‘Since waking up to my lifelong habit of always rushing to the next thing, and experiencing the difference that slowing down has made to my emotional well being, I’m able to think so much more clearly.’

I wrote the above 2 weeks ago, and haven’t written anything since. In the interim, the kids have gone back to school, we had a weekend of sugar fuelled 7 year old birthday madness and a complete inability on my part to get myself into a decent routine with which to manage the transition from summer to term time. I also made what will be my final reduction in prozac before stopping entirely which always has a bit of a kick back in terms of mood and energy, and my sleep has been shocking. The result? I’m balancing on the edge of what has the potential to be a full blown crash into overwhelm and depression unless I take steps right now to stop that from happening.

The picture at the top of this post is the beautiful acorn that two weeks ago was so full of potential. It’s withered and dried up and quite sad looking now. I didn’t look after it. I put it in my pocket, came home and forgot about it. How could it be anything other than how it looks right now? It didn’t get any of the conditions it needed to even begin to reach its potential.

I put my hand in my pocket this morning on the way to school with the kids and found the acorn, and all of this is what came to mind. I’ve been neglecting myself in exactly the same way. I had very worthy and noble excuses – I needed to get the kids settled back at school, I needed to make allowances for the fact that prozac was messing with my brain yet again, it was Muir’s birthday etc etc etc. Life got busy, and I got swept along with it. I haven’t made nearly enough time to breathe or think or slow down, which meant I got dangerously tired. That level of tired for me is always going to be my tipping point, the point that makes me lose perspective. I was too tired to realise that I needed to slow down and give myself space to breathe. Instead, I got progressively more frustrated at everything that needed doing that wasn’t getting done, and instead of giving myself a break, gave myself a mental beating. It’s a wonderful irony really, because once I actually pause, I’m better placed to cope with everything else, including the stuff that needs doing.

I don’t know if this little acorn is beyond redemption, but I’m going to go ahead and plant it anyway and see what happens. I know bugger all about gardening, I don’t even know which way is the right way up to plant an acorn, but I’m going to give it a go anyway, because if I do nothing, nothing will change.

The same goes for me. The last two weeks of rushing and ignoring my needs and not giving myself room to breathe has left me feeling absolutely wretched, so I’m catching it now before it gets any worse. No more than the acorn, if I do nothing, nothing will change. I’m really, really glad I put that coat on this morning. The sight of that acorn was all the reminder I needed.

This article has 3 Comments

  1. And likewise your post in my inbox this morning was exactly what I needed. I feel so close to going back on medication after being off it nearly a year. I too know exactly what I need to to to care for myself but having lost all motivation I feel I am slowly losing my grasp on wanting to care for myself. It’s such a vicious bloody circle and today I feel tired from the struggle .

  2. Im going to play devils advocate here for a minute.
    Could it be that being off/almost being off the medication is causing a potential relapse?

  3. It’s perhaps worth pointing out that most seeds – acorns included – need to dry out or freeze in order to trigger germination when they do get to soil with enough nutrients. All is not lost!

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