People often give me a funny look when I tell them that I go to therapy. They almost always say “what? Why would you go to therapy? You are a therapist; shouldn’t you not need it?” Going to therapy does not mean that there is something “wrong” with you. Certainly, many people seek out the support of a therapist when they are in the midst of a particular struggle or conflict, but I find that therapy for myself serves as the most beautiful self-care that I can do. Not only does it give me an opportunity externally process things that I don’t necessarily want to talk to my friends and family about just yet. It helps me organize my thoughts. But, ultimately, it holds me accountable to taking care of myself. Not only have a blocked out 50 minutes every couple of weeks that are ONLY about me, it keeps me on track to be making choices that serve my greater goals. For the short period of time that I am in session, I do not have to consider if what I am saying or the choices I am making are impacting other people. It is 100% about me and what is best for me and my journey. To take that time to focus on me is such a healing experience and I wish that for every person in the world.
Therapy has a lot of different focuses and It entirely depends on where you are at in your journey, but it helps me to drive forward with my goals because I know that, shortly, I will be sitting in front of my very kind therapist having to tell her whether or not I did the things that I said I would do. Today, we had such an interesting conversation that I felt compelled to write about it, thus this post. In the name of vulnerability, I will share with you that one of the things I STRUGGLE with is the concept of moderation. It shows up differently in my life, sometimes it is when I over indulge with alcohol (usually wine) or food (usually something with cheese), or over spend (especially on things that I don’t actually need). It also shows up for me when I work too much (all of the people who know me personally are nodding their head “yes” right now). It even shows up when I do things like decide to run a half marathon even though I have not run for more than 2 minutes straight since the 90’s. I am a “go big or go home” kind of gal in almost all of the ways I can be.
One of the things I appreciate about being a therapist is watching my clients have those “a-ha” moments about their life and today I was the one in that role. I originally started the arch of therapy because I was struggling with setting boundaries around what I was doing for others versus what I was doing for myself. I worked really hard at getting to a place where I stopped allowing myself to violate my own boundaries by stretching myself too thin. Today, while speaking to my therapist I came the realization that working on moderation in one area of my life allows for moderation in others. In reverse, when things are out of moderation in one area of my life, they usually are in others as well. The last 6 months of 2018 were definitely not moderate. I got married in April and, after that, I kind of just let every thing go. I gained weight because I was eating and drinking more. I spent all kinds of money because I was no longer “saving for the wedding” and, without realizing it, started working even more than I already did. I found myself feeling resentful of the time I spent at work, especially when I had to miss out on fun things that were happening with my friends and family, and used food, drink and spending to numb those feelings. It was a bit of a spiral to say the least. And the worst part about it was that I didn’t really even notice that the other things were happening! I went to my therapist to work on boundaries around my time, remember? Not because I was gaining weight or drinking too much or coming home to Amazon boxes without total awareness of what I had purchased. But when I started working on moderating my time, I started to notice all of the other things.
So, my theme moving forward is “tighten up.” Tighten everything up. I have posted previously about the fact that I am registered to run a half marathon early next year, so I am in the midst of training for that. I have started blocking off two hours on Sundays so that I can meal prep for the week. I made a list that lives on my fridge titled “things you would rather spend money on than this stupid shit from Amazon” where I have listed self-care such as pedicures, getting my hair done, buying new bras (why the heck are they so expensive??) and a new car that I would like to save for before the end of the year. And to wrap it up, I am booking myself with plans for times where I want to hold boundaries around not working. For example, I am holding myself accountable for not having 8am appointments (I work until 9pm most nights) and so I populated into my schedule “You are running” at 7:15am. Just 5 minutes ago, I booked myself for a massage Saturday afternoon to stop myself from taking “just one more appointment.” Finally, Sundays are OFF LIMITS to work. The idea here is to walk a middle path between too much of anything and not enough of other things. I am going to call it my “Goldilocks Zone” because the hope is that it is just right.
Will I falter in this goal? Absolutely. I am sure that there will be weeks when I look back and say “yeah, I saw waaaaaay too many clients this week.” I am sure that there will be weeks where I say, “I probably could have run a little further” or “maybe eating the whole pizza was unnecessary.” But I will continue on. Even Goldilocks had to try more than one porridge, more than one chair and more than one bed before she found the one that was just right, didn’t she?