Mother’s Day and Step One


Yesterday was Mother’s Day. There’s no way of saying this without sounding like a narcissist, but it was hard for me. I realize it was about a billion other mothers, but it was rough for me. It was hard to see others so happy being celebrated when I feel like such a piece of shit mother. Thanks to some of things I have been learning and tools I have been given, I was at least aware enough to try and pull myself out of that bog of self deprecation. No, I can’t fix the years of neglect I have given my children, but I am doing things different now. That is the only thing that is helping me right now. I am here, now, trying to do better. Making efforts to be a better mom, be more what my kids deserve. These thoughts are definitely helpful.

Tonight was group and since I am half way through the program, it was my turn to write and read my first step. It is basically an in-depth essay about me and my history. It was draining to write and even more to read to everyone. The idea is that if you truly own your deep dark self, openly, you are able to move forward with a bit more ease. I believe that this theory is probably spot on. As hard as that was to say out loud the things I have been doing, the way I’ve been living my life, with all the shame and guilt that comes with it, it was incredibly freeing. I will own my mistakes, but I will work my damnedest to not sit and stew in them. There is nothing helpful in that.

After I read my step and they asked questions we talked about coping mechanisms and it was extremely helpful. There is this practice that psychiatrists teach their patients to use in order to change a behavior you want to change. It’s called DBT (dialectical behavior therapy). The idea is that if you just keep doing what you want to do, over and over, it will break old habits and start new ones, whether you want to do them in that moment or not. For example; it doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like going for a walk, just do it. It doesn’t matter if you are tired, just put away the clothes. If you do the things you want to, no matter what, for 2 weeks, at the very least, you will start to see your behaviors and patterns change and it will become more and more easy to continue the behavior you have started. In terms of self esteem and self talk, the DBT will be that any time you have a negative thought about yourself, you flick yourself. After doing this for two weeks, there will be less negative thoughts running through your mine. I am going to start implementing this in my life. I will flick myself with each negative thought and when I wake up in the morning for my walk, I am going to tell myself that I don’t care if I’m tired, or cold, I’m going to walk. I have faith in this. It sounds too simple to work, but maybe that’s exactly why it does.

I will begin to start doing, no matter what. I can. Somehow, I am a survivor, so I better start acting like one.

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