Yeah, I’ll Affirm That.

Have you seen I Feel Pretty with Amy Schumer? To be incredibly honest, I have been in the throes of some TERRIBLE (like not wanting to leave the house terrible) anxiety since Sunday, and it was an attempt the other night at a light-hearted distraction. The movie was…fine, but the whole message of self-love and going out and fucking owning and killing it with confidence was pretty damn inspiring.

This is something I struggle with, we know.

But also quite a few of us. Well, yeah. Everything society is selling us is to be better, faster, thinner, etc etc etc. It’s no wonder the tape on loop in our heads

I’m going to preface this with…y’all know I’m a little woo-woo.

Here’s what’s helping me lately reframe that nasty inner monologue:

Yesterday, I had some intense deadlines I was against, and I was also having an intense nasty inner monologue so I sat down with my Work Notebook™ before I even got to work to attempt to exorcise those demons before they could get at me and my work.

I feel like you can kind of see what’s on my mind based on my affirmations, right?

Well, this has been an ongoing process and needs to continue to be an ongoing practice. I have not read The Secret, but I’ve heard the principles of putting out in the world what you want back, etc, and while I don’t totally believe in that—I don’t not believe in that, you know?

The affirmations and journaling are really just another way of looking at thought restructuring: taking a maladaptive thought and turning it into a more positive one. My brilliant grief therapist, Claire, and I discussed just this earlier today. There were some more intense ones, but let’s talk about a pretty generic one: work. I’m worried I’m getting more work than I can take on. Or getting a good amount of work and falling back into some intense mental health state again that renders me unable to work. (This was essentially January – March/April for me.) She reminded me these thoughts can be self-fulfilling prophecies, and to instead think that I can and will get done all that I need to.

We talked about how when we don’t address these thoughts, they get bigger, and that’s when they turn into this full-blown anxiety. That it comes from a lack of self-love and learning how to self-mother. That without that ultimate cheerleader, we need to become our own cheerleaders. Friends are great, and I have some really special ones, but ~ the answer is always within. ~ (I can’t say stuff like that without being a little sarcastic; I know it’s true but I also know how ridiculous it sounds.)

So! To the affirmations!

If you follow Ali on Instagram, she sometimes posts some awesome affirmations.

I’ve also been participating in this Mindset Journaling group with awesome daily and weekly prompts—and the best part is I get to see everyone *else*’s answers! Haven’t you always wanted to peep someone else’s journal?!

Because I’m a little all over the place today, here’s some other good stuff:

In the midst of all of this anxiety, I’ve been giving my credit card a good workout (of things I’ve wanted to get anyway)…

Weighted Blanket:  If you are at all anxious (read: if you live in NYC too) you need this. I’ve been reading about it on Grace’s blog FOREVER and decided to finally go for it. I can’t say enough, especially during this super anxious week. I have done the following crazy things: slept without a sleep aid (just once, let’s not get crazy), napped, NAPPED ON THE FLOOR (that has not happened in 30 years.) It really and truly feels like a hug for your soul and just brings a level of comfort when you really need it. 100/10, would buy again.

Office Chair: As part of my apartment refresh a few months ago, I bought this desk but hadn’t been ready to commit to a chair.

CAUTIONARY TALE, MY FRIENDS: do not bring your credit card on runs if you may potentially pass a high-ticket item store.

That’s all! Do you do mindsetting? What’s the fave stuff you’ve bought lately? Do you get into anxiety purchasing blackouts like me? No? Huh.

Me, After Grief.

Sea Girt

“I’m really proud of how well you’re doing.”

I heard it first from my psychiatrist the other day—a woman who has certainly seen all of the ups and downs over the past 18 months or so. My best friend verified it when I told her how my doctor gave me a huge hug on the way out. “Yup, we all think the same.”

I heard it again last night, sitting across from a dear friend of my mom’s.

“You’re going to be OK, Theodora, I really believe it.”

Quotes About Grief — Somet Things Cannot Be Fixed, They Can Only Be Carried

(this is a great quote from this great book by Megan Devine)

That wasn’t the first time I heard that in these past 53 weeks since losing my mom—but it’s only been the past week or so that I’ve believed it. I sure as hell didn’t believe it four months ago. But here we are. I don’t think grief ever ends —it’s something we carry.

Last year, I wrote: “I feel as though I’m wearing one of those lead jackets they give you for X-rays at the dentist’s office, only it’s made of fear and worry.” After my mom died, that jacket became a heavy lead jacket of grief, depression and hopelessness.

I’ve been wrestling and writhing in discomfort with that jacket, but I think I’ve finally switched it for just a light jacket.

In telling my BFF how I’m trying to reign in spending (eating/drinking/other bad habits grief has been an excuse for) and quite honestly, forgetting how I did that pre-grief, I realized this:

I am not the person I was before my mom got sick. 

I am not the person I was while she was sick, and in that horrific first year of my grief.

I am this new version of me. In some ways, it feels like I am Kimmie Schmidt, just dropped from the bunker. I’m this new person living in this world that’s totally new to me, and I need to figure out so much all over again, which is terrifying and exciting all at once.

I woke up on July 8 feeling like it was the first day of the rest of my life. It’s obviously not just the marker of one year, as Meg reminded me—it’s also all the hard work I’ve done on myself, with myself, with an extensive mental health team.

My doctor reminded me there’d still be some tough days—and I’ve had some “normal” tough days since in addition to a tough grief day, but I’m rebounding so much faster, which is such a relief to me.

But I am legit so ready and open to the future and setting big goals and making big plans.