The truth is, in this time, you realise your vulnerability, your so-called 'weaknesses', and that's why it's so difficult to do it. You get a fear that you won't be able to go back to the person you were before. I totally get that, and I used to be like that. I had a legitimate fear of crying, one that hasn't been resolved and I doubt ever will be, but I'm certainly more receptive to a time of opening up a bit more, sometimes resulting in a quiet, personal cry in my room.
These times of unmasking don't need to involve emotional leakage. They can just be the absorption of your surroundings and your needs, the acceptance and acknowledgement of them, and that's what I decided to do. Right now I don't have the energy to cry and get myself up again, or the time to get off the stage that is my life before the next scene begins.
It's half term this week, and myself and my family have been away for a couple of days to the Lake District - seeming to be the perfect opportunity to take a small step back and allow myself to quietly open up to myself, minimally and at a pace that I was comfortable with, but that meant I could be quiet with myself, yet not in a way that would be obvious to the untrained eye. I could open up, but just enough to allow my family to think my 'low mood' was just caused by a lack of sleep or, and the more frequently and annoyingly presumed, hormones.
The Lake District has an unfortunate reputation about it, people presume it's all about dragging your legs up and down treacherous mountains and sailing across lakes that never seem to end. But let me tell you something, they've got some damn fine pubs, restaurants and cafe's, along with the amazing views that, quite frankly, just take your breath away.
As you walk, there is a constant wooshing of water, almost sounding like a computer generated sound effect. There are water features pretty much everywhere you look, ranging from lakes (Windermere being 14.8 square km - I think that's pretty big) to little streams and waterfalls that race down the mountains to the lake below. There is something so therapeutic about water, it takes you to where you need to be - with nature. Nature itself is such good therapy, and works in ways that you don't even realise. I was only there for one night, but that one night, I slept all the way through, deeply and for about 10 hours. Such unusual behaviour for me is pretty much unheard of. I don't think I've slept that long since I was in the womb!! Studies suggest that nature and fresh air has a positive effect on mental health and actually has connections to happiness particularly those of an interpersonal quality, including attachment, interdependence, and belongingness.
Air. It's something we really take for granted. But it's not until you're in a place, like the Lake District, that you really realise how much we do. Air at home you think to be pretty decent, well, it's just air really at the end of the day, isn't it. I know it's not just the Lake District that you get fresh air, but please, if you would, just when I say "Lake District" insert your local area of free land that has hills and rivers and lakes and what not, because then I think you'll get the gist. Being in the middle of nowhere with very little but yourself, your mind and, well that's it I guess, maybe a friend or two to keep you company, it's probably the most naturally therapeutic medicine you can get. Nothing I've ever come across beats it. There are drugs, there are therapists, there are counsellors, but nothing beats it.
|sorry for the bad quality...|
So, basically, if you need a break, but you're not prepared to take a full step back, just try and go half way. It takes practice, and you probably won't get it first time but that's the same for a lot of things. Once you get it, it's worth it. It's not a fix, and you still need to allow yourself to be more susceptible to fully be yourself and have yourself some 'me' time. But it's something that can help you temporarily take a break, which has a positive effect on your long term health. If you don't allow yourself to have this break from the charade of your life, then your chances of getting better or feeling more like you, aren't as high as they can be. Go to a place, a special place, or just somewhere you feel you can embrace your surroundings and be you.
I guess that's it for now. Sorry it's been a while since my last post, it's been difficult to come up with some content that I feel is good enough to post.