hi lovelies! i am sorry i have been mia – i really need to figure out a better system for the weeks where i am traveling, especially because june will be full of it. i had every intention on writing this post midday on monday but decided to take a nap in my car with the a/c on full blast at the stanford shopping center because walking from true food kitchen to my suv wiped me the fuck out since it was 112 degrees. i have said this time and time again but i really do not appreciate the weather when it is over 80 degrees unless i can easily access a body of water. sorry for the rant – i just had to get that out.
i have been in the bay since last thursday. the trip started to develop a few months ago when i was having withdrawals from my grad school girls. then as time went on, it evolved into multiple visits with them, a party for my favorite boss turned friend i have ever had, a 48 hour getaway to livermore to do wine tasting with my twin and more amazing meals than i could count with some of my closest friends from undergrad. i am getting back on the road tomorrow and almost feel uneasy about it just because i don’t know when my next trip here will be.
whenever i am with my grad school girls, i feel even more at home talking about mental health. even though i work as a counselor daily and am planning on continuing to knock out my hours needed for licensure, i am the only person at my job who has my role. sometimes, i might be having a rough work day and i miss being able to just chat with my grad school crew over dinner about all things mental health related. ironically enough, christine (one of my grad school girls) reposted this while i was sitting in her living room. i swear she just really gets it. and apparently, so does the therapist that posted this.
at first glance, i thought of many of my clients. with us being on summer break, i spent a great deal of my last few weeks reminding them about the benefits of preventative mental health care in an effort to avoid us having to jump into reactive mental health care mode once summer ends. in looking at the post again, i started to think about myself in addition to own family and friends.
2019 has definitely been a year full of boundary setting which i have found to truly be a form of preventative care. after having to have surgery on my uterus last year, i find myself going to the doctor more frequently and not just when shit hits the fan. in working on my blog and having the opportunity to do research for inspiration, i am definitely consuming media that both helps and supports me – i am also producing media that helps and supports me. it is an awesome feeling.
there were many years, some of them being when i was in a grad program for counseling psych, where i was doing more of the reactive mental health care – i would go to the doctor only if it felt like i was knocking on death’s door (and would often miss or simply not schedule the regular appointments), there would be a few days a year where i would shut down completely and have to close myself off from the entire world without any explanation, and oftentimes, i would only allow myself certain things if i “earned it” by working crazy hours or getting the perfect score on an assignment. this was no way for me to live.
in thinking about my family and friends, i realized more of them than i would like fall into the category on the right. why is that? why is mental health care only a priority in a reactive way versus a preventative way? it is as if people ignore a problem until it is too big to ignore, and then they act. wouldn’t it be easier to put some preventative measures in place to avoid having to do the reactive piece in the first place?
moving forward, i am going to make an even more conscious effort to be preventative instead of reactive. i cannot wait to see the payoff – it is inevitable.
when thinking about your own mental health care, are you preventative or reactive?