it's gettin' better

And this is how I know.

1.    I’ve cried recently. When I visited Mom on Saturday, she was delusional, confused and agitated. She kept calling for Papa and begging “just let me die” and other variations on this theme. I was distraught as nothing I could do seemed to calm her down, and finally I just burst into tears. Fortunately one of my sisters was there to love me.

2.    I go to counseling. There is no shame in admitting that I’m a mess, and I need help to navigate this time in my life.

3.    I do things that make me nervous. Like posting this picture, meeting a new photography friend for lunch and being my full honest self, and writing an article for a magazine. And the thing that makes me most nervous – expressing a dissenting opinion. Well, I’m still working on that one.  

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4.    I parent myself. I eat healthy meals, exercise daily and sleep 7 hours each night.

5.    I don’t deprive myself of things that bring me joy. I watch This is Us, go on dates with my husband, make time for massages, savor a sweet treat a couple of times a week, and spend time with friends who encourage me.

6.    I am passionate about something. Really something(s). Taking pictures. Writing. Deep relationships.

7.    I am self-aware. It’s easy to want to see my positive traits, but I’m also learning about my weaknesses. Because of anxiety I am sometimes unreliable, kind of a flake. I work things up in my mind with so much worry, I feel paralyzed. I get overwhelmed. I am easily distracted and too often impulsive.

8.    I am happy to be me. I’ve read what seems like hundreds of self-help books. And while it’s worthwhile to try and to strive, I see now that I am already okay just as I am. I have all that I need to make a good life.

9.    I maintain a beginner’s mindset and I love to learn.  I’m about to begin a class from Illuminate – Project Development and Fine Art

10.    I don’t fall apart when someone criticizes, questions or calls me out on my choices and behaviors. It’s still not easy, but I can step away and see the comments for what they are worth.