Good Morning Friends,
I hope this Friday is treating you well. I hope that if it’s not- you are able to feel those emotions as they are- witness them- allow them- and then release them.
Witnessing emotions have become a large part of self care for me- it is by witnessing them and allowing them to exist vs numb them away that has brought me closer everyday to becoming mentally well.
I’m glad it is more common now to talk about mental health and wellness. However, we still have a long way to go to treat it in the same fashion we treat and talk about physical wellness.
I can talk to you about healthy eating habits all day long. I can share tips and tricks I have found to daily move my body and give it the love and movement it longs for. However, this brain of mine. The things that go on in there- and the ways I try to take care of it are a harder subject to articulate and unfortunately some people never go there.
I wanted to talk about this very subject today. I also wanted to share and excerpt of the new book I’m writing and will self publish ‘A Life That Feels Good On The Inside (Not Just Looks Good On The Outside)‘. It is separated in areas of life such as health, home, career, marriage, parenting, mind, and others to be come.
Here is a taste of one particular chapter:
A Mind That Feels Good On The Inside
There are a lot of hurt people walking around today. As we can see on the news or even see within ourselves- it is much easier to offload that hurt onto someone else vs feel it ourselves. We do this by reacting big to something small. We say unkind things to others because we are repeating in our heads something unkind someone said to us however long ago. We can’t mend what we don’t acknowledge or allow ourselves to feel- so we move it instead OR we numb it down.
I have offloaded and numbed many a time in my life only to feel debilitating shame afterwards. It was not until I got utterly honest with myself and realized I was repeating some of the very same patterns with my children that I protested as a child. At times I had been emotionally unavailable, drinking in front of them to the point past it being a social thing, being very reactive , and yelling. It’s hard for me to share those truths- but I choose to anyway- because maybe someone out there needs to also do some self reflection in this moment. I also share to provide this truth: there is hope. There is also a better- different way to go about this existence. It’s harder though friends- it takes effort to break patterns and molds that we might not even be aware that we are participating in- the saying ‘the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t’ is said for a reason.
Change is fucking hard.
However, you know what’s harder- at the end of your life looking back and being full of regrets with zero time or chance to turn it around. You can turn it around. Today. Right Here friends.
I was sexually assaulted as a child (one in three women are sexually assaulted by age 18). I grew up in a very volatile house. There was a lot of drinking, a lot of yelling, lying, and a lot of holes in the wall. I inherently learned growing up to dissociate, armor up, and reject others before they had a chance to reject me. I was not kind to myself – and I could be cruel to others especially during the middle school and high school years where everyone is trying to figure out who they are. The truth is I thought I knew who I was at the time- and if anyone else ever discovered it too – they would never love me – so I pointed out others faults before they could figure out mine. There is a saying that rings true to depict this – hurt people- hurt people.
Thankfully, as I grew up I grew into a kinder human and now my sole mission is to leave people better than I found them. It doesn’t outdo my wrongs- I have personally reached out to certain individuals during that time of my life where I was particularly unkind and offered to make amends. Several accepted and we were able to process feelings and events together- some did not respond. I understand the point of apologizing is not to be forgiven but to admit your faults and grow from them.
After my husband was diagnosed with Lyme Disease- reaching overall heath became our life mission. It started with his physical health and therefor I took an inquiry of my own. Today we eat the best we ever have in our life- plant based- nutritious- non processed items. We are in the best physical shape of our lives moving our body every single day- being the leanest and strongest version of ourselves today in our 30s.
We reached Lyme Remission Status of my husbands health recently. However, we just found out he will most likely to have another surgery- which means more doctors- more hospitals- and another attack on an already compromised immune system. Normally feeling this level of pain that comes from another setback in a seven year long journey, this overwhelm, and this utter soul crushing feeling of suffering would leave me in the past reaching for numbing out coping mechanisms I had learned through childhood or discovered on my own to survive getting from A to B. Booze, over busying myself, food, porn, going shopping, checking out binging on a new series on Netflix, obsessively working out, or consuming social media.
Fortunately- another part of us reaching for the best overall health – meant also dealing, tackling and analyzing our mental health. In the past I had mind over mattered everything. I could push through any physical challenge like running a marathon at a track by myself, being 10 days past my due date with my first born, pushing down hurtful memories from childhood, and I had become a master at playing through the pain. However, as a great book entitled ‘The Body Keeps The Score’ depicted- my precious home of a body kept all that negative energy locked inside no how matter how healthy I got with my physical health.
If I did not give myself the same space to become more emotional and mentally healthy- my body and life were going to knock hard enough until I listened- and trust and believe the knocks have come. The knocks in my past have been PTSD, suicidal ideation, depression, panic attacks, anxiety, and having unexplained body aches. My body was storing the emotions I refused to acknowledged. I know I’m not alone here- I know there are many people who don’t talk about events- feelings- incidents- or their troubles- because they then feel less real- and that means they don’t have to feel the feelings come with these events. Maybe they refuse to admit their marriage is in trouble. Maybe someone drinks behind closed doors to deal with painful memories. Maybe one of you reading cuts to offer some way to release. I have done all of these things- and been ashamed of them- which started the cycle all over again.
I repeated this depilating cycle until I realized- I was living out particular patterns of my childhood- just like I’m sure my parents had done from what they went through with their parents from what they had got and and learned inherently from theirs and so on and so forth.
Maybe your parents were not emotionally available- if you did a check in today if you have children- how would you rate yourself in this area? Maybe your parents did not validate your feelings, worries, troubles, or dreams- how are you doing when your child comes to you with these particular issues? Maybe one or both of you parents lied, drank, did drugs, cheated, yelled, shopped, gambled, or whatever to cope with pain or tough emotions vs feeling it. How are you choosing to process pain and hard days?
There is a story that goes like this: 2 twin boys were raised by an alcoholic father. 1 grew up to be an alcoholic when asked what happened he said ‘I watched my father’. The other grew up and never drank in is life. When he was asked what happened he said ‘I watched my father’. Two boys, same dad, two different perspectives. Your perspective in life will determine your destination not your past or upbringing.
I share that story for two reasons. One if you answered some of my questions from above and did a check in.. and didn’t like your answers. Sister- brother- I didn’t either. I share for another reason in that we all have experienced trauma– maybe you have experienced like me what they call the Big T- War, Combat, Death of a loved one, Accidents, Abuse, Rape, Major Illness, Robbery or trauma looking like emotionally unavailable parents, neglect, etc. Whatever it is- we all have something. What I am asking you today is that you honor your struggle and that you give yourself the life changing gift of processing those wounds- so they can heal for good- so they can heal for real.
I used to get on through life in a hurry for the next destination romanticizing that it would always be a better one the one I found myself currently in. I was in such a hurry to get on with it and to put my past behind me that I shoved my past as you would clothes in a suitcase. I stuffed it and stuffed it until nothing more could fit. I slammed it closed and the sight of it would hurt an organized persons eye- random pieces of clothing stuck out- half a tooth brush here, sleeve of a shirt there. The buckles barely fastened at the top with so much tension they were trying to keep in, they appeared to be able to snap in any second. That was my life. I piled on more and more and stuffed down the real stuff because I was beginning to be able to tolerate and feel it less and less.
Then one day the buckles did snap unable to carry the load anymore. Articles of clothes flew everywhere- pieces of my life- flew everywhere. Nothing felt certain anymore- trying to control everything resulted in me feeling completely out of control when shit utterly hit the fan. It was here in this place- where self reflection- and the real work began. It was from rock bottom that became the foundation of me rebuilding my life.
Moving on in your life I realized – means going back to the past- pulling out the truths of what happened-uncovering what you had previously reused too. Analyzing them-processing them- and then setting them and yourself free. This could look like therapy, medication, journaling, reiki, hypnosis, acupuncture, sobriety, yoga, scheduling social events, energy work, or whatever mode helps you and that YOU find most effective. It is through one or a cumulation of these processes that you are able to take one piece of the past- one article clothing at a time- and fold in gently and give it a place in your suitcase- your present. Maybe somethings like that scarf- the need for others approval- you find are not necessary anymore and extra baggage so you leave them behind. You do this for however long it takes until someday you are able to move into your day with a suitcase that is ordered, calm, and holds only the thing necessary and worthy of bringing into your life and future.
Thanks for taking the time to read a little piece of my new project. I am on track to finish late spring and begin the process of publishing this year fulfilling a lifelong goal of mine.
That’s all until next time,