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"I'm living my life for other people. I'm not being my true self - and what sort of example is that doing for my children? What message am I sending? That I'll settle, that I'll sacrifice myself for them at the cost of my mental and physical health?"
Increasingly I've been getting Facebook memories of my children saying things like "you're not your usual flowy self, Mum" or "You are like a business woman", and as you know, I've been stuck in depressive state for nearly three years, so it's about time I got to the bottom of this. I've always been a fairly transient person, I get restless after about three years and seek out new adventures, ideas or dreams, after all, life is only so short, so it's important to make the most of it, right?
But when we moved from living an outdoor, beach lifestyle in Broome to suburban Perth, I remember my middle daughter saying "I'm looking forward to being normal and living in a house," so we lived in a house. I sold our campervan and started living a "normal life". The kids were happy in a house with four walls, but it only took two years for me to start to feel restless again. So we moved to a nearby suburb, I thought having the expansive views of the city would help me to settle, but instead, I became restless again and my depression started to sink in. I wasn't following my heart, I was trying to give my daughters some sense of normality and a sense of stability, which I suppose they've had these past five years here but at what cost to me?
The consequences of not following my heart are significant - not only is my mental health is affected but my body is not coping. In my case, I've had injuries in my calves, a neck problem that just won't fix, no matter how many chiropractors, osteopaths or massage therapist's I've seen and I've gained 8kg which just won't budge, no matter what I do. I'm living my life for other people. I'm not being my true self - and what sort of example is that doing for my children? What message am I sending? That I'll settle, that I'll sacrifice myself for them at the cost of my mental and physical health? To be fair, their adolescence hasn't been a walk in the park, but I'm not happy in my life. I'm restless. This last move we had, I only lasted six months before I wanted to move again. I feel trapped by the walls of a home in the middle of suburbia. I feel trapped living in a city that I don't like.
I feel trapped by an innertia that up until this very moment I had forgotten I had power over. I have power, I have choice, I have to honour my true self, the little me that sits inside and just wants to finish the trip - to go home. I've been, as Jim Carrey puts it, "playing a character" for the benefit of everyone else and not for me. I've been so worried about upsetting my teenage daughters that I've pushed my true self away rather than owning who I really am. I'm tired of playing this game. I'm tired of living the life that other people expect of me. And, as a friend of mine just said "Whatever path you take ensure it is one that makes you happy. Smiling and feeling at peace with life is worth more than gold." And she's right. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to put my heart's calling into action and if it doesn't work out, I can always change my mind because I have choice.
*This is the author's experience of this, please consider seeing an appropriate professional if you feel like you have medical needs. Doctors. We need them. Use them. :)
©Alyssa Curtayne 2019
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