Today I begin an 18 day soul detox.
I’m not planning on sipping lemon juice water for the duration and attending yoga class. This isn’t going to be 18 days of juice purification, hot stone remedies and holistic therapy retreats. This detox is going to be a time for me to reflect on who I am and where I am going, recalibrate my inner compass. I’ve seen glimpses of a future, of home and I need to be ready for that.
Because right now I’m not.
I’m not okay and it’s time I acknowledge that, accept it and deal with it.
The last few years have been a hell of a time for me. Dealing with marriage breakdown, workplace stress, more relationship breakdown, self esteem issues and a general sense of being lost has taken its toll.
I think it’s broken me in a lot of ways, ways I’ve been scared to acknowledge, because I’ve been afraid that if I stop to think about it that I will just stop and never start again.
Probably one of the biggest problems for me is that I don’t give myself credit for what I do manage. It’s difficult to celebrate successes though, when you feel a little like you’re just surviving. But when it comes to my daughter I see every day my success writ large in the sort of person she is growing into. She is kind, gentle, hilarious, creative and determined – and to have just been a part of that makes me feel like a winner. The fact she exists has meant that I haven’t stopped – I have kept on going for her.
But part of the reality of my life is that I spend more time without her than I’d like (It’s never going to be right to spend EVERY waking hour with a child, no matter how good you dream it will be!). So instead of just making sure I can carry on for her I really need to be better for her, for me. So the regeneration starts here.
So what does a soul detox look like? Well I can’t say I’m really sure. But I have a personalised plan, which I scrawled in wax crayon on a huge piece of scrap paper and stuck to my kitchen wall. Here it is, bad boy spidergram (A chart not an arachnid stripper)
Well it isn’t the whole thing. There are parts of this that I have to keep to myself – when I say personalised I mean PERSONAL – but the gist of the points is this:
* Eat well – no crisps/takeout, limit sugar – okay so I said no lemon water sipping – but this is important. On my bad days I eat all manner of processed sugary crap through the day just to get me through. Then I come home and gorge on pizza at night. The result is that I feel like a hot mess with bad skin and water retention. The hormonal kickback feeds into the lack of wellbeing. This must stop – the vicious circle must be broken.
* Every day my little girl is with me I MUST take her to the park. She loves parks – it’s a fact of life for all five year olds. But I’ve not been able to indulge her with this time and focus because I’ve always been rushing. Time must be made to do this. Plus it means I’ll be forced to run about with her and be more active.
* When Issy is not home I must run/exercise in the mornings. The current issue with this is that I cannot find my trainers…YouTube videos it is then.
* Write an hour every evening and if I can’t write then I must read. Well this journal blog may well help with that….
* When I feel sad I must do ten burpees. My sadness generally happens when I do nothing. The endorphins from the exercise bursts must counteract that…
* To take up counselling to deal with the impact of the stress. This is something I have started to arrange. It’s not something that is talked about often – in fact hardly ever in my line of work – but I remember an inspirational woman who I look up to admitting to me that she had done this. Just to hear that she, a strong leader, had done so made me feel less like a broken failure and more like it is a necessity.
* Be excellent – very Bill and Ted I realise – but being excellent to the people around me, the people I help and work with, the people I love and perhaps even then to myself.
I’ve given myself 18 days in which to achieve this. My pain needs tackling. The time to start is now.
All I ask is for patience with my ramblings, for you to share your experiences of any of these things and for any moral support you might be able to spare.