Not a lot of people know that I have PTSD from serving two tours in Iraq, and that I also manage depression. And they can swallow me up if I let them, which is why I have to be very intentional about my self care. But some days are just tough. Some days it feels as if small tasks are impossible and as if I’ll be sad forever. I always get through them by taking small steps though, so for this podcast I wanted to share some of the small things I do every day for my mental health.
It’s okay to feel your feelings
Let me just preface this by saying that this is not about escaping your feelings or what you’re going through. Your feelings are valid and finding a healthy way to feel and process them is important. In fact yesterday I had to take a day to process some things.
My dog Trinidad James passed and it hit me harder than I thought it would. I adopted Trinidad as a senior, so I knew this day would come but I wasn’t prepared for the level of sadness I would feel.
Maybe because they told me he just had a couple of months to live when I first got him, but then he ended up being with me for 3 years. He became a part of the family. And these last few weeks have been tough for him, so I've been sad for a while now. This just amplified all of those other feelings I have and has allowed me to justify being sad, even though we never need to justify sadness. That’s just an old habit!
5 small things I do every day
So these last few days have been hard, but there are things I do every day to help me deal with the feelings I don't want to feel. Because I don’t want to get stuck. And I don’t want to be sad forever. So here are five small things that I do every day:
I hope this helps you, whatever you’re going through. But just know that you’re not alone, and that you’ve got this Black Woman.