If you know me in my personal life, you might know that I’ve recently been doing a weekly check in on my mental health and life each Monday.
I’ve decided I’m going to start sharing them here for a few reasons: first, quite a few people have said that they find the check ins helpful as a way of modeling vulnerability, mental health skills, and connection. Second, it’s easy for me to forget to update my blog when I’m not here very often, and popping over to post the check in is a reminder that I can use it for other things. Third, I feel like it.
So here’s this week’s.
This week has felt like approximately one thousand years but also like nothing much has happened, so normal COVID time I guess.
Last week I started volunteering with TCMAP (which is a very cool resource and you all should take a look at it). It feels really really really good to be jumping into a new project that is interesting and has a lot of room for growth and feels meaningful and is with lots of smart, interesting, kind humans.
It’s also really exciting to see an organization that isn’t AuSM and how that works, and realize how much I actually know and have to offer. Sometimes I get very in my head and assume that AuSM is just a small pond which is why I feel competent at things, but if I were to leave AuSM it would turn out that I actually don’t know much at all and have very little to contribute.
Plus it feels good to get EXCITED about a project. I love AuSM, but very few things feel really new and shiny right now (this is my own fault for getting involved in almost every department in the organization). Something totally new and different that is ripe for someone to come in and create processes and organization is like someone waving my drug of choice in front of my face.
I’ve also been feeling just really GOOD about my aerial and flexibility lately. I’ve hit a couple of new milestones (hell yeah forearm stand progress! Hell yeah backbend progress! Hell yeah suddenly being able to comfortably hit splits in the air in poses that seemed unreachable a few months ago).
Especially after being out of the air for almost 3 months, it’s incredibly affirming to see progress again. It’s ESPECIALLY affirming to see both my strength and flexibility increasing because many times those two can work against each other.
For quite a while I’ve been feeling quite lonely and disconnected. I’ve been having a hard time actually having emotions or caring about things (and people). This last week has felt like a major victory against anhedonia and dissociation.
Even in personal relationships there’s been some nice developments. Jacob and I finally got some things off our chests about wanting to connect and the ways in which each of our needs weren’t getting met, something I think both of us have just been too blah to talk about for a while. We even finally managed to come up with solutions to ongoing problems and I’m SO SO SO psyched about it.
Weirdly I kind of credit it to listening to way too much Esther Perel and reading Come As You Are (both quality pieces of media if you’re not already on that train). It isn’t like either of these pieces of media was telling me a bunch of stuff I didn’t already know, but being reminded actively that you deserve to express your feelings and that the best way to get what you need is to tell your partner clearly is SO healthy.
This is yet another example of “media has such a big fucking impact in ways you don’t even consider”, and sometimes I think that gets said in a kind of woo woo fashion, but I want to pull out something very concrete and literal about it: you think more about the things you hear and see regularly. Choosing your media is to some extent choosing the fodder for your brain. There are an infinite number of things we all could be thinking about at any given moment, which means that it’s incredibly easy to lose important stuff in there. What you surround yourself with is you choosing what you think is important and what you want to remember over time.
I’ve been spending a lot of my energy on fun, fluffy things for a while. That’s not bad. Actual play podcasts rock. But incorporating a few things that prompt deeper thoughts is a balance I want and a balance that’s incredibly healthy.
So I guess this Monday morning feels bizarrely positive, and I’m just going to go with that.