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The Hardest Parts About Becoming More Self-aware

Hi everyone!


I know it's been nearly 3 months since I last wrote, so please forgive me for my absence. I've been busy setting up my PT business, and experiencing all the ups and downs that come along with that. I also had a pretty rough month in June, and felt too emotionally drained to engage in much beyond my work. However, I'm now back in full swing and ready to share the latest stage of my mental health journey with you.


NEWS FLASH!


I'm back in therapy.


I have officially started 1-to-1 weekly therapy sessions with Glen Ross after realising that I was becoming more and more self-aware, but lacking the tools to deal with everything that comes along with increased self-awareness. I'm fed up of my limiting self-beliefs impacting my relationships and draining me of energy when I need it the most. I'm fed up of putting myself down and only feeling confident when I have the validation and attention of others. I'm fed up of being too scared to give my all to the things that matter the most to me.


So, I contacted Glen and asked if he would do some work with me. I've had three sessions so far, and have already unearthed so much. Part of the work has been to reflect and journal, and now my gorgeous little diary has become my very own confidante. It's a space where I can unload all my thoughts and worries, without dumping them on someone else and without fear of judgement. I've started to feel like some of my journal entries contain thoughts that would be worth putting into a post every now and then to help anyone else out there struggling...


QUICK TIPS (if you're thinking about journaling but don't know where to start)

1. Buy a journal that you like the look, feel, smell, size... of


2. Google search journal prompts for xxx (whatever it is you're struggling with). This really helped for my first couple of entries, and now I feel like I can just pick up my diary whenever I need to unload and just write. I've even started writing a thank you to myself for giving myself the space to do so


3. Find a safe space to write in, and a safe place to store your journal so that you never have to worry about interruptions or a lack of privacy with your thoughts


... Anyways, back to the struggles of becoming more self-aware.


I've slowed down. In life I mean. Quite naturally actually, since the summer months can be the quietest for in-person PTs, especially those just starting out. But the quiet has exposed the thoughts and feelings that crop up when I'm not distracted. Like 2 radios playing at once, and now the 'life's responsibilities' radio has been turned down, and the 'I'm not good enough radio' is the only one left on full volume. That's not to say I haven't gotten better at coping with the 'I'm not good enough' songs and stories. I have. And it's also not to say those are the only 2 radios playing in my head, but going into all of them would turn this blog post into an entire book and I don't think any of us are quite ready for that!


Also, thank you to everyone who has supported me so far, I wouldn't be writing this if you hadn't helped me get to where I am.


But the 'I'm not good enough radio' is still there, only now I've stripped away all the distractions that became addictive coping mechanisms such as micro-controlling my food and gym programmes. The thoughts bombard me all day every day, no matter how great the day, week, or month has been. It becomes very tiring having to do what Glen has told me to do and say 'F*** OFF' to all those thoughts while I work on rewiring the radio that projects my self-beliefs. So sometimes I cope better than others, and I would like to apologise to anyone I've been distant with. To anyone I've not had the energy to really LISTEN to. And to anyone I've overburdened with my meltdowns and oversharing (you know who you are).


I know someone out there reading this going through something similar might be thinking about how much easier it would be to go back to whatever addictive behaviours saved you from dealing with these thoughts.


Don't.


You deserve more than that even if you don't believe it. Even if it's painful and scary and stops you from being able to achieve, perform and succeed in work and life for now. You're fighting a much more important battle.


Don't give up.


Becoming more self-aware may make you realise that you're still a long way away from being where you want to be. And that in itself is hard to face. It might make you feel like you've let everyone down by not being 'over it'. Especially those you care the most about and who care the most about you. But that doesn't discount how far you've already come. You've been busy shutting down all the radios that distract you and tell you stories that just aren't true or helpful.


Stories like:


'I need to be the thinnest so that they know I'm the most hard-working' or...


'I need to eat the least so they know I have the most will-power' or...


'I need their approval because my own isn't good enough'



These stories are all about other people though. They're about other people so that you don't have face what you think and believe about yourself. Once you turn all those radios off, you're left with the most stubborn one of all. BBC1 that follows you everywhere, on TV, on your phone, when you catch up with a friend and they share the latest news, in the latest health and wellness article you read online, when you try to be vulnerable with the one you love. The triggers are everywhere and they raise the volume on that radio, but even they aren't really your own voice. That voice has been shaped by life, and no one is to blame for it, but it's NOT YOU.


Living with that voice may be painful and uncomfortable for a while. But rushing the process of rewiring it will only cause the circuitry to become scrambled and even harder to make sense of. So take your time. Give yourself time. Schedule YOU time if you need to.


Here's a photo of a bit of painting I've been doing in my ME time.



Thank you Grandma and Bampa for this beautiful canvas that has brought me hours of joy when I've needed to recharge.


Thank you all for being there for me and always showing your support.


Thank you to myself for not giving up.


I'd like to share more of my actual diary entries, but I want what I share to be relevant to you. Share in the comments or private message (both can be anonymous) what you need or want to read and I'll do my best to be honest. I hope that my writing helps you feel like you're not alone.


I'll make sure it's not so long before my next post but for now I'm sending huge love and hugs,


Rachel xxx




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2 Comments


davidwbent
Aug 20, 2023

What a special post and how wonderful to see Rachel sharing some practical and powerful ideas and actions to help other people xxxx

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Guest
Aug 20, 2023

You have no clue how amazing you are, so beautiful in and out!

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