My Mom always told me, “Normal is just a setting on a washing machine.”
I’m not crazy, though at times I feel out of my mind.
That doesn’t mean the experiences I’m having aren’t common in other people too.
I have spent the past year honing in on my mental health. I want to love myself whether or not I’m fully healed physically, and I know there’s a mental component. I’m tired. Exhausted really, and overwhelmed every time I am told my autoimmune issues are psychosomatic. They really do cause havoc in my body and my life.
I’m admitting I’m depressed.
I’m admitting I’m anxious.
I’m admitting I’m afraid.
The problem is, everything’s connected. One system isn’t responsible for an entire human experience. Each system needs to be working synergistic with every other system.
We even share a symbiotic relationship with our individual microbiomes, the bugs that live within us and on our skin. Which means yes, my problem is in my head, but it’s also in the rest of me. I feel trapped in this dance of which came first, the complicated wiring in my head or the unraveling of my physical self.
Whether it’s in my head or body, I have to deal with both areas in order to truly heal. I’m working on my body and have been for several years, maybe you - reading this - have joined me along the journey. I’m finally making my head and mental state more of a priority.
I believe and have discovered, in research, that each of us can rewire the circuitry in our brains. We choose how we are wired. If we let our thoughts control us, we pull ourselves deeper into a victim state. The more you think about a thought, ruminate in it and let it run rampant, the stronger the cognitive pattern within us becomes.
The result of this insight? I actively engage more with my cognitive self. I don’t buy into what I think, but I question it’s validity. Would it be easier to believe the lies I spoon feed myself? Yes. Would I heal fully if I let my thoughts drive my beliefs? No.
This year, I finished “Rewire The Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry.” by Catherine Pittman PhD, and Elizabeth Karle MLIS, and I discovered new concepts into the how and why we trigger ourselves with anxiety. Though I don’t necessarily see changes in myself, I do feel I’ve opened a door into understanding, of what I’m going through mentally. I also hear from close friends and family that I do seem less anxious, and though my own personal feelings don’t emit the same sensation, it is encouraging.
I’m facing the shame, the trauma, the self loathing and all the other uncomfortable feelings and sensations inside me, head on.
With the help of several books by Brene Brown, and others like Rachel Hollis, I find along the way, I’ll continue to understand the emotions I spend most of my life avoiding. I'm learning to enjoy the journey as I seek healing. There's no destination - only the now and the steps I am taking to grow.
Find your own way apples, I believe in you.