Several years ago I was called out on my bullshit rules by someone who has no idea that she did just that.
In a conversation with her she suddenly said to me, “You’re not as calm as you would like us all to think that you are. You’re like a duck on the water, looking as though you’re gliding along with ease when in actual fact your scrabbling around below the surface with alarming speed. Are you ok?”
Are you ok? Such a simple thing to say.
I burst into tears, as for the first time in a long time, I got that someone actually saw what was happening with me. She saw me. Not the wife. Not the mum. Me!
She saw and heard that something wasn’t working for me. That I was making excuses and making up rules (bullshit rules) that really weren’t serving me.
When she had listened to everything that fell out of me she recommended that I took some time for me. I was shocked. Who does that? I had created a role in my life that meant that I had to be there for everyone else. I was an obliger who obliged anyone and everyone except of course me.
At this time I had no idea who I truly was and what I truly wanted. I was aware that if I did I would open a Pandora’s box of stifled desires. What I did know was that I was very good at judging myself as not being good enough in any way. I was perpetuating comparing myself with other women, other mothers, other wives. I found myself lacking in every respect.
What slowly, at first, began to dawn on me was that this constant judgement of me was impacting my mental health, which in turn was impacting my health overall.
What to do?
I began to watch the women who calmly went through life and appeared to be enjoying their life. What I noticed is that they did make time for themselves as well as everyone around them. They were willing to put their own oxygen mask on first as they recognised that this meant that they could be there for their families and friends without being overwhelmed.
I watched all of this. I acknowledged my overwhelm. I chose to learn about communicating what I desired and indeed what I required for my overall health. There were times when it was a breeze and other times when it felt as though I was holding on by my finger nails.
What I began to recognise was that it was important to choose the self-care that worked for me. There is no one size that fits all. There is more to choose from than ever before and so much available online and via books. For me nothing worked so well as face to face consultations.
These were often very challenging sessions, with lots of crying and yet when I reflected I could see that I was changing sometimes very quickly and at other times slower than a snail. This investment in me I continue to choose. What are you choosing for you that is the best investment ever? What will work for you and your mental strength?
With ease and good mental strength
PS If you would like a virtual coffee and chat with Denise on Zoom then message her here firstname.lastname@example.org and book yourself a discovery session.