on mental health mondays...
per usual I had planned a bunch of stuff for things week but felt the tug at my heart to start off with something unplanned. isn’t that how it always is? I’ve learned to listen to my heart and gut over time so I am allowing the best laid plans fall to the wayside. I’m thinking someone out there may need to hear this today. 😃
on instagram I have often talked about how my mondays are so special to me. I tend to take it slow - but my absolute favorite thing about it are the days where I get to go to therapy. I feel like talking about self care is finally leveling up to the point where we can talk about seeking out help, so I wanted to share from the heart a little bit about my history with it and how it’s helped me over the last year.
quite honestly I’ve been in and out of therapy since my mom passed away when I was 12. I’ve had tons of hit and misses and have even had therapists that tried to ‘cure’ me from being overweight by using hypnotherapy. I totally wasn’t there for that at all - I was simply trying to get over some work related anxiety. long story short - they weren’t listening to what my need was. they simply looked at me and assumed there was a problem. 😉
about a year ago I finally decided to go back. with the stress of our life with mikah coming to a head and me simply being in a strange place in a few friendships. I didn’t feel at peace with my mind and soul at all and I knew it was finally time to do the thing that I had been telling mikah to do for years.
do the damn work.
but therapists are a dime a dozen, right? yelp can be a nightmare and I didn’t want to feel the way I had way back in the day… almost worse off than I had before. feeling guilty about things that I didn’t realize I should be changing. (which were things not needing to be changed)
after a long search I finally clicked with a therapist in seattle. I trusted her face and reviews online and made the first step towards getting help. I scheduled an appointment. and you know what? it was magical.
there is something to be said about getting that hour of time just for yourself. it is something that is right up there with working out for me. to be quite honest sometimes I feel BETTER after therapy than I do after a workout.
when I first started going in I was constantly in crisis mode. planning for the next big uh-oh with mikah. not treating my mind or body well…abandoning workouts to sit on the couch and not care about anything other than my child. I felt so lost and at first I was so discouraged that she couldn’t give me a map to figure it out in my first session. clearly I had unrealistic expectations. 😃
in the last year she has encouraged me and listened to me more than anyone had before. after a few weeks of getting to know each other we finally settled into what I like to call ‘conversation’ mode. where it was less about talking about the things I wanted to fix but the actions surrounding my life that put me where I was currently. how I could learn how to be soft and loving with myself during a time where all I wanted to do was give in to the nasty voices in my head.
you know the ones - the reminders of worthlessness and self doubt… the ones that told me that there is no way I could make a living doing what I love. and the reoccurring theme? that the person I am authentically was not good enough for anyone to love, so why should I bother. crazy right?
but. it was tough work. every week while mikah was gone I would show up - we would meditate. she would help me step into anxiety producing situations in my head to teach my body how to deal with the stresses. at some points it felt like a strategy session surrounding my soul - and to be honest, it really was.
today I sat across from her in her office and she mentioned how she really felt the change in me sitting right in front of her. I chuckled a bit - when I walked in I remembered how weary and tired my soul was. how I didn’t even want to show up.
now? I get excited. I get to not only talk about the stressful things but the MAGICAL things going on in my life. how I’ve learned to really see the beauty in everything - how I know I am a badass that was put on this earth to create change within others. and that the smile I have when I walk in?
it’s so not fake. that MF’er is 100% real.
so today, I cried at the end of the session. I thanked her for never giving up on me…and she simply said - “how could I?? you never gave up on yourself!”. that floored me. up until that moment I think I felt like everything good had happened because she was doing this for me - but I finally felt like I created these changes not for her or because of her, but because of myself. she was just walking along side me.
so my friends, therapy is not a dirty word. taking care of your mind is the most important thing you can do. the one thing I have been telling my clients with all my heart is that the body stuff comes last. until you get the heart and the mind right - you can’t move forward with the body things.
your mind plays tricks on you - your heart, when heavy, will get in the way of your progress. so if whatever goal you have is feeling so out of reach - ask yourself this question…
how healthy is my heart and mind?
once you dive deep and find the answer, you know where you need to start.
and never, ever feel ashamed of reaching out for help. there is so much power to be found in leaning into your therapist, your family or even your friends when you need a hand. there is no need to put on a brave face to simply get by. I know how hard it is because I have done it.
but don’t. and don't feel like you need to be at your breaking point to get help. I'll talk more about that next
and hey, if you need an ear with a large heart attached, send me a little note. I would love to support you in whatever way I can.
may this week bring you all the good vibes. sending all the magical energy your way.
ps: I am going to be doing a post like this every monday that relates to mental health - you'll find them on IG under #mentalhealthmonday. :)