Thankfully today was a better day! Different teacher. (Natalie, stop being judgy)…baby steps 😉 The two main themes of the day were ‘thinking’ and ‘feeling’. Both at ‘save my life school’ and at ‘the reason why I had a permission slip to skip the afternoon’- I will start with the latter.
I have been ‘thinking’ a lot about getting a particular tattoo…so I ‘felt’ a tattoo needle for 7 hours today…pics to follow. 🙂 Its a tattoo 37 years in the making. Each image carrying so much meaning to me. I have other tattoos, but much smaller, and I’ve always ‘felt’ when the time was right to get them. (Ok, I’m going to stop putting quotations around the words think, and feel, because I’m annoying myself…) Anyway…I’m by no means recommending that people go out and get a 3/4 sleeve because they have a mental illness (obviously), but I know that I will cherish it forever. I had SO MUCH support over the 7 hours! Visitors on a regular basis, texts constantly. It made the time fly and I love you all for being there for me! My tattoo artist now knows quite a bit of paramedic lingo and he LOVED all the stories! (Told with patient confidentiality of course).
Ok, on to how my day at school went. Our main topic was ‘being co-dependent’. It taught me that…well…I am. I’m a people pleaser and a perfectionist. I have a hard time saying no, and feel a lot of my happiness depends on how I make the people around me happy. I was frustrated by how many checkmarks were on my page after I took the ‘quiz’. I’d rather be doing a Cosmo, “Who’s your perfect guy?” quiz.
So how was I suppose to use this new information? I ENJOY making people happy and always avoid conflict like the plague. Was I suppose to turn into a selfish, argumentative person in order to heal?…Apparently not. I learned that my thoughts dictate how I feel…and my thoughts are not always right! Sooooo, wait a minute. Are you telling me my judgment could be wrong? Whoa whoa whoa…I’ve been right for so long! WRONG. Today was a perfect example of this! I was sitting with my friend waiting to start my tattoo, and I was telling her how I was SO appreciative of all the support people have been giving me but that I felt so bad for not being able to reply to everyone because at the end of the day I am so tired. I was SURE this was hurting peoples feelings! I was SURE people thought I was rude for not replying!.. My friend’s immediate response, “Nat, people aren’t expecting you to reply. They just want to show that they are proud of you and love you.” Whoa whoa whoa…this can’t be. But I realized it was true. Thinking that people would be upset with me was making me sad; my thoughts totally dictated my feelings. If I changed my outlook even slightly, it didn’t mean I was rude and selfish, it meant I wasn’t forgetting to take care of me.
Ok…I’m super tired and off to bed. I am mentally preparing to tell you all about Sept 7th, 2013 and Sept 21st, 2014. But thats for another day. We have LOTS of days.
PS. Remember ‘Starbucks guy’? As I left the hospital he came up to me and gave me a high-five. He’s off to a private treatment centre tomorrow. 🙂 I’m going to cheers a latte to him.
October 9, 2014 at 2:09 PM
Your still just as strong in my eyes; amazing role model! Never forget that 🙂
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October 9, 2014 at 2:56 PM
Natalie, as a medic we know that we help others as part of our jobs and take that for granted most days. However, through this forum and by choice you are touching so many more lives including mine by sharing your personal journey. Thank you for your bravery 🙂
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October 19, 2014 at 2:02 AM
Thank you Al! What a great surprise to see your comment 🙂 I hope you are doing great!