Friday, March 25, 2011

friday forte: it's not me, it's you

this morning
dawn over the Burrard Inlet (yes, another weirdly sloping horizon shot)

About a year ago, I came to conclusion about my life.
About a year ago, I came to a painful conclusion about my life.
(bear with me)
About a year ago I painfully came to a painful conclusion about my life.

I painfully "lost it", smashed a very heavy plate on the dining table during our evening meal. The day had not been a good one. At the start of the day it looked like I might be able to make headway on an issue which quite honestly had been  ripping me apart for almost two decades. By the end of the day it was back to square one.

I marked the table.
Splinters flew off the plate, gouging the veneer on the piano lid.
Food splattered the sideboard.
I painfully gashed my left thumb deeply near a joint.
It bled ... a lot.
Boy, was I mad.
I went to bed mad and disappointed.
I got up less mad, more disappointed and still bleeding. My thumb ached under layers of pressure dressings.
It was a really dumb thing to do to myself :( - the next week I was due to teach a crafting class. Damaged digits and wire crochet don't mix.

wire and fibre hair accessories
still making pretty stuff a year ago

The thumb healed slowly, and so did I, realising that being mad and taking it out on myself was not the healthiest of options. Each time I got mad, I was a little madder. More than making me mad, dwelling on this issue was making me sick and literally stealing the life out of me. I didn't like the person I was becoming because of it. Enough was enough.

Realisation number two was that I couldn't change the issue itself. It wasn't something I had any control over. I couldn't 'make it better', I couldn't solve it. It was indeed out of my hands.

Realisation number three was that I could do something; I could change how I dealt with it. For the first time in many years I admitted to myself I had struggled enough, and gave myself permission to walk away from taking total responsibility. The issue was not mine anymore. My new focus was on minimising its impact on me and reclaiming my headspace.

wire and fibre flower ring: blue anemone
making pretty flowers to wear

And since then? Well, with a few hiccups/valleys/troughs/deep dark wells of despair, I've stuck to my new approach and feel more content. Though I'm still immensely sad that this issue still greatly affects my life, I don't live permanently under a cloud. Instead of dwelling on how unfixable the issue is, I now look for workarounds which will work for me. Once I was worried that melancholy was 'the new me'; without getting all Pollyanna, happiness is much more de rigueur these days. I no longer feel like a moody, ranty, whining bitch (seriously) and thus want to re-connect with friends because I feel like I do have something to offer in return. This in turn has very positive effects on my mood. I feel more creative, more efficient, a better parent (!), and have much more energy.

It is early days still. Dark days do come, but they go too (and faster). I'm gradually turning my thinking from what I cannot fix, what is out of my hands (negative) onto what I can actually do (positive).

I don't feel so helpless, and more importantly, there are no new scars on my digits (unless the saw slips).

cutting jumprings Crafting 365 2008/ day 53
they're my fingers and I love 'em

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