What's Goin' On with my body?
WTF is Self Care?
Welcome back to 'What's goin'on with my body?' and 'WTF is self care anyway?'. Did any of you lose touch with what self care means for you? Is what we think of self-care really self care? How do you practice self care? Are any of you going around thinking, "Why can't I keep up" "My libido is gone out the window, so now I feel like a shitty partner", "I know I should go workout with my partner, get active with my family, but who's gonna cook supper when we all get home late", "They say to plan date night to keep the romance alive. Well what about if we're up each other's arses in a pandemic and actually need a date alone", "How do other women do it", "Have you ever thought my partner is definitely gonna look somewhere else, 'cause I just can't get it all done". Then you blame yourself and the list goes on. Tell me more and get it all out there!
Now let's start digging through all the layers of shit. Stop and think about all the thoughts going through our minds ALL THE TIME. Are any of these thoughts about what we need, as in what you need, as a woman, right now? Will these thoughts help you feel good, proud, happy, with a spring in your step? Do these thoughts motivate you to find live healthier, sleep better, eat delicious nutritious foods, move your body in fun ways, feel proud and strong?
The last couple of years 2021, 2022 I was stuck in a never-ending ruminating thought stream of all that I am not and can not do. I did not think I would make it. I felt invisible, tired, weak and simply never enough. I had taken on the responsibility of everything that went wrong in my relationship. I didn't look any further than believing I put myself in that deep, dark hole and I was dragging everyone down with me. I had my mind made up that it was my fault, I went through menopause, had no-libido, I was battling with mental health, anti-depressant trial and error, my skin was sagging, and I constantly compared myself to other women, and thought my spouse deserved a 'better' woman. Then I tried to repair the intimacy, the 'rekindle the flame' cliche of relationships. How the fuck can any of us women feel sexy, loved, initmate, passionate when we, as in I felt invisible. And the problem is huge and we oftern don't see it happening.
I am here to say, it is ok. You have every right to feel the way you do and it makes sense that self care isn't within your reach. It also makes sense that you can't seem to find the energy to do all the things you would like to. It is ok that you can't give anymore. You know why? We are women, yes, and we are human. When our bodies go on autopilot and in survival mode, it's so we can operate at the basic functioning level to survive. That is exactly how we survive. We no,longer have access to higher level functioning. Understanding this is normal human behaviour can ease your mind by knowing you are not meant to be able to do all the extras, decision making, planning activities, having fun, getting close and intimate with others. You can take on these things once you know you're safe, that you can sit and breathe, that no one is judging you, that you can be you, that you are simply doing what humans have done to survive for millions of years. There's a start. Next we find your inner spark.
When think about what you'd like to do, do you:
- feel guilty about putting everyone else and everything else aside
- cry, lose your breath, feel rushed and anxious
- have no idea what you need to do
- worry about coming home to a big pile of crap to clean up
- feel like you have to home on time to cook meals etc.
Please tell me if you have felt this way nd add to the list. I am sending every one of you hugs through every word I write. <3
DISTRACTIONS & SELF CARE
I used wine as a, what I believed was 'self care' well deserved break 'cause life gets hard and everyone does it, right? Through this journey I realized that there have many distractions, other than wine, that I adapted as coping strategies. I wasn't even fully aware of what I was doing, except that I didn't feel right for most of my life and thought that was the way it is. It does work to forget about stuff for a while, until it doesn't. A distraction is not a long term solution. I just kept piling shit upon shit, especially during the pandemic, along with wonky hormones and past trauma popping in for a visit. When distration is the only way to live, it is not living and I was dead inside. I asked you all last time "WTF are we gonna' do now?" Which leads us to exploring what self care is right now for you, for us.
In my exploration, I saw this perfectly amazing post
shared by a friend. I couldn't say it or think it better than this.
Self-Care Is Often A Very Unbeautiful Thing
“Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing. It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.”
So WTF are we gonna' do now?
The Journey to a Healthier Me
Here's a Facebook post to show you where I was in November of 2021 and where a lot of fucking hard work got me in November of 2022. I wrote this once I grew the strength to start talking about what I was going through, to get it out there, stop feeling ashamed of it, stop wasting energy on hiding it, so we can talk real shit and help one another. <3
I will be an even healthier me with 1 year alcohol-free January 31, 2023!
This is a huge pivotal moment in my life right now. After hitting rock bottom during the pandemic, losing myself to past trauma, nearly losing every single twinkling star left inside of me, nearly losing my loved ones around me and so close never climbing out of that big, dark hole, I survived and have another chance to dance again. Through this heartbreaking experience, I did lose my spouse, my best friend, for over 15 years. It is difficult to watch couples grow apart, yet completely understandable with what we've all experienced. That I understand and believe it's extremely important to honour and have compassion for one another's challenges through it all.