mental health thoughts

Going off track and the importance of self forgiveness

So, this may seem a slightly unusual warbling for me. Something of a brain belch I guess. Or maybe I just thought putting some thoughts down may have an inclining of interest. Congratulations Pinnock - you discovered ‘blogging’ 25 years after everyone else! Anyway. I wanted to write this as it is something that is rather raw and pertinent to me at this moment in time, but has also been something of a gift too. 

I went off track! I mean seriously off track. The last 18 months have been like a blindfolded roller coaster with a wonky wheel for us all. At the start there was novelty. In the middle there was annoyance. Lockdown 3 during the winter…….the mental wheels came off.  

Now, I had started getting into a bit of a low state mid to end 2019 due to life dealing the usual arse kicking blows that it can deliver to all of us, so there was a bit of a funk brewing. When it started to feel like life was stolen from us by this rotten COVID situation, that creaking door that separated me from going deep and dark just flew open. I went into a bad place. I Stopped caring about everything. My diet. My fitness. My sleep. My health. I would eat anything. I would be up all hours nursing bottles of wine, using YouTube as a jukebox and sitting wallowing in mourning for everything that was and everything that I felt I had lost, in more ways than one.  

A few months ago…..I looked in the mirror and I cannot express what I felt. I just didn’t recognise who I saw. I was the heaviest I have ever been and so unfathomably out of shape. My skin looked pale sallow and awful. My eyes were red and the energy I exuded was not good. In that moment of shock something clicked and somehow, by some grace….the ACTUAL me that you all know suddenly reached in and performed some kind of exorcism on this self destructive carcass and I began a mind set shift and a surge of motivation, understanding and gratitude shot through me. 

Fast forward a good 4 months and as the saying goes…..Im back baby!! I have my fitness back. I have my vibrance back. I have my health back. I have been on it with my diet. I am walking almost 17k a DAY, building up my resistance workouts, and as for the energy and inspiration. I feel like I have been re born and I have completely rebuilt my business - just keep your eyes out for everything coming. It’s a LOT. 

This whole situation really humbled me. See, I expect that a lot of you think that us folk in the wellness World have our sh*t together 24/7 and that we are shining beacons of health and virtue in every waking hour. In truth, I felt like I had to live up to that, which a lot of the time is pretty accurate. When the wheels came off there was the added pressure of feeling like I was letting down my own identity - that’s some weird shiz right there!

It made me realise something though, and it has given me a new connection to people and a new perspective. The first thing I realised was just how much I took for granted. I felt so secure in the bubble of my life and having the rug pulled out of it by some nasty little bugger of a viral nano particle really showed me how much my own fulfilment and happiness was based upon my own sense of identity and everything I had built for myself. After being a practicing Buddhist for 20 years I really ****ed up on that one! Attachment is the route to all suffering. 

More than anything though, it taught me the importance of self forgiveness. When we are going through a hard time and we have lost that connection and that love with ourselves, why the hell do we kick our own arses so hard for it? I think of all of the people I have worked with over the years that have gone off track and gone off the rails and the first thing I always do with such clients is really unpack where there issues started, and try to understand what the catalysts are or were that started their journey into negative and destructive choices. We work through it and it helps them to heal on so many levels. Yet, I was unable to do this for myself for so long. Instead of allowing myself to realise that I was struggling and that that was ok, and instead of seeking help and working through it. I beat myself, destroyed myself, and at the same time blamed myself for being such a failure. So of course I did more of it to numb the way that I was feeling. So many people stay in that cycle.

When you want to get back on track, a change of mindset is the map out of the woods. It starts with self forgiveness. Understand that you have had a hard time, but accept that you cannot stay in the same state of mind that took you there. Forgive yourself. You are Human and we are susceptible to damage. We get broken. Forgive yourself. Then learn to love yourself again. One day at a time. Every day forgive yourself for coming off the rails, the say to yourself ‘what can I do today that can take me one step closer to who I was or who I want to be’. One step. Forgive yourself. Your mind went to a place where it knew it was safe in an attempt to cope. But now what. Where do you want to be and how will you get there?

I know this has been a bit of a weird brain dump, but really I wanted to nail home two things. Firstly forgive yourself for getting off track, just don't let yourself stay there. I also wanted to show that we all go through this and none of us are immune to getting battered by life and going off track. So next time you go comparing yourself to others and feeling like they have it all together and you are a screw up…..you can just blooming well stop!!

Stay healthy!

Dale