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    Chavy
    Participant

    This was originally from the thread titled Emotional abuse, but I’m putting it under Self care, being open can and is a form of self care.

    I’m reading the back and forth and I want to comment particularly on 1 idea. OnAnonAnon mentioned about how opening up to others can and hopefully will attract them to us more. In this vein, I was just talking to an educator where I work. We got into a whole discussion of how important it is to work with the student and spoke about other things like Mindfulness… Then she opened up to me briefly of her personal difficulties and i was and am amazed at how uninhibited she felt. I’m open with my friends, but not with work colleagues. I wish wish I could be more open. Thought i doubt she would tell someone of my difficulties, I’m still too scared bc i have that voice in me saying “what if she does?” And, my parents would never let me say anything (shidduchim…). On the same note, i was having a really hard week and my teacher noticed I looked exhausted. Again, I wish i could say i have Anxiety… and not just stick with feeling stressed. I know I’m old enough to make my own choices, but my parents no-no of not talking to others about it, plays in my head. And, than you for answering my question! Also, I’d love to hear others’ take on this.

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    Relationships are funny. There are relationships where it would be inappropriate not to share certain things and that gerybsane thing would obviously be inappropriate in other relationships.

    Just because you’re not sharing with certain people, doesn’t mean that you’re not open. Granted, it doesn’t mean you are either :).

    That said, I’m consistently amazed at how awed others are when I tell them that I’m in therapy, group therapy on meds and more. Yes, it’s gotta be to the right people – ‘real’ people – but there are folks that appreciate it!

    Some are even jealous. And that’s when I feel grateful for the challenges I’ve been handed in life. Without them, I’d never want to go to my ‘basement’ (HT @Chany).

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Yes, I agree with you on being open. You could be open with or without mention of mental health challenges. I guess I”m more focused on being open with my mental health challenges bc I wish I could be… I find it interesting that others are even jealous, bc i would never imagine or expect that. Do they feel jealous after you open up and tell them how you’re overcoming your challenges? It certainly is a great feeling when they are in awe and come to really appreciate and respect you.

    What do you mean by your last sentence? Without them, I’d never want to go to my ‘basement’ (HT  @chany). 

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    @Chany had mentioned the idea of the ‘basement’.

    For me it means where my baggage is hidden or  buried. I am of the belief that (almost?) everyone has stuff. Most are never forced to dig it up and deal with it. Whether they know it or not, it weighs them down.

    I feel fortunate that I’ve had to dig through my baggage and sort it out. And continue to do so.

    It has made me who I am today!

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Yes, I can b”H agree with that! Not that it’s easy. It’s easier to feel that when i’m in a calm head space. Wow. I’m simply amazed at your last sentence. It takes courage to say that wholeheartedly.

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    You keep up the interest in self improvement and you’ll be there at a much younger age than I. And you’ll have that much more to give as an employee or employer, friend, daughter, sister, mother and wife.

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you for your kind words and Amen! Keep it up too 🙂

    Love this convo! @chavy thanks for bringing this up and creating a new topic for it under self care, completely appropriate.


    @onandonanon
    totally agree with you that one can be open without being transparent about personal issues or the like, specifically mental health challenges. It’s not an all or nothing game. However, I completely hear chavy and her desire to be transparent in this area of her life, perhaps, to feel lighter, to feel more normalized, to evoke deeper connections and relationships, and possibly even to define yourself as separate from your family “rules” -may be a healthy differentiation.

    I wish there were a rule we can follow of when and how to be vulnerable to get the results and the feelings we’re seeking, but unfortunately I don’t know of such a resource (Brene Brown’s book are excellent and do explore this in some depth).

    What I can suggest is that you try to identify the why of your wanting to be open. For instance, if your why is to make your parents mad then maybe you rather deal with the anger in a more effective way. (I know that’s not your reason as far as I can tell, I’m just trying to clarify what a why statement may look like). Then, you may want to create a hierarchy of things that would potentially make you vulnerable but that you wished you can share and with whom you’d potentially share it with from the safest to the most difficult.

    Finally, you’d decide if the reasons and potential benefits of sharing were worth the risk, and you can choose to start with the simplest area and safest person. Try to make sure that the benefits are not solely based on a perfect or close to perfect response from the other party. Like this, you create room for it being a positive experience regardless of how the other individual responds.

    Remember, everyone has their stuff whether they share it with you or not. If they don’t think they have any stuff  you can honestly feel bad for them because they are in for a wild ride.

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    @fay, I appreciate what you said “possibly even to define yourself as separate from your family “rules””

    The first time I was asked what the family rules were, I didn’t know what my therapist was talking about. Slowly, I’ve learned more about what rules I had as a child and others that I imposed on myself.

    And the whole ‘why’ thing… That’s the being curious we were discussing on one of the threads. Thanks for the way you worded it!

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you Fay! I was actually opened to one of my colleagues today. I felt my anxiety cropping up at work and tried really hard to refocus myself. Normally I would take one of my meds to calm down, but because I had a test today, I wanted to save it for potential anxiety. So, I really felt the need to unburden myself – to feel less weighed down and I told her. I chose her bc she’s very patient, warm and understanding. BH, she responded well and assured me she won’t tell anyone. @Fay, I’m wondering if my ‘why’ makes it appropriate for me to share. I definitely do NOT plan on making her my “mental health companion” or crutch. I guess i’m kind of debating if I could have worked harder on myself (calming down) and not tell her….

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    Good for you @Chavy!

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    anonymous
    Participant

    Referring to the ‘basement’ , I find that even as i’m going to therapy when things are hectic in my life, like erev yom tov, sick child etc and I have a lot to deal with, I sort of appreciate it ( not a good expression) that my mind is to busy to go to the ‘basement’ . As much as I want to work things out, it’s still kind of scary. Makes sense?

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    Of course it makes sense!

    And during the super challenging times our bodies are often already in fight/flight/freeze mode. Like an erev Shabbos. There’s perhaps no time to try new methods in handling anxiety, for example.

    But when you try it on a random Monday morning after spilling your coffee with no one else around, and then again with some other episode, it slowly starts to build momentum.

    Makes sense?

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    anonymous
    Participant

    Makes a lot of sense, and is so right. Real change happens slowly!

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    Hopefully this erev Shabbos doesn’t bring too much stress.

    Have a great Shabbos everyone!

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