Sending it had multiple purposes: as you might expect one was in order to share that information with those of you who may be interested and might not otherwise come across this and also to provide a brief overview of how Naturopathic Medicine may begin to address the condition known as ADHD, or at least the conditions often mislabelled as ADHD.
However I have to admit that the bigger reason for my post was as a personal healing. Sending it allowed me to break a little of the apathy that has crept up on me over the last month. Granted I have had some other moments in the last month that have helped to shake the funk a little that I thought might be "it" as far as helping it to lift, so we will see. This might just be a temporary thinning of it, too. Or maybe all of the "break-throughs" are accumulating to wear a hole in this cloudy sky that is threatening.
In any case posting this morning was a way that I could "reinsert" myself into reality again after a few days of hiding out.
Like many other families in this province, we were faced with sewer backup and water damage over the weekend. It was one of those situations in which we were entirely at the mercy of Mother Nature and now all we can do is be grateful everyone is safe and move forward. That being said I feel like too often we do this and forget about an important step before moving forward or one that may happen as we attempt to move forward and that is to surrender ourselves to the emotions that may be surfacing during this time.
It is true that these can sometimes paralyze us from getting tasks done so sometimes we need to shove them for awhile until AFTER a difficult situation has passed. The danger here is that we don't deal with them after the situation and they maybe continue to fester inside or maybe not even fester however are simply denied existence. The expression of emotions (anger, fear, sadness, grief) can be healing as through their honoring they can lead the way to the expression of other emotions (joy). My experience is that feeling emotion is an important part of my healing and living life joyfully. If I am unwilling to feel into the discomfort (anger, sadness) that a situation creates then it becomes that much more difficult to tap into Joy. To avoid one emotion means we cannot truly know all emotions, including the "positive" ones.
This is largely what I had been doing in the last month, aside from one evening a couple of weeks ago during which I really allowed myself to move into grief (after that great cry colors definitely looked brighter to me the next morning!)... I was going through life on auto-pilot, numbed out by work and responsibility and the loss of my computer (more info to follow on that one) and just getting by. Living life on the treadmill and I was getting tired and weary and resentful. I had that good cry and really felt like things were looking up, I felt stronger, I felt clear and I good feel the joy re-entering my life.
Then the water. And the ensuing chaos. And my lack of control. And my poor communication skills with my beloved husband. And my impatience with my kids...
And all it stirred up in me that I "thought I was over!/ learned/ etc"... the water in the basement brought it all back. That through all the healing work I have done I still have control issues and I am still impatient and I still strive for perfection and I still have troubles sitting still and I still define myself by my productivity and.... the kicker... I am still human!!
By leaning into the pain that all of these realizations caused me - by feeling it and feeling it wash over me, at times drowning me - it has started to subside. And is now just a little ebb and flow, mostly an ebb. Feelings are transient, just like the storm. By Tuesday morning and through the rest of this week who would have thought we had just experienced the rainiest day June had ever seen in our province?
And so it is with our feelings and thoughts. To give ourselves truly over to them, they will pass. They don't have to define us. What I have learned and that which gives me solace when I am in the midst of my own healing is that is it the JUDGMENT of our thoughts and feelings that causes them to linger and hang around and define us.
Had I gotten trapped in: "I am so stupid! I thought I had worked through these control issues... I am no good, what a useless person I am just sitting here paralyzed by my tears (that last one did come up but with a little work and self-compassion and my confirming with my husband that I was worthy even if I wasn't in a position to be helping shoulder the load of the clean-up), [insert negative self-talk here] etc.."
then my pain would have held on and could have threatened to move me even deeper into my despair.
This is where I am grateful for all the learning I have done and for amazing researchers like Brene Brown (researches the paralyzing power of shame and the healing in vulnerability) and Kristen Neff (researches self-compassion) and the buddhist psychologist Rick Hanson (not to be confused by the wheelchair athlete) who brings it all together so beautiful (Hardwiring Happiness.. amazing book) and Jon Kabbat Zinn who says it so beautifully: "Wherever you go, there you are" (so stop trying to escape from yourself!!).
Thanks so them and many many others I am not so fearful of working through my baggage. And truthfully, though painful, it becomes kind of fun... as I know that what awaits me is liberation and freedom from "myself".
So as I venture forth into my life to work on re-defining who I am outside of the umbrella as a productive woman and addicted to the dopamine rush I get from multi-tasking, I will thank the water for all the healing opportunities it has provided me: a chance to practice gratitude for all that was kept safe (my kids, my cat, my hubby) and for the incredible support that situations like this help us to remember we have (my parents, my friends, even insurance companies and city councillors!), a chance to look within and break more patterns that have served me but now hold me captive, a chance to practice knowing when to get down to business and clean, when to avoid it all and head to my refuge, Wascana Pool (see photo in this blog... this amazing body of WATER has soothed my nerves and has been a balm for my rough edges many times over the years), and when to simply have a good cry.