I could lie, but I’m just going to be straight up and honest. My day 1 was mostly a bust. My head is still spinning and my thoughts are racing. Day 1 should be where all the motivation is. It’s the beginning, I should be the most excited on day 1. I’m not. I’m disappointed in myself. I let the negativity win today. I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared for jumping into and meeting such high expectations of myself. It sucks. However, I do know all the places I went wrong.
I went to bed about 4:30am (ish), heavy on the ish. Not the best start considering I was supposed to be at work at 6:30am. I shouldn’t have even gone to sleep, but I wanted to rest for a minute even it was just relaxing. The exhaustion won and I guess i just shut down. I don’t remember turning off my alarm at 5:30am, but I did. At 7:00am I woke up and realized there wasn’t much point in trying to go in early. I tried to go ahead with the plan. I did a 10 minute meditation, but I was unable to focus on it. I couldn’t get my mind to clear. I journaled my intentions for the day. That wasn’t a difficult task. I did listen to the motivational speakers on the way to take 2 to treatment and on my drive in to work. Stumbling in a couple of hours past schedule, with only a couple of hours of sleep was enough to put me in a uphill battle against my own motivation.
I was fading and unfocused. I was lagging, I was taking too long to do stuff I knew how to do. By noon, I had a coffee, a coke and a 5 hour trying to try to keep me in the zone and focused on the tasks at hand. I managed to sell, complete my work, update customers, but I was definitely having a harder time keeping up and taking far longer than normal to complete the tasks I needed to. I pulled it off, and come 3pm I was headed to pick up 2. I did positive affirmations with a focus on ridding myself of anxiety and negativity on the way there and listened to a Ted talk on my way back to the office. I finished out my day and managed to not go off on anyone, get snappy, or jack anything up. So those are positives!
Once I left work I could feel the exhaustion settling in. I was becoming more irritable. I was definitely anxious and unfocused. My least favorite thing is to feel like I have 100% to strangers at work and that I was unable to give that same effort to my family. Work can drain me though because it feels like I have to plaster on the smile and amp up my positivity to do my job. By the time I get home I’m done with the fake and ready to settle in my feelings and decompress. Unfortunately that decompression is where I lose my “fake happy” and the true feelings show up. The frustration, the anxiety, the irritation, and the overall mood shift just makes me quiet and introspective. I really need to figure out the balance. I hate feeling like this and I know everyone is picking up on this energy. That’s why I’m doing this! That’s my motivation to feel better and to not pass on the disease of negativity to everyone around me.
It really is hard to get out of my own way and get out of my own head. I just didn’t have the energy today. I will try again tomorrow. I will do better tomorrow. I will be successful tomorrow. I am worth my own effort. I am worthy of my own time. I am not a prisoner to my past or to my future. I am free from my mistakes. I am working hard to change my life. I am healing. I am present. And so it is.
Accomplishments and Gratitude List for Day 1:
I REALLY wanted to call in to work. I went anyway and got a lot accomplished.
I am in the top 10 in the company this week for sales as of today.
I attempted meditation.
I completed 26 minutes straight of positive affirmations.
I listened to 30 minutes of motivational videos today.
I journaled my intentions for the day.
I completed my goals for July 2021
I completed my goals for the remainder of 2021. I scripted and am manifesting where I am going to be in my journey by January 1, 2022
I did another 30 minutes of positive ‘I am’ affirmations.
I danced it out and sang (badly) until I couldn’t hear my head over my music and my own voice.
I cooked dinner for the family (it was bussin’ or so I hear!)
I was able to smile and enjoy the family during dinner.
I gave myself a break from being perfect.
I am being honest about my struggles.
I never gave up and said the c word (can’t) when I knew everything wouldn’t be completed today. I still worked towards meeting the goals I knew I still could achieve today.
I am reframing my mind set to say tomorrow is an opportunity to do better than today. I am giving myself grace.
I am thankful for my family.
I am thankful for my work.
I am thankful for the chance to try again.
I am thankful for this blog and my ability to express myself freely here.
I’ve decided to take on the advice of my fearless “live laugh love leader” (aka my therapist) to complete some daily tasks, in hopes of making them into a routine. As an experienced a$$ kisser, I have taken it a step further and decided I needed to challenge myself to focus everyday on my journey to wellness. Congrats! I’ve chosen you to be my accountability team! Get excited! Join in and keep me posted on your progress. It would be awesome to see some other people out there interested in doing this too. I’ve been lackadaisical about doing my “homework” assignments my therapist gives me in the past. I figured, if I wrote it and shared this challenge, I would actually be more likely to complete it, because I am not a fan of public humiliation (or am I?) or failure.
If you’ve read some of my previous posts you’ve seen I struggle with C-PTSD, ADD, anxiety, and depression. I have a REALLY difficult time staying positive and not letting my mind completely take over. It has been extremely draining for me mentally and emotionally because I have to actively make myself be positive and not go to the worst case scenario. It effects my personal feelings and outlook as well as all of the relationships in my life. I would never want to be seen as using my multiple diagnoses as an excuse to behave badly, or use it as a crutch. It’s definitely a hurdle. One that I think many people don’t fully understand or one they choose not to recognize. I also think there are more people than I realize that struggle with keeping positive outlooks for one reason or another. I recognize that I am healing and working to be the best version of me. That’s what I want this journey to be about, not a particular diagnosis, but a way to help me better manage the symptoms of my diagnoses and be the best me I can be!
What does MY wellness challenge look like? Well I am a firm believer in that any repeated behavior or action becomes a habit. Whether good or bad, a repeated behavior is something that we end up continuing almost ritualistically. Whether it’s that you ALWAYS get up and exercise before starting your day or if it’s that you bite your nails when you are nervous. These things become habitual and engrained into our lives and routines. It would be hard to stop those things if you did them regularly. I am hoping this will be true with my little wellness challenge. I am also hoping it has a positive influence and impact on my threefold. We shall see!
This will be a 21-day challenge for July. On 7/22/21 I will see where I am in my journey, how my life has changed, and if come 7/23/21 if I feel this is something that should be continued as more of an everyday routine. I will be asking myself What worked? What didn’t? What was modified? How was my anxiety? What was my mood like? Did I have more motivation at the beginning and start slacking towards the end or did I follow through? What pieces are important to carry into my day to day routine?
Why 21 days? I chose 21 days because it’s scientifically proven that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit or to break an old one. I am also not so great at the follow through. I want big things but I don’t always put in the effort to get them. There is no fairy god mother, it’s time for me to grow up and get up by putting in the work.
The 21 Day Positivity Challenge:
The following are the actions I plan to take in the next 21 days to become a more positive person. Beginning 7/1 Ending 7/22:
Wake up at morning at 6:30 am M-F and by 9:00 am on the weekends.
PRO: This will allow me time to mentally prepare for my day and accomplish the remainder of my goals for the day.
CON: I have a hard time falling asleep at night, but once asleep I LOVE to sleep. I usually set multiple alarms and get out of bed in just enough time to throw on my clothes and put a brush through my hair.
Begin each morning and end each night with 5-15 minutes of meditation. 20 minutes total or more each day.
PRO: This sets me in a mind frame of letting go of anything weighing on my mind and allows me to focus on the present moment. Clearing my mind of my to do list.
CON: ADD makes this practice extremely difficult for me. Sometimes it is counterproductive as instead of clearing my mind it allows the anxiety to creep in and overtake the session.
Journal how I see my day playing out including how I will feel, how I will respond, who I will interact with, and what I will be doing.
PRO: mentally prepared me for the day and gives me expectations to meet.
CON: could be a potential set up for failure. (surely my more positive outlook will help me to see the bright side!)
Watch 1 motivational video or listen to a motivational speaker once per day.
Do positive affirmations 3 times per day
Script once per day. Scripting is writing in the present that all of your dreams have come to fruition and scripting out your day as if you are living in that reality currently.
Get in and STAY in bed from midnight to morning M-F (unless I have to pee or a kid needs me) Weekends no later than 2 am and only if being actively productive. No up and down. No late night extravaganza. No blogging until 3am.
Turn my phone on do not disturb after 11:00 pm M-F to allow for time for my brain to relax.
Week 1: Make a list of goals for the month, week and year. Look at it often to stay motivated.
Week 1: Make a vision board of all my life dreams and aspirations. Include inspirations and dream BIG!
Pay attention to physical health. Drink more water and do something active for 30 minutes each day in addition to work.
Try something new. Anything at least twice. Find something to do and do it.
Make a date with myself and keep it. 1 hour minimum. That’s it. Do something solo. Not a trip to the grocery store. Do something nice for myself and not feel guilty about it.
Make time for blogging daily achievements and failures.
Remove negativity from my life as much as possible including people, places and things. Unfriend or unfollow any person or group that feeds into negative self talk or triggers anxiety on social media.
Plan a family outing and follow through.
Family dinner five nights per week or more.
Create a budget and stick to it. Save money and don’t spend it.
Dance it out at least once per week.
Make a date with my man and follow through a night for just us without DEFCON 4.
Keep my room straight and orderly. Peaceful. A place to relax.
This is a pretty hefty list and I definitely want to accomplish all of these things so I am going to do my best. It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress, it’s about trying something different. It’s about seeing what I love and has the ability to help me. Also, what maybe works for others but doesn’t work necessarily for me and my life. I hope anyone who wants to join in does! If not that’s ok, read along, laugh and see if I can be promoted to a perky positivity peddler or at least accept a part time position in the peddling of positivity. Feel free to tell me if you do something that works amazing for you that I need throw in or if I missed something you feel is an important factor to consider. Also if you join in do what works for you! This isn’t some copy and paste, tried and true way of becoming a more positive person or better version of yourself. This is just me as a busy mom with too much overthinking and a lot of bad habits of going to the dark side that is just trying to make some changes. I’m NOT an expert! I’m not qualified to give advice, hell I didn’t even take psychology in high school let alone college! I took creative writing though! I’m just an imperfect person in search of a better me and finding a path to more positivity! And so it begins…
It’s been one of THOSE months, weeks, days! You know the ones I am talking about! The ones where you start off on a high note. You’re positive, you’re feeling yourself, you’re living in gratitude, and all happily living your best “live,laugh,love” life. Then *BOOM* the world comes crashing in on you and throwing the punches to remind you just how out of control you really are! Well, honestly it’s been that kind of MONTH at my house. A total whirlwind of emotional whiplash that has left me begging for July to come and melt away the stress. (It’s hot AF here in the summer, it’s the south y’all!) I would think I was making headway and being more positive and then something else would pile on top of me to make me feel like the universe was against me and I was never going to crawl out from under the pile of sh!t that I felt was actively being thrown at me. I was losing my sh!t and was ready to piss and moan until the universe decided to play fair and nice again. OH. Ok, so you got jokes? Hmm, well let’s see how the universe responds when I stop reacting, I decide to get my sh!t together, stay strong and stay positive despite its attempt to send me into whatever karmic catastrophe it had planned for me during next week’s episode of “THREEFOLD: my crazy chaotic catastrophe filled life”! Quit playing with me, you play too much! I ain’t got time for your bullish!t anymore, I am ready for the fight! If only I could stop allowing negativity to be the kryptonite that kills my super power of positive thinking!
I started the month off on a bad foot. I was arguing with the perky positivity peddler aka the man in my life. Work related issues carrying over into personal issues. Blah. Blah. Blah. I had recently found out that #2 of my threefold was resorting to self-harm behaviors to cope with “having too many feelings” or “not being able to feel anything” again. (This has been an ongoing battle for 8 months) This up and down continued for a week trying to decide what to do and the constant worry of if she was going to be okay. My co-house manager Mr. Positivity Personified aka the man in my life, had to leave town for work AGAIN amongst all of the chaos. I hate being a b!tch about him working out of town, but it always seems to happen at some of the worst times. I guess it’s the universe testing my mental stability and making sure I’m still as strong as I claim to be. The universe has a way with making sure I remember I can always handle things alone if I have to, even when I don’t want to. As I rolled into week 2, it was like a bomb went off in our lives and I was scurrying around trying to pick up the pieces from the aftermath and put things back together again. After some deliberation and consulting with our mental health team we decided I was to admit my daughter to an inpatient psychiatric facility for self-harm and suicidal ideation. Every mother’s fear. My failures, my guilt, my anger, my own trauma, my anxiety, my world came flying at me full speed and didn’t stop it’s brutal assault on my way of life for weeks. Soon I was consumed with dealing with all of the ins and outs of having a kid in the hospital, getting kids back and forth to school, finding out 2/3 kids are probably going to need summer school, the ceiling falling in, doctors, therapists, assessments, trauma evaluations, family sessions, dealing with the Exhole day after day, CPS and abuse allegations (against the father), no contact orders and court preparation, insurance coverage and coordination of benefits, #3 trying to adjust to a new schedule and less time with her dad, coordinating partial hospitalization aftercare, losing a friend I thought would always be here for me, cutting hours at work, not sleeping, not eating, my dryer going out, #1 of my threefold getting sick and needing a bunch of tests and follow up care (pending final diagnosis *fingers crossed*), sweeping bedrooms, cleaning house and generally just losing my sh!t from the stress and emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. I couldn’t focus on anything. It has been one of the hardest months I’ve had in a really long time, and believe me I’ve had some hard months. I was literally running on caffeine, chaos, cuss words, and courage.
As I was witnessing everything seemingly falling apart I started seeing how moody, irritable, closed off, anxious and down right exhausted I was becoming. I was constantly between a laugh and a cry. I was holding on to my last bit of strength and after picking another fight with the person I want to share the rest of my life with I began to hear what he was saying to me. He wasn’t pissy and fighting back. He wasn’t calling me a b!tch or telling me I was making everyone miserable (even if I was being a b!tch and most likely making everyone miserable) He was worried, but his worry was surrounding me. Of course he was worried about the kids as well but he saw me struggling and he saw that it was a self-inflicted struggle. He saw the tired, worn down, running on empty, half beaten, half hopeless person I was and my desperate need to cling on to the last bit of strength buried in my bones and keep fighting for what I felt was survival. What good is life if we are just surviving? He looked me in the eye and with all the love, concern, and frustration he could convey he said “You. ARE. Exhausted! You can’t control any of this! You are KILLING yourself with worry! What GOOD is it doing to worry about everything when you cant change ANY of it?” I will now say the three words every man loves to hear, but so rarely does. In black and white for the world to see. He IS RIGHT. I was mad. How was my anger, anxiety, pain, fear, and constant worry serving anyone in my home most of all how was it serving me? As I sat there and resigned myself to the fact that I was not in control of anything that was happening. I couldn’t change the past and I certainly can’t predict the future. I realized I wanted to control everything. The more I fought to hold onto that control the more of it I was losing. I wasn’t focusing on the now, what I could do in that moment or how I should be displaying a positive attitude and being who my threefold needed me to be. I needed an attitude adjustment, a change of perspective, a vacation (hopefully eventually), and some damn sleep! I finished that thought and went to bed to submit to the sleep that I desperately needed.
I woke up after 6 hours of sleep straight through and felt more like myself and less like the basket case I had been the past few days. When you are consistently sleeping only 2-4 hours per night for nearly 3 weeks straight you don’t realize how much havoc it is wreaking on your body and on your mood. 6 hours is magical at that point. I did my positive affirmations (because live,laugh,love) the next morning, listened to my “Living Fearless” videos, and tried to remind myself that I couldn’t control any of it. The universe tried to continue bullying me, kicking my ass and taking my lunch money. I had anxiety creeping in when #2 admitted after 10 days home after 7 days inpatient and now going to a new partial hospitalization program during the day, that she was struggling with feelings of wanting to self harm and was worried she would “hurt herself or worse.” In that moment I had to remember to breathe. In 2 seconds I decided I need to be positive, for me and for her. I had to think about how to spin this and make it a positive. Where was my hidden superpower? I remembered that not long ago she wouldn’t admit this, she wouldn’t call me, she didn’t want to “bother or burden me” or anyone else with her feelings and problems. This was a positive step. I spoke to the nurse when I checked her in. I remembered she was going to a program where she would be safe and supervised, that my worry wasn’t useful, because she was safe. I went to work and distracted myself, in between phone calls with the treatment center as they were assessing 2. As I felt the tension I would repeat to myself “she is safe” “I am safe” “my worry isn’t serving me or her” “I am getting her the help she needs.” “This is not in my control” “I am a good mom”. As the day went on and I stopped to breathe when getting anxious and I forcibly made myself let go of the building tension in the muscles of my neck and back I noticed I was more conscious of my own self talk and self sabotage. I had been repeatedly doing to myself the exact thing I tell my kids not to do. My thoughts were beyond negative, they were abusive and blatantly catastrophic. These thoughts started becoming words as I spoke life into them and gave them room to intrude on my attitude towards everything and everyone. It was time for me to counteract those thoughts and words by spinning them into positives. Regardless of almost any situation you can spin a thought or a reaction to a positive. It’s about perspective and the willingness to not give in to the first instinct. Like anything else in life being more positive is a habit and is a choice. You make a decision in less than 2 seconds after having a thought as to your reaction. You can choose negativity or you can choose positivity. Allowing yourself to choose negativity will breed more negativity. The opposite is just as true, thinking positively with lead to more positive thinking. Both will have an effect on our attitude and our emotions. It’s harder to pull yourself out of that negative mind set once you allow yourself to go there. I know I have days where I set up shop and start selling it by the bushel load to the people around me. When deciding to be positive it is a proactive approach versus the reactive approach of being negative. Positivity allows us to take our power back. Choose positivity. It is something I have to strive for daily. I know that breaking patterns of behavior is difficult. I also know if I want different results that means taking different actions. I have to break the cycle of toxic negativity in my head and start countering my initial reactions with light and positivity. I can’t control what is happening around me, but with time and effort I can control my attitude and reaction to it. It takes less than 2 seconds. 2 seconds can make the day or break it. 2 seconds when the decision is all mine. 2 seconds doesn’t seem to be that much time but in those 2 seconds we decide if we are going to be positive or negative. Those 2 seconds can build into the next and then the next. Do I choose to use the hidden super power with in me, or do I choose to destroy my light with the kryptonite of negativity? I want to build a foundation of happiness and I believe that it all starts with what I do in those 2 seconds. It all starts with me.