Join the Conversation on
61 people
0 stories
3 posts
Explore Our Newsletters
What's New in

Being gentle with myself

When I first went to therapy back in 2012, my therapist would say to me at least once every session, "Be gentle with yourself." I thought I knew what that meant, but I've been circling back around to it in the last month or so and realizing that I really didn't and still have a long way to go. There are a lot of examples of that, but here is what happened today.

I got to speak one-on-one with a counselor from my depression/anxiety therapy group yesterday about the recent retraumatization I experienced from my personal counselor. She helped me to think of a safe place (actually quite a challenge) that I could use as a mental refuge when I felt overwhelmed, fearful, or anxious.

Today, as I was walking home from work, the thoughts started swirling and getting stronger and stronger. I was feeling the emotional flashbacks coming on. So, I tried this practice of going to my safe place. I could feel my breathing calm and my heart rate slow down. It worked! Then, five minutes later, the thoughts started coming back again, and I wouldn't let myself access my safe place. I blocked it. I knew there was relief and peace waiting for me, but I wouldn't let myself go there. Instead, I let the thoughts grow and start to take over and wreck my evening.

I'm just starting to be aware of how this has been happening for years. The healing is there - maybe even inside of myself - but I am resisting it. I am not being gentle to myself. I am not acknowledging the soft, caring things I need to say to myself like, "I love you." Something about it feels so fundamentally unsafe.

Maybe I still blame myself for the abuse and I can't admit that I love myself because then nothing in life makes sense anymore - how could someone loving have allowed that abuse to happen? And the "someone" is ME, not an external person. This dissonance within myself is so hard to know how to be gentle and kind with.

I want to be well, I think. Healing sounds wonderful. But I've been living with this for ten years now and I don't know how to *be* without the barriers and repression.

#begentlewithyourself #Therapy
#Trauma #EmotionalAbuse #NarcissisticAbuse #Healing #CPTSD #Selflove

See full photo

My New Perfect. #perfectionism #gentleself #mademybed

Thoughts this morning.

My bed got made today. You have no idea how happy it makes me that it is made. My mother taught me to make my bed every morning. And it’s a really good thing. It promotes a good start for the day and it creates harmony in your brain which enables calm thought process. It gives a sense of accomplishment and plus it just looks nice. Order. It creates order to the day.

But...I am not very good at it. I will say that I have felt all of those things when I do make my bed. 🛏 😊 like today.

For the last several years, I have battled with chronic pain. And I have learned to be a recovering perfectionist. (Obviously making my bed was not one of those things that I felt the need to be perfect in before 😂 ). But because I have had to slow way down, and learn balance, I have had to let go of those things that I have felt the need to be perfect in. My structure and “my perfect” have had to get adjusted standards. They are not lower. They are adjusted to fit the needs of my life. It has taken me a few years to journey through what “my perfect” looks like.

That hasn’t been fun. But it’s not supposed to be. Changing a core part of yourself isn’t easy. It does feel like I’m lowering expectations of myself. And sad...grieving my past self is inevitable. And I hear voices in my head, sometimes it’s my mom’s voice, telling me the reasons why I should “make the bed”, but mostly it’s been my own voice telling me how lazy, unstructured, useless, apathetic, pathetic and idle I am. Not nice. I had to abandon those thoughts.

No. I am not as productive as I used to be. And my house is not as clean as it used to be. My bed rarely gets made. But... what this unwanted journey has taught me, #begentlewithyourself #ChronicPain is to be gentle with self. Enjoy the soft sheets. Enjoy how the morning sun spreads it’s light over the covers. And if the bed doesn’t get made, or the dishes, or the paper, or the event, or whatever it is doesn’t get done...that’s ok. It will either get done tomorrow or by someone else (which is a whole other story...getting used to help and having it done a different way)...

... or maybe the bed won’t get made for a month. And that’s ok. Today it did. 🙂