I recently had a very busy week planned. A mixture of both personal, business and family. Now one thing I have learned about myself over the years is that if I get sleep deprived, my whole mental state can take a serious hit. Equally, I have learned to manage it by allowing myself on the mornings of a full night of ‘awakeness’ (insomnia has been a longtime bedfellow that won’t move on!) to simply cancel the coming events of the day understanding that it would be foolish to try and ‘push through’.
It’s on those days however, that during the horrific personal challenges of recent years that I have kept to myself and not shared with others, I have often found myself on the bathroom floor in spontaneous outbursts of sobbing. In the early years I fought hard to try and stop the flow as soon as it started, telling myself I was strong and shouldn’t allow the challenges to affect me so much. The ‘stiff upper lip’ advice I had been given by an in-law many years ago, rang in my ears. I discovered however that in those times on the cold, hard floor tiles of a bathroom that desperately needed renovating (awaiting the promise of years for that to be done) it was becoming increasingly unhealthy to stop the flow….so I allowed it just to stream along with pain within being let out. I would then be ready to ‘pick myself up and dust myself off’ getting on with the day. Proudly opening the bathroom door, taking a step forward and saying to myself ‘you are tired…you need to be kind to yourself….one day at a time….this too shall pass’.
In sharing this recently with a trusted friend, it surprised me that she immediately started crying and saying ‘that’s me! that’s my life!’. I was surprised because to the outside world, and indeed our close circle of friends, she was seen as a strong, successful, confident, in charge and abundant woman. Without sharing the reasons for her comparison to what I was sharing, I can say that her physical times on the bathroom floor in her home uncontrollably sobbing wer only diferent to mine as they weren’t triggered by lack of sleep.
It got me thinking and so, as is my way, I started doing more research into the ‘behind the bathroom door’ scenario. Turns out that we all have times when we do this and just like my dear friend and myself….all of us more often than not end up opening the door, stepping forward and only let the world see what was not left on the cold, hard tiles….our tears, pain and despair in the moment.
A question that I then asked myself is why are we so afraid to let the world know? Why do we feel we have to carry ‘loads’ on our shoulders on our own? Why are we afraid that, if we did share painful situations in our lives with others, that we wouldn’t be believed and worse still…lose people in our lives as a result of them feeling ‘triggered’ themselves?
I don’t have the answers however what I do know is that as a result of this along with many other life experiences I have had, I continue to do the research and work to contribute to solutions so that when the overwhelm starts to knock on the door of our hearts and minds, we can leave the bathroom door open slightly so that the world can know…that we have feelings too.
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