Last month when I was told to make some drastic changes to slow down I dug in my heels. I struggled to make those final decisions to pause everything I needed to be doing and just stop.
It took nearly two weeks before I finally relented under a whole lot of pressure.
I woke up one morning and looked in the mirror and was frightened by what I saw. My face was drawn and my eyes were dull with huge dark gaping circles around them. My ribs were too visible and I know everything about me screamed ‘run down’.
Then the physical symptoms got worse. I wasn’t sleeping, I was irritable, agitated, had a persistent pain in my chest (the pneumonia probably didn’t help) and my hands shook all of the time.
It turns out I was, okay I AM, suffering from PTSD. I laughed when they told me that. They told me I had an irregular heart rhythm and an eptopic heart beat and it was triggered by stress and anxiety. I laughed again.
I laughed because I realised what they were saying was real and if I didn’t laugh I might cry for a whole week. Everything had become difficult. Mothering, making lunches, eating, sleeping, conversing, having a shower. I was sapped dry. The accident had taken its toll on my body and soul.
It has been a month since I’ve become a ‘Lady of Leisure’. Apparently it suits me. That’s what people are telling me anyway.
Today I noticed my eyes are no longer dull and those circles are barely visible. I have energy again and I find joy in everything, okay maybe not everything but most things. My hands don’t shake so much and I’m learning to breathe.
A few weeks ago I had a massive panic attack whilst driving on the M1. Not an ideal situation but I was aware enough to see the signs. I initially struggled to see the trigger until I looked in my rear vision mirror and noticed a rather large truck travelling behind me.
I was strong enough not to fall apart. I talked myself through it knowing I was in control and we were all safe and very close to exiting the freeway. A month ago I would’ve coped very differently. I wouldn’t have coped. I would’ve been distraught and it would’ve taken days to recover.
Today I walked up to my vegetable garden and sat and watched everything around me. The excitement that surged inside me when I saw a ladybird was quite funny. Finally they are back to eat the bugs who torture my sweet potato leaves. I noticed the Gladioli bulbs have just started emerging from the dirt so the bees should come visiting soon too.
I watched two of our hens fly and climb higher and higher in our pine tree until you could no longer see them. I watched our new goats introduce themselves to our darling Daisy Goat. Basil the Buck got a little to upfront and personal with her and I saw parts of Basil I wish I hadn’t. Then they all found a big pile of weeds and started chewing them to the ground. How lovely.
I noticed the red and brown onions I had planted as seeds last month have finally poked their little heads through the ground. This is my third attempt at onions so I’m pretty happy.
As I sat and watched and pottered in my garden I knew that I should’ve listened to my body better. My body loves this. It loves to be still. To see, to hear, to touch and absorb all. Our bodies don’t thrive in chaos, it’s too much for them.
I initially thought I would hate being without a job or study full time. I was so wrong. I wish I had done this sooner. I feel so lucky to be here every afternoon when my cherubs get off the bus and have afternoon tea all set up for them.
To be ready to give and receive those warm hugs. To be ready to have their excitement or sadness of the day listened to. To have a calm afternoon transition into a calm bedtime because I’m no longer in a rush.
I feel so lucky (and happy).
Why didn’t I do this sooner?