If you’ve recently moved and are feeling a bit overwhelmed, or you’re dealing with some big feelings or changes right now in your life, just slow down and take one day at a time. Read this article and see if it resonates and helps you with your feelings. There will be huge breakthroughs where you feel so proud of yourself and (you remember) why you chose this path in the first place. There’ll also be sudden dips where it feels overwhelming and you wish you could escape it (it’s totally normal. Hang in there!!).
If you’re struggling please remember I have a good pair of ears to listen with, and I’m always here to support, encourage and hold space for. Please don’t (and I repeat, don’t) keep this all inside. Chances are, you’ve made a great decision and you’re going to be Ok. Let me help make this period easier and happier!
So my story is that basically I figured after 10 years, I should follow this increasingly niggling feeling to move house and shape something new.
We found just the right place, a run down, 1930’s semi detached that had been filled with love… once upon a time. We looked at it, made a rough mental list of what needed doing, where we could possibly extend and the likely costs before jumping right in.
After the first total anxiety wave, I rethought out my grand idea. Had I bitten off more than I could chew? Where would we sleep? Confused 60’s bedroom number one with 2 different orange swirly carpets and green and pink wall paper with gold curtains… or bedroom number 2 in soft pink tones with blue partial carpet and protruding (and intruding) dark panelled built cupboards? The choices were both appealing but we settled on room 2 temporarily. It only took 8 nights to realise the other room accommodated our super king bed much better, after many a bruised knee and back ache.
The kitchen was big enough to house knives and forks but not much else. Being around 1.5 metres by 2 metres, swinging a cat would be impossible, before even weighing up the ethics.
Every wall was ‘ropey and shot to sh*t’ the plasterer told us delicately, sensing our newness to renovating. To say I felt homesick for the cute terrace we had before was an understatement. All of a sudden I wanted all my old problems back, they were comfy and familiar, like a battered, but loved, pair of trainers. I freaked… how would I cope with actually LIVING in this now???
The trick is, acceptance. All the monks and Buddhists get there, right? But how do you get acceptance? Anyone who’s ever had something so different cut through their life will tell you, eventually, you suddenly ‘get’ there. There’s no alternative… this soft understanding settles like a snow all around you, without you really noticing in real time it happening. Radiator leaking? I chuck a towel around it. Electricity goes out? I fetch the batteries and feed the camping lights. All of a sudden, I’m not phased anymore. An acceptance, but also a resilience has been growing in the background this whole time.
For a couple of the early days I couldn’t eat – a therapist struggling with her emotions so she couldn’t eat? It wasn’t something I wanted to share but I knew it was the only way to ease it off. I listened to recommended meditations that helped to rewire and relax me. I opened up to anyone and everyone – clients aside – well, even a couple of those… I realised that I had to take care of this quick, I had to look after myself to keep things ticking over the way they should. I took a little time off and I also enjoyed a holiday. That helped big time. I used tapping. That helped a lot. Work continued on the house. Walls were plastered, new locks installed and electrics updated. The boiler, roof and garden were all checked over and worked on. Anything and everything looked at, cleaned or updated.
Renovating and remodelling is really a metaphor for life. Any issues you have going on are smeared across the walls in front of the workmen. It’s a roller coaster that questions you constantly if you’re up to the job. Money drains out of your pockets. Friends look at the building and wince as they look at your partner before whispering “Well, there’s a lot to do isn’t there?” You suddenly realise you’ve decided this and you want to reverse but you can’t! But then life’s like that isn’t it? There is no hack – in life, you can’t take the lift, you have to take the stairs. Opening up to everyone and accepting and trusting that it will be ok, I’ll be ok and my good friends will show up and be there if I break, helped tremendously. One friend just got under a blanket with me and laughed at TV and life in general.
And who knows? Maybe a good dose of anxiety and lack of sleep reminded me of how horrific anxiety is. Also, it reminded me how hard it is to ask for help sometimes from people, and we should step up more when they do.
It’s fired me up to be even more grateful and humble that most of the time in my life I am confident, healthy and happy. I feel armed with some incredible meditations, to the point techniques and I’m even more present and alert for those that need help to overcome it. Strategies that encouraged eating and sleeping effortlessly again. The ones that really work, and aren’t just taught in theory on a training course.
So if you want some robot that’s distant and doesn’t feel emotions to help you, you probably need to continue the search for a therapist you feel comfortable trusting. However, if you want someone you can honestly talk to, and who can definitely help you as a therapist and human to caringly and professionally discover some ideas or solutions with, please get in touch and let’s meet up for a session.