I Did A Thing And Now I Feel Glorious
I backed in to park my car today and nailed it on the first try. This small win got me thinking. Today has been a great day and it has been an even better weekend overall. But of course, something my therapist said this month got me thinking about how to have perspective on days like today. Because anxiety is still a part of me, and I will still second-guess myself. But I can train myself to ignore that critical voice. But have I really made progress? Can I quiet that asshole in my head? Could my therapist be *GASP* actually right?
Maybe you’ve grown enough, and now you’re maintaining?
At the time I didn’t think as much about that question as much as I do now. The great thing about depression recovery, alcohol sobriety, and ketamine treatment is that I feel like I do something big every day. every tiny thing feels like an accomplishment. Feeling the mastery of my own life, managing my time well, sleeping through the night, eating meals — it all feels like surmounting Mt. Everest time and time again.
I hope this feeling never goes away. Although it is magical, the worried part of me wonders will I be able to continue this path? Can I continue to maintain, or even grow in new ways? Will I plateau and never grow again? Will I become comfortable, dependent, stagnant, or stale?
I still have generalized anxiety disorder I am managing. And the worried thoughts used to be the loudest voice in my head. While the thoughts themselves do in fact sound overwhelming to me, I no longer internalize that immediately, freak out, and start stressing. I have to therapize myself out of it. How?
A little background about why and how I do this. I’ve been working on my anger issues with my health team for six months now. I’ve been working to decrease the stress response in my body, sleep well, decrease my emotional reactivity to undesirable interactions, eat more, and gain weight. All this just to be physically well enough to ensure my body isn’t ready for battle, avoiding a testy mood that lashes out in anger. I have been reconditioning my new default response to something shitty, or anxious thought, to be one of silence and reflection. I know that I might say or do something mean because my stress nerves fire and my brain stops thinking logically, and starts reacting emotionally. The past six months were all just to buy me my magic thirty seconds to change this stress response that contributes to me reacting angrily.
My magic thirty seconds give me the time I need to shut the fuck up, calm my nerves and my body, remember to think logically and relax my heart rate, and to not be an asshole.
I know I have been a reactive person in the past, but I work actively every day to recondition myself. Self-therapizing, when I become anxious or stressed, is me taking thirty seconds to chill, listen, and pursue purposeful and effective communication with another person.
When I feel overwhelmed that I won’t continue my snowball of small successes, I take thirty seconds to breathe and thoughtfully reflect on my feelings. I remind myself that each task is an accomplishment, and I am slowly building my snowball of momentum. I remind myself to be kind and patient with myself, to know that mistakes and ups and downs are a part of growth and that it’s okay to have my feelings. After self-reassurance, I remind myself that I am a work in progress, and this may not be the last time I ask myself this. But today, at this moment, I am okay, I am enough. But don’t react like an asshole, think logically.
I remind myself that my snowball started at zero with nothing, and slowly got bigger over several years time. I added to my snowball, becoming competent in my own life, tiny bit by tiny bit. The thirty seconds I took each day over six months time to self-improve worked. It doesn’t feel like much, thirty seconds, but so many habits were incorporated to accomplish this, so many lifestyle adjustments. There’s so much joy and confidence I gain when I remind myself that all the tiny little steps actually added up to something. And I can see the fruits of my labor, take pride in that fact, and I can continue to be a better person for myself and others.
I did it, I have now become an adult. I think.
I went to five events this weekend. When I went out at night I stayed hydrated and healthy and left when I got tired. I woke up timely this morning and had some personal time at the farmer’s market, a day of thrift shopping, and SAW some friends.
This post has so much feel-good in it, that I shudder at the thought of who I used to be. What my life used to look like. Today my life is vibrant. I have desires now: places I want to experience, people I want to spend time with, goals I want to achieve, and events I want to attend. I want to continue to iterate on developing good habits and continue to live more healthily day by day.
In the past, I thought a hardline stance to health and mental wellness was strict control, and thinking through my overthinking. Yes, more thinking to solve overthinking (I know I know, I’ve grown since then ). But I’ve come a long way since then since I have a mantra I actually believe in now: It’s going to be okay. If you’re breathing, you’re okay.
Take care of yourself today and remind yourself that you love yourself. Every day is a day of growth, even if you don’t think it is. All the small steps add up to something. You might not notice, but that doesn’t mean it’s not working. It might take a while to notice, but you’re growing!