Becoming visible, it's what I want and feel is starting to happen.
The Back Story.
Before coming to Spain I was getting a solid professional reputation, that was nearly 9 years ago. For the last two years I plonked myself well and truely in my past and by that I mean living a life of self pity and regret. Why did I leave the UK and all that was obtainable for me, professionally? This really meant, where has everything this professional life gave me gone? Not just the reputation and career prospects but also the money, the freedom, you get me?
I suppose I need to be honest, what is the point of this blog if I am not going to be that? I wanted the best of both worlds, the relaxed life style of the med with my family, financed by long distance working and a nice amount of interest earned on the equity sitting in the bank from our house sale. For a while, that is exactly what I got and I was very pleased with myself. Then "la crisis", no more consultancy work and no more interest payments either, to speak of, monthly income vanished. The savings became the income.
Fortunately, I have a professional title, (Occupational Therapist) plus lots of experience so I was able to find work, luck was involved as well. The lack of work in the UK coincided with the opening of a recovery centre in Alcaucin. I was employed by the owners in 2010 and still am.
The job provided me with a marvellous learning curve, although I had experience of mental health working, addictions was a new area and even after 5 years, somedays, it can still feel like a new area. The biggest box it ticks, for me, is working with people, enabling people to make positive changes in their life. Being involved in another person's growth is an absolute privilege, I enjoy this.
So, there I was, working with people, asking them to think about the basic aspects of their life. Their home and family, work and money, social life and friendships, health, spirituality. I started to ask myself the same questions and the answers were grim and I sat with them, feeling very sorry for myself.
Examples of my answers:
I have a home but I hate the furniture, mainly second hand and make do (yes you read that, superficial, but honest)
My family, has doubled, (two more children in Spain) and I felt that they were purely here to exhaust me
My work, the part that I enjoy, I started to feel dissatisfied, my skill set was getting lost, I wasn't using my full abilities. Money is constantly tight, so the financial satisfaction wasn't there, we just cover bills and food and clothing.
Social, barely there, but neither was my head, I was well entrenched in the idea that nobody understood how impossible it was for me to afford going out, and if by chance I could afford it, didn't they appreciate how tired I was?
Health, physically fine, if we don't include a decline in fitness because of my creeping laziness. Mental health, I wasn't depressed, just low, resentful, bitter, bitchy, jealous, short tempered, sulky
Spirituality, wanted to feel some sort of connection, but wanted that to happen to me, I wasn't doing anything about it myself.
I wallowed in all of this for sometime. With wallowing comes inaction, I wrapped this up in expressions like, "I have no choice, there are no options for me, this is all the fault of..... and therefore out of my hands".
Then I woke up and listened to myself and didn't like it. So I sat and thought hard and wrote down some choices, options, how I could change and be responsible for that change, in myself.
This is what I put down:
Stop using ridiuclous amounts of time watching the telly, playing games on your kindle, endless searching for nothing on the internet.
With reclaimed time, give some to your family, the exhaustion was largely due to living with their frustrations with me. If I spent the amount of time I had spent moaning at them doing something with them instead, I might actually feel energised by it.
Take control back re your work, you worked for yourself in the past why not now? Take an inventory of your skills and interest and work out how to use them.
Get back to creative writing, it's your relaxation, your enjoyment.
Appreciate your friendships, put effort in.
Take time each day to reflect and learn, show gratitude
I have putting these actions in place, I can't report a complete life change, but life is changing. I'd like to keep on sharing with you.