This morning I found myself stood in my pantry (yes my house is that old) I couldn’t remember why I was there or what I wanted. Post Christmas it was full of disorganised junk and the door had slowly closed behind me. I took a deep breath because I was too tired to get frustrated at my lack brain cooperation. I listened to the muffled monkey babbling on the other side of the door and it occurred to me that the situation I physically found myself in that moment was a good metaphor for where I had found myself in my life, physically and mentally, in 2017. As I looked at the remnants of Christmas chocolate hidden on the shelf, I knew it was time to stop kidding myself that I was handling things and accept I had trapped myself. It was time to find freedom again.
I haven’t been about much recently. Sorry about that. The reality is that when the monkey train came to a screeching halt earlier this year (Sometimes it’s ok to shout “STOP the Monkey Train”) I chose to let go. It was initially a coping tactic but now I think it has begun to suffocate me. I let go of (almost) everything so completely. It required me to abandoned all of my to do lists, my notebooks, my daily struggle to stay on top of everything. Like falling backwards into a bungee jump. Plummeting into the abyss, eyes closed, arms folded across my chest, holding my breath, praying that the cord would suddenly snap and save my life. That I would find a new freedom.
Luckily the cord held and nothing too terrible happened. So for a while I just hung there. Swinging, in what I thought was my new freedom. The cord remained a reminder that I have a life still there. Representing the minimum required to keep things ticking over. I enjoyed this freedom at first but as time has progressed I started to enjoy it too much. No motivation to start to climb back up into my life. The distance making me numb. I began to realise that I could be hanging here forever and the blood was starting to rush to my head.
Ok, all metaphorical bungee jumping nonsense aside. My safety net has trapped me. In order to avoid further injury, stress or anxiety in 2017 I was avoiding too much in my life. I am gaining weight, I have stopped writing, I have limited myself in so many ways. It is time to stop. I began to read and research how to get better. On top of my voyage into Mindfulness I have been following some self guided Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It is hard work but I think I have a good enough grasp to start challenging myself, my thoughts, my feelings and my behaviour.
Therefore, as 2017 closes and 2018 begins, I feel ready for a new challenge. You know me, it will no doubt be slow and steady but I guarantee there will be a race or two to come. Time to start climbing that bungee cord back to freedom. Freedom from my negative thoughts and feelings and freedom from the negative behaviours that always undermine the best parts of me. Hopefully I’ll see you all there soon.