Self care is important. The act of showing kindness and appreciation for yourself by engaging in an activity that you find soothing or relaxing is a wonderful thing. Often we put pressure on ourselves to be productive and work at full capacity at all times, especially during the pandemic. I know I felt the huge push to learn a new skill or get more done now that I’ve been stuck at home for a full year. Having self compassion means accepting and even embracing our limitations so that we can show ourselves more kindness. Currently, that means accepting that I cannot work at more than 100% capacity during a pandemic just because I spend more time at home than I used to. However, when we’re talking about burnout at work, self care isn’t enough.
I love my job so it’s easy to fall into the trap of not recognizing burnout. I’m a social worker and psychotherapist who also does some consulting work for not for profit organizations. I’m lucky...
The Grudge That Held Me
In the end I discovered that the joy I was withholding, was causing me my own.
I denied forgiveness, until I realized I was the one that needed forgiving. This awareness changed my experience of life, of myself, and those around me in ways I never would have imagined. Let me tell you how I came to be here.
When I was about 16 yeas old, I went to my fathers first birthday party. Yes, you read that right. His first birthday party. You see it was his first year sober. In Alcoholics Anonymous you celebrate birthdays acknowledging your sobriety. At the party, my father chose a special poem to be read. It is called the Man in the Glass. It is the only thing I kept from my father for over 20 years.
The poem talks about how your life is a mirror to reflect on. The poem's brilliance is that it is not about blame or shame; rather, it is an invitation to accountability. It is a call to...
My grief PIC (partner in crime) as I will refer to one of the closest people in my life (she would hunt me down if I used her name or gave her any credit) and I have always been really open and talked about literally everything. She was always in it with me in every way. Being as close as we are, she told me that she could feel all the different pains I felt, like it took her instantly back to the loss of her own husband 20 years ago…like it was yesterday. I don’t like to use the term “stages” but she felt all of the different levels with me and still is almost 4 years later. I hated that I took her back there and through it again, but soon realized that no matter how much time passed, she was still in it. My situation just illuminated it all again…and if I’m telling the truth (which I promised to do), it was so comforting for me to feel seen and known through that time. I get it too. I think that no matter who is going through...
Art is for everyone, it’s not for the talented, the gifted, it’s for everyone, all abilities.
You’re probably scoffing at me as I say this. “Yea, I can’t even draw a stick figure right” or “sure I can paint nice things or copy someone else, but I am not creative in the slightest” But I want to tell you that you’re putting too much pressure on yourself, it’s time to let go and unleash your creative freedom.
Why don’t we allow ourselves to create freely? Why do we squander our creative processes?
As children we create freely, we are little packages of flowing creative energy and joy. Sometime in our childhood to adulthood we learn that creativity is for the gifted, or our creativity is not good enough as our...
Burnout, a curse and a blessing.
I have been nursing for 29+ years, and if you had asked me if I ever thought I would start to hate it, I would have laughed. A nurse is all I ever wanted to be. When I signed up for nursing, I knew it involved long hours, working weekends and holidays, and that I would deal with death often. But what I didn’t expect was it to slowly, then very quickly beat me into the ground.
When feelings of resentment, emotional exhaustion, and honestly feeling numb to events going on in the work environment surfaced, I pushed them down, way down. These feelings hit me by surprise, and initially, I didn’t know what to do with them. But after years of avoiding my thoughts and emotions, I finally started taking note of how I was feeling and began to ask what those feelings were trying to tell me. I avoided diving into those feelings for years!
Despite thinking I could muscle my way through another challenging experience, the years had beaten me...
*content warning: self harm, suicide, mental illness*
“Omg I could die” or “kill me” when you get embarrassed
You have a bad day and you say that you’re “so depressed” or “wish you never had to wake up”
You see someone having mood swings and you joke that they are “so bipolar” or “manic” or even “crazy”
You’re girlfriend or boyfriend is acting out and you call them “psycho”
And your words have meaning. Meaning that you don’t understand.
Have you ever been so manic that you spent your entire families life savings on a weekend out?
Or drank a 26 a day, every day, even though you’re normally sober?
Have you ever been so manic that you’ve cheated on someone you love?
But over and over
Have you ever become so unreliable because of mania that for the rest of your life, everyone around you expects you to screw up?
Have you ever had the cops come...
It was 1990 something, and it wasn’t the first time I thought he had cheated but it was the first time that the other woman’s husband came to talk to me and confirm my suspicion. I was 26, young and very insecure…let me back track a few years to explain.
My Dad died in April and less than a year in January my Mom lost her battle with ovarian cancer. I was 22 at this time and to be honest I was in shock and lived in a fog for years after. I had been dating him since I was 17 and felt I needed to make it work as this is who my parents had known me to be with. He treated me terribly, there was so much violence, so much abuse physically, sexually, and mentally. I felt I couldn’t leave, I felt alone even though I had family and friends that would have supported me. I didn’t want to be a burden. My siblings were young, getting married starting families, same with my friends. I was also ashamed of our relationship and how he treated me, so I...