A Different Corner...
Hello from Retro-On- Sea!
I was chatting with my eldest son this week about how we were mentally coping with 'lockdown'. He is on furlough from his job and was telling me how much exercise and structure in his day was helping him. Running, cycling, weights, meditation. Having the chance to read, enjoy his home surroundings, cut the grass, help with daily jobs. Just time to stop and think about the future.
We also discussed how having the door 'slammed' shut, when I was just beginning to come out of a really bad phase of anxiety and panic, could have gone against me.
Well, in fact, the opposite has really happened. 'Lockdown' has meant that I have been able to talk to my 91-year-old father-in-law about his food shop. I have ordered seeds and plants for my 85-year-old father, so that he can enjoy looking after the garden with my mother.
I have forced myself to go to the supermarket on my own for the first time in roughly 4 years! I now stand in the queue in my mask, waiting to shop alone with my trolley. I could no longer shop with my husband Michael for support. I simply wasn't allowed to. It may sound quite ridiculous, but coming out through the exit into the sunshine, on my own, has felt truly liberating. I had found a new sense of independence that I needed.
I was so delighted to be able to share this news with my youngest son Peter, who is in 'lockdown' in Cornwall where he lives with his flatmate. For many years before going away to university he would quite often be my 'shopping buddy'. He would drive me to a shop, I could grab onto his arm whilst in there and he would talk me through my coping strategies until I bought some small item like a pint of milk or loaf of bread. Yes, that is how bad I was! No one had taught him, yet he knew exactly what to do to help me through that situation.
During these past weeks he has been sending me beautiful photos of the sea down there in Cornwall. He lives right on the coast and these shots have been just beautiful. I have been sharing them on my Facebook posts over the last few weeks. He is also the designer of my Retro-On-Sea website and on-line shop. We may be in 'lockdown' but Pete can maintain the website from a distance. Technology at it's greatest!
I have continued to have my hypnotherapy sessions by 'zoom'. I can lie on my sofa and float away during my 'solution-focused' session. Wonderful! My thanks to Michelle my hypnotherapist. My last post has all of her details available.
I have also been lucky enough to have been able to continue running my on-line shop from home. Customers have been able to have items sent by courier or have collected their orders from a designated place on a day and time that suits them.
Finishing our conversation, Will said to me, 'mum, you are a glass half full type of person, not a glass half empty one'.
I feel truly blessed that he is able to say this. Staying positive in times of adversity and keeping our mental health in good shape is not always easy. I feel so lucky and humbled to have so many simple pleasures in my life.
You may be thinking, well, good for you!
It hasn't always been like this though. If you are going through unsurmountable hurdles in your life right now and don't know which way to turn, I can say from first-hand experience, 'I understand'. I truly do. In my 54 years I have experienced so much good, but my fair share of bad. I could never have seen those bad things coming - I am glad that I couldn't, the pain would have been so much worse.
I am a great believer that things often happen for a reason and as well as the bad things, great good is also possible. Sometimes this depends on which corner we go around.
Over the years I have always loved the song by George Michael, 'A Different Corner'.
I'd say love was a magical thing
I'd say love would keep us from pain
Had I been there
Had I been there
I would promise you all of my life
But to lose you would cut like a knife
So, I don't dare
No, I don't dare
'Cause I've never come close in all of these years
You are the only one to stop my tears
And I'm so scared
I'm so scared
Take me back in time, maybe I can forget.
Turn a different corner and we never would have met
Would you care? ...
At times when I have needed just a small ray of hope, there has been care. Just the smallest of things and sometimes the biggest of things.
Show kindness - you may have no idea how it will affect someone's life right now. It can just be a 'thank you'.
If life is difficult, there may be a corner up ahead ... as you turn it, your life may be changed in wonderful ways. Someone or something may make all the difference. Never say never!
The photos I have shared in this blog are firstly a celebration of 75 years of VE day over the last week. We drank here to the resistance fighters who gave up their lives for freedom.
I am also sharing photographs of the sea - 'thank you Pete' and my garden ' thank you God' ... both of which bring therapy beyond words.