Making Time for Me
Updated: Mar 7, 2020
It has been a while since I have sat down and written about how I am feeling and what's happening. This week I have a postponement on the podcast, so I thought since I had already blocked the time out, I would sit down and review where I am with a few things.
It feels like February has been so busy. Work has been all go with a few projects and a couple of mental health themed days this month, meaning I have accrued an fair bit of TOIL to go along with my untaken leave. Which is another story.
The Mental Health Blog Awards has also taken quite a few hours; answering questions and going through the nominations. By the way, thank you to everyone that's supporting us this year and to those answering my questions.
Back in January I said I needed to get outside more. Well that hasn't really happened. This weekend I had only my second walk since saying I was going to try and do this more regularly. I have found it really hard to make time and to prioritise my own wellbeing. Which I know is something I struggle with. I think for me it's also working out what making time for me looks like.
I have managed to keep up with the weekly gym sessions, which I have noticed has improved my ability to regulate my energy output and to some extent restlessness. However, I am realising that just going to the gym for a 60 to 90 minute run each week isn't enough for me.
I am missing the support and reflection that I had with my last season of therapy. Recently there has been a... busyness, to my thoughts. While I could be wrong, I think this is likely, at least in part, due to challenging my own values and 'protective strategy' I hold in my mind.
Relationships and self worth. If you've read any of my stuff before you'll know there's a whole lot wrapped up here.
I am in an amazing relationship, with someone who is super awesome, and as I consider the next stages to our relationship and what I (specifically me) want, that creates friction in my mind.
I am in a place now where I look forward and desire marriage and parenthood with Laura in the future. This feels so much in conflict with the protective factors and values I have held for the last 8 years to keep myself save. But I am learning to allow that change to happen and for my values to shift. Slowly.
Linked to this I have realised another, more thought than value, I've had to keep myself sane is that I don't need to worry about the future, because I will likely not be here. Gone were the childhood ambitions to live to 101, replaced with an expectation that I would live for a few years and that would likely be that.
To now be thinking and planning for the next 5, 20, forever years... it causes friction.
Time, reflection and the last season of therapy continue to be helpful in my wellbeing and mental health. I feel while I am having these conflicting values internally, I am unexpectedly delighted to be in a situation where I am having these moments of friction. I am in a loving relationship, which hopefully will continue for many many more years. It is a relationship I want to take further and that's a place I never thought I would be.
So, while I need to make more time for me to reflect and balance my mind (and prioritise my own wellbeing), I am also mindful that this will lead to thinking about, and hopefully processing, my internal value confliction (apparently not a word?).
I am in a very fortunate and loving place.
One thing I think I have noticed in the last few weeks is that I need to make time for me. Walking this weekend was really important and needed. It may have only been 45 minutes, but I think having an hour or so each week could make a real difference for me.
Knowing my inability to prioritise my own wellbeing, I have tried to think about what may help and how I would 'make' myself do it. I have come up with; self therapy.
I am not sure if this is a thing already, I haven't heard of it before, but I am going to have a look.
Yes, there is a balance in that I can't fully 'therapy' myself, but I think it could be a good way to view my own wellbeing review. The truth is I still struggle at times to acknowledge that I have an illness that can, and at times does, heavily affect my way of living. That means I need to have a care plan, I need to (at the moment) keep taking my medication, and I need to have coping strategies to keep well.
Hopefully trying out 'self therapy' will prove useful, I really want to give it a go.
That is were I am right now, it's a good place. It's just confusing.
Please remember if you are struggling there is a range of support available out there. Be that Samaritans, Mind, or many other places. You are not alone.