I made a post near the start of the year about the goals I had set for myself for the coming 12 months, the main one being I was going to be nicer to myself this year.
I feel like, before I talk about the strides I’ve taken in this area, I need to mention that this has not been smooth sailing by any means.
I have stopped taking my anti-depressants more than once, I withdrew from my friends for a hot minute there and I’ve been pretty hard on myself for those things and what they resulted in.
But, I’ve also taken steps to do better.
Last week I spoke to a self love coach (which I would love to share more about if you’re interested), and we spoke about my life, pain and how that effects my mental health, but also how self care practices fit into my life as a result.
Surprise, surprise, this is another area I am pretty hard on myself in, but something she said that really stood out to me was that communication is self care.
This isn’t something I’d ever considered, but as soon as she said it, it made so much sense to me.
When I’m not feeling good, physically, mentally or emotionally, not opening up about that to the people around me forces me to either, a) pretend I’m fine and exhaust myself to the point where I can’t help but withdraw, or b) withdraw because I don’t want anyone to know and then throwing myself into an anxious state over what message that is sending to my friends.
But just communicating how I’m feeling, or just that I’m not doing well takes the additional stress out of my life, and also doesn’t add unnecessary worry to the lives of my friends and family.
So that’s what I’m working on, honest communication of what I’m going through and how I’m feeling, and overall it’s going pretty well.
I’m already getting better at being able to message my friends and tell them I’m not up for our plans, or that I’m struggling with anxieties.
Sometimes there’s just one specific thing you need to hear to make something click, and knowing that by communicating, not withdrawing, I’m actually caring for myself was huge for me.
In my head, when I would withdraw, I was thinking that it was what was best for everyone involved, I can’t destroy my life and my friendships with my negative headspace, and my friends don’t have to worry themselves.
And I know that doesn’t give my friends the credit that they deserve, but that’s my process.
I’m not saying that this magic line has removed any chance I will ever withdraw again, because that’s not realistic, but it has helped switch my mindset and I hope that it can help someone who is reading this too.