March 25th, 2021
Yesterday I posted on TikTok this thing my therapist told me – she basically told me that my homework till our next session was to be kind to myself. She made me repeat it. And I’ve been thinking about self-care and what “being kind” to myself really means…
One of the reasons why I posted it is because there should be no shame in taking care of ourselves. There should be NO shame in having a therapist either – but you ever notice how people shy away from discussing mental health the same way they won’t talk about how much money they make? Not talking about how much money we make is part of the reason why so many women have always done the same work as a man for much less pay. When no one discusses salaries, other people get left out and don’t even know it.
When we don’t talk about mental health and getting the help we need – we stigmatize the need to get help at all.
Yeah, I’m so over it.
It’s time to normalize mental help. Here’s my part in doing that.
My true and authentic self is nothing without the constant selfcare and analysis of how I’m doing on a regular basis. I do a lot of that by being a writer. I write in a journal almost every day and have since I was a kid. I also talk to friends when I need too…. but even I have found though, that talking to my friends and family is just not enough. And writing — although one of my favorite things to do – is not enough to help me with sadness, depression or the help I need from a therapist.
Please understand that although being alone is probably one of my favorite things on the planet, Covid has truly tested my ability to handle it on a regular basis and by force. Being alone because I choose to be as a way to rejuvenate myself verses being forced in lockdown because of a pandemic for over a year, is a whole other ball game and even I couldn’t handle it.
I say that like I’m some superhero or something in “handling things”. I’m so not.
What I mean is, I think I should have been able to handle something like this – but that’s the point right?
Acknowledging that hurting, feeling alone, needing to talk to someone is not a weakness, but just part of being human is huge. It’s been engrained in us that there are weak human beings and then there are strong human beings and somehow feeling anything at all is some sort of weakness. It’s such a stupid concept. Actually any regular good and decent and strong human being still needs other people. Still hurts. Still cries. Still feels alone. Still feels real sad sometimes. And the strongest people I know, the people I admire the most, are always the people who are able to admit they need help and are willing to accept help. They are the last people on earth who think they can do everything by themselves.
And so I’m sharing this because I hope if anyone out there is reading this and feeling as if they should be doing better than they are – or if you’re questioning whether or not you should see a therapist or go to a group session… if there is anyone who feels bad because they keep crying or tearing at every little thing, or feel weak and tired every day after doing absolutely nothing and can’t find a way to do even the smallest of things on their “to do” list… I want you to know, I hear you. I’m right there with you. You are not alone going through this really difficult time. There is NOTHING wrong with you – actually, you’re doing what humans do during difficult times – FEEL things deeply.
If you can please find a therapist or a someone to talk too – be not afraid. There’s no shame in it. And as things seem to be getting better because of the hope of vaccines and the possibility of getting out of this Covid-19 pandemic situation, it doesn’t mean that your mental state (or mine) will magically adjust and be okay. It will not. We still have a long way to go to get through this… so yeah, be kind to yourself, right now.
Please, please, please, be good and gentle with yourself. Figure out what self-care means to you. And if you can, talk to someone if you need too.
Here is one resource that was helpful to me in finding an affordable way to do this:
I have NO association with Open Path and this is not a paid piece of advertising for them in any way shape or form. I am just sharing an organization that I found that helped me find a good therapist at an affordable cost. But there are several organizations, so you don’t have to use this one – but it’s a start.