A Journey of Affirmation, Confirmation, and Acceptance - Part I
Hi Cushy Community! It’s been a while since my first (and thus far) only post I’ve written for your reading pleasure. I have had a turbulent few months, starting with three family deaths in a row, joining a Yoga Teacher Training (more on that to come), losing my job, and trying to pick up the pieces in finding my path…
I wanted to take a moment to write a blog post about some of the things I’m doing to cope with life right now. I don’t think I can speak widely or universally for every human in the world, but in my experience I find that mental health is not something that is really talked about or acknowledged in a meaningful way. Specifically, speaking to a counselor, therapist, or psychologist are all things that people tend to keep “hush-hush”. Taking medication for mental health/wellness, and even using time for mental health days are not something that I have had the luxury of experiencing in my professional life. As the stresses of adulthood, and the responsibilities of realizing that I can’t just pack up my bag and flee the country (as I used to do) are becoming more obvious. Which had led to a yearning for a way to put myself, my health, and my needs first and foremost.
"Oftentimes this results in an over expenditure of her own time, energy, and abilities."
It has been my experience that people don’t like to talk about feelings and mental health. It has also been my experience that women tend to make sure that the needs of her children, her husband, her family, her job - these needs are all met first. Oftentimes this results in an over expenditure of her own time, energy, and abilities. We pride ourselves on how hard we work and how much we accomplish, and personally, I have always measured that success in how much money I make. Growing up, I recall times when we didn’t have money and we had to struggle. Extreme poverty, losing our home, not having utilities, etc. I also recall the complete opposite side of the spectrum, going to Disneyland, attending private school, etc. This dichotomy of extremes with our personal finances money has resulted in feeling like I have had a stable or healthy response to money. I either act like it doesn’t matter and spend it as I earn it, because we only live once and I know what it’s like to struggle - OR - I horde it, making huge sums of money but being miserable because all the jobs that pay me well are terribly boring and rote.
How do you perceive yourself?
"We pride ourselves on how hard we work and how much we accomplish..."
What I’m saying here is that I tend to measure my success in money and the things I can do with it. Making that money comes from working really hard and putting so many other things above my own mental health and personal needs. This last few months really forced me to acknowledge this. It forced me to realize my unhealthy relationship with money and jobs I hate, and to acknowledge the strength, and need, for self-care. I see a therapist. I started seeing her nearly a year ago due to some issues in my relationship with my partner (stemming from communication, finances, and how we extend ourselves or myself in the relationship). Now we receive counseling as a couple. As we’ve grown and evolved and learned to communicate better (we’ve been together for six years, one of which we’ve spent in therapy) I have become better able to admit that I am lost and struggling. A few months into a yoga journey of self-love and self-care has also helped.
With the help of my therapist and my partner, I’ve come to realize that I’m currently trapped in a cycle. Most everything works cyclically, especially when the universe wants us to learn a lesson. I’ve been trapped in this cycle before – it’s the same thing. I’m going to try to learn my lesson this time, and I’m going to spend a lot of time blogging about it, exploring it, and making mistakes, but my hope is that since I am actively choosing to acknowledge it, I can grow beyond it.