For the longest time -most of my life- therapy/self-care/me-time, whatever, was just “writing”. Shut the world out, type words until I figure out how I feel about [whatever], understand enough about myself to know what I need to let go of. It worked! It was good.
But then at some point a few years ago it wasn’t enough, I needed to be doing more for my mental health, so I added running. Amazing? No ear buds, no playlists, just me and my breath and the horizon. Focus on the self and my surroundings. Be present. It felt good, positive, it worked for a few more years.
Then, last summer, that suddenly wasn’t enough either. I don’t remember the specifics but last summer was bad. It got so dark, all at once, and it was like: go to therapy or don’t be alive. The idea of the process of finding a therapist is forever exhausting so I very quickly decided it would happen online or not at all. This decision was cemented immediately by a sign from the universe in the form of [website I work with] randomly giving me a code for 3 free months of [online therapy site I was already thinking of signing up for]. So yes OK.
Initial attempts were not good, the first few therapists I reached out to were sucky and annoying, but for whatever reason I didn’t give up, I was like: I’ll try one more therapist, and it was perfect from our first interaction. Still meet once a week. I don’t have weekly goals or anything but we talk about radical acceptance, cognitive distortions, being a “curious observer” in my life and towards my decision-making. Mindfulness meditation, breathing meditation. A few times a week, at least, or at least the application of guilt if I don’t do those things.
I also quit gluten, pretty much? Not really related to therapy but two people in my family turned out to be celiac so it easily fell under the general category of Doing Things That Are Supposed to Help. This in addition to my already no dairy and no drinking. Stopped running b/c of plantar but was riding a bike to and from work every day, at least until work stopped being a thing I go to. Trying to pick up spanish again, practicing every day. Switched to deodorant and shampoo bars to get some plastic out of my life. At one point I even made my phone screen totally black & white so it would be less interesting to look at.
All this mental health stuff happening in my life before pandemic, before quarantine, before apocalypse, before my mental health really, lbr, even started getting pressure tested. I don’t know what’s helping or working anymore. It’s weird to look back at last summer as a time I could step outside myself and say “You’re mental health is bad”. What would the me then think about the me now? Weird to even think of seasons, the concept of “outside”, the idea of time passing, the sense of one day being different from the days on either side of it.
Um. I can’t remember what my point was going to be when I started writing this. Doesn’t matter! I’m literally only posting this because I haven’t posted anything here yet this calendar year and I am looking forward to saying I accomplished one thing today. I am forcing myself to do this. It’s excruciating.