You’re allowed to feel the pain

If you do anything for yourself this week, take five and meditate. Your mind will thank you for it, Harriet Bremner writes.

Emergency departments, emergency vet departments and a dead cat. Life can be smooth sailing then suddenly a whole lot of stuff just happens.

My theory since James died has been that, as long as no one died today, it’s a good day!

I still believe that but those little life niggles can creep up on you and make you feel you are walking through mud just to try and get through each day.

I have been in the hospital emergency department twice in the last month for two different reasons and different people plus the emergency vet clinic on a Saturday night for Poppy (my sausage dog) who nearly died and then my cat got run over and died.

So much for things happening in threes!

How do we continue to function when things are all up the whop in our daily lives?

It is stressful waiting for results to come back, not knowing whether this is going to be the day you find out someone you love has cancer or something else really bad is wrong. It can trigger old traumas and make just tackling the normal things you have to do in your day hard.

I had to remind myself it was okay to feel all those feelings and let them out. I have mentioned in the past how I had learnt to shut down how I was feeling and put on a brave face and, initially, my mind wanted to take me straight back there – to the ‘I’m okay’ box.

I didn’t let myself, instead I let it all out. I have found myself in a really good and safe space in life which made this so much easier to do.

The relief of actually allowing myself to feel exactly how I have been feeling in the past month has been incredibly refreshing.

Sometimes we worry that if we start crying we will never stop, but we do. It runs its course and after a good cry, good sleep and good food I feel so refreshed and more able to tackle what life is going to throw at me next.

I have made a real effort to appreciate all the positive and wonderful things I have in my life. There will most likely always be something going on that affects you in one way or another so it’s so important to see what’s amazing right in front of you as well.

Sometimes it’s the things we think we will cope with well, that we don’t – when I found myself in a hospital bed recently during lockdown having surgery, I really struggled. I had no one by my bedside as they weren’t allowed in and I just battled

the whole scenario. I knew others around me were in far worse situations, but I still struggled. It really reminded me that your thing is yours and yours alone. There will always be someone better or worse off than you in a single moment but you are allowed to be scared, lonely, in pain and feeling shitty about what you personally are going through.

We are all human after all. I told myself it was nothing like I have been through in the past, but it actually didn’t help this time. This time I felt confronted and really battled initially to get through.

You may be going through something within your family or on the farm and wondering when it will ever end, why me, this is unfair, it sucks and more. It does. That’s the truth. It does suck, no matter what it is, it will feel never-ending for a time.

So, feel it. Let it out.

Find the thing that helps you release whatever you are feeling about whatever it is that you are dealing with. It is such a full-on time of year and it’s easy to push things aside and think you can keep on going, but the trouble with feelings is that they stay buried until eventually you have no choice but to deal with them.


One thing I have resumed in the last month that has helped me immensely is meditation. I used to think this was the biggest crock on the planet. Excuse the French, but I seriously thought it a waste of time. I mean, who has time to lie on the floor and breathe!

This changed when I was pushed into meditation to be a tool to help me deal with the side effects of severe grief and trauma and I cannot stress enough how truly incredible it is when you get the hang of it.

You have to be prepared to truly let go with no distractions around you – even just for five minutes. After I do a 10-minute meditation I feel more invigorated and able to tackle whatever the day has to throw at me because I have truly rested and let my mind stop – it is more restful than sleep even. I don’t get that tired slump at 2pm any more and have more energy than ever.

I have made a goal to do three/four each week so that I know I can achieve it. You might start doing two a week or whatever works for you. The hardest part is starting. You could be parked in the paddock in the middle of the farm or at home or outside on the lawn. As long as you feel able to stop, you will not regret it.

I use the meditation on my Kate Ivey Fitness login and my partner does it with me too. There are plenty of free apps available as well that friends of mine use.

If you do anything for yourself this week, take five minutes and try one out. Your mind will thank you for it. It is something I have found you have to do a few times to get into the swing.

When I first started my mind wanted to wander. However, when you bring yourself back into the moment and appreciate you have dedicated this small amount of time just to you, the benefits are incredible.