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Coming Back

It has been a long time, almost a year, since I posted anything. So much has changed since then. So much.

I closed my practice in Cambridge, MA. My husband and I packed up our apartment, two kids, and two cats. We moved 1,500 miles. I reopened my practice in Pensacola, FL and that’s only half of it.

I still don’t know how to restart my blog but my mantra for everything these days is “just start.”

So, here I am, just starting. I am just sitting down and writing. No thought beyond that.

Hmm, what to say?

Well, things are different now. I feel different. I am in a different place physically and emotionally….and I am sooooooo very happy. We took this risk, my family and I and things are moving in a good direction.

2015 is going to be a good year. I’m ready. Let’s do this.

There is no choice but to be ok.

My last post was about feeling crazy. Can you tell that things are getting to me? I always wonder whether I should put myself out there like that but then I think “What the hell? Nothing wrong with being honest.”
 
However, I don’t want to send the message that there is no answer. There is. For as terrible as mental illness, be it temporary, cyclic, seasonal, or permanent, there is always help and always hope. 
 
The tools available are endless but let me share the most powerful one I have. My greatest tool is the thought “There is no other choice but to be ok.”
 
There has never been an obstacle that has stayed an obstacle. There has never been a situation that is unendingly painful. Everything either ends or changes and there is hope and peace in that fact.
 
The desire to use an ED behavior passes. The baby stops screaming. The sun does come out. It might take months for these things to happen, but it does.
 
Change, unaided by my intervention, is something I trust, unequivocally. It is my greatest strength…and I have no influence on it! It’s great. There is nothing I can do to screw it up. It will happen with or without me. It’s a huge relief.
 
I should thank my bestie, Cat Jones Loveless, for that lesson. Thank you, sis! I would be very anxious and lost with out you and your truisms!
 
What is your greatest tool? What is your best thought?

 

To feel crazy…

Have you ever felt crazy? Like you couldn’t trust your own senses or assessment of reality?
 
There are many different ways to make it to that awful place. Motherhood. Anxiety. Eating disorders. Depression. The list goes on and on.
 
The results always seems to be the same. There are thoughts that don’t seem to belong to you, images flashing in your mind or emotions that do not match the situation. Sometimes you feel justified or even rational as these things are happening.
 
But then, it happens. The storm passes and you feel crazy. Nuts. Certifiable. Like it’s not hell enough to go through those moments. We have to through guilt, shame, inadequacy, self hatred, and fear on top of it.
 
Awesome, right?
 
Do you know what I am talking about? Do you ever feel this way?

Coping Skills: Reality and Expectations

How many times has a client walked into a therapists office, only to be disappointed by the conversation of coping skills. We have it all the time and sooooooooo many of my clients tell me they don’t work or that they can use them for a while but slip back into behaviors.

Why? Why does this happen? It’s a big cycle of failure and frustration.

First, let’s talk about expectations. We often want the coping skills we are using to have the same effect as the behavior we are trying to stop, like binging, purging, using, etc. Well, let me be the one to burst your bubble. Coping skills will not give you the same feeling that doing heroin and B&P does. They just won’t. If you are expecting to disappear for a while, like you do with a behavior, then you are doomed to disappointment.

Coping skills do, however, give you the ability do deal with and effectively address the trigger that made you want to use a behavior in the first place. In that way, coping skills actually address the problem at hand. They do not give you the vacation that you are looking for but they will help you solve the problem.

You have to have the correct expectations of coping skills.

 

And, second, you have to practice coping skills. As the name implies, they are skills. You have to learn them and get good at them. No one, anywhere, has ever just been a professional. It doesn’t just happen. You have to learn them and then practice them. It will take time, patience, motivation and all of those other things that allow you to learn.

 

Coping skills are not the magic trick we all hope for but they will allow you to live life on life’s terms. You will learn to let go of things you cannot control and manage the things you can. In doing so, you can find out your real strengths and purpose. It’s hard, but worth it.

Basics of Prioritizing

How often do you wish for more hours in a day? There is always so much to do. Another room to be cleaned, another deadline to be met. It never stops. 
 
Unfortunately, more time in the day would only make the problem worse. You would just take on more responsibility, expect more if yourself and others.
 
The only way to effectively have more time is to have less stuff to do. 
 
Answer this question: “If there were only 18 hours, how would my day be different?” What about 12 hours?
 
Those things you would be forced to put first are your priorities. Those are the things that matter to you.
 
Now, the real question is are those the things you want to be important?

 

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