One Small Problem at a Time

So, it’s been a couple of weeks since I injured my back and I’ve been able to do some Yoga – in fact my physiotherapist has recommended continuing as long as I’m more careful – but actually, I haven’t been doing it anywhere near as regularly.

Usually I love my classes so much that I also do 15-30 minutes of yoga each morning before I get ready for work and this was really helping me to feel more positive and embracing of the day ahead. Unfortunately however, when I stop doing something regularly I find it really hard to get back into the rhythm and flow of it, particularly when I can justify why, on this particular morning, it might be okay not to do it.

My back is fine now; I’ve been to a couple of weekly yoga classes since and had no issues at all. My yoga instructor has a fresh awareness of my back troubles and so is very clear about what to avoid, or do differently, when he’s instructing us which is great.

So I really have no excuse not to do morning yoga. I’m being lazy and I’m slipping into my old depressive ways. I’ve made so much progress so I need to pull myself out of this spiral and get back to making positive changes.

I want to explain to everyone what got me where I am now and, hopefully, remind myself how I felt then, and how yoga makes me feel now so I can take a step back from the precipice and choose self-care again. When I talk to anyone – be it a counsellor, my college tutor, my manager – about the various things in my life contributing to this overwhelming feeling of failure and loss of control each person responds with ‘no one should be expected to cope perfectly with that many things going on at once’. They’re absolutely right, so, no one should be expected to read about all of it one blog post. Instead, I’m going to break this up into my current mantra.

One small problem at a time. One small problem at a time. One small problem at a time.





That Moment in Life

I’ve never really been much of an active person.

I’ve tried, don’t get me wrong. I used to do PE at school just like everyone else, even went to Badminton and Trampoline some evenings but the older I become the lazier I get. Recently I’ve become so lazy that I don’t even like walking to the corner shop, I always find a reason why we can make do without, or I’ll go tomorrow, or the next day.

On the other hand, I’m a hard worker. A really hard worker. I like to be good at things and I enjoy doing things I’m really good at – but I’m not good at activity so I avoid it at all costs. My husband will attest to this. Only he knows just how truly difficult it is to get me to walk anywhere further than the driveway without moaning about it.

Recently I stopped being good at my job. It was AWFUL. I had exceeded my capacity for brain power and cognitive thought through various difficulties at home, increasingly more demanding workload and a college degree one evening a week and could no longer function at the expected standard. MY expected standard, as I later learned at a counselling session. I ground to a halt, realised just how bad I’d been treating myself and then… broke. I just broke.

I learned later I was the only one who couldn’t see it happening and had convinced myself that I should be able to deal with all of this, so deal with it I will. Well, I couldn’t. Because no one could be expected to, it was all just too much.

During all of this my friend Merran had said a few times, ‘I keep saying I’m going to be more active, maybe we could do Yoga or something? If we do it together then we’re more likely to stick to it.’ I kept pushing back. I don’t have time to do yoga!? don’t you know how much I’ve got going on at the moment!?

Eventually, after speaking with my doctor, I attended a cognitive behavioural therapy course to understand just how much I was expecting of myself and what little changes in behaviour and habit I coud make to cope with difficult times. One of the topics was activity. Of course it was! Up to this point, the more I spent time with my counsellor and listened to the other people on the CBT course, the more I started to realise that it had been screamingly obvious I was not okay and that I was at a critical moment in my life where I could let it all drag me under – or I could take control of my life and my choices and make a positive change.

As the conversation moved towards the percieved obstacles of activity suddenly my mind started to clear – Merran. She knew what I needed and had been trying to coach me in to it without setting off the inevitable bomb that was ticking away in my mind. This is it. This was the moment. Lose control completely or make a positive change?

I messaged Merran as soon as I was out of the class – I could not wait for that class to be over! “A little while ago you asked me about yoga – do you still want to do it? I’m in.”

And thats how it all started.

The class mentioned above was called Getting the Balance Back and is run by Bristol Wellbeing Therapies: