This past weekend was filled with some fun family adventures at a petting zoo and a stomach bug that knocked me on my butt. Waking up to normal life after a long weekend or unplanned illness (as if any are planned) always seems to take a couple days. Something that’s helpful for me when things don’t go as planned is to treat what’s happening as if I had asked for it and see how it makes me feel. The first few hours of not feeling well were spent thinking about the moments I was missing with my kiddo, the laughs I wasn’t a part of, the items on the to-do list that weren’t getting crossed off.
Then, I remembered the lesson that I mentioned above – what would change if you acted like this was chosen by you vs happening to you? I started to think about the small moments in the days before I wanted to rest but pushed forward. The “yes’s” that could’ve been “no’s.” I started to feel this, albeit uncomfortable break, not as a punishment from the God’s, but as an invitation to rest.
Sometimes, the truth is revealed when we’re ready, not when we want it. And not listening to it, at least in my case, might make us sick.
This week on Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs, I’m sitting down for a second time, Casey Jourdan. Casey is a Neurodivergent coach, Iraq War veteran, and Purple Heart recipient. With a Master’s in Mental Health and personal experience with ADHD, autism, and traumatic brain injury, she helps neurodivergent folks figure out their version of success and how to achieve it. But, as it turns out, her advice is also valuable for the more neurotypical among us.
Casey first joined me on episode 36 of this podcast in early March 2020. You can find that discussion HERE. Since then, there have been a number of changes in Casey’s life and we use this opportunity to get caught up.
We discuss why some mental health diagnoses aren’t made until later in life, especially for women and people of color. We also spend time talking about the importance of rest, including how to carve out time and space for yourself. Casey’s recent TikTok video on this topic went viral because who doesn’t have a need for more and better rest?!
Casey knows firsthand the value of being intentional in your life choices. She helps folks heal their past, reframe their present, and find their new path forward.
Lessons from Sessions
The truth is sometimes revealed to us, not when we want it, but when we’re ready. So much of our time spent “doing the work” is getting ready, to be ready, to be ready. Then, it lands in our lap. The big reveal is often a mixture of relief, breath, pain, laughter and a couple tears.
A client I’ve been working with for almost 6 years recently uncovered a big truth about her life. That connection was likely made possible by all of the steps that came before it. There’s the truth, the facts and the science of what we understand about being human. Then, there’s a unnamable unknowable beauty in being alive that poets, musicians and artists spend lifetimes helping us feel.
We can’t think or know our way to mental wellness, and only feeling our feelings can oftentimes lead us down a swirling dervish of memories that make us want to go to sleep. Maybe the truest way forward is a dance between the two – the head-space and the heart-space.
What I’m loving
I’m still chipping away at Dr. Gabor Mate’s book, The Myth of Normal. And, the “Oh my god. That’s wild! I knew it,” moments just keep on coming.
Here are the recent quotes that I’m currently processing:
“Our culture teaches us to focus on our personal uniqueness, but at a deeper level we barely exist as individual organisms.”Gabor Mate’, MD referencing Bessel van der Kolk
“In other words our character and personalities reflect the needs of the milieu in which we develop. The roles we are assigned or denied, how we fit into society or are excluded from it, and what the culture induces us to believe about ourselves, determine much about the health we enjoy or the diseases that plague us. In this, and in many other ways, illness and health are manifestations of the social macrocosm.”Gabor Mate’, MD
After reading these sections, I spent time reflecting on the health/health challenges of friends, family and clients. How anger is more often expressed in men and is often one of the only culturally acceptable emotions for men, while also being corrosive and destructive when expressed in toxic ways. Physically speaking, heart disease, heart failure, self-medicating with alcohol and suicide are more common in men. Likewise, reflecting on women in my life who experience frequent headaches, migraines, high blood pressure and increasingly more cases of undiagnosed pain in the body (sometimes known as fibromyalgia). Anger is often suppressed, treated as unacceptable and rejected in women.
Keeping in mind that these observations are anecdotal and largely personal to my experience as a sis-white woman, I invite you to reflect on them in your life as well. One of the biggest tricks our ego’s play, and a term used often in addiction recovery, is the view of Terminal Uniqueness – if our problems are uniquely our own, thereby could never be fully understood, then we should keep those feelings bottled up and to ourselves.
Looking forward to next week
For the upcoming week I’m exploring honoring someone’s potential to change while also acknowledging what’s true about them. This is a powerful theme in relationships, and I’m excited to dive in with you.
If you’d like a journal entry to prepare for this topic consider – If they stayed the same, how would I feel?
Even if emails are delayed, you can expect new and original content from me every week in the following places:
- Instagram (100% my comfort zone)
- Facebook (Post about 3x a week)
- TikTok (little by little/getting there/learning)
Need some more support?
- A 7 part guided journal to help you deepen your relationship with the most important relationship in your life – the one between you and you.
If you have any thoughts, Q’s or topics that you want me to cover send your thoughts to email@example.com and use the subject line Topic Idea.