House of Healing
I needed a break. I didn’t know how much I did until I hit that wall a couple months ago. This is actually a post I started writing last December. It was going to be a health/wellness update and to share my intentions for the new year. But talking about mental health while working on it is honestly intimidating. It’s the most personal thing we can share and thus it feels very vulnerable.
Despite it being nerve-racking I keep having this nudge to talk about it and share my experience over the past year and a half. And this is also just my personal experience and I’m not a health professional. Definitely do your own research. Let’s get into it.
When we moved here I knew it would be a place of healing. I didn’t know how hard it would be, but I was ready to work on myself and feel better mentally and physically. I’ve had bouts of depression and anxiety for a long time. I wanted to get to the root of it and so began the deep dive into myself.
I wanted to know why I am the way that I am, why do I think the things that I think, and do the things that I do.
Ironically, shortly after moving here I was in a very dark head space. I remember thinking what is wrong with me? This is what I’ve dreamed of for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted an old farmhouse to fix up and some sweet farm animals to love on. Why don’t I feel happy?
Of course the reason is complicated.
First of all this place was, and is, overwhelming. I mean we were here almost a year before it was just to a livable maintainable state…and then the actual work started. Fixer upper living is hard. I’m someone, like most of us, who’s deeply affected by my environment. I love to make things beautiful and keeping things clean and tidy. This place was none of those things lol.
Change and Stress
Then one month after I had turned in my resignation at work after deciding to become a full time creator the pandemic hit. This was a huge decision and I’ve never worked harder in my life than I have since making it. Career changes are one of the biggest stressors in life…so is moving. So within just a few months we moved, which wasn’t just an across town kind of a move it was a complete lifestyle change, and I changed career paths, oh and did I mention the freaking pandemic?!
I think it’s safe to say we’ve all gone through a collective stressful experience the past couple of years.
Those are the external factors that affected me. There’s also internal ones and those are the ones I’ve been working on. When I started looking for answers to the questions I mentioned above I began reading about individual trauma, and generational trauma. Trauma can look like many different things, but we’ve all experienced some kind of trauma.
After having a better understanding of how trauma manifests I was able to identify my own. Some of which stemmed from childhood and some later in life. I grew up on a small farm, which is why things here triggered me.
Once I started to recognize those triggers and the thought patterns that followed I gave myself time to sit with those feelings and work through those memories. I would allow myself to feel the emotions that came with them, let the emotion pass, take whatever lesson I could from it and then make a conscious effort to let it go. It’s not like you sit and deal then you’re healed though. Your brain has been hard wired to think the thoughts you do for self preservation. So it takes time and conscious work to identify and redirect those thoughts every time they occur. We actually think 90% of the same thoughts everyday almost like a loop. Learning to control your thoughts is a powerful thing. If you can control your thoughts instead of them being reactionary then you can control your emotions.
The best practices I’ve learned that impact me the most are daily affirmations, journaling, meditation, lots of water, a healthy diet, and exercise. I have seen tremendous improvement in my overall mental well being.
Then a couple months ago I hit that ol wall and plummeted to a very scary low. And this is actually something I read can happen. There will be highs and lows on the healing journey. But that’s when I knew I needed break. Not from working on myself, but from trying to do ALL the things, and hold it ALL together, ALL the time. I hadn’t really taken time off in literally years so yep I’d say I was long overdue for a break.
Oh and one of the behaviors that stem from my trauma is the constant need to be productive…noted. This low point also came at a time when I felt things weren’t moving forward with the house aka my literal job now. Things felt stagnant and I wasn’t motivated. I had demoed a room and then the flooring we were supposed to get fell through, which held up not only that room and all the other rooms on the main floor. There was nothing I could do about it. It was insanely frustrating for months, and the wall followed.
So I took a step back, to breathe and to surrender knowing everything is going to be okay. I focused on all the good in my life, and let me tell ya there’s so much to be grateful for! Here’s a little slice of life during that time. Three healthy beautiful lambs were born here! Being a farm mom is my favorite! Ed got a new job that he loves! Our relationship is stronger than ever! I hit the jackpot with that guy! Our garden is thriving and I started everything from seeds this year! We’re also growing a pumpkin patch for the first time! Most importantly I have learned to love myself.
And guess what? When I let go, and intentionally constantly looked for all the joy and things I have to be grateful for in my life the clouds parted and things starting falling together again. I feel better than I ever have, but I know this is a lifelong journey. Your thoughts absolutely create your reality. I’ve learned and experienced so much about this stuff that it’s hard to sum up everything in a single post. It also feels a bit challenging to find the right words, but hopefully it will help someone who might be struggling to find the light. Please know it can and will get better.
Sharing My Heart
This is a very different kind of post than my typical home related article, but there was no way I would just pop back in without trying to share some of it. And anyway this IS my Journal, right? Haha! I’d like to share more personal things going on in our lives along with my regular content moving forward. Let me know if this is a subject that you’d like me to talk more about!
Ps We found flooring AND just got done installing it in the first room! I’ll share as soon as I can because I’m working with my dream brands on the room! Eeeek!
Thank you for being here and giving me grace! It feels so good to be back! Love you to pieces!