I struggle with a great deal of fear. My biggest fear being that I will lose my mind to my diseases. I already have on several occasions, but I have always bounced back. I fear that one day, I will not bounce back.
It doesn’t make sense. Not really. I am writing poetry and journaling and yesterday came up with a new story idea, but when I tried to write yesterday, I froze. I wrote a sentence and then deleted it because it wasn’t good enough. I fear that I am not good enough.
It has taken me a while to make people understand that I don’t just write to write, but to fulfill my dreams and to get published. It has been a struggle for people to understand that writing is a huge part of my identity.
Struggling with writing or reading is devastating for me. For most of my life, words have been my best friends and now they flutter by and I am stuck, trying to find purchase and purpose in the dark empty spaces of my mind. This terrifies me.
So, how do I get beyond this? Practice self-care and self-soothing. <insert heavy sigh here> I always feel like a pansy when I self-soothe or practice diligent self-care. I think that I am not trying hard enough and that I just need to buck-up. That thought process never makes me feel better and I just end up crying, which then requires even more effort to stop.
So, here begins my journey at being gentle with myself to promote healing and a capability to cope with all things that come my way, or at least a way to not be so overwhelmed all of the time.
Recently, I was asked to put together a self-soothe kit. As you can guess, I was reticent and frustrated and thought it was stupid. Then, I realized that there are some things that I use to encourage myself and keep going when I feel like giving up. So, here are a few things that I have put in my self-soothe kit.
One thing that I have taken to doing is trying to wear lipstick every day. A dark wine-colored lipstick that really stands out on my pale face. I don’t know how, but it helps me feel capable. So, in the kit goes my spare lipstick, as dark and red as possible.
Another thing I love is lotion. I have a love of the smell of lavender and honey. Bath and Body Works make a marshmallow souffle tub of lavender sugar lotion and I use just a dab when I need to make my hands feel soft and smell sweet.
Chocolate covered espresso beans. First of all, coffee is a must–it is my comfort food–and chocolate is necessary. Combining the two and you have an energizing blend of comfort and needed sugar.
Music… I think music is healing and I have a playlist for a variety of needs. I have a fighter playlist and an uppers playlist and a bad day playlist. I use certain ones to bring me up and to promote the idea that I have value and my own sense of power. I use the bad day playlist sparingly, as it is depressing, validates my negative emotions, and can also trigger a downward spiral of mood. So, a little bit of that and then a switch to something more upbeat.
I also have a small book of quotes and just started putting photos in it. I added that to my kit to encourage me and remind me that I have the ability to keep going and do different things. The quotes vary from encouragement to stay strong, keep going, stay creative, and keep writing. The photos were all taken by me and printed at home. I am trying to think of more things to put in my book. I will get there as the mood hits me.
I think that is all that I have in my kit for now. I am trying to come up with various ways to keep myself soothed and remember that getting through a moment is more important than giving in to the moment.
I have to keep going. People depend on me. Besides, I will never write a book if I succumb to misery and despair. Let me be grateful for today and fight on for tomorrow.