I have friends who struggle daily with the fears and worries of disappointment. It may be a marriage breaking up and worries of how children will react. It may be a challenging job and the constant fear of not doing quite enough. It may be an athlete wondering whether their training is up to par. It may be someone navigating the complexities of a new relationship and feeling the memories of failed ones from the past, pulling them down. There are so many negative feelings woven so tightly through disappointment. It is so complex. It can take on so many feelings. You can feel sad and worried. Angry and frustrated. It can kidnap you in the midst of complete joy and flood you with darkness. The constant worry of what people may think, what they may say, how you may feel or what they may do, what they may think of you, can be suffocating. If she separates from her husband, her kids may be disappointed. Or, even though he is enjoying a new relationship, his past may ruin it all.
In an attempt to pull something positive out of this, I focus on one word; may. Why do we channel so much energy towards the negative things that may happen? Why is it, that when we use the word “may” we often link it to the bad. I mean, if you spin it, you can change it to focus on the positive things that may happen too. From past experience, I know that if you dedicate your energy to positive things, usually the good stuff snuffs out the bad. That’s not to say that the bad things won’t be there. You will just be so absorbed in all the positivity, that people will gravitate to that. And it makes getting through the rough parts so much easier. The bad will be short lived as you will be so motivated for the great things to return.
If she separates from her husband, her kids will see her happiness return. Although they will undoubtedly be sad and confused, they will understand how positive relationships work and will make better choices for themselves one day. If he enjoys his new relationship and is dedicated to the fun parts of it, his past decisions will be voided. She will see him for the positive decisions he is making now and empathize with him about the mistakes from the past.
It takes a little more work, perhaps. Keeping positive isn’t always easy. It takes dedication to believe that, although there is a chance of bad stuff happening, that focusing on the flip side is worth it. If you keep doing it, over and over again, it becomes easier and easier to do. In that moment, when you feel the tightening in your chest and the tears building up in the corners of your eyes, when your brain begins to flood with the inky mess of bad memories, you can take a deep breath and flip the coin. So worth it. Keep practicing.
© Nina Waddington 2016
Sometimes I don’t sleep. Actually, who am I kidding? Most of the time, I don’t sleep. I go to bed. It is dark. I read. I extend my resting time before bed, to organize my thoughts and slowly relax.
That is the best of it usually. I may close my eyes for a bit of time. On a fantastically lucky night I may sleep for a few hours. If you add up the little bits and pieces, the broken little nuggets of rest that make up the time from lights off through the long, never-ending marathon to morning, I might get five hours total. If I get six hours I am doing happy backflips in my brain. Four hours consecutively and I am off and running to get a lotto ticket.
It has become so much part of my normal that most people have no idea that I am completely sleep deprived. I have had a sleep disorder for more than half my lifetime. Over 20 years of lying awake at night. I smile when people tell me that they are tired. It is a complaint I hear by many.
“How are you?” ~ me.
“Good” Pause. “Tired” ~ them.
Hmmm…Yes. I know tired. And I am pretty sure I know tired on a level that few other people do. I totally understand though. I am a bit of an expert on tired. I know how tired changes you. I know how tired makes you forget simple things. It oozes into your patience and chips away at your sense of calm. It pulls down on your shoulders and puts rocks and knots into your muscles. It screams when you want to work out. Stop! You are TIRED! It suggests that you stay in on nights when you really should escape out with friends. And what is worse is that tired is nearly invisible. You can sometimes see it in the wrinkles in the corner of your eyes, or in the lengths of your blinks, or in the number of your sighs. Or in the tension in your voice. But as I sit here in a coffee shop writing, I can guarantee that not one of the 20 people in here can guess that I got about 3 hours of sleep last night. And the night before.
What I try to focus on, is that tired is my normal. Some people have asthma. Some may have arthritis. Everyone has something whether it be stress at a job, conflict in their family, money issues, health problems, depression, whatever it may be. Everyone has something. I have insomnia.
So instead of wallowing in the claws of what 4 hours of sleep can do to me, I focus on all the things I can do and that I do have. Too many times people focus on the list of things they want and do not celebrate everything they have worked so hard to acquire. I have plenty of time to acknowledge all of those things. My children. My home. Food. Friends. Peace. A country without war.
My list of good things is pretty long. I work on it from 10pm until 6am. Every. Single. Day.
~ nina :)
© Nina Waddington 2016