Reality Vs Reality

After spending the whole of last year regularly writing and sharing my experiences I found myself in a place were I could no longer write.  I didn’t want to share any more.  I couldn’t cope with the responsibility that I had bestowed on myself to keep telling my story.  I felt suffocated by it.

I have suffered from overwhelm, denial, feelings of inadequacy and worry, all the worry about everything and anything you could possibly worry about.  There, I said it.

For someone who is openly and loudly ‘positive’ and ‘optimistic’, I’ve felt totally flat & convinced it was all about to go wrong.  I have continued to seek opportunities to pull myself out of the pit but with each new opportunity I have just added in to the worry bucket.

It might be hard to believe from the outside. If you’ve bumped in to me in real-life I would have proudly told you that everything is fine, that things are pressing on well with Jack’s treatment (they are!) and that I am excitedly working on my ‘not-for-profit’ project.  And that is all true but underneath the busyness, I have not ‘been myself’.  I’m pretty good at dressing myself up to match the persona, as you can see below.

I shared my life warts & all through last year, via this blog and on my social media channels, I don’t think I truly connected to what was happening around me.  At first writing and sharing everything was cathartic.  But as more people read and engaged with it I feel like I lost connection with my reason for writing to begin with.  I felt I was writing to entertain people.  I was screenwriting a soap opera.

Self-care is something I actively promote and encourage other people to do but I am not always putting it in to practice myself.

A friend sent me a quote that said ‘don’t forget to check on your strong friend’ and she is one of only a small handful who actually has. I have told her when I am not OK and she has guided and encouraged me out of the hole.  She has given me right royal bollockings over my need to practice what I preach too.

The thing with being described by others as ‘positive’ and ‘strong’ is that it creates an expectation internally that you must always behave that way.  I have learnt that it’s alright to tell people that actually, I’m not feeling that strong at the minute, I feel a bit exhausted. I could do with a break.

So over the last couple of weeks I have been participating in a daily meditation challenge.  Admittedly I have missed a couple and done two at once, but taking that 15 minutes (nearly) EVERY day to just breathe has helped to clear some of the fog.  I had reiki from an amazing healer who knew I was holding something that needed to be shared, thank you Zarra for helping me to release that energy.  I have also been training for a 10K charity race; running about 3 times a week has not only improved how I have felt in my body but also in my mind.  The combination of these things has been a source of therapy, and has helped me work through these feelings and thoughts.

I’ve realised as a result of the last few weeks working on myself that I need to have a conversation with a professional about how I’ve been feeling. Although I can see through the fog a bit better in this moment, there may well be a patch ahead that I’m not prepared for. I’m completely OK with this, I don’t need to pretend that I can manage if I feel like I can’t.  Nobody is going to think anything less of me nor is it going to impact my ability to help and inspire others.

Self-care is a priority and a necessity.

It’s OK to not feel OK and to tell others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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diaryofanoncologymum

I'm a 34 year old Mum of two from Liverpool. My son Jack was diagnosed & successfully treated for a rare blood cancer called Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis in 2014. He has recently relapsed so I have decided to share the journey. My reason for being so open this time round is three fold; I want to raise awareness of childhood cancer, I want to reach those parents & families who are just getting a diagnosis & (selfishly) I find writing therapeutic and feel that sharing the story will help me get my own head around things.

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