My creative “Mojo” has been stretched to its limit during the last year (along with the rest of my poor marbles) … stretched even to the point where I cancelled bookings at future craft fayres and announced my intention to step back from my knotting at the craft shop.
Locked away from the usual smiles from family and friends, I sank deeper and deeper into myself, a spiralling freefall into the safety of my own little world. I still worked at my supermarket, hidden behind my “Mask“, but I pushed that into dreamland to be able to cope with it. The real world, with its strange new normality went on around me, but it grew further and further away into the distance.
I brought my “Macramé” stock home during the latest lockdown as Bead Lady was worried the shop might not make it through and would never reopen. I had a request to make a tree of life similar to two small ones I had advertised online. Although I don’t usually do orders I accepted and knotted away until I was happy enough with the tree. Unfortunately the customer wasn’t happy with it and wanted changes made. Undoing knots is more difficult than making them, so we agreed to go our different ways and the tree went into stock.
Meanwhile I busied myself with the “Finishing and fixing” about the house and gazed out into the garden looking for signs of spring.
As with most mental sky-dives, there is not much you can do about it until you actually realise you’re falling. The more you pull yourself into your centre, the faster you go and everything on the outside becomes a blur. The outside has no influence on you and practically no one can reach into the fireball you’ve created around yourself.
When you do realise you’re falling it takes an enormous amount of everything to reach out for help, but that small movement of just reaching out makes such a difference, the rate of falling is slowed, and a small amount of control is returned.
I’ve been on the other side of a mental skydive too, I’ve been on the outside of the fireball of self distruction. The feeling of helplessness is almost overwhelming. But the biggest and most helpful thing you can do is to just be there, to just stick around, no matter how helpless you feel, to let the person inside the fireball feel that they are able to reach out to you with no fear of judgement or recrimination. Just be there.
I reached out and Hubby was there, waiting.
Many, many, many moons ago on a previous skydive I reached out to the doctor for a magic cure for “The Grumpiness” .. There isn’t one as such, but she did give me a parachute. A little box of pills which although they don’t make happy thoughts, they do hold on to even the minutest of happy thoughts you manage to find for yourself.
I’ve managed to find a few more “Positive” thoughts and have been building on them. I’ve been helping Bead Lady to organise the craft shop ready for a grand re-opening after April 12th, and I’ve found a little mojo to make a start on some new knotting … I’ve even bought myself some more wooden beads to play with.
I caught sight of my reflection and realised I had become the old lady who used to jump in front of me at the mirror, I had very few clothes which still fitted me and I didn’t dare stand on the scales for fear of them being rude to me. I enlisted the help and encouragement of my girls and Little Sister, and abandoned the majority of the nice food in favour of more healthy options.
The healthier fuel helped, as the balance dropped downwards on one side with the loss of a few pounds, the mood lifted on the other with a few extra smiles.
As for the old lady? Crows feet wrinkles around the eyes from smiles are much more attractive than frown furrows in the brow. And the hair? I’ve been toying with letting the grey grow through, but I think maybe the extra effort to keep my colour for a little longer may be worth it… At least until a little more of the pearly white beneath is established.
With small movements I’m gradually finding happy thoughts again and my pills are helping me to hold onto them. Little by little my fireball is turning back I to a bubble and I can see through to life outside.
I’m no longer speeding towards hot black volcanic rock. My decent has slowed and I can see trees and grass in the distance.
I’m not looking for sympathy, concern, or even acceptance of the up’s and down’s of living inside my head. I just want to let anyone living in a world such as mine that they’re not alone. And to assure them that when they are brave enough to reach out for help, someone will be there waiting.
More from before: A little peek further into the world that I’ve “Created“.
I’m assuming my memory has always been bad because I seem to have compensated for it for ever. I do find I have quite a few memories still safely tucked away in the murky grey cells, they’re often triggered by old photos however, and just like my very old photos, they’re all in a box without any organising so making some sort of sense out of the order they pop up into my thoughts is quite a puzzle sometimes.
I’ve been blogging now for close on ten years, who would have thought I’d last this long. The logging of memories and dates has helped no end with being able to recall what I was doing and where I was doing it at a past date in time. I can still pinpoint a couple of memories, but these seem to be which have piggybacked onto dates which have their own reasons to be remembered.
I remember Mum-in-law’s first sign of the “Big C” because she was fine at Middle Daughters wedding and not-so-fine just two weeks after it. I also remember when it returned as Mum-in-law was in the middle of a course of radiotherapy at Eldest Daughter’s wedding. (I’ll just add a note here that Mum-in-law is heading towards that all important cancer free landmark of five years) .
I don’t remember the day as such, but I do remember the date very clearly when Mothers day fell on the same day as Youngest Daughter’s birthday. She was actually born on Mother’s Day that year, but due to the circumstances at the time, “I missed it“.
I don’t remember Mother’s Day last year, I think we would have just gone into our first lockdown so I probably had other things on my mind. This year, we’re in lockdown again, but we’ve gotten used to how this new normal works. I posted my Mum and Mum-in-law their cards, and wished them happy mothers day over the phone. My girls are a little more tech-savvy than both me and Hubby put together …
Not only did they send me cards, one of which was bought and posted directly from online somewhere, but they also managed to send me cake. Amazing!
I will remember Mother’s Day 2021 as the the Mother’s Day that I had cake in the post. Hubby had to work a long shift so I spent the day on my own and painted the passage yellow. When next year’s Mother’s Day comes around, I hope we can all spend it together, and when it does come around, I’ll look at the yellow paint in the passage and smile.
More from before : Delving into the murky depths of my “Memory Vaults“