So, since I'm dedicated to continue to give ya'll what you need/love, here it is.
I've been going through changes.
And, for the most part, I'm not a fan.
You see, I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder with an amazing side of Major Depressive Disorder and so changes make me want to just crawl in a hole and hide away. Yes, even GOOD changes make my chest hurt and my stomach get wobbly.
For example, several years ago we moved to the amazing home we have now. We worked for YEARS to be able to make this move out of our little 100 year-old fixer upper (and no it wasn't like the show, we were poor when we bought it so it was NOT a labor of love).
So, when we did move to be nearer to family, work, and just have more SPACE, you would think I would have been beyond thrilled. Well, I was, in part. But there was another part of me (much smaller but still there) that was nervous and even a little scared for NO REAL REASON.
Yes, this is what mental illness does to you and I'm still working on coming to terms with that nearly 40 years later (more on that in a minute).
But here's the thing about me that I'm learning - any change - seemingly good or bad - my body reads as ALERT ALERT and my brain tries to catch up to what is going on with my body. I picture my brain being like "WTH - THIS IS GOOD - CHILL OUT" with my body still running around in circles screaming for no real reason, kinda like a toddler who has missed nap time and has decided that they hate their favorite fruit and why can't the cat be a real person?? (a good question btw).
In my life, I've been going through several changes lately, both at work and in my personal life. While I can acknowledge in the smart part of my brain that these are growing pains and the world isn't going to end, my body/emotional brain reads it differently.
Anddddd this is why I'm back in therapy.
Yes, I mean BACK, I've been to therapy several times over my life and it's always been a good thing. BTW, can we applaud people (especially therapists) for having their own therapist?? Although I help people regularly with their issues and even teach folks all about how to be a the best therapist, I'm still human and I still struggle. I admit I had these thoughts of "what if someone finds out that I'm not doing well" or "does this make me weak" which again I KNOW are batshit but acknowledging them is part of the process (according to my therapist).
And, I came across this video this week from Tik Tok that really just STUCK IN MY BRAIN so I thought I'd share. I even put it on a special page so you don't have to go to Tik Tok directly to watch the video. (Also ignore the spiritual/woo woo part of it if you want, but do watch and listen to the message and -as my therapist says- pay attention to where it lands in your body as you take it in).
WATCH THIS NOW.
So yeah, that hit me between the eyes as YES, this is part of the process of moving forward, but it can still suck.
So what else have I been learning in therapy you might wonder?
Here's three of the big things that keep coming up
1. My anxiety is held in my body. I can release this myself. I'm not a prisoner but ignoring it won't make it go away. So, since it's often in my body, it doesn't HAVE to make logical sense. Stop trying to make it make sense, just let it be and then release it. The power of the RIGHT BRAIN IS REAL.
2. The "Voo" sound is AMAZING. It's a technique from polyvagal theory and somatic experiencing, and it's legit.
3. Making myself a priority is worth it. Showing up for myself through an appointment that CANNOT BE MISSED is no different than how I treat others. I don't no-show on people and I can't do that for myself and be well. Putting off or ignoring what *I* need because I'm too busy with work is just another form of maladaptive coping.
Also - the other messed up thing about the working too much and ignoring ourselves?? We are REWARDED for it by society. It smells like when my eating disorder wasn't caught until almost too late (as a teen) because everyone raved about how SKINNY I was! (right, it's messed up and I still have to watch myself around that).
One other thing that I've written about here before but it is still washing over me in layers is ambiguous grief.
Side note - check out this amazing article referencing ambiguous grief and loss in the midst of the pandemic - so so good
Even when something is good, we can still grieve and that grief isn't just a one-and-done thing. I've noticed that when I get sad or experience grief about one thing that other grief-related aspects have been coming up. What this looks like for me - I've been missing my grandmother a lot lately (she's been gone for nearly 15 years, but I still miss her presence).
So instead of pushing it down and just seeing more clients or taking on more projects, I now am attempting to FEEL the things, cry when needed, and talk about it to my safe people, all while trying to withhold judgement for myself and fear that I'll be "too much."
Yes, if this sounds like a lot, IT IS.
It's exhausting, but I'm trusting the process.
Also, I recently came across this letter/story titled "Welcome to Holland." While it's written for a parent of a special needs child, I found the concept extremely helpful as I navigate these changes.
See what you think - Welcome to Holland
And now for the sandtray part of the Sandtray Ally (keep your eyes peeled - there's a giveaway included!)