Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t know what the ‘right’ path was? Where actually, yes, maybe you need the advice and the guidance from others but that leads you to the road that you didn’t want. I’ve found myself in more than a few.
So let me talk about the thought process I have in these situations
Purely because writing is like therapy, so lucky you! You’re reading my therapist notes!
Ignorance: My first instinct is to ignore in the hopes it will go away or some magical fairy will fix it without me having to do anything. I default to this because actually who wants to spend their time stressing? They do say ignorance is bliss!
Denial: This is the part where things have stepped up a gear, a situation has become more intense and people are noticing the change. This is where denial begins…the conversations start to become a little like this.
Random person: You seem quiet today, everything ok?
Me: Yeah, it’s sunshine and rainbows over here…might even find some unicorns!
This is also the stage where I don’t want to think about talk or acknowledge a problem, actually it’s not even there. Now you see it, now you don’t, simple as that.
Confusion: When something continues past the first two thoughts I then get very confused. Like what do I do? Clearly ignorance and denial isn’t working so what next?
Stress!: Ok, I have no flaming idea what to do next and I don’t want to talk about it. I should be able to figure this out. Cue sleepless nights and staring at random objects for far too long as my brain works overdrive. A little denial lingers, yeah, I am fine, I look like I haven’t slept for days but it’s fine, it’s all good.
Opening Up: So this is the hardest part, where someone asks me a question and I finally say actually, yes I could do with your advice or just someone to listen. This has it’s struggles too, so you give away a little of your thoughts but actually afterwards you’re wondering if it was the right move. Whatever right even means anyway!
Comfort: Now the channels of communication have opened it’s a little easier to talk, to just find distraction, don’t get me wrong, it’s still stressful but it’s a little less, just a little but worth it.
Opinions galore: This is the part that gets a little annoying, so yes you open up and you talk and listen too…then I find that I am getting advice, advice I would give…so why don’t I want to take it?
Despair: This is when I allow myself to turn into a drama queen. Why am I so bad at this? It must just be me? I need to figure this out?! Come on Fay, stop being so stupid.
Gut feelings: I am indecisive at the best of times, so when I know exactly what I want, I listen. Usually this involves the path that is most self-preserving because hey, it’s my situation, let me handle it, I can do this. (more on that next)
Confidence: This is where I get sure of myself, (usually with a couple of pep talks from special people) like yes Fay, you got this, you can damn well deal with this and keep that smile on your face. To be fair, when I think about the amount of times I have done this, cancer, bullying, bereavement, medical issues…well, it’s safe to say I am good at it. At smiling, dealing and moving right on forward, because I am clearly wonder woman at this point.
Hesitation: This comes about a week after my confidence kick. Especially if my plans aren’t working, then I get a bit unsure, am I doing the right thing? Do I ever really know what I’m doing? This is close to confusion but more intense because I had a plan…and now I don’t! Or do I? I’ve no idea. (don’t ask me to make any decisions at this point, because believe me you’ll be waiting a while.)
Anger: Now I’m pissed, this is not going to plan and it’s ruining my zen. I’m ready to fight anything and everyone that will stand in my way of me being calm again. It’s war and it’s not gonna stop until I win. I will kick the crap out of this problem and still have time for a drink before bed (obviously without chipping any nails.)
Tears: So now I’ve exhausted my confidence and my anger I just want to cry, to put on a sad film and sob into a pillow (yet to find a film that actually makes me cry!) but I won’t do this, because I want to be strong and pretend nothing is wrong (story of my life)
The BOOM: At this point I’m a mixture of anger, confusion, tears and anything else you want to throw into the mix. It all just goes BOOM. And suddenly I talk about everything, I get upset, stressed…but I finally actually ask for help. (more often than not with a little nudge.)
Concern: this kicks in when the boom has subsided, like did I just do that? Have I said too much? What happens now? Do I have to do anything? What I love hearing is no, there is a solution, you just sit back and relax Fay.
Conflicted: I know what I want, I know what other people want and think…so where do we go from here? (this reminds me of a song from Buffy the Musical, “Where do we go from here? Why is the path unclear?” Just imagine my fabulous voice people.) This also happens when I know something progresses, because actually, throughout all of this I don’t know what is best.
Shock: I don’t get truly shocked all that often, but it’s happened a few times and it’s the type of feeling that just stops me in my tracks. Like did that just happen? Did I just hear that? Am I losing my mind or is everyone else?!
Drained: When I say this, I mean exhausted to the point that I am left speechless (and that’s rare believe me!). I had a whole discussion today, about a serious subject…and I had no idea what to say, I couldn’t even tell you what I was thinking in that moment.I’d gone through all the emotions above and now I had nothing left, so tell me whatever you like, tell me there is a fire breathing dragon outside and you’d get nothing, I have nothing. This usually involves lots of staring into space or gazing out of windows, watching water flow etc. (obviously with some heartbreaking soundtrack in the background.)
Now we’ve established how crazy I get when in these situations, I’m at the drained stage today, now I gotta pick myself back up. I’m still not sure how things will pan out and it does worry me and even stress me out a little, but I do know that looking back I’ve been ok, I’ve got through and I’ve done that myself. So I can this time.