FYI: Your mental health does exist before you have a crisis
80% of people contacting me are in a crisis, or feel they are going to have, or they have been through one very recently. Read this again.
I get it, I used to go to the therapist only when I was on a breaking point.
Before a crisis we have this very funny self-narrative:
"I can manage his on my own."
"It's going to go away"
"I will just ask my psychologist friend"
"It will pass"
"It's been worse"
"I'm fine. I'm fine..."
"I am too tired"
"I need to keep going, do I have a choice?"
"It is what it is!" - MY FAVE <3
or even more fun: you decide to withdraw - in a room with no light (cus let's be visual) - and to be with all the self-blaming, "I'm not worth it" thoughts all by yourself, endless tiredness and eternal loneliness - and maybe after a few weeks you're feeling better and then you stuff your yummy feelings in a big black box under the carpet - and worst case scenario: you postpone your feelings until your next crisis you are having. Sounds familiar?
and then - At some point. Hopefully. Maybe. Best case scenario. - these thoughts start:
"Okay, it's time"
"I can't do this anymore. I need help" "Let's just see how this will work out"
and ONLY then you contact someone for support and help.
Do you also feel/see/hear the high-level of emotional turmoil and mental masturbation that comes with this?
Let me put this in visuals! (I get very excited about good metaphor)
Ready? (I semi-stole this one from my Non-violent Communication course.)
It's like a bucket of water. If Your bucket is FULL then:
it's difficult to lift, it's heavy (you get angry or tense quickly)
there is no more space for other water (may that be work related, a conversation that you are not listening, a decision you need to make - there is no more mental space for you to receive information and to partake in a quality way in everyday things)
it's messy, right? I mean, who wants to carry a full bucket of water?
If your bucket is emptied or has space - you are grounded, you can hear people, you have energy to do work and cleaning and to take care of yourself. In other words, you have SPACE to receive!
[In my opinion, it's one of the pain's in humanity (especially in certain cultures - thinking about the dear Balkans here). We didn't learn how to receive. We give give give - and then who takes? Or we don't receive what other people are giving, because the bucket is so full we don't see it.]
A bucket that has been full for a while is the crisis point, it's the point people finally as for help.
The conclusion is, this bucket is useful if I can lift it, if it has space.
So how do you empty your buckets?
How do you keep it in a way for you to receive?
What is the quality you want to exist with in this life?
What do you do for yourself on a DAILY basis?
Don't get me wrong! A crisis is awesome - you can see all the juicy patterns and games you play. It's like a mirror - it really says a lot in a very short period of time. A crisis is pretty efficient. Love it.
A good fight, an argument, a break-down. Yum.
But I know not everybody loves it. And of course it's fun until I am not in it.
So I wanted to REMIND you, that it's okay to not wait until a breaking point to take care of yourself.
For some it's running a marathon, writing in a diary, creating a poem, drawing your feelings, learning to play the music, meditation/mindfulness, talking to supportive people, reading a supportive Instagram post, reflecting at the end of the day, asking your body once in a while - how is she/he or simply trying out something very new. For me, having a project helps tremendously.