Monday, January 14, 2019

The Pain That We Carry

First, I haven't blogged since July.  I thought I was going to be back on a roll, but... Of course not.  Maybe this time.  This isn't some resolution thing.  For me it is a form of self-care and I'm trying to get better with that.  Also, not a resolution... Just me getting my shit together again.  If you've read before, it's pretty clear that I don't make resolutions, but work on goals that are constantly evolving, throughout the year.   With that, I hope that I will blog a little more.  Maybe blogging my self-care journey will be my focus for a while.

2018 was a bit of a rough year.  Looking back, the word, "shitstorm" comes to mind (wow, I've already sworn twice - that's new). However, the whole year wasn't bad.  I completed training for a really cool program called Trails to Wellness (look it up!!) and moved my career in a new directions.  That has been amazing but also stressful.  I completed a half marathon with almost no training (not the best idea, but with A LOT of walking, I finished). With that came a great trip to Disney, so BIG YAY!!! I have met some amazing new people.... My year ended pretty well, there was just some not-so-good stuff mixed in.  Also, when did I start making this one of those yearly wrap-up posts?

MOVING ON from that because I don't want that post to happen....

I let my self-care lack. Big time.  I suppose that's why I'm focusing so much on taking care of me right now. I can't be the best me if I'm not taking care of myself. I deserve that. The people in my life deserve that. And why not be the best me?!  I spent a lot of time trying to take care of others. It did not go well. In fact, it was going on long before that. My problem is that I have a hard time with balance. While I was busy doing things for others, caring for others, and whatever else I had going on, I completely lost my way as far as caring for myself.  Running took a vacation; workouts in general haven't been that great. I gained some weight, which is finding it's way back off (and hopefully with less stress and bullshit, I'll reach that goal again). There was death. I watched someone else struggle and battle something that eventually sucked the life right out of me too. I went through a break-up, which I thought was a terrible thing. Turns out, it wasn't. It was actually a really good thing for me and definitely something that I needed (and was long overdue).

I realized recently (like two days ago) that I've been carrying some things with me that I didn't even realize were such a problem. I had an experience where something sort of scared me... Not in a huge way, but in a quick moment I thought something was going to happen and braced myself for it.  It didn't happen.  My mind went elsewhere for a minute and I thought I might cry. I brought myself back to the present but it bothered me for a little while after.  It was still on my mind for a while so I talked to my boyfriend about it. After talking it out and getting some reassurance, I felt a lot better. But I was (and am!) still really surprised that I had such a strong reaction to something I thought might happen (it didn't).  I knew that when it happened before, I didn't like it, but also never said anything about it.  I'd cringe; maybe flinch, but continued to allow something that I guess I thought I had to allow (no, I was not abused; it was one of those "I don't like that" cringe-worthy moments). I did that with a lot of things (allowing things that I shouldn't have), now that I think about it.  They are not things that I had to allow. They are things that for whatever reason I chose to allow. We all do this all the time.  And where does it get us?

I'm a therapist so I understand trauma on various levels.  I know that trauma is something that is a personal experience.  It doesn't have to come from being attacked, a horrific accident, or anything large-scale.  I'd say that most of us have experienced smaller scale traumas at different times in life. Just because they are smaller doesn't mean that they aren't traumatic.    I was surprised at the amount of pain I actually have carried around with me over some life situations. Things I thought I'd dealt with aren't as bad but things that I didn't even recognize as a problem were surprising. Not pleasantly.

The last couple days have been days of reflection for me. The realization came at an awkward time. It was difficult. Luckily I have someone great to talk through things with. But over the last couple days I made peace with how I was feeling.  It's okay to carry hurt around, even if it comes out at times we don't want it to. It's how we truly handle it that impacts our lives.  It is okay to share things with others. If those that we choose to open up to are not receptive to this or cause us to hurt even more, then those are people that we need to walk away from.

Do you know the really great thing about carrying pain? We can learn from it. It can help us heal. By facing the pain, we gain strength. It's absolutely critical to have the right, supportive people by our sides when we are doing so because it can be a difficult journey.  Find someone you can rely on; truly rely on, someone you can trust, and make sure it is someone you know you can talk to without fear of judgement or being told you're behaving in a certain way. Where do I go from here? Well, I've already started healing over this newly realized issue. Fortunately for me it's a fairly small issue, but one that apparently made an impact on me.  Just realizing it, acknowledging it, and not being afraid to discuss it has been healing for me. It was painfully weird at first but I feel like now that's something I can move on from and that I won't allow it to continue to hurt me, or to allow anything to continue that I do not agree with.

I hope that your 2018 was a great year for you and I hope that your 2019 will be nothing less than amazing!! I hope that we can all move forward with peace and happiness, into a year full of blessings. If there are struggles, I hope that we can learn from them and worth through them so that we can grow as individuals.