Allowing and accepting yourself to just be is probably something we all struggle with. Just allowing yourself to be the imperfect being and accepting that there will always be something to improve upon or learn is just part of life. I struggle with the need to constantly be productive and push through the hard moments. No time to be weak or lazy! I feel guilty if I am not doing something from cleaning and organizing in my home, to education and career related, or personal growth. If I just choose to watch a movie or scroll through social media I feel guilty.
If I were super organized and scheduled I could be maximizing my time and constantly being productive in some way. Yes this is ideal but is it really necessary? At what point to we actually stop to smell the roses and just be? Do I need to schedule time to just be into my day as well? This last week I had the weirdest experience in my life and being a student of mental health I was able to pinpoint the symptoms that occurred afterwards. Overall, since mid-July of last year I have had a roller-coaster of emotions. A very hard break-up, starting grad-school, my daughter starting college and moving out, a scary dating experience, the virus changing my school and work routine, and then last week things really got weird.
I woke at 4am Thursday morning and it was still dark outside. My home is on the edge of town and backs up trees and then an open field so I had my blinds open and as I woke that morning and looked outside I see a weird orange glow. I walk down the hall from my bedroom towards the other end of the house and see out the kitchen door that the house next door is engulfed in flames! I run back to my bedroom to grab my cell phone and dial 911 and as soon as I connect a huge explosion comes from the house and the tree next to my home begins to catch on fire. During this time there is thunder and lightning also in the distance and I begin to pray that the rain starts because the fire is moving fast and fire department has still not arrived! I live alone and I am in tears at the thought of watching my home burn and no-one there with me and concerned about the man who lives next door. Then I turn to see that there is a pet carrier on my porch with a cat inside …the neighbors cat! This man had set his house on fire on purpose! Is he crazy? Where is he? Should I be worried for my safety and not just my home? As the rain starts to poor down the fire department finally arrived and was able to get the fire under control before any significant damage was done to my property. The sister arrived to take the cat and after speaking to the investigators they determined no one was in the house and the fire had been set intentionally.
Late the next day the man was taken into custody and now I am reminded of that weird morning and the level of shock, panic, and fear each time I look at the damage next door. Multiple explosions came from the house during the fire causing pictures to be knocked off my wall. Realizing later that my neighbor of 6 years had previously done time in a juvenile detention center for shooting his dad I am left with thoughts of what-if? Even though nothing of mine was hurt and I am okay and he is now in custody I still feel this feeling of unease. I have not slept well and my appetite has been off. Is this how it feels coming down from a high adrenaline moment? Am I still in shock? I cannot explain the feelings because I have never quite felt anything like it before and I almost feel like I am being ridiculous for being so messed up over it.
Here I am about 4 days later and I am still unsure how to feel. This past 12 months has been such a rollercoaster ride and here I am still pushing forward. Trying to start my summer classes for grad school and get back to work at my office instead of working from home, getting used to my daughter being gone… it all feels like a lot coming at me right now. Not to mention being single and trying to navigate the dating process! At the end of the day I have to accept where I am in life and allow myself to feel and be without feeling guilty, ashamed, or ridiculous. It is okay to take time for yourself and do absolutely nothing. It is okay to just numb out and let yourself escape for some time before really trying to process things in life. As I go to bed this evening I remind myself of how far I have come and how strong I am. I count my blessings and tonight I am thankful. I am also learning to accept and allow myself the time I need to just be okay again.
With love, health, and happiness