(I had to add this poem as a picture as WordPress helpfully kept removing my spaces! Note- WordPress, you may need to consider this feature for the poetic among us)
The Perils of Change
This poem came to me in one of those midnight inspiration moments. The last 6-9 months have been extremely wearing, with a number of events and interactions scraping away my resilience and picking at the stitches of the holes I managed to sew back together in my mental wellbeing. They continue to do so and whilst I am not yet at the point of unravelling I can certainly see it in the distance.
Frequent deep breaths are needed to get through this period of profound change as I know, through years of evidence, that there will be a time when I look back at this time and think “phew, I made it”. I will also look back at this time and see the moment that the changes were conceived, created by my own hand, or in this case, thoughts. The power of “what if I lived my life differently” cannot be measured and the ripples cannot be fully counted. It is absolutely without question the result of “careful what you wish for.”
Change often involves dissolving of ideas, beliefs, relationships and structures in our lives that we may think we are ready to leave behind, but when those changes start to happen around us it can feel like our whole world is falling away. Not only that, we then realise we can no longer go back and even more fright-inducing is the dawning that we don’t know what the world will look like ahead of us. A good friend of mine, Natasha Westover, creator of the Awkward Swan, a blog about her experiences to create change in her life, calls this the Void: a place where we have no frame of reference as to how to get through it – others may have done something similar but no-one can experience an event from your eyes other than you – so all you can do is keep moving forward carefully, one foot in front of the other.
The challenge on mental and physical health cannot be under-estimated. Fundamental desire to change yourself and the world around you creates, well, fundamental changes. It can lead to unexpected and shocking events, feelings of deep grief for what you are leaving behind and relationship challenges where others can either blame, or be blamed for, our choices. Without something or someone to lean on, this level of change can lead to increased anxiety, guilt and feelings of regret and remorse, and, in my case, a desperate need to control anything and everything around me as I sensed the loss of control the changes were producing.
Blessedly, I had the support of a therapist. This was my someone to lean on. She has helped me work through those presentations and find the resolve I need to keep going. “Writing helps” which is often quoted to my friends in messages, is my clarion call to my resolve – the word helps here is a euphemistic code for “is essential to my wellbeing”
Hence the poetry. Here I can delve into my psyche and access the complex and competing feelings within. It also leads me to the conclusion that whilst I pressed that big red button myself and things are decidedly ‘hairy’ at the moment, I will get to the other side…eventually.