Is that when you stop, it takes a bit of getting used to…
This post is NOT about what you think. It is a family friendly blog, after all.
Before I start with an explanation for the post title, I want to emphasise that I AM fine, I am tired, I am trying to work out how to handle life and deal with the things that therapy has taught me about myself, but also how to juggle everything, whilst looking after myself. I wanted to just get some thoughts out on the blog. This blog started as place to air what was going on in my head, so occasionally, that’s what you will still get.
I am very good at faking it. I am one of those people, who will always say “I am fine” even when I am not. My husband, LSH, jokes that will be on my gravestone (what I haven’t told him is that I won’t be having a gravestone, I am being carbonised and made into a diamond 😉 ) I am very good at faking it, putting on a stiff upper lip, carrying on regardless… Perhaps it’s just my nature, perhaps it’s from being at boarding school, where you learned to be self sufficient and keep going no matter what is going on around you. I don’t know. What I do know, after 18 months of therapy, is that it’s not always healthy. I also know that when you try to make a change to this, and be more honest, that people don’t always cope well with the new you.
The problem with being a person who soldiers on, is always reliable, never says no, will always be first to jump in, who pushes herself harder because she feels that she has to keep up appearances, is that unless someone knows you REALLY well, you can give the impression that you are superhuman, super capable, tough, and that you never fall, fail or hurt. When you decide to make a change, to be more open and vulnerable, it can come as a bit of a shock to people around you.
For example, I have started to be more honest when I simply have too much on my plate, and I know that I cannot take any more on. Normally, I would just add more to my plate, and then panic inside, when the reality of my capacity hits me. Now, I have started to say no, or to divert people to ask someone other than myself, it feels good, but it does take time to get used to, and it’s also something people around me have to get used to too. I am learning to admit that I am tired, sometimes bone tired, and that actually, I need to look after myself, and my family, when someone asks me to put in something extra that actually, someone else is perfectly capable of doing.
I am learning self care. It’s been a steep, hard learning curve. It’s hard to let go, to admit you aren’t as tough and capable as you would like the world to think. It’s hard to say no, when you would normally say yes, and just juggle harder. It’s tempting to just slip back into old habits and take on the world. I set a very high standard for myself, and expectations, not a bad thing, but I am a Type A person, very driven, and determined to prove myself, and I have to learn to balance that with looking after myself, so I can give the best of myself, but not break myself in the process.
I want to be many things, to many people. I love what I do, who I am, I am realising that I am actually very strong, very capable, and that I do have a huge capacity for life, and for the things I am good at. But, I am also learning that I have limits, and that it’s ok to have them. That it’s ok to admit I am sometimes weak, that my house is a mess, that I am struggling in my parenting, that my piles of paperwork scare me so much that I avoid them. That as much as I feel I SHOULD be doing “x” or helping with “y”, that spreading myself too thin and pretending that I can manage is not healthy.
I am trying to be less good at faking it. It’s taking time to get used to, both for me, and for people around me. It’s a good thing, it’s a healthy thing. It’s new, and still a novelty for me, and a bit of a shock for some, but I think with a little time, we will all get used to it…