I have had a really rough week. On Wednesday I was heading to my CBT appointment (future post coming about this). Amidst all the chaos of packing and sorting the move next week I thought it would be a welcome break from the packing. Shortly before I arrived, I had a call from my mum that my sister was on her way to the hospital. Having only spoken to my sister the night before, I was confused and troubled by this but relieved my mum was with her. We made a plan for me to visit in a few days, once she had settled into the unit. Only a few minutes later, I had another call, this time from RNOH, stating that my knee surgery referral had been sent back to my GP. The surgeon had gone away on holiday so they couldn't tell me exactly why, but I had been kicked off the waiting list. I had been waiting five months for the call from them about the date for my surgery… but instead, I have to start at the beginning again. Coupled with the news about my sister, to say I was distraught was an understatement.
I had my therapy appointment in less than 20 minutes. I decided I couldn't cancel so last minute so I made my way to the bus stop. I cried the whole journey there so no one would sit next to me on the bus (which I wasn't complaining about). I wasn't in the right headspace for CBT session, so when I arrived we decided to take the hour to discuss my day. So we did. I explained that I felt on the verge of total disaster again. How devastated I was for my sister. How I didn't want to worry my mum with more stress. How powerless I felt about my life in general. We talked for the full hour and then I went home. I cried on and off until I finally fell asleep at 2am.
Wednesday was a perfect storm of pressure for a huge setback. On Wednesday night, I was sure I wouldn't cope, and that I would fall into my old, mal-adaptive coping strategies that I had been working so hard in CBT to stop. I was certain I would fall apart again and end up right back at square one. But on Thursday I woke up and I felt okay. I still felt very low, I cried a few times, but I didn't have the normal 'tailspin' feelings that I normally do after such events. I allowed myself the day to ignore my to-do list and allowed myself to practice some self-care: I had a duvet day.
On Friday, I didn't cry once. I still felt low but my head wasn't filled with racingthoughts 24/7. I felt like I was coping. Honestly, I surprised myself. Before now, I would have succumbed to the emotions and let them rule me and my actions. This time, I felt the emotions, all the while knowing they will pass. Although I have been working hard in therapy for many months, I didn't necessarily feel like I had progressed very much (which is why I haven't written any blogs about it yet). It was at this moment that I realised how far I have come.Then I realised something; I was in control. Having this personal epiphany felt monumental and strengthened my resolve. I was going to handle this. I knew then more than ever that I could handle this. Although this was a big ol' bump in my road, it realised that wasn't going to be the undoing of me.
Sometimes the situations that life throws at us that feel like more than we can handle. You can't control life or the situations that come up, but you can control your reaction to those situations. Even if you may not feel like it, you will cope. Emotions will pass, situations will change and you will come through it all stronger than before.
Don't let a bump in the road let you forget how far you've come.