Climbing to new heights

2016101695123046I had the most amazing day hiking in New York. My happy place has always been the ocean, and now I have another happy place…nature. Just as I can sit on the beach and watch the waves for hours, I wanted to sit on this cliff and look out at the mind blowing view. I felt brave and strong while standing on this cliff, and now when I feel weak I visualize myself standing on the cliff and I recall feeling brave. It’s a great reminder that I am capable of more than I think I am. I had to climb down a pretty steep path to get to the cliff, and I loved every minute of it. First I sat on a rock and then I jumped down a few feet. Then I climbed down a winding rocky path to the cliff. The cool breeze and the silence of being out on the overhang filled me with joy and gratitude. Then I climbed back up the rocks, which was challenging. I remember having one leg up on a rock and thinking how am I going to get my other leg up there? I said to myself, “Just do it.” And I did.

Lately my life has been the end of things, and the beginning of new things. Being that I moved to a new area, I am trying to cultivate a new life with a new schedule. After 2 years, I ended therapy with one therapist and started up with a new one. I like my new therapist, but the switch is causing me anxiety. My teaching career of 20 years ended in 2014; I have to get a new psychiatrist, because mine is retiring. I am now parenting differently because I have a teenager, oh the fun that can be!  I am living with my parents, so I went from being on my own to living with people. It can be quite challenging at times, but they are really making an effort to make my daughter and I as comfortable as they can, and I tell them that I appreciate their willingness to change some of their behaviors. I reconnected with a friend from a few years ago, and she is going through a rough time. We have been supporting each other and spending time together. We go hiking, watch movies and eat together and talk.. a lot. Sometimes she cooks for me and I feel so comforted by her; she has become a solid force of comfort and wisdom in my life. When she picked me up to  go hiking, she brought me hiking socks because she knew I didn’t have any. Also, I borrow her extra pair of hiking boots because I don’t have any of my own yet. She is a blessing.

Another new beginning is how I interact with my daughter’s father. I am no longer not saying things because I am afraid of his reaction; he can get pissy and hang up on me or yell if he doesn’t like the topic or what I am saying. Recently, we became aware that our daughter is having some symptoms that need to be evaluated. She has shared with me what she is experiencing, and as I calmly listened, I was screaming inside: “Oh my God, my little girl needs help!”  When I shared this with my ex, he was hesitant to accept that she needs help. He said if she doesn’t want to go to the doctor then what’s the point in trying to find one. I said we need to intervene, and he said, “You are just going to do what you wan’t to do anyway.” I let that go over my head and I said I am going to look for a doctor and see if I can get her to go. He said, “Fine.”  I found a doctor and told him I will be taking her; he said to ask her! I said I am not asking her; we have to try. Studies show if you intervene at this age, that it can close the gap on future severe problems. I told him kids commit suicide and everyone says they didn’t know; we know! It would be irresponsible to not try to get her help when we know something is not right. I felt so anxious talking to him, but proud of myself for saying what I felt was important. He seems to be slowly opening to the idea that she needs help.I would also like to preface here that he is suffering from some type of depression or hoarding; that is a whole other issue. So my spirit is restless and I am full of anxiety as I navigate this new path with John. I actually felt so uncomfortable the other day that I wanted to reach out to him to make it better, and I said NO Traci. I repeated in my head over and over: Deal with your discomfort. It actually helped; the acute discomfort passed.

When you are trying new behaviors, you will feel anxious and uncomfortable at first; just let it be. Don’t try to push it away; it is totally normal to experience these feelings when you are changing your ways and behaviors. Can you think of one thing you can work towards changing in your life? How would your life be different if you slowly began to show up differently?

Thanks for reading my post!

“You must learn a new way to think, before you can master a new way to be.”

Marianne Williamson


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