With Christmas coming ever more quickly over the horizon, I am trying along with the whole world seemingly to ‘get ready’ for the Big Day. As a disabled person, this is a bit more tricky than just popping out on a Saturday to do the big Christmas shop but as a huge fan of internet shopping, I’m on first name terms with all the delivery drivers and postmen and am making good use of the good old ‘14 day returns’ system.
Why does this feel so different then?
Yes, this is the first ‘real’ Christmas in our new bungalow, yes, I’ve got the collective ‘children’ plus partners coming this year and yes, I have a kitchen big enough to now house these lovely people and all these things are different but that’s not it.
The one big thing about this year is ME. After a very frenetic year full of changes, the biggest change is me, the dialogue I have with myself and most importantly the dialogue I have with others. I’ve had 8 sessions of counselling and it has helped so much. It has taught me to really think about my internal dialogue and the way I do things, the way I try and agree to everything and am seemingly unable to say no to anything.
Many of the things we spoke about in our sessions were fairly common sense but there were many things I didn’t realise about myself that I hadn’t heard out loud before. I apparently hold myself to a much higher standard and expectation than anyone else, I give so much leeway to others but afford no quarter to myself and I still expect to be able to do the same things that I could do before my spinal fracture. This last one is ludicrous as it is painfully obvious to anyone that there’s no way on earth that I could do a whole Christmas dinner for 13 without help whilst simultaneously struggling on two crutches and horrible constant pain?
So why is it I can suddenly see it now?
My therapist spoke to me about pacing myself and how to avoid the dreaded ‘boom and bust’ and other ways of managing my pain but one exercise she showed me made sense to me the second I heard and saw it.
She placed some pebbles in a circle and then placed a different one in the middle to represent me. She explained that when something like this happens, it knocks you out of the circle so your ‘pebble’ is now outside the circle.
It hit me in an instance, this made total sense to me, why I felt so far removed from normal and why I thought that I was genuinely losing grip of the reality of the situation. My thoughts were…
If I was ‘cured’, why did I still feel so bad?
When I try to do what I could do before the fracture, why did I struggle so much and why was I always in so much pain?
But the fact is that I’m not cured, recovered, healed, restored, or any other synonym you could think of, this pain is NEVER going away, so I have to acknowledge that I now have to come to terms with chronic, unremitting, never ending pain and that part of that healing process is to stop trying to be Mrs Perfect and simply ASK FOR HELP………….
‘Ask for help? ME?’ ( anyone who knows me well knows that this is not going to be easy! 😆)
But this is what I have to do now, let people help me, take over jobs I’m struggling to do and using my time more wisely so I can factor in much more time for self care.
So this is my new outlook, a new ‘mission statement’ if you will – this coming year is going to be all about me (“it’s all about me! 🎤”) my darling P and my self care.
And on that note, I ask you all to take some time over this festive period for yourselves; to take a breath, to look at the people around you, to just be in the moment and thank whoever you believe in for the gift of your family, your friends and your loved ones.
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your support this year, it’s really helped. Nadolig Llawen!!!!! 🎄💕🎄💕