I’m having a tough time dealing with my feelings of vulnerability at the moment. More specifically I am really aware of my relationship with fear and sadness. Before I go into why I may be feeling that way I want to explain the impact these are having on me.
The easiest symptom to spot is that my sleep is not as good as it could be. Of course this has knock on effects with my energy levels, my consumption of soothers such as food and alcohol and my desire to exercise.
Onward from the sleep challenges, I am grumpy. This is just low level grumpiness but it is noticeable. It is noticeable in my intolerance of others and in the way that I have, with anyone other than those closest to me, become quite abrupt, curt and transactional in my encounters with people. This is unlike normal me.
Finally I am quicker to anger than I would normally be. I normally have a very long fuse. It is considerably shorter.
What’s going on?
I’m pushing myself hard running one business and working on a new start up at the same time. That means that, since there is only so much time in the day I almost inevitably feel that the list of things to be done is never ending.
With starting a new business comes risk, risk often involves fear. Well, it does for me.
An additional risk of this is that I neglect the first business, which needs to support the second one in its infancy, which means, unless I am careful I may be doubling down on risk by doing two things badly rather than one thing very well.
So I am scared of failing, scared of not delivering on my commitments and most of all scared of letting others down.
To add to the mix a close friend’s wife has died. If you read this on the 18th June I will be at the funeral. He is understandably devastated and not only has to cope with his grief but has to be a role model and support to his 5 year old daughter.
I, like others, choose to drop by most days to have a cup of tea and see if there is anything I can help with. I am not labelling myself as a martyr, it is my choice. It does take additional time out a day.
I have long been aware that unless we deal with our feelings and allow then the space they need in our lives they are apt to overwhelm us. There can be nothing more overwhelming than attending a funeral. I am very aware that, not only will I carry sadness in to the service because of the recent events, but that it will inevitably revive grief that I have not fully processed from the passing of my mother 5 plus years ago and my brother in law a few months after that.. That’s what funerals do, they bring us to a place and help us feel sad. I am quite happy with that, if that makes sense. It will be a cathartic experience.
What am I doing about it?
If I, someone who coaches and challenges others to be self aware and to take acton am feeling all this, what am I doing about it?
I am taking my own medicine.
I have increased my use of journaling (just writing this is helping me). I have written about this before. Writing down how I am feeling and what is going on for me is a way of allowing my mind to make sense of difficult situations and to leave them behind on the page. Writing about them gives my mind permission to move on.
In addition to that I use my journal to consciously make use of all the coaching strategies and thought processes that I coach others with. I believe in living my work and it works for me.
In addition I am pushing myself to exercise, even though I don’t feel like it. I know how I will feel afterwards both because of the sense of accomplishment and also through the endorphins it will generate. It is my way of being kind to myself. I am also being aware and more careful about my use of alcohol.
Finally I am being more aware of how I approach and talk to others who do not know how I am feeling and who deserve a courteous approach from me no matter how I may be feeling.
After Tuesday the funeral will be gone. I have observed that often the initial surge of support for the bereaved family drops away quite quickly. Afterall the funeral has happened and it’s all dealt with now.
So I am working on being strong enough to just be there for a friend as he deals with the aftermath of this over the next year or so. To do that requires me to take care of myself.
I emphasise, this is all my choice. I am not adopting a martyr position and I understand the challenges it will give me. I also understand that it will make me stronger especially if I make sure I take care of me as well as others. I also know that I am able to do this because I have a great support network of friends, colleagues and my wife and children.
So I am feeling sad and quite scared.
That’s normal. it does not feel great, but it is normal. I know through my experience that the way to allow these feelings to spiral and become as intense as anxiety and depression is to ignore them and pretend they will go away.
I am committed to letting these feelings into my life no matter how uncomfortable they are because I know that is part of being human and healthy.
If you got this far, thank you for reading it. Writing it may have helped me more than reading it has helped you.