It’s a new year, and a happy new year to you all. The Smith family Christmas took a somewhat different direction than planned but it turned out okay in the end, and I had a lovely family day on Boxing Day, especially with my niece and nephew. I’m so grateful for them, they are so funny, and my brother cooked up a storm.
I had all of the festive holiday off, which was much needed after a tough year. However, there have been a few rough days, mentally. They tend to just last a day but when they hit, they hit hard. They make me feel like I am taking a step back, or just stood in quicksand, unable to move forward, but just sinking down, slowly, ready to be engulfed. And that is where I am now. I am stood, feet in quicksand wondering if I have made any progress at all or whether all the hard work I have done has only made my situation worse.
It’s hard, when you feel like this. It’s hard to remember the good things you have achieved. It’s hard to remember how much you have accomplished and how much progress you really have made, because during these moments, no matter how fleeting or how long they are, you feel back to square one. You feel back in the dark. When you are down, anxious or feeling bad, you don’t work to your usual cognitive level, so you forget. You forget all those good moments, the moments worth celebrating. But they are there, they are still worth celebrating.
Sometimes it’s even that you know those moments are there, but because of your current mood and mindset, you simply won’t accept them anymore, because they don’t reinforce the negativity currently winding its way around your mind. It sounds so counter-productive to the unknowing, but if you’ve experienced this, if you’ve been in this kind of mindset, you’ll know what I mean. When you get sucked back down to the quicksand, it’s hard to get out. Everyone knows quicksand 101 – don’t struggle. You’ll make it worse. So, what do I do in times like these? Honestly? Recently, I’ve struggled. I went from ankle deep on Christmas eve, to currently sinking at about thigh height. Sometimes, I’m scared of being completely sucked in.
I can’t let that happen. I need to sit back, and firstly, remember I am not that woman, who sat down 9 months ago and started this blog. I am not her anymore, and I don’t want to be. I am aware that one of my issues is impatience, which I project onto others thinking they don’t think I am progressing quick enough, when it is solely me who thinks that. It’s hard enough having to deal with my natural fight or flight reaction (which is to fight, and make people feel bad, like I do. Not the best of reactions!) but I have recently been informed that my biggest issue of all is my expectations. The expectation that people will know what I want, or mean, or feel, without telling them. How do you get over expectations? That’s my next big challenge.
So, as far as I have come through this quicksand, with every heavy step, I am not out just yet. I cannot get complacent. And here comes the point of the blog. I recently posted on my Instagram about the mirror of accountability. Anyone who has been to my house in the last few months will have seen my white board, the words stuck on my wardrobe, and of course, the many, many post-its stuck around the house. These mainly reside on my large mirror. The Mirror of Accountability as it shall be called from now on. This isn’t my idea. This is David Goggins’. Some of you will have come to realise my mild obsession with this man. I am reading his book ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ and I’d recommend you do too. I love every interview with him and if I need some fire in me, he is the one I will listen to.
Back to the mirror. As I have said, I have so many post-its stuck on it, Ill get to a point soon where I can’t even see myself. They range in content, but the most recent include quotes from Goggins’ and also that I need to remove my expectations of people, and myself. So, looking at these, and looking at myself, I will hold myself accountable for my shit. Have I gotten snappy at someone during the day because of my fight or flight impulse? Own it. Have I allowed myself to stagnate rather than push through with this venture? Own it. Have I made someone feel bad because I felt bad? Own it. Have I reacted to an emotion when it just made me feel worse, and I knew it would? Own it. Did I get upset because of an expectation I had on someone else, that they didn’t know and I expected them to mind read? Own it. Own it and change it.
I talk through things on my laptop, or voice memos on my phone when I need to. But now, I have the mirror. It’s time to get comfortable with being very fucking uncomfortable. So I will leave you with this. Don’t get complacent that you’re out of the sand, just yet. You have to keep pushing, or you’ll just sink right back in. There will be times you need to hold yourself accountable for the slips, but if you own it, change it, and don’t dwell on it, you’ll keep moving forward and you’ll be able to walk out just fine.