There is really no use in lying here at Sunspot and I want to be as honest as possible with you. My journey has been on a detour as of late and let me tell you, it has been quite the roller coaster- sick butterfly feelings included. Thanksgiving was amazing but threw my routine out the window and then ran it over with a truck. There is someone new visiting my home, I have been more social and spending more energy than I have gained, people constantly in and out and every time I have gone to a dinner or event I get asked why I brought my own food, why I don't eat out, why I don't drink, smoke etc. and I know they are curious which is fine but damn. I have come to the realization that I DO NOT owe you my story. Even when I try and explain it, there are many who still give me this weird look like I am making it up. I promise I'm not. Along with that look, more often than not, I get told about how I "should" or "shouldn't" do things. I did not know that so many people had the cure to everything. They certainly seem to think they do anyway.
This was a long rant to say that it has been tough. My routine has been shaken, self care is gone, and my daily dose of movement/exercise is not even in question. Today my anxiety was at a high.The kind where I get upset then angry and then they play tug of war for a bit until I just turn into a puddle.I could feel my body literally crying for change. I made myself a little promise a couple months ago when I was at one of my lowest points, that I would try my very best to actually listen to my body, to not ignore it anymore because that doesn't work. So now as I sit here calming down as best as I can I see that I didn't fail just because I fell. In fact I am progressing! I handled those tears with a bit more patience, a bit more grace and a lot healthier than I have in the past. It was fricken hard. It took a long time but I am up and no longer in a puddle. What this experience has taught me is that I can always be a better listener to myself and that just because I get like this, it does not mean that I haven't made any improvements. Friends I would like to leave you with tips on how to manage the after effects of a meltdown. Because as hard as it is in the moment, it is equally as hard thinking back on it afterwards.
Beating yourself up about it
Oh dear sweet sweet reader am I so guilty for this. I like to criticize myself for how well I manage my feelings and it is something I am working hard on all the time. Things that help me are creating space between the meltdown and my reaction to it. If I decide to just leave myself be wherever I am in the moment then I am less likely to judge myself later. Which is good because no one can grow in judgement. I suggest giving yourself a small task to focus your mind on something different for the time being. If the inner critic comes back, politely ask it to leave for the time being.
From 100-0 and back to 100 real quick
I am not totally sure how I manage to slide on the feelings scale so fast. One second I am worked up and the next I am gentle then I remind myself of something and it's back to an extreme. While in the moment I have not figured out how to control this back and forth, I can work to smooth it out a little. Talking to myself has been a very natural way of how I handle things and yes it can be good or bad but in this case it has some benefits. Mantras or positive phrases are really good when feeling unstable. They are simple, short and the more I say them the more I believe them and that gives me enough time to let the words sink in. The next time you need grounding I strongly suggest picking a positive phrase that makes you feel good. The ones I use often are:
"I am calm"
"I am peaceful"
"I am love"
"I am well"
"I love myself"
It takes practice but the results are incredible.
Take your time
Ever get the feeling that you are done panicking or freaking out but as soon as you start to do something it doesn't quite feel right? Same! For myself I have found that this is the result of pushing myself out of feelings too soon. Once my logical brain turns a little bit I decide that I am done feeling and I am ready to take on the rest of the day again. That is a lie. So what do I do to quiet my squirrel brain? I interrupt it! Instead of getting up I draw, watch a show, write, anything like that so that I am forced to be patient with myself. I also suggest taking a little more time than you may deem necessary. You are important and will be much better off if you take the time to really let yourself chill the heck out. Cancel that evening yoga, put on sweatpants and binge watch something. I know I do.
No matter what you do or don't do during or after a meltdown, you are learning, you are growing and you are getting better. There are no handbooks, quick fixes, or perfect cures. There is no use in comparing your story to another AND there is no one or anything that measures what success is. We make that up ourselves. Even if you have had a panic attack every day or cry all the time you are still perfect and you are not failing. Maybe you are a little lost or maybe you fell down cuz you tripped and that is ok. Give yourself some space and get back in the game! If anyone can do this it's you!!
Sending all my hugs and peace to those who need it.
Love and Light,