Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. 

Day 8 of my 110 days of practicing being more courageous” Project

With the smell of gloom from this past weekend still lingering heavily in the air, I refuse to start another week burdened with a feeling of apprehension. I do not care whether my body has decided this it the best time to succumb to a punishing cold which is making my nose run, head spin and my body weak unable to even update my blog.

If it wasn’t this painful, it’s would definitely be hilarious. It all feels as cruel as it sounds. I have a heartbroken young man in my spare bedroom, a inquisitive and hyper toddler laden with his school run demands, a crazy social work full-on week schedule, a sick body yet I am also supposed to be dedicating a huge chunk of this week to getting my bearings around my MSc Psychology conversion course. Its officially University week 1!

I am choosing to see this week for what it is- a new season with new potentials and possibilities littered all over it!  I enter it full of excitement, wonderment and expectant as to how it pan out after I have sprinkled a bit of my good charm and energy.

I am reminded of what is said on joy in the classic book “The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran”

“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. 

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. 

And how else can it be? 

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. “

So, I feel my “courageous self” project is taking a whole new meaning and direction all of a sudden, yet fundamentally still the same path. It’s all about how I handle this challenge and disappointment after-all and still or must triumph in the end. I am focused on getting my boy up and running.

I am more determined to pull my son through this and whatever sorrow has carved into his being, thus roaring joy shall occupy when all is said and done.

If at all he inherited any virtuous character from me, I pray it be having a bounceability attitude.

Linzi Drew’s autobiographical book “Try everything once except incest and Morris dancing” is exactly my current mantra as I tackle this week head-on. My son will find his calling in life and will smile again. Unlike Linzi, I am definitely going to try even Morris dancing! 😊

 So week, bring it on!!

Day 3 of my “110 days of practicing being more courageous” Project

Well done me, I made it to day 3! 😊

This morning, I am absolutely one happy bunny around. I think this pinning down yourself business to accomplish and achieve something really does works. Holy macaroni! I can actually see myself achieving in other areas of my life if I keep this up.  I may actually just about do it, this time round honestly. That alone makes me so happy.

Following up on my previous post where I touched a bit on a very sensitive nerve of my precarious, particular close  relationship- my marriage, I brave tackle it one more time.  I think its an area that needs my undivided attention right now as a priority because if you find yourself obsessing over one area in your life for the thousandth time- action is needed. Otherwise its just wasted reserve of your energy that could have been channelled to better use. It boils down to your mind  definitely tripping and your emotions going round and round a closed loop round-about.  I believe that’s where I find myself right now.  As a realisation of this truth, my fear is that as I cruise round and round this loop just like the principle of momentum, I think my emotions continue to pick speed. However,  as nature will have it, when an object is caught in a spiralling moment going at a crazily high speed the risk is that one wee loss of grip will send me flying out of control causing insurmountable  damage and possibly irreversible and  immense collateral damage along the way.

So, I can absolutely say it loud that this area in my life needs more attention once and for all. Like most marriage issues, this did not just crop up from nowhere. I think if I am honest with myself, I partly saw this coming. At the time I did not want to believe the reality that was unfolding. How could I, our relationship had weathered many huge storms and earth quaking moments and I reasoned this was not even registering on the Richter scale.Oh boy ,oh boy was I so wrong. I will call my husband DH. So, it all kicked off when DH decided to go and have an affair (I don’t think it was as this sudden, nothing ever is, but hey ho). Initially after denial then in some perverted way I blamed myself. I resolved we would work things out and reasoned there must be an explanation cause surely he was a good man and I was lucky to have him, everyone said, and besides many marriages survive these things right? Yet something deep down in my very core I knew instantly that things were never going to be the same again for us, regardless of the outcome.

I have now resolved In my heart that things indeed have been irreparably damaged.  I still question myself whether this was the icing on the cake or the final straw for me cause to be honest the feeling that something was wrong started way before the discovery of DH’ affair.We for a long time seemed to be viewing the world through different lenses and the clashes of opinions seemed to be the order of the day. We just seemed never to agree on a single one thing and that was painful to me. So, in some funny ways the discovery of this affair regardless of its shuttering my heart into a million pieces, it  was some sort of a relief that I had been right all along that something had changed in the way DH saw us as well as his view of me.  

I  know some couples when they have such problems they work them out. So, I also did try to get us help. I shared with DH how I was struggling to come to terms with this and I suggested we sought help- perhaps a marriage counsellor or a trusted family friend. DH would not have it. Instead although he knew his relationship with this “other woman” was slightly inappropriate he thought I was being unreasonable and melodramatic to make a big deal out of this and that we didn’t need to see anyone and besides nobody needed to know our business and said we just needed a family holiday and time to re-group cause we had not been connecting for a while. While I saw it for what it was- a mess needing all hands on deck to rescue our marriage,  DH was burying his head in the sand and wishing this would all go away without a fuss. He made it clear that I was making a mountain out of a molehill. At this time I was now having panic attacks from nowhere and found myself so sad all the time for no reason.  In my desperation to feel some relief I agreed- to go on holiday that is. As a family we took a family holiday for the first time in years.

After the once hailed as a saviour holiday was over and done, needless to say my sadness did not go away, nor my feeling of inadequacy disappear. Instead I found myself contemplating divorce form the very first time or at least a separation. Although everything we did as a couple just felt laboured, forced and awkward, DH chose to pretend everything was back to normal and I should just trust him that he had ended any liaisons with the other woman. DH continued to ramp up his narrative that everything was back to normal and wouldn’t talk about why and how we got to where were.

DH continued like before and pretended he was all loyal and faithful at every turn. However this proved not true, cause in my scepticism rightly or wrongly I viewed his mobile phone once again looking for evidence to validate bad vibes I still felt. Given that this is how I had found out about the affair in the first place by reading his Whatsapp texts. I think DH didn’t think I would keep the other woman ‘ number  cause although  he did delete her name from his contacts, he did not cut her off completely. So, second time around when I viewed his Whatsapp messages- although the name was gone, there were several photos and videos from a particular unsaved number which when I loaded onto my mobile, lo and behold, no prize for guessing belonged to the other woman. She had sent  a number and uncoordinated messages proving that conversations in between had been deleted but DH somehow could not delete these particular media. At this point, every fibre of hope that I held that maybe we could work things out despite his refusing counselling and his laissez faire attitude evaporated instantly.

 A few days later when I put it to DH that he was continuing communicating with the other woman even though he had promised it had stopped, he instead again denied ever reconnecting, blamed me for being nosey, and untrusting and said the famous Elvis line  to the effect of how can we go on, with suspicious minds, and bla bla bla …how can we even rebuild our dreams and family on suspicious grounds.” So, I dared him and asked him on the spot to show me  his mobile convinced that I would prove it to him that the number matched the other woman. To my surprise, he had actually deleted everything and was denying senseless that they were ever there. I explained as we wrangled about it but he kept denying saying I was becoming very paranoid about all this and it was messing with my head this obsession I was having.

Fear and anger flushed across my face how mist have thought imwas so stupid and how dare he insulted my intelligence and how silly was hismploy to turn tables around and gaslight me like that! This time he had under-estimated my investigative ass cause  I had actually taken screenshots of these messages and the dates they were sent to prove they were more recent. At that point I  decided enough of this cheating liar- I showed him and he bowed in defeat feeling cornered and apologised for calling me paranoid and obsessive.

You would be forgiven to think that we separated. Nope, this was 3 years ago! Hence labelling myself as spineless and gutless and no longer a cut-throat badass I used to be when I was young.

I do need to deal with my fear of the unknown I resolve.

I want to one day say, Here’s what’s worked best for me over the years and how I finally kicked being timid. Unfortunately,  I think nature is against me on this one cause research states that most of us get more timid with age cause our brains process chemicals differently.  However this girl is ever an optimist- challenge accepted-so game on!

Step out today- its a new day

Let go of the people who dull your shine, poison your spirit, and bring you drama. Cancel your subscription to their issues.

Steve Maraboli

This morning as I got up I had such a beautiful feeling that I had accomplished something. What? I suppose being up. However I know more so, the fact that I finally got this blog up and running. I can be as crazy as I want to and be as creative as I can be. Besides, its a a new day to get active again.

Its Monday and I tend to feel a little deflected on a Monday morning when I think of the week ahead- be it that difficult core group meeting or a Reviewing Child Protection Conference (RCPC)or that unfinished Parenting Assessment I definitely know the Independent chair is so keen to see by Tuesday! In fact, most of the above are actually for real this week! However I am not fretting- it doesn’t solve nothing. Besides, by Friday I will have crossed this ridiculous worrying bridge- regardless of how I will have done it. It may involve a sleepless night today as I race against time to complete the Parenting assessment or that RCPC report- all I know is- it will be done- its always done.

Its typically so for most safeguarding Social Workers to forego their weekends in order to stay on top of stuff. The volume can be punishing- what with endless Statutory Visits, Direct Work with children, sessions with parents to complete assessments. The write ups can be ridiculous that your family would complain that your face is forever glued on your works laptop. Needless to say that COVID-19 and working from home has not helped the situation as it has meant more work in terms of admin volumes. You can easily find yourself going 16hrs none-stop- no wonder most Social Workers are finding themselves burning out.

Not me, not this weekend. Regardless of how much I very much know I have on my plate at the moment- I refused to entertain my works computer. I was tempted a few times but was able to prep talk myself into giving my family some attention. In this profession where you are ever worrying about the wellbeing of the children you case manage- its very easy to then neglect your own family. It takes so much discipline, self control and being super organised to successfully separate what you do and who you are with ease. Over the years and with some experience under your belt, and above all with a supportive team and Manager- you get the balance finally semi-decent. For years I struggled- but I am getting there. The truth is to last in Social Work- you really have to manage this area well. Thus, pacing yourself and taking very good care of your wellbeing by exercising, meditating and staying super positive goes a long way to keeping you sane and productive.

So, I am off to doing exactly that – these days I brisk walk for about an hour first thing before another excitingly crazy day of playing catch up begins.

Bear With Me or Bare With Me–Which Is Right? | Grammarly