. Think about it: have you ever started something by saying to yourself I will just do half of this thing I really want to do and then tell myself I am not *insert negative self-talk here*. I don’t think so. So what stops people from finishing things they have started? Time, energy, mental space, emotional space, falling into old habits, familiarity, really the list is endless. What happens when you’ve let yourself down and you want to try to commit to a life change again? How can you overcome your self-defeating thoughts and behaviors to reach your goal?
Fortunately for us, April is National Alcohol Awareness Month! You may be thinking to yourself, “Okay, I understand what alcohol is, why do we need a whole month recognizing what it’s all about?” Well, when we think about alcohol in terms of how it interacts with our society, relationships, health, and processing—we would probably still be talking beyond the month of April.
That main paradox is that I feel both deeply connected,but also immensely isolated and lonely. The isolated and lonely piece is almost fully wrapped up in being a group practice owner and entrepreneur (I hate that word, but it’s accurate). At the exact same time, I’m more connected to legitimately amazing people than I ever have been in my life. This year has been un-freaking-believable with the amount of brilliant people I’ve met and developed relationships with.
I love reflecting. More than that, I love hearing others reflect. It’s kind of like “story time”. I have worked with kids for the vast majority of my life, so imagine the amount of stories I listen to. Listening to my own story, told by myself, is a bit of a challenge. We are our own worst critic. Nobody knows me better than I do. So, reflecting on myself has taken me a little while to put to words. There’s just so much!
As I reflect back on 2018, I realize that this past year has brought about many changes to my life. Growth happens to be the word that comes to mind most often during my reflections. This happened in many parts of my life and I couldn’t be more pleased. Growing responsibilities, family, and realizations of my priorities have completely changed the way I view my life. This is difficult, as well as fulfilling.
Have you ever thought what it would be like to not be accepted for who you are? Have you had someone give you funny looks as you kiss your loved one? Sometimes, people wonder if that is because people were never taught any differently, or because they have hatred in their heart. I am here to tell you it can be for numerous reasons and not just the two above.
First off, it’s important to give meaning to the phrase “coming out.” Coming out means that a person who identifies as a sexual or gender minority- as in gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and so on- lets others know their identity.
People describe it as being stuck inside their own personal hell. And there's a lot of truth to that. It's an endless stream of thoughts about worst-case scenarios, what-ifs, past events where you may have said that one thing wrong, and 10 years in the future when xyz might happen. It's incessant.
Feeling untethered? Unsure about where to go next, what to do with your life, and what your future holds? (Technically, nobody knows what the future holds, but that doesn’t mean we should say ‘screw it’ and completely disconnect what control we do have in our life.)
Anxiety is a tricky fiend. It’ll sneak up on you and snatch away your joy when you least expect it. Or it lies waiting all day, just biding its time until you lay down for bed and then it starts screaming in your ear about all the ways you’ve failed, all the things you have to do, all the horrific things that could happen, all the friends who probably don’t even like you, and all the failed attempts at life you’ve had so far.
EGADS, it’s exhausting.