You know the song I posted a few days ago (if not read the previous post), sometimes it all does seem like too much. Sometimes you realize things you wish you didn't. Sometimes you realize dark things that you don't want to deal with at the moment because your head is barely above water. Sometimes you realize that for once in your life you have to put everything on hold and take care of you. It's not selfish, it's not self indulgent, but if you want to be able to take care of others you have to take care of yourself first.
That was the topic of discussion in our last PTSD group meeting. It's one my counselor has mentioned many times but one I was uncomfortable with. Perhaps it's because society places so much value on doing stuff, showing your accomplishments, taking care of others that we feel if we take care of ourselves we are less. But how can I take care of Bee the best to my ability if I can't take care of myself as well? For months my counselor has talked about self care but I never did it. I had a very hard time allowing myself to do things to take care of me. Mostly because I was so set on taking care of others but I came to realize I'm not happy and I cant rely on others to help me with that.
Finding my happiness comes from me and only me. Yes people in my life make me happy but in order to truly take care of them and feel happy, I need to take care of me. I still don't like the idea but I've hit a point in which I'm pissed off and tired of it all so it is my turn to take care of me. What may that look like you ask?
I'm not exactly sure, after ever everything that has happened I'm rediscovering myself. It's a time for me to find what I am passionate about. I know I love acupuncture and need to make time for that, maybe even once a week. Massage is also great. I've also found a love for painting old furniture and wanting to re-do our home to a more "grow up" standard (while mixing in Bee because that's the kind of house I like. I don't like the kind of house you walk into and cant tell there are children. I want others to know my daughters existence just from walking through my house. But, I'm done with the dark, chunky phase of life. I want to lighten the load and mood so I'm redoing everything. It also helps when I win 4 pints of paint.) Painting is me time, it allows me to physically do something while giving my mind a rest. But, in the end, it benefits everyone around me. I also like chocolate and don't mind eating it. Gardening and composting have also become a thing for me, I like to see the fruits of my labour and be rewarded with bounty of delicious food! Oh and bird/squirrel feeders are collecting in our front yard now.
I've begun to really take care of my body. I hate my body, I hate that it let me down with Ty and Jacob and I've lost a lot of respect and confidence with everything I went through but I want to take that feeling back. I want to gain confidence in how I look, I want to hold my head high and stop being stuck in grief. I'm tired of wearing my grief clothes. I want to dress with confidence, I want to smile with confidence and I want to feel good about myself. For me that means working out, going to the gym, running and doing yoga at home. Nothing crazy, I mean I still love my chocolate and sweets, but enough to allow me to take control of my body again. I want to have me teeth whitened, I want a new wardrobe, what I really want is someone to give me a makeover and take me shopping to tell me what clothes look good because I really hate shopping for myself.
I cant rely on Stephen or Bee to help me, this is a journey I have to take myself, self-discovery because without it I'm not much to anyone, including myself. The work I am doing in my PTSD group is amazing, its a very slow process and sometimes I feel like I am falling back but I know I'm not because I am much more aware. I have a long time to go in therapy and I'm okay with that. It compliments all my efforts at home.
I've been off my medication for two weeks now and it has been hell. The brain zaps and insomnia are hard but what is worse is the thoughts and feelings I have. I've been crying almost all the time and for me, my ptsd seems to show through anger and impatience. It's something I've never addressed and I know I need to work on but being off the medication will now allow me to do so. I know it's always there if I need to go back, but for now, it's time for me to really figure shit out. I need to redefine what I want in life, I need to surround myself with those who support me and don't judge, who don't criticize and just want to be around me for me. I'm sure some people in my life will fade out as there isn't a spot for them if they aren't supportive. I'm sure I may gain more people along the way. All I know is it's time for everything else to be put on hold and take care of myself. However that may be, it's time to figure it out.
Our last group session was just amazing. We talked about self care and figuring out what we need. What we need for us and only us. Things like working out, eating right, sex, church, acupuncture, watching tv, running, shopping, painting, massage, all of these things that we as a group came up with. It was about us and only us and some may say its being selfish and its one reason we struggle with it, even as a general society. But, I can't be the person I need to be to my daughter if I'm not the person I need to be to myself. I have some ideas of what I need, but I'm still figuring it out as well. I keep saying it because I do have a hard time taking care of me. It's not just me, its a society thing. So for today, I will eat my chocolate cookie and do my yoga after Bee goes to bed, it's me time and it's allowing myself to grow into hopefully something I can be proud of. I don't want to wallow or be stuck in my grief and it'll be a long time before I accept me, but I'm starting because I'm tired of not allowing myself that. No one can help, I have to do this alone.