Resilience is in the soul

I didn’t want to go out last night. I wanted to curl up on the couch and mope. But I had to attend a work function at a nightclub called Slide on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst.

I felt far too old and tired and emotional to be going to a nightclub called Slide on a Wednesday night. I wrote this blog post before I went:

I’ve been feeling tongue-tied over the past few days. I haven’t know what to say on the blog. I decided Anzac Day was the perfect excuse to stay silent, public holiday and all. But then Wednesday came around and I still couldn’t type.

There’s a lot going on, but I can’t blog about most of it.

This is a tricky one for me, since my platform has always been honesty and telling it like it is.

But I can’t be honest and tell it like it is when it’s not entirely my story to tell.

The stuff that’s churning me up inside involves other people and I don’t have the right to expose their secrets, despite the way their secrets impact on me.

I’m troubled by what is happening, so it’s hard to think of anything bright and easy to say instead.

What I can tell you is that parts of the landscape of my life are seismically shifting and I am struggling to keep up with the emotional fissures opened up in their wake.

I suppose there are smaller things I can reveal.

The biggest smaller thing is that my ex is currently packing up his nearby apartment to move into a new place he bought with his girlfriend. My kids will be living with another woman in a few weeks time. I haven’t really decided how this makes me feel just yet, but I suspect it must be having an unconscious effect.

I know life will go on and my kids will love me just the same, but it’s still a bit of a milestone to process.

My relationship with my ex will also undergo changes as a result. I will no longer pop over to his place to pick up things the kids have forgotten or to have a cup of tea or the occasional meal. But that’s all part of the separation journey. You drift further and further apart until the kids are adults and you don’t really need to interact at all, other than at weddings and graduations.

On a practical basis, it will be much harder to sort out forgotten items for school or for him to grab the kids on nights or mornings that I have work functions to attend.

Life will get that little bit harder.

My holiday last week feels like such a distant memory – so much has happened since then.

A workmate returning after her Anzac break asked me yesterday how my holiday had been and I looked at her blankly for a moment. Was I really in Byron Bay last week? Surely so much turmoil can’t have happened in 10 short days.

But it has and I will find a way through the labyrinth of emotions.

I desperately want to tell a funny story and make you laugh. I like making people laugh. But I don’t have any funny stories to tell right now. They will come, they always do. In the meantime, bear with me.

The theme of the function was “A Night of Inspiration.” I hadn’t really clicked what it was about. I just knew I was going to represent the drinks association as its communications manager.

It turned out the night – which had a sub-theme of “Defeat is in the mind, resilience is in the soul” – involved four people discussing how they overcame adversity: the first had battled depression and bipolar and considered killing themselves, but found peace through the right medication, the love of family and friends and a surfing group called One Wave; the second was in a wheelchair after a diving accident when they were on the brink of puberty; the third was a bloke who’d technically died a few times while battling heart issues; the fourth was a man who’d spent most of his life cross-dressing and finally found the courage to become a woman.

My problems felt pretty small after hearing those people speak and having a little weep along with them as they recalled their toughest moments.

I also got such a laugh out of the MC, a comedian called Jackie Loeb.

Resilience is definitely in my soul.

And the universe chose the perfect night to show me that. I just wish it had reminded me to have a glass of water before bed so my mouth felt a little less bottom-of-a-cocky’s-cage from all the complimentary sparkling wine this morning.

Here are some snaps from the night:

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8 thoughts on “Resilience is in the soul

  1. Oh, Alanah. I have no idea what’s going on but I have some understanding of how you’re feeling. I’m having a miserable time at the moment, but like you’ve said, I know the sun will shine again and I just need to hang on in the meantime. So hang on, sweetheart. And don’t feel the pressure to blog if you don’t feel like saying anything. X

  2. p.s. I’ve found comfort in a mantra about self-compassion I was given last year.
    “This is a moment of suffering – it hurts.
    Suffering is a part of life.
    May I be kind to myself in this moment.
    May I give myself the compassion I need.”

    I learnt a lot about self-compassion last year. I didn’t really know what it meant, but you might like to explore the work that Dr Kristen Neff has done: http://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/

    Check out the ‘Taking care of the caregiver’ meditation. She also did an excellent TED talk on self-compassion.

  3. Funny how events you don’t want to attend are sometimes/usually those you need to. Hope everything works out ok x

  4. Can I just tell you that I went through the same thing when my kids began cohabiting with my ex’s new wife however my mind was quickly put at rest when my daughter told me that one of my sons hated his step mother’s cooking so much he took his dinner to his room and tipped it out the window. Life is all about change. Embrace it!

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