It’s Joelmas today. I didn’t make a video, because in the interest of self-care, it seemed to be pushing myself too far this week. My day job has been particularly busy, and therefore I’ve had a much smaller mana pool as of late to create magic and mayhem from.
Self-Care, while celebrated in particular today, is something that’s an on-going process.
This past year I’ve been redefining what that means to me.
In 2017 I started doing the following:
- Reclaiming my own space and boundaries.
- Letting myself set the pace of how I create
- Addressing my anxiety
- Analyzing the source of my depression
- Vetting therapists
- Trying to care less about the proverbial small stuff
- Giving myself the freedom to explore again who I am as an artist
- Speaking how I feel rather than how I think I SHOULD feel.
That last one is more recent… it’s one I probably struggle with the hardest. I think most empathetic people do.
I want to be a good person. I want to always be kind. And sometimes that comes at the expense of my own emotional needs, feelings, and energy. I have often neglected my own emotional health in favor of those around me. It’s not an uncommon trend, especially in those recovering from abusive relationships.
Add on top of all that this idea that we have to let go of things in order to heal. And we do, I don’t disagree with it, but we have to do it on our own time table. And that means letting ourselves be angry.
Sometimes self-care is just letting yourself still be angry.
You can know in the long run it will matter less. You can know that logically you will feel better once you let it go.
But it’s not really a conscious choice. And time, and actively acknowledging that is really the only way to go about it.
And of course, we all know this.
But we still, often without realizing it, set some sort of ‘deadline’ to when we need to be ‘over’ something.
And that’s not how it works. Healing, I’ve come to realize, is far from linear–especially when you’re trying to heal on a deadline.
It’s been five years since Joel died. I’m still angry about it. I’m still angry about how some people reacted to it.
And that’s okay. And it’s not a constant feeling. But it does still crop up, and because I feel like I shouldn’t be anymore, I try to swallow it and push it all away again. And the repression cycle continues. And maybe if I hadn’t pushed it away, I’d be further along. I don’t actually know. Because you can’t put your heart on a deadline.
It doesn’t work that way.
Today I have to work, and I don’t really get to relax until later in the week. And I’m a little angry about that too.
And rather than trying to swallow it and pretend like I’m okay… I’m just going to let myself be angry. Because I’ve noticed the less I press down on it, and just accept it, the easier it is to work through.
It’s not a festering anger, but rather a strange meditative one. Acknowledging it, feeling it, but not feeding it. Mulling over the aspects of fury.
I’m angry at my brother for leaving. I love him, but I’m angry. I understand why it happened, I understand he thought he was doing what was best. But I’m angry. And sad. I don’t think I’ll ever not be sad. I miss him. Some days more acutely than others. Also I have so many questions. Some that need answers, some that are just pure fluff and I want to hear what he’d say.
I’m angry at a few friends who did not handle my mourning with a lot of empathy. I love them, and I know they love me… but I’m still dealing with feelings of actions that I will have to address with them individually. It’s a belated communication, but so much never said has a tendency of bubbling up. We never talked.
I’m particularly angry at a person I haven’t spoken to since, who had no right speaking of my brother due to our personal history. We will never talk, and I know that’s best. But I never fully dealt with why we weren’t speaking in the first place, nor have I dealt with my anger about them presuming they had a right to speak about my brother to me.
Anger can be destructive when coddled. But it can’t be ignored. You get angry for a reason. And rather than shut it down, you should take time to really study why. Stop telling yourself how you SHOULD or SHOULDN’T feel. First, feelings don’t work with normal logic. Emotional logic is non-linear and has a sense-memory far more in-tune than our own conscious minds can recall. The lizard brain takes so much longer to heal.
I’ll be treating myself later this week. But today? Today I’m meditating on my anger. There is a lot of it. And setting a deadline for when it should be gone isn’t helping anyone.
Least of all me.
Self-Care has many forms. And it’s an on-going process.