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When life gives you lemons….

covid recovery mental health mental health matter recovery woman supporting woman Feb 02, 2022

We have all heard that saying right? The lemon one ... When life gives you lemons….make Lemonade!! Righto, thanks for that Polly-Positive-Pants!

Now, it is true, that humans have a remarkable ability to turn some horrific situations into good works, all while surviving, thriving and inspiring along the way! We are pretty fantastic like that.

However, there are times, many many times, when it just feels a tad too much. You are literally being pummelled by tumbling lemons, whacked in the face with giant lemons, sick of the sight of those citrusy, yellowy, bitter lemons… and to top it all off you have realised you are allergic to lemonade! What then?? What if you can’t ‘find the silver lining’, ‘look on the bright side’, ‘put your big girl pants on’.

These last few years, ‘the covid years’, have pretty much consisted of us being pummelled by lemons. That will look different for all of us, but everyone has faced loss in it’s many forms, isolation, confusion, worry, fear, anger…the list goes on. Yes for a while, we managed to find the ‘silver lining’ - but as weeks, months and now years roll on, that gets harder to do. I discussed this more in my blog post on Surge Capacity, so I won’t rehash that here but it is worth a read  if you haven’t already!

We are exhausted. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. Mentally. Socially. The full shebang! There is great power in just owning that, sitting with it. Accepting that maybe, there is a slight chance, you are not superhuman and can’t keep your chin up.

Please know that you are not alone. When you are questioning why you don’t have any desire to socialise. Or why your concentration has reduced to nano second. Or why you scroll social media and wonder if you should be doing more ‘things’ like others. Or why your motivation has got up and long left the building. Or why in company you can no longer find your thoughts, let alone string a sentence together. You are not alone.

Come join me! Slide yourself onto the bench for exhausted people, right next to me… I got you on this one. I see you. Take as long as you need. Breath.

While we are sitting here. Exhausted. Can I give you something to ponder?

How would you like to emerge from this? How do you want to show up in your life?

Big questions for tired brains I know, however .. crosses fingers, touches wood.. now we are moving from Pandemic status, of these ‘covid-19 times’, to Endemic status - is it the time to think about how we want to re-emerge?

I recently came across the word ‘Respair’ - a word that just didn’t take off apparently, with it’s last recorded use in 1525! But, wait until you hear it’s definition, ready,

Respair, noun and verb

Fresh hope, a recovery from despair

We need that don’t we!? I nice big dollop of Respair in your life.

I read a piece by Arundhati Roy and the conclusion to her piece provides a sobering challenge.

What is this thing that has happened to us? It’s a virus, yes. In and of itself it holds no moral brief. But it is definitely more than a virus. Some believe it’s God’s way of bringing us to our senses. Others that it’s a Chinese conspiracy to take over the world.

Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality”, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality.

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.


This challenge is huge, and sparks lots of discussion perhaps about the political field, the climate crisis, societal injustices… but since we are exhausted.. let’s scale it back. Let’s focus on you.

How do you want to emerge from this portal - the gateway from one world to the next?

A better balance between work and home?

Building a life you don’t need to take a vacation from?

Caring for yourself as much as you care for others?

Freeing yourself from living by others expectations?

Putting down that luggage that is becoming to heavy to carry?

The lemons? (Yip I am going back to that) It is worth noting that this dollop of Respair - is made from a dash of despair and a dash of repair. Which means that there may well be lemons still to come (spoiler, there will be!). However, we can repair and we can make choices, moves, actions that intentionally move towards how we want to show up. What is important to us. Make ourselves matter, as well as the others we serve. We can seek a feeling of contentment and peace, alongside despair. Surely that is more realistic than searching to always be happy, and perhaps more fulfilling?

Gin and tonic with a slice of lemon anyone?


***If you need support to look at how you move intentionally towards what is important to you, reclaiming balance in your life and sorting through some of that baggage you may be carrying. Please drop me a message and we can arrange a no obligation chat. I can talk you through what LB Therapy offers, as well as point you in the direction of more appropriate options, if it’s not me! You can also click links to join my facebook community. Look forward to hearing from you ***

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