Self-care Begins and Ends With “Me” – Own It

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Self-Care Tip #129 – Self-care begins and ends with “Me” – own it.  Be a friend to yourself.

Yesterday we talked about connecting self-care with pleasure to make it sticky.

Today, We’ll talk more about some of the adjustment issues of why we don’t do self-care on the obvious, such as nurture vs. nature.  We’ll talk about the nurture part.  Specifically, our own not what our parents did to us.

Why don’t we stand up to our personal needs?  We don’t.  We don’t own the friendly changes that we would benefit from.

Carol who used to abuse methamphetamines and alcohol many years ago, now tells me that smoking is her only vice and she needs to have at least one.  She says she doesn’t want to stop even though her feet and hands are blue from not getting enough oxygen.

Another part of the answer is that we are so overwhelmed by the wrong we see around us.  We qualify and quantify it away, desensitized to our own needs.

“Have you seen that dietitian?!  How can she possibly give advice on weight loss when she can’t see her feet?”  And we ignore our own central fat, knowing that it has meaning.  Meaning like, we have unseen fat layering onto our central organs.  Meaning, we are more likely to develop metabolic illnesses such as diabetes.

We don’t own it.  We don’t “Just do it.”  We talk about other people and draw lines between their mistakes making pictures that we can hide our own problems behind.  We can make sense of why they are suffering so.  Yet our own problems are some sort of enigma.  Yet to be determined by science!  Open-mouthed, hands splayed in a why stance, we can’t connect our own dots.

All health begins and ends with “Me.”  Including mental health.

Find yourself again.  Amidst all the world’s needs, you still are important.  Peel off Channel 4 News, the internet, the fears about what is outside your front door, and see yourself there under it all.  Needing self-care.

Question:  How do you keep view of yourself despite the distractors?  Please tell me your story.

Between Me and Thee, Don’t Believe it

He felt blamed by his daughter.  It is one thing to perceive it.  Believing what we perceive might be separate.

There is a disease process named obsessive compulsive disorder.  In this illness, we perceive things that at some level we understand are not likely nor true. These fears are called “egodystonic,” when we can tell that our fears don’t make sense.  For example, it may preoccupy my thoughts that I fear I just ran over a pedestrian with my car, even though at some level I know I didn’t.  Not driving back and forth on the street to look for the victim where I fear the accident happened for hours is therefore terrifying to my core.  If asked outright if any of it made any sense, I’d say no.  We all have features of this disorder but don’t necessary to the full extent.  And that is where we got terms like “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.”

It goes to reason that fears consistent with our inner selves are “egosyntonic.”  In its diseased states, we see this in disconnected thought form disorders such as schizophrenia.  The healthier examples are much easier for most of us to understand and relate to.  I fear if I speed, I will get a ticket.  Healthy and connected fear.

Now what was going on with the man I mentioned above?  Did his daughter ever say she blamed him?  Was he trusting his feelings?  His Jedi-intuition?  Was this egodystonic or egosyntonic?

Egodystonic fears in a much milder form include simple personalizations.  Making something about us that isn’t.  Your girlfriend makes jokes about you being irresponsible.  A friend doesn’t return your calls.  Your daughter is moving away.  You can see the potential fears building up.  Will we believe them?

Believing our perceptions depends on different paradigms.  There are our biological illnesses that predispose our perceptions (major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, etc…).  We have our temperaments to answer to.  Some of us are wired to be more suspicious v. trusting.  There are adjustment issues, related to stressors around us.  We have our own coping skills.  And how about poor self-care such as poor sleep hygiene and little exercise?  All of that will play on what we are going to do with our perceptions.

Truth is, generally very little of what we hear has anything to do with us.  Now there is the other extreme of course.  A personality disorder who has little insight into the way they are influencing the world around them and take little responsibility.  But that is the exception.  More often, we walk around licking wounds that came from a series of misperceptions and personalizations.  It takes up a lot of time and is a disconnecting force between me and thee and thee and thee.

Self Care Tip #72 – The best way to keep the space between us open, honest, healthy, connected – is take care of our own selves.  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  What has happened in the space between you and the ones you love?  Please tell me your story.