Can of Worms

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This maybe a bit long but, I want to say something about social media and those who are single.

Firstly being single is not easy at all;  that is even without any restrictions put upon us.  I have been single for years and I am used to being on my own, not having hugs, not having a handheld, just the lack of physical contact, so these days of lockdown are no different for me. 

HOWEVER, this is not the case for ALL single people especially those who are “newly” single, or perhaps single through no choice or fault of their own.  Missing a hug, being held, just being touched in a caring way is being missed greatly. What I mean by “newly” single are those who had a loved one around them recently but no longer for whatever reason that maybe.  Even if they have family and they are not in the house this form of physical contact is missing, Zoom just doesn’t cut it, sorry.  Would these new first easements help?  Again still no physical contact.

Social media is like a photograph, just a moment in time.  This can be manipulated, to make it look like everyone is hunky-dory, fake smiles, as well as real ones and yes I have seen tears there too.  Yes, there is some very dark stuff out there on platforms too.  But who wants to hear that someone is not doing well when struggling in the want of need. 

Here’s my situation, if I can help someone then I am happy to do so.  As I have already said, I am single and I have got used to my own space, and yes I do sing and talk to myself.  I am also self-employed. For me, social media is a  double-edged sword.  I use it to promote; to let people know what I have been up to, what’s coming up.  All good.  Yet you will not find me on there when I have a day; when I struggle to get up, days when I feel that everyone is better than me when my confidence is on the floor, self-esteem has flown out of the window.  As I like to say the “can of worms” has been opened.  The can name FEAR, and the worms are a pile of ….  As I described this to someone and when asked: “what do I want to do with this pile of worms?”  My response was “feed the fish”, a much better one was given by someone who was listening said, “put them on the earth, plant a seed and see it grow”.

Now I know that I have to work through these worms of mine, and this morning I started to label each one.  Jealously, envy, people know so much more than me, I am not any good at what I do,….. And so the labels grew.  But then something popped into my head, and that was something that happened in a Zoom meeting with other Aromatherapists.   Suddenly some of these worms where having to be relooked at,  I needed to relabel them.  They were no longer; ‘I know nothing’, ‘no one listens to me’, ‘self-esteem’ etc.  I held onto this moment, and as I did so, I remembered other situations where some of these other worm’s labels could also be liberated. The weight that I carried with me for a day or more was so much lighter.  But can I put this out on social media?  ‘I am having a can of worms day!’

How can we help?  I say “we” as we are all in this together.  I have no doubt that some of you who are reading this, are  thinking the same thing- when you are down, social media is the last thing that you want to look at. We all go through periods of time when the ‘can of worms’ can overwhelm us, and getting though these thoughts can be so much harder when you are on your own.

I ask you to reach out to those you know who are on their own, more so than those who have someone living with them.  Listen to them, try to understand what it feels like not have anyone to give a nudge to, or touch their arm or hand. 

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Having a dog really has helped me, and I would be lost without him.  He is my excuse when walking and talking out aloud that he is just not listening!  But he gets me out of the house each day, and now I can do longer walks the poor lad has to listen to my ramblings for longer.

For those of you who are single and the “can of worms” is opened, I hope that you have read this and know that you are not on your own, other people are missing the physical contact.  Thank you for getting this far, please read on,  you may find this useful.  I too am missing the physical contact that I get through my sessions that I give as an Aromatherapist and Reflexologist, for me when I can do treatments once again please come and see me even if it is just for a hug. 

Here are some pointers that have helped me, and there is lots of help out there.

  • Going out even for a short time and just say hello to someone and smile at them – even when you don’t want to.  I find this helps me to realise I am not invisible.
  • Being mindful, I don’t look into the future, I just work moment to moment
  • I own the times when I am not great and know that is ok. If you do not have low days, how can you recognise and savour the good ones?
  • Know that this time will pass, it may take moments, hours, days or longer
  • It is OK to ask for help, better still to let someone know that you are having a “can of worms” day.  You may find that they too are feeling the same.
  • Be true to yourself.  You are the one who has to live yourself 24/7/365.
  • Don’t hold on too tight to the worms, not only will they make a mess in holding them tightly, but how can you see them,  let alone let them go?
  • It is OK to ask for help by people you don’t know, sometimes it is a lot easier to ask as they don’t know you and woe betide you look like a failure.  You are not a failure in asking for help;  it shows that you know yourself as you know your strength.
  • The jar of good moments.  I have a jar with a pad of paper where I can go to and write down the moments that I have felt pride in myself, or that I have achieved something, or shown that I do know something, where my self-esteem and confidence can get a boost.  Don’t forget to date it, when you look back you will soon see you will find these moments all the time for you are looking out for them. 
  • Have a good long bath or shower. For me, water is about emotions, and in having either of the former helps, as when the water goes down the plughole so too do some of those emotions.
  • Have an early night.  Sleep is the best healer and it is free!
  • Have a complementary therapy session, as through massage treatment you will be looking after your mind and body.  As an Aromatherapist, I know that essential oils can help on a psychological level as well as being therapeutic. 

I hope that some of these things help you for I know they have helped me.  I have no doubt you have your own list and that is great.  For me I keep reminding myself that not only am I living through history, but each day is an adventure and filled with possibilities.  Sometimes it’s hard to see when the can is open though.

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