New Years

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    Community Voices

    Happy New Years!!#

    I just wanted to say Thank You to all of you who have commented liked and shared your stories this year! I know it s so very hard sometimes to open up and express all of what we are feeling or thinking…. I feel very honored that you’ve chosen to share with me! May2022 be OUR year!! be safe my friends and keep in touch!! #NewYears #Communication #sharingfeelings

    Community Voices

    Write a great one! 💚🙏🏾

    <p>Write a great one! 💚🙏🏾</p>
    Monika Sudakov

    Making New Year's Mental Health 'Revelations' Instead of Resolutions

    Much has been written about the issues with New Year’s resolutions. From toxic positivity to encouraging unrealistic expectations, there are many reasons to avoid them. I myself gave up on them because I am a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser, and giving myself just one more thing that I might not be able to accomplish tends to fuel my negative, overthinking brain with all the ways in which I’m some kind of failure. But I do like the idea of taking stock of what I’ve learned throughout the year and how those insights might fuel my growth in the new year. Tis’ the season for lists, but this is a list of my revelations for 2021. A top five, if you will, of the most profound things that grew out of my continued healing journey and therapy. I hope they inspire you as much as they have inspired me. 1. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the right people will love you for everything that you are. After parting ways with my ex therapist, I struggled in the early part of this year with feeling like I don’t matter. It took a lot of work with my current therapist to recognize that I do matter…to the right people. And sometimes people’s behavior toward you actually has nothing to do with anything you did wrong and more to do with them — something I have struggled with my whole life as I just assume I’m at fault or that there’s something fundamentally wrong with me. 2. Maybe the goal isn’t to be happy all of the time… Because that’s unrealistic, but to be able to ride the waves of all of our emotions, including grief and sadness, without judging ourselves as being a failure for having those feelings. I grew up being told not to be mad or sad because I’d upset those around me. You can’t eliminate one set of feelings without adversely affecting how you experience others. If we want to feel joy we must feel sadness too. And, the idea that I have control over someone else’s feelings is flat out wrong. Contrary to my belief, I do not possess the super powers of mind alteration. (Big bummer) 3. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. To be honest, this is a work in progress. I continue to struggle with guilt over putting my own needs over those of others. But… I spent a lot of time trying to come to terms with boundaries — how to set them, how to maintain them and how to make peace with them. Brene Brown has been my “boundary angel” if you will. In her book “Atlas of the Heart” she says “We can’t connect with someone unless we are clear about where we end and they begin.” She reminds us that setting boundaries isn’t just about telling the other person what’s not OK. We have to state what is OK clearly because “clear is kind.” In an interview she did on Glennon Doyle’s podcast, she simplifies it even further…”I have to limit my time with people that demand that hypervigilance including people I love.” That hit me like a ton of bricks and really helped reframe boundaries as less of a punishment and more of an act of self-love. I may still need some work around this one, but the foundation that this gives me has helped me feel less selfish about the idea. 4. Sometimes the absence of something (emotional neglect) can be just as harmful as overt abuse. Particularly when it comes to our parents when we were children. In her book “Running on Empty,” Dr Jonice Webb defines the ways in which different types of emotional neglect can adversely affect adult children, and why it’s important to acknowledge the damage without blaming a parent in order to begin to heal from it. This was a powerful book for me because I often had difficulty figuring out how my mom’s covert incest and enmeshment could have affected me so much. I felt a deep sense of shame at holding her accountable for my problems, because I know it wasn’t intentional. And yet she continues to trigger me and when I’m around her I feel like I’m right back to being the overprotective, overly responsible little girl I was who had to protect her mommy at all costs. Being able to say “what she did wasn’t right and she didn’t know any better” and comprehending that “it’s on her to do her own work to heal herself” freed me up to focus my attention on the healing I need to do. The responsibility for my healing is in my court, even if I resent it and it makes me angry that I have to do it. Acknowledging those feelings is also part of the journey. 5. Intimacy isn’t just about sex. Discovering the myriad ways in which we can experience pleasure is as important as anything else in terms of figuring out how to reclaim our sexuality after childhood sexual abuse or assault. Admittedly this one is still hard for me. I have to navigate my triggers and shame response to sex, but I’m slowly learning how to enjoy the connection and stop putting pressure on myself in terms of some kind of “normal” frequency or duration for sexual experiences. Reading Emily Nagoski’s “Come As You Are” and listening to copious podcasts and interviews with Esther Perel have given me a lot of food for thought regarding the ways in which my abuse was made so much more detrimental by my mothers objectification of my body and the ways in which a patriarchal society influence how women see their value as sexual objects. Disentangling what I want from what I think is expected of me is really where the work is. And understanding that saying no is a perfectly valid response no matter what has been invaluable. And a bonus one: Having a trustworthy therapist who is there to guide you in a caring boundaried way… priceless. Really, she’s a gem, and I’m extremely grateful to have her after winning the bingo of bad therapy with my ex. Here’s to a 2022 filled with continued growth through adversity and acceptance that healing isn’t linear. It takes patience, time and even some set backs — all of which simply remind us that we are human and deserve some grace and self-compassion. I wish you an enlightened new year, not just a happy one.

    Janet Coburn

    Mental Health Reminders for the New Year

    I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. I can barely plan my day, let alone the whole year. And I’m also not big on making commitments I know I can’t or won’t keep. Instead, I remind myself of certain behaviors I think I (maybe) can accomplish and refer to the list as often as needed. Here are a few suggestions that may be appropriate reminders for you as well. 1. You don’t have to drink alcohol at New Year’s Eve parties. Or ever, really. No one should try to pressure you into doing this, but if they do, simply saying, “No thanks,” should be enough. If the person is really pushy, you may have to ask, “Do you have soda or fruit juice?” You are not required to explain why you don’t want to drink alcohol, and you may want to forego attending parties that do not have such non-alcoholic alternatives in the future. You don’t have to attend parties at all, and “No, I can’t make it” is a perfectly reasonable response to an invitation. Or “Maybe next year.” 2. You don’t have to make New Year’s resolutions per se. You can have New Year’s intentions, small goals you don’t have to announce to the world at large and that you don’t have to beat yourself up over if you don’t fulfill them. Instead of resolving to jog every day, intend to get out of doors once a week, even if it’s only to walk to the mailbox and back. Baby steps, after all. 3. I hate to use the word “should,” but you should keep track of your medications, reorder them if they’re getting low, and see your prescribing physician if the scripts are about to run out. That’s just common sense that’s necessary for your mental health, not a resolution. These days, you may even be able to arrange to have meds delivered. 4. Try to engage in a hobby once in a while. Say, once a month. It honestly doesn’t matter what the hobby is. Read a book, or even a short story or magazine article. Knit or crochet. Repot a plant. Water a plant. Do a crossword puzzle. Bake your favorite cookies, then eat them all yourself if you want to. 5. Keep comfort objects nearby. These can be anything that soothes you. A music playlist. A stuffed animal. A scented candle. A cozy blanket or sweater. A favorite warm beverage like cocoa or green tea. Don’t be embarrassed about using them to ground yourself. Most neurotypical people won’t even notice if you’re wearing a favorite sweater or have a scented candle lit. 6. You can connect with people online. This counts as interacting with people. Say happy birthday. Forward a funny meme. You don’t have to make it specific to your condition, but there are plenty of people on Facebook, for example, who have bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or an autoimmune disorder. You don’t even have to interact with them. You can join a group, then just sit back and see what others post there. 7. Avoid triggers, if you can. That judgmental aunt. Your creepy cousin. Your boastful neighbor. Again, you have the right to say no and not explain why. (It’s the not explaining that’s the hardest.) Don’t watch movies that you find upsetting, whether it’s “Die Hard” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (which many people don’t like because of the implicit bullying). 8. Write about how you feel, if you want to. It could be a mood journal, a regular journal, a letter that you will never mail, a poem. Don’t feel that you have to show it to anyone. Tear it up afterward, if you want to. 9. You don’t have to face the new year as a whole. If you must have resolutions, resolve to get through the next week or even the next day. 10. Make an appointment with your therapist. Many therapists are offering telehealth visits these days, so it’s easier than ever just to touch base or to work through a problem, a trigger or feeling overwhelmed. In other words, do whatever you can to get you through the next day, week, month or season. The year will take care of itself, whether you make resolutions or not.

    Community Voices

    Do you make New Years Resolutions?
    Why? OR Why not?
    #NewYears #selfreflection

    <p>Do you make New Years Resolutions?<br>Why? OR Why not?<br><a class="tm-topic-link ugc-topic" title="New Years" href="/topic/new-years/" data-id="5b23cea200553f33fe998d55" data-name="New Years" aria-label="hashtag New Years">#NewYears</a>  <a class="tm-topic-link ugc-topic" title="selfreflection" href="/topic/selfreflection/" data-id="5b5d1983cb313000aeea688d" data-name="selfreflection" aria-label="hashtag selfreflection">#selfreflection</a> </p>
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    Community Voices

    🥳 Happy New Year!

    <p>🥳 Happy New Year!</p>
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    Community Voices
    Community Voices
    Community Voices
    Community Voices
    Cat

    This night one year ago #Reflection

    This night one year ago I had gone to the movies to see Frozen 2 with my partner, we had recently been to Melbourne for Christmas, on the way back there were fires forming and we did see smoke. Our city had had a layer of smoke surrounding it for some time now but nothing would prepare me for that night or the year to come.

    I could smell something in the cinemas and I knew it was smoke, by the end of the movie there was smoke all through the room, we left and went to the parking machine, there was smoke throughout the shopping centre, people were coughing and covering their face, they were rushing to pay their tickets and get out. When we left it was like nothing I had ever seen, yes by now we were used to hazardous air, we were used to not being able to see long distances, we were used to the smell of smoke, the stinging eyes but this was different, apocalyptic is the only word that comes to mind. When I got to my car it had a layer of ash on it, it had rained ash. As I was driving it was so hard to see, it was like something out of a movie set in some bleak dystopian movie. I remember feeling upset and panicky on the way home, I was worried about my cats and the future. The next month or so was much of the same, we couldn't go out, I had a constant migraine. I felt depressed and anxious and I was hurting for everyone who had lost so much. The world was behind us and rallied together with support. When I could see fires on the mountain in the distance it became even more real. I felt anger and I just wanted it the end.

    During this time there was also a severe hailstone that destroyed countless cars. My city had become a disaster zone with there being signs everywhere of what had happened. Cars that looked like they had been shot, damaged buildings and people just devastated.

    Eventually it ended, we cout go outside and were free. But then it happened, COVID hit, we were now surrounded by empty super market shelves, fear and lockdowns. Again we were stuck inside, but at least we could now breathe. Time went on and at times it got worse, but we were lucky here. It did give me sort of a guilt knowing worldwide how much suffering it caused.

    A year ago, COVID was new, it was something I lightly talked about over Christmas, a year ago we had fires, dust storms, terrible hail.

    Now COVID is part of everyday conversation, there is more water in the areas near me, I still see cars that were damaged by the hail and it's a reminder to take nature seriously.

    I wonder what I'll say in one year from now when I reflect back on 2021, I can only hope it's better. I can only hope my mental health doesn't decline as much as it did the last year. It was around October last year that I was triggered (scene on TV) and then with everything that happened I never really got better.

    #Anxiety #Depression #MentalHealth #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder #NewYears #2021 #2020

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