Proud As A Peacock


“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”
Jane Austen 

I woke up this morning thinking about how proud I am of my children. My son came home last night with his official Grade 6 graduation picture and I immediately busted into tears. He told me to close my eyes as he took down the picture frame which holds every 8 x 10 school picture ever taken (including pre-school). Then, with pride, he told me to look on the wall, and there he was, all handsome in his cap, smiling, and holding a 2011/2012 elementary school diploma.  William put it right next to his sister’s who is holding her 2008/2009 parchment in her delicate hands.  Both my children are shining.

To see how far he has come since the kid who literally used to run away from Kindergarten, who was diagnosed with ADHD, who was bullied at school, who struggled with learning, his self-esteem, studying and math. To look at my daughter, who, didn’t have the struggles he had, but tried very hard to keep up because unfortunately, a lot of my attention was given to Wil and I think she felt the need to grasp at some straws for me to see her too!

I see her more clearly now:  full of life, excitement and she has this “no-nonsense” attitude which often grounds me.  She loves to be out, to explore, to push the boundaries of the world, always on the edge, yet not so much that she is too far from home, literally, and in her spirit.  She does things I would have never done, like longboarding, and riding the “sling-shot” at La Ronde amusement park.  Angela is the epitome of youth, and she truly inspires me.

These sudden surges of pride have come up a lot lately.  Not only in my children, but in myself.  If my children have succeeded this far, it is part and partial due to me!  (this is hard for me to write so bear with me)..

Being proud of oneself, is not something I am used to.  If you look at many blog posts and self-help books, one doesn’t see many references to “pride”.  The terms self-love, self-care, self-esteem are often used..

So what’s wrong with pride?

I began my research and stopped over at the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word pride comes along with ego, self-regard, self-respect, however, the antonyms are humbleness, humility and modesty.  Now, in most of the self-help books I have read the latter terms have come up OFTEN.  They are something, according to many of the books I have read, that we should strive for.  Which leads me to the question:

Is pride a negative or a positive thing to express?

Have we been programmed NOT to toot our own horn ?

For this post, I went through dozens and dozens of quotes on pride, and in fact, they are mostly speaking of “the sort of pride” which often gets us in trouble.  We often hear expressions “Her pride got in the way”  or “He’s too proud to admit he was wrong”.  Ahh.. so that is where it comes from.  Pride is often associated with the negative ego, so we don’t talk about it much.  Well at least the “negative” connotation.  Furthermore, in my research, I googled the words “when it is good to be proud” and to my discovery, many people are asking the question:

“Is it good to feel proud?”

I say YES!!  It is important to have pride in yourself, in your children, in your accomplishments.  I am at that point now. I am proud of the journey I have taken so far.  With all its wondrous moments and bad choices.  With all its chaos and moments of joy.  With all the drama and times of peace.  I have grown to take responsibility for my life and I AM PROUD OF ME!!

So yes, be proud, not proud enough to keep people out of your life, or to never say I am sorry when you’ve hurt someone, but proud of where you are right this moment. RIGHT NOW.. Go look at yourself in the mirror with the pride of a lion!

I am proud of the mother and woman I am, because that, reflects in my children’s eyes, and I am so proud of them!

Be proud as a peacock!  Proud as a lion!   Proud as an open flower waiting for butterflies! Proud as you are!

Speaking of my son, he is looking for sponsors to get him to camp this summer.  Summer camp is something William looks forward to every year and it is so good for his self-esteem.  This year I am on sick leave (due to my depression diagnosis), and being a single parent family, you can imagine I cannot put up the whole amount.  Anything you can give would be greatly appreciated.  I’ll even throw in a Dream Interpretation whenever you have a dream!!    Here is a link :

Camp Sponsorships

You can also email me if you want to send a money order at kim.larocque@sympatico.ca

Spring Of Life


Until you’ve found pain, you won’t reach the cure
Until you’ve given up life, you won’t unite with the supreme soul
Until you’ve found fire inside yourself, like the Friend,
You won’t reach the spring of life.
Rumi ♥

 

When I first wrote about my depression, in Let The Truth Be Known I Suffer from Depression (1st in a series of 4),  I opened the doors to my soul.  Laying out my experience for everyone and out into the Universe, brought me closer to you my friends and my readers, consequently, it also brought me closer to myself.  I discovered I am not alone suffering in the darkness, and happily so, I had hands to hold along the way.  I even made new connections and built new relationships with those who are or were in the dark too.

This was in January.  Today, after almost 5 months in therapy, and 3 months on medication,  I am actually starting to feel my two feet on the ground again, and the feeling is amazing!  I have made many changes and created a life of quiet. YES! I am a hermit (for now) however, think of it this way, I went from a lifetime of self-hate to entering a new life of self-love.  I want to bask in it, smell it, live it and breathe it! 

I spoke last week about, “taking out the garbage” and wanting to create more loving and meaningful relationships.  This task starts with creating a loving relationship with myself.  So, keeping this in mind, I had to separate myself physically from the world (in a sense) in order to commune with me and with God.  I know I am not separate in spirit.  My spirit is connected with all of you and with the source, so technically, at that time I was connected, just not in ways others think I should.  

Forget what everyone else thinks and live your marvelous life!!!

Creating a loving bond with the person I am allows me to feel true love, the love I have been longing for almost ALL my life, because truthfully I am love.  Love isn’t something to long for, love is something inside each and every one of us.

Hate separates!

The self-hate probably started around 12 or 13, when I thought everyone else abandoned me.  

As the years went by, what I did was abandon myself.  I gained and lost weight, I entered into abusive relationships, I even tried drugs (that didn’t work THANK GOD!!) I gave up everything I loved and adored doing.. my dreams went down the drain.  I was literally living according to the expectations of everyone else and I constantly felt OBLIGATED!  I started looking on the outside for things no one could really give to me.  I fell in love with the potential of love, and this left me empty and scared.

When enough is enough!

When I was at the deepest point of my depression, I felt like I was in a deep dark well.  It was cold, its was terrifying, and I felt like I was drowning in gunk. I prayed for someone to come find me and take me away from what I had, in reality, created all by myself.   Then, the water started freezing my skin, and rose up to my neck,  that is when I looked up and saw a tiny little light up above me.  It was not a person shining a flash light, no rescue worker coming my way, it was your light and it was my light.   The light of everyone who cheered me on during that dark time, I finally grasped onto it and up out of the well I went.  Your light and love, became my light and love.  The meds became the bridge which helped my feet stand on the ground.  

I believe!

They say when you heal on the inside, it starts showing up on the outside.  This, I discovered this week to be so true!  My home is less cluttered, my plants are doing GREAT!, and I can finally look at myself in the mirror again and smile.  I went out last week to get purple streaks in my hair, along with a much needed hair cut, and now I cannot stop looking at myself in the mirror.. I feel pretty again.  I bought myself some new clothes, and just yesterday, I refilled my makeup bag!

Playing spring chicken!

The thing is, I didn’t do all this to attract a new mate in my life.. (which in fact is what the old me would have done) I did all this for me.  This is the difference and I feel it.

I feel in the flow, the Universe is providing me with everything I need, and when this happens, I KNOW I am on the right path.  If I was having tons of difficulties right now, I would be asking myself:  How am I creating this?  So.. when doubts arise like yesterday (yep I started doubting my path) I remind myself of the old “self-sabotaging” me who likes to tease like a jester.  

And.. like last week’s garbage, I told it to EFF off too!  

My feet are on the ground.  I’m dancing.. and singing.. and laughing, and enjoying this little heaven right here and right now!

Time to Take OUT the Garbage!


Open your mind, allow your feelings to be expressed, to be pushed out, and your heart will neither break nor burst, but be a free-flowing channel of the life energy in your soul.

°~Neale Donald Walsch

I must admit, once upon a time, I was a borderline hoarder. In my 20’s I would keep piles and piles of dishes on the counter of my sink. Hundreds of old newspapers waiting to be recycled, would line up in my hallway. My room was rarely clean, and I always had a storage room full to the brim.

Then, in my 30’s, when my children came along, I decided it was important to rid myself of clutter. This would happen every time I move, and I moved often, and more and more things would finally disappear from my life. I was never ever good a housecleaning though. Cleaning was always a challenge, and I always found something better to do.

When spring sprang out of nowhere, and the sun sparkled on all my belongings, I noticed the dust and grime left over from a deep dark winter and felt quite overwhelmed. My soul cried out for order.   Out came the Pledge, the Windex and rolls of paper towels. I would finally clean a 6 month’s worth of dirt and grime.

God this is taking FOREVER!

As I went through this process every year, I started asking myself, why do I  let things go so far? Why do I create so much work for myself? Instead of cleaning on a regular basis, I left, for example,  the leftovers in the fridge go until new breeds of mushrooms were born! I had no choice but to clean these awful things out, and as I opened each container  (or just throw a perfectly good Tupperware out entirely) of “whateverthisgreenstuffis” I would gag and cough as I chucked the obnoxiousness out.

WHY DO I PUT MYSELF THROUGH THIS?

Cleaning time for me, is when I had company coming over. This was rare, however, I did have get-togethers with family or sometimes friends. This is when I frantically run all over the house making it look and smell like it was clean all along. I was so tired by the time everyone got to my place, that I had to put on the mask of hostess on and pretend I was happy.

AHA! Pretend I was happy! What a statement!

Fast forward to 2012. I am in my new place, I am committed to making this a “no clutter zone” and I am doing terrific at it. I clean regularly, no I am not perfect, but I will not feel uncomfortable now if you just popped in (although I would probably say: don’t mind the dishes, as they are STILL sitting on the counter.)

I’ve always known that what lurks inside of ourselves, often manifests on the outside. Meaning, our immediate environment. That our “home” is a reflection of our soul. Since our soul is our home, it makes total sense no? So, as this process continues with me, I noticed this week, that although in therapy I am now healing a lifetime of soul clutter, there was still one more thing I needed to deal with. The garbage!!! The ugly, stinking, piling up garbage.

Peeling away the layers comes with going deep, and sometimes going deep stinks! As I go to where no Kim has gone before, I noticed one thing in my apartment that was truly bugging me. The garbage pails are all full! I would go to the bathroom and stuff that kleenex in the waste basket until garbage was overflowing. I would curse at the kitchen garbage, because when it did come time to “take it out” it was so full I couldn’t tie it. Then there’s the balcony. I had kept garbage on the balcony all winter, and it finally dawned on me: Why the heck do I do this to myself? STILL!!

Speaking with my good friend Sylvia, we came up with: You keep the garbage to keep people out! You keep the garbage to keep your truth from exploding! You keep the garbage because what is coming up inside you is old garbage which needs healing. So, in one swoop of the wrist, I took all the garbage, filled 2 bags, and brought it to my front door in such a fury, like the power of a lioness. I marched downstairs to the dumpster, and threw the bags in so hard and yelled “F YOU!!

Eff you effing garbage get out of my LIFE!”

The picture below relates to the poem Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would not take the garbage out.  by Shel Silverstein Go take a read and come back! 

Now I hope the neighbors were not watching, because they would probably think I just fell of my rocker. In a sense, I did lose it, however, it was for a really good cause: – me!  The rage had to come up, in order for me to release it. I needed to tell off the the stinking mess. I am so sick and tired of CREATING trash!

The next trip to my therapist came the next day, and guess what? Yep, stuff, feelings, experiences, that I didn’t even know where bothering me came up so strong I cried for 5 minutes in my chair. I discovered, that I was carrying trash in myself that needed disposing.

I discovered, that I was in love with everyone else’s potential and not mine. I discovered that I can trust myself again, but in the past I didn’t and I discovered that the garbage in my apartment and the garbage in my soul was a way to keep people OUT! I built walls I didn’t even know where there.

So now, I can slowly start dismantling them, one at a time, so that I can eventually create friendships, and relationships that matter.

Now Mr Glad .. I’m kicking the garbage to the curb! I’m getting mad so I can get glad!

Time to let love in!

Love your trash and set it free!

You can read the follow up to this post:

HERE:  Spring Of Life

Kim 

Going Back to Move Forward


Less than two days left in this old year! Astrologically speaking, that is. On Tuesday, March 20, at 1:14 am EST, the Sun moves into Aries, starting a brand new Zodiac year. This also marks the Vernal Equinox and the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  

~Jennifer Shelton FemCentral

In her post today, My year in review and why you should do it too,  Jennifer Shelton writes about the importance of this review.  She states:  ” its  another way to be mindfully aware of what we are doing, so that we are not “sleep walking” through life. Major changes can result with little effort, if we bring awareness to our actions and choices.”

So, in the spirit of being mindful, and wanting to really SEE how far I have come in the past year, here is my review!
In this post, I am already questioning my love for teaching.  Back then, I suspected I was overwhelmed, and probably already suffering from depression.  Feeling overwhelmed I write:
Now I am at a crossroads. I need to bring income into my home, I need to work, however, I do not have the stamina to get into a room of 27 students and babysit them all day. Children today are not the same with subs, and even worse with subs who are not feeling well. They sense it!! and they kill me!!
I can see now, from this blog post, I am starting to see a transformation coming on.  I feel, when I reread this post, that I was preparing myself for TODAY.  In an excerpt I state:
Embarking on a new adventure is always scary. I can stay in the same old rut because it seems to feel safe, however; a rut is not comforting at all! Soon becomes so stale it stinks and I want to be free, which, in turn, begins to cause me great anxiety.

Here I am on an emotional roller coaster.  I feel its time to change my life around, yet, looking back, I was too scared  to do so.  I write:

For some sadness is pain, but to me there is something bigger hiding inside. You know the hurt you feel in your chest? I have to feel it and ride it out, because these past couple of years I’ve been trying to suppress that pain, which in turn has causes me grief. I get panic, anxiety, digestion problems…etc.. All that craziness for blocking the true feelings that live within my soul. 

A turning point!  I find myself searching for this light, that I KNOW is there!  After this post, many of the truths I needed to tell myself came up!  I decided it was time to change my life and jump!

Therefore, this is where I’m at. I’m at the point of renewal. I’ve seen this in my horoscope, on friends FB pages, on twitter.. The message is loud and clear! It is that time for me again. Time to shed my snake skin.

THIS!! Is where I totally started to break free!  After receiving a Tarot Reading from my friend  Sylvia van Bruggen she wrote an intuitive short story for me.  This story resonated with me in more ways than you can imagine. I decided to shed my relationship, this, was a HUGE step for me.  I even had an AHA moment recently.  Here is an excerpt:

….She enjoyed life so much, she played with the birds, danced with the butterflies and giggled at the rabbits as they raced ahead of her on the path. Then she found some stones along her path, and without realizing why, she put those stones in her back pack. Before long the back pack became so heavy her shoulders began to ache and she no longer saw the rabbits, the birds and the butterflies. All she knew was that she had to walk on, with her heavy bag…

August 2011:  Lily Pad

In August of 2011, my dream interpretations started going live!  My first post was Zakaphorian Dreams.  I was also desperately looking for a new place to live with my children.  So much happened that month, good and challenging.  Here is a quote from Maya Angelou which I attached to the poem I wrote.  I wanted to go home.

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. 
Maya Angelou

As my depression grew deeper and deeper, I was constantly trying to find ways to boost my self-esteem.  I truly believe in what I wrote in this post, however, it was a time of great reflection. No excerpts needed, feel free to check out the post.

This post came after being unplugged for 21 days.  The kids and I had moved into our NEW apartment, our home, in the beginning of the month.  This is when everything HIT me and I was truly exhausted.  I write:

When the time came to move out of my life and into this new one.  I was so excited.  I was counting down the days to freedom, and boy oh boy I couldn’t wait!  I would finally be free!! … I had no clue what I was going to face once in my new place, yet I was so sure it would be much better than where I was..  Yet, to my surprise I was faced with something even more scary:  Myself!!!

Nov. 2011:  Getting Naked

In November, I am really feeling it!  I’m lost, I’m afraid, and I have no clue what is going on with my life.  Work is killing me, I am crying every day.  This is the month I walk into a clinic and get help! HELP ME!! So grateful I did, because now I have an amazing therapist who really “gets me”!

It’s not easy to speak the truth.  When you are having a very bad day and someone, an acquaintance, asks:  “Hey, how are you doing?” Your first instinct would be to reply “Fine thanks. You?”  At that moment your mind starts to think for itself.  “You are not fine, darn it, you feel like crap!”  Why do we ever speak the truth when someone asks “Are you ok?”  Instead of replying fine, why don’t we say “Hey, NO, I’m not ok, I feel like shit and I want to crawl under a rock”?  Wouldn’t that be more authentic?

Dec. 2011:  Autentica

December!! Oh great December!  I remember this time, trying to keep face to have a happy Christmas with the children.  The worry, the anxiety, yet finding joy in decorations and baking.  I also decided to stop working, and to take care of ME!

As 2011 ends and 2012 begins… The passage will not be felt, but the continuous movement towards my wise self will followed by light, forwarded by love and entered with faith so strong nothing will stop who I have become.

This post came out for many reasons.  First, I started feeling “judged” for having clinical depression.  Plus, the Bell Canada Let’s Talk campaign was advertizing for Feb 8th, where people around Canada were going to openly talk about depression.  This is one of my most popular posts!

I am writing this post today because I think the world needs a crash course in depression. It affects many of us, men, women, children and teens.. yet I feel there is still a stigma attached to it. Those who have never experienced depression, cannot understand the challenges our minds and bodies experience.

Feb. 2012:  February a Time for Love – Self-Love

I truly believe this is the month I WOKE UP!! A slow wake up, however, I truly discovered and melted into who I really am.. and it was the beginning of the love story between me and me!

…I will sing myself a love song, write myself a love letter and maybe even share some of this new-found love with my children and all of you.. Actually I know I will share all this love I have inside.. because it is there.. waiting to be shared.. but first I need to stash away just a little for me…

Doing this review, allowed me to see how far I have come in the past year.  What I have accomplished is amazing.  The most important thing about this year is staying TRUE to who I am, and not letting others dictate to me what I should or should not do.. most importantly, not letting others DEFINE who I am.  

Kim

Flying Solo


Did I ever tell you I was broken?  Yep, I kept myself that way so you can love me.  I didn’t know any other way for you to even look at me.  So if I remained out-of-order, you would come to my rescue.  I was the bird with a broken wing.  Never really flying very far, like a fish in its fishbowl, I was comfortable in my surroundings.  I thought to myself, with my birdlike wisdom, my wing could never heal because if it healed, that meant I had to fly on my own.

Flying on my own!! That is the scariest thing imaginable.  I would have to jump off a branch and trust that the wind would take me and my wings would work.  Flapping them, would mean trusting myself that I can do it.. and the last time I did, I fell, and broke my beak.  Things went downhill from there.

Then one day, while watching all my bird friends, fly around.  I was getting quite jealous just sitting out on my perch.  I was observing how much fun they were having, and how many worms they were catching.  Obviously it was challenging for me with my  sore wing to get worms so early.  I was hungry, I was lonely and I decided I was worthless.

You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.  ~Amelia Earhart

The other birds felt bad, and sometimes they would come and share their bounty with me, yet, a few birds, the ones that hang out on the wire would sing behind my back.  They often had weddings there, and I was never invited.  I heard them talk about me saying how lazy I was, that if I just worked harder at fixing myself I could have a better life.  This is when I started believing I needed to be put back together.  However, who would do that?

I also had my friends, the blue birds, they would always cheer me on and tell me that everything is going to be alright.  They complemented me on my style, and how they loved the single purple feather which lined my wings.  They told me to believe in myself, that sooner or later I would fly just like them.

As much as they loved me, I often never received their love with open arms.  I thought it would be easier to lay low in my nest, hoping for a visit once and awhile.

K. Shreesh Then one day, my wing hurt so bad, I went to scoop up a juicy worm,  and I fell 10 feet below heading towards my death.  I couldn’t get the nerve to flap my wings, and started to let myself fall.  Then, low  and behold a raven swooped by and picked me up.  He told me he saw me falling from miles away and couldn’t let such a beautiful bird die.  That’s when I turned to him and said:  Can you help me?  Can you teach me how to fly like you do?

He complied right away, and we started flying lessons the next day.  As the days grew longer and the nights grew warmer, I felt my strength come back.  I felt like a hawk!  Ready to face the air!  Ready to swoop over huge mountains.

The birds around me started flocking my way.  I finally was invited on the electrical wire to the morning dove’s wedding.  How wonderful.

Then it hit me, I was never EVER broken.. I was always whole.  I just needed to listen to myself, to my teachers, and to my birdly instincts all along.  And KNOW that the Universe is always there, guiding me and supporting me every single beat of my wings!

I can fly
I can fly
I can fly

Inhabiting Myself


I wrote this awhile back for another blog, however, due to unforseen circumstances, it never got published.  So today, since I was experiencing technical difficulties, I decided to post this short story.

 

 

 

I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I’ve written for myself, and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part.  ~Shirley MacLaine

I can’t believe I shut her up all this time!  I kept her well hidden, locked downstairs in the soberness of the basement.  I went down only to give her the remnants of food leftover from my fridge, and a slim glass of water… other days I would stuff her with food until she would almost get sick!! She HAD to eat, she HAD to stay fat.  That way no one but no one would want to love her.

There were days I would let her out for short periods of time.. this would enable her to see the light and smell the air, just enough so she could survive.  However, she would begin to enjoy the outdoors and she would start smiling and playing.  Amusement was strictly forbidden in this place… she knew that, she would try to smile while I wasn’t looking but I would always catch her!  When I did… Punishment was in order!

“Hey! You!  Ugly!!!! …You think you are pretty when you smile?” I would yell at her.

She would look at me with her eyes so dark.. they were begging me to let her stay but she belonged back where she came from:  In the darkness.

In recent years,  I decided to keep her downstairs for longer periods of time… I would only let her out when I thought she was about to die.  I couldn’t have her death on my conscience, that would be the end for both of us.  I cannot exist without her… I can’t.

One day, when I came to grab her arm to bring her downstairs, she managed to gather enough strength to push me back!  This woman, who didn’t have much energy, managed to run away from me and disappear around the bend.  I was too tired to run after her…. I let her go.

I sat there crying until nightfall set inside my mind.  I realized how much I needed her.. without her.. I didn’t exist.

A few months later she came to visit me, and this time I had no urge to lock her up.  I must admit she looked beautiful.  Her smile was a mile wide, and her glow!! That glow!  I could not stop looking at her…she was mesmerizing.

This woman, who I locked up for years, started to cry. She looked at me directly in the eyes while huge tears streamed down her face.

“You, my dear” She said  “are an egotistical, narcissistic abuser!!”

I couldn’t deny what she was telling me is true.  I didn’t treat this girl with love, compassion or tenderness.  I often forgot to nurture her, and I never embraced her dreams.   She, was nothing to me.. NOTHING!

She looked at me, after she calmed down and said:  “Forgive me? Please forgive me?”  Forgive me for not loving you… for hating you.. for despising you”

I replied “I should be the one asking for forgiveness”

She said “I am you”

And so she was… and so I am.. We embraced each other….

We are no longer rivals .. we are one!

I inhabited myself!

The dark became light, the world became bright.. My creativity soared… I started seeing things in ways I have never perceived them before.  I drew, I wrote, I sang and danced.  I created, I laughed, I cried.  I listened more, loved more and played more.  I joked more, decorated more and everything I would receive would be AWESOME!  I ate better, walked more, and just accepted that this person does not need to be buried.. she exists.. We both exist in  light and in dark need to combine our hearts and give the world the best that we can give.

And so she changed the world… one dream at a time..

Go with the flow


Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better.  What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn?  What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice.  Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Last week I posted: Depression hits. Now What? = Love Yourself! I discuss the importance of self-love and the ability to treat and love yourself like you would a child or your best friend. This week I want share some of the strategies which help me with coping with certain fears, thus, often removing the feeling of overwhelm when I begin a new task.  Overwhelm, really makes everything bigger in perspective, so I need to break down tasks into smaller steps.

Dealing with depression and anxiety has been a challenge and a huge awakening at the same time. (see:  Let The Truth Be Known:  I Suffer from Depression) I realize, after some great reflection that depression, anxiety and panic have been part of my life since my early 20’s, maybe even earlier (according to my therapist) However, with this latest onset, I have discovered self-loving ways to overcome some of the challenges I face. These self-loving ways are things I didn’t do in past recoveries.. I mean yes, I started, however, I never took them as serious as I do now. There is the little voice inside of me (which I call my higher self) which guides me through. This “voice” is beginning to replace the “negative voice” which ruled my life for 20 years. These following strategies helped me “unlearn” the old and experience new and loving ways to be gentle with myself.

The two (2) things I needed to work on (huge mountains) were: 1. Self-care (Taking care of my body and showering) and 2. Going out / socializing. These 2 things, if I didn’t pay attention to them, could send me into a deep downward spiral. Think about it.. Looking yucky would lead to more self-hate, and not seeking support or running errands would lead me to feel alone and my kids wouldn’t have food to eat. So, during my treatment, these two areas of my life need to have some sort of plan. A flexible plan.. but a plan.

Remember, if you’re headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns!  ~Allison Gappa Bottke

Plans help me shape my world. I for one, was never really good a making plans and sticking to them. Even with the post today, I had a plan to find some terrific article to back up my post, however, I cannot find a single thing which I find “inspiring”. Being too rigid does not work either. “Go with the flow within guidelines” is my new motto! If I were to stick strictly to adding “facts” from an outside source, it just wouldn’t work. This gives me some control over certain situations and help me feel safe. Just like one would devise an “escape plan” in case of fire, I devise an escape plan in certain situations. Take going out for example:

Lets say I must take a bus to go to an appointment. Taking the bus is quite scary, because this means I am going to be far away from “home base”. Home base, is my safe zone. So I usually devise a plan before I leave giving me a 100% right to change my mind at any time. Meaning, I give myself permission to return to home base.

The first thing I do is to make sure I have my cell phone on me. Then, I stash a $20.00 in my purse. This allows me to take a taxi home if ever panic really strikes. Then as I walk out of the house… I talk to myself. I give myself support throughout the journey. Last week, I had to do this and I told myself I had permission to get off at every stop. This permission allowed me to go all the way!! Get it! When I know I have a choice.. it eases my anxiety.

Choices, we all have. Giving ourselves the right to choose differently allows for freedom. So in the end, I always end up where I wanted to go, or do what I planned to do, because I had a choice! I didn’t feel like I was choking on “I must” or “I have to”.. I felt alleviated with “I can, but I can change my mind at any time”…

As for taking a shower, I now get in the bath! I prepare everything around me. I may even break out a few candles and some bubble bath. I wash my hair with clean water from the tap and rince. Giving myself this “motherly” love is exactly what I need!

You can Google “Anxiety busters” or Depression Strategies to find tons of strategies which will work for you.

Yet, the message here is. Give yourself choices. In most instances, you’ll stick to the plan. However, if one day you don’t, that is ok too.. since it is part of trusting yourself, you can take yourself back home. Just like a mom who promises her child she will pick him/her up right after the first day of school, keep those promises to yourself too! I know I did, and it makes things easier.

Its going out and taking a shower still difficult for me; OH YES! However, now that I have “escape plans” and “mothering techniques” these tasks are much more manageable..and will get even more manageable as my recovery continues.

Keep on moving and smile!