Day two, y’all! Quick recap: for me, May of 2020 is all about these self-love journal prompts. I’m trying to be kinder and embrace a more self-focused positive attitude. It’s pretty hard when you’re battling Bipolar 1’s super depressive swings. But I am on a new medication and I’m trying some new coping mechanisms.
Here’s today’s prompt: “How can you show yourself love?“
This one is pretty difficult for me, so I didn’t start off with it. Hell, I almost didn’t do it at all. I struggle with being kind to myself, as I honestly think most of us do. Well, what is love, genuinely? Without joking here, it’s hard to define. My instinct is to use humor to deflect but that’s not the purpose of this exercise. Honesty is key here.
While doing a little research for this post, because that’s what I do when I’m struggling for the right words, I came across this interesting article on LifeHack.org that kind of encompassed what it is I mean by love when I use it in this context:
Philautia is self-love. In our modern day society, most people associate self-love with being narcissistic, selfish, or stuck on themselves. However, this is not what the ancient Greeks meant by self-love.
Self-love is not negative or unhealthy in any way. In fact, it’s necessary to be able to give and receive love from other people. We cannot give to others what we don’t have. And if we don’t love ourselves, how can we truly love others?
Another way to look at self-love is by thinking about it as self-compassion. Just as you might show affection and love to another person, you must also show that same affection and love to yourself.Source: LifeHack
The last bit I put in bold for visual emphasis. But thinking of this, it kind of gives me a little more direction that I can head with this musing.
I need to be kinder to myself. I need to show love even when I struggle with it. Not that toxic positivism bullshit I can’t stand my body most days, and am struggling greatly to lose weight. I can show myself love by being patient with my journey to getting healthier and more realistic in my weight loss goals.
Speak of patience, I need to be patient with myself. With all that I have wrong with me, I need to be more understanding of my limitations. There are going to be days I can’t function, physically, emotionally, mentally. And I need to be better about being honest with others when I’m struggling. Patience, and compassion, is something I readily offer other people but struggle with self-directing.
That being said, I need to challenge myself. I can’t just lie down and let a chemical imbalance get the best of me. I need to do my best, as best I can, to challenge myself and strive for better. That means going on walks, eating regularly, and taking my medication. All of these are challenges I wasn’t meeting before.
In that vein, I need to take better care of myself. I’m already trying to do so, but I do need to do better. For the longest time, I wasn’t doing so because of suicidal urges and depression brain fog. But, I’m trying now. I’m taking my medication on an actual set schedule, rather than the slightly imbalanced way I was before. I’m going to my psychiatric practitioner to get my medication adjusted. In fact, I just started a new medication, Wellbutrin. It seems to be working well so far. I’m going to therapy; so far only twice but I do have more visits scheduled.
I need to define my boundaries better. I’m rather famous for being a doormat at times. While I know its because of things I have been through in the past, I still need to learn to say ‘yes’ when I can and learn to say ‘no’ better. And expressing my boundaries is something I really need to work on.
I need to ask for help more often. I’m rather prideful. I can readily admit it, even though it is very uncomfortable to admit such a glaring personality flaw. Mmm….rephrasing: it is something I battle with on the regular. That’s a little better. Still, I’ve gotten into hot water more than once because I have great difficulty asking for help. And even still, when it’s offered, anxiety brain gremlins can trip me up and make me hesitant to ask for help. It’s something I’m working on.
I’ve got to go for now. Have a good day!