I’ve had a really really tough week! Yup, it was one of those weeks where every little trick I’ve learned for centering myself, being present and finding a personal balance seemed ineffectual. I was quite literally an emotional and mental wreck for most of the last seven days. And then I stopped and took stock. I’d forgotten to honour my need to rest and recuperate. I’d forgotten to stop for a minute. I’d forgotten to put my personal needs above the needs of others. I’d just been the “YES” girl and I’d let everything get on top of me.
Sometimes I forget that I’m still an infant in the area of knowing myself and my true needs. That for many years whenever something challenging happened in my life I’d grab my bag, slip on a pair of fabulous heels and head out to the nearest party. Because I refused to drink alone, as in my mind that epitomised alcoholism, I would simply find people to share my binges. After all the bars of the world are full of people who don’t have drinking problems and are simply blowing off some steam. What’s the harm in a night on the town to get over the strains and stresses of the week? Of course I was kidding myself at the time, but a night of revelry was just the ticket to being in the moment in those days. Maybe that’s why sometimes I find it so hard to be present at times, because if there is one thing that drinking does is that it keeps you so firmly in the now. You’re not worried about tomorrow that’s for sure…not until tomorrow comes anyway! And it always does, but until then each minute is lived to its very fullest with no regard for what will happen next.
There are days when I long for that escape, where time is of no consequence and the biggest worry of the evening is going to be who will buy the next round. So when I have a week like I had this week and there is nothing to help me refocus except for the skills that I have learned, it all gets a bit much. Living away from the people I love doesn’t help in these situations because instead of coming out and asking for help and support, I tend to become clingy and needy. Rather than simply admitting that I am feeling weak and helpless, I turn into the person I least like and whom the people in my life get rather annoyed with. So this week I bottled it all up until I reached breaking point and the emotional walls came tumbling down around my ears. Not really something you want to hear from someone who is planning to make their life’s work Recovery Coaching, but I’m still learning to find my core when it comes to these really dark weeks! And then I stopped! I breathed! I rested! And I honoured my need to be vulnerable and weak and in doing so I found my balance.
Taking to my bed and sleeping for an entire day seems to have brought me back to a place where I am not being ruled by unbridled emotion and where I can think and act with a greater objectivity. When I am in these emotively driven spirals I almost feel like I am drowning and although the personal development work I am doing constantly means that I can get through these dark times a lot quicker than before, they still catch me unawares. It’s been a while since I felt like this and it did catch me by surprise, because I wasn’t expecting it. Yet when I look back on the days proceeding it I should have known it was coming. Not only do I live in an environment at the moment that is completely foreign and unnatural, but I have very little real human contact. I go weeks without even touching another person simply because the people around me are largely colleagues with whom I have a professional relationship. It has driven home over the last months how incredibly important physical intimacy is. And I’m not even talking sexually here. There are days would I would gargle live scorpions just for a hug. Then there are the daily stresses of work and an ongoing wrangle with my HR department over a large amount of money they owe me. And the fact that the only place I really want to be is back in South Africa building the life I am envisioning for myself.
So sitting here today, feeling more my positive and energised self, I have to say that being vulnerable and admitting that I am weak at times, does not make me a lesser person. What it does do is make me stronger through it’s personal honesty. It doesn’t make me any less of a person than I was, rather through admitting that I am not always as focused and centred, and that I am constantly learning and acquiring new skills, I actually become stronger. So today I embrace my emotional vulnerability and honour the fact that even though I am constantly trying to be more present that there are times when I fail at this. But I do believe that it is only through overcoming failure and personal challenges that we grow and develop as individuals, with more to offer, more to share and more to give to ourselves and those around us. And that in weakness there is strength…
‘Til next time