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On the edge of overwhelm

I’m feeling anxious. I keep trying to breathe through it or dance it out or move past it, but it’s sitting on my chest like a heavy lump. I know exactly where it’s coming from, too – I’m on the edge of overwhelm. The trouble is, anyone would be…

Let’s start with the bad news and move to the good. The bad news is that last week we found out my dad has to have an urgent hip replacement. Which just totally sucks in every possible way. It sucks that he is in constant daily pain, and there’s nothing we can do about it till the operation. It sucks that he has just fully recovered from his knee replacement last year, and now has to go back into hospital, back into rehab, back learning how to walk normally again. And it sucks that once again, I’m facing my hospital PTSD and flying to Durban to check a parent into hospital, hoping that he comes out the other side fine.

Of course, I know that rationally a hip replacement is standard procedure. The anaesthetist has checked him out and says he’ll be fine. People don’t die of hip replacements. But my mom was dancing to The Cure performing live in March 2019, and in a morphine coma in June 2019, and dead in July 2019, so… Things happen.

I have a session booked on Friday to deal with the PTSD, because I know that it’s not helpful and not based in reality… And I know that it’s heaps better than last year, when I flew down to check him into hospital. That time I was almost convinced I was going to be making another terrible phonecall to my brothers from the hospital doors. This time, I can sense some lingering trauma that I just want to let go of.

So there’s that. And that is big! Particularly because it means I’m taking a week out of life (parenting and work life) so I need to do a whole bunch of home prep this side before I go, spend quality time with the kids and, oh, you know, work ahead so I can take a surprise week off work. Mostly off work, at least.

Then there’s the good. We launched the Diabetic South Africans podcast, and the response has been wonderful! I just found out that we’re doing an audiobook of The Grief Handbook, and I’m going to be narrating it! I’ve been invited to be part of a panel at the WHO Global Diabetes Compact launch! I got an email yesterday asking if I have time to be interviewed for an article for The Economist!

It never rains but it pours… Isn’t that the saying?

I am so deeply grateful for all of these wonderful opportunities. I am also needing to cram them into a week and a half before I fly to Durban, so I recorded two podcasts this morning, need to write two more this week and record them early next week, before I spend three mornings recording the audiobook and an evening speaking at the WHO event (all I have to say about that is: eek!)

There is a lot going on. And I am welcoming it because a friend sent me this beautiful Instagram post a few days ago, and I am holding onto the fact that we are given the challenges and opportunities we need for our spiritual development.

“When we shift into the awareness that spirit brings us exactly what we need, at the exact right time for our spiritual development, we realize that all of life is a gift.”

But I am also feeling borderline anxious and on the brink of overwhelm, because I am human and this is a lot.

Did I mention I’m also juggling diabetes and two young kids who need a lot of attention, and dedicated homework time every afternoon? Oh yes, there’s that too…

For now: deep breath in, deep breath out. Gardening. Cuddles with my kids. Early nights. Hot baths. Delicious healthy food. Walks in nature. Acceptance…

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