A Retreat

All the usual things are happening in order to get me better such as being signed off work and medication.

But, what I’ve wanted more than anything is to ‘get away;’ right from the moment everything fell around my ears.

There’s two aspects to how this has felt.

Firstly, particularly when this first happened, I wanted to escape my own mind. There was the relief that I had ‘given in’ and it was going to be what it was going to be; including a chance to ‘breathe.’ But, then there were all the negative feelings especially of weakness, failure and guilt. I couldn’t cope with feeling like it; I wanted an ‘off’ switch. And, yes, that led to some very frightening thoughts that I knew rationally I didn’t want to act on but felt like I wasn’t completely in control.

Secondly, I have been yearning to be on my own and quiet. Now I am not at work, this is possible in part during the days at home when my husband is at work and the children are at nursery. But then there’s the evenings, weekends and another day each week when the house is bustling with the activity and noise of small children. There hasn’t felt like enough opportunity to recharge. And just be.

Over the years, since holidays in childhood, Cornwall has become a special place of escape and relaxation. One place in particular is my absolute favourite. This is where I wanted to ‘run away’ to.  I desperately wanted to go immediately. Of course, this wasn’t possible. And probably just as well in those first couple of weeks when I wasn’t looking after myself properly and having high cliffs nearby would have scared me. There was no way I could have driven that far either.

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I really wanted to stay right at my favourite place, not just somewhere nearby. I envisaged being to sit and watch and listen to the sea whenever I wanted to; it’s always had such a calming effect. I duly looked up the Inn that nestles just above the beach. I found 4 nights that were available and was so excited. It was going to cost more than we could really spare but my husband knew how much it meant to me so I went for it.

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It’s been a lovely few days. I have rested whenever I need to. Interspersed with reading, writing, listening to music, watching television and just being quiet in the room; including much sitting on the lovely large windowsill watching the sea. Also wandering down onto the beach and up on to the cliffs. As always, enjoying taking pictures and trying to get the best moment captured; the perfect moment of a wave splashing up onto the rocks. Although, I must already have thousands of similar pictures!

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Music has always been a major hobby and a great source of fulfilment; but has been completely pushed out since my second child was born. Not only has life been incredibly busy and tiring, ‘me’ has got lost amongst it all which has been an additional detrimental factor to my overall wellbeing. Therefore, not only do I need to reduce the load in terms of work and chores, I also need to add back in those things that will contribute to ‘wellness.’ In relation to this, I brought my ‘silent’ violin with me (earphones are used to hear and it barely sounds externally). This unfortunately has not given me immediate joy! Many months of not playing has left me pretty rusty so the result has been fairly frustrating – but something to work at in due course and hopefully enjoy again.

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Now I am about to leave to head home again. I don’t want to go. I realised a couple of days ago that I have not really been thinking much about home and my family. Why am I not missing my boys like I would expect to?! When I look at their photos, I want to give them a hug. But mostly, I just want to stay peacefully on my own and this is dominating over my desire to be with them. This makes me feel like a very inadequate mother. Heartbreaking; thinking about this has made me cry. In a way, this was a relief; I have felt numb and as if my emotions have been trapped most of the time. I still feel like there’s more to ‘let out’ but I can’t properly yet.

This was exactly what I needed; if only it had been a little longer.

Escapism. Peace. Tranquillity. Solitude. Healing.

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