Small yet huge steps are what I am taking and I am now looking inward to look after “me” a lot more rather than putting all my energy into being an okay mother, wife, fundraiser, playgroup helper, cub leader etc etc.
I often use pictures to try and explain how I am feeling in my head and the most common image is the one of the playground roundabout. Do you remember those old, wooden roundabouts that you used to cling onto the metal bars, tip your head back and watch the world go whizzing past? That is my head. I have everything whizzing past me, unable to focus properly on any one thing and just as the roundabout starts to slow and I start to recognise blocks of things some bastard (please excuse the language but it is the most apt word) comes and spins it really fast again.
During my counselling session this week I described again to my counsellor (Let’s call her C) about this mental image as I was explaining that I had started to take a bit of time out for me and it dawned on me that for years I have had my focus in totally the wrong direction. I have been focusing outwards because that is where it is all happening, where all my other roles are whereas I should have been focusing on the one thing that hasn’t been moving around me but the one thing I was clinging onto with the last remnants of my finger nails. The one thing that if I let go of I will go flying off the roundabout and into the chaos around the roundabout.
“I” have gotten lost in the middle of everything yet “me” is the axis of that roundabout (albeit a very slender steel rod of an axis); the core of everything I do so I HAVE to look after it a lot better. I have to nurture and honour it. I need to concentrate on adding strength to that core and to make it thicker thus giving me something easier to grip to when the world is spinning out of control.
I invested this week in a Fitbit HR charge. Not to lose weight or to achieve any massive goals but to be able to motivate me to look after myself more and to set small, easy targets to aim towards. It is working!
I walked alone yesterday for the first time in a long time and for the first time I noticed the colours of the flowers against the myriad of green from the trees. My fitbit vibrated when I got to 10,000 steps telling me I had achieved my target (although with the length of my legs I discovered that 10,000 steps being the average of 5 miles for most people is actually only 4.25!) – an achievement that may not sound much but it was 10,000 steps for me. I got an e-mail when I hit 5 miles with my “badge of achievement” attached – another yes for me. Then I had to make sure that I hit all the other targets….. and when I did I felt okay. Not good but okay. Good will come as I hit those targets more and more often. Good will be achieved when I know I can safely believe that I am doing some good for “me”. For the moment okay is acceptable.
I walked again today. Not alone this time but with a friend and their canine charge – also called George. We walked, we talked, we looked at the gorgeous Swithland scenery and I noticed things again. The swallows darting across the sky, the butterflies flitting left and right (always remind me of Ellie whom I class as my inspiration and I always say hello to her when I see my first butterfly of the day), the sound of the insects buzzing around and the trickle of the brook behind the hedge.
It is like I am finally starting to have an awakening and I am liking what I see. Nature is lovely and when you truly start to see it it is even more beautiful. It is positively vibrant, melodic and enchanting.
I will find “me” and I will build on that inner child who has kept me safe all these years by bearing all my burdens and I will thank her for doing so, I will hold her and I will tell her that it is okay and she is loved – by me. One day she will be at peace and believe she is loved and worth something.
Small steps – one small step at a time.