Facing The Way You Feel

Analyzing yourself is hard. Really looking inward and trying to understand why you are the way you are and feel the way you feel is hard.

I’ve looked head on into my feelings a few times before but it usually happened during a breakdown after years of suppressing them. I would get to this point where I would just explode because I had tried to be so strong while ignoring the way I felt. It’d be a lot to clean up after because after my real feelings came through, all that was left of myself was a broken down mess.

I realized after I had done this a few times about a few major parts of my life that I needed to find a better way to deal with everything. It’s so easy to fall into complacency and build this strong shield around yourself to function on a daily basis.

Recently, I have started feeling like if I don’t maintain that shield, I will break down again. This time is different because I’m mostly just struggling with parenting my kids. I love them and I know that this is what I need to be doing right now but sometimes, it’s just so hard. I also know that this part of my life will just take some time to even out.

I also know that if I really try to look inwards, it’s going to be somewhat of a mess in there. So for now, I try to find ways to cope and survive. I find the small joys in my days and take those for what they are.

I know that I’ll have to address my feelings head on at some point but I don’t think that the time is now for me. It’s partially true that I’m doing this for my kids but it’s also partially true that I’m a little scared to see what’s in there.

I hope your journey into addressing your feelings is more successful and that you are able to find what you really need.

The Next Step

Last week, I wrote about mental health and yesterday, I mentioned how it’s important to be able to cope with the feelings that you might be having.

I also wanted to dedicate an article to what the next step is.

If you don’t feel like you figured out ways to cope and actually feel better, it might be time to seek help. There is nothing wrong with needing professional help. As I mentioned before, if you are willing to see a doctor for your body, why would you feel bad about seeing a doctor for your mind? It is a part of who we are and it also needs to be taken care of.

So what’s the next step?

When I finally admitted that I needed help, I literally just got on the phone with my insurance company. A lot of insurance companies have a phone number for mental health on the back of their card. And when I say I got on the phone with the company, I mean that my friend and I got on the phone because I still needed the support. It was a hard decision to make. It made me feel like I failed at something because I wasn’t able to deal with my issues by myself.

Sometimes, you need someone to help you stand yourself up again. And it’s okay.

So I called the insurance company’s mental health line and asked them who they covered in my area. They literally started at A and gave me 5 names and numbers. I called the first number on the list and made an appointment.

It’s important that you like your therapist and feel like they can help you. I needed someone to listen and to help me navigate my murky feelings. I needed someone who could help me take steps to become me again.

I was lucky that the first name that I called was the first person I saw was the therapist I ended up seeing for the next 4 years. Even when I felt better and more like myself after a year or two, I kept on seeing her every so often just as a tune-up. I saw her as I went through a few other phases in my life and she helped me get through them.

The only reason I stopped was because I moved away and physical distance made it difficult. I haven’t found another therapist because I haven’t felt the urgency to see one yet. After having 2 kids though and not quite feeling like myself for a while, I am thinking about finding one near me.

I want to be the best version of me I can be and be able to give that to my family. So I’ll do what I can to find that person again.

Mom Funk

It’s really easy to lose yourself in general. I remember that I was constantly working on improving myself before I got married, before I had kids. Even though I am in a different stage in life now, that hasn’t changed.

Complacency is so easy to fall into no matter where you are in life. I’m pretty sure that I was somewhat complacent when I was in a comfortable job. And every so often, I feel that same feeling as a stay at home mom.

Seeing yourself clearly takes work. And it’s easy for that vision to get blurry when you are always looking at yourself through the lenses of your children.

Your priorities revolve around your kids. When you have some downtime (nap time is a welcomed break), if you’re like me, you are finally eating lunch in front of the tv. As soon as lunch is over though, it’s time to start on your task list. Laundry, dinner, or plenty of other things that are easier done without a child or two hanging onto your arms and legs. All of a sudden, the kids are up and you are back to being Mom.

I was reading an article today and the lady writing it was talking about “Mom Funk”. It struck that that was exactly where I kept falling into. I don’t know if I interpreted it correctly or how to exactly break out of it but the words resonated with how I’ve been feeling.

I have 2 great kids and a great husband and friends and family who are still consistently present in my life. I figure if I still can feel like I’m in a Mom Funk every so often, I can’t possibly be the only one.

So here’s my question to you: For those of you who have visited this land, how did you break out of it? How did you design your life so that you were able to find some personal fulfillment as well as the family fulfillment that you are receiving?

Ask

Have ever had one of those days where the thoughts are just running crazy through your head? How about one of those days where you think that no one can possibly feel the way you are feeling right now? Things can seem overwhelming with so many thoughts and emotions. And you end up feeling completely alone because everyone else seems to have their lives together.

The big question is when do we stop and ask for help. Asking for help is difficult because we always think that we can get through whatever we are going through without it. We also don’t want everyone to know the things we think or feel. What if they think we’re weak or crazy? Maybe others won’t understand what we are going through. Maybe others will judge us and make us feel like we are worthless or stupid for feeling the way we feel. Maybe we are the only ones who feel that way and there isn’t a point in asking anyone else about it.

I’ve gone through some rough things before and I’ve been down the therapy route. I am a big proponent of it. Eventually, I stopped going to therapy for the simple reason of living too far away from her. I haven’t looked for a new therapist in the meantime because I was doing much better and I was able to cope with my problems without help.

Even having gone to a therapist before, I still hesitate before I ask for help. At some points in my life, my problems were extremely obvious. I feel like others will judge me because, right now, I don’t actually have anything really wrong with my life. But, in holding back anything I’m feeling, I alienate myself.

I realize I’m happiest when I’ve connected to others who can understand the thoughts I’m having. I realize I feel better about life when I know that I am not alone in anything.

My point of this article is this:

You are not the only one who thinks it. More people than you know are dealing with different thoughts or feelings. Even if we feel alone, we are not.

It’s okay to ask for help.

The Law of Attraction

I saw this article posted by a friend today: http://elitedaily.com/life/motivation/law-attraction-30-ways-can-attract-dream/929761/

The Law of Attraction. I do believe this works. I think if you have a positive attitude, good things find a way to make themselves to you. You can see everything is a grateful light and it makes it easier to go through each day.

But getting on that train is hard. When things have gotten you down, it’s hard to believe that being positive is going to change anything. When things don’t seem to work out or they are tougher than normal, it’s difficult to really be able to be grateful for what you have.

How do you do it? How do you change your mindset so completely? One way that helps me is to start making a list. You have to not only change the way you’re thinking but the way you’re feeling. Changing your feelings help your thoughts to be more positive.

I’d like to hear more about what you’ve accomplished or things you really feel have helped you be more grateful or inspired. I want to hear positive stories because for me, hearing these helps me to be more positive.

Someone I Love

In my last post, I talked about passion versus validation. Now I want to talk about something related but in a different way.

When I was dating, I figured out something: 1) I could either be the person that I thought the other person would be attracted to or 2) I could become the person that I would have found attractive. I know that, growing up, we focus a lot on what makes us cool and popular. We want to be wanted by the person we are attracted to (and maybe even the people we aren’t attracted to). We like the things that we think others will want us to like and we do the things that everyone else does. But is this really us? Do we respect ourselves? If we were on the opposite side, would we want to date the person we are?

This is something that even relates to my life today as a wife and mother. Stepping into that role really messes with your self-esteem in some ways. I mean, doesn’t long-term get boring? Especially after you’ve had a kid? Now, you’re tired and have gained weight and don’t have the same social life going anymore. How can you get your significant other to even notice you?

My insecurity levels have definitely gone up after having a kid. I feel like my husband has continued to move forward career wise and can do a lot more things than I can at the moment. Being stagnant hasn’t been the best place for me. The feeling was worse right before and after I had my baby. A few months after the pregnancy, it started getting better. But I still felt really dependent and kept wondering if he was still even attracted to me or if he still loved me.

I hate that feeling! I don’t like questioning how he feels about me and I really despise myself for thinking negatively. I realized that the problem wasn’t him. The problem was myself. I haven’t been attracted to myself. Not necessarily looks-wise only but also my personality. If I was someone else, I would never look twice because I’m emitting qualities that I am not crazy about.

So I’m going back to my dating mantra. Become the person you would be attracted to. Do things that make me feel good about myself. If I ever question how someone else feels about me, I know to tell myself that I’m being the best person I can be because I really do like who I am.

The only person that is responsible for making me feel good is myself. And I deserve to be with someone that really loves me. I’m lucky that I also have my husband and family and friends but the only person that is required to love me all the time is me. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Be someone I love.

When Will I Be Normal Again?

This post is hard one for me to write. Especially when I hear other moms talking about how wonderful their lives are and how being a mom is all they ever wanted. Let me make sure one thing is clear. I love my child and couldn’t imagine my life without her. I’ve been waiting for her for a long time and am truly happy she is here. But I know I can’t be alone in feeling this way so here goes.

It’s been about two months since I’ve had my baby and yet I still don’t feel like myself. I know it takes time to get into a new groove and to really find yourself again but it’s hard waiting for that time to come.

I want to teach my daughter to have confidence in herself and really learn how to carry herself in a way where she knows who she is. It’s a hard thing to teach when your own confidence is so low. This time period is one where we, as new moms, are still recovering physically, we are a mess emotionally, and we are sleep deprived. It’s no wonder that having confidence in yourself is a struggle.

I want to feel good about myself but am having a hard time doing so. My body is still returning back to normal and I’m still not cleared to exercise. I don’t recognize myself physically. And this results in me feeling unattractive and like I don’t even warrant a second look. We all want to feel validated on how we look even though rationally we know that we did just put our body through something major and it’ll take time to get back to what we remember.

A lot of validation for me also comes through in what I have accomplished. Lately, my accomplishments only come in the form of whether I got my baby to sleep through the night. It’s hard when you see others still going out and doing things that seems amazing or further their career and you don’t get the chance.

I know that these feelings are temporary and I am proud that I’m raising a child. I think about whether I want to go to work right now but I couldn’t even imagine being away from her for a minute.

I’m hoping that catching up on sleep and my life slowly returning to something I remotely recognize will help boost my confidence back to where it used to be. No one said being a new mom was easy but no one mentioned all of these changes that you feel as a woman.

i know this time period is dedicated to my child but, at the same time, I want to feel good about myself so I can show her what a strong woman looks like. It’s important to me to be able to show her the confidence I have in myself so she will know how to develop that same confidence one day.

Passion

Do ever just see something or feel something and know you have to get involved in it? Are you able to have a vision about something way before it’s even a possibility? 

Doesn’t it feel good to feel that strongly about something? 

Passion. 

It’s something a lot of us have regarding something and when we feel it, suddenly, we are alive again. I feel that way about dance. I especially feel that way when I hear a song and can start envisioning what the dance will look like before I ever start actually working on choreography for it. I start feeling a strange sort of pull and excitement that gets me totally energized to start working on this vision I have in my head. 

It’s an amazing feeling when your heart, your passion pulls you to what you should be doing. It drives us, it motivates us. It makes us feel like we’re doing what we were put on earth to do. 

So today, really feel the passion you have for something. Immerse yourself in it. =)

How Do We Accept Ourselves As We Are?

I have this idealized image in my head about what a perfect person is like. And I have strived for so long to be that person in every aspect. Guess what happens? I fail. Not only once, but over and over again. And I take it hard and then criticize myself and really beat myself up for feeling like a failure. 

Is this realistic? Logically, I know it’s not. How do I accept myself as I am though? How do I make myself realize that I am a human being and bound to imperfection?

Where this idealistic image that we measure ourselves up to come from? Why do we feel this need to be perfect all the time? Why are we not allowed to feel and not allowed to break down? Why do we beat ourselves up for being disappointed that we couldn’t be perfect?

I’ve been working on this for a long time. I still don’t know why I have a hard time accepting myself. Most of us do our best to be good people. Most of us really try to enjoy our lives and be happy. So why do we have such a hard time understanding that being 120% all of the time is not humanly possible?

Maybe if we try to be perfect (and we succeed), no one has the opportunity to dislike us. No one can complain about us or find a reason to not be nice to us. Maybe, on the other side, being less than perfect provides people with a valid reason (at least according to our emotionally confused vision) for walking away from us. We can blame ourselves if a relationship doesn’t work out or if we have fights with our friends. 

I’m not sure how to battle this feeling of being less than perfect and becoming okay with it. I want to accept myself for who I am. And, to those who don’t like who I am, I want to tell them to get lost. How do we find that within ourselves? How do we find the strength to really show people who we actually are with no masks attached? 

 

Emotional Abuse….Let’s Talk About It

Emotional abuse. Does that phrase even have meaning in the Indian culture? 

Emotional abuse is a form of assault that is deliberate and manipulative and used as a method of control.” We know what this one means. It means that someone is abusive through their words or how they say something. 

I got the following list from this link: http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-emotional-abuse.html

“A few indicators of emotional abuse might include the following:

  • The behavior in question doesn’t stop or even pause when the recipient begins crying or asks for time to cool down. In fact, abuse may escalate as the abused person becomes more and more vulnerable, demeaned, afraid, and upset
  • The behavior is frequent – several times a week or month, as opposed to very rare (once every few years, for instance.)
  • Vulgar language, completely baseless accusations
  • Insulting or demeaning words in front of other people
  • “Arguments” are very one-sided; one person does all the talking, never listening, and is not kind to the other.
  • Threats of violence
  • Blatant cruelty
  • The abuser does not apologize
  • The abuser will not recognize the validity of anything his or her victim says”

I want to talk about this last one. This is the one that really affected my life. Obviously, there are many forms of emotional abuse as mentioned above but I think this last one is one that is so subtle sometimes that it’s not recognized as emotional abuse as often as it should be. 

Have you ever said something to someone about how you’re feeling only to have them tell you that it’s your fault for feeling that way? Or they will tell you that what you’re feeling is wrong and you should feel this way instead?

Our feelings are our own. No one has the right to tell us that what we are feeling is wrong. No one has the right to make us feel bad about what we feel. No one has the right to make themselves more important than your feelings. 

I’ve noticed two types of people (I’m sure there are more but these are the two that I have come across). The first type believes that what they think or say or feel is right and there really isn’t any other way. There is only a right way and a wrong way. The second type understands that there are many types of people in the world and every single one of them is going to have their own thoughts and own opinions and sometimes, we have to be able to see something from someone else’s point of view. 

I’ve found the first type of person to be the type that tends to disregard something someone else says if it doesn’t agree with their own view. This is the person that will ignore the feelings of someone else if it doesn’t align with what they think. 

Invalidation of feelings leads to other issues. You start questioning yourself and your thoughts. You start thinking that maybe your feelings are wrong and that you should be reacting a different way. You lose trust in yourself and who you are as a person. You become a victim. 

That sounds like emotional abuse to me. 

I think this is an issue in the Indian culture that has been left unaddressed so far. We are just starting to understand that there are ideas beyond duty and responsibility. We’ve stumbled on freedom and happiness. I think it’ll be a while before we fully get to giving the problems of emotional abuse the attention they deserve. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with emotional abuse, please ask someone for help. Most people are ready to help you. Most people will help you get into a better situation than the one you are in. Just take the first step and ask.