It's that time of year again: NaBloPoMo 2016 has begun. 30 days of blogging and for once I'm attempting to do it during the actual NaBloPoMo month of November! I'm also planning to make use of the prompts as much as possible...mostly so I don't stress over what to write about...
Today's Prompt: When you're having a bad day with your mental health, what do you do to help yourself?
Oh, self care; that beast. Yes, I say beast because when I am on the edge of the wallow and I know (yes, I know) I should be taking steps to make sure I don't fall in (rest, avoid self medicating, write it out in my journal, eat, move...) is precisely the time when my brain toddler starts to whine about how she doesn't want to take a nap, or eat, or rest, or try to clear a few things from her plate so she's not overwhelmed. Plummeting head on into the wallow is just so easy, so familiar and, even though we know it will make us utterly miserable, it feels safe dammit!
Self care however is a risk. It might not work and, ugh, it means having to actually face all of those icky feelings that are rearing their tousled little heads. It means processing. It means, often, forgiving and letting go...which is something I've not always been good or even okay at. However, this year has been the year of facing my shadow and so I've started to do better.
Started. Because there are still times when I get sucked down into the pit and roll around in my deep, dark thoughts like a pig in a wallow - except in this case the pig is miserable. But lately I've started to hear a kinder voice in my brain. One that says whatever I'm feeling does kind of suck, but wouldn't it be easier to deal with if I just took a nap?
Or maybe, instead I could do laundry or bake a pie, just to show myself I am good at something and then later, when I feel safer, I can sit down and face whatever demon is dancing in my brain?
Or perhaps I can have a cup of tea instead of a glass of wine because at the very least crying into your teas is far less cliche than crying into your glass of Cabernet.
Yes, I'm getting smarter about this. And while I'm far from being an expert in my self care I think I can say that progress is being made. And that's something.