I have started and deleted this blog post multiple times over the last few months, but I am finally going to put words to my thoughts and send this into the digital aether.
It is difficult to know how much to share, and what would be helpful and what would be harmful. Ultimately, I had to take the time to assess why I started writing this blog, why I started writing, and sharing on social media in the first place.
In September 2018 I started a level 2 counselling skills course, and I can honestly say that it changed my life, but it was a painful experience.The emotional work you have to undergo as part of a counselling course is akin to breaking and resetting a poorly healed bone. There was so much I thought I had ‘dealt’ with and found myself confronted by the raw truth that I had merely hidden those hurts and pains; I hadn’t processed them. AT ALL.
Over twenty years in the mental health system, but it took me doing the work for myself to begin the engage with true healing. Each week we had to write a reflective journal and by the time 2019 rolled around I had a clear visual of the destructive patterns of behaviour that ruled over my life. However, awareness is a step – albeit a vital one – not the end. But whilst I was learning and practicing empathic communication, discovering the difference between hearing someone and actually listening to them, I stopped being able to utilise the tools that helped me, such as playing Minecraft and creative writing, I struggled to prioritise my wants and needs with my commitments.
Inevitably, my physical health took a major downturn trying to manage the stress and I put pressure on myself, and ended up getting so sick that I had weekly medical appointments.
At the time I was also taking a 30 credit module with the Open University, but it soon became clear that I couldn’t handle it all. Decisions had to be made, and the first one was to defer my university studies. I hated having to pause my higher education – once again – but I found strength in the fact that I wasn’t giving up my education completely.
The second decision I made was to avoid social media. I honestly thought that my social media break would be a few weeks, at most. However, as time went on it became more difficult to re engage. I missed the friendships I was building but unfortunately my social difficulties transcend the physical/digital realms and anxiety overwhelmed me. In the end I did with social media what I have done multiple times in my life, which is, when things become difficult I disengage. I only recently understood the term ‘ghosting’ but it is something I am guilty of in many areas of my life. It is a problem that I was unaware of until I started doing the required reflective work as part of the counselling skills course. The truth is, I haven’t yet worked out how to do better. I still have to take the time to reflect on those aspects of my past inorder to understand if/when I made the wrong decisions; how to remedy the fractures that I am responsible for, and how to forgive and heal those rifts.
I can’t claim that things are fixed, but I am currently in a much better place emotionally and spiritually. Physically things are a bit tough but I am managing those challenges as and when they appear and trying not to let them have dominion over my mental and spiritual health. Some days I am successful, and other days… not so much.
So what does that mean for the blog?
To be honest, I’m not sure.
‘Yesterday’ I wanted to get back into having a schedule and regularly posting; basically returning to the things that stressed me out and not even attempting to amend my pattern of behaviour. ‘Today’ I realise that, that will only result in much of the same and like I said at the beginning of this post I have to assess the whys of doing this ‘blogging’ ‘social media’ thing.
Is it still possible for me to live those audacious dreams?
What do those dreams even look like right now?
As I take the time to answer those questions I may feel lead to post, I may even feel lead to post on a regular schedule, but for right now this is a brief hello and au revoir but certainly not goodbye.