“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” -unknown
So…I’ve been having a rough time of it lately. Too much time has been spent trying to keep my head above water and battling the waves of life.
I can be a slow learning or put another way…I can be incredibly stubborn and become so intent upon reaching a goal that I hurt myself, and anyone on the journey with me while plowing forward.
Hurricane force winds…no problem. I’ve got this. Crashing waves…I’ve got a floatie from the Dollar Store. Caught in an undertow…I can still see the shore so all is well.
And then comes another wave. Small or large – it doesn’t matter. I’m going under and everything is topsy-turvy and I don’t know which way is up and I can’t breathe and all is hopeless.
Learning to surf is a good idea. Coping strategies are great. They can be useful, or even essential, for dealing with the waves.
But, I think I’ve finally learned, once and for all, that sometimes I’ve just got to get out of the water and rest.
Simplifying is a great concept. Hard to implement, but I still believe in it. But, sometimes I’ve got to go one step further and just put a stop to everything that I can. I still have to go to work. Some school still has to be done. Minimum housework is a necessity, but…
I don’t have to take on new projects or actively work on anything that isn’t urgent
Reading is a perfectly acceptable way for my daughter to “do school”
Home improvement chores can wait for a bit
Facebook will keep on chronicling
The election will still happen
I can remember that the world will keep on spinning without me and my furious bustle of activity.
Why is it so hard for me to accept that anxiety and depression are real? Why do I feel the constant need to prove that I am worthy? Why do I consider it “lazy” to rest when I am tired and need to recover from stress overload?
Last week, I practiced being kind to myself. I rested. I watched Netflix. I colored. I paged through magazines. I read a book.
I didn’t make lists of things that needed to be done.
Today, I’m ready to dip my toes back in the water. I’m just going to hang out there for a bit and see how it feels. I’m giving myself permission to step back out and go back onto solid ground if I need to. I don’t think that I’m ready to surf, but we shall see.
Anxiety is a real thing. It causes real physical changes in our bodies. It can make us more than tired. It can make us sick. It can keep us on the shore and out of life entirely. It is not something to ignore or make light of.
We don’t have to let it win.
I’m not going to let it win.
I’m going to learn how to spend some of my time surfing, some of my time wading in the shallows looking for shells and some time sitting in the sand and watching the waves come in…