So doing things differently can get confusing! I’m a black coffee person – five cups a day maybe. It keeps me awake, helps me juggle the many things going on in any one day and I guess having a mug of coffee in my hands is a bit like a security blanket for me – if I have a coffee on hand I can handle most things (or so I think). But then have one cup too many and I know it, the anxiety levels increase and the heart rate increases. I regret drinking so much – but also question my ability to keep ploughing on if I don’t always have a mug to hand.
But for me slowing down and not cramming everything in or forcing myself – largely through caffeine to just keep going – that’s a risk. I’d rather be mega busy and have too many things juggling in my head than time to really think or step back and reflect. If you are in an ok place then stepping back a bit, relaxing or just not relying on the caffeine adrenaline is ok – but how do you know if you will be ‘ok’ if you slow down? Time to think when you don’t feel great means that you might feel the things there that you don’t want to risk feeling. I’ve never been very good at that. Other people’s feelings are ok, mine – I’d rather keep at arms length. But I know that in the long run they catch up with you. Talking to Bob and Elaine was ok, you realised that you were reflecting on things as well as reacting to what was happening internally at that moment. I guess I had just got used to that reflecting with someone’s help – but it’s totally different to do it yourself.
I do have a couple of mindfulness recordings that I find useful, I do have things that Bob and Elaine wrote that I reflect on – but building that confidence in yourself to accept it will be ok is a totally different thing all together. Self care is something that is mentioned to me quite a bit – something that is starting to be a work in progress but is still a bit alien. Self care to me means focusing on what you need, what will help you and I guess listening to what is going on for yourself. Again, other people, no problem – it’s what I do in my job, at home, what I want to do for friends and the parents I meet through the charity. But to do it for me makes me nervous and still doesn’t feel right.
But I am trying – but am I just edging my bets as I am not convinced how it will work out – maybe. So rather than just living on black coffee, everyday I do a flask of coffee (and try not to leave it on the car roof ‘pink sky and spilt coffee’) and a flask of green tea. Coffee sees me through the morning and the green tea in the afternoon. But the hot chocolate is thrown in for a sugar rush – maybe to compensate for the reduce caffeine rush.
Doing things differently is good, it does offer different results but it also highlights that I am doing something different. That makes me aware of the ‘why’ I am doing it – because I want things to be ok, I want to feel the way I am to continue, I don’t want to go back into the dark places I have been. I want to remember and miss my son and still keep carving my path forward. But there is still so so much uncertainty there, the confidence I need isn’t there to say yes this will be ok yet. If I am honest I am struggling not to have Bob and Elaine to check in with, to say it will be ok, you have what it takes, just keep going. To do this on my own feels like a huge step into the unknown and losing Elliot still makes the world feel unpredictable to me. Tonight I am going with Emily to a consultants appointment as she gets the results of an MRI scan on her hips. I keep telling myself it will be ok, it shouldn’t be anything serious but the closer the appointment gets and the more I have so many ‘what if’s’ going round and round. If you expect the worse – then it means you are prepared is what I keep telling myself. But no – it doesn’t in reality – it just keeps you on edge, clouds how you see things and makes you lean towards the negative rather than the hope.
So I guess, that is a step on – that I can see expecting the worse isn’t a good life strategy – although I can say it, I am not sure I feel it – but maybe it is a step forward. Let’s see how tonight goes.
Slowly maybe the green tea can overtake the coffee and slow down the adrenaline I use to get through each day. Step by step – cup by cup. Maybe.