Off to a Good Start

Hello, my lovely fellow internet “kids” (let’s face it, we’re all internet kids at heart LOL)! We’re into the second week of 2016 and I’m hoping you’re all having a fabulous new year! I’ve taken a bit of a two-ish month hiatus for no specific reason, but I’m back and ready to keep this darn thing updated! Stay along for the ride if you’d like!

Let’s have a bit of a catch up, shall we? I spent my New Year’s Eve at one of my best friend’s houses where I met several of his lovely friends; Dalton was my wingman for the night and although I didn’t get a midnight kiss, I did plant a perfect Nars Cruella stained kiss on Dalton’s cheek. πŸ™‚ One of the best parts of the night was the clock hitting midnight and going around the room giving and receiving hugs from people I had just met that night all saying Happy New Year to each other. This is the first year in quite a while that I’ve spent with more than two or three people and the energy is just so different. There’s an excitement in the room for the possibilities of the new year and the energy passed along from person to person. There were two people in particular that night who took quite a liking to me and they were throwing compliments my way for the majority of the night. They liked me for me and I was reminded that I’m quite a likable person with good conversational skills which is something I often forget. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but it is nice and necessary to give ourselves a pat on the back once in a while for just being ourselves.

And with that, I’ll lead into something I’ve been learning in therapy. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been part of an intensive outpatient program to help me learn coping skills and proper tools to deal with my anxiety, depression, and addiction. The most important thing I’ve taken away from the program so far is that I need to start caring for myself. Now this may sound simple, but it’s something that I’ve never been good at. I’ve spent years either taking care of others or just completely neglecting myself which, along with other things, has left me being an extremely self-critical and anxious person. Some ways I’m trying to change my behavior involve something called the self-soothing technique; this is a technique where you take some time out of your day, even a few minutes, to do something for yourself. This can be anything that feeds your spirit and soul; for example, for me, I listen to my favorite album (American Candy by The Maine) some time throughout the day or I’ll take 10 minutes before bed to sit with my breath and clear my mind.

Another tool that one of my therapists said would be key for me is replacing my self-critical talk with gentle words and tone. He used the example of thinking to yourself, what and how would you talk to your little niece or nephew. The answer can be different from person to person, but I would talk to my niece or nephew in a gentle, encouraging, and loving voice. I tried this technique yesterday afternoon when I got home from treatment and I could feel anxiety and self-blame boiling up in me for something that I logically knew wasn’t a big deal. So I recognized that my thoughts were being overly critical of the situation and I stopped myself and instead began talking myself down by saying “It’s ok, no one is mad at you, it was a miscommunication and you know for next time to let everyone know what is going on. No one blames, you’re ok, it’s over and done with.” As soon as I told myself this, I felt the anxiety start to die down; it was incredible! I had never been able to talk myself down like that before!

What I explained above is called the Three C’s technique; Catch it. Check it. Change it. This means to identify the thoughts, stop them, and replace them with something different whether that is doing a healthy behavior instead of spiraling into panic or, in my case, giving myself gentle self-talk. I know I just threw a lot of therapy mumbo jumbo at you just now, but these are just things that I’m learning are truly helping me to change my self-concept and therefore everything else in my life. If anything here was unclear or if you have any questions, please do leave a comment below or contact me at any of my social media. πŸ™‚

I feel very positive and determined about this new year. A lot of things are going to change in my life, for better or worse, but I’m learning how to cope and I feel proud of that. Thanks for reading my rambly update and I hope you continue to read along with the rest of the psychobabble I’ll be posting for the rest of this year. Great things are coming to this blog, get excited! πŸ˜‰

All the best. xx

Thought I’d throw in some photos for LOLs. This is me! πŸ™‚
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