I have a confession to make. I’ve been a huge hypocrite.
I write blog posts and statuses, and attend events preaching the importance of mental health awareness and encouraging people to take care of themselves.
But I haven’t been taking my own advice.
My mental health has been on a huge decline. My anxiety and depression are kicking my butt. I haven’t been taking my medication like I’m supposed to. And I’ve been masking my struggles with more wine than I should be drinking.
I’ve been dealing with so much between my kids, my pending divorce, work, and just general stress and exhaustion. And instead of dealing with it productively, I’ve been responding destructively.
I’m feeling the effects in my lack of productivity and motivation, and my short temper with my kids. Slacking on my mental health is putting me right back where I was over a year ago. And returning me to a person I don’t want to be.
It can be hard to acknowledge your faults. Hard to acknowledge when you need to do better. But I’ve decided it’s time to put myself in check and get myself on track.
Here’s what that looks like for me:
- Giving up alcohol for the rest of June. I’m not going to lie, this is going to be a challenge. There are few things more satisfying to me than ending my work day with a glass – or let’s be real…a bottle – of wine. But I have assigned myself accountability partners to keep me on track and hold me to my word.
- Replacing alcohol with healthier coping mechanisms. Writing, reading, art, and yes, maybe even some exercise. I’ll be focusing on participating on things that make me happy, keep me calm, and clear my head.
- Taking my medication as prescribed. This is probably one of the most important things I need to do. Starting Zoloft changed my brain chemistry and changed my life. When I drink alcohol or don’t take my medication at all, I can feel myself spiraling right back into what I was feeling before. I don’t want to be there.
- Acknowledging my pain. I’m dealing with a lot right now. Most days I don’t know how I’m even managing it all. I’m ready to acknowledge that I have been self-medicating in an attempt to ignore the things that are bothering me, when in reality I need to be doing is facing them, dealing with them, and getting through them.
Hopefully this period of detoxing and focusing on my mental health put me back in a space I worked so hard to get to. And I hope it serves as a reminder that sometimes the best person to check you on your destructive behavior is yourself.
Acknowledge your faults…and do what you need to do to fix them.