We are all on a collective fucking struggle bus right now. I mean struggle bussin it. I created a blog because I wanted to help encourage people to do self-care and also hold myself accountable for it and give back in a way (I wanted to offer free workshops eventually) but honey, it’s survival right now. And it sucks.
I have never in my life had so many clients in survival mode at one time while being in survival mode myself and my friends in survival mode and family and the mail person etc etc. You can feel that shit in the ether. I swear people are driving different. Store experiences are difference. Customer service voices sound different on the phone. I know I am not tripping. It’s real out here.
If anything, this time period has bust the door wide open for me on challenging what it means to be a mental health provider and what it means for me to take care of myself. One of the things that has happened is I have a little bit more transparency and authenticity with my clients. (I’m trying hard to challenge white supremacist ideas about what it means to be a therapist, a model of you are healed and healing which has always been bullshit but still is hard to not internalize..no one is healed and therapists are not in the business of fixing, they are in the business of guiding and helping and providing unconditional positive regard as they do so). Anyways, I think this is helpful because it says look, it isn’t just you. That concept that YOU are the only person struggling really pushes the idea that you need to work harder to x, y, z.
Expectations of ourselves are a bit high. People are still wanting to over perform right now. Survival mode means that you get it done. You just do or don’t do and you let go. Survival mode means you place special attention on self-care and place it high on the needs list, above productivity and above usefulness. This is something I struggle an awful lot with, especially being in the helping field. I want to accept every new client, and do 3,836 free support groups, write a blog, take cute pics, cook at home, take my animals to their doctors appointments, dress nice, post and read all of the political stuff I can, go to protests and on and on an on.
That ain’t it chief.
We gone “fail” an awful lot in these months and what I spend a lot of time talking to my clients about is allowing failure (the way we think of it) and leaning into discomfort and allowing your failure to be in the realm of productivity and not self-care and self-management. Survival mode means doing the best you can and letting the rest go, taking care of yourself in the best ways you know how and concentrating on the moment to moment. And of course, harvesting joy EVERY. SECOND. YOU. CAN. I be having to remind myself of the same thing, erryday. And I shall keep on reminding. Myself and others.