Earlier in the week, I decided to take some time off social media and technology to give myself some space to sort through some stuff that has been coming up for me. I’ve observed that there’s some things I can write about as I’m experiencing them and others that I need to process fully before putting pen to paper.
In no way shape or form have I processed this stuff fully, but in lieu of a recent post by the inspiring Connie Chapman about opening up when we are hurting (instead of retreating too far inwards – ignoring phone calls, refusing to ask for help, building walls around our hearts – yep, guilty!), I’ve decided to share a little more of the realness that’s going down in my realm.
I’ve spoken before here and here about the accident my brother had in December last year which left him with an acquired brain injury. He is still unable to talk, walk or move his limbs to a great degree but he is very responsive in other ways and is making progress all the time.
A month ago (and without much warning!), he was transferred from Perth to Melbourne to be closer to our home in NSW. My parents went with him and I made the decision to stay here in Perth; it just feels right. For now. This is my 9th address in 9 years (gypsy much!?) and I really feel at home in a strange kind of I’m 3500km away from home kinda way.
But I miss my brother. And my mind is playing tricks on me. Since I left home at 19, the two of us have lived in different cities and so I am used to not seeing him everyday – but lately, for a split second, something will happen and I’ll think oh, I must tell Sam about that.
Then of course, I remember and my heart breaks again. This shit is tough.
I want to ask him if he wants to chip in for our little sister’s birthday present. I want to tell him what dates I will be home over the holidays so we can plan something fun. I want to drink Coronas in the sun with him on Christmas Day and hear him laughing at the bloody carry-on us girls are squabbling over.
Sometimes, I even imagine him just walking through the door. I play his voice in my head over and over, for fear I might forget what it sounds like. There’s a mish-mash of grief and gratitude and sadness and hope, spinning around my mind, tearing holes in my heart and healing them in the same, swift breath.
It’s been a rough month; almost as if the shock of the accident is only fading now and here is where the real healing begins.
So. My reactions have been interesting. I always encourage my clients to observe their reactions/actions and not to judge themselves. So I’ve been taking my own advice.
I’ve found myself slipping back into old habits and my relationship with food has suffered; emotional eating, skipping meals… I even attempted a super-strict, month long diet plan (I swore I would never go on a diet again!) but broke it after week. I binged. I got back up.
I haven’t felt like spending any time on my computer and I have been really resistant to work. I just want to lie in the sun on a patch of grass all day and pretend like everything’s peachy.
I haven’t been stopping at one glass of wine. And for the first time in a long time, I felt the urge to drink (and I mean proper drink) the other night. I didn’t. I went for a midnight swim in the ocean instead. But these tendencies are coming up for me right now.
But hang on – I can’t share this with you, can I? I’m here to show YOU how to heal your relationship with food and your body. How can I even do my job as a coach properly if I’m still slamming my head against the wall of comfort eating and craving wine?
These are the thoughts I have been observing – and letting pass by – oh thank you egoic mind!
But this I know to be true; my insecurities bring me insight and my struggles bring me strength to share. It is in the action of choosing to get back up again, to apologise to and forgive myself in the same sentence and just have another go, this is what makes me real. And my realness brings me relate-ability.
No, I haven’t got my shit together all the time. But you and I are here to be real, not to be perfect. And yes, sometimes I just want to eat Milo and ice cream (because it is cold and sweet and crunchy and reminds me of being 11 years old and making Milo creations with my brother after school), and often I’m not hungry, so I won’t eat. And who knows, maybe that second glass of wine really does bring a sense of comfort when I’ve been scratching around in the darkness of my mind all day and meditation just doesn’t seem to cut it.
But I promise to get up the next day and move my body, make a salad, sit in silence, put pen to paper, listen to music, go to yoga, become present, have a shower (!), call a friend, get acupuncture, get out of the house, read a book and most importantly – ask for help. I promise to let people in. I promise to show up in the world. But I don’t promise to be perfect.
I’m still working on it. It’s all a journey. I’m just learning, observing, trusting, healing, feeling, crying, laughing, writing, sharing, growing and opening. I’m getting it. I’m revelling in my realness.
Tell me in the comments, is there an area of your life where you can open up and revel in your realness? If you know someone who needs a gentle reminder to be real, please share this post with your pals.