This semester I am renewing the promise I made to myself to take care of my mental state. It’s often easier to drag your ass to the gym than it is to seek help for non physical health issues. I had a rough fall and after finally getting in to see my new therapist in November I have felt a renewed sense of self. I have taken the steps to file informal complaints about my supervisor at school and have subsequently had my TAship changed so that I work in a different department now. The most difficult part of it all was knowing when to put my foot down and say that enough was enough. While my faculty supported me to an extent, some more than others, it was very clear that myself and the other grad student filing complainants were seen to the bureaucracy of the department as nuisances. We could have rolled over and just gritted our teeth. She graduates in the spring, I only have another year and a half left.
But that’s breaking a promise to myself. After the most intense summer I have ever worked (which was made worse because the man who sexually assaulted me several years ago was a favorite of theirs, had worked there the year previous, was friends with many of my coworkers, and who’s name was often mentioned) I found myself in a deep time of depression. My academics suffered, my relationships with my friends suffered, my running suffered. Adding onto that emotional strain, an unsafe emotionally abusive work environment, and I needed to take control of something. To stand up and say that I shouldn’t have to put up with the abuse.
I love myself so much that I was willing to stand up for myself and file complaints, and while it was difficult, tearful, and certainly not a quick-fix, I did it. I feel more confidant this next semester knowing that I have an amazing therapist to talk to and I don’t have to go work in a hostile environment. I can feel the difference in myself. I want to go out with my friends again. I know what techniques I can use to get myself through anxious situations.
Just as I put in the effort to run and aim to improve my 5k times I plan to put equal effort into my mental health. Protecting myself from dangerous situations, nurturing myself when I feel things are going to fast, challenging myself to not take the easy way out and hide. I love myself and I’m not going to get lost again.
31-Day Self-Love Writing Challenge
January is Self-Love month, and it marks the 4th year that we’ve hosted the 31-Day Self-Love Writing Challenge. You can participate by submitting your self-love writing to be published on this blog. You can submit your writing here. You can also participate by writing your self-love posts on your own blog and linking back to the 31-Day Self-Love Writing Challenge, 2014 blog post and Facebook event. If you don’t start on January 1st, that’s fine! You can jump into the challenge whenever you want.
Win a Copy of Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works
Each blog post you write is one entry into our random drawing to win an autographed copy of my book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. You’ll also be entered into our drawing to win our upcoming Self-Love e-products that we’ll be announcing soon.
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your self-love writing, you can write in a journal or write yourself self-love emails. If writing isn’t for you, simply reading others’ self-love writing can be powerful and beneficial to you on your self-love journey.