It’s amazing how much difference a couple of days can make. On Sunday I was in such a dark place; my mind was in turmoil and I was suffering such fear that I could barely function.
I responded to a kind offer from friends to visit for a while, to get away – run away – to somewhere I could feel free of the pressure that was causing me such distress. By Monday evening I was over 100 miles away and beginning the process of recovery.
Unusually for me I wanted to talk, to share how I had been feeling: having an understanding audience is vital. And it can be cathartic to simply speak about your troubles. To put them into words, give them shape and gain a fresh perspective.
In this case talking about how I’d been feeling served to organize my feelings, put my thoughts into an order that allowed me to deal with them, to start to release the pain and fear. To take the first steps towards recovery.
My surroundings have been very conducive to that end: my friends have a comfortable house right near the coast in a quiet part of Dorset: peaceful, lovely scenery, plenty of fresh air and not many people around me. It has been as close to perfect as I could have wished for.
A number of people have contacted me, through email, SMS and social networks, to offer their support. It has been a revelation that I have so many people who care about me: I don’t have a lot of self-esteem and it can be hard to believe that anyone else would think much of me.
The friends I stayed with made me so welcome and didn’t put me under any pressure to explain what had happened or how I was feeling: they gave me the space I needed. I felt safe and was able to relax, and as I did so I started to talk. They listened and understood. They didn’t judge, didn’t tell me what I should do.
I left this morning feeling calm, and also a little embarrassed that I’m not able to thank them nearly enough for being there for me when I needed their support. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve such kindness: I was close to tears — of happiness — as I drove away, and again now as I write this.
It is because of these friends, and others who have contacted me in one way or another over the past couple of days that I am starting to feel good about myself again. It feels as if the crisis is behind me and I’m moving on. I’ve got the time and support now to complete the healing process.
13 thoughts on “Decompression and Recovery”
I’m glad to hear that you’ve achieved a new strength and more positive view.
It is odd how states of mind that seemed so far away and presumed relegated to the past can re-appear and assert control over one’s outlook.
I had this yesterday; feeling very negatively with an inability to brush off annoyances that normally would barely have been noticed. Instead, they bounced around my internal echo chamber gaining strength and letting in other whispers of doubt and worry.
It may have been related to a minor bike accident I had in the morning, but it was so slippery, I wasn’t able to pin it any distinct source.
But I do often find that those states of mind, at least for me, can just as quickly fade especially if I throw myself into sculpting a nice abstract piece of code. And the thought of its transitory nature lessens its hold over me.
So good to hear from you: how have you been (as you know I’ve not been that good at keeping in touch over the last 20 years or so — a long way from when we were at school with 3 hour phone calls and those coding weekends!) 😉
I find it takes me longer to get over such negative episodes: just don’t seem to have the energy a lot of the time to move on past. But as I’ve written above, I’m lucky to have supportive friends to fall back on. I can’t tell you how big a help that is.
Your friends sound like wonderful people, especially with giving you both the physical and the mental space to cope with your feelings. I’m so glad they were there to help you! And don’t forget: you did something wonderful too. You reached out and asked for help when you needed it. That takes courage. A lot of courage. Thanks to that, I can selfishly enjoy your posts again! 😛
I find it so difficult to ask for help directly. Hence… well, you know. What I think is wonderful is how my friends responded to offer help and support. And it didn’t feel like courage, it felt like desperation. But maybe it was courage to put it out in public when it was all so raw. I don’t know.
“Selfish”? You? Behave! 😉 And thank you very much. I hope you continue to enjoy my writings for a long time to come. 😀
Glad to hear you’re, relatively speaking, okay 🙂
Thank you: that helps. 😀
Your friends sound so understanding and supportive, and that’s a wonderful thing to have. It’s such a good feeling when you leave those dark places behind. Hope the path forward is full of light 🙂
They are lovely people. 😀 I’m not out of sight of the darkness yet: I’m still suffering from exhaustion which means I’m vulnerable, but I feel I’m headed in the right direction now. Thank you.
You’re excellent Ben and most definitely missed when you’re away. I’m so glad you had ‘A Safe Place’ to go to… makes all the difference in the world 😉
Renee: so kind as ever. Thank you. (PS: I linked to your excellent post from your comment.) 😀
I’m so glad you’re feeling better, more capable of dealing with things.
I was tearing up a bit when I read this, it sounds like your friends and their place was exactly what you needed. They sound fantastic! Good on you for reaching out and accepting their help.
Thank you Petra. Yes, they are wonderfully caring people. It gave me space to think, and I’m starting to work out the causes of my immediate problems.