My last post was a confessional about how overwhelmed I've been feeling, in light of a new baby and an imminent international move (and, um, writing—or not writing—this blog). Since publishing that post, we've made some pretty big steps: shown our apartment to a couple possible tenants, signed a lease on a rental in Corvallis, booked plane tickets for the move and to visit family in England, confirmed our childcare situation after we arrive, and a handful of other small things. With these things done, I do feel a bit better.
But I think there's something else that has helped me to get over that moment of intense overwhelm....
The day that I wrote that post, I was so tense. I could barely sit down long enough to write, and I felt deeply unsettled, stressed, and angry (because anger, unfortunately, is my general response to stressful situations). Within 24 hours of posting, though, I'd calmed down considerably. I don't really think it had much to do with getting a few things done (though that helped, many of those things didn't happen so quickly); I think it was moreso due to actually writing it out and sharing it with you.
Have you ever had that experience? When you're so overwhelmed by something (sadness, guilt, regret), and you finally share those feelings with someone, and—poof!—they're gone? Or if not gone, then mitigated, and suddenly bearable? I almost feel silly now about that first post about being overwhelmed, because I no longer feel it so deeply in my body. Though I do have my moments, they are moments now, rather than a constant state of being.
I suppose this goes back, at least a bit, to the idea of bearing witness, and of allowing others to bear witness to our struggles. I could so easily not have said anything, let the moment pass, posted about Ikea or the random stuff in my house. But I chose to name and write about what I was going through, and doing so made all the difference. It dislodged the overwhelm. Friends reached out to me, here on the blog, via text message, via email. They acknowledged my situation and feelings, expressed concern, offered to help if they could. Simply by offering, they did.
So let me challenge you: are you going through something that needs to be named, out loud? Something heavy that might be relieved were it to be shown light? Have you ever had that experience of naming something difficult or talking about it, and then its hold on you diminished? Please share. You're always welcome to email me if you don't want to leave a comment below.
Photo by Simon Matzinger.
This made me cry. Good luck and thinking of you. xx
Thank you dear Alison.
This is so true. When I went through my divorce, I was in a living hell for about 9 months. I didn't want to be the person that put my struggles out into the world, I didn't necessarily want to bad mouth him, as the father of my children, yet, my scilence seemed to give him the gateway to spread lies about me, which made my hell worse and isolated me. 5-6 months into the separation, I finally opened up on FB in one post, and the outpouring of support was inceredible, but I also finally felt free. In the end, it all does work out. Good luck to you and your family.
That must have been such a difficult time for you, and I'm so glad you eventually shared your experience. Sometimes just naming things dissipates their power, and it sounds like that was the case for you.
Your blog is so beautifully designed and written. It takes courage to write about your feelings, and thanks for the lovely photos of your lovely kids.
I am also sometimes overwhelmed by things that happen in my life, and then after a rest or distracting myself, can get up and face the drudgery of doing the laundry etc. As you have three kids under 5 (?) you might be too busy for a very long stretch of 'me-time'. I have written 'artist's pages' (based on Julia Cameron's book 'The Artist's Way'), which gives me a sense of getting some nurturing for myself. You are busy with many things and you will need to probably nurture your own self more to not feel overwhelmed, and to cope with the demands of your family. Hope this reply helps! I am a newcomer to bloglovin'...and an oldie so I don't know much about social media, although it is interesting.
I am familiar with morning pages - I've read the Artist's Way and worked most of the way through it but, you're right, it's not something I have the time for with three young kids (and an infant who wakes me up a few times each night.) I long to get back to that period when I can count on having an hour or two to myself to do these types of self-care things (like yoga and writing). Hope you continue to read and enjoy my blog.