January 2016 archive

The only way is through

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When I was working as a grief counsellor people would bring their pain to me, lay it at my feet and ask me – for just a while – to take it, manage it, deal with it, hear it. Some would ask for a form of release – a way to beat the pain, escape the grief. They would ask for assistance to make it hurt less, abate for an instant. They would question my understanding, looking for tips, tricks – anything that would provide a balm for what they were feeling. These are some of the times when I felt most helpless in my work – because of course I had nothing I could offer them. And they knew this.
For each of them I had the same response – the only way is through. There is no around, under, over, to the side – the only way is through. Each of them knew this deep down – but when pain is so great, so unimaginable in its magnitude the sane human response is to want it to end. To go away. To be gone.
I haven’t experienced the depths of losses and grief that some of my clients have but in the past few months I’ve been making my own first hand discovery about the inevitability of needing to “go through” a tough time.
I’ve been in a place, in situations, that I haven’t wanted to be in. I haven’t wanted to face. I’ve wanted to be somewhere, sometimes anywhere, else. I’ve wanted to escape. I’ve wanted the tough times to just bloody be over and me to be on the other side, where the grass is always greener and the pain and struggle is behind.
The reality is that going through takes time, it takes energy and resources and patience. It needs close friends to lean on. It is far from easy. It hurts. It makes you cry. It makes you tired and frustrated. It isn’t fun.
But…
Once the effort and energy is expelled,
Once the supports have been gathered and leaned on,
Once some clarity is found,
Once the tears have been wept,
Hopefully then there can be some peace.
A time for rest before the next tough time rises up and you need to go through all over again.

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Getting back into “IT”

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It’s been a long time between blog posts – over 4 months! So much has happened over the course of those 4 months and yet if you asked me to be specific about what has actually taken place in my life I don’t think I could tell you. In fact, I know I couldn’t because I got asked that exact question by my hairdresser when I made a long delayed visit to her last week and when I went to reply no sounds came out of my open mouth!
The truth is that life has been happening. Life in all of its messy, convoluted, chaotic, happy, tearful, busy, mad and occasionally (very occasionally!) sane ways!
So, in the essence of minimalism (which I am trying to adopt this year) here is a summary of the things that have taken place in the last four months in my world:
– Sweet Pea and I visit my best friend in Perth
– I have a breakdown when we get to Perth and I realise I haven’t really been coping with life AT ALL
– Best friends put me back together again the best they can and we fly home
– I take some steps to get back on track – see my GP, book into brilliant psychologist and eat more chocolate!
– I read books that I enjoy and that make me smile
– My little brother meets a gorgeous woman and they get engaged
– Sweet Pea gets 3 beautiful new cousins to play with
– My amazing partner finds a new job that he loves
– We have a quiet Xmas at home
– I say “yes” to work that invigorates and stimulates me as opposed to work that drains the life out of me
– Sweet Pea grows and grows and grows and tells me “I just want to be me mummy” – a proud moment
– I stop letting myself feel guilty for wanting time to myself more than once a blue moon
– I spend a lovely, meandering day in Sydney ALL BY MYSELF!
– I take two weeks long service leave to think and write and spend time with my girl
– I book in that long delayed trip to the hairdresser – and actually go!
– I become addicted to “Friday Night Lights” thanks to a free trial with NetFlix
– I go out for lunch with my partner to celebrate our 15th anniversary
– I breathe once in a while…
– I continue to write lots of lists
– I start to blog again
It feels good to be back.

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