Be you (Self-care, and gratitude)

Disclaimer before you start: I wrote this in two different sittings, it’s everywhere. Much like my brain lately. 😀 I have kind of a running theme of self care, with other shit thrown in.

Its confusing for me, and others that I can be in one head space one day, or hour, and not that long after be in a completely different zone. I hate it. Especially because I’m trying my very best to let myself feel the sadness, not suppress it, or use unhealthy means to get rid of it. I feel like I’m on a roller coaster a lot. I know that I’m hard to keep up with, and self-regulating and self-care is a shit ton of work. Ideally I do some form of yoga everyday, whether thats 10 minutes, or a hot class, I go to the gym about three times a week and run either at the gym or outside (depending on state of shin splints) at least once. So I’m a very active person, but its not for any other reason than taking care of my mental health. I try and practice mindfulness as often as possible, which is usually taking a couple breaths, noticing taste while eating, sound, or something I can weave into my every day life. I go to therapy as often as I can afford, which is roughly twice a month, I go to other therapies when I can afford to: get a massage, see a chiro, float, when my body needs those types of therapies. I put a lot of work into being honest with myself, with those around me, admitting when I have made a mistake, being open when people have things to say. Listening to music is a big help too. I am genuinely fighing very hard.
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But I still have a lot of work to do. I rely a little to heavily sometimes on other people. I have a hard time trusting my own opinions and boundaries sometimes that I check in with others to make sure I’m not overreacting. I used to have a bad habit of turning to others for help first instead of trying to deal with my feelings on my own. For a long time I didn’t have the coping skills to deal with it on my own. I also know that I am not always as good a friend as I could be, I sometimes ask for more than I take. Its something that I’m working on, and changing really slowly.

I can overreact sometimes and have a hard time vocalizing when I am very upset. I get really scared that I’m going to lose people, that I’m going to be alone. One of three things can happen: I panic and ask for reassurance, get kindof needy while I try and calm down; I withdraw completely and keep thinking they’re abandoning me, not tell them how I feel and just harbour that fear and give up on them caring about me (very rare now a days). Option three is new, its like a variation on option one, but
I’m lucky that I finally have a few very patient and understanding friends who are very good at helping me through those situations. I can’t describe the feeling when after I apologize for ‘being crazy’ or ‘too much’ or explain my fear someone says “Hey, its okay. You are fine, of course you’re scared but I’m not going anywhere, and I will remind you whenever you don’t believe that’ (Shout out to you JBS, TJE, NO, CMG++). Thanks to these BEAUTIFUL humans (really, thank you so much) and since cutting out the abusers, I am finally learning to do that for myself. I am learning to stand up for myself, not beg people to like me, I still apologize for existing, but less than I did before. I feel like I know who I am; I like who I am, and I’m learning to be me all over again. (SO much more to say on this topic, but I’ll save it for another day)

I get in my own head a lot and it becomes very hard to turn off. When I’m with other people this voice (taught to me by my grandmother and another) says ‘you’re a downer’, ‘nobody wants you here’ ‘they’re just being polite’ ‘you’re too much’ ‘you’re selfish’ ‘no one wants to listen to you’. It is really really hard to turn it off. I can turn it off more often now than before. The space from the abuse helped. I spent like…twenty three years being made to feel I’m not worth listening to, being interrupted all the time (like ALL the time), not listened to, invalidated, being made to feel like my feelings, opinions and wants/goals didn’t matter. Making the shift from those thoughts, separating those voice from my own is a stupidly difficult task. Some days I’m good at it, others not so much.

Alright, thats all for now.

JK new day, my internet has been down, so I haven’t been able to post the new blog. SO I’m just going to put two different blog posts into one.

I just want to take a moment and talk more about what I am doing for self-care, and things that are helping me.

As I said, I have been in therapy bi-weekly for about a year. I found someone who is very helpful, we get along well, they specialize in personality disorders and some other really cool things that appealed to me. I do my best to listen to their advice, do their homework and show up (like not just attend, show up completely, feel me?). I also have a few other things I do, when money allows: I see someone who helps me with body positivity, who is a naturopath in Kingston. I was occasionally doing massage therapy, I am occasionally seeing a chiro (who made a huge difference to me-if you want to hear more about all this let me know), I went for my first float the other day. I know its a lot, the only ones I do consistently at the moment is therapy and body positivity. I had a hard time, for a long time, spending money on things like this. But I realized how important it is to invest in ourselves and our well being. It can make a massive difference even if you do an at home pedi or do yoga, or use some sort of other therapy that is taking care of your body. Just the act of caring for yourself makes a difference. Its also important to find out what works best for you. Play around a little, if money is tight use groupon, try out new things, ask friends. Look for sales and freebies.

The last two weeks I’ve set myself a goal of taking my vitamins every day. I find that I feel best when I do this, I can feel it in my energy level, my muscles and body overall. I am taking note of the things that make me feel best: for me that means excersizing, vitamins, intuitive eating, being kind to myself, taking moments in silence, seeing a chiropractor, therapist, limiting my Netflix (thats the hardest one), and connecting with inspiring people whether thats students, or friends.

I feel like this blog is all over the place, but here we go changing topics again.
I love my job (teaching yoga), and I don’t know what I’d do without it. It is so inspiring to see everyone show up every day or once a week to take time to themselves, seeing them all chase their dreams, face their fears, feel their feelings. It is god damn beautiful. So beautiful that I frequently tear up, or am smiling uncontrollably while teaching. (If you haven’t seen it, maybe don’t look haha. I also talk with my hands a lot and frequently just don’t have any idea that I’m holding my hands up in odd ways) I am lucky that I have support around me in all kinds of ways. The lovely AF students who read my blog, or come to my shows (you know who you are, yes you’re amazing. Thank you), friends who do small things like check in, or big things like buy me a drink or host me for games nights, or suprise me with such damn thoughtful things. I have people. For the first time in my life I feel like I actually have safe people. People who make me feel cared for and wanted when I see them, who appreciate me and let me appreciate them right back.

So big thanks to you reading this. Thank you for returning and reading, sharing, supporting. I am always here if you ever want to reach out and ask me about anything specific or ask me to write about a paticular subject. I do love writing this, and love helping you all (at least I hope I am helping)

You know the dealio: there’s a ‘buy me a coffee’ button if you’d like to help financially, share or comment, give feedback and just keep on being you. Be brave, be vulnerable, be you.

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