I’m sure you will be pleased to read that I finally got my car through the MOT. Not without paying the equivalent of more than a month’ rent on repairs though. And the only repair that I was aware that WAS needed was still not done. My car was at the garage for a whole week. I repeatedly had to call them, then they almost lost some important papers needed for the MOT, said they’d call me back but never did. On Sunday (when they are closed), I got a message that my car was ready to be picked up…
Then on the coldest night of the year, we lost power in the house. A fuse blew because there was water in one of the lamp shades (condensation according to the landlord, while we worried it might be the snow from the roof leaking into the house…). It would have been easy enough to restore power – had we known how to work this particular fuse box. But we didn’t and it was 11pm when it happened. So, nobody to ask really (even though our dear neighbours told us afterwards we could have rung them anyway). Instead, we went to bed with lots of extra blankets.
Furthermore, lockdown is Germany got extended till 7th March, while primary schools reopened this week. There’s a lot of warning of the mutations going on and we are told to expect what happened in the UK just a month or so ago. So, essentially, we are expecting to be in lockdown till Easter at least. As I said in my last newsletter, the whole situation is starting to get to me. And I found myself asking what else could go wrong.
Then of course I saw the news of Texas being snowed in, power cuts for days with no hot water, no electricity, food shortage etc. And I was complaining about one night?!
The other day I read (and reposted) an instagram post about ways we invalidate our feelings. And reading the list, I had to acknowledge that I tend to engage in most of them. One being that I do what I just did above: compare and scold myself because others are much worse off.
I am all for perspective. And putting my own situation in perspective i.e. comparing it to what others are going through does help me. But let’s take away the guilt and shame. Because it’s a fact that I felt what I felt. I have to admit that I worry about moving from self-compassion to self-pity and into victim mentality. Neither would be helpful to me. And I don’t have any advice on how to avoid that or even how to spot it necessarily. It’s something only you (or I) will know.
My advice though is this: when you feel like screaming, it can help to do exactly that. Scream into a pillow if you are around people you don’t want to scare. Let out the frustration, the anger. Allow yourself to feel the fear. And know: This too shall pass.