I do tend to neglect this blog when things are going either very bad or very well. It’s been a week and I have missed the release, the ebb and flow of words, the putting-it-out-there that seems to be so cleansing for me. I have still been online, keeping caught up with most of the blogs that I read, liking and commenting. I just haven’t felt a big press to post anything, no pull to my keyboard. I honestly have just had nothing to say.
And then it hit me. Maybe, because I keep this blog to track my progress, it might behoove me to write a post about how okay everything is. There is no angst, no strife, no drama. For me right now, life just “is,” and it truly is a strange feeling. The up and the down and the down-down-down that have plagued me for almost every January and February of life since I can remember it, are gone. I feel even, steady. At times, I experience true contentment and at times, real joy.
It’s hard to say what has brought this all about, or to even say that it is necessary that I delve into that. Let’s go with it being necessary to delve into it, because only then really, I think, is progress made.
I think it has to do with many different factors. I have a new nephew and three weeks later I am still over the moon about that. My sister is sending me a daily picture message, usually with a funny little comment. He gained a half-pound last week and is just a healthy little guy. I start to tear up when I think about him and how much of an impact he has already had on me. I quit smoking in December, for a variety of reasons, but one of them being that I wanted to be around for a long time for my nephew. And I didn’t want him to grow up seeing me smoking, and maybe think it was okay or cool. I wanted to give my nephew a good example to follow, and I guess so far I am doing that, although I know he is too young to comprehend that at this point. I just want to be there for him, simple as that.
Another factor that has really kept me on the level is a more steady up-keep of my medication needs. For months and months, I failed to take my Ritalin three times per day, as prescribed. I would usually take the morning dose, but the other two were often forgotten. Here within the last month I have made a concerted effort to become religious about it. And I have, and it has made a big difference. Now, I can really tell if I am late with a dose or if I haven’t taken it. And DSB notices, too. He has caught me slipping up with it more than once, and I am grateful that he is on top of it, as well. It’s always nice to have that support.
And I think the third main thing is that somehow, I have learned not to take everything so seriously. I don’t know how I’ve learned it or if I will unlearn it in a matter of time. I’ve been spending more time breathing and listening and less time anxious and criticizing. Am I annoyed with the way certain things are going? Yes, but I am trying to approach these things with a compassionate eye rather than a critical one. Instead of asking, why must it always be that way, I’m trying to accept that it is that way, first. I’m not saying I’m giving up the fight on certain things, but I find that a lot of the stuff I get hyped up about is minor in the grand scheme of things. So very minor, that it is almost embarrassing to admit my prior behavior.
I’m learning things don’t have to be a certain way or it’s a failed situation. I’m learning that I can love others more if I try and love myself just a little bit. I’m learning that faking confidence is a surefire way to get the real thing. I’m learning to be less black and white, less rigid, less about perfectionism and to care more about things that are real instead of imaginations that reside solely in my own head.
And I blame all of that on DBT and the single therapy appointment I had with Goddess of Mindfulness almost a month ago. DBT is hands down the very best therapy I know of, and I know of several. The key to happiness, for me, is that I must first be willing, and then everything will follow from there. It’s too cold and snowy to get out and hug a tree, but I carry a visual in my head of the first time I found willingness, and I just keep running that video tape in my head when things get tough.
When I post a comment on someone else’s blog that it will get better, that’s because I know it firsthand. It will get better and it will get worse and it will get even and steady and, eventually, there might be days and even a string of days where you really won’t ponder too much on the status of your mental health, because it really, really, really does get better. Take it from someone who has walked that path, more than once.