Mini self retreats

The last few days I’ve had an explosion of self. Like, an explosion of self discovery. All the running and racing and (somewhat desperate) socialising and ‘giving myself a holiday’ I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks – and well needed too – plus the being ill so I literally couldn’t delve into myself, sit and write for hours in my journal, sit and draw out my cartoons and release or simply just understand that the frickin’ hell is going on, and in turn heal, has come to this – a few days of turning right deep into myself, of going on a mini self discovery retreat. The minute my period hit this month, all I wanted to do was ‘go into myself’. Out of the blue – after a chunk of time not writing much, not diving into myself because it felt too triggering, too much – I suddenly just craved alone time, self retreating, discovering, realising, learning, and most of all I think – expressing from deep inside. I kinda ignored it or only met it a little. I tapped in from the outside and instead spilled a quarter or an eighth of the words I had inside. I broke it up with seeing people and it felt nice. I was bored of bloody looking so far inside myself. I wanted a flippin’ break. But the urge felt nice, it felt nurturing – it felt like Health.

When I was away for two days I did it a fair bit, but I realise now that when I need this, and get this urge I need it big style. Like, all day. Twenty pages full, not just a few. It’s like I get these bursts, perhaps after not writing for a while, where my entire self just needs to have its say on a page. Parts of me are screaming out to be discovered, gotten to know, heard and to become and feel part of the rest of me.

So I’ve spent the last two and a half days deep in my journal or in nature. The first day I could be mainly found sobbing and writing, sobbing and writing. Then yesterday I went on a walk and drew cartoons. Today I drew more cartoons and still have a head full of stuff – realisations, theories, cartoons, parts I suddenly realise are there, new aspects or deeper knowledge of parts I already know.

In all this time, be it only a day and a half but for me that feels like a long time (recently days have felt like they go on forever, in a good way) I haven’t felt the need or want for friends at all. Before I went away I was on a socialising bender. Now I just want myself. Now it feels like just navigating through, managing, getting to know and integrating, these parts of me – the newly discovered and the ones I’ve always known but with more things they need to say. I feel like just doing that, being with this, discovering and integrating that all is enough for me. Just sitting under the tree like I am now, I realise the only friend I want right now is nature. Sitting here I get that same connection – the connection with myself that friends bring – that I do when I’m with my friends.

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All day I’ve been in a pickle. My mind’s been racing and my body’s felt like shit. I’ve been dizzy, I’ve been weak, I’ve felt disconnected, I’ve been anxious, I’ve felt desperate, I’ve felt afraid, I’ve been worried, I’ve been lost…but sitting and walking through this mini nugget of woods, I feel the calmest and most content and most with myself than I could. It hasn’t lasted for super long – already I feel discomfort and a need to go, to go stress myself out, to go home, to go where I feel completely safe, but the fact that things can shift completely upside down by simply hanging with a tree, reminds me just how okay I am and will be. And just how nature is one pretty marvellous thing.

Nature is my mate. She’s cool, she’s easy, we can hang out, sit, play. That peacefulness and lightness that the right kinda friends bring, nature brings it too. Sometimes I go into nature to feel alone, to feel connected. I go out of the urge for isolation and peace and ease and simplicity and somewhere, someone, who simply understands. Other times I go out of the need to feel mothered. I go out of the desperate urge and need to feel safe, held, supported and nurtured. And other times, like today, I realise I go to feel sociable. To feel like I’m loved and have mates. I go to find that sociable fun healthy and content part of me, but without the risk or easiness of being dragged sideways out of my self and into the being of another.

I realise in these moments, these times of intense self discovery or explosion of getting to know myself, I feel delicate and fragile. I feel like being with people knocks me out of the fragile shell I have around myself. Being with people feels like it’ll undo the healing and discovering and integrating I’ve done. I used to not trust this, and force myself to be with people, but today I realise that increasingly I’m learning to love it. I’m learning to respect and honour the fact that my connection with my parenting, grounded self feels so fresh and new and like it needs protecting, that being with people for longer than a few minutes or a phone call, takes me away from this newly formed connection. In a day or an hour when this connection feels stronger, I’ll be back out there again. And also, this need to GET THE HELL OUTTA MYSELF hits real suddenly too. I might wake up tomorrow morning or later after a nap and desperately need to get the fuck out of my room and out of my journal and out of this delicateness and find some mates. But right now this insular-ness is healthy. I can feel it. Sometimes it turns sour and I become depressed, without really realising (I am someone that needs people). Other times I get fidgety and agitated and bored and I realise I need some human contact and fun. But for now I’m quite enjoying this little phase of a mini retreat and will go carry it on up the street.

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