July 6, 2018 by Courtney
I decided a few weeks ago that I am at the point in which I need to address some things with my counselor again. I knew it would be hard but it was a little harder than I expected.
She did EMDR with me and it has been over a year since I did it. I forgot about the after effects of it.
Tuesday I took 3 naps and had a hard time getting off the bed/couch. I had to have two friends take my shift in the coffee shop here at camp (which sucks because that is money that I could use). I felt kind of bad about it at first, but I know I needed to focus on self care and it worked out well because Wednesday I felt more myself. Still tired, but able to function. I went to work Wednesday morning only to come home because the WiFi wasn’t working (and we need that to check the kids out with their camp credit). So I came home and started cleaning. The house was a disaster. The dishes were overflowing all over the counter. I had ordered a bunch of groceries from Walmart.com and they were all over the counter and table. The boys had Legos all over the floor. I can only handle mess for so long.
Anyway… that was a long way of saying that I dealt with some hard stuff… things that I didn’t even know were inside of me. Feelings about things that I didn’t know I had. Thoughts that were hidden away. Thoughts that bring me guilt and I hate that I have.
We pretty much only focused on my brother’s death, and the story from beginning to end. But more specifically, the moment I got the phone call from my mom (who was hysterical). Who I was with, what I thought, felt, what I said, what we did, etc.
She uses these “tappers” (things that you hold in your hand that vibrate). They vibrate back and forth, different lengths of time, and different strengths. What it does is activate each side of your brain back and forth. Supposedly this helps to bring the two parts together and help things become more logical or emotional, depending on what you need.
For me, I have seen it all very logically for years but I know that it affects me deep down. I know that this is when my mental illness got much worse, my drinking started, and my struggle in life started. It doesn’t help that I was 7 months pregnant and had Levi 2 months later. So much to manage and deal with and I just didn’t have time to process my brother’s death. I have dealt with it off and on over the years but not really with a counselor.
This is true self care, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard and exhausting. Fighting for my mental health happens in many different ways. This is just one way.
Speaking of… I have noticed a decline in general in my mental health lately and I feel that a huge part of it is trying to do too many things… working retail, working my business, trying to keep up with the house, do fun things with the kids (which I have failed at), lots of activities here at camp, lots of late nights, movie nights, game nights, town days, and just trying to keep the kids from fighting. It’s exhausting. So, I decided to take out one piece of this and not work retail anymore. It was a hard decision because I really enjoy it and it’s good money, but I have to focus on my family and self care. Also, we will be at my parents’ this coming week for half the week, then we will leave on the 20th to go to Glorieta to see my in-laws, then on to Colorado for a camping trip with friends.
Every day is new and I feel like I have to find what works for me in the midst of it all. I can’t do what I used to be able to do, and I need to learn to be okay with that. I’m still waiting to hear about disability. I’m not sure how I feel about that (I have been torn about it all along), but it definitely would be helpful.
In the meantime I wake up each day and decide what I need to function at my best. Mental illness sucks, but it is what it is. I live with it the best that I can, and I work really hard to thrive despite it!