Today, I talk about mental health, my struggles with it, and what we can all do to give ourselves some grace during these tumultuous times.
Hey everyone, thanks for joining me today. Apologies that I am not publishing this episode according to my normal schedule, but admittedly, I have been STRUGGLING with my mental health for the past week or so, and I haven’t been able to accomplish much of anything. I posted on my social media that I was sorry I was behind, and several of you messaged me saying to please not apologize and to take care of myself.
So first, I wanted to say thank you to those of you who reached out and said that. It was a good reminder that it is okay to feel whatever way I do right now, and to give myself permission to take a step back and feel those feelings.
So I figured what better way than to use this episode to talk about mental health.
I’ve had terrible anxiety, for most of my life. Sometimes it’s debilitating. Other times, I’m insanely high-functioning and can channel that negative energy into something positive or, at the very least, productive. I’ve been in therapy for well over five years, and something I’ve learned about myself is that I can rarely, if ever, turn off. I always need something…or honestly, like ten things…to do at a time. I need to keep my mind occupied and go, go, go.
And now that I can’t go out and do the things that would normally help me get through my anxiety attacks, I’m left along with my thoughts and my feelings, trying to not spiral. Trying to navigate it all.
I’ve mentioned before that my career is working in social media, and during a worldly health crisis, I can confidently say that I want nothing more right now than to be able to disconnect and delete every social media app from my phone, and disable my accounts.
It’s further heightened by being stuck inside my house, watching way too much TV, and not being able to get a mental break outside of the four walls that I’m confined to. I can’t travel, or give the people that I love a hug.
All I want to do is curl up into a ball and take a long ass nap and wake up when all of this is over.
One of the things I’ve been trying to do more of while quarantined is read. I recently finished Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Highly, HIGHLY recommend anyone listening to get a copy – especially the women out there – they have the e-book on Amazon.
Anyway, in one of the chapters, it talked about feelings, and it really puts into perspective exactly what I’m feeling right now. Glennon says:
“It’s okay to feel all of the stuff you’re feeling. You’re just becoming human again. You’re not doing life wrong; you’re doing it right. If there’s any secret you’re missing, it’s that doing it right is just really hard. Feeling all your feelings is hard, but that’s what they’re for. Feelings are for feeling. All of them. Even the hard ones. The secret is that you’re doing it right, and that doing it right hurts sometimes. I did not know…that all feelings were for feeling. I did not know that I was supposed to feel everything. I thought I was supposed to feel happy. I thought that happy was for feeling and that pain was for fixing and numbing and deflecting and hiding and ignoring.”
She goes onto say:
“You are not supposed to be happy all the time. Life hurts and it’s hard. Not because you’re doing it wrong, but because it hurts for everybody. Don’t avoid the pain. You need it. It’s meant for you. Be still with it, let it come, let it go, let it leave you with the fuel you’ll burn to get your work done on this earth.”
None of us are happy 100 percent of the time. Anyone who tries to convince you that they are, is lying.
Life hurts and it’s hard, guys. It’s especially hurtful and difficult now.
Right now, I’m doing my best to invite my pain when it arrives. I’m doing my best to sit with it, and listen to what it’s trying to tell me about my fears and insecurities.
Right now, it’s trying to lie and tell me that I am not doing enough in this very moment, when I seemingly have all the time in the world to learn something new or work out every day or accomplish what I want to.
It’s trying to say, Danielle – you can’t feel this way. You should feel lucky and grateful to still be working and healthy.
It’s telling me, you’re not doing enough to help other people.
It’s telling me, you should be using every hour to accomplish something meaningful because you’ll never get this opportunity again, and if you don’t use it wisely, you will be a failure, because you don’t have what it takes.
Like — EW, guys. What a terrible, awful self narrative. It’s times like these that I feel like my own worst enemy, and like I will never get out of my own way.
I don’t have some profound lesson to leave you with today, other than I hope you can take 5 minutes a day to sit with your feelings, whatever they are. And then take another 5 for some type of self care. Whether that’s a warm meal, a warm bath, a face mask, curling up with a good book, taking a walk, riding your bike, looking through old photographs or watching old home videos, or screaming at the top of your lungs for as long as you can…please find a few minutes to do something that will give yourself a sense of peace. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings.
Not just during this pandemic, but every day.
And let one of those feelings be hope, because these crazy times will pass, and no matter how much or how we little we accomplish while the world is on pause, you are perfect exactly as you are today and every day.
Remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
My friends: Life is short, so do your best to make today a darn good one. I love you, I am here to listen if you ever need someone to talk to. Take care, and stay safe out there.