It is not exactly official, but any therapist I have ever had, as well as my mother and numerous boyfriends have said that I am the queen of being hard on myself. Now, I like the idea of being a queen (Let them eat cake! Ha!), but I don’t think this is the sort of thing that I need to continue to be proud of.
There are tricks to not being so hard of yourself, and I learn and then unlearn and then relearn them about every three days. Or more often, if the circumstances merit. Just like the rest of life, your response to life will really vary based on hundreds of different factors.
I have been trying especially hard in the last ten days to be gentle with myself, because I have had some physical maladies (getting both toenails pulled surgically from my big toes) and rehab time with those maladies, and some psych med issues, not to mention being far off my routine (mostly because two toes have been keeping me at home, fairly immobile) — well, it was really too much for me to think that I wasn’t going to have a stumble or two.
Now, the beauty of getting older (and I mean, one of the MAIN beauties) is that, every once in awhile, you learn your lesson. Sometimes you have to repeat it two or three or five hundred times, but it gets learned and it sticks in your head and, every great once in awhile, the stars align just so and BAM! you work yourself through your issues without going into great drama and hysterics.
I say maybe, because although the last ten days was fairly manageable, I had some seriously hysterically tearful moments. Happily, I can say they were short-lived and didn’t put a damper on my entire life. I have found that there are things (things, yes, these things) that can be done to make life a bit easier.
For me, I have rediscovered that I need quiet/alone/introvert time at least a few hours every day, and if I don’t get it, I become very, very cranky. This has maybe been a hard lesson for LarBear to learn, but as an example, about thirty minutes ago, I yelled, or maybe just said loudly, “Ok, I’m going to the office,” and he (for once) didn’t take it personally. He is starting to “get” me, after all this time, thank goodness. So here I am, with my headphones on. I shut off my peripheral vision (just in my imagination), and have been sitting at my glorious desk, crafting this superb document for the interwebs (ha!) and doing my very best to stay in the moment.
It really does work, at least for me. A few of the other things that help me are music (loud in headphones, preferably), taking a drive, a shower, lighting a new candle, putting on makeup, sitting on my front porch, writing things down in my planner, and last, but most certainly not least, I do a lot of journaling in my altered art journals. I also make these little books out of scrap paper. I am going to end with a few pictures of altered art journals and the mini books so you can get an idea. They are pretty awesome, another amazing thing I have learned from art therapy.