of homework I shuffled through a box of old photos and realised I beat myself up for my actions back then, forgetting I really was only a kid who probably didn’t deserve the situations I found myself in.
This has definitely been a help. I was not able to do much for a couple of weeks due to a minor op, stitches and an infected wound. But the last week I have finally been able to get a few runs in. It is heavenly I am a terrible runner, I can only manage to do interval jogging, jog for two minutes, walk for one. But I so enjoy getting out of the house and out of my head. Massively recommend you make exercise a priority, start small if you can’t manage a lot and find a groove that works for you.
So perhaps these things have helped. Perhaps the storm would only ever last so long. Either way I am so happy to have a little calm and happiness back.