Thursday, April 8, 2010

Path of Least Resistance

Path of Least Resistance.

The day I wrote my last blog over 6 weeks ago, I slipped into such a dark place. I was literally in a dark place but I fell figuratively into one as well. I was living in an environment that was not conducive to health. It had become toxic and I was stunned by the transformation. I felt so incredibly alone and vulnerable, and no evidence to the contrary would register. I had made another mistake with who I let into my life. I had no strength left to fight anymore. It felt easier just to slip away.

The mental fog I suffer with CFS/FM confused me so much, at times I could not only not remember what I had done or said but which medication I had taken or which I had not. I feared that in such a dark time, it would be easy to just keep taking more and more medication til I just didn't feel anything anymore. I hung on to loving comments from people on email and facebook and tried to maintain a positive outlook, then the internet was taken away from me.

On the night of my friend Lou's 50th party I seriously wanted to disappear, I joked and smiled but inside I was dying. I wanted to reach out for help but felt so tired I couldn't, and I couldn't bear another rejection. But I didn't need to reach out, Lou had seen where I was at. The next morning she called me and said to come over to her sister's house where she and her husband Paul P were house sitting. When I didn't get there in 15 minutes she called again and I let her know I was on my way. She knew. 
I got there and told them exactly how I felt. They both knew and understood what I was going through, having both experienced similar struggles in their own lives. I didn't have to justify, explain or maintain any positive attitude, they only required me to be. I stayed there with them for a few days and the joy of living in a house with genuine, happy people helped me to relax again. When I felt a bit stronger I went out to their house in the country on my own to house sit and look after Cheeka the cat.

I no longer had to make decisions on my own. Paul P took charge and helped me collect all my stuff and move it to their house. Their house is a house they built with love, sweat and tears. It's a feat to see and in the most beautiful situation looking over a dam. There is lots of wildlife - turtles, magpie geese and a large possum that ran past me on the drive one night. Staying there was a salve to my soul. I thought it would be a bit awkward - it's an open plan house - the only internal walls are in the bathroom. But I never once felt a burden or in the way. I lay there at night - and a lot during the day - listening to the babbling brook that ran under the window by my bed. I surrendered. I had no resistance left in me.

For 7 years in the UK I fought for a safe place to live and work, a career and in the last 2 years I fought for a relationship. It all continually felt like a battle. I was determined to make things better, to achieve success but in the end I only felt battered and bruised. I yearned for a home - somewhere to feel safe and let go. I thought I had surrendered by coming back here, yet I think in some small way I was still battling and making wrong choices. The night of Lou's 50th I totally surrendered, and it was either slip away quietly or let my vulnerability be my strength.

Lou and Paul recognised this vulnerability in me and stepped in to do what I could no longer do for myself. They embraced me as family. Lou kept saying 'you're family Beck - we love you'. Their love and acceptance of me and where I am at was a healing balm. I had so much fun living with them. We cooked together, laughed, watched movies, yacked about everything and they left me to rest when I needed to.

While I was there I amazingly got approved to receive a disability pension. Amazing as not many people get it first shot. It not only officially recognised the struggle I was going through physically, it meant I could afford a bit more rent and could start looking for a place to be on my own. I made a few phone calls about places but didn't even get to see them, as the owners didn't want someone on the pension living there. I looked at a run down unit in an old queenslander in Cooroy and because it was cheap I put in an application for it thinking 'oh it will do for now'. But I really didn't want to live there. As I left the agents I looked in the Noosa news and saw an add for a cabin in the country that I had seen the week before. I couldn't remember whether or not I had already rung there and been turned down. But I thought I had nothing to lose. I hadn't called before and I spoke to a friendly chap, who unlike the others I called, didn't have a problem with signing a rent certificate or me being at home all day. So I went straight out there and checked out the property.

I drove through the forest area and arrived at the driveway to the 'plantation'. The drive is lined with bamboo and there are rows of gum trees behind them. The 'cabin' is large. It has a large living area and off of that is the bedroom with a large walk-in-robe and an ensuite with a washing machine and dryer. I couldn't resist it. They said there were a couple of other people looking at it and asked for references. It turned out that Lou knows the family. They rang that afternoon to say I had been accepted and could move in the next Thursday. I was so relieved.

I made my 6th move in as many months 2 weeks ago. My cabin is all white inside with mushroom coloured concrete floors and rug. It's rustic, simple bright and airy. I have managed to darken most of it, but it still maintains a 'bright' feel with it's high ceilings. My first day there I dozed peacefully on the couch. I have felt relaxed there from the first moment, knowing I was home.

Lou's sons have helped me as well, moving furniture for me and always with a smile. My friend Paul M rocked up the first weekend I lived here with a tv, dvd, bookcase, ironing board, tons of kitchen gear and even a new juicer. I was stunned and humbled by everyone's generosity of spirit. It wasn't just the practical material support - it was the willingness to cheerfully make an effort and the care they showed in doing so.

Well, I have been here 2 weeks now and after the first few days of getting things unpacked and doing a bit of shopping for my kitchen, I have just let myself go and surrendered to the healing process. The treatment I am on brings out more and more symptoms each day, exhaustion and joint pains being the main ones. Now I can avoid the sun again I sleep better at night (for me anyway) and doze a lot during the day. I am so exhausted but I have learned to go with the flow, I can barely function, but I have a smile on my face. I love it here, it nurtures me. It's home - my home and it feels that way.

So no more battling, trying to make things work or fit. I am learning to recognise who I can let into my inner sanctum and who I can keep at a friendly distance. I have realised I grew up learning that it was ok to need, want and receive success and work. I also erroneously learned then it was not ok to want, need or receive nurturing. By spending 10 years nurturing others I realised I was giving away the very thing I wanted and needed. The caretaker is often asking for care. I believe the home should be a place of peace and nurture - a place to express who you genuinely are. It's what I've been looking for, it's who I am. And now I have it.

When I made my choice to walk away from the UK, I realised that I was never going to receive a nurturing home in the relationship I was in, nor the culture in general. I had such a struggle coming to that decision - it was a hard one to make as I loved the man I was with. I knew I couldn't live in the tension of conflict of values and needs anymore. I received such conflicting advice and felt very confused, but in the end I believe I made the right decision. I let it go.

My psychologist told me how brave I was to do that, saying most people would have settled for what they had - and it wasn't a bad relationship at all - we were really good friends - but I wanted and needed to make a home which my ex wasn't prepared to do with me. And I don't just mean bricks and mortar! 

I now have a small group of people around me, who know how to nurture, it is their strength and a vital part of them. They love me and embrace me as family. We need and nurture each other. And there is such strength in allowing each other to be vulnerable. There is a genuine honesty and integrity by which they live and love, and they allow me to be the same. They are loving me through the dark times and sharing in my joys. I can finally exhale.

I finally took the path of least resistance and it lead me home.


  1. bex, you had me crying by the last sentence (how perfect and beautiful). i could feel you letting go, and see how things were starting to flow as you did, this last little while - something joyful and inspiring to witness. i wish you so much happiness on the path of least resistance and hope that i too will learn in time to fully surrender and find my way there...

  2. I am pleased to hear that you are in a better place now... I am praying that you will continue to be healed!

  3. ps - i hope you know that by 'simply' looking after yourself and sharing your journey you are giving to the world around you more than you probably know.

  4. Bex, what a wonderful blog. I hope & pray you continue to gather strength and get healing. Love georgina

  5. Gidday Bex

    They say "no place, like home". Rolling with the punches is always the best way to get through impossible situations I've found. In every bad situation, a comes good out of it, as like yours. Well done on finding a place where you can relax and heal. It's also good when you have good people around, that's special. Take care and I look forward to reading about your progress. I to just put up a new blog. MEX

  6. I was crying too but my tears have dried up since I have had no-one close by to let them out to. I don't cry tears at home about me, even though I know my body is. It's easy to cry for someone else - even a movie - with real tears. And similarly I am mostly at home alone. Just like you. We seem to have a lot in common even down to rejecting my boyfriend because of the exact same reasons you did. We should never have been anything more than friends and I hurt him but I made a promise to myself that I would never live with anyone that "made me sick" again - after my husband left. The horrible truth is that I have not found a man who is NOT a vexation to my spirit.