Dangggggg! I love life! I love waking up to the smell of coffee in the kitchen wafting up the stairs. I love finding little hand drawn pictures in my hair tie drawer from Aden before I put my hair in a messy bun and go do my workout. I love cooking and cleaning up after my 3 kids (constantly). I love my life as I’m sitting here at my desk with the sound of Ammie chewing on her toy and Aden bouncing on the trampoline. I love that I have the words behind my feelings when something upset me yesterday to calmly rationalize how I was feeling and then verbalize it to another person.
I didn’t love any of these things or couldn’t have thought out a clear emotion and especially couldn’t have said any of those things 2 weeks ago. Not because my life was any less amazing then as it is now. It’s just that what you focus on expands. So if you tell yourself you hate the sound of your alarm in the morning and you can’t stand putting on your workouts clothes and doing a workout that feels forced then you’re going to hate all of those things and it will avalanche into other areas of your life. If you don’t like your co-worker or are at odds with your spouse and you’re spending your time being mad instead of coming up with a solution.. that negativity will overflow into other areas of your life too. If you don’t have money for that vacation you want to go on or that dress you realllllly want but all you do is stress over it and feel angry or lacking instead of “how can I afford it?” then you will just be stuck. Day in and day out you will feel stuck. Kinda like the feeling of the movie Groundhogs day and not the holiday where the little creature comes out and sees his shadow or not and whether that means a longer winter or fast approaching spring – I never remember which. It’s also why I have to say “spring forward/fall back” when the time change comes too because I never can remember otherwise. Speaking of! We “spring forward” on March 14th! Longer days of sunshine are cominggggg. I got off subject here… #squirrelmoment
… SO THE ACTUAL GROUNDHOGS DAY came and went and I didn’t think much of it. Did you? But, as a friend and I were joking that life is overwhelmingly and seemingly like that movie “Groundhogs Day” we are all living the same day. Over and over. Day in and day out.
If you haven’t seen the movie, the premise is the character doesn’t take what he’s doing seriously or put much thought into his surroundings or the people around him until he wakes up to realize he has to live that same day over again. As the movie goes on he starts evolving, participating more in his life and with the “opportunities” that surround him. Ultimately realizing the that key to life isn’t what happens to you but how you react to it.
Confession: since March last year A LOT has changed FOR THE GOOD in my life but, there I sat focusing on whatever made me feel the MOST WORTHLESS. The sadness and drudgery owned me. The bummer that my life can and will be if I let it. I’m not one to wallow in misery really but I had to tackle some really overwhelming obstacles that felt like I was paddling something fierce but I wasn’t moving… all while not stopping to take in some of my own best advice.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.
Whether you believe that or not it is almost undeniable that as we trudge through what seems like it’s right out of a movie itself – that bug which will not be named has had some UNBELIEVEABLE affects on all of us and I cannot possibly assume or believe it could be happening for NO REASON AT ALL. A fluke? Maybe but, I choose to believe it’s for a reason.
We may still not know THE REASON but I’ve seen a lot of change watching all of you on social media this past year. I’ve watched as families played more board games and went on more camping trips. I’ve seen a lot of healing, more meditation, more creating of good habits, and healthier lifestyles. I’ve seen tighter bonds and connections between spouses, friends, co-workers. I’ve seen people save money and learn how to repair their credit (now more than ever). I realize just like in my own life and what I’ve shared publicly that can be 2 different stories but maybe while it hasn’t been ideal we all have needed this temporary (ok rn it feels permanent but..) time-out to realign ourselves with what is REALLY IMPORTANT to us.
I, on the other hand, haven’t been doing so well. As an introvert, homebody, anti-social butterfly — I almost RELY on the things I HAVE to do so that I continue to be a part of society. If left on my own I will totally stay in the house for an entire day and then go out and check the mail only to realize it feels amazing outside and I just wasted the day. It’s like if I have to get dressed to go out to run an errand I end up doing something else then I’m invigorated from the people and the places. If I stay home, as much as I love it, it’s really unhealthy for me.
As I scrolled through my camera roll last night I felt overwhelmed with all the reminders of how blessed I am and gratefulness filled up my heart. Then it hit me – I had stopped loving myself somewhere between March 2020 and the beginning of this month. I had brief moments of catching myself in the act and changing my behavior but overall it was a lost cause. Like talk mad sheet in my own head to myself daily. Borderline hate. Ill thoughts. Contemplations I now look back on and cannot believe the headspace I was in. And, of course, it was all internal. I never let it out. I never spoke deeply about it or tried to resolve it. Just let it stew all musty up in my head. And that made it so much worse.
Where was my ability to find joy in each moment? Embrace adventure? Sleep in on the weekends? Put my toes in the water? Take more hikes? Exercise because I LOVE MYSELF and not as a form of punishment for the last thing I ate? Find a reason to laugh even if I’m in the middle of crying? And, just tackle the crap out of my goals!?!?
There’s been research that trauma produces a recalibration of the brain’s alarm system and results vary by person of course but commonly show up as an increase in stress hormones (hello cortisol belly), disorganization, irrational thoughts, lethargy, lack of willpower, hyper-viligent threat responses, fear of spontaneity or the unknown resulting in fight or flight response, inability to learn from experience to stop repeating harmful behaviors, the list goes on.
I have been stuckkkkk AF and hyper focused on unimportant things. I know if you scroll through it looks like I’ve just been cruising through this worldwide crisis but, that’s what I do man. I’m a freaking survivor and I will NEVER give up on myself [permanently]. If by some chance I’m in the midst of a meltdown I might also be smiling and waving in my stories, writing up a purchase offer, cooking a 4 course meal, or hosting a zoom workout from my living room to 30 people all over the country/world… and no one will even have any idea something is wrong. Or if they do they just chalk it up to me acting a little different…but, it’s the trauma. I watch as others can verbalize and display their dissatisfaction or unhappiness at a situation and get over it better, faster.. healthier. All that goes through my head is omg I would cut my finger off before I said anything outloud. DUDE – THAT CANNOT BE HEALTHY RIGHT?! But seriously, I’d cut myself instead of have to speak up.
We all should feel so free to speak up and speak out against someone or something that makes us upset (or share if we are struggling with something). It doesn’t have to have a negative connotation or be detrimental to the other person or situation (but I also wince in pain when I see how capable some people are at this… secretly wishing how easy it must feel to do and say whatever you want without 7 hours of overthinking and a pit in your stomach for the rest of your life every time you think back about the incident.)
I know one post about this will not contain all the answers for you but, my hope is that it sparks you to do more things that make you feel good. And, if you are struggling you will do the work to get unstuck. It’s really hard for me to say or I should say hard for me to believe that I am a better person and how I deal with life because of doing the work. I still feel so broken and damaged in so many ways but, I know I have become mentally stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been and I feel more whole because of the changes I’ve made in the last decade. I don’t ever really know if I’ll ever be or feel “fixed” or “not damaged.” But, I can see I have progressed from the broken person I once was and am stronger now. I’m also quicker to recover than I’ve ever been (2020 not included bc this sheet’s been hard LOL). I am all done sticking my head in the sand and have made a promise to myself to continue to do the work.
There’s a couple books* that helped me; The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD, and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Find the answers you need to feel good again. Don’t stop trying until you do.
And if you need someone to help you start – I’m a message away.
The things I am thankful, grateful, blessed…
*both links are affiliated to my amazon shop-as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you and my opinions are always my own.