Monday, May 14, 2012

Guest Post: Michelle from Creating Us

The Brighter Writer is on Rocky Mountain Hiatus! While we settle our attitudes to the altitude, please enjoy my guest girl Michelle over at Creating Us:

Me.  Michelle.

When Krista asked me to write a guest post for her I pondered for a moment what I would write about.  Hmm.  Then I quickly came to my conclusion…ME.  So here it is, all about me.  Well, squished into a few paragraphs.

Krista and I met when we were in seventh grade so I have known her for…well…I won’t give the years, but for a longgggg time.  We were incredibly close in high school but that closeness tapered off the older we got.  Regardless, we have stayed in touch to some degree since seventh grade and I am grateful for that.  Now that we both are moms, we have even more of a bond between us.  Yep, we are both moms.  Such an odd thing to think looking back at our formative years.  Now, moving on to me.  I am a mom.  That pretty much defines me at this point in my life.  I love being a mom to my sweet son, Samson.  He will be two years old in August and since the day he was born my life has revolved around him.  He became my everything, to a point that it hurt.  I’m sure most of we moms think the worst from time to time and naggingly worry about our kids, but it got to a point where my anxiety took over.  I strived to be the perfect mom, along with the perfect {fill in the blank} pertaining to every role I over-extended myself in within my life.  I thought I was losing my mind and my poor, sweet husband was constantly walking on thin ice and fearing the wrath of me over something so petty as a dirty dish in the sink.  Looking back now, I shutter at the ways that I treated so many people I love, but I also now know what I need to do to keep “the crazies” at bay, to keep myself well.

Luckily for me I am a graduate student in the counseling program at the University of North Texas.  How does that make me lucky, to be a grad student at thirty + years old and a stay at home mom of an active almost two year old?  Whelp, because as I am learning to help others, I am also learning about and how to help myself.  I am learning so much about myself.  For instance, I like to help others {duh…that’s what I just said}, but I tend to neglect myself.  One of the first things that I have learned, and that is reiterated over and over again in this program, is that personal wellness comes first for counselors.  Makes complete sense, but I guess I never really thought about it because I was so caught up in taking care of others.  Putting myself first hasn’t been easy for me, it has been a slow and bumpy road, but I am getting there one baby step at a time.  I entered my counseling program when Sam was five months old and I had been dreaming of doing this for years, but the first night I left him I cried the entire way to class.  I felt so selfish and wanted to turn my car around and throw in the towel.  Thank goodness for my insanely supportive husband and family who have held a torch for me through this process, and who will continue to do so during the years I have ahead of me.  In the end, I know that this isn’t selfish; I am doing this for my family.  So how am I doing this for me?  I have always loved being a student, and I still do.  Even when the pressure is on at the end of the semester, I love it.  I get a rush from pushing myself and earning A’s that I work my arse off for.  Finding that motivated, driven, and smart girl within me has allowed me to love myself again.  It has helped me become well.

In all of this talk about being well, I want to remind you of a Wellness Wheel that Krista posted awhile back.  Becoming a student again is assisting me in my areas of intellectual and social wellness, and someday {hopefully}, occupational wellness.  As much as I love and am grateful to stay home with my son, it is really nice to have that social aspect of being in classes with adults discussing things other than poopy diapers and trying to translate the temper tantrums of a toddler.  This has also tied into my emotional wellness along with what I am learning about myself in my classes.  I am also seeing a counselor to assist me in becoming well.  You see, I was nervous about seeing a counselor regularly while being in school to become a counselor.  How am I going to help people if I also have to be helped?  I learned early on that counseling is just a part of my wellness, as it is for many other counselors.  I have also learned what counselors really do.  What’s that you say?  I’m sure many people envision counselors having their clients lie on couches and give them advice.  First and foremost, counselors do not give advice.  That is not what clients want or need, what they want is for someone to listen.  To really listen.  That is what we do, well, that is the basics of what we do.  One of my professors once told our class, “As counselors we aren’t trying to save people, we are trying to help people feel what they want to feel.” That is exactly what my counselor is doing for me, she is helping me feel what I want to feel, and from there, I have the capacity to change my actions.  Our thoughts (cognitions) affect how we feel (emotions) which in turn affect what we do (actions).

The last area of what is keeping me well that I would like to discuss is exercise.  I used to hate running, despised it.  I remember when I started I could barely run a block without stopping.  Now I regularly run at least two miles, sometimes four and a half.  That’s still not a long run, but for me it is, my attention span for running isn’t an hour large.  What running does for me is not only keep me in shape, but also give me something that I do all by myself, which also allows me to produce endorphins.  In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't.”  Along with running I do other random workouts at home that I can squeeze into my day.  My new workout BFF is  Through exercise and healthy eating, I am keeping up with my physical wellness.

Well, there you have it, me.  At least what defines me at this point in my life.   I’m a fitness freak mom who is getting her Master’s in Counseling and dedicated to making myself well.  Maybe this post will help you reflect on who you are; maybe you didn’t even read it.  Either way, thank you for reading {if you did} because through writing out my thoughts, I am also working on my wellness.

No comments:

Post a Comment