Have you ever seen a little kid’s athletics carnival? It’s the best. BEST. When the littlies go running- there’s no strategy, there’s no designated lanes- it’s just run like the wind and laugh your head off at the end. They run into each other’s lanes, and don’t really pay attention to what other people are doing. They just run. Run where they like, and they have FUN.
Then somehow we forget about the fun part. We start looking at what others are doing. We are given a set lane and we stick to it, watch out if we deviate from the path. And shit gets serious. Like warming up, wearing the right shoes, doing that weird jiggly jump thing at the start of the race before you get in the start position (I’m sure it has a purpose. It just looks a little wanky, you know?).
I am super guilty of this. I’m forever looking at what others are doing, and before I know it, I’m running their race. Huffing and puffing trying to keep up, or accidentally bumping into their lane because I’m not looking at where I’m going. I don’t give up though. Because I’m insanely stubborn. To a fault. Eeep.
Ever had those moments, where someone asks something of you, and while you’re not really feeling it in your heart of hearts, you go along anyway, because you don’t want to disappoint?
Or you see a group of people that you think would be awesome to be accepted into, or hang out with, and so you find yourself doing and saying things to get their approval?
Or you spread yourself so damn thin in an effort to appear useful and helpful to others?
You’ve been bitten by the Purple People Pleaser. He’s a hungry sucker. Big bloated and self-important, he likes to fill you with self-doubt and an over-exuberance for putting others first. Don’t worry, I’m right there with you. I am so, so, so guilty of being a PPP. I teach others not to do it, but then I go and do it myself. Hypocritical psyching since forever.
You know how we often feel like we have to don our superhero capes, totally do everything for everyone, even at the expense of ourselves? Or maybe I’m just one of those ridiculous over-achievers. Actually, good chance of that. Well I’ve learned a very important lesson these past couple of weeks- it’s ok to quit sometimes.
Have you ever quit anything? How did it make you feel? For me, I’ve never quit out of anything before. EVAH. Even when it sucks balls, I still see things through to the end. Because. Stubborn biatch. I think we’re often raised to think that we don’t quit, and if we do quit- or switch out of something, then we’re weak, indecisive, we can’t follow through. And that reflects badly on us.
It’s been a while since we’ve taken a look at the other side, and this is a rather apt post, given our chat about food and mood. When we get extreme with stuff, it can really muck with us. Eating disorders strip our gut of our happy juices, strip our minds of stability and sense, they are insidious. And when they happen to someone you love? I cannot begin to describe the helplessness that is felt. It’s like you’re trapped outside the glasshouse. You’re screaming, beating at the glass. You can see what needs to happen for the person inside, but they can’t see you, nor hear you. Instead you just watch on as they destroy themselves, without realising they’re doing it.
My experience with eating disorders doesn’t just come from a professional aspect, it’s been a personal issue I’ve seen too. One of my dearest and closest friends battled courageously for years and years, and has recently begun to come out the other side. But it’s never over. Never ever over. She graciously agreed to share her story.
So, for today’s Wellness Wednesday post, I’m all about the food. Mainly because I feel like an oompa loompa post-Easter. Because. Chocolate fiend and lack of self-control. But food is the shiz. Truly. It does so much for us.
Now I just need to be open from the get go. I am no dietician. I can’t go and break down food into chemical properties etc. But I do know about mood. And what impacts on mood. We psychs get trained on the physiological aspects of the body and brain and what can influence mood. And food? It’s got a big role to play.
I am really beating myself up this year so far, throwing guilt around like it’s confetti. Guilt for not posting enough. Guilt for not juggling all my roles well enough. Guilt for struggling to adjust to a new routine. Guilt for being a neglectful friend, a frazzled Mum, a nutty wife. So much cray guilt. And it isn’t doing me any good. I’ve been trying to find the words to say for a while, but nothing is coming to mind. When I was lost in my own head this morning though, I was thinking about all the people I’ve seen over the years, and what I’ve taken away from them. A lot of people coming in to see me for the first time are in a bad way. Much worse than my cray guilt. Lost in their own pain/stress/sadness/worry/grief/anger/confusion. It’s messy. From there though, we work through stuff, they learn strategies, and they turn it around. Not always in a straightforward way, but we get there. Sometimes I need to get my head out of the grind and remind myself of these things. Here’s the take-home messages I’ve noticed through the years:
Holding onto those negative moments is nothing more than a waste of time. It doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t make you feel better, and it’s not fixing the problem.
When you’re in that dark hole, it can seem all-consuming. But the only person that can climb out of it is you. No one can make you see that until you’re ready to take it on board for yourself.
Sometimes things seem worse than what they actually are. And when, in those rare moments, things really do become that bad, you cope with it. Somehow, someway you do. You might not think you can, but you do.
Things get better. They always improve, even if a tiny bit. They may not be perfect, but they get better. You have to watch for the subtleties.
Shutting others out only serves to make it harder. There’s no time for pride or guilt here. Open up. Even if it’s the opposite of what you actually feel like doing.
Know that you have people on your team. You really do. They might get frustrated, they might get annoyed, they might not respond in exactly the manner you want them to, but they ARE there.
Work WITH people, not against them. The world isn’t against you, I promise. More often than not those people want what you want, for things to be working well, and for everyone to be happy and functioning.
Take the help when it’s offered. You know you’d do the same for someone else, so don’t be an idiot and say ‘oh no I’m fine thanks’ when you’re not.
You get out what you put in to life. Be that therapy, friendships, work. You need to put a bit in to get a bit out. And sometimes unfair shit happens, it does, but really, if you give up and get bitter, you’ll get even less.
Stuff takes time. When you’re in pain, it’s not going to go away overnight, or in one quick session.
Take an interest in others. Even when you’re so consumed in your own world. It can help you get out of your funk. Be honest when others ask how you are. Truly answer with what’s in your mind. And in turn, be genuine when you ask how others are feeling. Because I can guarantee others will be feeling the same way as you. And sometimes others’ are going through worse, and it makes you sit back and really think about how things are.
If there was some way I could give this to future clients right as they walk in the door…..I’d probably be sacked right then and there. But really, I mean if I could just let them know these things, it could almost circumnavigate a lot of crap. But, we humans are funny things that don’t really like to take on board such tips, until we’ve gone through the crap, come out the other side and then have been able to reflect and go “ohhhh yeah. All that stuff WAS right after all…..”. Or maybe that’s just me. Because. Stubborn biatch. So there you have it. If you’re in the grind, print out the tips, stick them on your wall/ put them in your wallet/ carry them in your pocket. Because we all need a reminder from time to time.
What’s your top tip when you’re stuck in the grind?
I was just digging on the ocean theme of last week, so dragged Finding Nemo out of the depths for today’s DSSH. And before you ask? You bet your sweet ass I force my kids to sit down and watch movies with me ALL DAY. They’re all like “Mummy can we please go out and get some sunlight and explore the awesome world around us and learn to read and write?” And I’m like “No way girls. That shit’s for dorks. Sit down, watch TV and let your brains turn to mush”. Phew. Feels so good to get that out there. Now that we’ve got that established, let’s commence, shall we?
Ok, just so we’re clear…. A nifty baker I AM NOT. I promise I’m not about to go all Nigella on you and start posting amazing recipes and ideas. I’m lucky to grill some chicken and steam veggies most days. BUT- I do enjoy a bit of baking from time to time. Makes me feel happy, and it doubles as a great procrastination tool. So purely from a self-help standpoint, and to ease the ensuing anxiety around our holiday away, I baked. Baking is good mental health. Fact.
I missed my jog yesterday. Because I am hopeless and continue to pursue my ‘mutton-dressed-as-lamb’ love of heading out to a gig and jumping around and trying to appear hip and staying out carefree…. Until I get home and have to wake 4 hours later to children jumping on me, and I realise I’ve bunged my bad knee and my god, is my head meant to feel like it’s suck in a vice??