Tag Archives: selfcare

I am ALIVE!!!

As I finally decide to sit down and write, one thought is louder and a bit more pushy then the rest…it’s that we all go through things in our lives that leave us feeling, for lack of a better word…DEMOLISHED!! This can be anything. It might be a relationship issue, a challenge to your mental health or a snafu to your physical health. It might be family, friend, life, work, body, mind or soul related. Sometimes it might be a multitude of those things occurring somewhat simultaneously …which we all know BITES, LIKE REALLY FREAKIN’ HARD.

I am going to keep this brief (doubtful) and hopefully even more than that…simple. Life can throw us some serious F’n curve balls. Because why? Because it is life…that is what the fuck it does. No further explanation needed. Without the dramatic details, I will say this, I am no stranger to any of the aforementioned struggles. Work…check. Physical health…Check. Depression, Anxiety,  just plain soul sickness? Check. check. check.

I haven’t blogged in over a month. My usual and customary M.O would be “Ummm…ya know what?  too much time went by…I give up…Yet another thing I started but didn’t continue, but…whatever…I kind of hated blogging anyway .” (now go ahead and add in some sprinkles of mild self-loathing and a touch of self-righteous indignation and you may have even had my younger self’s  response to what I perceived as a (wait for it…) “shortcoming” in my character!

compasfati2

But not so fast Y’all…that is precisely why I started to blog to begin with…to reflect, learn, nurture and even forgive MYSELF!!!  And perhaps inspire others to do the same along the way.

So today, as “they” say, is a new day. It doesn’t take away all the days I had that were hard. It does not “undo” the days that felt or perhaps even WERE impossible to write.  However… it doesn’t mean that I can’t just write a few paragraphs today and simply haul off and hit publish. I think writing is one of those “just get back on the bike” type of things. Maybe life knocked me down for a bit. Maybe my automatic thinking voice was “Oh well…I guess I won’t write anymore”,  but what about my quieter voice…the one I have to really tune in to hear? The one that might say something a bit more polite and a tad more kind like,  “Listen, it’s been a tough few months and look at you…You are still here! You still have things to share and words that are real and important and worth writing. Even if for no one else but YOU!”

So, ya know what?  It’s a start. Sometimes you just have to say “I am alive” and hit publish, knowing that it is enough. Because being alive, well that is pretty fucking important! And sometimes staying that way is pretty fucking hard. So celebrate life today and know this…not everyday will be a great day…not every month will be a productive month.  However, each day you wake up, breathe and learn how to navigate this world to the best of your ability, you have won. Every day that you reach out to another when your own ability for living seems weakened at best…well, in my humble opinion, my friend, you have succeeded.

So let’s just celebrate and honor all the little things that prove we are ALIVE…the inhales, the exhales, the getting out of bed and the crawling back under the blanket…the writing, laughing and dancing  and the silent, sleeping, desperate sobs.  Let us honor all of it! Today, I honor the wonderful things and the terrifying crap and all of the stuff we survive that falls somewhere between the laughter and the tears.

So…as you can see, even though it’s been almost two months and a boat load of life since last I wrote,  I am very much alive, and if you are reading this, so are you!  And well, as it would happen, that is what the HELL we are celebrating right now!!!  So go ahead and do something FABULOUS for yourself, because ya damn well better believe I am!

Advertisements

Claiming Your Inner Peace…

So…I don’t know if I would call this an “ah-ha” moment or a tiny epiphany, but recently…and by recently I mean just a few minutes ago, I made a discovery.

I sort of calculated, albeit loosely, the amount of “alone time” time I actually require/need to feel some semblance of inner-peace. Then I started looking at the amount of “quiet time” I might need each day or even each week to maintain a somewhat reasonable state of homeostasis. To be clear, quiet time does not have to actually be spent ALONE, it just needs to be, well ya know…quiet. Next, I figured sleep into the equation as well, which surprisingly enough falls on the shorter end of what I should refer to as my “Peaceful Enough” spectrum.

Perhaps, I should give you a brief description of what constitutes each of the above variables for ME, because obviously my definition of alone-time and your definition, by all accounts, may be vastly different. Same applies for “‘quiet-time” and “sleep”. So here ya go:

1. Alone-Time: For me to feel like I am having alone time, a few criteria must be met. First and foremost, although I dearly love and cherish my children…they must never, ever, NEVER EVER be present during alone-time or else it becomes 100% null and void, no matter the level of quiet, peace or sleep I may have experienced during that time, it does NOT count. There is not much more criteria…except maybe that NOBODY’S children can be present. (an exception might be a newborn, who is adorable and sleepy and I can snuggle in my arms until it starts to stir) This also affords me the added “bonus peace” that is achieved by secretly basking in the glory of NOT having a newborn!  **If newborn is screaming, this “exception” is now also null and void. So, yeah…I can be around adults (certain ones) but must still have the ability to kick back, relax and do whatever the flippity fuck I want, or else it is not considered ALONE TIME.

2. QUIET TIME: Unlike alone time, the criteria for quiet time allows for the occasional  presence of children. However, and I am sure you can see where I am going with this, they have to be QUIET!! Now to be clear, a mere few minutes of quiet does NOT count on my peaceful enough scale. I am referencing a particular kind of extended quiet; for example, this may look like, my children are given new video games and they become so sucked into the process, so engrossed in the lights and the sensory assault, that they are rendered speechless for a solid three hour minimum. That counts. Also, not to be confusing but “Quiet time” can also be during an alone time period…but NEVER EVER NEVER shall we consider sleep as part of “quiet time” or “alone time” for that matter, ya know, as it applies to this scale.
Of course, I am well aware that it is traditionally quiet when you are asleep, but in this instance, if I am unconscious, than I can’t appreciate the quiet and therefore…it simply does not count!

3. Sleep: Sleep is… when I am asleep. NOW, That sleep shall be uninterrupted, pain-free, nightmare free and the bed in which it is occurring shall be free of all children. So…if I have a bad dream, I am achy, somebody wakes me up or there is a kid in my bed, then that does not get counted on my peace, calm enough, scale spectrum thingy. Calculated sleep MUST BE the type where I am relatively cozy and wake up refreshed, the actual hours slept don’t matter so  much as the above variables do.

Ostrich-Nap-Pillow-1 **an option I suppose…

O.k, so you get it…those are the specific things I was considering when pondering the calm/peace question. Just exactly how much of all of those things do I need to feel a decent level of inner-peace, calm and homeostasis in my daily life?

Well, to be completely honest, I don’t think I can actually calculate that shit. I can tell you this…My baseline…which is sort of like my absolute bare minimum amount of alone-time, quiet-time and sleep needed for optimal mental functioning, is (I think) on the higher end of the “normal” spectrum. I can’t tell you that for sure, since I haven’t asked anybody else this exact question. So, in all reality I suppose it could be on the lower end of the spectrum.

Here is what I know for sure…I have kids. They are the greatest loves I have ever known. (insert great things about kids here if you are sensitive to speaking the TRUTH challenges of children) So yeah, kids… they are the loudest creatures I have ever known. They are messy and needy…VERY VERY NEEDY. (I can not over-emphasize this!) Alone time? It does not seem this is a  priority for my children. Unless of course, I actually need them to do something WITH me…then they suddenly NEED ALONE TIME. Children are infamous for sleep issues and mine are no different.  Now infants, of course they don’t sleep for extended hours. But as time goes by…they tend to  sleep more, yet I can’t help but notice, it still it seems that they want to disrupt your sleep.

Now…This can take on many forms…it may be bloody noses, coughing, vomiting, bad dreams, good dreams, fevers, scared of the dark, scared of the light, that scary movie, that scary commercial for that scary movie, that… (insert pretty much anything here) and the infamous, “your bed is just more cozy and I want to snuggle.”  (added guilt layer) There are more ways the sleep issue can play out, but you get it and perhaps your living it, so no need to elaborate further. Children, bless their beautiful hearts, have a very high probability of fucking up a perfectly good sleep for a ridiculously extended amount of years. (we are not even going to touch on the sex factor…that is an all together different  shit show  subject .)

dylandme   LOOK…Here’s me with one of my beautiful peace disturbers…

So yeah…the answer to where do I fall on my  “peaceful enough” scale? What is the answer?  Ummm… FUCK that nonsense…after just writing this post, it has become abundantly clear to me, that YES, perhaps my need for quiet, alone, and sleep time is higher than the average human…or not. BUT, I think I can infer from my hastily collected data…that as a mom, a full-time parent (and yes I have a husband who helps, but he is not the mamma)  My data shows…an incredibly high probability that I will be in the negative for those  experiences for an unknown and extended period of time. Some nights…that simply feels intolerable, I fantasize about running away to a hotel room, by MYSELF, with magazines and coffee and laying in the bed for days and nights on end, ordering room service, eating it bed and answering to no one!

I fantasize for a moment about flying off to a tiny cottage in Europe, with a cobble stone walk way, a small garden and tea, a cozy simple bed and bistro table for one…I wander about the countryside picking berries and going back to my cottage to plant my flowers (because they’re not going to plant themselves!) and then off to paint in my court-yard that is overlooking the sea.

sleep4

Ahhhh….as I am alone, in a quiet room, writing this…I feel a sense of peacefulness wash over me. The only thing I hear is the whirring of the ceiling fan and the strokes of the keyboard. I can see the sun peeking through the clouds, as I look out the window from my favorite, most cozy recliner.  It’s not Europe, I am not wandering the country side…but it’s a moment damn it… and I’ll take it. So…my reality is this, as a parent, I think it’s safe to say, at least in my case (not speaking for you) I will not be getting my “ideal” levels of peace ,calm or sleep met anytime soon, however, I literally have to work on CLAIMING THE SHIT out of the moments I do find. (which just so happens to be this very second…so, ta ta for now… and may you find and claim some peaceful moments of your own)

Final Disclaimer: I ACTUALLY PUT A REAL PICTURE OF MYSELF ON HERE…SO IF MY THERAPY PRACTICE GOES IN THE SHITTER… I BETTER BE ABLE TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT THIS.

The Self-Esteem Dream and Other Perfect Rhymes…

noonecanmakeyou

Wow…It is my first ever end of the week blog. It is Friday and I did not deactivate my blog due to the burden of poor grammar, no followers or the gross overuse of phrases and words I happen to love. *see the abuse of “Reckless Abandon” in ALL of my posts this week.

As I reflect on this huge accomplishment, and bathe in the glory of achieving my own personal best, by which I mean…living the dream of SELF-ESTEEM. YES. That rhymes and feel free to use that because I, for sure won’t use it again. “Living the dream of self-esteem”…what might I mean by that? Listen here…

I didn’t delete, deactivate or give up on writing. I hit publish with ya know (reck—-Ab–don) I’m done with that. I used poor grammar, foul language and really did not know what I was doing with this whole publish, draft, save…add media, visual etc. I still don’t know how to use the little boxes on top of this “writing square.” Yes…the one with the b. the I. the link, the b-quote, the del, the ins.

Those buttons seem important and one day I will know them and own them and they will know me, but not today because I DON’T HAVE TO KNOW EVERYTHING TO START SOMETHING!!!!

RIGHT? This is genius and as a mental health professional and consumer of mental health stuff (by “stuff” I mean years of being therapized), I think it is the freakin’ most important idea!!

You Don’t Have To Know Everything To Start Something.

I want to write…so I am writing. Embracing the mistakes and all. Loving my three followers and knowing they can leave or more can come and I AM STILL WHOLE and important and lovable.

MY Goal is to stick and stay and see what happens while I accept it all.

MY Anti-Goal (meaning what i hope i won’t do) is to start writing and feel crappy about it and leave and say…”Well that sucked and I should never put myself out there again, because me and actually, everyone, just blows.” Yeah, I don’t want to do that.

I am practicing the art of good enough in all things. Enough of the bullshit. I am learning what I so easily can teach and that is to TOLERATE WHAT FEELS INTOLERABLE. Yes people (or person) Distress Tolerance, Radical Acceptance…the whole lot of it!

I have moved through (yes through, not over or around, actually through) anxiety and depression and trauma. And it sucked and was scary but I did it. (with support of professionals and other stuff) And I struggle sometimes but most days are better, because I took the risks, I did the hard, painful work, processed the hell out of stuff and worked (and continue to work) my shit out. It doesn’t go away but it gets so much better and you learn crap about yourself that you never thought you would. And you use it and much of it helps.

So on to my new chapter and that is writing about being a therapist, being a mom, a wife, a human among humans…in the middle of the herd. Packed in tight but not afraid to stand out.

Risking my professional reputation and putting my human condition out there for the world to see. (sort of, I mean..I haven’t really linked my name to this blog yet for fear of my professional life going in the shitter) but wait for it. Till then I am o.k with “Pixiedust72 or therapyontherun or watchmewait…or no matter my screen name. I am human. I assure you that.

So seriously…Happy Friday Bloggers…Go do stuff that scares you and you think you suck at- because ultimately it helps you to LIVE your truth. That kind of matters.

OH…and Also, celebrate little victories…like eating one slice of cake instead of the whole cake. Or successfully sleeping on your left more than your right. OR…not deleting your blog.

Carry on friend. (friends?) I don’t want to seem cocky…