Self Care | It's Me Laura Lee

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Saying you don’t have regrets is avoiding the truth. The truth is that all of us have, at one time or another in our lives, said or done something, that was wrong, hurtful, or dangerous.  So, why do we have a hard time admitting that we have regrets?  Likely, it’s because we perceive admitting regrets as admitting failures. And worse, personal failures.  Personal flaws.

Saying you don’t have regrets is avoiding the truth. The truth is that all of us have, at one time or another in our lives, said or done something, that was wrong, hurtful, or dangerous.  So, why do we have a hard time admitting that we have regrets?  Likely, it’s because we perceive admitting regrets as admitting failures. And worse, personal failures.  Personal flaws.

There are many ways to modulate your frustrations.  Napping is one of them.  In one study, nappers who took a 60-minute nap were less impulsive.   I’m a napper.  Like an everyday napper.  Don’t take away my naps.  Like really.  Don’t do it.

I was in deep.  And, I was falling deeper.  I was Alice – falling down the rabbit hole and watching everything as it passed me by.  Except, my rabbit hole wasn’t fanciful, it was dark.  The dong of the clock bellowed and echoed between my ears.  The mirror reflected back to me an image I did not recognize, and yet it cried when I cried.  It was angry when I was angry.  Falling through the center of the earth was something I longed for.  It was a way out without having to be the one responsible for the path.

He opened the door to the office and in his hand was a plate of food.  My food.  I thanked him and put it down beside me – right of my laptop.  It looked so good and smelled even better.  I kept typing away, answering emails, rat-a-tat-tat on the keyboard and without missing a beat I typed with only my left hand and grabbed a fork full of tilapia with my right.  My glaze never leaving the computer screen.

Then one day, my therapist not only suggested that I color, but encouraged it – even during our sessions.  And, I discovered that I could color for 15 minutes or for 60 minutes and keep myself distracted from my symptoms long enough to let them melt away.  And, at the same time, I was more focused.

The truth is, that I worked myself to the point of exhaustion whereas Tiffani, who isn’t much older than my son, knew how to create boundaries and more importantly, kept them.A couple of years later, all the extra hours I put in didn’t matter. I was being terminated – wrongfully, after being a whistleblower. I even ended up on the front page of the New York Times on New Year’s Day 2018. It was then, that I realized that Tiffani had the right idea.

I opened my eyes, sleepily.  Looked straight ahead.  Down the hall.  Confused. “Who’s the mom?” That’s the first thing that came to my mind.  My mind.  Mine.
Everything looked somewhat familiar, but I couldn’t place anything.  I had the sense of belonging, but I didn’t know how I belonged.  What was my role?  Who was I?

What will truly be the hardest days are yet to come.  My weight gain, in part, was a defense mechanism against future sexual assaults.  My rational brain knows that rape and sexual assault isn’t about sex, but rather about control, but my irrational brain tells me that if I’m undesirable, I’m safe.  This may be why it was so hard to lose three pounds.  And, this is why my therapist and I will have a lot of work to do as I start losing the weight.  I’m ready to take back control.

Take an interactive QUIZ to assess your stress levels! Everyone has stress, but did you know there are two types of stress? Positive stress is called…

Here’s the thing though, the people who have wronged us, do so, and move on to their next conquests.  They’re not thinking about us anymore.  It doesn’t matter if they did it 35 years ago, 19 years ago, or last month.  Why? Because they don’t care about us.  If they did, they wouldn’t have wronged us in the first place.  Their time and energy aren’t spent on us, so why do we spend our time and energy on them? Thinking about them?  Crying? Dwelling on them and what they’ve done to us?

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Laura Lee, 52, with invisible wounds and scars.  I've learned to embrace PTSD and depression because if I don't own them, they'll own me.  I don't want to simply survive, but to thrive.  I hope you'll join me on my journey.  It's sure to be a bumpy road.

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