I haven’t written a personal post, or any posts for that matter, since before the Christmas holidays. Let’s just say that everybody has their shit- even me. If you read my posts regularly, you may be aware that I have taken a year out of college to sort out my anxiety and low mood issues. You might be happy to know that I have been facing and sorting through them! I’ve stepped up my game at my part-time job and I’ve also applied for a part-time course- it’s all about learning and moving forward!
Although, not everybody wants to see me succeed. That’s just life, I guess, but coping with it along with everything else that has been going on over Christmas was a little much. I handled it like a pro, though, which I’m amazed at.
Basically, there are people in my life right now that I can’t shake off due to common interest- safest way to word it. These people definitely do not have my best interest at heart, only their own. And that’s okay, because people do that and there are people like that everywhere you go. Learning to deal with it as an adult is something I have had to do and I suppose I just wasn’t prepared for the situation. I even questioned giving up- cutting people off, moving on from things and, well, that upset me more than anything because that would mean letting other people take something from me yet again! But I am learning the power of things I can not control, which is an every day task- not just something you learn once. So, I’m hoping that if I go hard focusing on me, they’ll get bored and find someone new to bitch about and try bring down. Which is why I want to share with you guys what exactly has been keeping me sane.
A few years ago, when I was completing my Leaving Cert, I had a really bad phase of self-harm and anxiety. I went to my parents about it, of course it broke their heart so much they couldn’t even advise me further, until one day my Dad just left this book on my bedside locker. When I asked about it, he just insisted on me reading it. It was a book about Buddhist philosophy, written by a Buddhist monk named Thich Nhat Hanh. The language in it is really simple and it basically just gives basic anecdotes and advice about how to cope with every situations like washing the dishes or getting out of bed with a smile on your face. Every time I catch myself thinking of old habits, I pick it up and flick through some of my favourite chapters- which, of course, I have marked.
On Monday, I was on a bus from D’Ollier Street, Dubin City Centre to Ennis, Co.Clare to spend the week with my boyfriend and I knew with that much thinking time on my hands, nothing good would come to surface, so I brought it with me. It’s called Peace Is Every Step. There’s this one chapter that speaks about basically knowing the people around you and how dangerous or beneficial they can be. The metaphor used is how people invite gas into their homes even though it’s dangerous but knowing it’s danger allows us to enjoy it to our advantage. It’s the same with people. I like that one because it reminds me that everyone has faults. For example; if you can laugh with someone so hard that you cry yet every time you trust them they betray you, you must learn how to use that to your advantage. Laugh with that person but do not trust them. Enjoy them as they are. Once you know your boundaries with people, it makes it easier to learn how to live with them. Sometimes, that’s just how things are.
Which brings me on to my next favourite chapter about Blaming. Hanh speaks of how blaming a person is like blaming a plant for not growing. He uses the metaphor of a lettuce. If you plant a lettuce and it dies, you can’t blame the lettuce. If you form a relationship with someone and it dies or wilts, blaming them will solve nothing. Nourish your surrounding relationships and let them live. If they die, look at your part in it. Your life is your lettuce, your family is your lettuce, your friends are your lettuce- do not forget to water them. Be careful though, they should water you, too!
Reading this, you might think I’ve gone bonkers! Lettuce? Gas? What? I know how crazy I sound, believe me. See, on here I speak a lot about myself and my anxiety, I have never mentioned the one thing that really affects me the most. I keep that private because it involves a person that I care a lot about, a family member. The reason this book has helped me so much is because not only does it speak about lettuces and electric gas, it also speaks about living with yourself and problems, coping mechanisms, meditation, walking and just letting things be. And just by water lettuces around us, without giving reactions to current dramas and upsets, by using people to our advantage as they are instead of trying to fix everything, people will hopefully respect our way of living and begin to live the same. It’s all about setting good example.
So, if you get a chance, I’d advise you to download or buy it. Sometimes a simple reminder is all you need to put you back on track. Go and read about lettuces and planting seeds and untying knots inside you! You won’t regret it.