Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Challenges, Upheavals, Growth
There is a sort of wobbling that happens when I don't write for a while. An unbalancing of self. Things begin to feel off-kilter and strange. I start to meander. I worry more and get easily stressed because I'm not taking the time I need to process and connect.
This last fortnight has been hectic and unpleasant, and as a result, I'v barely written a thing, which has only contributed to my stress. But in a way, it's been a good thing: it's highlighted how crucial it is that I make the time to analyse and reflect and explore my feelings, no matter how crazy things might be around me.
We have moved house. It took ten days from finding out there was a house available to actually moving in. Almost two weeks of constant tension. Packing and sorting and shifting. Sweating. Not sleeping. Mum and sister snapping, stressed, curt.I have cycled from upset to acceptance and back again. I have cried, sighed and determined to remain positive. I have moved between the extremes like a pendulum.
I live with my Mum and sister. It was meant to be a temporary arrangement - or at least, that was what I told myself when I moved back home almost two years ago. A chance to pay off my debts, save some money and get healthy.
I think I've mentioned before that my Mum and I don't have the easiest relationship. I will do anything I can to avoid conflict, whereas she thrives on it, and is quick to lose her temper. It makes for a prickly environment. Luckily, she works nights, so the arrangement has worked thus far as we weren't living in each other's pockets and didn't spend a lot of time together. But now my sister has moved back in with us (hence the need for more space and a bigger house). And she is very like my Mum in terms of temperament, meaning that I'm back to treading on eggshells. (Funnily enough, the two of them get along beautifully).
I didn't want to move. The new house is further away from my place of work, my friends, everything familiar. But due to financial constraints, and the sudden snowballing of events, I didn't have much choice.
The silver lining is that I'm atthis particular point in my recovery process. I wouldn't have coped well with the change even a couple of months ago. I think I'd have scuttled right back into my tried and tested coping methods and made myself sick again. I think I'd have been a mess.
As it stands, I'm coping. It's difficult, but as I keep reminding myself, it's not impossible. It's hard being in a potentially harsh and negative environment, feeling like the outsider, the third wheel. It's hard feeling so suddenly uprooted and out of control. And I'll admit that initially, my thoughts did return to their old, practiced groove like a cuckoo obediently following its prescribed circuit, out of the clock and back in again: You know what would make this better? You know what would make you feel stronger? If you lost a couple of pounds. Or twenty. If you stopped eating breakfast. If you walked and walked until your bones showed and your feet bled.
It's a marked sign of progress, I suppose, that I have yet to succumb to the siren-song of that voice. Instead, I swat at it, irritated, impatient. I determinedly look for the brightnesses, the beautifuls, however small they may be. Yesterday, as I stood at the bus-stop, it was the cloud-coloured water rushing over the reservoir, the thousand points of light the rain left in the trees. On Sunday it was the flock of silver-white birds that kept wheeling and returning overhead, the sun flickering off their wingtips so that they looked like a shoal of fish glittering in water.
There is growth here. There is. Even if I feel hesitant and uncertain sometimes. Even if I worry I've regressed.
Things will be better once I'm a little more settled. Once I've painted my bedroom and unpacked my many boxes and returned my books to their shelves, once I feel that I've claimed the space as my own. I need a place of peace and retreat, and that place has always been my bedroom, which I've always made pretty, filled with light and beautiful things, and at the moment it is utter chaos. But I'm making progress. I bought paint for the walls at the weekend, a gentle sort of colour I fell in love with even before I saw the name: 'pearl-grey'.
When I saw the label, it felt like a lovely little synchronicity. A gift.
I love pearls. I love what they represent. They have always held a special meaning for me, so I loved that the paint for my new room had 'pearl' in the title.
Pearl as in something beautiful that results from injury and difficulty. Pearl as in grit and endurance, transformation, treasure. Pearl as in strange; as in little.