Time to Respair…

Thanks to Lexicographer Susie Dent, I’ve just discovered the word “respair”, which the Oxford English Dictionary describes as “the return of hope after a period of despair”

How gorgeously apt: For a new year after the strange sequences of the last 2 years… And for me, still in the grip of anxiety, yet optimistic that I now have good periods, sometimes whole days, when the coil inside me unwinds… And then calmness and clarity soften my thoughts and emotions.

Over the quiet days of Christmas and New Year, after so, so, long, I finally started to really relax and even had the luxury of boredom…

But then January wore on and the calls of duty and guilt started to spike into my brain. “I have RESPONSIBILITIES, things I MUST do, my absence is impacting negatively on others”, the script in my head screamed… Then my brain would freeze… And I would turn to the wall to cry, scream and rant. And then Cortisol (the stress hormone) was in my blood stream, and I was back in an animal fight or flight feeling, the coil of anxiety quickly wound tightly, again…

The truth is, that I have a short emotional fuse at the moment and things that may have simply irritated me just a wee while ago, now bundle up into a huge ball of stress in my psyche. I’m also experiencing Rhinitis, which means I have constant headaches and exhaustion… oh blah, blah, flipping blah…

But this is NOT a pity post. I’m proud that after my third such meltdown this week, I said to myself: “Stop this! This isn’t a resourceful state to be in. If you stop now, the Cortisol will dissipate more quickly from your system and you can manage this in hours, rather than days.” Then I stopped crying, wiped the tears off my face, sniffed the snot away and thought about what I needed to do next.

But the ‘Stop it Now’ thought came after a session with my life coach, who got me to re-evaluate some of my most negative current thought patterns. And I had a week where I finally made progress and appointments and appraisals for MYSELF and for my health. Not for my work or other people, but for my own SELF CARE. Care that I am now prioritising, because in order to ‘do’ and to give, I need to ‘be’ and receive.

It irritates me in one sense that as a coach, I had to go to another coach to get positive, inciteful questions that gave me the insights which made a massive difference to my healing. This included making the decision about needing to take more time ‘off’, which quite frankly, I was bricking… But it is what it is and so I decided that the responsibility was ultimately for myself. For this I have wanted support and I have certainly found coaching to be far more effective than counselling during this time. So it has to be said that my appreciation for this process is far greater than my irritation.

But also, my life isn’t ALL about anxiety – there are so many things to celebrate… I lay on my sanitised mat in a yoga class, relaxing every part of my body and releasing my mind. I finally remembered to meditate. Last night I cooked the most delicious meal for myself and relished every single bite of it. A friend called me in the week, because she was “worried” about me. I got some intriguing news that put a smile on my face. Watching TV, I often nestled into my boyfriend’s shoulder and every now and again he squeezed my hand… And life happens to other people and I get to worry about and / or support them, too.

Then, as the bountiful icing on the beautiful cupcake of life, I got a gorgeous word dropped into my consciousness and it chimed a truth to me…

So it’s time to respair my body and soul, by a myriad of methods. This includes giving myself the gift of time and not hiding away from anything that may trigger me, but instead to choose acceptance and consider the alternatives. And to think about how to strike the right balance in my life, instead of falling off the scales.

And maybe, you and I both, will feel ‘confelicity’, (another archaic word lost to our everyday ways) – which means the ‘joy in another person’s happiness’???

PS: For more about Susie Dent and her talent for words, follow this link to a recent article in The Guardian newspaper…

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