The title kind of sums today up. Woke up feeling wobbly, tense, agitated. Routine has to kick in, got up, got washed, had a shave, dressed, ate breakfast, took Janine to work, came back, did the breakfast dishes… A message from a friend, “I’m at a loose end till 3, fancy being frogmarched around Rother Valley” between the wobbles, the weather, and a feeling that came on after breakfast, I didn’t reply straight away. The feeling that came on I can best describe like this; imagine you’re on the beach, and you walk out into the sea, first to knee height, then waist height, and finally to chest height. The waves are fairly gentle so it’s easy to just stand there, letting them lap around you. Then a big wave comes along, and that one hits you with some force, and it knocks you backwards, your footing isn’t so sure, you rock back on your heels, and it’s a struggle to stay upright, but it passes and you regain your balance. Then another one comes, this one bigger, stronger, and this time you stumble backwards a little and almost fall, and it shakes you up, but again, you regain your balance. Common sense says go back to the shallows, back to the beach, back to the sun-lounger, back to safety, but your feet won’t move, and although you can see the next big wave coming, you can’t avoid it, and this time it knocks you off your feet, you fall backwards, and the water washes over your face and makes you cough and gasp for breath, and panic sets in. That’s how today felt, waves of dark thoughts, sadness, frustration, even a little bit of anger, but definitely panic.
Determined not to be defeated, I send a message to my friend ” I need to get out, but I need to be around crowds, so I can blend in ( yes, I know, how the bloody hell do I, a six and a half-foot semi scrofulous mutant baboon blend in) can we go for a coffee at Meadowhall?”
I get in the car, I drive to Meadowhall, it’s raining, I go inside, my friend arrives and we go to Jacamo, I need a pair of jeans, I get jeans (38″ waist, go me!) we go to Costa and drink coffee, and we chat, and the waves subside. I explain that by being around crowds, I can make sure that I don’t really wobble and have a snotty tearful crying fit in Meadowhall, whereas if we had gone to Rother Valley, and we’d been walking around, in the rain, with not many folk around, I knew I’d definitely have been a snotty mess. “you have to let those feelings come out” she says ” being a snotty mess is something that’s going to happen a lot for a while, embrace it and don’t try to push it down, that’s how you’ve come to this point”. She’s right, it’s not what I want to hear, but it’s spot on.
We talk about work, how things have been changing over the past year, and how I’ve felt about that and how I’ve reacted…. badly as it turns out. I don’t know how long this journey is going to take, what I do know is that I can’t do my job properly, effectively, to an acceptable standard, until this journey is complete, it may well be that I can’t go back, that by going back and trying to live up to the standards that I need to live up to, I end up relapsing, and we come back to square one. This scares me, it also makes me feel guilty, I’m thinking about the time of year, that things are going to get busy, that in my absence my colleagues are going to be under greater pressure. My friend listens, and then asks ” if this was your colleague you were talking about, what would you say?” I don’t have to think “I’d say they need to look after their health and that we’ll manage somehow” She raises her eyebrows. “right then, shut up about guilt, put yourself and your health to the top of your priority list”.
I’m going to take her advice, and I’m going to follow-up on some useful links she has sent me.
( Hal Elrod has written a book called ‘The Miracle Morning” about setting yourself up in the most positive way for the day ahead)