I have wanted to write this blog post for some time now, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
And it isn’t because, I’m scared to do so or that I care what people think.
But more because I couldn’t understand what the hell was going on! And I needed that different perspective.
But today Tuesday 18th January it practically jumped out at me and made itself known.
And that’s why I am here and writing this blog post, because I now know what’s wrong!
Disclaimer –This is in not a ‘Pity Party’
I just want to be open and honest to the people in my space so that you can understand, maybe notice the signs for yourself and see what’s possible WHEN I come out the other side.
But more than anything I want to normalise that this can happen to EVERYONE no one is exempt.
And I think that point is really important, especially for professionals.
So here goes…
Recently I haven’t quite been ‘feeling’ myself and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
I have been ill quite a lot recently ‘physically’ and when I went to the doctors in December I had high blood pressure, vertigo and a little anxiety.
I am not an anxious person and havent been for the last 5 years.
I can only describe this as…
I feel as though I have been put in a waltzer at the fair ground and the guy is stood spinning, spinning & spinning and on me leaving the ride I am all diseoriantated mentally and physically and that dizzy feeling isn’t shifting.
I do believe that when I get ill it’s my body’s way of shouting to me (listen woman and stop god dammit your doing to much) But I didn’t, I just carried on doing the do, continuing as normal and believing that I am OK.
I mean, I have in no way shape or form been doing a lot anyway!
So that’s why I couldnt understand.
But actually I haven’t been ok! And I haven’t been since the 30th November when I woke up and found our big bear (doggy) unexpectedly asleep forever.
Now admitting that your not ok for some people (especially coaches) can be a massive thing and I bet there are loads that don’t!
But I am here to tell you it does not make you any less able, professional, or credible!
It makes you a human!
Loosing Marley has truly and deeply affected me and I really never thought it would.
Now I appreciate that anyone reading this may feel like “It’s just a dog”
Because in all honesty years ago I probably would have said the same.
But it’s not true! OK actually he was a dog but he was a member of the family.
I understand that…
“life goes on”
“Although he’s gone he’s still around”
“There are bigger things happening around us”
“You have to move on”
And because I know all the above and consciously feel ok about it, it’s the most frustrating feeling I have ever had.
It’s frustrating for me because, I know how the mind and body work.
It’s frustrating because, I know the signs and symptoms to look for.
It’s frustrating because, I help people shift their mindset.
It’s frustrating because, I know myself inside out and I know that it’s a part of life and it will pass.
It’s frustrating because, I feel this way and my amazing children are coping so well! Obviously I am so glad they are.
It wasn’t until today 18th January I knew what was actually wrong.
I have noticed recently that when I am out on walks and see dogs and family’s I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
It’s a trigger for me.
I am happy to see other people enjoyng time as a family, but also so sad! I would give anything to have that back.
Then the guilt comes in…
I wish I would of done more
I wish I would of cuddled him more
I wish I would of let him sleep in my bed
I wish I would of let him eat whatever he wanted
I wish I never ever told him off
Ok logically some of the above wasn’t possible but still I feel guilty.
And them thoughts are the things that cause my body to react in a certain way.
Remember I know all this…
I see Labradors all the time (Thankyou Reticular activating system) but today I saw one who looked just like him! They could have been twins and I even thought for a second is it him??
Then I thought girl you crazy!
As marley’s ashes are still sat on my shelf at home.
And I couldn’t control my reactions!
And this is the big thing for me because we can not control what happens in life but we can control our reactions.
I was a blubbering mess!
I bet both the man and his dog thought who is this psychopath looking at us and crying hysterically (oh and pushing an empty pram as I just dropped sonny off)
So I took myself home and gave myself a pep talk whilst thinking of the song ‘dry your eyes mate’
And then I laughed a little and thought come on Gemma pull yourself together this is mad.
So I got it together headed back out, being mindful and enjoying the day and that’s when it happened.
The biggest trigger!
I saw a dead rabbit led on a stone on the path, then the flashbacks started to come!
I could see marley led there when I found him! The exact image in my mind that ive played over and over.
I have been having flash backs but not quite like this!
Again I couldnt control my reaction at first.
My breathing started to get uncontrollable and I could feel my heart beating faster and faster I thought I was going to pass out. In that moment everything I have ever learned, taught or shared completely went out of the window!
I had been feeling anxious a lot recently but nothing compared to this moment
I had to consciously shout at myself ‘Gemma you are going to be ok’ “Breath, breath, breath” It took me a good 15 minutes to bring it back…
I pulled out my phone and recorded what was going on so I could just get it out
“Its better out than in” I headed home and broke down for a 3rd time to my husband.
I talked to him and listened to my recording and I understand now…
I have been suffering with trauma and I am still grieving!
I just need time to heal!
And it’s ok to admit that, the whole experience which i dont want or need to share was absolutley traumatic!
I am just so glad that I know whats is wrong and how i can fix it
What I have learnt from this whole process…
Everything happens for a reason I decided to walk to the childminders (which I never do) so I could see that dog. I walked that way and saw that rabbit so I could understand what is going on internally and deal with it finally.
What this has taught me
- This is going to help me help more people and me for being raw
- I must go back to 2018 and do what I did then to heal again.
- You really can’t wallpaper over the cracks
- My job has really helped me during this time, and I love it more than ever
- A huge up level is coming
- Dogs really aren’t just for Christmas
- I have more love to give, everywhere
- Share more tips and signs for the people who dont know what to do!
What I want you to take from it
- Let’s start to normalise and be open about when we are struggling
- It really is ok to not be ok
- Don’t tell anyone how they should feel
- Feel, welcome and except all the emotions
- Listen to your body It will tell you when it’s not ok
- Professionals are allowed to struggle
- You are a human being
- A dog is not just a dog
- Healing takes time
- If you are struggling please reach out for help
Thankyou for listening
Love Gemma xoxoxo
If you are struggling please check out https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/