What an interesting few weeks I have had.
I came back from New York so focused and so much in my bliss, willing to support and be there for every person that looked a little sad, and in the process, lost my balance and fell over.
The blessing in this is that I managed to claw my way back quicker than I ever have before, with a greater awareness of how important taking time out for me and saying no really is.
Quite seriously though, my descent into a contextually based depression didn’t occur because people were sad. There was significantly more than that. In the five week lead up to my fall, and five weeks isn’t a long time, there were many people requiring support and I overdosed; it’s as simple as that.
I received some negative back lash as a result of being very open about where I was. I stand by my decision to be open and honest; I believe it enabled me to come back quite quickly. What is devastating is that people don’t know how to respond or to connect with one another during dark times. Strong people typically feel very abandoned and neglected during dark times.
And that is unacceptable to me.
If someone has been there for you, you really should try to be there for them.
I was blessed that some people really didn’t desert me. They checked in. Regularly. It was a lifeline. I couldn’t say, no one cares, because people were showing that they did. Without expecting anything back.
So, the big things I had taken on include a multitude of students dealing with anxiety and disconnection, students dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse, working with a colleague who broke some serious rules which impacted seriously on staff and students who were involved, bureaucratic/systemic inadequacy in supporting people (predominantly in the sense that kids know that sexual abuse or inappropriate touching needs to be reported but there is no real support for those students and mandatory reporters after the reporting), the normal rigmarole of my huge workload, a friend who chose to come off her meds so started to stalk me (for want of a better word, including calling my workplace when I didn’t look at my phone during work hours), and a couple of friends kids who were reaching out daily for support, one of whom was suicidal. And again, no real agency support. Add to that my move into becoming a foster mum, a pregnant friend and a friend who miscarried for the second time, and the latter three were the important ones and only ones I should have been focusing on.
Five weeks. Constant saturation in the darkness that exists in our society.
Because I didn’t say no until I began my descent.
I am a strong person. I am caring. But I am not infallible.
And so, I have learned again. Maybe I should say that I am still in the process of learning that I am valuable and that I need to come first.
Maybe I need to write a book that contains my collected wisdom and make my physical presence unnecessary.
Hmmm, not a bad idea.
And so I stand today, reinvigorated, and willing to keep fighting for me. I started to say no, I practiced gratitude, I found solitude, I turned off my phone, I was open and honest about where I was, I changed my diet, gave myself permission to feel and to be exactly where I was without guilt.
And I am better.
Helped by continuing to step outside of my own comfort zone by attending a dinner party on Saturday night where I only knew the hosts. And what a great way to begin my holidays, a period of renewal and refocusing.
I arrived just after midday and had the most amazing conversations with my friends. And when the guests arrived, I engaged in amazing conversations. Amazing because they were sincere, true, vulnerable and in no way superficial. They cut straight to the bones of who we were. It was so revitalising. People connecting from a real place without any of the usual pretence.
I think the host is creating a tribe of people to change the world, or at least to inspire change. Or a cult. I’m still working it out 😜.
And so, back to balance and back to me. Back to writing, and back to getting my application to foster finished and sent. Back to wholeness. Back to home.