This is confronting for me to post, but since it happened I have felt a strong need to talk about it. I have never slept walked in my life, up until last Wednesday night. I didn’t ‘walk’ though, there was some out of body experience going on that threw me out of my bed and into my bedroom window. And I have a six centimetre gash on my skull as a reminder.
I don’t have any recollection of what actually happened. My wife only woke after hearing the crash, but I was already back in the bed unaware of the carnage that I had just caused. She thought I had fallen out of bed. If only that was the case. As she was asking, albeit in a very loud manner with a few expletives thrown in, what had happened, I felt warm liquid running from my head. I turned the bedside lamp on and heard my wife’s loud gasp. There was blood running down my face, my neck and all down my arm as I held the wound on my skull. I quickly got up to our bathroom to cover the wound with a towel. My wife then went around to my side of the bed to see what I could have hit my head on, only to notice that two bottom panels of glass were completely shattered and the frame dented from the force of me hitting them. The gasp this time was louder, and louder again when she noticed a hole in the wall. What the hell happened? I don’t have an explanation, nor can I remember what led to that moment of impact and the resulting damage. Five days later, I am still no clearer. However, I do know this.
The night before this happened we were watching something on T.V. Probably mind-numbing stuff, but anything to forget about what is happening around us I guess. Over the past couple of weeks, I had provided advice to many of my very valued and treasured clients regarding terminations, redundancies, stand-downs and how to navigate through these unprecedented times. Many phone calls have been had, and made, mostly centred around fear of the unknown but with one amazing common theme from my clients – how do I protect my employees and do everything I possibly can for them. I have spoken to many employees of these businesses, who are all learning to adapt to their new normal. Many are taking it in their stride, but others are struggling socially and mentally. I guess I had been taking all of this on without taking time out for myself. And I noticed myself becoming consumed with the news and updates of the COVID-19 pandemic, the jobseeker payments, the JobKeeper scheme and everything else available to businesses right now. I wanted to know everything, so that I had all the answers when my clients called me for advice. The changes were coming thick and fast and so was the anxiety of not knowing every scenario. The reality was, each client is different and who in their right mind would expect me to have all the answers, on the spot. None of my clients that’s for sure. Back to the night before. On reflection, I remember sitting on the couch wondering why I had indigestion? I hadn’t eaten anything since dinner a few hours prior? It wasn’t indigestion at all, it was anxiety. But I didn’t want to admit it at the time, so I went to bed hoping that it would pass and I’d wake up the next morning ready for another binge on all the news and updates.
A few weeks earlier I was speaking to a fellow consultant and mentor, who was telling me how she limits the amount of information she reads or listens to in relation to Coronavirus. I thought at the time that I may need to do the same, but the information overload crept up on me. I should have taken that advice at the time, because when she was telling me about it I knew I was scrolling through the news far too much. But you know, I’m a man. I can handle it and this is information I need to know. One credible news source per day would have been adequate, but I continued to digest as much news as I could.
What I have learnt since this crazy incident is to take care of myself. Sounds pretty simple really when I write about it, but I had to go through this to get to where I am today. And I have made the following commitments to myself:
1. Turning off at the end of the day – no news, no phone scrolling or anything related to work. Tiktoks with my three girls is ok, even though we have to do about 15 takes before they are happy with my performance!!
2. Exercise – walking and strength training every day to get the fresh air through my system
3. Talking to anyone who will listen.
4. Listen to the people in your life. Especially my fellow consultant who warned me weeks earlier, and my wife who is the smartest and calmest person I know!
5. Writing about my experiences and keeping notes of what I can do better each day
So far so good. The week has started out much better and with my renewed sense of focus, I am happy to say that things are in perspective and I am excited for the week ahead. Thank you for reading and take care of yourselves. Trust me, our minds are powerful. If we don’t take the time to acknowledge and process our thoughts our bodies will find other ways to release that pressure. I just hope it is not as drastic as my experience.
P.S. I am not sure why Karl had to leave…