Keeping it real

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Today, I’m having a bed/sofa day because I don’t have the energy to hike, nor the interest to explore. I just needed to be alone with my own thoughts and feelings. To feel my sadness and acknowledge the burden of my worry and fear.

Yes, I’m having a wonderful adventure here in Perth and V gives the best hugs, but no matter where I am or who I’m with, I still want and need time alone. To process my thoughts, release my emotions and balance my energy.

I have no intentions of avoiding myself. So, I’m well aware that I’m still riding waves of grief, reliving difficult memories, and navigating an uncertain future on a road less travelled. And I have no shame in admitting that some days I struggle. Although I share smiley photos of the beautiful places I go to, I’m still processing challenging experiences, feeling emotions as they flow and adjusting to what is.

Truth is, I often break down on my hikes, but I don’t always share the details because most of my tensions, conflicts and challenges involve other people. So I focus on sharing my process rather than the details of my struggles.

Maybe the juicier stuff will be written and shared, as part of my story in the books I plan on writing ? Perhaps it will just fuel the story ?

Everyday another trigger presents itself.

This morning I recieved a message from a friend with good intentions, telling me about a live in job, caring for someone with cancer who is palliative. I don’t think many people realize just how challenging it was to care for our parent’s end of life. Even I wasn’t prepared for the trauma I experienced, which is something I still struggle with. We didn’t just loose our parents to cancer, we granted their last wishes, which was to care for them at home. Yes, it was a privelage but it was the hardest thing we have ever done … and we did it twice πŸ’”πŸ’”

That kind of thing changes you, which is why I have less tolerance for some things and more passion for other things. I know that my path is changing, but my direction isn’t yet known.

No matter how strong my faith is, no matter how many times spirit connects with me, no matter how much I reframe things, I still can’t seem to shake myself free from the past. I’m not really OK with this, but it is my truth.

The challenges I’ve confronted over the last 3 years and the experiences I’ve had have changed me. In many ways I’m not the same woman I once was, which influences upon all of my relationships and friendships. In some ways I’m softer and in other ways I’m harder. 

My family and I feel our sadness, but we don’t dwell in our sorrow, because our parents would want us to keep living, but that doesn’t mean we don’t struggle. I can’t speak for everyone, but some days irrational thoughts consume me, challenging memories haunt me and the rise and fall of emotions overwhelm me.

I’m well aware that Anxiety and Depression are common companions of grief, which is why I dive in to explore my thoughts and feelings.

I’ve sat with depression many times, to better understand its presence in my life. It usually shows up when I’ve lost someone or am failing at something. So, I’ve learned to appreciate my need to rest and dive in deeper to my inner most thoughts and feelings. To honour my truth and identify what I’m still holding onto.

But I have a more challenging relationship with anxiety. I don’t really welcome it so warmly because I want to live a life of love, not fear.

My first experience with anxiety was at my Granda’s funeral, back in 2000. This is when I began to suffer from panic attacks, and over the years I began to realize that anxiety was connected to my fears and worrys.

So, again it’s about being honest with myself.

What am I afraid of ?
What am I worrying about ?
What am I holding onto ?

To be honest, at this point in my life, I’m less afraid of being alone and more afraid of not being true to myself. I’m worried about John’s surgery on Friday and about our kids. I’m holding onto the belief that we can be friends with an ex. Although we might be friendly, I’m realizing that I’ve lost the friendship I had with the men I was once in relationship with.

I notice how I feel more anxious whenever I’m feeling more vulnerable …

Vulnerability IS speaking our truth with honesty, which exposes us to the possibility of being criticized, judged, misunderstood and rejected.

Yup, the more honestly I express myself, the more challenging my interactions become. No matter how much I tell myself, that someone else’s choices has nothing to do with me, it still doesn’t stop my feelings from being hurt.

I notice how my vulnerability heightens my sensitivity, which then triggers my anxiety.

Anxiety has many faces …

Sometimes I articulate my anxiety with words
Sometimes I overreact, withdraw or shut down
Sometimes I drown it with booze to numb it
Sometimes I soothe it with food to comfort it
Sometimes I walk or hike alone with it

Today, I watched a movie “Into the Wild” which both inspired and triggered me. So, I had a long hot shower and released my tears. Then I wrote this, which I decided to share with you. And now I’m gonna pour myself a big glass of wine, prepare myself a plate of yummys and watch an uplifting movie, so I won’t be a miserable cow when V gets home from work.

Yup, I still have my sense of humour

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