Unplugging a little and connecting a little

We’re off again, borrowed a van and we’re camping all weekend under the stars and going to enjoy the Medieval Fair. These little get aways are doing great things for my head.

I’m watching to see what exactly seems to make the difference. One of them is being less plugged in to my online world. So when I’m home I’ve started sleeping with my phone in another room at night.

This morning I woke up and wanted to check it. There’s a kind of nervous compulsion to check up on everyone, see how the world is travelling before I start my day.

As a child, when life was bad, I used to wake in the night and sneak into the bedrooms of my family, checking to see they were still breathing. On the very bad nights I’d find a heavy stick or some kind of weapon and wait up alone in case I needed to protect them against violent home intruders.

There’s odd parallels, the wanting to check in, setting the tone for my day. Mornings without the phone there I check in with myself first. I set the tone for my day myself. Then I have a peek at my friends worlds.

This morning I woke up and wanted to check my phone. When I remembered it was in the lounge, I was annoyed for a moment. Then I remembered that the idea was to check with with myself. As I lay there I realised my neck was crinked at an uncomfortable angle causing a fair bit of pain. (mornings are always bad for fibro pain) I relaxed and settled into my pillow. The neck pain eased. I feel my energy settle back into my body. I felt relaxed and comfortable and safe. There was a moment of just me, in my own mind and body, before I got up and began the day. It was good. So that’s something I can do.

I’ve just remembered the first night I spent in a shelter for homeless women running from domestic violence. I lay under a thin blanket, on a plastic wrapped mattress, alone in a room with locks on the doors and window, my ptsd jangling me out of my mind. I could only sleep with my phone clutched in my hand – my lifeline to the outside world, my one hope in a place where I was trapped and powerless.

And that makes me think of the nights in the caravan I lived in for a year, where sleep only came at dawn, and so many nights only happened at all if I slept with my hand on the big carving knife, tucked safe under my pillow, in case he came hunting me. There’s no other way out of a caravan once someone has broken into your door.

Safety and connection has meant many things to me over the years, I guess.