Not so long ago I had lost the desire to show up—for anything or anyone, including myself. It felt more natural to just lie in bed and hide from everything—including myself. Sounds relatable? It wasn’t a very good time for me or a good feeling for that matter. Because deep inside, I knew that nobody was going to show up for me if I don’t show up for myself. Because I’m the best person that knows and understands me. Do you know and understand yourself? If you need help with that, please follow this link.
You might be wondering why I had malfunctioned in my ability to deal with the day-to-day stresses of life… well, it’s because, at that point, I had acquired ill mental health. Why do I say so?
Well, WHO defines mental health as a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can contribute to his or her community.
I dare you to evaluate yourself based on that definition of mental health, kkk, just kidding. But seriously, where are you mental health-wise looking at that definition?
Anyway, so I had taken a hard fall because I had failed to forgive myself for a certain “failure”. Something that I can say was an act of negligence on my part which birthed fatal consequences for a little one.
I was at one of my lowest moments. In a dark place somewhat. I know this place is familiar to all of us at some point. For some, it’s encountered more often than necessary.
So yeah, there I was in this dark place, vibrating with negative energy. I tried to seek help from someone I trusted. But let’s face it, most of us don’t really know how best to help someone who is in self-condemnation mode. It’s a hard task talking someone through a hard moment. And she really wanted to help, I could see her desire to reach me. I was just not ready to open up fully and let her in.
So how did I survive that phase? How did I eventually Show-up for myself?
It’s just a phase; all phases pass
I kept reminding myself exactly what it was, a phase. It was just a phase and every phase has its passing. While other phases last too long, you still cannot deny yourself the chance to wait and see it pass.
Moreover, every situation has a way through it. All we need to do sometimes is to change our perspective. Look at things from a whole different angle.
Don’t suppress emotions
As I waited for the phase to pass, I did not deny what I felt or swept things under the carpet. I allowed myself to feel every emotion and dealt with it.
It’s important for you not to skip any of the stages of grief for you to heal completely.
Reach out to those around you…regardless of how strong you feel you are
I told all those that are in daily contact with me briefly what I was going through. Well, I hoped some of them could help me through it. But I was ready to deal with it on my own if need be. So why did I tell them? Because I know they care even if they don’t show it the way I want to see it. And they deserve a chance to try to help…that doesn’t mean that I hold something against those that did not do or say something helpful. I know I’m hard to reach during such a time.
Take a short or long break from everything
I took a break from everything—literally. Including motherhood. My kids thought I had gone for work but I took some days off work and used them to rest…rejuvenate. I was locked in my room with my noisy aircon on to shut out the noise and came out in the evenings.
Great time to hobby, no?
I think yes! I tapped into my inner energy. How? I did what I love to do most—reading. I use reading as a way to escape the world around me(which is sometimes scary I must say) and I rejuvenate that way.
What do you love most to do? What appeals or resonates with your inner being? If you do not know yet, you need to make time for yourself and find it. We all have a place of safety that no one can ruin.
I prayed for strength. We do so much every day that literally drains our energy and strength. At times we feel we are too drained and have nothing left to give. Where do you tap your energy from? I tap my energy from God. And so I prayed for strength and some form of reset to my original settings.
But don’t make it a habit to only pray when you malfunction. Make prayer an everyday routine and in all situations.
In doing all these things above, I was showing up for myself! By taking a break from everything else, I was practising some mental health self-care. But of course, I didn’t have to wait for a malfunction to spend some quality time with myself.
Practice self-care as your daily routine
Now I try to show up for myself every single day. Not by necessarily hiding from the world and my kids, kkk. But by making quality time to spend with myself—doing what exactly? Reading, writing, exercising, actively listing to my favourite music, praying frequently, and eating properly.
Everyone has a way to refresh, rejuvenate, reboot, reset, regroup…or whatever you prefer calling it.
When you are facing a relapse or a harsh phase of life, do those things that might get you back on your feet. Remember to play safe. Alcohol or substance abuse will only make things worse, trust me on this.
You could follow through on how I got up and became whole enough to show up for myself. It’s only when you learn how to do this that you can show up for others.
Feel free to share in the comments box your secret to “showing up’ either for yourself or others.
Thanks for reading!