Letting Go

It is that time of year, the very last bit where we cannot help but to take stock of the year that has been and think about our hopes for the new one that’s coming.

What we wish to let go of, the old habits the things that no longer serve us.

And so it began on the early hours of this morning. The brain dump. You know those snippets of thought which do not give a clear picture, they are just random things flying around my head. A thought here and there which doesn’t make sense and then is gone forever.

Letting go.

So what am I letting go of?

Firstly, the thoughts that I am a sick person. This is a big one, I know it to be true but it is not who I am, therefore it should not shape me.

In the past few months I have got nowhere, it has held me back from living a life the way I want to and although I have rested the body and the mind I have felt defined by it and that should not be happening. I have relied upon Drs to find and treat the cause of illness and they have failed me, pushing me from pillar to post as they tell me that it’s not what they think it is, whilst not finding out what it actually is that has made me so suddenly and inexplicably ill. I do not fit in their box. So they have left me out in the cold to fend for myself and all that time has been wasted and I am left doubting my sanity and my longevity.

I am Me.

I am still the person I used to be, but I have grown. I have awakened parts of me which have been sleeping. Hidden from view for so long I had forgotten that they were there underneath all of the other stuff that has been going on.

I am still a loving, caring, partner and friend, daughter, mother. I am a great listener and confidante. Someone who offers careful advice when it is sought. Who will happily teach what I know to others if it helps them. In return I ask for consideration, for care and occasionally thanks for my efforts. It does not make me a bad person, I do require validation to know that I am not wasting my time and know that I am doing the right thing.

I am letting go of the victim inside, as I said to someone recently, that is in the past. Long gone and I have dealt with it and the fallout. Again it does not define me for that is not who I am. I have been victimised for the past few years and had some of the darkest thoughts of my life whilst I struggled to deal with the fallout from it. That is not who I am. I want to move on from that now is the time. I have battled it and the depression which comes in that package and I want to move on. Stronger from the experience not allowing it to hold me back any more.

I have done my grieving. For the Loved Ones we have lost, we cannot bring them back. Only the memories remain, sometimes a tear will fall and catch me out, but I will not wallow in the depths of grief or dwell on the circumstances which caused the loss.

Too much time has been spent dwelling on the past. The past is gone. It is time to move on, metaphorically and physically.

There is a whole world out there that I have yet to see.

But I don’t need to see all of it. Some of it the way that it is run, the damage that is being done to it and the people that are hurting each other in it, are not what I need in my life. I owe it to myself not to be drawn into this first hand. I have figured out that I annoy always strong enough to cope with the fallout.

As with so many things, I need to protect myself better. I need the connection with the earth that surrounds us so I am planning to spend even more time in nature and learn more about my foraging journey, it has taught me so much in the past year alone, given me medicine to heal my body and options with which to feed my family. I will grow more in whatever space I have, plants to nurture and care for us.

Friends and family. Over the past year, I have taken time out when I needed to. There have been times when the only people I have seen or spoken with for weeks have been my partner or my mother. I love the bond that I have with them both, but just sometimes I need other people in my life too. There have also been times when their company has been more than enough for me and I have sought, or even craved silence and solitude. They have often fought to understand that, but have given me space nevertheless. I want to see more of my friends this coming year, the ones who are still there or me and haven’t fallen by the wayside whilst I have been ill. The ones who care enough to make the time and effort that is needed to maintain a friendship. The ones who are not phased by my strangeness, the new things I want to try and still embrace me for it. My sisters and brothers, not bonded by blood but by shared interests, a love of life and all that it holds for us.

So as I attempt to let go of all the things that no longer serve me, a decluttering of the mind, body and spirit. I am starting to feel as though a weight is starting to lift.

The light that surrounds me, I need to let it in, it can only shine if it has a power supply. That has to be me, no one else. I have to make that happen.

I want to inspire again. Teach again, be a mentor to others. Share knowledge and help others grow and heal.

I think that in doing so, I will also be able to heal, for I am not yet complete in that process and do not have to do that alone. With the support of others so much more is possible. I do not have to fight things alone. I am not alone, there are people dealing with the same problems, probably also thinking that they are having to deal with it all themselves and that is not the case. Someone out there knows your pain, they also might know how to make it better.

Divide and conquer springs to mind. Divide the problem and we will conquer it. As they say a problem shared is a problem halved. Although that isn’t always the case, it can often help so talk to people, if not in person then at least online.

So what am I looking for at the end of this year?

Closure on so many subjects.

I do not want to take the things that have ruled me relentlessly over the past year into the next one. I’d like to say that they have no place in it but as many are still work in process, I think the key is not to let them dominate.

There are things which are yet to conclude, but the wheels are in motion, which means that I am not standing still, helplessly waiting on others to do as they should.

Next year I have to go out there and get it, whatever it may be. Grab the bull by the horns and steer my life in the direction it needs to go. To make progress, however small the steps at first. It is important for me to remain moving, not get set in the concrete caused by fear or trepidation.

I don’t yet know how, or what. But I do at least have my why…

If it is all left to chance, then there is a lack of direction and that easy come easy go doesn’t really suit me of my needs. I like the reassurance that there will be provision for what is needed. Food on the table, bills getting paid and flying along by the seat of my pants is not the way forward for me. It’s too stressful, it has caused more arguments and upset in the past 12 months than we have ever had. So I need to fix that and I need to do that soon.

I have been the breadwinner over the past few years and to take an enforced step back from that has caused such strain that I have often felt broken and helpless. Flailing around drowning when we should be treading water. So if I am well enough to find a job, if it pays the bills then I will give it a go. If it is an unqualified job, with no responsibilities then it will be less stressful and I may be ale to rebuild myself to management level again at a later date. Physical capability might not yet allow me to follow my business dreams but I will hold them in my heart and mind and if I can start as projects or hobbies then I can build on those skills for later.

They are my dreams and I will not just give up on them. So I intend to follow some of mine this year.

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Family Time with My Siblings

This week has been an interesting one, I have seen both of my siblings, part of my family and I am feeling loved, I hope that they do too.

I went out with my sister on Thursday for several hours, just the two of us in her car, she is a new driver and wanted to get some practice in now that she has a car. We drove to the shops and both she and I had places in mind that we wanted to see although she did not have the address for hers, we went in that direction. Stopping at the shop for some car supplies, we munched on donuts in the car park of a store before setting off. They were the best donuts I have had in years, light and fluffy with just the right amount of jam. They melted as they hit your mouth and were really enjoyable, leaving the obligatory slightly sticky fingers. A clean up and we set off on our little road trip. I loved the afternoon and evening we spent together, it was just lovely to be ourselves, with no one else around, driving through the countryside along country roads, in the sunshine, the car full of fresh air talking about all sorts of things. My partner called to make sure all was going well and asked us how Thelma and Louise were doing today, it made us both laugh. I loved that we could be totally natural, no-one to judge us, no-one to interrupt us either. We arrived back in the evening tired and happy and enjoyed a meal together.

Over dinner she gave me a wonderful compliment, she said to my partner that she has always seen me as always demure and ladylike and seemed to be able to remain calm, she admired me for that. I told her that I had made a conscious effort to be that way, it didn’t come naturally to me. But there is fire within, we discussed that too, that I am not one to be pushed. I will only allow it so far, she said that she had only ever seen me lose my temper twice. (I didn’t ask for details) I am not proud of letting rip, it takes a lot for me to do that. My sister although like me in many ways, is much more fiery, she will say whatever comes into her head and blow the consequences, it has such an effect that she often has no recollection of it afterwards, the steam and the words have gone. Often they leave their mark elsewhere, but once they are out in her mind they are gone. As she set off later that night, we agreed, as we often do, that we should spend more time together and hope to see each other next week as well.

I saw my brother yesterday, it was the first time we had actually met up in about a year. We had so much to catch up on, despite regularly speaking on the phone, it is wonderful to hug him and talk with him. He is working abroad these days and returns for short trips in between his contracts. I was physically ill and couldn’t see him last year when he arrived back, so yesterday we started early and he arrived in the afternoon, staying for lunch and dinner with us. It was great to share some stories, hear about his travels and that he is enjoying getting out and about with his camera he showed me some great photos he’d taken, he wants to do more of this, I suggested Instagram as he goes.

One conversation with my brother yesterday I mentioned to him that I am writing a blog and a book. He asked what it is about. I told him many things, It contains photographs, memories, stories and so far has covered many subjects, such as Invisible Illnesses, He looked as though he did not know what I meant, I explained, Depression, PTSD, Endometriosis. He seemed a little shocked, I told him of my plans to publish a book of poems this year. I have the poems, people are reading my blog and poetry and I have a twitter account now, as of last week with followers there too. Thank you to all of the above on and also being joined by my 50th follower, athling2001 on the blog, another personal milestone for me this week.

He asked me what my own plans were, I told him that although I do not currently have a paid job, I have been writing for some months. That it started out as a recovery thing for me, but I used to write years ago, poems and things and felt the need to be creative once again. I tried to draw, and paint, and make things, but writing seems to have taken off in a big way for me and comes naturally, he had been speaking to a lady we both know, who is currently writing children‘s stories, she apparently told him of her night writing and the times when there is nothing, but then it can return in floods. He laughed, I told him yes, it is real. It has given me the opportunity to express myself. The REAL me. I found myself explaining to him that for so long, I had been stifled by people around me, who expected me to be a certain way. I was facing an inner battle, yes, there were times when I wanted to shout at people and tell them that they were behaving badly, but I didn’t. I held it all in for years and suddenly, I couldn’t anymore. I admire the people I know who can just shout about it straight away and it’s over. I am not one of those people.
I carefully consider the possible repercussions of my words and actions, over think things and then think better of saying things, wise after the event. I should have said…. If I were to do it over again I would do/say etc, you get the gist.

Last year I stopped holding it all in. A counsellor helped me realise that it doesn’t solve things, to keep them put away. I was urged to find an outlet, give myself some me-time on a regular basis and find out what I needed and make sure that I got some of it. It was an eye-opener, just taking permission to do something for me, for no-one else time alone now and then and I have guarded it ever since. Now I have an outlet, I WRITE. I am not carrying all this emotional baggage around with me, I have room in my head, to think, to plan, to have a future. I may not be rich, I may not have a successful job at the moment, but I did, so I could again. But for the time being I am Happy! I am Grateful for the things I have learned, for the people who have put their faith in me, for allowing myself to be ME again. I might be a new me, but it is exhilarating to find the nice bits, bring them out and cherish them within the new person that I am still becoming. I explained to my brother that writing is quite cathartic, the release it gives is wonderful. He looked quite concerned, as though I may have rambled a bit, I think it took him by surprise. I don’t know if he understood, perhaps he never will.