January 25, 2012 · 10:23 pm
self-care goal: go to counseling
I started going to counseling back in September or October, just as my 4+ year relationship was beginning to end. Counseling has helped me work through some really tough, vulnerable, heart-breaking things these past few months, and I’m so thankful that I am able to go regularly and that I have a counselor I feel really comfortable with. It was a huge step just to seek such outside support, and I’m glad I loved myself enough during such a difficult time to do it. And while I don’t think therapy is for everyone, and I totally have my own hang-ups around it, for me, it has been life/heart-saving.
So today I had counseling. I recently started going every other week, so it had been a bit since I saw my counselor last. And the session today was intense. I felt raw again in ways I haven’t felt in a while. Things came up that I thought had already been dealt with and new hurts were revealed. She referred to it as “the second wave,” and it definitely felt like a wave crashing into me, trying to knock me down.
In some ways it was totally devastating and in others really transformative. I think that’s the power of counseling for me.
And I’m still standing.
January 25, 2012 · 2:13 pm
self-care goal: quiet the noise in your head
self-care goal: get good sleep
So, I’m a little late with this post as I actually held myself to my goal from Monday and went to bed before 11. Barely, but I did it. Tonight I’m going to try for before 10:45. Baby steps.
Before sleep last night, I spent a few minutes spiraling in my journal. See, I sometimes get to ruminating, running the same things over and over in my head, and then I can’t turn it off enough to go to sleep. And when I finally do get to sleep, the same things will pop up in my dreams. Or I’ll have really restless sleep. I’ve been really good lately about working through this stuff (movement is a huge help), but yesterday it crept in anyway. I do this exercise I read about in Picture This by Lynda Barry, where you draw spirals to help you work through something. Spirals in and spirals out. It’s one of my favorite quick techniques for processing through something.
So, last night before bed I filled a page of my journal with spirals. I used a fine point marker and it made really satisfying lines:
After spiraling, I read a few poems from The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde because I wasn’t quite ready for bed. With school starting, I don’t have the time I’d like any more for leisure reading, but I’m trying to start a new ritual of reading a poem or two at night so that I still get to do some reading for pleasure. Then it was lights out at 10:53 and a solid night’s sleep.
What do you do to clear your head?
What are your bedtime rituals?