I have in the past talked about surviving, striving and thriving.
Well.... for the last 6 months I have been deep in the surviving segment of my life. Sadly though, I had a terribly negative lens on it, often calling it 'struggling' rather than surviving. It’s funny how moving town; getting a new house; having a baby and starting a new job/position (for my husband) are things that are supposed to be the most exciting, loving, grateful and enjoyable times of your life, but when they're all experienced together at the same time, they can be the catalyst for an emotional, energetic and physical bomb going off.
In September last year my husband started a new position at his work, which involved intense study, a move back to the city and a commitment that split his focus and attention.
In October last year I had our second baby. It was a difficult and empowering birth that I didn’t really get time to process.
In November last year, we were due to make that physical move from the country back to the city, but a week before, bub number 2, at just 3 weeks old, got sick. He was admitted to hospital where he underwent a number of procedures where needles were inserted into him on a regular basis. Causing him distress, me distress and the whole family distress. We were transferred from a regional hospital to the city's main children’s hospital where we finally got a diagnosis - one that was "best case and that he would make a full recovery from".
But..... would he? Would I? Would any of us recover from the experience that we all endured. I mean, we would 'survive' but would we recover? I spent the next 4 months in a state of numb, isolating and confusing emotions. Everyone would tell me that ‘it’s ok, he won’t remember’.
'He won't remember' the 10+ needles he got in his lumbar and the 5+ cannula’s he had put in and replaced in his tiny body.
'He won’t remember' the nights of being woken every hour to be tested, poked and prodded throughout the night.
'He won't remember' that his cries and screams could not be settled and comforted by me, his mother.
'He won't remember' that his family were separated and apart for what was just a short period of time but to me, felt like an eternity.
'He wouldn’t remember'.... but, I did! And with everything I’ve studied, read and believe, I think his body did too.
For months he was sensitive to the touch, his body ached and he cried when he was alone. In fact, I had a similar reaction. Whilst I had friends and family checking in and showing their love and support for us, I never felt so lonely, so helpless and so sad in my life. Here I was, supposed to be the protector and mother to this little vulnerable and perfect human and I felt I couldn’t do either particularly well. I was sleep deprived, I was recovering physically myself, my heart ached and I just wanted my husband and daughter with us. You would probably not be surprised to know that I ended up with postnatal depression. While you may not, and as I read this, I probably shouldn’t have been either, but I was! I was surprised, embarrassed, confused and lost. How was I, this embodied, self aware and compassionate human so disconnected, numb and withdrawn from my life. The life I so desperately wanted. Two children, a happy husband who finally felt content and fulfilled in his work, living close to family...
With everything I knew, how did I make it here? How was I so lost and unsure about who I was and how I felt. I saw a psychologist, the GP and nurses and everyone validated how I felt but couldn't really offer anything significant to move completely beyond it. So with a mix of what they did offer, I was less foggy to finally realise what I really needed.... to FEEL into and BE with all that I EXPERIENCED - I needed to EMBODY the pain and the pleasure. I needed to feel the experiences, the emotions: the anger, the sadness, the loneliness, the resentment, the frustration, the disappointment. All the things that I, as an embodiment coach teach other women to do. To move through their suppressed, frozen tension and release it.
To allow new experiences to come, be enjoy and be fully experienced.
I am working through all these feels and know that I need to be vulnerable and patient. While the experience has felt hard, I am grateful for my sons health, my husbands happiness, my family's love, my embodiment tools and I really, truly, feel that these 'surviving'/'struggling' experiences, make me even more 'qualified' and worthy to help you, my clients. The women who also feel numb, unfulfilled or simply searching for a brighter light at the end of the beautifully chaotic tunnel.
Just know that any experience that we haven't really processed or felt - whether it be painful, pleasurable or anything in between can sit in our body as frozen tension until it is fully FELT. These suppressions are the things that are holding us back from living our best lives. So, who else is coming with me on this messy journey of self development.