Things happen for a reason

Before my concussion in May 2018 I was a busy bee 🐝 Due to my capricious and slow motion recovery I haven't been able to do a lot since. As much as I have been struggling with this, the situation I found myself in did enable me to learn some valuable lessons πŸ’

I guess this is the benefit of slowing down: You see more if you walk a certain route than when you are driving it by car πŸ‘£

After failing to pick up my work in October (I was teaching business courses in communication) I slowly became aware of how stressful my work actually was. I had to acknowledge my cramped body and mind as a result of it. Despite my experience, the raving reviews of my clients and the money I earned, I knew I was done teaching ❌ By the end of November I decided not to go back into my old profession. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Just before Christmas the neurologist told me there was no permanent damage done to my brain and that I should make a full recovery. I just had to be patient (not an easy one for me!) and listen to my body 🌸

I did my best to pick up the signals. I really did. But despite my efforts, I wasn’t able to build up any activities beyond going for a walk, reading a book or cooking a meal πŸ˜’ I knew I needed help to bring me to the next level.

In February I was accepted at the rehabilitation centre and my main therapist was called Anne πŸ’ A cheery young woman with curly hair and soft eyes. I liked her immediately and if it wasn’t for Anne I don’t know where I’d be today.

Anne gave me exercises to make me aware of how my activities and the world around me affected me. She told me to take breaks after everything I did to allow my brain to recuperate. I started of enthusiastically, happy to be able to finally ‘do’ something πŸ˜€

Soon I learned that using the computer had a huge impact on my brain, increasing the problems I had with my balance, eyesight and energy. The computer had become my savior and I was spending way too much time behind the screen, thinking I wasn’t ‘doing’ a whole lot. 

‘Doing nothing’ was pretty hard for me, so Anne gave me tips. For short breaks she told me to peel and eat an orange or to sit and wait for my tea to be cool enough to drink. If I felt really tired, Anne said to allow myself to take a nap πŸ’€
I felt like being 98 years old, but I tried to follow Anne’s advice.

Our third meeting was crucial. As Anne was asking questions about my experiences, it suddenly hit me ⚡
It wasn’t that my body didn’t give me any signals when I crossed the line. And it wasn’t that I didn’t notice the signals I received either.
But as soon as my body started protesting, my head took over, simply ignoring my feelings, telling me to go on with whatever I was doing. Once this happened, my body’s signals didn’t come through anymore while I kept busy ‘doing’ things.
As a result of this I kept pushing myself into the red zone, over and over again. Without being aware of it. 
But now I knew. I just had no idea why I was doing this. Let alone how to stop it❓

Putting on the pressure
Looking at this a bit closer I learned how head strung this internal mechanism was. I became aware of the fact that I was constantly draining myself because I honestly thought I was doing the right thing.
Weather it was to ‘stand tall’, to prevent complaining, to avoid feeling shy, ashamed, afraid or stupid, to live up to the expectations of others or simply to help someone else before I’d help myself, this automatic response system kicked in as soon as I was facing any of my personal boundaries putting me in ‘keep going’ mode❗
Looking back in time, I came to the conclusion that ever since I started working, I trained myself very well in putting on the pressure. And this goes back 30 years…

At first I was shocked by my unexpected discovery but beyond the shock I felt relief. I knew that my observation was right and I felt grateful for being able to see and recognize what was happening. It was amazing how clearly this insight was. I felt as if being reconnected to my Self. An experience of true revelation πŸ™
Some things had to drastically change to find my way to recovery and I was ready to make the changes.

New ways
It has become my priority to help release the tension that has build up in my system through the years. I know this will take time, but I have learned to become very patient going through the process🌱
I respect my boundaries and I take care of myself first now. It is not an easy thing to do, but I know it’s the only way for me to be of any meaning to others. As this is very important to me, it motivates me to stay on track.
I tend to stay within my comfort zone for a change enabling myself to enjoy more of what I am doing, learning and experiencing πŸ”† This way I also prevent stress building up again. As a bonus, I am never ever in a hurry again. I’ve learned to appreciate and embrace the slow pace. And you know what? There is time enough!

I believe things happen for a reason. When this beautiful horse called H 🐎 hit me in the face last year, I had no idea what was about to come my way. By forcing me to a complete stop, she offered me an enlightening perspective to my life I would have never seen otherwise πŸ€ I am forever grateful for this unique opportunity given to me by such a special animal... πŸ’–

With Love and Gratitude for Life,
Sandy McPhee


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