Sometimes even the sunniest day has a rain-cloud. Having weathered many a storm, I had considered myself fairly immune to those pesky clouds… Well, life doles out surprises when we least expect it and the smallest detail going wrong can be the breaking of us occasionally…
I really don’t mump a lot. But we all need to sometimes, and when you feel the scales of pain or unfairness outweigh your sparkle, it is alright to smudge your freshly swiped eyeliner. People make choices in their communication and perception of others, and twice I recently encountered a drama storm without wearing my rain coat . I have seen that destruction before and witnessed the fallout by hurt people creating more of the same.
I just felt too tired to get through the imminent events about to unfurl.. It was experience and instinct. Having the last word is so rarely a gift you need to keep, and I walked away. The effect was relief and utter exhaustion.
It wasn’t just one thing though, and that is key. Generally we can deal with one or two muppets, disappointments, pain, and grief. But not all at once. Endless circles chasing operations, being told to get a treatment, only to arrive and be turned away on the advice of someone else, having to got to a point where even my lovely physio can’t justify the little he is able to do to help. I felt my hope slipping…..
Now… my glass is usually not only half full, but full of sparkly bubbles..
My path is usually strewn with sparkly stuff
But, here I was in a feeling I didn’t recognise. I had crumpled inside when I least expected it. Trying to be ok lasted two days. I knew I wasn’t ok and so did my lovely tribe.
The wierd thing was, that somewhere right down deep inside myself, I knew I was fine. I scanned the desire to run to Spain (no pun intended) or eat my bodyweight in custard creams, and riding it out seemed the only option. My face just needed to implode.
So without thinking too hard about it, I told my friends on my personal Facebook page. I knew that they knew, it was unusual. It wasn’t awful, but it was a painful, black inky blip and I knew I didn’t want it to spread.
Within a few seconds someone had replied. In fact, someone I know less well than some of my other friends, but her kind words and immediacy were so gratefully received. And the words kept coming, trickling in like a hand squeeze or an extra pillow.. My face leaked, my limbs ached, my head thumped and my eyes went very small . My sofa was delighted and so was were my animals who used my body as extra heating.. And the pain started to ease a bit.. I have suggested to one of my friends, that ordering hugs by courier ( just a hug! ) Might be a new business for them…
Thank you brilliant friends and neighbours for the time taken to give me support that day. The words you gave me were like little precious diamonds. I was asked by someone else why tell Facebook? Aren’t you just telling the world your business? My answer is no. When we can bear to speak about the demons, they start to shrivel away, and already this brief little bleuughhhhh.. became a positive conversation in another forum helping other people. You choose how and what and with who to share and only when you feel it is safe.
Opening up, rather than either taking it out on anyone else or internalizing has to be a good thing. Crawling further inside a body playing tricks on me, analysing and finding emotional pathways which weren’t there in the first place, was not necessary. I quite like my head clear enough to be of some use in the world. I watched as the weather came and the heavens opened……
Once in a while, a day comes along which like a huge gust of wind literally knocks you off your legs… or in my case crutches… The usual techniques which work on cementing the stiff upper lip in place aren’t working, and the floodgates have weirdly not only opened but disappeared entirely… it was literally like drowning in your entire wardrobe..
The mechanical workings you normally see in the mirror safely ticking along, easing each micro movement need oiling and you can hear some vital parts grinding together where once there was an easy flow..
…All you want to do is sleep. Sadness is so heavy …
So let the monsoon come..
Because, after you tell someone it’s outside of you again… you start answering your own questions… it is the start of unbreaking.
I am lucky to have some kind of unwavering determination to stay on this planet to keep being inspired by those amazing and brave souls I come into contact with every day.
For that, I thank whichever Gods are with me…
Today I thank my neighbour for the surprise flask of hot water in the middle of a very long power cut . I literally can’t see without caffeine ! She is worth keeping positive for. And the surprise bunch of flowers from another neighbour who read my post. As he apologised for their store-bought origins, I want to tell him that a bunch of daisies from a grass verge would still mean as much.
We shouldn’t apologise for ourselves. Or our own personal weather patterns. Our big, emotional, colourful, strange, indescribably, wonderful selves… who will have some days sunnier than others.
Create, scream, plant, share, paint, stitch, listen, draw and see which doors begin to open on your path..
Crap days will come.. They just prove how normal the other ones are.
Look for rainbows
If someone you know is having a day like this… just tell them its ok. Don’t judge, question, fix, micro manage, and offer endless avenues of helpful possibilities and comfort, unless they ask you to. You’ll know if they need something. Just be around.
It’s not about you.
Not today anyway. They will be back. And that’s the thing I have learnt, that the folk who help each other are the ones that just let you play it out, without always having to bring their stuff to the table. Because the real you just needed a break to let rip for a bit… you can’t get through understanding your stuff whilst simultaneously explaining it to someone else.
Your brain, like your energy can only cope with so much…
The next day they/you/we will be back in step again…
Sometimes we wonder why our children are acting out and riding unimaginably bumpy emotional rollercoasters . All this drama and frustration and anger at the world not quite being as they think it should be..
How can our funny, loving and confident young person, having coped with a lot already and thriving regardless be so utterly woebegone and angry?
Because they are human. And its a hard hard thing to be, Some find it much harder than others and actually the ones that shout loudest are usually the ones who need most comfort. However, as a very wise friend told me, sadly showing scars on his back from his own childhood, keeping it all in is worse. Inverting the pain and not letting someone show their feelings will only ever end up backfiring.
We can’t go back to childhood but we can be inspired by it and its lack of emotional rules.
My first feeling as an adult when I felt a bit rubbish, was guilt. What if I let someone down? What if I couldn’t fulfill all my roles that day? What if not doing what I usually did and losing my brave face melted the world and everyone in it? What if .. what if…???
Do you know what happened?.. Nothing. Today’s power cut was a bit like that. All the electricity and noise went off. There was very little I could do, no way of communicating, no internet and not many jobs I could do but basic ones and some drawing. Bliss.
Every now and again a meltdown is just a appetizer to a better version of peace. and will free you. Your real mates will get it.
We all have an enormous bag of gifts to offer. I lived a long time with my best ones under wrap, like brightly coloured parcels. Art, music, being allowed to dance and perform and the honest joyous conversations you can only have when you live without fear.
What I know now is that, I may have lost dancing (for now) but the Rocky Mountains climbed over to claim back all the other wonders were not hopeless. It took my inner tiger to get here and she’s still purring. I wear my heart openly in all weathers because these stories aren’t just mine. They are in all of us. In our Art group we share stories and we trust. Seeing other’s fall and not smash ourselves wide open without a safety net. If you feel safe to talk to someone when you are tumbling down, they won’t judge you. Saying it outwardly stops your thoughts turning to negative self spiralling spaghetti.. and worse.
I wish I could turn back the clock and put my arm around the young woman coping, patching over the cracks, and slowly vanishing.
She deserved to feel like a whole person. She might have run a long time sooner!
A friend of mine told me she thinks we are all a bit flakey. We are. We have our coping methods and the right people in your life will understand them. Be sad, but be joyous too. “God mum you are so embarrassing” mini tells me last night as I hugged the car mechanic who delivered my car home.
Quite right..! She didn’t know why. So I told her.
My car is my lifeline. Without it I can’t go anywhere. Disabled spaces are like jigsaw pieces around cities and map out our adventures together.. My car was making a dreadful crunching noise. The man in the garage I nipped into for advice, told me he couldn’t fix it. He has cancer. But his son was up from England, helping with the business and could look at the car later. On a day when the lad was already snowed under, probably worried about his poor Dad, he ordered the parts, drove us home, did the work and delivered the car back, getting a lift from someone else so we didn’t have to go back out. That kind of kindness should be shouted from the rooftops.
It is ok to feel . Sometimes when life gives you lemons, a bit of juice gets in your eye and stings like hell.. All the cold grey mornings, art that won’t work, flopped cakes, screaming children, sore bodies, hurtful comments or worrying thoughts…..Most of us, like another good friend said, hold the wound until a clot forms.
Being strong is admirable…
But it’s always better in company…
For the days when you feel bleuuuuuugh………………………………..
For the moments when you feel like you are leaking……….
For the rude people who should know better…
and for everything else….
Stay Dry. Love and Hugs