Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Three Valuable Lessons From My Therapist
I've always known self care was an important element to ones well being. I tend to look towards my outside self and neglect whats inside of me. See, that's the problem. We allow things to go in our mental without allowing anything to come out. This causes us to breakdown. I was at that point. Something had to change.
In steps my doctor. My doctor recommended me to his therapist that worked with many of his clients. I'm not new to therapy. I'll go every now and then, but I really never go long enough to benefit from it in its fullness. Not this time.
My first week we filled out paperwork and she asked me multiple questions (it felt like 50) about how I was feeling and what I haven't been doing that I normally do. The second week she asked me what was going on. Of course I said everything I was feeling and who I was mad at and blah blah blah. She just listened. The next week started out the same and ended differently. After my spill of feelings and complaints, she asked me something that gave me my first light bulb moment. What were you doing 5 years ago that your not doing now?
Lesson 1. Do not lose yourself.
My therapist asked me to write a list of things I was doing five years ago (the most healthy and happiest time of my life) that I'm not doing now. My list was embarrassingly long. It was so long that I stopped writing. No wonder I felt depressed and empty. Jessica had left the building. My life is the exact opposite. I was always surrounded by positivity and love and nurturing. I was in a small group that had changed my life in so many ways. I felt like I could always be myself. I didn't have worries and feelings build up because I expressed myself in every way possible. I volunteered. I traveled. I went to see live bands. I danced. I sang. I went to happy hour twice a week. I allowed myself to dwindle instead of blossom. It's no ones fault but my own. As women, we feel like everyone else's wants and needs and demands come first. We somehow fade into the background and end up here. What am I doing about it? Every week for the past five weeks, I've went to lunch or dinner twice with friends. I work out two to three times a week. I roam the city. I've let my friends in on whats going on with me. I'm starting to see glimpses of myself.
Lesson 2. Paying a cleaning lady is considered self care. On one of our appointments she asked me how a typical work day looks. I get up at 5am. I leave the house at 550-6. I get to work by 7am if I stop for breakfast. I eat in my car and listen to podcast or talk radio until 7:40. I go upstairs to my desk and prepare for my day to get started by 8. I get off at 5pm. On a good day I get home by 6. If its raining or a bad day, 6:30-7pm. I cook or go get something to eat if its late. I may wash a load of clothes or do the dishes or both. Take an hour bath or shower. Get in the bed by 9:30 or 10pm and start all over the next day. No wonder I feel like a dust rag! No wonder I have a pile a clothes that need folded and floors that need vacuumed. She asked me if I've considered a cleaning lady. Now, I've thought about this many times. She explained to me the benefits of someone else helping me with things that will free up my time. She stated it was self care. I can't do everything all the time. I've decided to take her advice. Groupon, here I come!
Lesson 3. As you heal and unload, you will start to see people in another light. As it turns out, a better light. The situations and people that I complained about in my second and third session I now see differently. I feel as though the situations are solvable. They don't seem so big. I now recognize that since I'm longer carrying 100 bricks, the 20 that I have seem light. They seem like less and less a big deal because I'm not overwhelmed by so many things. It's easier to process 20 bricks than it is 100. The people that I complained now seem less flawed. I see me in them. I see my faults in them. I see that they need to unpack some of their bricks. We all have bricks.
I would encourage everyone (male and female) to sit or lay on a professionals couch and exhale. It's extraordinary how many things we hide away inside the depths of our secret places. We think they're buried. But they're not. We don't know this until a trigger is pulled and they rush to surface. It feels like were drowning. But, it doesn't have to. You can start unloading those bricks one session at a time.