For me, Instagram is a place to share special moments and places. I gain a sense of joy and inspiration seeing other people’s special moments. Scrolling through my feed on Friday night, a photo of a woman on a deck, feet up looking out to the vast Pacific Ocean caught my eye. At first glance, the image epitomised relaxation.
But the reality was a little different. The poster wrote she had “hit the wall” and was taking time out. That phrase “hit the wall” really resonated. It’s a feeling a lot of us can relate to.
For me hitting the wall might have been the time I put the car in reverse instead of drive outside my son’s kindy after three hours sleep and a morning at work, or maybe it was the time I dragged my young family out of bed early to see me off on a business trip only to discover I had totally missed flight. Or maybe it was the time I put my sons in the car and drove. Not sure where I was going but knowing I needed to go. Or maybe …. yeah lots of those moments as I struggled to look after myself while raising two sons, two step-daughters, run a business and renovate a house while my husband worked night shift. Tough times.
I didn’t know the author of the Instagram post but knew the feeling. Overwhelmed, strung out, so tired your back constantly aches and you either can’t keep weight on or can’t keep it off. You make mistakes, beat yourself up, pick yourself up and carry on until you hit the wall again.
So after some hesitation, I posted a quick comment of reassurance applauding the poster’s choice to take time out.
It’s taken me a long time and many, many head butts against that wall to learn how to do that. Sometimes it means changing jobs, or cutting back hours, maybe leaving a toxic relationship, maybe just giving yourself permission to spend more time with friends. We all find ways to climb the wall because going straight through it doesn’t work.
I applaud anyone who can admit things aren’t quite okay and then, reach out and make some changes. A series of images produced by the Canterbury District Health Board as part of a well-being campaign sums up the challenges and potential solutions so simply. I love them and have them in my office at work. A great reflection for anxiety ridden teens – and timely reminder for overloaded adults.
It’s really is okay to reach out.