Pic from here
So - I've been AWOL for a bit. I've been feeling a bit Eurgh! and definitely a bit Gah! and so I've been trying to flow gently through each day without needing my usual Cafe-Mocha-Vodka-Valium Latte. It's been fine and challenging in equal measure. The PND Fairy is getting a bit blase about all the mood enhancing, calming, balancing herbs I've been on, but I have at least been able to avoid the anti-depressants, which has pleased me muchly, even it makes things a bit hard sometimes.
I've been having a bit of counselling and it has mainly focused on a lot of inner child work. I am strangely resistant to it. I guess I feel that I left my childhood behind a long (looong) time ago and I don't particularly want to revisit it. I'm also not at all convinced that revisiting it and 'rescuing little Kat' is going to help my present situation all that much. Of course I don't know that for sure but it just feels a bit weird, even by my hippy dippy witchy-poo standards. So yes, bit unsure about this one. I've been instructed to 'play' with my inner child, both with and without Lily. That's an interesting instruction. Don't get me wrong - I'm totally the sort of parent who will willingly fling herself onto a jumpy castle the moment the attendant isn't paying attention. I will happily squeeze myself through squashy rollers at the indoor play centre and I climb ladders and whizz down slides with the best of them. The problem with all this 'playing' is that I have no idea how to do it 'with' my inner child. Little Kat has been suffering, one would suppose, from a lack of attention from me, just as Beanie sometimes does. I guess just as I detach from Beanie when emotional overwhelm threatens or when I simply need a 'time out', I have detached from the inner Kat too. But how do you then encourage the inner you to show up and 'have some fun dammit!' I'm not sure. I am sort of combining it with my Artists Date from the Artists Way by Julia Cameron. (This is a wonderful book on creative recovery. It asks some wonderful questions that really allow you to expand out of your narrow world view and re-enter the world of fun and of possibilities. I highly recommend it to anyone even a tiny bit creative and for people who want to grab fun by the balls again.) It seems logical to me that when I take my fun dates, I take the little Kat out for a spin too. I'm planning on going ice skating next week and I'm also planning a trip to Lake Mountain for some toboganning. I managed to score a padded suit for $5 from a charity shop. It's from the 1970's but then so am I so, you know...
Anyway, part of the counselling involved me taking myself off to see the wonderful Jane Hardwicke Collins, a wonderful shamanic midwife and wise woman, for a spot of Birth Trauma work. It was very interesting and I found it very helpful overall. Whilst I don't want to bang on about my childhood or my birth (which, as it resulted in an 'alive and well' status for both myself and my beanie-girl, i'm relatively happy with), it was good to have some time to sit with the disappointments and the grief that comes with any kind of trauma. It also helped me to see where I just have not been willing to take the necessary steps to get well. I know. Eek! It's behind you and it smells of burning flesh! Moi - not stepping up to the plate - surely not! Well, yes. Actually, I have rather been ignoring the totally sound advice regarding my appalling eating habits and have been continuing my total abstinence from any kind of exercise. I also have not meditated. Not once. So - when I say to myself (as I sometimes do) that I am trying very hard and not getting anywhere - its not strictly true. In fact, it's not true at all. I am not trying the three things that would have the most impact on my mood. Now, I am totally dedicated to getting better yet I have been unable, or unwilling, to get stuck in to the very things which everyone recommends for women (or men) suffering from PND. Why is that? Is it the same reason I have trouble connecting with my mini-me? And if so, what is all this resistance in aid of? What am I trying to protect myself from? Is it simply laziness and apathy?
My work with Jane really made me realise that I have to actually take control of this thing. To take the keys, open the door and walk through. If I am truly committed to being the best mum I can be, however uniquely that displays itself, then I need to stop moaning and get on with it. To that end, I have joined a gym (ARGH!). I know. It's a bit hideous but they have a creche and I know from experience that home exercise and Beanie don't mix. They also have a pool - and I like swimming. No doubt I will look like this...
Oh the deep, deep joy of sweating in a room full of other equally sweaty people. And I have mentioned before that exercise makes me angry haven't I?
I know that I also need to find exercise that I do enjoy doing. I have realised that I have censored myself around dance for instance. I LOVE dance. I cry at 'So You Think You Can Dance?' I am entirely moved by great dancers and there is a spiritual quality to movement that I cannot fully express, except to say that when I am in that zone, I am free and I am happy. However, I have not been allowing myself to dance. I realised that this was because I used to be very good at it. Medals and Examinations good. I had actual talent and everything. And now? Well, now I look like the Venus of Willendorf . And strangely this does not make me feel like dancing. It makes me feel heavy and tired and lumpish. Somewhere deep inside of me there is a tiny thought that has latched on like a slimy leech and it tells me that I cannot dance now because I have neither the body nor the talent that I once had. In my mind I may be graceful and light, but in the living room I am like a dancing Jabba The Hutt.
Still, I have to get over myself eventually. It is entirely ridiculous to censor myself in this way. I cannot do anything about the body I have created for myself until I start to enjoy the way it moves. Dance may well bring this comatose body back to life. So I will be attempting to shake my groove thang in the coming weeks.
So it continues to be an interesting journey. It comes in waves and is undone in layers. I feel as if I am in a labyrinth, slowly working my way to the centre of myself. I am becoming increasingly more aware of the areas where I feel I lack something and find myself trying to simply let go. Allowing the stuck places to unwind a little and tell me what they are all about. It's not easy, or particularly pleasant. And then there's all the Inner Child stuff to deal with. But I guess I will continue to unravel slowly and eventually there will be nothing left but me. The authentic self butt nekked for all to see. Perhaps it will be beautiful. Perhaps it IS all beautiful and my struggles with it are merely my distorted perceptions of the what is. We all come from the Divine Mystery and so really, we are a piece of that, no matter how mangled we allow that piece to become. Perfectly imperfect - myself entirely. Now that's a state I can aspire to. A place I'd be happy to stay.
So tune in next time folks for the latest episode of 'Where'd I Put My Mind? I know I left it around here somewhere...'
P.S. Rather than some dirty, snot nosed little whinger in ragged clothes - I'm rather hoping that my inner child looks more like this!