Be Your Fabulous Self – Day 104-106 of #365daysofselfcare 

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is being true to who you are despite the judgments of others

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The most radical act of self-care is to give yourself permission to be yourself.

The last few days I’ve been reflecting on just how wonderfully free it feels to be me, even though a large part of society is not particularly happy with who l am.

It’s a strange paradox. Before l came out as trans, l couldn’t handle the judgments of others, l was an anxious people pleaser, and this was one of the hurdles to coming out. I was so scared of being rejected by everyone.

As I have progressed through my transition and become more comfortable in my skin, I have begun to care less and less about what other people think of me.

Surprisingly, this isn’t because my transition has made me blend more into society. It could have done, and I was most certainly expecting it to be one of the benefits. However, what has happened as I have become more comfortable, is that I have developed into a chap with a very flamboyant personality who enjoys wearing pink, wearing earrings, and generally being and doing many things that society says men shouldn’t be or do. I’ve also now come out as gay, which adds an extra layer of difference into the diversity sandwich.

This freedom to be me now permeates every aspect of my life, and it continues to be one of the most powerful daily self-care tools in my wellness toolkit.

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Nothing Is Permenent- Day 99 of #365daysofselfcare 

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is remembering that no obstacle is permanent

PicsArt_08-06-09.01.30.pngThis week is a big one for me (no pun intended!) as I have a second attempt of my final stage of lower surgery.

The most significant act of self-care I can give myself right now is to forget everything that went wrong before and start with a new perspective.  Also,  that whatever happens, obstacles pass, things change, and all will be well eventually!

Love Is A Doing Word – Day 97 and 98 of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is choosing to give our hearts to people who show their love for us in action and not just in words.

IMG_20180805_131339_882.jpgLove is such a powerful emotion, it’s hard to stay mindful with such strong feelings but the stronger the emotion, the more aware you must be.
I have a history of poor relationship choices. I was in such a poor emotional and mental state that I  often left myself open to being hurt and mistreated. In recovery, I have learned to be more discerning about who I open my heart and give my love too.
Love can be such an easy word to say, but without action it is meaningless. As the saying goes, ‘Love is a doing word.’ In assessing my connections with people now, I listen less to what they say and focus more on what they do. It is in peoples actions that you find their true feelings and intentions.

Coping With New People – Day 95 and 96 of #365daysofselfcare 

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is reminding yourself that everyone in your social circle, was once a new person to you

Picture_20180803_150317523Social anxiety makes it difficult to socialize at the best of times and even more so with people you don’t know. My social anxiety, in general, is much improved. However, l do still get anxious about meeting new people.
This is especially the case when those new people are connected to someone l care deeply about. This week, I have had the new relationship friends and family tour and, have felt the extra pressure, from myself, for them to like me.
I had to step up my positive affirmations and remind myself of a few important things when it comes to meeting new folk. That you can only be yourself, that you cannot force anyone to like you, that other people are often just as anxious about wanting to be liked as you are, and, most importantly, that new people are only new once.

Taking Action – Day 93 to 94 of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge.

Self-care means knowing when to stop reflecting and start acting

IMG_20180801_191229_442Self-care is sometimes doing something self-soothing and protecting, and other times it’s pushing yourself to do something which, while scary, will benefit you in the end.
I have so many good news things happening in my life. With good things comes the risk of loss and the fear that brings up. My most significant and most scary new thing is my relationship. We have had some teething issues, which, while normal, are very new and frightening for me. I’m scared to get hurt, I’m afraid to risk giving my heart again.
My partner went back home for his birthday, and I decided it was best for us to have some time apart so we could have some space and  I could have some thinking time.
Soon after he left, I realized that while reflecting on the things that scare me is helpful, the only way to overcome that fear is by taking action and facing whatever it is.
On that note, l took a deep breath and jumped on a train to surprise him in his hometown. His face on seeing me told me all I needed to know.

Managing Conflict – Day 92 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is reminding ourselves that disagreements between people are healthy and normal

self care instaMy most recent self-care posts have mainly been within the theme of having the courage to voice our needs, despite the fear of upsetting others. I think this is coming up for me a lot at the moment, due to my being in a new relationship.

I have become much better practiced at asserting my needs over recent years. However, relationships are highly emotionally charged, especially for those of us in recovery. In these situations, especially new relationship beginnings, it’s not uncommon for old ‘defects of character’ to attempt to rear their ugly head.

Although I do not fall apart in the way I once did when these things come up, they are still very painful. Because my feelings are so strong for this new man in my life, there is, of course, the fear of losing him. This is why, when I practice what I’ve learned over my years in recovery and voice my needs and feelings honestly, I find my old thought patterns lurking in the sidelines. Fear tells me that the disagreement will mean the end of us, that now I’ve said how I feel things are ruined etc.

It is taking a lot of effort to not join in the dialogue with this inner voice, but whenever I refuse to engage it, it gets quieter. Sitting with the painful feelings is a healing process in itself, especially when I see the proof after having a disagreement, that not only are myself and my partner still OK but also that we are stronger for a mini disagreement.

 

Unconditional Love Holds No Expectations – Day 91 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is reminding yourself that love is not dependant on meeting others expectations

love has no expectations.jpgDuring my recovery from addiction and mental illness, I have learned that a large part of my anxiety is caused by guilt. I have historically struggled with a high need to please others, and when I perceive I have let others down, I can quickly spiral into guilt and high anxiety.

Overcoming this has mostly been in realizing my own worth and in knowing that those who genuinely love me, do so not on the condition of me meeting their expectations.

This does still surface for me on occasion, as it has this week. I have two people I love who each have the same birthday, my Mum and my boyfriend. Mum has dementia, and so I had come to terms with knowing that actually missing her birthday would be OK. I would see her afterward and instead travel with my boyfriend to his hometown to spend his birthday with his family and friends.

However, I have had a bit of an emotional crash this week, my new boyfriend and I are going through early relationship teething issues, I have surgery next week, and I just did not feel that going away was the right time, I thought I needed a few days to be with myself and rest.

It was a tough decision to miss his birthday, it shows a tremendous amount of self-growth on my part to risk the disapproval of someone I love. Even more important has been my boyfriend’s reaction to this. He went out of his way to drive over to hug me and tell me it was OK before he headed off and we’ve had numerous video chats over the last 24 hours which have been full of love and understanding.

This has been a beautiful confirmation of how, when we love and respect ourselves and know ourselves of worthy of love, we attract people that treat us as such. Someone that genuinely loves you unconditionally will never hold that love hostage to meeting their expectations.