It’s the end of the first of two days training, who knew that thinking could be such hard graft? Well to be fair, I don’t even know why I just said that because I knew this already? That’s essentially all what this writing, the blog, the book and #Havingawordwitheesen malarky is actually about, which is making time for me, but its not as easy as it seems.
I have been really excited and looking forward to starting this training, excited to have the opportunity to learn something new, develop some new skills, meet new people, learn something that might help me figure out which direction I want to take in life, learn something about myself, time to do me.
Set in Edale, the venue is in a beautiful location, the original plan was to travel back and forth from Sheffield, but after a particularly couple of stressful days last week I thought FUCK IT I’m going to indulge myself and pay for overnight accommodation, which was not cheap, I’ll tell thee! having said that, when I got to the room this evening there was a small box of complementary chocolates that I will be indulging on later wi a cuppa and I have already scoffed the free oranges, I shall also be using all the free toiletries, I shall however be avoiding the award winning vegan breaki and will be treating me sen to the full English thank you very much!
Sarcasm aside, it has been worth every penny just to be able to take a step back and spend some quality time with myself and with my own thoughts. The course is a foundation course called “Time to think”, I have mentioned Nancy Kline before in some of my previous post, her theories are brilliant she believes that “Everything we do begins with our thinking. If our thinking is good, our decisions are good, or actions are good, our outcomes are good.” Makes sense doesn’t it? Its not rocket science? Well it does in theory, but in practice it’s a lot friggin harder to implement.
There’s an old saying…“practice makes perfect” But I don’t reckon that this is actually true? I mean, it all depends on what “perfection” means to you or what your definition of perfect is surely?
I have often looked back into the past and asked myself why? Why? Why? But I asked without ever really giving myself the time to answer the why’s? I just carried on with my life, I put up and shut up, I tolerated people I didn’t like, sometimes I might find the courage to say I wasn’t happy, I would lash out, release my anger, but it always seem to fall on deaf ears and before I knew it I would be back to square one, again, just like before, after all who was I really? At the time I was a young mother, who thought I knew what was best for me, “I had made my bed, so I had to lay in it”. And I laid in that bed for years, always putting other peoples needs before my own, until finally it took its toll, I found something that worked. Drugs had never appealed to me, I would often question those who took them, I never saw the point? but from the odd naive recreational dabble, I found something that stopped all the negative narrative, the constant chatter, self doubt, it block it out, it numbed all those heavy feelings that I had carried around with me for years, I stopped caring, I stopped giving a fuck! the drugs helped me to switch off and just focus on getting on with life, working, being a mom, being a partner, being there for everyone else and denying my own wants and needs.
Here I am over 25 years later after finding myself being forced into having a serious fucking #wordwimesen, (being sectioned in a mental institution, kinda does that to you…) I find myself still craving and yearning to love myself – Now how fucking cheesy does that sound? But guess what I don’t care anymore? I’m not ashamed or afraid to say “I count!” Or “I don’t agree” or even better still say “NO”.
I remember years ago in my early recovery, when I was desperately trying to find out about myself, trying to understand who I was, seeking advice from others, desperately wanting people to tell me what I should do, wanting to make a mends for all the fucked up decisions I had made with my life, wanting better for my kids, for myself, I was like a sponge, I read every self help book, did affirmations everyday (even when I felt like a prized twat, talking to myself in the mirror), I did it because someone in a book said it would help.
I’m not knocking self awareness, self awareness is great, but it wasn’t until I started really putting the self awareness into practice that I started to change, I have found that instead of questioning others, I now often start with questioning myself. I realised that the answers that I had been searching for, were there within me all the time. I learned that it was me that had programmed myself to think about others before myself, I had learned to put my feelings on the back burner.
My recovery wasn’t just about putting down the drugs, to be honest that was the easy part, the drugs had just become an unhealthy crutch, my recovery has been much more about being brave enough to search for me, the real me, the me who had been buried beneath everyone else needs and wants.
This has not been an easy journey, but then who’s life is? Everyone has a shit story or anecdote to share? Shithappens all the time, it’s part of the circle of life, we can either spit our dummy out and wallow in self pity or we can learnt to accept the shitty parts and learn to take the rough with the smooth. There are parts of who I became that I really didn’t like, in fact I there are still some parts about myself that I find uncomfortable, but I am starting to realise that, that’s ok! Its ok not to be ok! Its ok to feel insecure and unsure, its ok to doubt yourself
I no longer want to be that person seeking perfection, because I truly believe it doesn’t exist, I just want to be the best, true version of me and what ever that looks like to anyone on the outside, I don’t care? Because what I think matters more and is more important to me.
Practice might not make us perfect, but practice does do, is allow us the time to hone in on our own techniques and figure out what works for us. This also means accepting that there are going to be some fuck ups along the way and that every now and again we are bound to make mistakes.
Anyway, it’s late and that’s quite enough reflection for one day, but before I do go I would like to say a BIG thank you to those of you who take the time out to read my ramblings, to those who make the time to hear me, who make time to listen