The Struggle Bus

It’s here now, almost daily. There are good moments, great moments. There are good days, great days. There are a lot of moments of breathing and harnessing the power of my thoughts, emotions and every tool in my toolbox of transforming my thoughts, beliefs, understanding my emotions, redirecting, thinking differently and changing my perspective.

Lately though, that’s fucking harder and harder to do. See I believe in letting ourselves feel what we feel and allowing those feelings to be processed, purged and to bring us to a new awareness.

But I also know that feelings are hard AF. Feelings on a good day, as a trauma survivor who wants to paint the world prettier than it is, who wants to wear rose coloured glasses and avoid the difficult conversations, who loves to run, literally and figuratively from the hard stuff, are a challenge.

But today, and more days lately than I care to admit, I am struggling. One minute I am ok and the next I am not. My moods change like the North Atlantic weather. I am a ball of stress and fun and joy and positivity and excitement about life and the future and the life I worked really hard to create for myself, is hard to find. Most days I am great but there are days when I open my eyes and the struggle bus is already at the door, tooting it’s horn, telling me it’s here for me.

I know when I wake up exhausted and frustrated that I’m harbouring unexplored emotions. And honestly, exploring those emotions seems pointless, too. Because what difference does it make in this moment when I am bored, exhausted, lost virtually everything that I loved in my life. That today, once again, I’ll work, workout, cook, clean, walk dogs, dispense medications like a pharmacist, send too many memes and text messages to my friends and sit staring in space, mouth slightly agape, perhaps even a little drool starting to form, because why even bother to shift my energy or perspective.

And I know the value of shifting our outlook, changing our state, fuck a wrote a book about it and I know the value in my own life and the lives of those I help everyday.

But somedays the struggle bus wins and I don’t give a fuck about being happy or positive. I don’t give a fuck about what I’m gonna cook for supper or who’s live streaming what. I don’t care about the election or the daily fucking covid numbers. I don’t care about anything except keeping myself breathing in this moment. Because I can’t see beyond today and while there is immense value in living for today, there’s also incredible value in having something to look forward to.

I am an adventure driven, variety loving, extrovert. I understand we are protecting the vulnerable and I live with the vulnerable, a type 1 diabetic. Actually I only sort of live with him. He travels for work, so when I get to see him, we are in lockdown and fully isolated. When he leaves, I am as free as whatever the current state of lockdown is.

I loved my life. I loved the life I had built. And I will rebuild a new one that I love. That much I know because I know who I am and what I’m capable of. I know what I have faced in the past and what I will face to reinvent myself once again.

But fuck. This is a lot of bullshit. And it’s hard. And having freedom revoked and movements controlled as a trauma survivor who’s biggest coping tool is movement, freedom, travel. And I know this makes me sound like a first world whiny bitch. But today that’s the seat I’m on in the struggle bus. And I don’t like pretending I’m somewhere I’m not.

And I dislike others pretending they’re somewhere they’re not.

I’d rather you on your knees telling me the truth of how you feel than on your feet holding yourself together with threads.

For me writing is a processing tool, sharing my thoughts and feelings allows me to move through them and I know it also resonates and sits with others and helps you too, to see where you are, to give yourself permission to get on the struggle bus, even for a few moments and sit with the internal struggle.

Because if we don’t visit the seat we’re assigned today and instead pretend we’re on the “everything is fine, I’m fine bus” then the struggle bus becomes a permanent fixture. Already, in acknowledging my feelings I’ve moved to a different seat on the bus and by the time I finish writing this, I’ll step off the struggle bus.

I’ve found it’s enough somedays to acknowledge our feelings and they sort of dissipate on their own. Like oh hi, struggle, it’s nice to see you today. What do you need from me? But when we resist it, it persists and in that persistence we end up in an accident, the bus is rolled over and the needed the jaws of life to get us out of it.

And that’s not a place we want to go.

So today, and other days, I wake up to the struggle bus. And some days all the tools in my toolbox won’t let me change my perspective or perception or find the silver living. Some days this is all just hard as fuck. Some days I miss the life I had. Some days I want that life back.

But I know there is no going back. There is now before and during and there will be an after. While it seems this will never end and we will never be the same. One of those is true. This will end but we will never be the same. In order to move forward we must be willing to say goodbye to what was, we must be willing to see that the future does not equal the past, that what we had and who we were is no more.

That’s not always a bad thing.

We have an option to grow into the greatest versions of ourselves and embrace a new more empowering future even in the uncertainty of all of what we are facing.

Or we can hang onto the past and spend our lives living in and hoping and wishing and being resentful of what we lost.

When we grow through what we are going through, the struggle bus will inadvertently show up. And I have learned to welcome it. Because it’s on the struggle bus that I can see where I am blocked, caged, not free. And only in facing where I am, can I ever get to where I am going.

It’s funny how it’s the opposite of what we have been conditioned to do, to avoid the struggle, yet it is the struggle that brings us home.

Stay Wild Warriors,

Tonya
PS… if you’re struggling, you’re not alone. It’s normal. And don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not ok to struggle. What you don’t want to do is stay in the struggle. Use the struggle to propel yourself forward. Not to stay stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

PPS… I wrote a book – it came out the day after the pandemic was declared. If you buy it, I’ll love you forever long time -> Unchained

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