Embracing New Beginnings-Day 40-43 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is allowing yourself to trust in new beginnings

2018-06-11_09.17.49-01At the beginning of this year, I decided to start dating again. This was for two main reasons. The first was because l really needed to get my own life back after being so focused on looking after mum for the last 7 months. The second reason was that l still hadn’t had a significant intimate connection with a man and l really wanted one. My thoughts about my being attracted to men were still a theory. I felt pretty sure that these feelings were real, but they were still largely untested. You can think about strawberry ice cream all day long and imagine what it would taste like, however, until you actually taste it, you really can’t know for sure, can you?

I wasn’t looking for a relationship. Neither was l purposely not looking for a relationship, but l certainly wasn’t expecting to find one. To be honest,  I wasn’t sure l was ready, what with everything in my life presently being incredibly physically and mentally challenging. I also didn’t think l was ready to share my life in any significant way with anyone, and l wasn’t sure l wanted too either. I’ve been burnt too many times now and it is not easy putting your hand back in the fire. More than anything, I just wanted to date, to meet people and explore my sexuality.

My first venture back into the world of dating was with Chris. I was attracted to him instantly and after the first date, he made it clear the feeling was mutual. Even more than that, it quickly became apparent that we both felt very strongly for each other. This has continued to grow in strength in the 5 weeks since then, and we’ve even been discussing a future together. This is something that has surprised us both.

I feel wonderful. He makes me smile. He makes my heart feel like its going to burst out of my chest. Alongside that though, are a bundle of nerves, as is the case with new relationships. l am afraid of being vulnerable, of opening my heart and laying myself open to the possibility of being hurt. Additionally, as l have mentioned previously in my blog entries and my videos, my mental health and recovery cause extra concern, as being hurt can really set me back.  However, as l have also discussed, l refuse to let my mental health stop me from enjoying life, l just need to proceed with balance.

This week, l experienced an abrupt and distinct internal shift in these early nerves. Chris and l were sat having a coffee on the seafront, and l suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of acceptance of the intensity of my feeling for him. I moved into a wonderful feeling of trust, in both the way l feel about him and in my belief that this really is turning into a relationship with a future.

This is what has made me decide to break my silence around his identity and publicly share who he is. Despite it still being early days at 5 weeks into seeing each other, I know I want a future with him ,and I am fully trusting this very promising and magic beginning.

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Loving Your Body – Day 39 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is showing your body you love it

2018-06-08_14.53.54-01Today’s self-care was buying myself some new clothes! I needed new jeans but the trouble is I have an awful lot of trouble buying them. I find it so hard to find ones that fit as my legs are short at 29 inches and also because my hips are bigger than the average male. Its always a dysphoria inducing task and most of the time I end up buying baggy jeans as I feel it hides things better.

However, today I actually bought jeans that fit, and not just any jeans, slim fit ones! I did have a brief… “I have female hips,” moment, but it didn’t spiral into huge dysphoric levels, it was more of a niggle than a nag. Even more of a bonus is that I managed to fit in size 30 jeans! I had been wearing 36!

Happy boy with 2 new pairs of jeans and a flamingo top!

 

Pushing Through Fear-Day 38 of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is knowing when to push through fear

2018-06-08_14.01.53-01When you have mental health challenges, one of the hardest things is to balance the times when you push through anxiety and when you allow yourself to avoid the anxiety. Knowing when to do which takes a lot of self honesty.

After yesterdays anxiety, I almost cancelled today’s driving lesson. I also had my boyfriend staying over and so my mind was thinking up all sorts of excuses. However, I knew that on this occasion, pushing through the fear was the best self-care action I could take. If I had cancelled, it would only have strengthened my inner critics voice which insists on telling me that, “… I can’t drive, I’ll never pass my test, my instructor hates me…” etc.

As it turns out, I had a really good lesson, proof that the things fear tells us often just are not true!

 

The Power Of Music-Day 36 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is knowing which wellness tools you can use to change your mood

2018-06-05_19.36.03-01Despite my restful weekend, I found it hard to get going today. I had lots to do and writing planned but I just kept getting distracted. I feel OK, a little tired but mostly OK, just lacking motivation.

Music is one of my favourite and useful self-care tools. I use it too soothe myself, to distract myself and to lift my mood. Its amazing how much it can shift how Im feeling in an instant.

I put on some cheesy tunes and danced around the lounge for ten minutes and then spent the next 2 hours being really productive and writing lots!

Taking Time Out-Day 30 to 35 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is knowing when to take a break

2018-06-03_18.21.28-02I am out of date with my posting. In fact I’m out of date with all my social media. I decided to take a few days break from it all. I have been working so hard recently, writing articles, blog posts and short stories. My keyboard has been on fire!

I declared my fifth date with my new boyfriend, (I cannot get used to saying that!) as a little mini holiday. I travelled to him on Tuesday and stayed until Friday and allowed myself time off from writing. It was really lovely to just give myself permission to have some much needed chill out time and even more lovely that it was in wonderful company with a man that gives me so much to smile about.

I intended to pick work back up on Friday afternoon and spend the weekend catching up with all my posts, emails and general social media. However,  I was absolutely worn out and instead have spent the weekend slobbing out! I have done a few things, but all from the comfort of my bed! I finally emerged today and went out for a brief walk and for some food supplies.

Its been a while since I’ve flaked out like that but its understandable really as I’ve been on such an emotional high. Whilst the high is a wonderful thing and should be enjoyed, self-care means preparing for the come down and allowing my body to react in whatever way it needs.

 

 

Healthy Habits-Day 29 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is keeping up with healthy habits

IMG_20180528_223158_346.jpgI am feeling so much better at the moment. My fatigue seems to have improved a little, as does my mood. Of course my being smitten with a certain gent could have something to do with it!

Either way, I am noticing an all too familiar pattern. My daily program routine is slipping. It always does when things are OK as I’m not being so vigilant about it. I must take care of myself, even during the high times.

This morning, I sat for a half hour meditation session. I have fallen out of the habit and it felt so good to sit and quieten my mind after a fair few days without doing so. Meditation has always been a key part of my recovery and doing it everyday is a priority for me. Time to get back in the swing!

Spending Time With Friends-Day 26 To 28 Of #365daysofselfcare

This Blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is spending quality time relaxing with friends

rechargeLife has been full of so many wonderful things lately. It feels good to be able to say that after months and months of poor mental and physical health. I have been swept off my feet by a wonderful, kind and handsome man and he is responsible for all the smiling and laughing that is currently going on in my life.

After a particularly high Thursday evening and Friday morning, when this wonderful gent then asked me to be his boyfriend, (I know, cuteness overload!) I decided that the best self-care would be to recharge my batteries a bit, spending time with friends and resting up. I feel nicely recharged now and ready for the new week ahead!