I posted yesterday about this huge sadness and pain I’ve been experiencing this week. It was really lovely to have so many suggestions from you guys when I asked for advice on how to manage it. The fact that people took the time to write their thoughts for me has helped in itself. Reading through those gave me this sense of support and community that I am so grateful for. It has helped me feel a bit stronger.
Yesterday, I was thinking about what I might need. It suddenly dawned on me that since Tuesday I have been thinking about this cuddly toy I had when I was little. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t have any cuddly toys now, because I always have one on our bed. But those ones weren’t right. I realised that I was almost craving my Pooh bear from childhood, or maybe just craving the way I felt comforted by him back then.
It’s hard for me to accept those kinds of thoughts and feelings, because I’m always punishing myself for not being more ‘adult’. I really had to work on myself to allow this part of me to want that childish comfort, and not push that need away. For once, I managed to accept that it’s a young part of myself that is feeling so terrible, and that it’s OK for her to have something childish if that helps.
I was really frozen in my feelings, immobilised in a corner of my lounge. I had a hunch that the Pooh bear was in our attic. It seemed like a hundred miles from my sofa into the roof. But some part of me knew that if I could go and find him I might feel better.
It took a bit of dusty rummaging in the freezing attic, but I found the bear and also an alphabet blanket. The blanket wasn’t something I comforted myself with when I was small. It was given to me when I was about 13. My friend’s mum, who had a soft spot for me, knitted it when she was dying of cancer. She wanted to give me something to keep for my children to have from her one day. I not sure I’ll ever have kids, but I kept it because it meant something to me. And yesterday it felt like actually I did have a child who needed it – me.
When I wrapped myself up in the blanket and cuddled my bear, I really did feel some comfort from it. Especially the bear. I’ll write more about him later maybe.
I also allowed myself to contact J today. I don’t feel comfortable contacting her outside of our sessions when it hasn’t been agreed. I don’t feel totally ok with it when it is agreed either. But this morning I felt a need to hear some reassurance from her, and let myself ask for it. That was a risk and made me feel quite nervous. It got a positive result though, as she sent me a very warm reply that helped me feel confident she’s there for me.
This weekend we are having a few days away, doing some hill walking and generally trying to relax. Again, I am hoping this change of scenery will help me feel stronger and more resilient. I’ve only had one wobble so far – when I realised I’d left the Pooh bear behind. But my wife, as always, was my hero. She managed to find a super cuddly dinosaur for me in the motorway services. He’s not got quite the same meaning for me, but I think he will do the job until I’m home.