Teaspoon of Courage
It's 11pm on a Wednesday night as I start typing this..
The house is looking chaotic, mid (extended) reno, the couch is in the middle of the lounge, ironing board has doubled as an abstract coffee table. Two empty bowls that were filled with 2 minute noodles for dinner, tubes of paints and a zillion paint brushes scattered amongst books and magazines I've not yet read. There are blank, semi-finished and finished canvases of art. There are clothes on the airer that have been out for a couple of days along with clean laundry of the floor of our bedroom.
You could say the apartment looks a little like i've been feeling of late.
I'm wide eyed trying to get my fingers to keep up with my brain as words spill out of my head and into this space. I'm also onto my 1000th consecutive late night. Oopsie.
Funnily enough as I'm finally flexing my word muscles I'm getting increasingly inspired and creative. Which is a relief, because some serious feels have been building, awaiting sweet relief from my continuous frustration with striving for constant perfection here. I'll get there, soon! Thanks to the peeps who have recently told me their patiently waiting for another post - your love and encouragement means the world!
Hello, hello sweet soul!
I hope your world is bursting with love and laughter as you take a moment to join me here.
Rewind a couple of hours ago, I read a v. interesting article (thanks FB) about extroverted introverts. And my oh my did it resonate with me! *preach emoji x 3*. So much so that I was physically nodding and agreeing out aloud.
One of the most hilarious (and accurate) sentences I read, was that extroverted introverts love and crave downtime at home to recharge (true) BUT also get ansty about having downtime because it feels wasteful (also true). The decision about whether or not it's wasteful, will completely depend on the mood their in. Whoa, umm.. That is my life! A constant battle of wanting to be a woman about town, social as hell then wanting time to do 'nothing' on the couch, which I've learnt I don't do very well. It's near impossible for me to justify just sitting and not doing. Me + home along + nothing to do = not good.
The article helped me consciously acknowledge some of my nuances. The desire to make people comfortable yet perhaps not always feeling comfortable myself. My ability to observe, notice the details and harness my intuition. The days where all my thoughts seem to be out aloud, the days they're totally internalised in a constant inner monologue. When I'm upset, I like to get more than one opinion but also like my own time to be one with my thoughts. There are times I freaking love a social gathering, yet the at other times I can feel annoyed or withdrawn in the same situation. I have a deep desire for conversations that move me, move you and stir emotion and connection. Honestly, small talk is great for it's purpose, but all I want to do is get into some deep and meaningful territory. Let's solve the worlds problems together! I'm also guilty of over analysing a situation or outcome, thinking about every minute detail..
Really fascinating shit, for me at least. I hope someone reading this can relate too! #ambivertlyf.
As I'm somewhat stumbling my way through this year, I feel that all I'm experiencing is as it's meant to be. Cryptic, I know..
What I'm trying to articulate is that I feel polarised by 2017. It's been a contrast of some incred highs and some shitty lows. Moments of extreme laughter and insane happiness which is making me smile as I type. Then there have been the dark corners, where my heart has ached and I've felt extremely challenged. I think the end of last year and the festive happenings that signed off on 2016, shook me up and spat me out, and now I'm trying to rediscover and redefine my equilibrium amongst the day to day chaos that is LIFE.
A big part of these feels is that I've confronted and momentarily struggled with my grief in these first couple of months, which has really taken me by surprise, totally catching me off guard.
To fill you in, almost 8 years ago I lost my Mum suddenly to suicide.
You think that 8 years is long enough to 'get over it' - as it's been put to me before. What I've learnt is that there are no amount of days, months or years that make this tragedy bearable.
No. Time. At. All.
From my experience, the standard timeframe that society allows is approximately 2 weeks to grieve. You've got two weeks to deal with your emotions then pack 'em the hell up (packer up boiiz), and get going with your life, trying to feel 'normal' again. Uh-uh. It sure as hell don't work like that.
I remember talking to my counsellor.. *PAUSE* Yep, bit by bit imma break some stigma around mental health in this space - because if I had a cold, I'd see a doctor. So why is there shame when we nurture our mental and psychological health?! More on that later..
My amazing counsellor, who helped me overcome some dark times whilst beginning my healing, said that it would take me 5 years to feel honestly and wholeheartedly good again. Umm, what?!
Here I am, in about week 4 of my grief at the time and she's telling me I've got another 250 odd weeks before I'd feel good again?!
Umm, what?!.. again!
She was in fact right.
It was almost obvious when year 5 hit, sort of like (I imagine) running a marathon and being the first (and only) person to run through the finish line tape - arms up, sweaty, in pain, crying but weirdly elated. Whilst it was a milestone in many ways, it did honestly feel like a noticeable change and shift in my healing and mental strength. I remember consciously acknowledging for the first time with a shaky voice and a little uncertainty, that I actually felt good. (note: this isn't to say that I was never feeling 'good' in those five years, you have moments of goodness, but they're fleeting, leaving you with some pretty brutal emotions lingering in the background).
Each year that passes brings another layer of healing, allowing you to discover a greater sense of peace in your heart.
NO, time does not heal all wounds. I believe the wounds do stay there forever but time gives you the perspective and strength to accept that they're a part of you, yet they do not define you.
The way I've explained how (my) grief works is a series of cycles lasting weeks/days/months/years - where you feel buried in an emotionally fucked black hole, with what physically feels like a broken heart.
Every second, minute and hour totally consumed in processing what has happened, which lasts months..
Then you move through every second hour, which lasts for months and months..
Every day, lasting months..
Every second, third, fourth day, lasting more months..
Then every week, lasting weeks and weeks on end..
Every second week, for a few more weeks..
Moving onto a few days in every month..
A few days in every second month..
Oh shit, it's been three months, okay stay cool..
To a day, every fourth, fifth month..
Then all of a sudden, six whole months had passed, and I hadn't felt a thing, by way of emotionally expressing my grief. Six whole months without a down day, a huge cleansing cry or my heart aching. I seriously wondered if I was okay?! That's not to say that I don't think of my Mum every day. Every damn day, some days it's once and some days it's every second thought. Then in classic grief style..
All of a sudden, the first few days of 2017 it hit me like I don't know what..
I'd probably liken it to a terrifyingly powerful and emotional freight train storming through my being.
These moments are the king tides of grief..
Grief, is kind of like the ocean.
It's always there lapping at the shore. Some days she's gentle and delicate and other days she wild, tumultuous and stormy.
I'd gotten pretty good at forecasting the tides, but this time it caught me by surprise, leaving me kinda feelin' exposed and vulnerable. There was an air of sadness and longing - simply for her to be here with me.
All I can say is that I really fucking miss her.
Along with my grief, there have been a higher volume of instances where things haven't quite gone my way. Most of which have been first world issues, that don't compare or even touch the above, however, I am human and when they hit you consecutively, they leave you feelin' a little drained. *Shake it off*
It also seems to be a time for firsts, changes, growth and learning. First broken bone (yes, it happened late December, but it kinda counts for this year *cough-mechanical bull-cough*), first car accident in 9 years of driving (boooooo :(, but everyone was okay - thank goodness). There have also been some smaller firsts and little 'wins' that have kept me energised. Along with this there have been plenty of changes in all aspects of my world which has inspired growth and a greater sense of self, purpose and life desires. #mixedfeelz
Despite some of that sounding negative, soz not soz. There have been so many positives and plenty of excitement. I have absolute faith that this is a phase of cleansing and conditioning to allow more space for even greater magic that I'm already blessed with.
So if 2017 hasn't quite felt like yo' bitch yet, hang in there baby. I'm telling you that you totes got this, and this too shall pass, only leaving you more resilient. My one rule for tough times regardless of what it is you're going through, FEEL ALL THERE IS TO FEEL! The good, bad, ugly, uncomfortable - which sometimes is scary AF but I can guarantee in the long run it'll help you to completely process and heal. Don't deny yourself the chance to experience your emotions and work through your feelings. No emotion is wrong and it sure as hell ain't worth bottling it up. This will create more space in your heart and in your life to welcome more love and joy. Know that you are exactly where you need to be in this moment and you are totally supported by people you love and the universe that you exist within.
Big, magical, soul warming hugs your way, because I'm a goddamn hugger and you're going to feel my love!
Endless good vibes, always.