Morning to you. How are you doing today?
It’s a beautiful morning where I’m waking up, hope you’re seeing the same out of your window.
One of my Simple Pleasures (SPs) today has been watching the light and shadows on the trees in my garden in silence as I have a cup of tea. I’m overlooking the fact I need to clean my windows and concentrating on what’s making me happy outside.
I think one of the greatest learnings from this amazing journey with Issy has been to see beyond the norm and try to seek out the beauty of whatever moment we face.
I know many of you won’t be able to understand why I hold the moments when we nearly lost her dear. I’m no longer frightened of them; they now bind us together. We’ve seen each other laid bare – her in her desire to end her life, me in my despair that she felt that. Being too close to that darkness for comfort changed us.
I think we all have choices, and sometimes in the moment, we forget that. One choice I feel none of us here feels we have or wants to take up is to turn our backs on our child. And if that’s the case and we know we’re in this until it’s done, let’s arm ourselves for the duration.
Let’s recognise this isn’t the way most people spend their child’s teenage years, and get comfortable with that.
Let’s love ourselves as hard and richly as we do our children.
Let’s acknowledge the challenge we face, and not beat ourselves up for not living by ‘normal’ standards.
I watched Logan last night, with Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. Stewart’s character, Charles Xavier, has seizures that make the whole world shudder and shake. Watch what I mean here:
Dealing with mental illness in your child, your partner, yourself, or a combination of all three, can feel like a constant Xavier moment. How can you expect yourself to cope ‘normally’ or function in the same way with all this going on when even Wolverine struggled?!
You acknowledge your new normal.
You change your expectations for ones that nurture you and don’t hurt you.
You look for ways to make ‘this’ work for you for as long as it’s here.
And you ask this experience how it can change you for the better.
You might not be ready to read this, but please know that as Issy and I move through this, the possibility for transformation is there. It might not be picture perfect, happy ever after. But learnings are calling out to you, if you are able or ready to listen. What is your life trying to tell you about yourself?
Acknowledgment of all you are now facing, your very own Xavier moments, makes every day a fraction easier to bear, because you’re not comparing it to what you perceive as normal. Gratitudes and our SPs are a small way to ground yourself on a daily basis when you’re facing your new normal, to recognise that there is always beauty. It might actually be an ugly truth, but the outcome of seeing that can be beautiful.
So today, please share yours, the beauty in your life, even if it’s messy and complicated.
And add in some Simple Pleasures – things that make you really FEEL good, rather than think good. What do I mean by that? I know many people find gratitudes hard, because you can’t see them. I wonder if it’s because we think they should be nicely packaged and things that others can obviously identify as gratitudes. Simple Pleasures are the kernel of a gratitude. They are so personal. What is your SP may be someone else’s idea of hell! Try and find the things that YOU love today. This is all about you, for once.