When Life Goes Tits Up - STOP!

Stop man legs in sneakers standing on asphalt road and stop sign

To say I’ve had a challenging week feels like an understatement.

Last Friday night I was in my element hosting my event Life - Learn - Laugh, a room of around 60 women living, learning and laughing. We raised over £1,000 for Safer Places, Essex - I felt alive and full of thanks.

Saturday, whilst in a haze of pride (for myself) and relief (the event went so well), we celebrated my daughter Darcy’s 15th Birthday - I felt full of love and contentment, all was as it should be.

Sunday, I got the news that my friends daughter had passed away after a long struggle with the bastard that is cancer.

Everything changed. My thoughts, my feelings, my view on the world, a rage and sadness that I hadn’t ever experienced before, a helplessness that was crippling, a million questions and one I just kept repeating ‘what’s the fucking point of all this'?’, everything had changed.

I crashed under the weight of the news, another beautiful life taken so unnecessarily, another family in pain, another mother who’s lost their child.

Life felt too much.

So I stopped.

I allowed the pain, the questioning, the anger, I had no choice, clearly this was a process that I needed to follow. It was a time that deserved respect and patience.

Life slowed down, and I only done the bare essentials that life requires, one being carrying on parenting my kids.

On Tuesday we had Ace’s parents evening, and my suspicions were acknowledged, it seems he may have some type of ‘label’ and so we were told that we need to adjust our parenting of him to accommodate his own personal needs. The teacher told us we need to spend more time supporting him at home with projects that will challenge his learnings, we need to put some kind of ‘reward’ system in place so we can help him to understand what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour and we need to not blame ourselves.

Life felt too much.

So I stopped.

On Friday my husband opened up to me about how he was finding things pretty tough (he’s had a few years from hell re; family/kids/work) and needs some time, support and patience from me for the foreseeable. He’s a strong able man, a fantastic provider, a loving and giving husband, and dad and so I know that he must be in tough place to have opened up about how he was feeling and to be in need of time to be weak.

He’s my rock, he’s held me up emotionally and mentally for the last 7 years, it unnerves me that my rock can’t carry me right now, it makes me feel vulnerable to have my safety net asking for some much needed time out from taking my weight. It worries me that I may not be strong enough for us both.

Life felt too much.

So I stopped.

I’m currently in a state of WTF, I’ve stepped away from supporting others so that I have all my energies for my family, and my friend if and when she needs it.

I have nothing to give outside of my immediate circle and so I own that, I shared it with my FB community group, I shared it with those close to me, I feel no guilt, or that I’m letting others down by not being everything to everyone, I can’t be, not right now.

Right now, life feels too much and so I’ve stopped.

I know it won’t always feel so hard, I’ve lived 44 years of this rollercoaster, and I look forward to those lighter days, but when it does too hard, it’s OK to just stop, please just stop, allow the process and reagin some strength.

Tips On How to STOP

  • Allow - all the feelings, you may be up one minute and then down the next, that’s ok

  • Lose yourself - read, watch mindless TV, meditate

  • Get outside - space, freedom, air can not be underestimated when you feel trapped in life

  • Talk - share your thoughts and feelings, either to real people or in a diary, get it out of your head and onto paper

  • Be patient - with yourself and others around you

  • Be kind - to yourself, now is not the time to beat yourself up, that won’t help you or change anything, put the gloves down

  • Rest - as much as you can, processing emotionally and mental challenges are physically exhausting, you’ll feel exhausted

    And most importantly

  • Don’t dumb it down, sugar coat it for others or minimise what you’re feeling, whatever you are feeling is valid, if you don’t address it now, it’ll come back harder.

All the love my darling, we’ve got this.