Celebrating Victories #8

Wow! It’s been about an eon since my last Victories post, and yet, so many victories have happened since then! Some I won’t detail here, since they’ve been the topic of their own posts (like choosing to go inpatient and doing the Cog-IOP), but there are others that I’d like to go over, some big and some small. Without further ado, the victories!

Big:

  • Dental work. I’d been avoiding the dentist for a bit, partially because our dental insurance at work kept changing every year, and it was a struggle to figure out who was covered each time, partially because the whole calling to make an appointment thing is something I habitually avoid, and partially because I didn’t want to know how bad it was, I think. So, while I was in Cog, I was able to make an appointment to get checked out, mostly because I had a tooth that was bothering me. Turned out, it needed a root canal, and was even infected. The dentist I went back to is very gentle, though, and has been walking me through the process of getting my dental health back on track, even with an insurance transition smack dab in the middle of some work that was being done (because of the transition at work that I mentioned in my last post). Having a plan, and being able to make appointments before I leave the office each time has been very reassuring.
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Image by Natalia Ovcharenko from Pixabay
  • Speaking up for my needs. Shortly after I wrote my last post, I went to my boss and told her that, while I know that morale-wise, it was important for as many people to work in-office as possible leading up to our move at the end of August, I also needed to take some days to work remote, for my own mental and emotional health. I was on the verge of a panic attack almost nightly, and told her as such. She was very understanding and was able to work with me on doing what I needed to do to get through the end of the month. We’re in our new office space, now, and the change of location has done wonders for morale (both my own and the overall team’s).
  • Returning to a community fundraising walk that I’ve done in the past. A few years back, I would regularly participate in the local AFSP Out of the Darkness Community walks, but, as life got busy, it fell off my radar. After everything that has been going on this year, it was fresh in my mind again, so I decided to sign up. Not just that, but I even set up a team! The team is inspired by my blog (it’s called Through the Storms), and if any of my readers are local to the San Diego area, I would love it if you’d sign up to join us!
whyWeWalk
AFSP has the Bold Goal of reducing the suicide rate 20% by 2025.

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Not as Big (but still important):

  • Speaking up. I’ve been working on sharing my needs with the hubs, and asking for what I want/need, like some space to process things, time to be romantic as a couple, specific details that trigger me more than others, etc. Even if it’s something along the lines of feeling completely drained and needing someone else to make the decisions for a night.
  • Building a habit of self-care. In my Bullet Journal, while i was in program, I was setting up my weekly spreads to have a space for what GRAPES (the self-care acronym they used for the 6 categories of self-care they wanted us to make time for on a daily basis; Gentle to self, Relaxation, Accomplishments, Pleasure, Exercise, Social) I was planning for the day, as well as a separate area for what I actually did. I set it up that way to reassure myself that, even if the day didn’t go as planned, I was still able to take care of myself. For this month, I’ve changed it up, because, I’d noticed that I would sometimes forget to write in the planned GRAPES, but, at the end of the day, I was still doing most of them every day. So, this month, I’m trying a simpler tracker, where I just check off if I did each one each day. I also know that there is a lot of stuff going on in my everyday life right now, and doing 4 or 5 out of the 6 some days still puts me in a much better position than I was a year ago.
GRAPES and self care
Different forms of self-care.
Photo by Franz Schekolin on Unsplash.com
Layout from Canva.com
  • Acknowledging and seeing the value of some smaller observations in my everyday life. Some recent examples include:
    • Speaking kindly to myself doesn’t mean I can’t be frustrated at a situation. For instance, recently, I significantly overslept (as in, by an hour). I was frustrated that I overslept, but instead of beating myself up about it and being mad at myself, I was able to feel frustrated, but see that my body obviously needed the extra sleep, which helped me accept it and move on with purpose.
    • Compliments from people I don’t know very well tend to have more weight in my mind than those from people in my closer circles of trust. Not only was I able to realize this, but I am able to understand why this is the case, and what distortions it’s tied to. Since it’s tied to core belief work, it’s not going to change super easily, but understanding where it comes from is a great first step.
    • It’s easier to do self-care when I’ve been doing self-care.  In other words, the more I prioritize some of the more difficult to start self-care habits (like getting enough sleep), the easier it is to feed my body the fuel it needs, etc.
  • Being more aware of my emotions, stress levels, and “activation” levels (ie: how active my anxiety/extreme emotions are, physically, in my body), and responding accordingly. From “little” things, like noticing if my teeth are clenched or if my shoulders are extra tight to realizing I need to step away for a quick walk in the middle of a stressful hour at work, I’m getting better at listening to my body and my emotions. I know I still have a long way to go, but progress is progress.

Well, I think these are the standouts, anyway. I have missed being more active on my blog, so I am working to figure out a better writing schedule, in order to get back to a more regular posting schedule.

What victories, big or small, would you like to celebrate today?

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