Jackie, I too think you are amazing...it made me smile to think of you as my neighbour :)
I cannot begin to imagine how life is for anyone who has lost a child - I've had little incidents - I had 8 miscarriages, my youngest child comes from a twin pregnancy, my eldest child was poorly and we spent the first 10 months of her life uncertain whether she'd live and even longer waiting to discover if there would be any developmental delays, but these things are nothing compared with actually losing a child - they gave me a glimpse, more understanding, more compassion for women in similar situations, but I know how fortunate I am, that I have not had to grieve a loss like yours and live day in, day out with being a mother to a child you can't hug and hold ...I think you have amazing courage!
I really hope that everything goes smoothly with your operation and recovery - and I really hope it brings you the sense of relief and freedom that you hope it will.
Your comment, redressing my need to isolate as much needed solitude, felt so warm and caring, I really appreciated it, thank you! If I'm honest with myself though, I think there's a fair sprinkling of unhealthy, defensive, coping mechanism mixed in with the genuine need for solitude, that needs addressing.
I guess what I'm feeling now is the need to find a sense of balance - I spent most of my life being judged and never being good enough, to the point that I'd internalised it all, my internal-critic was on hyper alert for anything I could be judged for and would get in there and judge myself harshly for it before anyone else could get a chance to, and through therapy I have stopped doing that, I like myself now, I don't give myself a hard time about things anymore, but it feels like my self-compassion has gone a bit too far the other way now, and I let myself off and tell myself it's okay and not to be so harsh on myself about things that maybe I do need to take a bit more responsibility for and act upon accordingly.
I still have compassion, I'm not beating myself up for being too easy on myself, but I think it's probably how it is when you're first finding your feet in recovery - you start off being too harsh on yourself, and then you go to the opposite extreme of being too lenient, and at some point I guess you have to swing back a bit more towards the centre.... and I feel that's where I'm at, recognising the need to find a bit more of a middle ground. (interestingly, I see that this reflects the binge-starve cycles that have dominated my life too)...so hopefully, once my girls are back at school, and I have a funeral to attend next week too, which I hope will bring a bit of closure to my feelings and emotions around that loss (it was a shock, a sudden unexpected death, that I'm still getting my head around)... once that is out of the way and I've done my first day back at work (which I'm hoping will be better than I'm anticipating and make me feel a bit better about that too), then I will be off on a mission to fill my toolkit with those 5 elements for a healthy life that I posted on the forum.
I'm feeling a bit more positive today that I can do it!