I have had another good day today. As you know I am working part-time at the moment, so am scheduling my counselling sessions around my days off, when I can. Occasionally I get thrown a curve ball, but as long as I am there for the 2.5 days a week and get what I need to done… I am meant to work till 1pm on Fridays, last week I had to work on Tuesday as I couldn’t work on Wednesday, this week I had to finish early on Monday so will be working all day Wednesday and Friday. Are you with me so far?
Anyhoo, today I have been busy with my inspiration book. Started at the prompt of F’lerika when I was living with her and her Bear, for the past (stops to think) 5 and a bit years I have been cutting articles out of magazines, newspapers; printing things from websites; finding pictures I like; postcards I like; all sorts of things, but anything that speaks to me. For the past 2 years (I know it is that long as my subscription is due), I have been culling my Oprah magazines; for 18 months the magazines that come with the weekend newspapers here and had piles of paperwork to prove it. I had collated it all in a concertina folder, handily arranged in subject order. I had plastic wallets of other articles. For someone so organised, it was in a bit of a muddle. I kept adding to it, but not sorting it out. Over the past month or so, I have had 2 or 3 sessions where I have sat with my guillotine, scissors and glue cutting out, trimming off and sticking in for hours, and can now proudly announce that I am up-to-date. Everything is stuck in, and not in subject as I liked the randomness of flicking through and reading things in no particular order of the first book. At least, until I pull apart the Oprah magazine that arrived this morning, and buy the papers at the weekend. I have 3 A4 books, chock full of goodies. From columns by Martha Beck, to pictures of beaches, from an article on Dame Judi Dench (isn’t she glorious?) to blessays by Stephen Fry, you name it, I’ve got it stuck in them somewhere.
One thing I hadn’t added is anything I’ve written. Until now, when I will type up all the notes I’ve taken from seeing my counsellor and add them to the mix. Every time I see her, I have an a-ha! moment, like this session where she retested me on my depression and anxiety levels and proudly announced that I had pushed through to the other side of my wibble. But I knew that already, that wasn’t the a-ha! moment. I knew that when I slept for 12 hours on Saturday, I knew that when I was able to line all my ducks up, shoot them off in sequence and close the door on the carcases. I knew that when I was the strong person on a phone call this morning.
My a-ha! was when I visualised this week that what I thought initially was a small problem, but one that got progressively bigger as nearly every day another layer was painted on. A bit like the rubber band balls you see on desks, they start from one band at the core, but you keep winding bands on, they’re gonna get bigger. Eventually, this problem squashed me into a corner, with nowhere to go. So I shut down, I had to. As anyone would had you put pressure on them for that long, stress is a good thing, but bad stress is a bad thing. Sustained bad stress is an impossible thing to cope with, you will go phut. I have gone phut, but now the pieces are coming back together again.
I will be weaned off my antidepressants when I am settled, but they are doing their job, they are holding me up while I continue to get my head around some things that are happening now. The things that have happened, have gone, they are in the past and have been put away. While some things were disappointing, “When you know better, you do better”. And for another Maya Angelou quote: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”. If I had believed the first time what I didn’t want to see, I wouldn’t have gone phut. I would have gone. Period. Because “What you do speaks so loudly, what you say I cannot hear.”
I’ve learnt, again, who my friends are. They come from unexpected places, but they are the people who do not deplete me. They encourage, cheer me on, support me, even from miles away, they are the people that raise me up, not bring me down. They are in my corner, and when they say they are fighting in my corner – they stay there.
So I will carry on cutting and pasting the things that are important to me; I will carry on reading and re-reading the articles and books that have helped me through this: I will carry on learning what I am here for, what my purpose is; but sometimes you need a little help to show you the way. The past month has been invaluable. It reminded me what is, was and will always remain important. And that something cannot be cut out and stuck in a book. It is something I carry with me every day. Me.