So as of today I have decided to adopt a diary format for my blog.
I have for years kept a written diary that recorded my thoughts and feelings as time went by. Up until this juncture in regards this blog I have found a topic that is bothering me or that I wanted to explore, then sat down and let my fingers do the talking. However of late I have found that style has been hampering my ability to write effectively as I have felt I had covered 'all' the topics that would interest a stranger, so have written less and less blogs.
As of today I intend to sit and write a lot more regularly using all the detritus that is floating about my vacant head space at any given point in time.
As I sit writing this I am watching the horrors of the Grenfell Tower fire, the tower block in London, still unfolding to the nation via Good Morning Britain. I am not shamed to say that I have shed a tear or two watching the horrific images of people waving things at windows as they tried to attract the attention of the emergency services in what we now know was probably a vain attempt to attract rescue. I cannot help but look to the future and find myself considering the #mentalhealth of personnel who have and still are entering those 'houses of horror'.
Yesterday I had another day's worth of help from Save Our Soldier the charity that to date have already provided me with upwards of thirty hours of therapy to tackle what they believe to be my PTSD symptoms from 28 years worth of police service. In my last blog I looked at my feelings of negativity and the belief that I was not making any progress towards recovery, so yesterday we looked in depth at cultivating emotional resilience to allow me to find a life of wellbeing. We spent time exploring the concept that we can all step back from ourselves and observe ourselves in almost the third person. I need to accept that life in my future may never ever be the same again and that I need to find a way of accepting that, a way of understanding that 'I am enough'.
Fibromyalgia is a long term condition that will not just go away. It creates extreme pain in various areas of my body all of which I can say without any doubt get a lot, lot worse when I am under psychological pressure. I have to come to an understanding whereby I almost have to allow myself the permission to plan ahead and take life a lot more carefully. I need to stop battling with myself. What became clear to me yesterday is that I have been beating myself up because I can get back to being my 'old' self. I cannot just plough on through anything and everything expecting my body and brain to keep up. I may never ever have those same abilities again but that does not make me the failure I thought it did. I do not have to feel guilty or ashamed because I fear never being able to don a uniform again, to be able to go about strenuous physical or psychological activities. There is no shame there. I am enough.
What I need to do is find my self esteem, locate the hope for my future, develop a curiosity for my life and discover a positive attitude towards my life. I need to develop psychological flexibility, an ability to accept who I am now, not what or who I have been, not who I thought I had to get back to being but who I am now and what I can achieve as the me of today. I felt shame. I felt guilt. I thought I had to get back to somebody I used to be. But my body is unwilling, my brain has been battling the notion for many months. Yesterday I realised that I can exist without my past self, I can wrap my arms around the person I find myself to be today and offer myself self compassion. There is a future without my past self, I can let her go in peace. I can stop trying to be something I am not. I am enough.
The therapist and I looked at 'What if's'
Our brains need to ponder, to pull thoughts apart. To mull things over. If left unattended it will mull over the negatives. What if I die. What if I cannot be a police officer ever again' What if I have a terminal illness being masked by Fibromyalgia's symptoms. However we can give our brains positive 'What if's' instead. Debbie called them juicy fodder for the brain. So we worked on finding positive 'what if's' for me. They are listed on the board photographed below.
I am enough.