If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know this year has been rough. I’ve been working through a mountain of shtuff. Or maybe you didn’t know that everything I wrote about this spring just bubbled up this year. But it did. And here I am, eight months later, still working. Not so much on the residuals of the repressed trauma (although that’s going to be a daily thing, at least in part, for who knows how long) but more on the me stuff. The sleep. The body image. The self acceptance. And today there’s so much sadness swirling on the internet in regards to the passing of a brilliant man and it was my first day back in full-time mama mode and I had a bizarre experience at yoga, so perhaps it is all of these things or none of these things, but I’m at a hot mess point right now which means I’m here to write my way through it. As I do.
Here’s the thing. There’s a crap ton of stigma associated with mental illness. Crap ton. So much so that when I started taking an anti-depressive medication earlier this year because I couldn’t take an anti-anxiety med which is what I wanted to try to attempt to get my sleep back on track but was (and still am) nursing, I told next to no one. I didn’t want the “Oh”s or the questioning looks or, honestly, to have people think I was depressed. Now, I’m in the process of working myself off that medicine because it did nothing to aid my sleep and I was sick of attempting to increase it again and again to get the desired outcome. I have not been diagnosed with anything nor do I think I should be. I went through an extreme circumstance, tried something to help me get through it and now I’m ready to stand on my own again.
Except it’s not just standing, it’s life and it’s moving forward. And moving forward is so freaking hard sometimes because doing so means dealing with the crap that has held me back or down in the past. Stuff that has been rattling around my brain since college and before. Stuff that I want to put a stop to so I can just be and be OK with that. Stuff I thought I was going to work through at the beginning of this year but then it got put to the back burner because, again, that’s just life. But now body image and self acceptance are front and center, so tonight when I had an eff-it-I-just-want-to-leave moment during yoga, which has never happened before, because I couldn’t stop comparing the size of my hips to the girl beside me who I could see in the mirror every.freaking.time we came upright, I was beyond frustrated. I want to be past all this. I really do. I want to look at my body and see my body, accept my body – not judge it or critique it or compare it. I want to see it and think it is what it is and it is beautiful. Nothing more, nothing less.
Moving forward is also hard because it has to be me doing this work. It’s not for anyone else to say or decide or convey because I’ve spent far too long working to be a certain way for the sake/praise of others and I can’t depend on the words of others any more. I can’t look to other people to build me up because then I read too much into what is said or isn’t said and I’ve finally learned that if I can’t say it to myself, it’s not going to matter if others say it to me 100x. Is it nice that my husband tells me I’m beautiful? Of course. But this is my struggle….my mental path to walk, to work, to reframe. Based on my experience tonight, it’s going to take a heck of a lot longer than I might like to make that happen, but I’m dedicated to getting to a place where I am as gracious and loving to myself as I am to others. And maybe then I can take the kind words from others, and really hear them, really feel them, because I’ll finally see it, too.