Many of you have read the first post (chapter 1) about my journey and where is started. I even shared it on Facebook due to August being self-care month. Unfortunately, I have not been doing a good job at all with my own self-care. Like many I have let the craziness of the world seep deeply into my soul and brain. With everything going on out there, we are all just trying to stay stable, let alone healthy. But how do we do that?
For me, when I follow through with my plan, it involves nutrition, sleep, exercise, and my medicine. What I neglected to include all these years what my voice. What I mean by that is that for many years, too many to count, I have just smiled and let my family say and do things that are hurtful to me. Please don't get me wrong. I love my family. If they need me, I'm there. However, since I was sixteen, my now stepmother, we will call her Jane, has tried to keep my father away from me. Why you ask? My doctors seem to think it is because we are both alpha females and there are several insecurities. I have not been "allowed" to come home for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other holiday. Not even my father's birthdays. I got used to it and buried it to appease my father and to help keep the peace. NO MORE!
The downside to my "keeping the peace" is that it is not how I truly felt. My father never stood up for me, nor did any of my brothers. I am someone that has craved family for as long as I can remember. And this was not it. The side effects of my stifling my feelings have proved to be the worst decision I could have made. Over the years, I have tried to talk to my dad about it, but how much can I really say? It is his wife. It was only recently that one of my brothers told me that they stood up for me over Christmas. They let my dad and Jane know that what they are doing is wrong. I cannot tell you how touched I was. My brother, with whom I was so close with for so long. I do not want to cause any pain to anyone ever. But should I be the one to have to carry all the pain? That is not fair either.
Fast forward a few months to the present. I finally stepped up and let my entire family know how I was feeling and for how long. The most difficult part of this is that I had to say what I felt and in turn, I know it hurt others. I am too much of an empath where I take in the feelings and emotions of others. Not great when you suffer from depression and anxiety like I do. But if I did not say anything at all...ever, I would never be able to release my deep pain, right?
In the past few days, I have been spiraling down. It was like a light switch. The emotions were so intense and my brain so clogged and foggy that I did not realize what I'd done until it was already done. I had even reached out to my new beau, with whom I had been so happy and on cloud 9. Unfortunately, again, I let the depression and emotions of my family situation take over and I said some things I should not have. I screwed up ROYALLY adding to my pain. I may never be able to fix or undo what I have done. What I can do it try to get to the root cause of the "light switch" moments.
In looking back over the past few weeks and days more closely, I have not been taking care of myself. I have not been eating a balance diet of nutrient dense foods. I have not been drinking enough water or getting enough sleep. And the kicker, given that I am a Pilates instructor and educator, is that I have not been getting enough exercise. I do not like to exercise alone and admittedly am so tired of Zoom classes! I want to get back into the group setting but am also not willing to risk my health. So, I am gathering friends I know are being safe and doing things like walking, tennis, golf to get outside and move.
I apologize for a bit of what felt like a rant early in this post. It is the precipice of my pain and the more I talk about it, the less power I give it. It is time for me to take back my heart, my self-worth, and my strength. I can no longer give that to anyone else. I ask you to help one another. Start a discussion below. Let me know how you are doing. Let us help each other stay on our self-care routines to keep strong and healthy. I know I have a lot of work to do and will need all the help I can get.