Whenever I’m not feeling great, I turn into a bit of a hoarder. I don’t like to move too far, so things start to migrate into a nest in every room. I don’t like to get rid of anything either because I don’t feel like I’m in the right state of mind to be making decisions about what to keep and what to dump. And sometimes I’m too scared to go near something daunting.
On the day I was sent home from work after having a panic attack at the wheel (after which I never went back), I left my handbag and all of the day’s school stuff I had on a chair in the spare room. This was 2nd of November 2015. I hadn’t dared to go near it for over eleven months, but yesterday I did!
Seeing the bag sitting there on the chair felt like a trigger. Every time I saw it, I felt like a huge failure for letting teaching get the better of me. I also hated the fact that I was so goddamned scared of such a beautiful handbag.
I knew there were things I needed in there, but apart from grabbing my phone, keys and purse from it on the day in question, I hadn’t seen it at all. Things I knew I needed I just replaced, and everything else became forgotten about. Lipglosses, jewellery, my Kalms drops, so many tampons!
But yesterday, I was having none of it.
Filled with this rush of energy, I sat down with a bin bag and the courage of a lion and cleared that damn thing out.
I found so many useful things, and realised I was carrying about 7805 pens every day (no wonder I could never find one!), but I also found some lovely memories.
I found a bingo dabber from a work night out that I had organised. I found about four of my favourite fountain pens and all my expensive ink cartridges that were presents from various birthdays and celebrations. I found a box of my old medication that I had been too scared to take when the doctors first prescribed it. And I found tokens from some of the kids at school that had been gifted in appreciation. (I don’t mean to brag but “best teacher ever” was mentioned *flicks hair*).
At first, these memories made me feel terrible for letting it all go.
But thanks to the CBT I was actually able to just appreciate the good, and accept that I’ve moved on now.
As I write this blog post, I’m sitting on the very chair that used to be a danger zone for me.
And I’m celebrating doing that tiny huge thing.