There were moments this week where I thought if I shouted as loudly as I could, the anxiety within me would be forcefully expelled.
Unfortunately it has given way for depression to come seeping in through the cracks.
Positive affirmations, meditation, reading and listening to various self-help materials have eased it microscopically it seems. However I will continue to try every day to heal and not feed the monster…
After work we drove out to the beach (we have finally seen sunshine after weeks of rain) to let the pups run and get ourselves some fresh air.
As I walked, I noticed a rock in the sand.
I meant to walk by but something caused me to stop and pick it up.
It was perfectly egg-shaped and smooth.
I couldn’t help but wonder how long, and how much this little stone had gone through to make it this perfect. I imagine many waves crashing it around for many, many years.
Time is the answer.
I reminded myself that I have to be patient with progress, and to allow room for a few steps back and bad days.
Years of bottled up emotions and issues can’t be fixed in one meditation session, or by listening to one person speak of “living in the now”.
I have to just keep reminding myself of this.
Live and let time heal.
“What do you think is keeping you from emotionally processing this?”
….I sit stone-faced while my mind races for an answer that sounds smart, or at the very least witty.
I stammer my way through an explanation that even I couldn’t believe.
My therapist watches me and I’m wondering what she is thinking.
Does she think I need therapy? Am I here too often? Do I talk too much? Do I not say enough???
She speaks and the thoughts stop and fall to the floor. She tells me about “gifting” myself the chance to heal and being kind enough to allow myself the time.
I leave with the homework of finding what it is that is blocking my opportunity for mitigating some of the pain. I have yet to figure that out. I probably won’t by the time next week rolls around either.
Not every session seems productive but later on I feel that I have things in my mind a little more organized and issues in my life feel a little less chaotic than before.
And so as my husband would say, “I call that a win.”
Waiting and counting the hours until my next therapy session so I can finally spill out everything…everything I’ve been carefully keeping a hold of. Everything I don’t want spilling over onto the unsuspecting and innocent people in my life.
That isn’t fair…
The little inconveniences that feel astronomical inside my chest…
The anxiety-inducing moments that make it seem my life is this magnet for stressors….
What’s worse is the situations make me feel crazy.
I’m questioning my emotions with every little shift.
“Is it me???”
I am so tired of keeping things balanced and caged in; I’m holding my breath until I can let it all go…
It’s incredible how much love you can have for animals (for me it is dogs in particular) when their language is expressed mainly in body language that you have had to learn through attention and time.
Even more incredible is that you know they love you too. As they sleep next to me, and press both their paws into my side (doesn’t always feel pleasant) I feel their contentment and trust. I’m honored that of all the people, they picked me.
Nature has its way of clearing stagnant energy I carry around, emerging clear and reconfigured. What I hold in my heart, so often heavy and sharp, is lightened and dulled…sometimes even made smaller, by the rich colors and earthy smells.
The people in my life all have either brought something in or have taken something…& if I were to take a bird’s eye view of it, might see it was an equal giving and taking, cyclical much like nature…however I’m too deep in the woods and the taking seems to acquire more attention.
Being off of my medication has caused this influx of emotion…& the stinging words and actions of others cause such a painful reaction that I have retreated into this shell of protection. Familiar to me from before I started my zombie-like state of existence. However my shell is boring on the outside on purpose…no one likes boring. In fact they leave it alone…and for someone with a mental health illness, sometimes being left alone is as necessary as it is painful. We don’t want to be lonely, but loneliness keeps you from getting hurt from others at a time when you don’t have the energy or strength to process it.
Getting older is kind of awesome in a way. Things take a different shape, and I hold value in gentleness. Being here at 32 is eye-opening. So far into being an adult that mistakes are less-forgivable, mainly to myself.
The vincibility of life, and the shortness of it helps to rid myself mentally of things that really have no stake in life at the end. That being said, I still really like shoes.
These thoughts, now written have made some room so I can let the interrupted sleep take over once more…..
Therapy can be so incredibly healing. I have seen a therapist for about a month now (this go’round) and I can say that my burden isn’t lighter but I have an easier way of carrying it. I have never been much of a talker but when I step into her office (it feels like the safest place) I just seem to verbally unpack my overpacked luggage I carry around. I don’t know how she does it…
There have been a series of immense difficulties that played out over the course of the last 4 months that have finally come to a close for me…but the initial shock from it all has not worn away. I still get this overwhelming anxiety that it couldn’t possibly be over…that these people just will not leave me alone. It’s been so intense sometimes that I’ve taken to scanning every place I go when I walk in to ensure none of the people even somewhat involved are there. If I do see anyone, I’ll be pleasant but inside is this panicked state that will last all day.
In therapy, she suggested the old adage “let go and let ‘god'” as something I could think about. To me that means to let the universe absorb the anxiety and fear…and to let that manifest into a stronger me.
I am rooting for all of us that have found an incredibly tough situation almost unbearable. That to deal with our own mental health on top of daily life stressors is such a feat. We should be impressed with ourselves.
I am so impressed by the bravery of those that live and love and fight and seek help all the while living with mental health issues.
You are my heroes and heroines. ❤️
***If you need help, please see my Resources page and reach out! I am also here to lend an ear if you need someone to talk to who can even relate an iota to what you might be experiencing. I won’t say I understand, because we each have our own experiences to process, but I can listen.***
Lately I’ve been spending as much time as I can outdoors. I’ve found that after a hike or even a short walk on the beach with Kona, I’m a little lighter and my mind is less crowded.
My most favorite are the longer hikes through the quiet woods. I feel safe, mainly because of Kona, but also the peace that lives among the trees. I imagine the ancient wisdom that lives in the trees and how with each falling leaf, they pass on their magic to the growing plants below.
In Japan, doctors actually recommend some patients to visit the woods in what has become Shinrin-yoku or, “forest bathing”. The concept, talked about here, speaks of restorative benefits to body and mind.
After my time outdoors, I feel myself having shaken free the tough encrusted layers of the days and weeks before, like a snake that shed the skin that feels too small.
I’m ready to let myself feel all the emotions that will come, and that I’m better prepared to handle them. I know the anxiety and depression will return from it’s waiting place on my horizon…but I know a place to come back to that can help.
I’ve breathed in, and saved some of the peace I’ve found to carry with me.
I hope others can find a way here to shed some of their weight…and let the wind through the trees carry it away.
Today, I went to the gym.
Now that may not seem like something to post a blog about, but that’s exactly why I’m doing it.
I haven’t exercised in about 2.5 months. Before that, I was always at the gym or going for a run. I lived for that rush of endorphins after a solid workout.
Lately though, I’ve been exhausted and my drive to do anything has been at an all-time low. If I didn’t have to be at work, I would have accomplished nothing.
I dragged myself to the gym after work today and put in a good 45 minutes of sweat-inducing cardio.
I congratulated myself after. I internally gave myself 2 thumbs up. Instead of punishing myself for being so lazy, I’m being kind to my mind and body.
This is what we need more of: cheering ourselves on even when we just get out of bed.
Because sometimes even getting out of bed is a huge accomplishment for those with mental health issues.
Let’s make a commitment to go easy, be more kind and compliment ourselves on those tiny steps we take.
They make all the difference.