life · social issues

Resilience

I have just finished reading Resilience by Anne Deveson, an exploration into this indescribable characterisitc – ‘we all know what resilience is until we try to define it’ (Dr George Vaillant). Anne writes that it has come to mean an ability to confront adversity and still find hope and meaning in life.

This week my adversity has been searing pain each time I use my bowels, following a colonoscopy to supposedly get rid of hemorrhoids. I’ve had the joy of enduring these for seven years since my first pregnancy. I spent the last week of my last pregnancy living off painkillers to enable me to be. When I asked the doctor if it would effect the delivery process (as far as I was concerned this pain was already torturous!) he just laughed – fortunately (?!) he was right labour pain is of course an entire league of its own!!

This morning I was also awoken with an overwhelming negative attitude. My dreams all night were forebodingly dark and my children awoke before the break of dawn. I’ve given thanks for a family I love (even while I hate!) and a roof for shelter, all whilst apologizing for the lack of strength to shake this mood off. Two hours passed since I was rudely awoken, I yelled at each family member and returned to bed the moment my husband seemed more awake than dead. This week I’ve finally had freedom, study done for the year, hooray! But my resilience felt mighty low.

Tim Costello’s review on the front cover suggests the book demonstrates ‘resilience as a celebration of life’ and as it follows the last days of the author’s dear friend, indeed it does. The Victorian government is currently discussing a euthanasia ‘assisted dying’ bill where I wish it would spend money on palliative care and sharing story’s like Anne’s of all the trauma of death but also the honour and dignity (perhaps not bodily) of the journey.

If you love, you grieve (Thomas Lynch). You fall in love in a thousand ways, and you grieve in a thousand ways (Allan Kellehear). ‘For some…pain filters through more slowly, a little at a time as the body can bear’. I do not believe I am very in touch with my emotions. The months of November and December seem to be harder for me, the end of year rushes and conclusions, so much anticipated but then here and leaving me with the question of what now? And of course the anniversary of my Harry’s birth(death)day.

But perhaps I am learning the art of resilience, I took a walk, I folded the washing, I even played a bit of monopoly and while not on my list of top ten saturdays, today was ok.

How has your Saturday been?

Do you have a definition for resilience?

Have you experienced hemorroids, Dr Google I believe is shocking on this topic so please feel free to discuss here 🙂

 

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mental health · Uncategorized

Struggling in December

Subtitled: Flat, tired, sore and harvest-time

Tagline: Be prepared to get inspired LOL, PMSL, ROFL

I’m a bit down guys. I hurt my ankle about a month back, and then my back a fortnight ago and now I have a cold. Even longer ago I finished study for the year and was super excited to have a chance to catch up on things but then life happened. I now finally have a few home days in a row but energy and motivation are-a hard find.

I still believe its achievable or else unimportant both possibilities which leave no comeuppance for the right now.

I think I’m grieving. I miss my son. And the way I best deal with his death is knowing he’s better off never having had to live in this world. Cos this world sux plus I’m a bad Mum. So then I feel guilty for my still living son and daughter who still have to put with me. Even my husband.

Except it’s harvest so husband is non-existent anyways

 

**Edit 3 days later

I had a bad day. Preceded by some not great days. It happens, and while I wasn’t remotely happy with this post I clicked publish anyway cos I just needed to get it out there – and it helped – a lot. My goal at the start of the bad day was to spend 5 mins cleaning in each room and connect with friends on Facebook. I had the same goal the next day and achieved it by lunch time. On the bad day everything was too hard and it took til just before bedtime to connect. Thank goodness I did though cos suddenly I had hope for the next day. Amazingly spending time getting organised for work also helped. I think I’m learning resilience.

I really want to write to people struggling about the two things that I believe help me the most.

  1. Allowing yourself a bad day. At the time it’s scary because you don’t know if you’ll have the ability to keep it to one day, but I watched Dvds, got bored and actually acknowledged that what I was experiencing was grief. I think that’s the first time I’ve actually been able to say that, normally I put it down to general depression. And probably it doesn’t even matter what it is the cause, if there is a cause, but to have a bad day to grieve my son, I needed that.
  2. Connection. I knew right off the bat I needed it, but it wasn’t easy. My mum and sister both called but I wasn’t in the right space to talk to them. I wanted to put something on Facebook but it was hard. Eventually I put my negative post on twitter (which I barely use) and then put a positive spin on it for FB. And the miracle that turned my day was an old uni friend commenting. That’s my connection story, yours can be completely different but even when it feels impossible my best advice is connect

If you can’t tell, my week has completely turned around, even to the point of believing getting ready for Christmas is achievable! I know I am incredibly blessed and I know my experience of depression is minor compared to others who suffer, for those in the black hole please reach out, you’re experience may be different but anyone can get to the point of more good days than bad.

 

faith · life · relationships · Uncategorized

Beyond the Best of Times

Of course after my last post things wouldn’t just stay the same. It’s been two weeks of struggle town, although mostly just a few off days with the fear that this could be the beginning of the slide d…

down.

This poem by Moira Neagle a fellow country South Australian really struck me (via Beyond the Best of Times — Moira Neagle’s Word Addiction)

 

There are times

when you are running with hounds

Each day presents its own delights,

the air is warm,

the grass whispers

as you leap frog ahead,

friends bound with you

the sky is deepest blue

 

(My life before the past two weeks!)

 

Your run is halted

A wall, fence, barrier

stops your energetic flow,

the spring in your step

 

(A bad day and the fear of more to come)

 

Time must be taken

to pause

to trot along the extent

to consider options

to look for the narrowest

of possible openings

 

(I had to try hard to stop the fear, let go of the day that was, forgive it and find the best possible opening for moving on)

 

Beyond is beckoning,

the view enticing,

the opening impossibly constricted

 

(I knew I would jinx myself, in stating my joy sure enough the feeling started to squeeze away)

 

The light,

the breeze

the fragrances

fade

in the face

limitation

 

Limitation struck me this week, I got tired, grumpy and emotional. I was hurt, I was stuck – I gave up some of my pleasures knowing I was close to falling asleep at the wheel. Yesterday I was particularly tearful, angry with my husband. Last night I told him, I explained and he apologised.

This morning my ‘acts of service’ man got up, kept the children away so I could sleep in and even got them dressed. The best of times may be fleeting but God keeps sprinkling amazing moments throughout my days. I pray that He continues to give me the resilience to step back and see them.