Aha Diaries: Protect Your Peace

I have found it difficult over the years to protect my peace of mind and to stay sane. There are persons in our lives – some well intentioned, others not- who constantly threaten our overall well being. They come with demands, expectations and problems and you feel you must address them. Before you know it you have taken on more than you can chew and find yourself choking. You look around and find no one to save you, to perform the Heimlich and you panic wondering how you can save yourself. The analogy above seems a bit extreme even overly dramatic but, there are many persons who leave themselves opened to being so frazzled by live and people that they end up feeling as if they’re always on the edge of doom.

Saying No

When I was smaller my granny once asked me why I can never say no to any question asked -especially when it comes to food! Being cheeky I immediately responded, no! However, this has become true in instances where I should say no, dangerous instances when I have made decisions that continue to haunt me to this day. This penchant for saying yes to everyone and everything – especially when I know I should not – has affected my mental wellbeing overtime to the degree where I struggle with making the simplest of decision because I am afraid of history repeating itself, afraid to fail once again, afraid of being so disappointed that I could have another mental breakdown…

So I am slowly working on creating a safe space, internally and externally, that will protect my peace of mind. Sometimes when you are really good at something you are rewarded somehow for that or those talents that you have. Often time, in my experience anyway, I note that more pressure is applied more expectations and little or no reward is returned. If you are not careful, you become the expert you is attached to that expertise and your fragility is disregarded. If you are not careful, persons begin to expect you to carry them, because “oh I can’t do this and you are good at it, so help me here,” becomes “do this for me , send this, I tried but only you can do it”. You end up exhausting yourself trying not to disappoint everyone and keeping that halo others have knighted you with. So, the task now is to use my talents to help and not carry others. To say no when I realise that my kindness has become a weapon against me. What about you?

Letting Go…

Since this pandemic I have spent a little more time away from certain people and I realise this is a good thing. Through this semi-isolation period I have come to realise that the presence of some persons only serve to make me more anxious, less productive and less happy. So I don’t call, they don’t call and we are all happier that way. I also no longer watch things that cause me anxiety, like the news or go on certain social media sites . I realised I was caring too much about things that did not matter, getting angry and anxious when I really should be taking the time to focusing on the things that really matter in my life, things that would impact me now. Instead I have withdrawn somewhat from looking outward and trying to find happiness in the people and things around me and really thinking about how I can control the things I can control. I can control me, my thoughts, my action and my sense of well being, but, it takes time and it takes will power.

You want people to think the best of you – or not it depends on your state of mind. Many persons want to be liked, to be admired to be recognised for doing good, for being good. However, for me this is no longer important, instead what I want to do is protect my peace of mind. This may mean offending others or may be perceived as offensive to other but you can never please everyone; therefore, we need to have a greater sense of being in control instead of allowing ourselves to be controlled by external forces and influences that have their agendas.

And if you try to find that peace and become swept away by the chaos around, reach for that shipwrecked debris to stay afloat, drift your own way and ask yourself, “Where is my peace in the midst of this chaos?”

Broken Mirror

Broken mirror 
shattered soul
splintered into the four dimensions.
Some lost
never to return
pieces buried too deep.
corrupted soul
cursed to suffer
for seven years times eternity
cursed to never be whole again.
should it be dust
or buried by a tree
or left to flow down South.
But
Broken mirror
Do
become many mirror too.
Each containing a piece of you
you can return to.
Look at each and try to place
the missing pieces back together again.
Look closely and grab the light 
reflected towards you
a different light
that leads you to look at things
 differently.
Broken mirror
tells a story 
of how you transformed
despite the odds
to become a unique you.

Put Down Shovel

At times we dig deep holes for ourselves and happily jump into them and then we need help to get out.

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I remember from 16 going on 17 to 23 I was bulimic. As a child I was fat, but i can’t say it bothered me at all that I was fat and no one teased me or made it an issue. I knew I ate a lot, but when it was said to me there was no malicious intent and so I was fine with that too. I still did everything I wanted or was allowed to do. So, I climbed all the trees I could find to climb or nearly climb and played ever game there was to play and I had fun doing everything. In short I had a relatively normal healthy amount of fun being a child and not worrying about how I looked.

When I went to high school the things that didn’t bother me started bothering me. Being raised with my grand – sorry great grand parents – my outfits usually were picked with a more mature eye for the most part, and I realized that I did not always dress the same as everyone. This was most evident on registration day when everyone was in jeans and a top and I was in heels and a dress I wore to a wedding! But, my grandmother believed in looking your best on special occasions and for her, going to a traditional high school like St. Jago High was a special occasion. So in my dress I went got registered and made a beeline for the car. Then I did my first medical and there was a girl who was chubbier than I was and people were shocked by her weight, it was doing the medical that made me realize that my body type could be a laughing matter. I was not use to being made fun of only making fun of others!

So as I got older I started realizing all the things I did not have and could not do and started feeling sorry for myself.

Image result for It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are finished. Mrs. Miracle

But being bulimic started with a movie – can’t remember the name now – of a girl who died from that eating disorder. And while the movie was to discourage such a practice it provided me with the information I needed to do something I though at nearly 18 I should to, which is change somehow; so, I decided that to impress everyone I would lose some weight for the new school year. After all, though I had naturally lost some weight, I was not as thin as the fashion models or singers I saw on my T.V! I was determined to go back to school looking different at the end of the summer holiday. But because I had never had the patience to do anything that took too long to achieve, that movie gave me all the tips I needed, to fast track my goal.

So with information in hand I set about achieving a goal that became an obsession that later became a nightmare. When I saw the results I needed I was not satisfied. People treated me differently and they made something out of the change that made me think I had to keep going no matter what. I ended up in the doctors office time after time but never told them or my grandparents what I was doing – they would kill me, literally. Plus I was getting really ashamed of what I was doing, wanted to stop but could not stop. It was terrible.

But I could tell no one, it was a secret I had to carry to the grave. A bit melodramatic but that was how I was feeling.

It wasn’t until after my grandmother died and I started seeing a psychiatrist that I told someone – my psychiatrist. She helped me to confront my own diabolical thoughts to begin the process of addressing the root cause of my bulimia. Even during my time seeing her I would occasionally binge and vomit and then out of guilt starve myself for a while. But I did eventually stop and though I still feel the odd urge every now and then I do not think it is a place I want to revisit.

I had to find a way to control a habit I had willing nurtured even though I knew it was unhealthy. There was no one to blame, no session to recount all the terrible things that had been done to me. All I could do was admit that I had made the decision that created one of the worst periods of my young life and accept and use the tools at my disposal to get myself back on save ground. It is a lesson I hope I never forget

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