How Do You Cope With This Thing Called Life?
For a few years now, I’ve tried to organise myself when it comes to my writing. I have a blogging schedule to follow so I know what I’m going to be discussing, and I have a clear action plan for my books.
When everything is running smoothly, I might look like a graceful swan gliding down the river. However, at any given moment I’m paddling as if my life depends on it below the surface.
My theme of the month for February was De-cluttering: The Marie Kondo Way. I was inspired by Marie’s Netflix show and her book (which I reviewed here). My wardrobe and bookshelves are living proof that her method works. Unfortunately, as I began to tackle lesson 3: papers, ‘real life’ got in the way.
Let me back up a bit here and overshare with you all. Fifteen years ago I walked out of a violent marriage. It was tough, but I was now a single parent to three children under the age of 5, and I chose to ‘get on with it’ as they say. Getting on with it isn’t always the best course of action and all the fears, rage, disappointment, and sadness I felt during my marriage and afterwards had been stuffed down deep inside. If I couldn’t see it, hear it, or feel it then it never happened – until ‘life stuff’ gets in the way and tiny fragments bubble to the surface.
My regular readers will remember how I had to close my holistic health business three years ago due to an autoimmune disorder. At the same time, I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. The stress of the autoimmune issue, closing my business, and being in constant pain caused my carefully repressed thoughts and feelings to come hurtling to the surface.
What do you do when the life stuff gets too much to handle, and you start to feel like an alien invaded your body and has been walking around in your meat suit for a few years? (Can you tell I write fantasy fiction?!)
For me, it meant doing something I should have done fifteen years ago. I found a counsellor and began the long task of unpicking all the threads of my life and putting myself back together. I feel like a big ball of string, but I can’t find an end to pull on.
It’s a journey I know I’ll be on for quite a while. My masks’ of happiness, confidence, and success are slipping, and I’m scared to death that the real me is a boring old fart with back fat and no prospects.
I recently watched an old Julia Roberts film, Runaway Bride, after one counselling session revealed that I didn’t know who I was. The scene in the film where Julia’s character tries all the varieties of eggs to see which one she prefers resonated with me so much. I’m a scrambled egg girl myself, but I’ve been known to eat fried eggs if my ex wanted them! It taught me how easily I lose myself and fit in with those around me.
My Reiki Master used to tell me that I give my power away too easily and it’s only now I understand her words.
So, who am I? Who are you?
Do you know in all honesty the person you want to be? I’m learning more and more with each session I have, and I’m finding it fascinating putting the pieces back together.
Being ill, personal stuff going on at home, and a sense of sheer overwhelm has recently derailed my careful blogging schedule, and the de-cluttering of papers and miscellaneous items have been pushed to the bottom of the list. Perhaps this is a way to procrastinate (I am surrounding by SO many papers!), who knows?
What I have realised is how none of it matters. Life doesn’t glide like a swan. Life comes in waves of good and bad, fun and grief, joy and sadness, and at any given moment we are all paddling as if our lives depend on it below the surface.
Talking to friends, continuing with my counselling sessions, meditating, writing my novel, researching my next non-fiction project, taking part in positive online groups, and getting outside in the fresh air have all contributed to me feeling semi-human again.
My blog posts will be written eventually, my novels will get finished, and the world will continue to turn. Taking a step back, not comparing myself to others, and allowing myself the space to evolve, grieve, and re-discover myself are all vital right now. Coping with this thing called life might be tough at times, but we’re all in it together, and by supporting one another we’ll make it.
How do you cope with this thing called life? What do you do to keep yourself in check, to boost your positivity, or to take a time out when necessary? I’d love to hear your stories so feel free to leave me a comment below.