Time To Call In The Bouncers?
I nearly didn’t publish this blog. I’ve been sitting on this for the past few days. Why? I was worried. Worried that you ‘wouldn’t get it’, that you’d think this sad, middle aged woman really had lost the plot. But then I read a post from a pal on social yesterday. She’d had a really tough 24 hours and had the courage to talk about it. So, thank you dear friend. Thanks to you I’m throwing caution to the wind, I’m publishing. Some of you might get this, some of you might not, and that’s okay. If this helps one person then it’s been worth it.
TODAY I’m teetering. Old patterns, old hurts, old insecurities. They’re all nipping at my heels. Bas***ds! But you know what, I’m recognising them. That’s good, right? I’m not running away. I’m acknowledging them and then, ever so firmly telling them to do one.
When I get like this, it’s a real physical sensation. An incessant, deep gnawing in my gut. So much so that I can feel it right now as I’m writing this. It’s not the fluttery, butterfly feeling you get when you’re nervous about something. It’s far more acidic, corrosive, more destructive.
At times like this I feel a bit like my stomach could be used to show the ‘alleged’ negative properties of certain fizzy drinks, ie if you popped a two pence piece into it right now it would come out sparkling.
When these old ‘pals’ (P-for Powerless, Panic, Pessimistic, A — for Anxious, Angry, Afraid, L — for Livid, Lost) start reappearing I have to fight the urge to pull up the drawbridge, replenish the moat, not just with water but with sharks, and batten down the hatches, complete with lots of ‘Keep Out’ signs and fear inducing pics of zombies and creatures of the night. That’ll keep all the b******s away! But, of course, it won’t. Taking this action just locks me in with them so they can trash the joint that is my head. Making any sense? I hope so.
Recognising this has led to me recruiting my very own ‘bouncers’ to keep my brain space clear and bright and turn those ‘pals’ away, politely but firmly. Let me introduce you to them.
Meet The Bouncers
Bouncer 1. She moves. A lot. She encourages me to do the same, especially when that armchair is feeling just a little too comfy. She knows the trio of Powerless, Panic and Pessimistic. With their manipulative ‘tips’ and tricks they want me to stay rooted to the spot, locked away, frozen in time, caught in a trap of hour upon hour of endless ‘entertainment’, being terrorised by all that negative news and social drama instead of getting out into that big, beautiful world to explore and learn, to connect human to human.
My dogs love my bouncer. Thanks to her they get to explore lots too, even on those cold, dark days.
Bouncer 2. She’s a great pilot. Helping me to take a much-needed step back and fly high above those situations when Anxious, Angry and Afraid come knocking on the door. She can spot their false promises a mile off.
Food is not the antidote to my anxiety, anger and fear. It’s just something to hide in, to batter the feelings down with. I know that now. But these unwanted callers still need to be reminded that ‘if your name’s not down, you’re not coming in’. Bouncer 2 does that beautifully.
Bouncer 3. Lost and Livid are her old friends. She understands why they make such a ‘great’ duo. Hell, she used to mix in their circles.
Lost spins a beautiful yarn about how hard done by she is (difficult childhood, debilitating disease and so on) and how she desperately needs/wants an invite to the party while Livid leaps to her defence ranting about the unfairness of it all, how unfair that person’s comment was etc, etc.
Bouncer 3’s way of dealing with all this? She listens to Lost with compassion, but she doesn’t let her cross the threshold and she certainly doesn’t let me take on her energy. She watches from a safe distance if Livid lets rip for a while but she’s firm when she asks her to leave and go take a chill pill.
My trio of bouncers are cool, right? They’re my protectors, my motivators and they have my back, my front and all sides, especially when I’m teetering. So, even in these moments of negativity there really is room for hope and positivity.
Maybe you might want to recruit a few bouncers of your own. I highly recommend it.
Asha Clearwater is an NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists) qualified journalist who’s been a news reporter, features editor and arts editor, as well as editor of several national business magazines.
Today, through her business Turquoise Tiger, she coaches SMEs on the art of great storytelling to promote their products and services.
Asha occasionally freelances as a writer for national magazines and is even behind some of the information boards you’ll find strolling through Woodland Trust Forests.