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Friday, January 08, 2016

A Thank You Note



I want to thank everyone for all their words of support, advice and encouragement. I am still working my way through the comments and replying to them all but I just wanted to say thank you so much, your words have really, really helped. Sometimes just admitting you’re in the midst of a crisis is enough to start turning things around and I think this has been the case in this instance. 

I am still extremely tired; I’ve not yet had the confidence to begin writing again - although you could say that returning to writing my blog is doing just that; and the to do list is more like a to do encyclopedia. But - I can feel a change in my mood. Yesterday I wrote a long but prioritised list and managed to cross off a large proportion of the things on it and have started to try and make sense of the bigger picture. I think one of our problems since moving to the farm has been a need to be in fire fighting mode at all times. However, waking up each day and responding to what is thrown at us is probably not the best way to live and certainly brings about a feeling of impending chaos and panic at every turn. Sometimes we have no choice. Animals need care and take priority. The weather also plays an enormous part in our lives, unlike before. But there has to be some structure in our lives otherwise things just aren’t going to get done. I also believe that the chaos and uncertainty is having an impact on my mental state and inner confidence. 

And so, lists, goals, priorities, REALISTIC targets, relaxation time, moments to smell the roses, less self-critiquing - all these things and more are part of my plan for getting me back into some sort of mental shape. I’m going to give myself small writing challenges over the next week or two to get me back in the groove and get rid of some of the ‘pending’ jobs that keep hanging over my head like the proverbial albatross and that will hopefully make me feel like I am getting back on track.

A couple of friends have suggested therapy to help me with my negativity, my never-ending propensity to criticise, compare and pull apart everything that I do. This is something I’m very keen to explore further. I would like to get out of this undulating cycle of  feeling up, then feeling down, then having to build myself back up again. Its tiring. It affects my creativity. That energy could be much better spent elsewhere. I have felt comforted by so many of you expressing similar feelings - I feel less of a freak and therefore more prepared to talk these things through with a professional. If I learn how to spot the signs I can hopefully stop it before it gets into full flow? It might not be an easy journey and I think its going to take me some considerable time to unlearn the habits and responses I’ve developed over the years, but I’m always up for learning something new and if 2016 is the year I manage to face and tackle my demons then its going to be a good year and a brighter future.

And yes, one of the jobs on the list is to get the jumper pattern in the picture above released as a single pattern!!

for now,
Susan xx

10 comments :

Mim said...

One thing about lists - view them as a list of suggestions, not things that HAVE to be done. I make a list of all the things I'd like to do over a weekend, but tell myself that it's no biggie if I don't do all of them, it's just a page of suggestions. Otherwise it's possible to list your life away!

I'm glad to know you're starting to bounce back. You're super!

Vall said...

My friend Paula moved to a farm 15 years ago. Its small, just a few horses and pot belly pigs. The first thing she really noticed is.. organization is key! She talked to quite a few farmers about what they do and got ideas that worked for her. She has several binders. One with monthly schedules of main jobs for animals (ordering feed, vaccination, nail trimmings etc) one for farm maintenance and others with more details. She was not a very organized person at the beginning, shes come a looong way! and like you much changed when she moved there, before she looked after her house, now is barn, paddocks, sheds, trailers and house. Also like you the weather now has meaning. Its not just a nice day.. every aspect of it has a meaning to work into the daily/weekly goings on. Settling in takes a few years, it happens to everyone with large changes, so your never alone in that :) . Chin up!

Irene said...

Well, i have nothing 'wise' to say..sorry...i think REALISTIC goals are the way to do it. I used to have to-do lists of 4 pages....well nothing got done properly in the end AND i was stressed out, it is just too much.....so smaller 'do-able' goals are the way to go when totally overwhelmed. Therapy or just talking with someone who doesn't really know your background is always a good thing....:-) My conclusion after reading your last 2 posts...acknowledging a problem is half the solution....so ..the only way is up !! xx

Jane said...

Glad you are feeling better about everything. Na, you don't need therapy, we all get tired, down and fed up at this time of year. Just keep going, one foot in front of the other, bit by bit. You could always try a gentle bit of yoga, relaxation and clearing the head! Take care.

Saz said...

I think you are right, just taking a deep breathe and expressing how you are feeling is a very big step in the right direction.

One thing I have found is helping me at the moment is another column next to my To Do List - One that says Achievements. Things happen that can't be planned for or foreseen. So these get noted and have been helping me stay focused. The two have to work together or I find complacency creeping in but it has been good for my self-esteem.

You know you will find a way out of this. You have done it before, you just have to remember that. Good luck.

Deborah Robson said...

We're working through similar issues in our family. And--been there, done that before.

It's a one-step-at-a-time process.

Deep breaths. Therapy *can* help. So can meditation--my niece has been recommending an online resource called HeadSpace that only requires 10 minutes a day to begin testing out. My sister has also found it useful. I haven't had time to check it out, although I am being diligent about my yoga practice. And have been needing to devote a chunk of time to ameliorating repetitive stress injuries in my dominant hand (computer-related, not fiber, but fiber is affected).

We can't do *everything* that might help. The trick, I think, is to pick one new thing and try it, and keep up if it works and shift to something else if it doesn't.

Hope that made sense. Now need to quit typing.

Sally A. said...

Therapy sounds like a good plan; why would you not get an expert to help you understand and modify your destructive thought patterns? Sure you would work it out for yourself eventually, but I don't understand the attitude that some folks express - if it will help, and help faster than self-healing and introspection, then whyever not?

And I can relate to the feeling of being controlled by external factors being on a farm! Especially a farm in Cumbria!


sohumdancing said...

So glad we can be supportive. Everyone's thoughts help me too. Keep us posted as you work through this, even if you hit another low spot! Sending love and good thoughts your way, Kathy

Mo x said...

I think everyone feels like this at some time especially if their creative.I know I use all the suggestions already given.One that hasn't been suggested and may seem a bit wacky but it does work,honest,is this.........If your lucky enough to live In an open space,which you do,just go outside and scream while running around.Keep doing it until you feel the tension leaving you and then scream out a positive ,I am me and I am brilliant.Keep shouting this while running around(pretend to be a wood fairy)anything that takes you out of yourself.Then let the smile on your face spread until you feel like bursting.When the ground is dry go roly polying down hills.If the family are feeling tense do this together.your daughter could set up a camera and then forget about it .When you look back you'll see the tension leaving everyone...If you can't get out play zoo animals and let the lion roar .If you do this with others you'll soon end in a muddled mess of tickles.Children love this.Above all remember your human.xxx

Unknown said...

Glad you're feeling like you've turned a corner-- you've had a really tough time!