Angel and Self-Care

Self-care: the art of balance…the manner in which one sets boundaries for themselves…knowing when to stop, when to say no…or taking that extra minute in the shower.

One of the ways I engage in self-care is writing.  I don’t get to do it very often as I have a full time job, don’t get home till 8pm, don’t eat dinner until nine, blah blah blah [insert more excuses here].

There are some things I need to write about right now, including my best friend’s recent death.

As I write the word “death”, it sends a tightening down my core….a swelling heat that sends tears from my stomach to my eyes.

People ask me “how I’m doing” or “how are you dealing with that, I’m so sorry”.  I always reply that it “come in waves”.  I unfortunately have to deal with the routines of daily life.  I still have to get up, pee, brush my teeth, go to work, counsel others dealing with their own grief, eat dinner, exercise, and other things.  There are “moments”…..where I get completely and utterly sad.  I want to cry, or I do cry.  Crying is good.  Sadness is good.  Staying “there” in the sadness is possible, but not an option.

The weekend before Angel passed away, I visited her.  I always will regret never visiting her in Arizona after she moved away.  I was caught up in all my business; grad school, licensure, marathon training, and self-care.  I tend to be introverted, so seeking out the company of others is not one of the ways I take care of myself.  So, I think I took for granted that she would ALWAYS be “visitable”.  I never thought the day would come where I would never have the option.  And the one time I visited her in Arizona, she was on her death bed….ugh.

So that’s the one regret I have.

I would keep in contact with her over the years.  We would text jokes, funny pictures, call each other for advice, and even see each other…when she came to El Paso or Alamogordo.

I was at Ross the other day shopping for a new purse.  I had been using the same purse for about nine months, so I thought it was time for a change.  Ross reminds me of Angel because we used to shop together there all the time.  (We would also buy stuff impulsively and decide to return it later…I don’t know, maybe because of the guilt felt from buyers remorse).  I was deciding between two black purses, a Betsy Johnson one made of fabric and another leather one (not sure of the brand).  Both had gold zippers and opened from the top (like bowling bags).  I pondered which I should buy for about twenty minutes as I really like them both.  Then, I heard a tiny voice in my head say, “that Betsy Johnson one looks like a diaper bag”.  I’m pretty sure it was Angel telling me her opinion.

Anyway, self-care is important.  If I was the type of person who never exercised, watched QVC, or took time to write in this blog, it would definitely interfere with my work as a therapist.  Hearing hard stuff all day is difficult.  Dealing with daily life on top of that is a whole other challenge.  Also, I think too much self-care….if there is such a thing…could be a bad thing.  Anything in excess is bad, in my opinion.

So here are today’s lessons:  exercise (not too much), give client issues to God (always), shop (not too much), watch QVC and Honey Boo Boo (not too much), visit your friends (sometimes), and cherish your relationships (always).

Published by ThroughTheEyesOfaTherapist

Mental health clinician, advocate, boxer, drummer, healer. Podcaster, blogger and creative spirit. Cristal Martinez Acosta has been working as a therapist within the border community of El Paso, Texas since 2011. Cristal is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Texas and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). She graduated with honors from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology. Then she attended New Mexico State University (CACREP accredited), where she received a Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance with a 4.0 GPA. She has experience working with youth and adults who have been affected by traumatic events. Her areas of interest are childhood abuse, domestic violence, anxiety, high-risk youth, depression, Reality Therapy, and immigration issues. She is certified in both Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Parent Child Interaction Therapy and trained in EMDR.

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