It’s the 29th of December and I feel like the weight of this year has finally hit me. Which my brain thinks is irrelevant because deciding when to reflect on the last set amount of time is not dictated by any annual calendar. As a particularly unromantic person, I believe my heart’s got nothing to do with it either. So perhaps my stomach is saying something. I had noticed we laugh and cry from our stomachs long before the (relatively) recent evidence suggesting large amounts of neurological communication between our stomachs and brains.
So what’s my stomach saying? Well, within the year I’ve fed it low-carb vegetarian food, vegan plus ‘wild meat’, and made it fast a couple of days a week whilst being veggie-ish (very ‘ish’ over the last few days of Christmas festivities). Perhaps my stomach reflects changes I’ve otherwise glossed over.
Moving onto a boat (which I did in Spring ‘19) was all about slowing down and accepting that a lot of the things I loved the most were going to look very different here on in, due to chronic migraine. As I lie in bed, readying myself to leave my mother-in-laws where we’ve been for the last week and where we’ve enjoyed flushing toilets and waking up to a warm room, my stomach feels heavy – and not just from all the food. I made so many changes compared to last Christmas, to help my migraine condition not send me spiralling into constant pain and depression, I feel the tense balloon has popped and become a lead one in my stomach instead. I have achieved my goal: I don’t feel like my whole world is collapsing around me. I have plans for being sociable in January and I’m feeling confident I won’t have to cancel them. So why so heavy?
I try to reassure myself that things will settle down; they won’t change for a while…will they? ‘Fat chance’ I hear echoing back to me. If I’ve learnt nothing else, it’s that me and my stomach will continue to change as the world either changes around us, or changes us itself. Out of nowhere I smile in the knowledge that, with what little energy I may have, I have learnt skills in the past few years which might actually help to face the challenges the next change brings.
Rushing around, no time to think
Stopping, an idea from which to shrink
You know it’s needed but have no tools
One of the things they don’t teach in schools
Lashing out, when you don’t understand
Faking a smile – everything’s grand
Cover it up until anger pools
Another life lesson, they don’t teach in schools
Scattergun brains of all emotions
Fighting to plot these changing oceans
I don’t want a war; I just want the rules
A community is needed, not just the schools