Navigating life beyond lockdown, mental illness and building a career while coping with a chronic pain disorder.
I feel like I am finding myself again after a very long lockdown. For me it goes way beyond the pandemic. For the past ten years I have put the needs of my extended family before my own needs and have devoted very little time to myself. My career is stuttering along, but now I am taking steps towards unlocking my potential and realizing my dreams. They are small steps, but I feel better and I know that my life is improving. It also helps that I visited the beach with my children, that we can go to our local play park, and that we have the opportunity to socialize with friends.
My big challenge right now is childcare. I am the sole carer for my children, since my husband refuses to work flexible hours or even take annual leave. I have full care of my children 24/7, and during lockdown we were together for three solid months with no respite. Last week they spent an afternoon with their grandparents alone for the first time since March, and I felt such relief to have a few precious hours of alone time. I got so much work done! Childcare has certainly limited my job prospects and will continue to do so until the children are old enough to be left alone.
My children and I took on the challenge of training our rescue dog during lockdown, with the help of a local dog training school. He came to us with no discipline and a big attitude, and at three years old, we needed to sort it out. We have made great improvements with his recall and manners, but now he needs to understand that people are allowed to visit our house without being jumped on. That is a work in progress. In other areas, I have continued to study and practice my reiki 3rd Degree Masters course, and I have tried to do some homeschooling with my children, although that wasn’t a success. I was not destined to be a schoolteacher!
I am watching my behaviour as I navigate the challenges of having a spouse with mental illness and suspected autism. I have been reading articles online and in magazines, watching short information videos, and trying to understand why he behaves the way that he does. Ultimately, I have learned that I cannot fix him, and he doesn’t want to be fixed. Therefore, I must watch my responses and think about myself and my children first. In other news, I have been watching Supernatural on Amazon Prime for the past couple of years, and now I am told it will leave Prime on 20th August. I am currently watching season 8, and there is no way I can afford to download the remaining five series. There will be some serious binge watching in the next few days!
Right now, I am focused on healing myself. For many years I have tried to heal my husband and other family members, only to realise that they don’t want to be healed. It just left me feeling drained and broken. My reiki therapy practice has taught me that we can only truly heal ourselves. We can use our connection to Source Energy to ease the pain and discomfort that other people might feel, but they will never truly recover unless they do the work for themselves. I am healing myself internally, and then I will be strong enough to support those around me that are ready to heal themselves.
Chronic Voice link-up
I joined the social network for A Chronic Voice because I needed to find people who understand what life is like with chronic illness, people like me. Today I have written a post using the August link-up prompts, to show my experience of living with a chronic pain disorder. Click here to find other blog posts from fellow chronic pain sufferers, or #spoonies as we call ourselves online.
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It is true, we can only heal ourselves. And we can only help those that want help and most do not. But it is good, I think to focus on our healing. Although, I did help my bf get diagnosed with his anxiety that his doctor missed. It was a matter of paying attention to when his symptoms were occurring and it seemed… situational. And he already had nervous habits. So I said I do believe you have anxiety and should see your doctor about that. And yep he does and now it is managed and he is much happier for it.
Anyway, I LOVE supernatural. I have the last season to watch still. One of my fav shows
I wish my husband would agree to see a doctor! I have suggested all sorts of possible diagnoses but he has buried his head in the sand and he is refusing to budge. Still, the Winchester boys keep me company… and Castiel… and I have an odd attraction to Crowley… 😉
It’s frustrating when the people you want to help don’t want any, isn’t it? I go through some of that too, with my partner. Sometimes you just need to step back and let them decide when to ask for help.
I’m still working on it, but respecting that boundary has really helped our relationship!
Oh yes! I’m glad you found a way to make it work but I fear my relationship has been irreversibly damaged. It has been happening for many years now, and I have done all that I can. Now it is time I took care of Me 🙂
So glad you joined. I feel that I have gotten to know you already. We need to take care of ourselves because no one else will or really can. I’m glad you’ve gotten to the place where you have realized that. I send you strength. Kids a wonderous to have around, but you do need a break. I’ve been able to do that for my son and DIL this summer. It’s been of benefit to both of us. She to is a stay-at-home mom looking to work when she can and my son is an essential worker who’s schedule is at the mercy of his store.
Thank you. I’m glad that I was able to give my children the early-years attention that they needed, but now I’m ready to share it out and give us all a break from each other.
Another excellent blog post, Catherine. What a shame that Supernatural is soon going to be taken off Amazon Prime, I have to agree that having such access to a lot of TV programmes and films has been a godsend during the pandemic and lockdown! Happy binge-watching!
I am so glad you have joined us. Excellent blog post. I am glad you are realizing the need to prioritize time for your own self care. Take care!! I hope you were able to finish Supernatural before it was taken off Netflix.
Thank you, Laurie. I got to Season 9 of Supernatural, but then I remembered some of it, so I must have watched it on TV during the past six years and now I have filled in the gaps in the story-line. Now I need something new to watch… 😉
Thanks for joining us again Catherine, love having you around! I am glad you are focussing on healing yourself and giving yourself what you need right now. It can be difficult to control anyone or anything else.
Yes it is, and thank you for welcoming me in the community. This link-up has kept my spirits up during lockdown 🙂