If we were having coffee I’d tell you I’m starting over again, brick by tiny brick. This last year has been a difficult one for both of us: we’ve had to weather some extreme storms and it feels like we’re only just now coming out the other side, but not altogether unscathed.
In all honesty, I reached breaking point a month ago and it really scared me. I’m not Mr Glass Half Full but I have a base level of optimism that normally sees me through. I’m the one who everyone else turns to; The one with calm self-assurance who remains unfazed. Overnight it felt like that was all gone and, whereas before my armour was thick enough to deflect dark thoughts, it suddenly wasn’t there and I felt incredibly vulnerable. I didn’t recognise myself.
I submitted a referral to the local mental health service and.. well, nothing actually happened. The 48hr response window came and went. The only acknowledgement I received was that the service would be merged with another in a couple of days so I think I was lost in the transition. This was a week before our trip to St Ives so I instead focussed on that. I also had the help of a close friend whose words made so much more difference than they probably realised (you know who you are).
Our time away was brief but I think it was the breather I needed. A time to unplug, recharge and self-reflect. Nothing in my life has changed since we returned but I’ve felt happier and stronger. I’m getting back on top of things and practicing good self care habits; focussing on doing the things I enjoy and spending time with the people I care about.
The biggest shift for me – and one I’d lost somewhere along the way – has been reframing my problems as opportunities and accepting that trying is so much more important than succeeding. I do make a difference to the world around me just by being me.
The mental health service rang me back out of the blue this week and I had my initial screening call yesterday. It was emotionally taxing as it meant dragging up thoughts and feelings I had already tried to resolve, but it did reaffirm that I’m in a much better place now than I was before. Regardless, they’ve suggested some self-help sessions that I’ve agreed to, but the waiting list is two and a half months which isn’t really helpful. I know I’m making progress though and not all by myself. I have a strong network of people who care about me and I need to remember that.
As we head towards November, writing and crafting are two things I want to focus on this winter, as well as getting out and about more. I’m appreciating the beautiful autumn colours and i’ve already picked up some new hiking shoes and lined up some cycling lessons. I’m also entertaining the delusion of attempting #nanopoblano again..
Do you have any recommended self-care habits? What’s on the horizon for you?