Solace – 06/25/2016

It’s been a while since I last wrote, and all the while I’ve had this word on my mind…solace. This beautiful word that carries so much meaning; sitting patiently, waiting for me to write about it. When I think about the word solace, it oozes alleviation and covers distress with it’s blanket of consolation; leaving no room for the discomfort of life’s thorns.

So,why? Why can I not shake this word?
Well, the need for comfort could be enough for anyone to have solace on their mind. To find relief in times of stress, sorrow, or trouble is ever so needed to continue on in life, I believe.

I, myself, am a very particular person; for whom solace plays a major role in overall well-being. For me, solace is not only this blanket term for comfort and relief, but a feeling of release; a place of peace where I can collect my thoughts, calm my nerves – sometimes literally – and prepare myself for what is next to come. Solace is my special place.

So again, why? Why this past month does it keep resurfacing?
June, like most other months, is a busy one. Summer begins, family comes to visit, graduations and achievements are celebrated, travelling or work begins, and that zone of comfort begins to lose its symmetry as it’s stretched and distorted with these life events.

I’m a person of routine. I love it. I rely on the predictable patterns that unfold day to day, protecting me from potential detriments of inconsistency. To begin to explain my dependency on routine, I’ll first address anxiety. You see, routine leaves little wiggle room for anxiety to grow. With routine, I have a fairly clear picture of how things will go; how my MS will act, specifically, and how I can enjoy my day without failed expectations or a lengthy outdoor excursion that leaves me nearly not functional. For it is these unscheduled events that hold me captive to anxiety – to stress – where I feel so out of my comfort zone that my solace can no longer be seen.

But, back to June. June has been consistent with exciting family visits and travels for the last several years. Consistent but, ironically, I still classify June as unstructured and a complete schedule changer.

Living in a basement, essentially on my own, I build my routine; leaving time for spontaneous movie nights (I know…living on the edge…) or hang outs with my pretty awesome someone (blush). But even those spontaneous times become predictable…comfortable. And then, to be consistent, June comes along and family follows.

~ I’ll just say first that I love my family and the time I have with them, so this is nothing close to saying that I don’t enjoy family visits. ~

My sister graduated first and I followed a good week after. It was incredible to see and feel all the support; I’m so glad that I didn’t scare these important people away…at least I hope I didn’t. Because, I admit that I got anxious! My routine was tampered with and I was housing my family and friends in my basement…where my routine was…where I’d found solace being alone the majority of each day. I know they are family, with which comes unconditional love and forgiveness, but I felt vulnerable and scared that just one rough hour would bring on a miserable me that no one wanted to be around. Fortunately, all that fear and anxiety didn’t ruin the visit. I actually really enjoyed my time with them – of course with moments of crazy, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m not alone there.

So, you can assume that among the chaos, I was able to find some solace and maintain some peace of mind. At first, I tried looking through Pinterest…because I love all that sappy stuff…but, my comfort was still off kilter. Then, I tried my typical cool down method; laying on the floor, eyes closed, breathing deep into my belly, and stretching out my back and limbs. Oh, SO peaceful! Next was laughter…the hysterical kind that hurts your cheeks and abs. Then I thought about the outdoors! Those days when the sun’s out and the wind keeps the earth just the right kind of cool…

It’s so relieving to enjoy these things with people who want and cherish your time. Yes…so comforting to also appreciate the time you spend with yourself.

So, June. I must thank you for giving me solace; this year and last, when I was diagnosed. You never cease to keep me on my toes. You never cease to teach me something I should know about myself.

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