Nope. I am not doing too well today. And I shouldn”t be writing this. Or should I?
I have an ear infection. I am upset about something that happened yesterday. I have had a nightmare and am still trying to shake it. I am feeling old and bloated and sluggish from overeating the wrong stuff. I am four weeks away from having to pay my taxes, and I already know it won’t be “pretty”. Our beloved dog has been turning into a senior dog before my eyes, and I worry about him. I am missing my people on the other side of The Pond. I want to crawl into bed with a good book, but I have work to do, and right now it’s much to “loud” in my head to concentrate on a book anyway. My mood is plunging into an unhealthy direction.
And no. This is not a sales pitch. It’s simply the truth.
It is feeling somewhat weird to write this, and on this very website of all places!
Because I am supposed to be a coach, right?
I am supposed to have my ducks in a row and my *&%$#!”? together. As a professional, I am supposed to have it aaaaaaaaaall figured out, aren’t I? That’s why we usually don’t write about things like that. Because we want to be successful, so we try to constantly project an image of success (paraphrasing “American Beauty” here,
which is still a great movie even though I feel like I cannot really enjoy KS anymore…).
Well, I’d like to ever-so-politely call BS on that!
Because pretending all the time gets exhausting.
Because we simply cannot perform perfectly all the time.
And you know what? That’s simply NORMAL!
But we are afraid to show ourselves as vulnerable human beings, because we worry about how this might reflect on us, our successes, our competency, our professionalism, our public or semi-public image.
But if that means that we feel too ashamed to ask for help when we need it – then this attitude gets problematic!
If I claim to be an advocate for mental health, and for removing the stigma of mental health issues, how can I not acknowledge my own issues? After all, I have been lucky enough (and yes, blessed enough) to find the right help when I needed it.
I already know that I am going to be okay. Because today, I am coaching myself. I am in the process of doing it, right now. I am my own client.
I am going to leave yesterday’s unpleasantness behind me. I am reminding myself that nightmares simply represent the effort our brain makes to process our awake-time. I am going to do to some active relaxation. I am going to make myself a nice big salad. I am going to cuddle with the dog. I am going to see an ENT about my ears. And, yes, I am going to work, though I will try to literally give myself a break in between. I will try to separate the drama in my head from the actual facts. And I am going to be just fine, if not today, then tomorrow.
And if all of this should not be enough, I know I can still reach out for help.
P.S.: Finding help in a crisis
This, right now, is not a crisis for me. It is simply a mood swing downwards, which I need to monitor in case something gets worse. I am one of the lucky ones. I know when to get help, and I did get help. I do have people to turn to, both personally and professionally. Whom can you ask for help? Maybe a good friend? A trustworthy teacher? Your parents? Your healthcare professional? A coach? Maybe a therapist? Maybe a pastor or other spiritual counselor? If necessary: a crisis hotline?
I am currently working on compiling a list of hotlines and websites/resources you can turn to in a personal crisis. In the meantime, a quick way to find such an option for yourself depending on where you live is to google “crisis hotline” or “crisis center”.
Please share your thoughts and resources for help in the comments!!