You know when you are on a plane waiting to go somewhere fun ( hopefully ) and they go through the whole things about seat belts and emergency exits, then show you how to put of your oxygen mask, and tell you to put yours on first before helping your children or someone else? Do you know why that is? Because you are zero help to anyone else if you don't make sure that you are able to breath first.
Self care is a funny thing. So many people look at it as being selfish. Taking care of yourself is not now and will never be selfish. Let me tell you what can happen when you don't. You gain 80lbs, you dream about some version of life that you think would make you happy, then when you wake up you start sobbing because you realized it was just a dream, you slowly.. little by little... start checking out of your life, until eventually you physically collapse and wake up in an ambulance to be taken to the emergency room where they fill you full of medication to calm you down because your panic attacks are so bad that you literally feel like you are dying.. Guess how I know? That is me in that spilt screen picture.....
It starts slowly... You wake up and dread getting out of bed, you think " oh I'll shower later ", and "I'll just throw my hair in a ponytail, and these clothes that look like I slept in them ( or even did ) are fine. " I don't need any makeup today, no one cares what I look like "..... And yes, maybe no one does but you should! Im not telling you to spend an hour getting ready and put on makeup like you are a Kardashian, or go blond like I did. But think about how good you feel after a shower, or when you put on your favorite outfit, and see your reflection looking back when you spend some time to take care of yourself.
Does it feel better to eat that McDouble & large fry, or when you make a healthier choice like a salad or smoothie? Does laying in bed with the blanket pulled up around you help motivate you to take your life back?
Please do not think I am not validating that extreme depression is a thing. It is absolutely real. But not everyone suffers from it. Sometimes we are just stuck. Stuck in our sadness, stuck in our hurt, and we become so stuck that it becomes comfortable and we become almost afraid to get out.
In my house this is where the blanket analogy comes in. 4 years ago, I got a phone call from the day treatment center that a child I was parenting was attending. It shook me to my CORE. She committed acts that I could not even imagine in my worse nightmares. After picking her up because they refused to continue to allow her there, and being told there would be an investigation against her, and all kinds of other horrible thing, I found myself totally melting down. She would violently rage for hours. So during the rage that followed this my husband told me that he would handle it and sent me out of the house. I went and started wandering one of my favorite stores ( not Target ) and came across this cute warm fleece blanket. I was incredibly drawn to it for some reason, so I bought it and it became my trauma blanket. During the next few years as my family unraveled, I wrapped myself up in this blanket like some sort of cocoon of sadness.
Little by little by VERY little life started to get easier. One day I got up and brushed my hair, and put on a pair of jeans.... My children asked why was I so dressed up?! DRESSED UP!... In jeans!!! lol Mind you every Sunday I have a dress or skirt on. But I had shut down so much that they were used to seeing me in yoga pants, or pajama pants, wrapped in that blanket. So then little by little I decided to start taking my life back...
And that is exactly is... I made a decision to take my life back, and fight to be happy. No one can change your past, or erase the pain you have been through. But you can make a choice about how it effects you now, and if you want to stop letting it control you. If that choice is finally reaching out to a professional therapist, or taking those medications your Dr prescribed you , or if it is crawling out from under that blanket and turning off Netflix to start living your best life, the DO IT! I had to do everyone of those things listed. And it was HARD, but it was so so worth it.
That blanket still lives here, but its in the top of the closet now. The day will come where it doesn't live here at all, but for right now it stays. And thats okay! Yes I still wear yoga pants, I am wearing them right now as I type this actually. But I have showered, and brushed my hair, and " fixed my face " as my Grandma used to say..
And now I have a new blanket! ( From Target lol ) That is pink, and fluffy, and makes me smile every time I see it because, well it's kinda obnoxiously happy... Like me :)