In my 20’s, after my diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, I tried to cope the old fashioned way – the way everyone without a mental illness is told to get a handle on themselves again. I believed in the hype of exercise and eat right and all your troubles will melt away into a puddle of endorphins and selfies. To me, the basis of a good life was to have a good job, get married, go out on the weekends. Smile.
Everything will be okay if you just pretend it’s all okay.
I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life. From as early as nine I can remember looking at the differences between me and slim girls and equating it to self worth.
Forgive and Forget is a saying we’re all a bit too familiar with.
There seems to be this notion that in order to move on from something traumatic, you need to forgive those who have wronged you, and if you don’t then you’ll never be at peace or be able to move on.
So, let’s debunk a few of these myths. Here we go…
Everything you say is written down – Not always. Some talk therapists may make a few notes for later, but most prefer to show you’ve got their undivided attention.
‘And how does that make you feel?’ – I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been asked that in therapy over the last 15 years. Normally, I’m the one who expresses how I’m feeling, because therapists a very good at getting you to realise your emotions without constantly asking you about them.
There’s only talk therapy that can help – Not true. Art, music, group, exercise and sensory are just a few other forms of therapy. Talk therapy isn’t for everyone. And that’s ok.
Once you’ve been to therapy, you’ll never need it again – Not always. It’s perfectly valid and acceptable to need therapy for longer or even the rest of your life, like getting a check up at the doctors.
Therapy is only for people with a mental illness – NOPE. There are many different types of therapy that can help with a lot of stressful aspects of life from bereavement to relationships to getting over a trauma. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to who isn’t connected to them personally.
There’s nothing shameful or weak about going to therapy. The more we talk about it, the more we break down the stigmas that surround it.
For me, the line between self-love and self care has always been clear.
In the time of Instagram I believe these two notions get somewhat muddled. The hashtags run into each other and the lines between the two topics are blurred. Maybe for neuro typical is and able-bodied people self-love and self-care are one in the same, but for me and my wife, the line between the two is very clear.
Everybody gets anxious 🤷🏼♀️
How many times have you heard this? How many times have you thought this? It doesn’t make you a shitty person to think it, mostly because it’s true. Anxiety is something most mammals feel, for whatever reason, but there is a huge difference between ‘normal’ anxiety, an appropriate response to a stressful situation, and having an anxiety disorder.
Don’t underestimate anxiety!
Everyone finds it hard to love themselves. From the minute that we are born, society throws it’s propaganda in our faces. Maybe some of the influences are obvious, but many of them are subtle. So subtle that we don’t even realize that we are ingesting the nonsense. In every different culture and country, we are showed standards. These standards are supposed to resemble success, happiness, acceptance, and most of all, perfection. Meeting these standards has become such a crucial part of human nature, that acceptance, let alone loving who we are is unheard of.
Today, I want to tell my story of navigating this societal jungle.
Easy for Justin Bieber to sing, not so easy to do. I’m so happy to be writing this post for crosswordsnotwires on self-love, because I think that it’s a really important topic to think about and it often means different things to different people.
I’ve been working on some worksheets to help with mental health and self care 💖
I wanted to do a few different styles, some written word and some more artistic. Let me know if they help, and if you have any ideas for future work sheets please feel free to contact me.