Want or need?

There are a plethora of books on the theory of wants versus needs; ranging from hard business negotiation titles to the self-help books that proclaim to find your inner goddess within 72 hours!

When dealing with something traumatic, it becomes all about the need – a desperate need to channel your energies into something else so you don’t have to face the reality of what has happened.  Many of us can almost ‘park’ the grief, yet it’s fleeting, and you’re basically parking a pressure cooker.

Thankfully I had loved ones around me who ensured that when the lid came off it wasn’t catastrophic.  Having had other significant traumas occur previously in my life, one of which I parked for four years before really dealing with it, I made the assumption that I could do the same here and carry on as normal, but this was my mother, nothing in the past even comes close to that.  I can’t say nothing ever will in the future, as my crystal ball is in the shop; it just feels that way right now.  However, it’s those past traumas that do two things – give us a delusion that we can delay facing reality, yet also remind us that we’ve got it in us to cope with the seemingly impossible.

In the moment some of us dwell, others ignore, whilst many of us distract ourselves with anything.  I need to work, I need to get wasted, and the list goes on.  It sometimes takes a trauma to occur in your life for you to realise that your wants can actually dominate your needs.  Having just a brief timeout has helped to achieve that.  For the last six months I have needed to work, this is why I interviewed for jobs three days before the funeral and ended one job on a Thursday and started the new one the following Monday and worked all over Christmas and New Year.  In the back of my mind something must have been telling me that if I stop, I’ll never start again.  If I have to think about what’s happened, then I’ll never stop crying.  I was wrong!

These last few weeks have been about me trying to regain my balance, get the basics right – work, social life and everything else relatively normal that we take for granted, yet it makes life just that.  When everything appears to crash around you, you panic and wonder how you are going to rebuild the mere basics, let alone the big things; your dreams and passions.  If you take the trauma to one side for just a moment, not to park it again, merely considering everything else then you can see your balance.  It’s there – it always was before this happened.  The balance is different for all of us, some of us have differing priorities at different times in our lives, and something like this changes them, yet we all need a little bit of everything to make life tick.  It’s only when we’re comfortable with most things in our life, can we be bold enough to take a risk and change something to make life just that little bit better.

When you want the basics then you know you’re moving in the right direction.  This is not something that will be quickly fixed with 6-12 weeks of counselling, it isn’t something you’ll ever get over, you just realise that you can actually cope with it on a daily basis and you have the support in so many different ways to draw on if you need it, and not just the professional help.

I’m ready to go back to work.

About Nick Lennon-Barrett

Originally from North-West, England, moving to London as an adult and carving out a career as an HR and L&D professional. The writing bug was always there as a child, yet it wasn't until my 30s that I finally did something about it. The joy of working in HR is that you're never short of character inspiration! I'm an enthusiast of both crime and comedy fiction so when I decided to write my first novel my aim was to combine these two genres tackling topical issues in a dark comedy murder mystery. This was the start of the DCI Fenton Murder Trilogy.
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