IM Going Outward Bound Once Again- Well, Sort of.

IM Going Outward Bound Once Again- Well, Sort of.

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Work Through The Fear…..

As you can see it has been more than a few months since my last post.  Life has been busy, and for the most part good, and I now have my web page up and running…and… less than three weeks I will be trekking 170 km, with 10 other folks, to help raise funds for Outward Bound Canada, charitable programs. I will be trekking the Tour Du Mont Blanc, and will be in France, Italy and Switzerland. I am still pinching myself, and this was in no way on my radar, and this opportunity came out of the blue. I have been writing a blog post about it, and the journey to prepare for it, and you can find it here.

The day before yesterday I finally got out in the garden and did some much needed weeding, pruning etc. I have been busy with training etc and it was somewhat neglected. Working in the garden allows me time to let my mind wander, and wander it did.

As I was pulling weeds I was thinking of my healing journey, to where I am now, and the times Outward Bound Canada has helped me in this journey. I thought about the times I was on course, was afraid but pushed through and discovered more about myself.  I thought about the times in therapy, and the beginning of my journey and how afraid I was.  

Some points in my journey, I came to a cross road, and it was usually at a very difficult point. Many of the times it was with regards to looking at my trauma, feeling what I should have back then- but didn’t because I dissociated, and the need to process. I remember how terrified I was. I was afraid of these emotions and the work it was going to take, but I knew my way of coping- dissociating etc, was no longer working. And, did I really want to live like that anymore?

The thing is, I knew how to live with dissociation and the not so health coping mechanisms. As they say “Better the devil you know” But could I live without dissociating, I had never done that before, and that unknown was terrifying.  I also knew that the only one who could do this work was me.

 Sure, I am forever grateful for the amazing help I had, but at some level, at a much younger emotional level, I wanted someone else to fix it, make it better for me. But I knew that I was the only one who could do that work. At some level this felt like a slap in the face, as I had already worked hard, and here I was being asked to do even more work.

When I came to those crossroads, I knew the only one who could make the decision was me, and I knew the only one who could do the work, again was me. This does not mean I wasn’t scared.

So with the guidance of my professionals, I started. I had made up a support plan to let friends and family know how they could best support me, and I slowly but surely started working my way through the sadness, anger, grief, despair, anxiety, betrayal, flashbacks etc. It was not an easy road, and it sure wasn’t linear. Many times it looked like I would make progress, then I would slip back down, then back up I climb, then back down again. Sometimes I needed hospitalizations. Slowly but surely things got better and better and better.  I still struggle at times, but now I see the struggle sooner, have better tools in my tool box to help me deal with this and pull in the supports when I need them.

And here I am, about to go on another amazing epic adventure.  

I was working away in the garden still, and it was time for a tea break. Then back to work and now I’m trimming the roses, cutting out brambles, pulling up the crabgrass etc…and as it always does, the garden surprised me with treasures that are somehow growing under all of this. And I thought to myself…”this is like my therapy, I was afraid and feeling the fear, and the other emotions, it seemed too big of a job. Just like these rose and bramble branches, but taking it slowly and bit by bit I was able to cut away at them, and look what I found. Under all of that was new life and light was now reaching that new life.”

I know that if I did not do the work, I would not be where I am. If I didn’t face the fear and work through it, I would not be getting on a plane in 16 days to fly to Geneva. - Never in a million years did I ever think I would write that line. –It was hard work, it was scary, but because I did, I have found many treasures within myself, and a new lease on life.

If you are about to embark on your work, and you are scared, maybe knowing that I understand, and have been there, and that you are not alone will help.

Those are my thoughts for today, may you find many beautiful treasures and shine light on who you truly are. Its hard work, but it is worth it. You are worth it.

Cheers and be well

Saturday 30 March 2019

Same Income, Different Car.....

The last five  months life has been challenging me, and my family,  in many ways, but as of right now, I'm more then happy to say we have some breathing room,so I am going to enjoy this moment while it lasts.

One of the issues that came up was cars breaking down, and costing way to much to repair- I wont go into details...but we do have another vehicle- that we were able to buy off a friend at a price we could afford-$ 500,  which isn't much, and it got me to thinking.

I was wondering how the gas mileage on this vehicle would be compared to the other car- so we have the same income, but now a different car- then my mind went to how this is a good analogy to how my days are.

When I wake in the morning, I never know how much energy I am going to have.- what kind of gas mileage I will get. I may feel fine and find out a few hours later I am done for the day. I may be doing fine for a while then wake up, and its going to be a struggle. That nice little sleek economy vehicle  I had been driving for the last week or so, has overnight, changed into a 1921 Model T Ford and can barley stay going. Then there are days- especially when processing and dealing with my illness, that the vehicle has turned into a tank! These are really tough days.

Tanks get very little gas mileage, they are slow, cumbersome, but they can pretty much get through and over everything. At times, that is just what is needed for me to get through my therapy and get better. I  have to put my head down and only focus on the next minute, putting one foot in front of the other. I am happy to say I have fewer and fewer times that I need a tank, but  occasional  it is still needed.

And then there are days I need a tow truck!!!!!  I may just need a tire changed- some down time- or I may need a tow into the shop. This is when I pull in extra supports, work on my self care- brushing my teeth, remembering to eat, use medications if needed. When I am better- the car has been repaired- I am back into what I call the land of the living.

Like cars, we all need maintenance, tune ups, servicing etc. We make sure our vehicles have services, tune ups, repairs etc. Why don't we do that for ourselves. If we run our vehicles for long periods of time with out doing any maintenance, we will find that problems arise, major repairs are needed, they break down etc. We are told when buying a new car- something I have never had- that it needs to have its regular scheduled maintenance etc. We know this, we make time for it, we make sure it happens. Why do we not do this for ourselves ?

Society tends to tell us that we are only successful if we are busy, doing lots of things, running around, have lots of people around us etc. We have often been told through out our lives that this is what it is to be successful- look at the social media, commercials rarely, if ever see a commercial where there is a picture of someone sitting in a garden with a cup of tea, and being told this is what successful and a contributing member of society looks like.  If we do choose to sit on the garden with a cup of tea you can bet someone will say- well thats a "lazy" way to spend a day. Where did this come from, this belief that if we are not running around and being "productive" we are being "lazy"? I blame it on the fable  of the Grasshopper and the Ant !

Needless to say I notice this attitude more while I'm struggling and driving the tank, or when I have had to call in a tow truck.

So for all of you folks out there who are reading this,wherever you are in this journey called life.  For those you who may be struggling or have times of struggling. Be proud of whatever vehicle you are driving right now, be it a fancy little economy car, a Model T Ford or a tank. Give yourself some loving kindness and compassion.  For when you need to call in a tow truck,let me tell you- you are not being lazy. You are being wise, taking care of yourself and doing what is right for you. because you are doing what is right for you, you are a productive member of society you are a success and we are all the better for it.

Those are my thoughts for today, be good to yourselves