The Value of Self-Care

20 Jun 2020
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Rising and stretching

I perform my daily rituals,

I really do not want

to face today

life hangs heavily

around my shoulders.

I drag myself downstairs,

resisting the strong

desire to return to bed

to read my book

to attempt oblivion

in a novel.

A few days earlier I discovered

that someone very special

to me, a support

for the past fourteen

or more years

had been rushed to hospital

with kidney failure.

The following day I had

a phone call to inform me

that this person’s husband

had died of a cardiac arrest,

all attempts at resuscitation

having failed.

No wonder I was feeling

rubbish, that I did not want

to face another day.

a sense of great, deep loss

was engulfing me.

I rationalised my situation

told myself not to be so wet.

By skulking about I was not going

to change the situation

an iota. I was being

rather harsh with myself.

While downstairs I re-examined

my self-care commitments

being gentle to myself

Was one of them. I am prone

to practising self-flagellation.

The heavy cloud

began to lift away.

Orangeblossom

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

Tutti Frutti

June 21, 2020, 10:36 a.m.

Hi Orange Blossom I really liked the poem - life hanging heavily around your shoulders is an image that definitely resonated with me. I am so sorry about your friend and your friend's husband. Glad that you recognised that it is understandable that you are struggling in these circumstances and that being kind to yourself helped you. Love TF x PS I also liked Caroline's quote for the day.

Reply

Orangeblossom

June 21, 2020, 10:42 a.m.

Thanks TF for your kind, encouraging words. Spoke to my friend yesterday. She is back home & better. I met her 15 years ago today when she interviewed me for the role of Cruse Bereavement Volunteer along with two others. Love Orangeblossom

The Gardener

June 21, 2020, 11:23 a.m.

Ditto TF quote for the day - trouble is, I find swearing and a swift kick just as efficacious. I think the swearing clears the mind. I have UK TV via a dish, French with an aerial. If we have a storm, take aerial out, always forget, stare at screen till memory clicks in.

Poppins

June 21, 2020, 11:06 a.m.

Thank you Orangeblossom, for putting so beautifully how you and so many of us feel. I’m mourning the loss of a friend, the good, kind, loving mother of a ten year old. I question why I am here, when my beloved daughter is an adult, who could cope without me and my friend’s child is so in need of his dear mother. My heart aches for you and your friend, who lost her husband. How I miss hugs.

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The Gardener

June 21, 2020, 11:18 a.m.

Orange Blossom, that poem could be our 'anthem'. For me, this day has been very special so many years. Weather forecast said sunny this afternoon - envisaged books, crochet, relax among my flowers. Ah me. Monsoon again, struggled out to lunch, first for over three months, in torrential rain - made very welcome - they made space for me at short notice with 'social distancing', so no way would complain, most unusual, of tough duck and cold chips. Just to be among the noise of other people's conversation was a tonic. Been a bad week for losses, feel for you. xx

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Sally

June 21, 2020, noon

Hello Orangeblossom. I loved your nicely- flowing poem, its sentiments, emotions and content. It’s very much how I feel at times. Very well done, you! Couldnthave expressed it better. I’ve been feeling weepy. At first, I thought maybe it was a one -off...as the days go on , I’m not so sure.... I’ve reflected...and I think my jar is in danger of overflowing. Like you, I can be guilty of self flagellation. I think I’ve been pushing some very high expectations of myself! OH hasn’t helped the matter by being super critical of me. ( he is frustrated at the lack of sport anywhere!!)

Reply

The Gardener

June 21, 2020, 12:06 p.m.

Hello Sally, I've been indulging in self-flagellation, not deliberately. Reading Fay Weldon, novel about abandoned wives with kids, trying to get help. 30 years ago, things are worse. Also Terence Rattigan plays - half a century, still so pertinent.

The Gardener

June 21, 2020, 12:08 p.m.

Bit of an aside, watched 'Separate Tables', just sat at my 'separate table' with more reason, Social distancing daft, tables further apart, waitresses in masks, proprietor no, talking to customers at less than a foot away. All SO daft.

Molly

June 21, 2020, 2:28 p.m.

Hi Sally, keep going! My husband was a nightmare when the sport stopped. Now they are showing game after game on Sky Sports to catch up. Luckily I don’t mind and he is much happier in himself. But I would imagine it would be a real annoyance for some women! Love to you xx

Bearofliddlebrain

June 21, 2020, 1:09 p.m.

Hi OB, Such sad thoughts and emotions coming from your words today 8( Take the time to heal; read that novel in the sunshine, if you have any or just take pleasure in reading anyway - give yourself permission 8)) Don’t go back to bed unless you are ill, it’s not worth it, stay up and get as much early morning daylight as you possible can to reset your body's clocks. Send loving messages to your dear friend - so terrible that she has lost her husband whilst ill herself. Send loving messages to yourself...you deserve them too :). Remember to look after yourself so you can be on top form to help your friend in the days, weeks and months to come. Bear hugs x x x

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Orangeblossom

June 21, 2020, 4:49 p.m.

Many thanks for your message Bear. I have taken Note of your suggestions. My friend is out of hospital and is better.

Molly

June 21, 2020, 2:37 p.m.

Hi Orange, this is beautifully sad. To wrap it all up in a lovely poem is very clever and makes easy reading. I hope writing it gave you some release from tragic circumstances and inevitable emotions. Sounds like you are a real fighter. Sometimes we have to be don’t we! Thanks for sharing with us Orangeblossom. Molly xx

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Orangeblossom

June 21, 2020, 3:22 p.m.

Thanks for your kind words Molly. My friend is back home and doing better. I had a chat with her yesterday. She lives over 25 miles away so have had only phone contact with her. Today it is 15 years since I first met her.

Molly

June 21, 2020, 5:11 p.m.

How poignant that it is 15 years today. She is lucky to have you as a friend, even if you can’t see her, it’s quite obvious how much you care. But gosh what a lot to go through, being so unwell and then being told your husband has died. I mean, what can one say? Just being there is all you can do and not taking on the ‘load’ yourself. I find myself worrying so much about others that it serves no purpose. On a lighter note, I do love your poems, hope you keep writing them xx

Dido

June 21, 2020, 3:57 p.m.

Hi Orange Bloosom, another moving poem. I'm glad you are finding ways to be gentle with yourself. xx Dido

Reply

Orangeblossom

June 21, 2020, 4:50 p.m.

Thanks for your encouraging comment. Much appreciated.

Sally

June 21, 2020, 3:59 p.m.

Bear, lovely reply. I suspect you have counselling skills/ training/practice? Well done for replying directly to the blog. I went off piste!!

Reply

Bearofliddlebrain

June 21, 2020, 5:30 p.m.

Thank you sweet Sally and you didn’t go totally off-piste!! 8)). You need to find good things to do for yourself. Never mind OH's snapping or lack of sport - we’ve all had to make do with what’s on or not these past few months....there’s no need to take it out on you 8(( You are obviously heading down a tricky path if you’re tearful all the time, so be careful. Son I repeat, do nice things for yourself. If you didn't do things for yourself today, do something gentle tonight like a hot bath. Or tomorrow - make an appointment in your calendar for ‘ Me Time'. You obviously need it. I’m sorry if I’m late catching up on responses form a few days back and so a bit late asking! but how did the meeting go with your darling boy at the home? Are you coping? How has he coped during lockdown? I’ve often thought of you and how awful it must be not to skype him etc. I’m sure you mentioned that he wouldn’t understand Skyping. Go well Sally and be your own friend :)* Bear hugs x x x

Orangeblossom

June 21, 2020, 4:53 p.m.

Thank you for your comments to the poem. It is much appreciated.

Reply

Oli

June 21, 2020, 7:08 p.m.

Hi OB. I've had two long walks today. Needed to think. What's on my mind is possibly similar to what happened to you in your poem's lines where you tell yourself not to be so wet. Minds offer us all sorts of opinions, judgements, and advice. Minds have their uses but I've had to do a lot of reminding myself that I don't have to follow my mind's opinion. Thank you for your blog, :-)

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Molly

June 21, 2020, 11:07 p.m.

Oli, I don’t think it’s right or real, to think we are being ‘wet’. I liked it in the context Orange put in her poem but on the whole, we deal with stuff as we do. Some cope better than others for a multitude of reasons. I would love to be stronger, but deep down I probably am. I find it hard to cope with many things but that doesn’t make me wet. I think we simply ‘feel more’. Molly xx

Ach UK

June 22, 2020, 3:55 p.m.

Sorry I am writing this on Monday Orangeblossom, Thank you for this lovely blog. Reading gently through it gives me a sense of calm at your " handling" of your reactions. Giving them time . . . .and then . . . "The heavy cloud began to lift away." Most often I find myself fighting the feelings or " stuffing" them. Lovely to see you paint the processes into your sad poem. Big hugs from 2 metres and counting . . XX Ach.

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Molly

June 22, 2020, 4:29 p.m.

Lovely response Dear Ach. By the way tomorrow it’s to be announced that 2 metres will become 1 metre. Find this totally ridiculous to be honest but there we go!! Got my tape measure ready :-) xx

Orangeblossom

June 22, 2020, 4:42 p.m.

Thanks for your very supportive & thoughtful comment Ach!

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