Body Positivity, Jesus, Mental Health, self care, self love, Vulnerability

Learning to Love Me

love-yourself

Yesterday I wrote this post:

I am Your Anchor in the Wind and the Waves

Then last night I read this:

“I’m working on my abandonment issues, and I am also working on not saying ‘sorry to bother you.’ I’m not a bother, a nuisance or a burden; I’m a human being who deserves to be understood, loved and valued. I won’t let anxiety tell me anything otherwise, no matter how hard it tries.”

What It’s Like When Anxiety Tells You Everyone is Going to Leave You

It’s so spot on.  In every way.  I’m thankful that there are other people who understand what this is like!  It makes me feel less alone.

I have decided that it’s time to tackle this “self love” thing.  I am learning that I may not be everyone’s “cup of tea,” but I want to be happy with being me.

“What people think of me is none of my business.”  This was repeated in rehab often, and I need to repeat this daily.

All that matters is that my Savior loves me unconditionally, and He has grace for me every day.  I mean, He made me!  He made me on purpose, for a purpose.  That purpose is to share my struggles and how I overcome every day so that people have hope!

I decided to write a list of things that I like about myself (learning to love).

  • My eyes are pretty.
  • My freckles make me look unique.
  • My body is pretty great.  It shows that I’ve had 3 kids and that I’m no longer yo-yo dieting.  My husband loves it just as it is.  I’m taking good care of it by eating nutritious foods much of the time, but also nourishing it by eating foods I enjoy.  I’m allowing it to settle where it will.
  • I’m strong.  I have overcome a lot through the power of Jesus.  He makes me strong.
  • I’m a Christ follower.
  • I share my faith most days.
  • I’m vulnerable about my mental health and addiction.  Maybe this makes me brave and courageous?
  • I’m quirky.
  • I’m passionate about important stuff.
  • I am fighting hard to have a close relationship with my family (after lots of distance because of my illnesses and drinking).
  • I help other people going through mental illness and/or addiction.
  • I love people when others may not.  I love deeply.

What do you like about yourself (learning to love)?  You should make a list as well!

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Body Positivity, self love

Teaching the Kids to Work through the Hard Stuff… and A Project that I’m Starting!

Since my counselor has told me that the EMDR treatment will help with my anxiety, I started thinking that maybe I really can homeschool Karis next year!  Woohoo!  Yay!

Then I emailed Karis’ teacher to ask her opinion of the junior high in Rocksprings.  When she found out I was thinking about homeschooling her again, she sent this (and just know that I realize many homeschooling mamas won’t agree… it’s okay… I do agree with this!):

“I really do not believe that homeschooling is the best option for Karis. She is very quiet and I believe being in a school environment challenges her social skills. It is easy and comfortable for someone to be in the same environment day in and day out, but in my opinion it is not the healthiest situation for Karis. Her exposure to other students is necessary and healthy. She has come a long way since she first came, and the longer she is around these kids the more comfortable she will become. If her school keeps changing, she’s going to have a really hard time making and maintaining friendships.

Junior high will be a very different time and she’s going to experience a lot of change….but change is good and even if it is hard for her, the answer isn’t always to remove a child from a difficult situation. Karis will learn at every new phase she goes through. I believe that public schools help kids emotionally and mentally  prepare for “real world” situations. I would love to talk to you more about this any time. Feel free to call me and I will gladly give you my opinion. I really am honored that you are asking my opinion on this, and I think the more you allow her to sort of ‘fight her own battles’- per say- she will be stronger in the long run. We can’t always protect kids from the world, so we have to prepare them and teach them how to be strong.”

As soon as I read this, I knew what we needed to do.

I want our kids to learn how to be strong, to fight through the difficult moments, to have courage, to be bold, to learn to stand up for themselves, and to learn to be leaders.  They can’t do that if they don’t go through difficulty.  Homeschooling is safe for the kids and for me.  But safe isn’t necessarily best.

Robert and I have decided to leave the kids in public school.  Maybe for good, maybe not.  But for now it’s best.

When Karis gets into junior high, she will have kids older than her around.  She’s the oldest girl here, and I have noticed her regress with playing with younger girls.  She’s almost 11 and often acts like an 8 year old.  It’s not at all the other girls’ fault… they are acting their age!  Totally normal.  She has matured a lot just being around kids her age.  I can only imagine what it’s going to be like when she gets into junior high!  I’m excited now to see how she grows.

I bought some new books for her to help her to learn to love and accept herself.

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Liking Herself- Even on the Bad Days.

likingherself

Real Beauty: 101 Ways to Feel Great About YOU

realbeauty

Overall, I’m just learning to trust God.  He loves the kids more than I do.  He has a plan for their lives.  He knows what is going to happen in the future.  He will guide them through difficult decisions, He will teach them how to be a light to their classmates and friends, and He will use Robert and I to teach them each day.  Our job is to share Christ with them, pray with them, worship with them, take them to church, and just be the example of Christ.  We are not perfect, and I’m thankful that they will see that. I want them to know that it’s okay to not be perfect.

So now what.  What will I do with all my time?  I’m only driving to town on Wednesdays now for AA (and Sundays for church) so I have so much free time.

I started to think through this.

What do I like to do?

Crafting?  That’s a BIG NO.

Reading?  Some, but it’s not my favorite thing.

Cleaning?  Yes, but there’s only so much cleaning that can be done.

Cooking?  Yes, but that can only be done in the evenings, really.

Baking?  Yes, but there’s only so much baking that I can do.

Writing?  YES.  I love to write!  I can’t say that I’m an amazing writer, but it’s something I enjoy.  So.  I’ve decided that it’s finally time to start writing the book that I’ve wanted to write for years.

The book that I’m going to work on will be an autobiography.

To get started, I’m going to do two things.

1) Read a great autobiography of someone that I have a lot in common with.  It’s called Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy.

autobiography-of-a-face

A brief description from Amazon:

“At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. In this strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. Vividly portraying the pain of peer rejection and the guilty pleasure of wanting to be special, Grealy captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.”

Cruelty from classmates, suffering and gaining strength through that, peer rejection and wanting to feel special, wanting to be loved for who I am, and struggling to want to be perfect.  These are a description of me… along with mental illness and other trauma.

I’ve also read that she struggled with addiction (heroin).  She eventually died from a  heroin overdose.  While I don’t struggle with illegal drugs, I have an addiction to alcohol.  It’s all the same, really.  If I were to ever have a drug, I would be addicted right away.  Addiction is addiction.

2) I will just sit down and start writing.  Pieces of my writing will be on this blog as I go.  I have no idea where to even start.  I asked a friend of mine who is a counselor and an author.  She said, “Anne Lamott says you put your butt in the chair. You sit down and write, consistently.
You write lots of shitty drafts, she says.”

Used to, I would have apologized for the language, but I don’t care so much anymore.  Having been in rehab, I heard cussing all day every day!  Ha!

I’ve decided to move my discussion of mental illness, addiction, body image, etc over to this blog (and excerpts from the writing that I’m doing).  It makes more sense to have the one titled Home of the Croslands to focus more on my family and household things and Courtney Crosland’s Writing focused on everything else.

See you around!

Body Positivity, Intuitive Eating

What Body Positivity and Intuitive Eating Means for Me… Loving Myself

riots-not-diets

I have been spending a lot of time thinking and learning about this.  I am in several groups that promote body positivity.

As I’ve learned, the main way people lose weight is dieting, and there is only a 5% chance that with dieting you’ll keep the weight off.  I mean, you may lose weight eating intuitively, but the reasons to eat that way have nothing to do with weight loss.  You may or may not lose weight eating that way.  I’ve learned that our bodies have a set point and it’ll always go back to that.  I’ve seen this time and time again.  So many of my family and friends will lose a good amount of weight, only to put it back on and sometimes more.  So, the science shows this to be true and it’s true in my life as well.

So for me, I know that I can’t do much about my weight long term.  Between medication, metabolism slowing down, and just coming to my set point, I have gained 30 pounds in 3 years.  I also cannot lose it (even with dieting) and have only gained more back when I have dieted.

I have learned that weight doesn’t necessarily measure good health.  I had high cholesterol at my lowest weight.  I have normal cholesterol at my heaviest.  I know people that are thin that have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.  Thin-ness doesn’t necessarily mean that you are healthy!  I know plenty of thin people that drink lots of sugary soda, eat whatever they want, and they don’t gain a pound.  Robert is super thin and doesn’t gain no matter what he eats (he’s been known to eat 8 tacos on Taco Tuesday).

And on the flip side, I know people that are heavy that are super healthy.  I’ve read about so many women who run marathons, lift weights, exercise a lot each day, and not be thin.  Exercise doesn’t=weight loss either.  I have been known to exercise 2-2 1/2 hours a day (when I was hypomanic) and not lose a pound.  Many women that are heavy don’t have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes.  Movement actually helps this.  No matter your weight.

I am learning that body positivity means to love your body no matter what body type you have.  Whether you’re thin, or whether you’re not.

nowrongway

Now, on to intuitive eating.

intuitive-eating

I’ve shared about this before, but what does it mean?

intuitive-eating

For me, this means:

  • Eating vegetables every day because they make me feel good
  • Eating pizza sometimes
  • Eating lots of protein (because of blood sugar)
  • Eating my favorite meal at my favorite Mexican restaurant
  • Eating whatever is served in the dining hall because it’s free food and it allows us the chance to hang out with our community (and I refuse to eat just salad…)
  • Drinking as much coffee as I want with half and half, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp Pyure (I love the flavor of these mixed)
  • Eating what sounds good, and what I want (sometimes vegetables and sometimes cookies)
  • Having green smoothies (or scrambled eggs with spinach) or Pop Tarts for breakfast
  • A balanced approach!
  • Food freedom!

This means I move my body how I want, when I want… for me, this means hiking on this beautiful property that we live on, but not feeling guilty if I choose not to!

On another note… taking steps to loving myself is finally doing something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and have put off for fear of what people will think.

I’m going to finally be getting the tattoo that I’ve been wanting for a long time.  It’ll be on my forearm.

It will be of this tree (a painting in my house, by a friend of mine).

img_8483

And it will have this scripture reference: Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

I’m also going to have my nose pierced again.  I’m going to try it in hopes that it doesn’t do what it did last time (got infected and I had to take it out).  We’ll see what happens.  I’m going to get a small hoop instead of a stud.  I think that will make it work out better.

All of this, of course, with our income tax refund after we pay off debt.  We wouldn’t be able to otherwise.  I’m grateful for the income tax refund!!!

One thing that really helps me is learning to spend my time focusing on what I’m grateful for and what I love about life.  Every single day I share with my sponsor 3-10 things I’m grateful for that day.  It helps keep things in perspective.