We all react differently to the challenges of life. Some of us have strong, resilient personalities. Others crumble at the first sign of trouble. At times we may even flip between the two. It's a hard balance to maintain. What is a bump for one may be Mount Everest for another. It all comes down to personal experiences, your current situation and your will to want to move forward.
For a while for me the spider was on top... the normal. I've been setting boundaries with friends and family and I can sense the displeasure of some as I'm no longer the 'Yes' person they could rely on. But that's ok. I'm realising I only have one life and if I constantly live it for everyone else I am going to be bitter and resentful. I came across a wonderful blog last week - 'life after tampons' great title - the author Jennifer Boykin makes a very valid point - people pleasing is a form of manipulation and control for acceptance from the person doing the people pleasing! It doesn't help me to say yes when in my head I'm screaming NO... how can I reasonably expect you to realise I meant no...
But on the flip side of normal is chaos and I find myself in the middle of that right now. While I've been placing boundaries in place with others I've allowed my own personal boundaries to slip. As a result personally I am not as strong internally as I thought I was. Chaos reigns and it is very hard to keep on top of everything that I am supposed to. Both my physical and mental health is suffering. Having been there before I recognised the symptoms and have been able to get help sooner this time around. The support structures are there, I just need to utilise them (and of course listen to the instructions I'm given).
We never know when our demons will strike and what our reactions will be. I thought I was okay and doing really well... I am but I'm also not. This week the various social networks have been filled with news of the death of Phillip Hoffman from an apparent drug overdose. After being clean 20 years he succumbed to his addition despite having resources available to him. Tragic. There is a lot of judgement out there - he was clean, he knew better, he had the money to seek help, he has children that will now grow up without him... however very few of us will ever know the real demons that drove him and what caused the chaos of the fly to take over from the normal of the spider at that particular junction in his life. It is easy to sit in the safety of our homes and pass judgement. We all think we're safe if we do that.
No matter what your demon or addiction every day can be a struggle. Some of us are strong enough to get through it without collapse, others of us are not so strong. I try remain strong in the face of adversity. I have a lot to want to live for, my children, my family, my friends, my life. However right now I recognise and acknowledge that it is a daily struggle for me and that it requires a lot of positive energy coming in for me to keep going. It is so easy for exhaustion to set in and to find the will to continue is hard. I don't want sympathy. I don't even want acceptance. I'm not suicidal (I know some will read this and panic) ... I'm simply tired. There are fights to be fought and challenges to be met... walking away would be so easy but will give others power over me. I'm not prepared to give them that power so I will have to keep going.
That means every day I have to find the balance between the what is normal for the spider and chaos for the fly. Some days the spider will have a meal because the chaos was too much for the fly to manage, other days the spider will go hungry as the fly escapes the chaos. Just like life it is a 50/50 pay off. We all take our chances in this dance with life.
Find balance. We can't always escape the chaos but we can always try and balance it with the normal.