One of my roles at school is managing collective worship, and part of this includes providing themes and thoughts for the week. This term we have been looking at key characteristics for good relationships, and this week specifically the importance of communication. Our thought came from Charles Dickens who said
“Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true”
Don’t worry I’m not going to start giving an assembly about this but after having heard 3 talks on the theme, yesterday I was starting to think whether this may be a key for me at the moment.
It’s been a tough week, shock horror I know. There have been a LOT of tears, I have felt ridiculously low, there have been numerous times when I should have been feeling over the moon but I just haven’t felt anything. I’ve gone in to my automatic mode of hibernation. The teaching, planning, marking etc has been fine but every other aspect… well… my screen was well and truly up. There’s the screen that’s playing when I’m teaching and then it’s blank to everyone else!
Yesterday morning my head was in a real mess, I was on my final stretch of the walk to school when my phone started ringing and it was E. We ended up speaking for about 25 minutes, it wasn’t really about anything in particular but speaking, no screen. She knows what to ask, when to stop, when to talk about her own stuff etc… I didn’t realise it but she’d made a crack in my screen it was effortless. About 8:15 I made hot drinks and took one up to my colleague, another crack, I went to the pub after work, another crack.
I’m paying for it today, I’m worn out, but have no plans until this evening so it’s all good.
I think the first crack was actually on Thursday on evening, when I sent an email to a group of ladies who pray for me. I hadn’t emailed them for ages, this wasn’t a long email but I felt it was a necessary one.
Why hibernation? I’m not sure… there’s two parts to it, I am an introvert and I value my own space, and at the moment other people can be daunting for me. But secondly I think there is also an element of I feel it’s the same old story, I don’t want to bring other people down so I won’t email them, I’ll just stick to myself because I know how rubbish I am at the minute.
BUT… by being honest with my friends, they were able to offer support and prayer even if they didn’t know what to suggest, by talking to E it didn’t need to be about the rubbishness, similarly with the coffee and the pub.
It was about communication, without a screen. Is this the answer at the moment? I’m not sure… there have been other moments this week where I have had to leave groups of people because it has been too overwhelming and pressurised. Those events have then led to some of the additional anxiety of the week. I am also wiped out this morning from socialness yesterday, and a highly stressful week.
Maybe it’s small steps? Allowing small cracks in the screen with people I trust and feel safe with, and over time that may allow me to take the screen down entirely? Who knows? Not me!