Late last year my husband and I, and therapists, both decided that taking a trip each year by ourselves would be something nice. It quickly became something we realized we both really needed to do. With four children, one with special needs, and ranging in age from 12-2 years old, owning my own business and my husband working 70 hours a week things can quickly all start to blur together.
SO. A couple of months ago I talked with my husband about scheduling a trip to California (my mom lives there now, as does a good friend I haven’t seen in years). I decided to fly in early on Wednesday morning and leave late on a Sunday night, putting me back in VA very early in the morning. (Which I will chat a bit about as a red eye flight isn’t super ideal for me anymore) I felt this was perfect for me because it meant I could spend the entire day Wednesday with my mama and I’d get to sped Sunday during the day with my mama and stepdad. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved this. I was so grateful my mama also took off work two of the days I was there allowing for just an amazing time together. I had planned prior to coming out that I’d get together with a dear friend of mine on the day my mama ended up working, Thursday. Anyhow, let’s get into what this trip did for me.
1) It helped me to slow down. It showed me that things don’t have to be go, go, go ALL the time. Things can be slow and relaxed and still be good. This is a lesson that comes hard for me. But this trip was so nice in that nothing, absolutely nothing, was a solid yes or no or we HAVE to do it or not. It was just if it’s easy let’s do it. If it’s too much of a hassle let’s skip it. Gosh, how good that was for my soul!
2) It gave me time write with a clear head. If you know me at all, then you know I love to write and read. This time gave me the space to start really writing again and with a clear head. Not only is this extremely healing and therapeutic for me, but it’s something I’m passionate about.
3) I got to spend an entire day doing whatever I wanted. That may not sound like a big deal, but in this house it is a HUGE deal! I was actually able to spend an entire day getting tattoos (yes, that’s right! I have several.), eating with a dear friend and walking the beach. There was no pressure to rush home or worrying about how everyone was holding up while I was gone.
4) It gave me space to miss my dear husband. Now, let me start by saying that one thing about me is that my family is absolutely everything to me. I always miss my husband and my children and I constantly worry about how they’re doing and what else I can do to help them. This trip gave not just myself the space, but them as well. It gave them time together that they otherwise wouldn’t of had and it gave me space to realize it’s ok to not always worry about them constantly. It doesn’t mean I love them any less. And actually, what it did was make me miss them that much more.
5) It made me absolutely realize how important this time to myself is. And how important it is for my husband too. That time where you can just be, that space to clear your head and write, or get your tattoos, or eat an entire meal, like all of it…AND uninterrupted.
So, I know I’ve talked about self care a lot recently. But that’s because it’s SO, SO important. It is also a way to give myself a clear look at me, my mental illness and where I’m at with taking care of myself. My next share will be quite personal. I will talk about a recent event that happened while I was medicated and how it nearly sent me into mania again. I also hope to actually share a picture of myself. I’ve decided that I think it may be time for me to share who I am. There’s no shame in my illness. And I should start acting that way too. Even if it’s scary!