Soft Places and Honest Spaces – Part 3.

Soft Places Honest Spaces TITLE OPTION 2Also in this series

Soft Places and Honest Spaces – Introduction.

Soft Places and Honest Spaces – Part 1.

Soft Places and Honest Spaces – Part 2.

Soft Places and Honest Spaces – Part 3.

Soft Places and Honest Spaces – Part 4.

Soft Places and Honest Spaces – Conclusion.

It’s at this point in writing my breakdown story I decide I hate it!  I wanted to delete the whole series and start again.


I asked myself that over and over.  What is it that’s not sitting right with me?  Why am I so angry with the shape it is taking?  Am I not content with the depth of understanding I hope the reader will gain? Are there too many quotes? Unnecessary poorly expressed analogies perhaps?  What?  What is it?

Well for one thing I hate writing with bubble-gum.  There was a time during my breakdown if I had heard or seen one more positive inspiring quote I would have ripped the ears off the well-meaning person saying it, or not bothered deleting my Facebook account but instead ceremoniously dummy spat my laptop through the nearest window… with gusto… that would destroy the syrup coated pleasantness of such repulsive citations appearing uninvited into my life!

But no, the quotes in the unfolding series weren’t the problem.  I hadn’t labelled them in my head as ‘positive’ or ‘inspiring’.  I had just connected with them on a meaningful level that was helpful to me. They weren’t sickly bubble-gum to gag on nor were the reasons for including them.  So questioning writing with bubble-gum and not rawness wasn’t the problem.

I continued to ponder my questions. What was going on?  I can’t keep re-writing and deleting?

At the eleventh hour (literally, believe me) I came to a massive realisation.

I was trying too hard.

I was trying too hard to find the perfect  words so you could see the whole imperfect  picture.

Simple as that!  No matter how many analogies I come up with or how descriptively I may craft the words, the very best I could hope for is that you may gain an understanding  of the place I have been in, not understand  it completely.

Perfect words?  Imperfect picture?  There’s a whole lot of pointless and unnecessary self-expectation and anticipated outcome in those words so I’m going to leave them sitting right there.

Really, there’s no way I can truly find the words or appropriate analogy to explain what it feels like to stand in your own kitchen wringing your hands while your leg shakes uncontrollably, looking at the sink full of dishes as your distress escalates because you can’t engage your brain to action the sequence needed to complete the task of washing them.  They’re just dishes; sitting in a sink; but they might as well be feisty snapping Parana’s leaping out to strip your flesh because you are just as terrified by the sight of them.

I was going to write in-depth about how in order to walk further into your story you have to pick up your shame, guilt, embarrassment and any other emotion and feelings of discomfort and take them with you along for the ride – no matter how heavy they may be or how loud they may protest – for once they have become a part of your life you just can’t flick a switch and turn them off, it’s just not that easy.  You either stay stuck cringing from them or arguing with them or you gather them up and keep wading in.

I could go on and on about my struggle with preparing food and the need for nourishment and exercise; how the lack of energy, motivation and commitment toward these very important components along the road to wellness became just more repeated failed attempts to beat myself up over.  So my mind told me.

You know, I could have turned this whole Part 3 post into a multiple tips page about how to step further into your own story; sharing how asking people to cook you some meals or do your shopping isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of being aware of your needs and limitations at a really difficult time.  You are being resilient and true to you.

But to me all these words and sentences all strung into paragraphs screamed “Hindsight is a wonderful thing and you are making recovery from breakdown sound easy”.  Just read a few quotes; have a few aha moments; ask some friends and family for a little help; do a bit of writing; take your pills; find a psychologist you like; go for walks; eat good food; be kind to yourself; give yourself time; recognise you are grieving for parts of your life that you can’t live again; gather your people near; forgive yourself; sit in the sun; ride a unicorn; all will be sweet!

I decided to stop trying so hard to help you understand where I have been.

I decided not to do multiple in-depth tips on how to step further into your own story post.   I decided that to share where I was, at this point in my story, all I needed to do was to share this:

YES, another quote!


You have permission to rest.   You are not responsible for fixing everything that is broken.  You do not have to try and make everyone happy.  For now, take time for you. It’s time to replenish.

After I became aware that I was hustling for my own worthiness as I revealed in Part 2, I found that I was giving myself permission to rest.  I really didn’t need  to feel responsible for fixing everything that was broken.  I didn’t have to try and make  everyone happy and it was more than okay to take some time for me.

Do you think this may be a creation of a soft place where you mayread a few quotes; have a few aha moments; ask some friends and family for a little help; do a bit of writing; take your pills; find a psychologist you like; go for walks; eat good food; be kind to yourself; give yourself time; recognise you are grieving for parts of your life that you can’t live again; gather your people near; forgive yourself; sit in the sun; ride a unicorn; where one day all may be sweet?

I think it just may be!

See you next week when I’ll wrap the series up.

Stay safe now.  Xx

Quote inspiration for this series comes from Brene Brown and The Power of Positivity fb page.  Blog title and quote design by the beautiful Robyna May from The Mummy & The Minx.

Feel free to share (because I suck at social media – just saying), leave me a comment or send me an email via the contact page.  It’s always a privilege to hear from you. 

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  1. Jo Mckenzie says

    Once again I love your raw honesty and truthfulness that is conveyed in every post. You are sharing a part of your life that crushed you so bad, and you are sharing with truth of heart in the hope that you can inspire someone else that what they are going through is survivable and you can come out the other side.

    It doesn’t matter what words you use because you are talking from your heart and you can feel the emotion, fear and anxiety with each word expressed. It is expressed in a way that gives your friends and family some understanding of what you went through. It is all too easy to stand on the outside and judge, but no-one has the right to judge as you don’t understand what the mind is doing.

    By sharing your deepest emotions you are helping your family and friends understand what it felt like and what we can do to help you. At times I felt unsure what was the best approach to try and bring you out of the dark place that you had visited. Sometimes we don’t understand the journey that we have been dealt, but without you having experienced what you did, you wouldn’t be able to write and express and help others through the same type of journey, because you got to live it first hand and are now sharing those experiences in order to help others.

    So never underestimate the power of your words and how you express yourself. Let it flow, let it be and just write.

    Love you to bits and keep writing.

    • Sandra says

      How do I respond to this? How can I respond in such a way that it honours and conveys my deep gratitude for our friendship and the appreciation of your unconditional love, support and encouragement? You have been the guiding torchlight through my darkest tunnels – you’re the warmth of a bright coloured rug on the coldest of empty days – and your hugs are way better than valium. 🙂 Xx

  2. Majella Laws says

    Well I know how you have struggled with this week’s post Sandra…well done you! In the midst of concerns and life’s shite you have come up trumps again. Writing from your heart is such a raw thing to do … bless. xo

  3. says

    I’m enjoying your series Sandra. I’m happy you didn’t delete it!
    Love the words: “You have permission to rest. You are not responsible for fixing everything that is broken. You do not have to try and make everyone happy. For now, take time for you. It’s time to replenish.” Also love the beautiful graphic you made out of them. That’s worthy of having on the wall above a desk!
    Thanks for joining the #lovinlifelinky. Glad you are getting back to lovin’ life again.

    • Sandra says

      Thanks for your kind words Leanne! Robyna at The Mummy and The Minx is responsible for the beautiful graphics in this series. The quote is from the Power of Positivity Facebook page but I’m unsure who the author is. It really resonated with me the first time I saw it so I’m really pleased it has struck a chord with you too. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your lovely comment. 🙂 Xx

    • Sandra says

      It is a great quote hey Sammie? Riding unicorns? Why not indeed. Thanks for stopping by friend. 🙂 Xx

    • Sandra says

      Yep, that quote seems to have struck a chord with many – glad it spoke to you as well. Wish I could take credit for it – I’m not sure who the author is but I think they are very wise. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Xx

  4. says

    Love your honesty Sandra. None of us are perfect and sometimes near enough has to be good enough. Love the quote too. We all need to give ourselves permission to rest, stop trying to make everyone else happy and just take some time out to replenish. Just the reminder I needed 🙂 x

    • Sandra says

      I think we all need a reminder every now and again to just stop for a moment, take a deep breath and gaze out a window, don’t you? If that’s all we can make time for that’s okay too. Thanks for stopping by Lyndall. 🙂 Xx

  5. says

    I hear you, sometimes we try too hard and what we want to say becomes tangled up in the expectations we have of ourselves. Words from the heart does just the same job. I think you’re amazing to write through this as it is!! Big love x

    • Sandra says

      Oh thank you Em! Your support means so much. Big love right back at you. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Xx

  6. says

    Good on you Sandra.. For keeping on going. Look at how many of us agree! I’ve been on (& continue to be) one heck of a journey thanks to retirement & more. The word grief is what stood out for me in your post. I’ve been grieving for the life I had & what I knew and now letting that sit for a bit takes me out of myself and helps me heal with greater self compassion. I too wish you well and thank you for your kind comments over at my blog! Denyse xx

    • Sandra says

      Ah grief… it can be such a solitary path when the loss is not one widely recognised or accepted by our society. Hopefully in time that perception shall change. Keep being kind to yourself Denyse. Thank you so much for stopping by. 🙂 Xx

  7. says

    I loved this.
    Because you sound really fucking angry.
    And I’m like whoop, she’s coming back.
    Anger and a bit of rarrrrr is essential in the comeback story.
    ❤️ xxxx

    • Sandra says

      Ha ha thanks Edie! You are right – a bit of fire in the belly does help. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂 Xx

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