It’s October 1st – the first day in my Swaptober campaign to exchange damaging memories linked to this time of year for new and uplifting emotional triggers. Sadly, my brain and body are seemingly conflicted about my desire for change. If anyone out there still doubts the harmful effects of stress and thinks it’s all paranoid mumbo-jumbo spouted by emotional cripples, consider this:
● I went to bed in a happy mood last night, only to dream of my tormentor and former lover, The Forgiven One, humiliating me in public once again and branding me as worthless. It’s almost two years to the day since that actually happened… what a horrible way for my brain to acknowledge the start of dreaded October.
● I awoke from the aforementioned nightmare to find my bed clothes and undergarments soaked in a sickening pool of thick, cloying blood: my Endometriosis (supposed to be under control by powerful medication) kicked in with a vengeance during my troubled sleep, resulting in pain and abnormal bleeding. I haven’t had an episode this severe in months and the bleeding only seems to happen during extreme bouts of stress. Hello, October! Thanks for the bloody reminder that you’ve rolled around again and you’re the month in which I was backstabbed and left for dead.
● I spent all morning flooded with overwhelming guilt for something others would deem ridiculous: it’s The Forgiven One’s birthday on Saturday and I won’t be making contact to wish him well. He won’t even notice – unless it’s to rejoice in my absence from his life and to make nasty jibes about me to his girlfriend or peers. Why then, do I suddenly feel like a terrible person? After last night’s awful dream, I should be reminded of the need to move onwards and upwards. Instead, I feel horribly guilty that I have sunk to cruel lows and will be perceived as callous. It’s irrational but I have spent hours weeping about my lack of grace, humility and compassion in choosing to ignore someone on their birthday who was once so treasured. Why does October have to be his birthday month on top of everything else? Is there not enough on my plate already?
● The tooth which has been troubling me ever since I was backstabbed (thanks to the stress-related grinding of my teeth) resulted in the need for another emergency visit to the dentist today. I’m still in pain and uncomfortable. Forget “pinch, punch… first of the month”; October’s arrival is more like “mutilate, humiliate… October brings a terrible fate”.
I’m still determined to rebrand this month, despite the obvious resistance to my efforts. Admittedly, I may look, feel and, unfortunately, chew like crap throughout the next 30 days, but I will somehow emerge a victor. By the end of Swaptober, I will be fitter, slimmer, stronger and wiser. I’m more determined than ever!
I have learnt something useful from today’s dramas, in spite of my pain and grief: I am a vulnerable, sensitive and ultimately too trusting woman who needs to stop punishing herself for past mistakes. I loved and cherished a man. So what? That’s nothing for which I should feel ashamed. It’s not October’s fault that this man happened to be a black-hearted Judas who treated me as a worthless tool. He was secretly ridiculing and humiliating me for years before I discovered the truth. I was branded as expendable long before October 2012 – I just didn’t know it.
I need to rebrand this month not only for my health and wellbeing, but also because it deserves my empathy: we have both been unfairly labelled and criticised for too long. October is not my enemy; it’s a kindred spirit in dire need of love, compassion and praise.