Walking slowly towards the supermarket in a fatigued state with a blank expression on my face, I couldn’t help feeling as if I’d completely lost myself.

I had gone past the point of overwhelm and was in pure survival mode.

The thoughts that had occupied my brain for the past month had suddenly been replaced by muffled white noise, just static and faint echoes.

My eyes started to sting and the sockets they lived in no longer felt like home.

I had been living on the edge of stress and loneliness for too long.
Trying to hold all of the spinning plates by myself. The kids, the housework, the cost of living, the cooking, the three jobs I had found myself working, the endless projects, the hospital visits, the medical tests, my chronic pain.

Any joy I tried to shoehorn into my life seemed to end up hurting me more, especially when it came to dating. All that did for me was leave me feeling confused and in desperate need to isolate for protection.

And so I drove myself into the ground, further and further away from support and love and hope.

I glided through the aisles of the supermarket, shutting out the people around me, staring into space with no motivation left inside me.

Then, as I reached the bakery aisle, I felt a glimmer of something, a little spark of joy.

I picked up a cherry pie. My favourite. Something I hadn’t had in years, something I had denied myself often in my pre anti-diet days.

I took it to the checkout with a tub of double cream and looked forward to having a slice after lunch. A tiny gesture of self care.

Unpacking my shopping in the kitchen, I went to put the pie in my fridge and just as I was about to park it on the second shelf – in true clumsy Kel style – I dropped it.

My only act of self care, my little spark of joy, was now smashed all over the floor.
Inedible, unsalvageable, hopeless.

I cried.
Burst into tears without warning.

Suddenly all the thoughts that I had replaced with white noise came flooding back into my brain with ferocity.

How could I be so broken and defeated by a fucking cherry pie?

But it wasn’t just about the pie.
The pie was the deathblow.

Every little thing that I had bottled up inside me for the past month came flooding out of me, every plate that I had been spinning just smashed around me and no emotion was spared. It ALL came out.

Along with more tears than my contact lenses could handle and more snot than any cold or flu had ever produced. I was a mess.

And once my body had emptied itself of all the insurmountable weight it had been carrying, something beautiful happened.

I felt new. Unburdened and ready to try again.

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

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