We are unique, but it is not our suffering that makes us unique.
Self-Care Tip #189 – Heal for yourself, and you’ll see that also, everyone heals.
The best thing I ever did was go on antidepressants.
Bianca sat, but her whole body was talking. She was telling me about her changing life. She had read some of her journal from a year ago when she pounded on herself for her behaviors. She thoroughly grieved the time with her children when they heard her scream about small things that kids do. She told me about her sons face when she was irritable. He showed all the waiting tension that an open child will when waiting for Mom to lose it. She was trying to push it aside and think rather about how she now could finally enjoy them. Bianca said,
I just had no idea before how much better life could be.
Bianca’s face became tight and she didn’t make eye-contact,
There’s no way to describe what it’s like to not enjoy your kids – My own kids! – for most of their born lives and then wake up and experience something different. I just can’t explain what it means to now actually like being with them. I’ve always loved them but I didn’t feel the pleasure and I hate that. I want that time back but I can’t have it and I can’t give it to them either.
I’m so scared it will end, the pills will stop working and I’ll lose this new life.
Before her medication, Bianca worked hard at taking care of herself. She was a check-list of responsible self-care. Bianca thought it was important that I knew this.
- Aerobic exercise – check!
- Healthy diet – check!
- Sleep hygiene – check!
- Bianca talked about God but things got confusing for her there. She didn’t like to think about Him being on “a list.” He was in her life and didn’t feel He failed her even though she couldn’t feel pleasure or joy.
Still, she continued to coil up and release hard punchy words at her kids and then hate herself for it. She had prayed so much about this and wouldn’t even mind if God had to puppet her, if that’s what it took, in order for her to treat her kids better. She could not stop herself from being what she called,
But now, after she was treated, Crazy Mommy was gone.
Aside from dropping the shame, the best thing for Bianca was knowing that her kids could trust her, felt safe with her and that she felt safe with herself. Everyone was healing subsequent to Bianca healing.
How many of you have told us a similar story. A similar rescue. Yet, never-the-less others of us are afraid to go there.
Question: How are you present with others who don’t understand your rescue story? How do you stand beside someone who needs medical help for emotional illness but won’t accept it secondary to stigma? Please tell us your story.
- When Self-Care Gives Pleasure, You Will Be Friendlier To Yourself (friendtoyourself.com)
- Grieving. (connection-revolution.com)
- When I Can’t Take Care Of “Me” (friendtoyourself.com)
Self-Care Tip #128 – Connect pleasure with self-care. Be a friend to yourself.
There’s a reason we have bad habits in our life. It’s not only the loops, the neurological grooves in our brain, it’s also that they bring pleasure! It’s not so unbelievable understanding obesity, drugs, addictions, poor sleep hygiene, inactivity, whatever it is when we think about the amazing effect that dopamine has on our pleasure center! Ah. Say, “Dopamine!”
Our real question with ourselves should be why we so often expect ourselves to do “good” things if they don’t give us pleasure? How do we expect to stop over-eating if the substitute we offer our biological selves is suffering? How do we expect to exercise, if we’d rather poke needles into our eye-balls than jog a mile?
We’re smart people, we have knowledge and we know what to do. But, knowledge isn’t the answer always. The “language of the heart” is dopamine, is feeling good. How can we link what we want to do with ourselves objectively with feeling good. It would be nice to pair up our dopamine with friendly habits and not those that are self-destructive.
How to do that might be worth some effort figuring out. Figure it out individually if we want it to succeed. The reason for the discussion here is not to give directions, but simply to draw attention to our need to find our own feel-good buttons and how we can wire them up to self-friendly behaviors.
I’m struggling through this also. I hope to share this awareness with my kids before they move out, so I better get busy! Can’t do that too well until I do it well for myself.
Today when I went on a mommy-date with my daughter, instead of taking her to Starbucks, we went and bought Bendaroos. That was all I could come up with in the 10 minute date we had allotted for something feel-good. Maybe she’ll develop shopping addiction instead of food addiction. Time will tell, but I hope she got out of it the pleasure of creating shapes with Bendaroos instead. Hopefully when she get’s creative, dopamine squirts out in her brain like a geyser.
Now, to get back to me…? huh.
You can read a related post here.
Question: How are you linking self-care with pleasure in your life?
- Dumbed by Dopamine (psychologytoday.com)