…reader. If you’re there. Still.
I am waving to you from the vastness of my rich inner life. Smile… Looking forward to meeting you all again, however still not feeling truly ready to venture out into the real world – which in this context also includes social media.
Life took me and my family on a hell of a ride a few years ago*, as it does with all of us from time to time. It shook me to the core, creating an inner mess where nothing within me, or without me would ever be the same again. Without me my family would have fallen apart, at the same time, however, no part of my inner self was where it used to be. I was all scrambled and anxiety ruled. Most critically, I had even lost my spine; so there was no point of orientation for the other pieces of myself to find back to their place. Or to a better place.
As soon as we reached a point where there was some tentative stability in our everyday life, I eagerly set out into the world again. My little world. Back to my Ph.D. research at the university, back to cafés and bookshops. I started practicing yoga and the yoga studio became my sanctuary. I had some energy, for a while. I even created this blog. I assumed, not consciously, but on some level, that the outer stability would lead to inner stability. While on so many days still being overwhelmed by a debilitating anxiety, I did enjoy feeling part of the world again. That probably being the reason why I ignored the signals my body gave me, telling me that I needed to take some time off. Not to take care of others, but to take care of me. As I didn’t listen, I became more and more exhausted. There was no joy anymore, but I was afraid to take a time out. What would people think of me? My colleagues and my supervisors would see me as a failure and give up on me. Then, just as now, I knew that fear of other people’s reactions was a bad reason for not taking care of myself. The thing is, that I myself saw me as a failure. I thought I ought to be stronger, better, wiser.
Fear of failure, or not, the body keeps the score. And there came a day when I couldn’t continue in the same way anymore. I fell down into a messy heap, in a way we can only fall when we have no spine and things within us are not anchored.
For half a year now, I’ve been staying home. The first few months there was only exhaustion, heavy with grief and anxiety. There was room for nothing else. I practiced staying with it, not running away. I was too tired for that, anyway. One day, not so long ago, I suddenly became aware of my spine again. It’s reconstructing itself. And other parts of me are healing and growing, too. There’s still a fragility to it. There’s still the need to spend most of my time in the sanctuary of my home. But there’s also joy and expectation. Hence, I’m reaching out and waving to you all, from the safety of my nest.
Until soon, I hope!
*There are earlier blog posts where I touch on how my husband’s stroke has affected our lives.