Category Archives: acceptance

Swimsuit Triggers and Focusing on Joy

Here we are: summertime, swimsuit time, and it’s hard to let go of judgmental thoughts of my body.

I remember the first time being worried about wearing a swimsuit. I was at a youth activity (maybe I was 14?) at a pool about an hour away from home. For some reason I didn’t have a suit, so my mom gave me money to rent one. Yikes a rental suit.

It was a one piece with huge cut outs on the sides and I felt super self conscious wearing it.

I’ve always been very physically active so I’m guessing I looked fine. I don’t have the wherewithal to make that judgment looking back and that’s ok. I did struggle with acne -seems like I did forever (obviously that’s not a fact) so I had judgements about my face.

Every summer I try to find a swimsuit I can feel comfortable and try not to judge my body. I play in the pool with my grandkids, I play in the ocean, I play in the lake, I play in the sprinklers. I love the water-I wear lots of sunscreen because the rosacea on my face doesn’t like the sun but I love the water.

The last couple of years I’ve purchased two piece suits to practice nonjudgment about my body; plus it’s easier to find separates that fit my top and bottom better.

Here’s another summer where I am triggered to judge my body as not good enough and I’m trying to be mindful of those old crazy thoughts (that are not facts) and in the moment to just enjoy the water. Just enjoy the water.

Here I am off Grand Cayman trying to hold a stingray

Here I am in Jamaica riding a horse in the ocean.

Here I am in Tulum Mexico in the prettiest water ever.

Yes I think it’s more important to enjoy.

I know who I Am

Last week I participated in part two of a training at my work for DBT with clients with psychosis.

The trainer was on zoom and next to her name was (they, their).

I made a comment on some content and the trainer referred to me and my comment as “they just said”…. I responded in private chat to refer to me as she/her yet the trainer did not acknowledge what I asked.

I was stunned. I was angry. I am not a they.

This goes back to an irrational thought I have due to my hair loss and my hair style -(not wearing wigs anymore because it causes me more neck pain and headaches) that I am not feminine “enough”. It’s an irrational “not enough” thought.

I know this is a thought and is not a fact. Logically I know this; and when this person referred to me as they, this thought raised its ugly head. It’s an ugly thought, it’s not a fact.

I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me. I know who I am. I am not neutral; I am a woman, friend, daughter, mother, and grandmother. I am worthwhile and important and that doesn’t have anything to do with my appearance.

I can note my appearance because my hair curls in the front like my dad, my lips have the shape of my mother, I have dark eyes like my great grandmother. My children have physical traits of mine passed on. My appearance connects me to my ancestors and to my progeny.

After this happened last Thursday, I had two strangers comment flattering about my appearance/hair and two people I know comment flattering about my appearance/hair. It reminded me that one person’s opinion is not a fact. I see this as a sign that my Heavenly Father knew my heart and tried to soothe my wounds and remind me who I am.

I KNOW WHO I AM

Therapist Difficulties

Hey friends

On Friday I found out that a recent client had committed suicide. This is a complicated emotional experience for me because he was a difficult client.

He didn’t want help, he liked his suicide thoughts-he romanticized them. He also had some narcissistic personality traits and tried to make everything a debate. Most times he wouldn’t do DBT (a therapeutic intervention for people with Borderline Personality Disorder and works very well with suicide and self harm thoughts), and he stooped taking his medication several times.

He left treatment with me when I told him he needed to have boundaries with a friend he often talked about suicide and self harm (glorifying and romanticizing) -they had both been in the hospital twice very recently at this time and I felt the risk was too high for me to be his therapist as he continued this friendship.

He wouldn’t accept my limits and left. He also was somewhat nasty to me as he left-I told him I wished him well and enjoyed getting to know him-he retorted “I wish I could say the same”-he was very mentally ill. And often destroyed relationships as a way to control how others felt about him.

I’m angry at him for not accepting help. I’m sad for his family-his sister found him. I’m sad sometimes that I work in this wonderful and terrible field.

Yesterday I (we) painted our bathroom-the second to last room in our project of re painting the inside of our house after living here for 13 years.

I did not once think of my work. I was on a ladder, I was sitting on the floor, I was going up and down my stairs and completely focused on the task at hand. I’ve never been so thankful to be distracted by hard work. What a blessing not to think about work.

Hard work is a blessing.

Hair Dilemma

Happy Thursday everyone!

So I have a dilemma.

I have some gorgeous wigs that I love.

I also have a neck injury which I am seeing specialists to help with pain. I received two shots in my head (my occipital nerves are pinched-as they go around my scalp on the right side).

My headaches and general pain is decreased but I wore my cute blonde wig for a few hours on Monday and 🔥🔥I was in such pain!

So…I can’t wear wigs right now. Who knows how long that will last.

I am now wearing my own hair although it’s pretty thin. I do like the color-it’s mostly silver with some black/brown. It makes me think of Storm on X-Men 😂

I just need some shaping-trimming as it is different lengths in different spots.

I guess I don’t have a dilemma. I’ll be who I am and wear my own hair.

Score for me!

Be You too!

Pretty Perspective

I remember growing up compliments on my outward appearance were rare.

I heard the skin on my legs and arms looked smooth. I heard my hands/fingers were long and shapely.

I had acne, I struggled with styling my hair, my teeth were stained because my mom used a certain antibiotic while pregnant with me, and I fell on the ice and knocked a tooth out. I did not ever think I was pretty but I thought I was important to my Heavenly Father.

Then as an adult (with four children) I ran into a couple from my youth. I worked part time at Mervyns while attending university. They stood agape at me when I said hello, “you are pretty” they said but their tone sounded incredulous like what the hell happened to you?? I didn’t know whether to say thank you or be offended.

I thought it was odd because I had not changed as a person. I had matured, still had acne (I have rosacea now which is very similar) I did fix my two front teeth-one that broke when I was 17 and the other chipped several times by my rambunctious children. I experienced several challenges and overcame and I think more confident in myself.

I realized then that other people’s view of me is not important and interestingly enough changes all the time. My view of myself is what is important and it should not be based on my appearance because it also changes every year. My appearance is a ever changing landscape. I am grateful to have the chance to live and experience; I am less grateful for chronic pain but it sure is nice when I don’t notice it.

I am grateful to be a daughter, mother, wife, grandmother, friend, co worker, therapist, hard worker, fun loving, funny (sometimes only I think this 😂) caring, loving, kind, thoughtful, determined, and creative person. None of this has anything to do with my appearance. Thank goodness for that.

I’m the same person in all these pictures no matter my appearance.

The Long Week

So tomorrow I go back to work. I’ve had the last four days off. The storm is coming….

Several therapists-co workers are off this week, both our psychiatrists, three of our directors, and several mentor staff…

Tomorrow morning I have a process group with perhaps 30 people. It’s less than ideal but many people are on PTO.

I am just taking the attitude that I can only do my best and then…

It’s only four days (I have Friday off) and what I can’t do-does not matter.

Frodo eventually returned the ring to the fires of Mordor. I can get through four days.

Faced and Masked

Hello friends!

Now that I’m, and many others are wearing masks every day when not at home I’m noticing some things.

I’ll be in my office, alone-not required to wear a mask while alone in a room- and I’ve had my mask on for at least 15 minutes.

My husband and I leave a store and he’s mumbling while we drive home-I realize he still has his mask on.

I used to think people in their cars with masks on must be weirdos but now I know

It’s like wearing a bra (maybe this is a stretch) -lets go with PANTS. Once you get used to wearing pants you kinda forget they’re there. I think it’s the same now with masks. Now we’ve got used to wearing masks we forget they’re there.

Don’t judge the people in their car with masks on, our world has changed and it’s the new norm.

No Makeup No Problem

There’s this idea that our appearance is the determination of our worth. Or our amount of followers determine our worth. Or our net worth/finances determine our personal worth.

You get where I’m going right?

Our worth as individuals is not dictated by appearance, weight, hair, social standing, financial status, or number of followers.

We are worthy because we are human beings-deserving of love and connection each of us no matter our appearance, age, weight, money, or status.

Let’s start valuing and loving ourselves (this includes our bodies-no matter our appearance or ability)

My 2020 mantra-YOU ARE ENOUGH

(No makeup-no problem)

Survivor 2020

Lots of women right now are on social media talking about their Covid weight and how they’re planning on, participating, or advertising a new diet.

I think we all need to congratulate ourselves for living in 2020. It’s been stressful, it’s different, sometimes it’s scary, we are isolated from other people, they are also weird natural disasters going on, along with political and racial conflict too.

Oh and masks! Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. Who knows right?

Maybe it’s ok to say-Hey thank goodness it’s almost September and I’m a survivor. My body and my mind are strong and I can do hard things.

Isn’t this more important than the stupid number on the scale?

I am surviving 2020-that’s the most important thing.

I AM ENOUGH

Hello friends!

It took me a month or so to be brave to make this post.

At first I thought-maybe I should try to lose weight and then I caught myself. No not that. That is not right. I am enough.

Then this morning (when the stars aligned so to speak) I thought: my eyes are puffy. I have this red spot on my neck. Nooo not that again. I am enough.

It was also difficult to take a picture and be happy with one. I am enough.

I am enough, without makeup, with hair loss, in my body that is brave experiencing autoimmune disease, in my changing body, in my age. I am 56…..

I AM ENOUGH (even with all the pictures I did not like)