Monday, May 03, 2010

Esteem of the self..you can get it back.

Okay darlings I have a post I'm working on about Fatness and Blackness and the intersection of the two as it has happened in my life but, I just got this question in and I HAVE to answer it.

Our homie needs help. She has had a rough year like many of us and needs some help getting herself back together now that things are getting better.

First of all AwesomePants (yes you are AwesomePants for the duration) I am so glad things are getting better for you.

Now I can relate, I can relate so much.

Second thing, take a breath.

This is something I struggle with fairly often in my life. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by what seems like fairly simple shit and then BAM I have started running around that special circle of hell which is self loathing.

The big thing when you find yourself heading towards negative self talk and the bad shit that follows is to recognize when you're heading for it. Learn to take a second and slow your roll.

That is a difficult thing, stopping yourself mid tirade can be a daunting thing but believe me, practice makes it easier. Start with small things, learn to not berate yourself when you make little mistakes.

Next thing. Once you start doing that it's a small leap to stopping and saying shit happen.

This one is super hard for me.

It's really hard sometimes when even small bad things happen not to get down on yourself. The important thing to remember is shit happens and it happens a lot.

You fall down, you tear your favorite pants, you break a cup you lost a five dollar bill etc etc.

While you may be tempted to blame yourself and yell at yourself when stupid things happen, you have got to learn to be nice to yourself.

Even when you royally fuck up be nice to yourself.

I've learned the hard way that you can be worse for yourself than anyone else. There is no one who can fuck me up like I can fuck me up and it's a hard thing to learn to stop doing that so much.

Now let's (for teh sake of argument) say you're doing those things, this is fantastic AwesomePants.

For me when I am down I make an extra effort with self care.

I'm talking about things that I do for myself not because I have to do them but, because they make me feel good or better.

For me this can be anything from doing a treatment on my hair, painting my nails, taking an extra minute in the shower to put conditioner on my front facing pubes, I have an extra special tasty cup of tea or coffee.

Sometimes I will do something so silly and simple as buying a 99 cent lipgloss.

For me those tiny things are what keep me sane.

I am learning more and more that sometimes I just need to indulge myself and be a good Mom to myself. For me that means telling myself to stop doing something for a minute, or to go to bed, etc etc.

For me figuring out when to just be nice to myself in a way that does not feel bad is really fucking hard.

To support yourself in keeping your sanity and your self esteem I really suggest making sure you make at least a few minutes for sanity saving activities.

That might be some time to exercise, to have a snorgle with a loved one, to bathe, to wash your face, to do whatever feels good and that you can squeeze into your life regularly.

For me, I enjoy some quiet to myself time.

Often this is during my commute home when I put my headphones on, pull my crocheting or whatever I'm reading out and create a little bubble/zone of me space. I find that very calming and some time for me to get away from my Crazy!brain and other peoples bullshit and work and everything else.

I also sometimes will spend my walks deliberately thinking about none of the things I may or may not have fucked up that day.

Because of my varied joint issues I tend to start my walks off going pretty damn slow and my pace tends to dictate my thoughts in a way. Once I'm warmed up I can haul fatass pretty fast and I tend to be focused on getting where I'm going. When I walk all slow I have time for my brain to move in other directions and I have learned to be mindful of that.

It is awfully simple and easy for me to let one thought of "oh what a pretty dress in that window" that somehow spirals into some kind of "you can't have nice things" rant inside my head in a matter of a few seconds, I have to stop myself.

And so I say that you have to stop yourself too.

That is going to be a lengthy and hurty road I assure you but be comforted knowing that there are a lot of us walking on it right there with you.

Now you've learned to do that stuff and you're starting to feel pretty good. How do you let out all that goodness?

I think it's affirming and wonderful to keep your head up. This is where I spew a little drivel.

Sometimes you gotta fake it til you feel it.

Personally some days I just feel so blegh I figure the way to muscle through it is to fancy myself up and walk like I own some shit.

Do whatever makes you feel fancy and then, walk around like you ARE the fanciest thing ever and at some point you will start to feel it.

Is this method 100%? No not really but sometimes you gotta do what's necessary to save yourself from Mean!brain.

Now this next bit is another part that's really awful for me personally but in the long run has helped me out immensely.

Have someone (in my case you readers) in whom you trust enough to say, "hey look I feel like shit all the way around."

I had no idea how freeing and empowering it could be just to say that and not feel shamed or (overly) embarrassed. Yes, it does pain me to admit that I am human sometimes but, every time I have one of my moments you folks have commiserated, shown me boobies, shown me puppies and you have helped more than I can accurately describe.

It's true.

While yes, in the moment when I'm posting here or twitter or where ever I may feel mortified that I am so upset over X or that I am so human I am feeling like poo, every time I think about it I feel a little better inside.

So let it out.

If you have to start out by start an anonymous blog somewhere just to get out what's bothering you go ahead and do it.

Don't bottle it up, that makes things ten times worse.

Let out how you feel.

Then know that you're not alone, feeling bad doesn't make you bad and it will pass.

I hate that phrase but honestly, as dark and bad as things get it will pass.

That phrase kept me alive through some really bad years and I can attest that I did survive and it did pass.

And don't fall into that trap so many women do of thinking that things have to be all sunshine rainbows and puppies all the time.

The idea that humans are supposed to be happy constantly is a fallacy in my mind. If you don't have the highs and lows how're you gonna know the difference?

So now I turn it over to you my homies.

What helps you keep on keepin on?

(And yes I know I did not talk about drug type intervention I will save that part for another day mmkay?)

So yes, let's help each other feel like the Awesome-fucking-ness we are.

Now if y'all will excuse me this rooiboos tea will not drink it self.
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2 comments:

maggiemunkee said...

shannon you have no idea how much i needed this post right now. i've had a bad few days after a string of good ones (since the lupus diagnosis i've had more bad than good, and two straight good weeks was awesome), and of course everything wrong in the world is All. My. Fault.

so this is good. thank you. i need to get better at self care. no one else can do it for me.

Haddayr said...

1. bicycling.
2. yoga.
3. buying new underwear, even if it's a $5 packet at Target.
4. really, really delicious tea.

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