Emotional Decluttering – A List of Things To Try

Well, I survived the weekend.

Just.

The one year anniversary of my miscarriage. The 2nd birthday of my beautiful boy. The socialising with family who drive me crazy, yet I still can’t help but love.

I am exhausted.

Seriously.

This has been the hardest week for me, mentally, in probably 10 years.

I feel as though I hit the bottom. I cried floods of tears. I yelled at my husband. I yelled at the kids. I sat with my head in my hands wondering how the hell to escape my own thoughts.

But now here we are. A new morning. A new start. All those milestones are gone now.

It’s time to start making myself happier.

Here are the things I have planned over the coming weeks and months, in no particular order:

  • Keep running (fitness and stress reduction)
  • See craniosacral therapist (let go of miscarriage)
  • Have stone massage therapy (stress reduction)
  • Daily meditation – at home and maybe join a course/class (stress reduction)
  • Reading list: The Power of Now, You Can Heal Your Life, The Emotionally Absent Mother (deal with emotional issues)
  • Try to be more mindful, spend time each day in the moment (stress reduction, emotional clutter)
  • Take turns with DH for 3-hour block of children-free time at weekends (stress reduction)
  • No alcohol (alcohol is a depressant)
  • Stop reading miscarriage/infertility forums (emotional clutter)
  • Stop mindless surfing online (emotional clutter)
  • Get hair cut short! (new start, no hiding behind my hair)
  • Cancel social engagements for next two months (stress reduction)
  • Record daily stress level (stress reduction: baseline and peak, each day, scale of 0-10)
  • Keep my house in order (calm clear environment)
  • Be a patient, happy mummy. Be present with my boys (happy boys = happy mummy)
  • Get the toilet, cupboard door, shelves and skirting board fixed upstairs (calm clear environment)
  • Take more time to look after myself and my appearance (care about my body)
  • Try not to spend all my time thinking about having a third baby (easier said than done)

Phew. I’ve already booked appointments here there and everywhere, and next week preschool starts again so I’ll have a little more free time – blogging and keeping up with the blogs I love has fallen by the wayside slightly over the summer.

I’ve been recording my stress levels for 6 days now and boy – I am WAY more uptight than I realised. I am literally in a state of permanent red-alert. Not sustainable and so bad for my body.

I did my first guided meditation last night and it immediately made me feel so much better. Just hoping I can fit everything in.

Choosing to Have Meaningful Relationships

A little while ago I read a brilliant post about being an introvert and being OK with that.

I have thought about it many times since.

Introversion is undoubtedly the foundation of my personality, but I have fought it like crazy my entire life.

As a school girl I decided being slightly eccentric was the way forward. Making people laugh seemed to make it easier to talk to anyone. At university I developed a strong sense of community in the music I listened to and used music to define all the people I felt I should socialise with. Leaving university there always seemed to be someone in my life – a friend, a boyfriend, who was a bright star in the social scene. I have always been drawn to people like this – friendly extroverts who genuinely enjoy being with lots of other people. I thought this was the right way to be, and tried hard to be the same.

I always had this fantasy that I would be a door-open, drop-in-at-any time, kind of person, with a house full of comings and goings. It has never really been this way for me, probably because this isn’t a natural behaviour pattern, but whenever I wasn’t socialising and planning things and seeing other people, I felt as though I was a social failure.

I remember many years ago, a friend of mine came to visit, and on the wall in my flat I had made a photo collage of people I knew at different events we had been to. I was really pleased with it, and thought it demonstrated that I did indeed have a proper social life.

She looked at it for a while and said “That’s really funny, it’s just lots and lots of pictures of the same few people!”

I could have cried. I felt like she was basically laughing at me for not having enough friends.

So, this theme of feeling like I need more friends and a bigger social circle has been with me all my life.

But of late, I’ve decided I’ve had enough of pretending to be something I’m not. The post I mentioned above, and its excellent links, has been a huge part of the catalyst for this. But it has also come from the clearing out I have done, from realising that I wanted to leave facebook, and from the way I have been looking at all my friendships recently.

I have a lot of very superficial friendships, and hardly any meaningful ones. I find it difficult to develop meaningful relationships even though I am quite good at the first part of getting to know someone.

Partly, I think, this is down to my upbringing. My parents are both introverted and they never, ever socialised. We rarely had visitors. They didn’t even speak to my friends if they came over from school. When I started mixing with other families and seeing other people’s parents actually talk to each other, and to us kids, it was amazing to me. I wanted that so badly.

So, all that aside, I’ve decided two things:

  1. I am going to attempt to deepen the friendships I really care about. No more forgetting birthdays and not emailing or meeting up for months on end. Those people that I value need to be looked after.
  2. I am going to stop bothering with everyone else. Seriously. I especially don’t need friendships that make me feel like crap every time we meet up. I don’t think I even need that many friends – I am just not that kind of person. I’d rather have two or three people I can talk to about anything, than 20 people that I see and speak to without meaning. I took a big step forward with this in leaving facebook, but I’m going to go further – I’m going to clear out my address book and delete contact details. So what if my address book only has 15 people in it? I know now that I don’t need a list of 150 names to be a valid person.

Before making any rash decisions, I’m going to ask myself a lot of questions about each of the people I know. Something along the lines of this.

If all this makes me sound a bit cold-hearted and bitch-like then so be it.

I want more meaningful and mutually supportive relationships with the people in my life.

And I no longer want to pretend that I have this huge collection of people in my life when frankly, I don’t!

And if not having lots of friends is something that will put off some of the people I do know (I might be too needy! Too boring!), then maybe they are not the right friends for me after all.

I AM an introvert.

It’s time I started behaving like one 😉

To be continued…

Buying Things To Fix Yourself

pretty dress
Dress from Boden

A brief reflection on all the clearing out I have done of my clothing.

My biggest issue with clothing, by miles, is my tendency to buy things for the person I want to be instead of the person I am.

For instance, I buy pretty dresses and skirts because I want to be a feminine, floaty, pretty girl.

But I never wear them because I don’t really like showing my legs.

This is a ridiculous habit that I have indulged in for YEARS.

What should I be doing instead?

I should buy clothing that I feel comfortable in. If that’s just jeans, then I should buy a nice pair of jeans.

AND I should work on my appearance, NOT buy things to supposedly motivate me to work on my appearance.

I think part of me thinks that by having pretty skirts and dresses in the house, I will exercise more in order to wear them.

But the exact opposite is true.

Their presence in the house drags me down because they take up space and remind me of the fact that I don’t feel comfortable wearing them.

Crazy isn’t it?

But it’s good that I have recognised this (at last) for what it is.

So next time I go shopping, whenever that may be, I won’t be buying things for the me that I am not.

I will be buying things for the me that I am.

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