For the thirty-third time in three months, my other half turned to me on the beach today and said, “when are you going to restart your blog?”
This time instead of mumbling “Oh My God are you for real?” I wrote one and this is it.
The grand old year of 2016 started out utter shite viewed hazily from a bottomless well of colourless walls where sleep never comes and the snakes of hell hiss from the slime on the bottom.
To say it’s been a journey of personal learning is a radical understatement. I’ve unearthed more pointless slurry from the depths of my brain and the pit of my gut in the last twelve months, than during my entire lifetime. Pointless slurry in one’s brain is just that, pointless. Unless you have pet frogs, in which case it’s quite handy for breeding mosquitoes and other happiness munching, Death Eater swamp creatures.
As it happens, as I’m sure you’ll relate if you’ve also made any journeys into your own mental underworld, there are only two outcomes; slide underneath completely, or get up and climb get the hell out.
In my forty-eight years of existence, any time my feet have come close to the bottom I’ve leapt out screaming, “not today thank you” and disappeared off to ski, or party (pre-kids), or thrown myself into incredibly difficult and ever so important work, you know, like banking or parenting, and rushed around being ever so busy and important and not stopping to think about why I spent so much time feeling so shit. Then like clockwork, I’d get bronchitis or some other singular message from the universe that I needed to slow the hell down.
Not this time, Oh no I went down there and stayed there. And in the Deep Dark Quiet, this I what I heard:
“When in fact, you’ve done a very bloody good job of making a reasonable success of yourself and your life, in spite, or even because of the bucket load of adversity you’ve faced, why my sweet girl, have you lost faith and found yourself squatting at the bottom of the snake pit?”
Resisting the urge to run screaming in the opposite direction in order to do something important and worthy, this time I looked back at myself, “I’m exhausted, tired and worn down by second guessing everyone, ground down by always adapting to everyone else’s expectations of me. I have, in fact, lost sight of my own expectations of myself.”
In conversations, I’d always be thinking of the other person, second-guessing myself, shaping my own behaviour into chameleon adaptation of the needs I perceived in others. It is completely and utterly exhausting which in and of itself, leads to anxiety, which leads to more exhaustion and more second guessing until one’s poor little brain is all but ready to drown itself in a bucket of Veuve. I mean truly, if you’re going to go out, go out in style, right?
So if you’ve read this far and you’ve just realised I hadn’t been in your inbox for a while, that’s where I’d been for much of the early part of the year, in the snake pit. You may not even have noticed I’d been away and out of circulation for a while in which case, hi, good to see you.
“Just choose to be happy.”
Has anyone ever said “Just Choose to be Happy” to you and you’ve wanted to stick a fork in their neck? When Medusa is your muse of the snake pit there is no bloody choosing to be happy, Ok? Medusa and her head of writhing snakes is the spawn of shitty bloody things from your past. There is no choosing to ignore pain from your past, it’s like hopping because you cracked your big toe on a rock, you can only hop for so long before your other leg gives up. It’s unsustainable.
Choose to be happy, my sweet pink arse.The only way out is to get down inside your snake pit and pull the suckers out one by one until they’re all gone is the answer. It will not kill you. You can choose to be happy afterwards.
But stop…the still small voice who tells you to pull out the snakes one by one is the same voice who tells you happiness is a choice. Not a “hello, I’m going to choose to be happy today” choice. A “to hell with this crap, I am going to live a different sort of life and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get there.” It takes guts, real guts, but, and I use ‘but’ wisely because it’s a conjunction with negative connotations, ‘but’ it’s worth it.
Get all the help you need to rip those suckers out of your gut. Thinking Doctors, * Medication, Love, Meditation, Affirmations, Unicorns, Whatever the hell works for you but get it sorted. Medication is ok too, broken people can heal with the right medication, love, care and support.
It seems fitting in this little analogous blog that according to Greek Mythology, when Medusa was slain by Perseus, Chrysaor the Golden Giant and Pegasus the Winged Horse sprang from her neck.
I choose Pegasus over Medusa, because isn’t it fabulous to have your own Winged White Horse to carry you through life? And there’s a topic for a whole new story.
*Thank you Mrs Woog for the term Thinking Doctor.