Feels like fireworks; sounds like a battlefield.

I’m outside of my comfort zone.

I’m not a worrier, I don’t tend to doubt my convictions once I’ve had them, and I’m normally reasonably articulate about my choices.

Right now, not so.

Right now everything is terrifying. I get an adrenaline rush from all the thoughts buzzing in my head during the time it takes to clean my teeth. The tension in my back and shoulders commands I stop half-way up the stairs to stretch and try to feel normal.

My brain, body and environment all feel out of sync.

Now I’ve made the choices I have, I need to leap up and prove something. But first I need to stop and relax. If I carry on with my brain as active as it currently is I’m going to go crazy.

This counter-intuitive reality is the result of too many months sauntering along a line perpendicular to where I wanted to go, doing things that weren’t right for me. When the Noph, who has known me since I was three, told me she’d never seen me so livid before, I knew something was wrong. I’m not normally an angry person. I don’t normally feel so helpless.

I’d made a mess of the basics.

And it’s been having a negative effect on those around me. I’m so wound up in my own dilemmas that I’m making a disastrous friend. Self-obsessed doesn’t even begin to describe it. My thoughts are like fireworks. I’m struggling to explain the sparks to my family. I see something wondrous, and they’re hearing a battlefield.

When we’re outside our comfort zone we behave erratically. Hands sweat, voices wobble and we panic at the slightest threat.

Just past the line of comfort is where we become more than we are. It’s where we grow.

And recently, I haven’t been there enough.

  • clarepooley33
    Wednesday 18 November 2015

    How uncomfortable you must be feeling Catherine! Relaxing must be almost impossible when you have so many thoughts jostling about in your head. Once you have decided on a course of action you will start to feel better I’m sure.

    • Catherine Oughtibridge
      Thursday 26 November 2015

      I’m happy that I’m taking action. Relaxing is a difficult challenge, because it’s still an active process. Stuff like going for a run or a long walk and painting help.

      It’s going to be slow, but there’s definitely change happening, and it’s really good change. I feel like I’m taking back control of my life, directing my own choices. I’ve just spent a lovely week away visiting my sister, talking and eating scones. It was lovely.

      Your support, as always, is greatly appreciated.

      • clarepooley33
        Thursday 26 November 2015

        My pleasure as always, Catherine. It is very easy to get into a rut and just let life happen. Taking back control seems hard at first but I believe it gets easier. Richard and I are trying to do the same now that he has retired and both daughters’ health problems are less troublesome. I am pleased you had a good time with your sister.

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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami