I have recently begun to understand that for the last ten years I have been the emotional equivalent of a body builder. One of those overly muscled men (or women) whose muscles are huge in bulk but little good when it comes to actually lifting something heavy. I have put on a good show; pushing myself to work harder and faster than anyone else and to be perfect, never asking for help (and frequently refusing it when offered) and often loudly asserting that I am fine. But my life and my apparent strength is a lie built on illusions, and a matchstick tower of anxiety, physical illness, depression and self doubt.
It looks pretty cool but a stiff wind would blow it over because it has no firm foundation.
I want to build myself a core of strength which has nothing to do with appearances and is not reliant on anyone else's opinion or reassurances but comes from within and makes me feel solid and confident - I have never had that in my adult life and I confess I have no idea where to start.
I think I felt that wholeness once. I was 21 and the world had not yet played its hand. I had friends, good health, a newly minted degree and bold ideas about how I could make the most of my life and be my own person. And then life happened. Two long term health problems snuck up on me and took my fitness and my hopes and dreams and brought their friends anxiety, depression and long term pain with them and have been with me for more than ten years.
I have been treading water for all that time. Angry at my weakness, angry at anyone who has an easier life, angry at my loss and angry at anyone who gets too close and sees how vulnerable I am. I don't want to be angry anymore.
In recent months I have lost my wonderful father to a brain tumour and given birth to a beautiful baby who deserves a wonderful life and now I want more.
I read the moodscope blogs with interest and I hope to take guidance from the wise words I find here; to find the thing that makes my heart sing and to make time for it, to effect change slowly and gently, to work on breaking the constant cycles of depression, anxiety and physical pain and mostly to be gentle to myself which I hope will lead to me being more gentle with the world.
I'll let you know how I get on.
A moodscope member.
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