A few weeks ago, my journey on life's highway hit one of those jarring potholes that do somewhat more than give you a jolt. This one did some serious damage to an already pretty fragile set of shock absorbers, and frankly nearly broke my suspension altogether.
To continue with the driving analogy, I was travelling too fast, not really looking where I was going, had too many other things on my mind, allowed myself to be distracted, was in dire need of rest, and to make matters worse, had been running on empty for far too long and decided to fill up with cheap, nasty fuels that may have filled the tank but actually did more damage than good to the engine.
As a result, not surprisingly, I broke down. And then I then started to beat myself up,
for being so stupid and allowing this to happen;
for being so stupid...
for just being...
Hair was pulled out, bruises from pinching appeared all over, nails and fingers were picked and bitten until they bled, muscles cramped through tensing up, teeth were ground etc.
In short, a classic telling off from the critical inner voice.
I pictured myself stood on life's roadside, wrecked, broken, and only fit for the scrap heap.
Thankfully however, I have some very basic self-preservation instincts that kicked in at this point, and just (only just) managed to make themselves heard above the cacophonous tirade of abuse spewing from my critical inner voice.
I took the 'car' back to the 'garage'. My lovely therapist, whom I had thought I'd never need to see again. And we sat and we talked, and we cried, and she met me where I was and slowly we worked together to repair the damage.
And she reminded me, for I needed reminding, of a few parts of life's Highway Code I had forgotten:
that all states are temporary;
that I must give myself permission to feel cr*p now and again;
that returning to see my therapist is not a sign of failure to get better - more ongoing maintenance, and therefore to be expected, for the mind, like the body, requires maintenance in order to stay fit and in balance;
that given life's stresses, it is not surprising to hit a bump now and again;
that sometimes it's ok to be sad. No need to beat myself up about it - let the sadness envelop and it will wash through leaving fewer scars than if it is fought against and made unwelcome;
and finally, thanks to a gift from a good friend, that fresh eggs from home reared chickens are so much nicer than supermarket eggs!
I posted these reminders on Facebook – partly to share with friends, but also, because I know that Facebook will remind me in a year. And we all need reminding.
A Moodscope member.