It’s a simple enough question but one that I am genuinely struggling to answer. I guess I could count this blogging, but even still, this is technically for my business.
Actually, that’s bullshit.
Helpful Selfcare Tips
Go for a drive—no destination required.
Write a list of 10 things you’re grateful for and why.
Cook a fancy meal for no other reason than you deserve a fancy meal.
Watch funny YouTube videos.
Take a bubble bath—complete with candles and calming music.
Go to the library or bookstore. Sit in a comfy chair and read.
Truth is, I have relapsed recently in my codependency. I knew it months ago when I stopped putting lunch breaks in my schedule. I knew it when I was too anxious to put up my laundry for weeks at a time. I knew it when I would sit at my desk and cry between sessions because I felt like I couldn’t breathe. But I pretended I was okay because everyone around me needed me to be. It was depression season and holidays, and it felt like everyone else’s needs were so much more important than mine. So I pushed all my shit back and dug right into everyone else but me.
The result of this is that I yoyo: I go from being super heavily involved with everyone to not responding to emails, texts, and eventually avoiding people altogether. I didn’t want to hear about anyone’s feelings or problems because that’s ALL I was doing.
In isolating I was hurting myself too though because I really needed to talk and get support from my friends but I was scared to open up because:
I seemed fine and if they didn’t notice why would I burden them
I ran the risk of caretaking them about their problems if I opened up about mine
The beauty² of being a psychotherapist that specializes in codependency is that I knew all of this was bullshit and that wasn’t a true narrative for any of my relationships. If I needed space, time, or to just dump, everyone in my life that I would trust with that need would gladly be there for me.
After a day or so of hiding, I sent out a group text to my closest people saying “I’m not okay right now and I’m working on it, and part of working on it is telling you I’m not okay.” Everybody was dope and supported me. So I guess that is what I have done for me lately: be honest with the people around me and myself about what’s really going on with me.
It was hard, and embarrassing to admit, but I’m glad I did it.
And you can do it too.
² The worst part of being a therapist is that I constantly critique my own behavior because I feel like I know what the perfect behavior or response is to nearly any situation is and I never seem to be able to do it.