Its 2008 and I’ve just come out of surgery for a broken jaw, with my face swallen and my mouth now with two metal plates in it I am taken home, to recover, my recovery however looks like most other people’s normal lives, the next day you’ll find me teaching the regular Saturday clients, standing in the middle of the arena barely able to speak let alone project, but yet I’m there, why? “Because I can’t let them down can i?”
Roll forwards a few years, it’s been a shit morning, my horse of a lifetime got colic over night and he never recovered, I’m broken, shattered inside, but no you won’t find me at home grieving, you’ll find me on the yard teaching the Friday night club how to tack up, why? Because I can’t cancel can I!
This pattern of extreme self sabotage continues for many years, a pattern where I’ll push myself against the wall and keep pushing, placing others peoples supposed ”needs” well ahead of my own, ignoring my internal and sometime external pain, not wanting to be in the stillness, god for bid, not wanting to slow down and feel.
As I read through a diary my mums kept of all my hospital trips and illnesses, there’s been so many it’s easy to forget, and sometimes you need to be able to real them off to the next consultant, I notice that every year of my twenties I was admited to hospital at least once! I ask my husband, then boyfriend how many times he has been admitted to hospital, he replies, none. To me going full pelt until I hit the brick wall of illness or injury seems normal, comfortable in a way, but apparently as I ask around, it’s not.
This is my pattern, a cycle of being “busy” to prove myself, to show “them” to be all the things I don’t think I am, I’m generally most busy when I’m in the most pain, when I’m running from the discomfort, then the busy gets too much for my body that I crash, with an illness, and so I go slow, I remember I like going slow, I remember that actually if I really had a choice I would choose to go slow. But then after a month or so, or when I feel uncomfortable again, suddenly busy starts to come back. Busy is my go to, busy is my place to hide.
This cycle has dramatically decreased in length and in intensity, I’m only busy for a bit before I realise what I’m doing, it only takes a small illness to remind me of the pattern, and I’m in the slow for a lot longer, in fact through yoga I’ve managed to feel happy going slow in general and it’s only big stuff that knocks me back into busy now, stuff like....becoming a mother!
I reach for busy, this may be brain busy, a quick scroll, or work busy, doing more, setting more goals. Others may reach for the wine, the cigarettes, the phone. We all have a place when fear starts to show up that we run too, maybe you get out before you can “fail”, quit before you even get to the uncomfortable, telling yourself your choosing the option that’s right for you. Maybe you want to take that leap, but instead find yourself scrolling your phone or booking more work meetings to avoid doing it.
We all have a pattern, a version of my busy.
The key is to acknowledge when we’re reaching, when we’re going into our pattern or cycle, and watch ourselves. Know that we may need to ride it out, but don’t get sucked in. Ask what is triggering us, ask why are we heading down this path again, don’t beat ourselves up though, we haven’t fallen backwards, we’ve still moving in the right direction, we just need to readjust a tad. When we become aware we can then see our patterns, we can help ourselves, and it’s through this awareness we can stay much closer to what we really want to do with our lives that what fear makes us do.
What’s your pattern? What’s your “busy”?