The occasional glimpse of serenity

A few useful lessons this past few months has taught me:

– to take life slowly, steadily, and one thing at a time, no matter what is being thrown at me

– to keep everything, always, as simple as possible – and then make it even simpler

– that I am always stronger than I think I am going to be

– that eating regularly and going to bed before eleven has a huge positive impact on the rest of it

– resting and taking time out isn’t just nice, isn’t just a pleasant option, it is absolutely vital

– to never underestimate the power of a good mug of Earl Grey

– to accept every single hug that comes my way, sometimes from the most unlikely people

– to stop automatically saying ‘no, I’m fine’ to every single offer of help

– my mother is absolutely, unequivocally awesome.

For quite some years now I’ve been practising the idea of acceptance of whatever life chucks in my direction – very difficult to do when everything in you is screaming ‘this isn’t fair! Why is my life so complicated? When will it all calm down?’ But the past months of phonecalls from school, emergency hospital visits, trips to CAMHS, other unexpected curveballs, I’ve had a lot of practice at acceptance. And I’ve found that every time I counter the ‘not fair! I had other plans for this day! Why me? Why us?’ thoughts with ‘let it go – this is what is happening and we just have to adapt’, my mind clears a little and everything feels much simpler and easier to cope with. My initial reaction is to rail against everything; I’m learning to deliberately do the opposite of that.

Mind you, it isn’t exactly coming naturally yet, as the people in my college group last night would testify… they saw my post-phonecall initial reaction to an unexpected serious situation, complete with swearing and panic! However, by the time I was driving home 10 minutes later, I’d pulled myself together and remembered the whole ‘acceptance’ thing – and that really, really helped over the next few hours.

We’re all ok and back under the same roof again. It’s been a weird 24 hours (again). I missed the day in school I had planned, and I had to cancel my counselling session which was already postponed after another unexpected horrid situation last Friday. But I’ve kept focused on the here and now, each situation as it occurred, and I’ve found that doing that is strangely restful, even in the midst of the chaos.


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