Helping others helps yourself

I’ve been realizing lately how much this is true. Lately it’s been all about admitting things and then doing something about it, instead of just continuing to sit there and whine or cry or be frustrated. Whether it’s that you can’t lose the weight, you can’t get past some emotional baggage, or you aren’t doing better at work, the first steps are to admit out loud that there is a problem, and then – taking the next step to fix it.

For me, that’s meant repeating over and over again to myself, to my parents, to my boyfriend, to supportive friends – that I have emotional issues and need therapy. And now it’s meant making the calls and finding someone who can really help.

One thing that helps you move forward is recognizing similar “problems” and calls for help in friends and giving them the exact advice that others are currently or once gave you, or that you are still trying to tell yourself. “Oh, you can’t lose weight? Try this.”  “Oh, you have a crappy parent or friend? Try this.”

Just knowing that someone else needs help and that you can help them, is proof that you can help yourself and that others can help you. It’s always easier to be on the outside looking in, as we know. It’s always easier to look at someone else and say, “Duh, why don’t they recognize this?” It’s much harder to say to ourselves…yeah, I’m doing that too, or yeah, I need to fix that, too. It’s even harder to then push through the first few weeks or months of taking action on it. Making calls to get help. Making changes in your life that are healthy, finding people that are good for you and letting go of people and habits that are not so good for you.

Triggers

Knowing and recognizing our emotional triggers and not letting them take control of us are two very different things. It’s definitely one of those “easier said than done” instances. Have you ever worked at something for months, for years, maybe your whole life, and then one tiny little thing that someone says or maybe worse, doesn’t say, seems to erase all of your efforts and suddenly you’re wanting to bust out of your seams?

Yeah, that was me today.

I’ve been working at it. I have. I had a great first step last week. I was so proud of myself. And I have been talking out loud about everything more, to myself, to my family and boyfriend and friends who care about me. I was making changes.

And then, “it” happened. A trigger. Without going into too much detail, it was the thing that wasn’t said today that set me off. That set me on a stream of tears, a stream of consciousness that went something like this: i’m-not-needed-recognized-loved-worthless-doesnt-matter-who-cares-get-over-it-forget-it-why-does-this-keep-happening?

You’re like, man, she sounds like Cybil! Nothing is worse than starting to beat yourself up and getting angrier and sadder by the second while simultaneously trying to force yourself to stop thinking about it and to not worry about it and to not make anything of it. Nothing is worse than feeling like an entire couple months of progress are gone in one instant, an entire year’s worth of work is unnoticed, and that an entire life’s worth of this SAME EVER-PRESENT FEELING has still not gone away and seems like it never will. And nothing is worse than 98% of the people around you telling you and showing you that you’re appreciated, but the other 2% (yourself and one other person) negating the whole thing.

Back to square one. Deep breaths. More hugs.

Step 1:

Be rid of all things toxic.

Now I’m not talking about not smoking (I don’t) or not drinking (I keep a low profile there too) or ditching other ridiculously harmful habits. I don’t really have any of those. But, detoxifying yourself also means mentally, emotionally, and socially. I’ve already been doing well with my workout routine and eating better. It’s time to move on to the big guns.

Tomorrow, I’m taking a step to make this happen. I won’t go into major details, but basically I’m getting a fresh perspective from someone new, someone who can’t take sides. And as part of all this, I’m going to start making choices about what to keep and what to get rid of in my life – and maybe who. We all do things or think things or feel things that aren’t helping us move forward, and that aren’t helping us live in the moment and enjoy life to the fullest. We also all have people in our lives that fall into this category. Maybe they are an old friend who isn’t so much a good friend anymore, or a newer friend that just isn’t panning out, or a family member that isn’t worth the stress either. I know that my biggest problem has always been to just accept that a relationship is over and move on – it’s one of the hardest things I deal with everyday. Those of you who know me more intimately know what this stems from – and I’m taking steps to fix it.  I can spend months agonizing over why my friend or old roommate or family member hasn’t talked to me in months, letting it bother me until it consumes much of my thoughts.

Or, I can learn to place it outside of me and my life, and say, ok, yeah I’m not feeling the love, but they made a decision. Maybe I don’t know the decision, and maybe it had to do with something I did or said, but maybe it didn’t. And realizing that and saying, things will be okay, is the big step. Realizing there are other people I have in my life that care and aren’t going anywhere. You know who you are, those people – and I appreciate it, more than you know.

So, as change comes to our country, and people are trying to keep their resolutions going, I’m making some changes, too. It’s really time.

For readers: What changes are you wanting to make this year?