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self-care night!!! 💅
*opens DBT workbook and puts on attachment theory TedTalk*
My self-care is ugly. It’s gritty and laborious and frustrating. There are no candles, no mood lighting, no face masks. Those are actually things I use to procrastinate my self-care.
My self-care involves tears and bitten nails and agitation. I would like to avoid my self-care at all costs. Have to fight every urge and instinct I have to even start it. It’s gruelling and constant and sometimes combative.
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At the moment, my self-care involves going outside, even on days when it feels like there is no outside. Stomping along the beach, furious and freezing, so my joints can move a little easier. It means taking my meds at the right time throughout the day and not leaving them to pile up to a small mountain of pills to have with dinner. It means limiting social media. Reading and writing. Resisting compulsions. Sitting, often, with incredibly distressing thoughts. Looking at my therapy notes every day. Engaging with them every day. Practicing the skills I am learning, the challenging, uncomfortable, unnatural skills, every single day. And more. It’s draining and exhausting and hard to do when you’re not in a good space. Which is ironic given that that’s when you need it most.
This is not the stuff I need to do to ✨thrive✨ or live my ✨best life✨. This is me treading water. It’s maintenance. If I do these things, I am less likely to slip backwards into something thick and uninhabitable. This is prevention.
This past week, I let everything wash over me, wide and murky. Didn’t fight or engage. I gave myself a break. There were reasons: I was sick and my chronic conditions flaring. But in all honesty, I threw in the towel almost immediately. If I can’t do it all, I won’t do any. The times when I could’ve got back up, I didn’t. I’ll do it tomorrow. Later tonight. On the weekend. The longer I put it off, the harder it gets. Until I am stuck in this shitty routine of mucking my way through each day in some half-zombie state.
When I got to group therapy and we had to reflect on our week, I had nothing to say. What had I done this week? What had I felt? I couldn’t remember. It was eye-opening to realise how quickly (just one week!) I fell out of touch with my own life after stopping taking care of myself the ways that I know I need to. I took a break one day and slept walked through a whole week. The longer I am absent from my life, the harder it gets to rejoin it.
I hate my self-care and I hate doing it. I procrastinate it and avoid it as much as I can. I would rather do anything else. If there is an out, I will take it. If there is a reason to stay home, to do something else, I will do it. Even on my best weeks, I am doing the bare mininium. And when I take a break (we all need a break sometimes?), I guess I am going to have to be strict with my return, my comeback. When and how? Who will hold me acountable?
Everyday I wake up and have to steel myself for the stupid battle against my own brain. Everyday I have to actively do the opposite of what I want to do. Challenge every thought, question every behaviour. Think, think, think. It is exhausting and infuritaing and I will try, again, to do better tomorrow, next week, next month.
See you then. Thanks for being here.