Sure! I can do that! I’ll help! That sounds fun!
NO! Bad Rose. You don’t HAVE any more time (assuming you want to remain functional).
I’m trying out this new thing where I don’t run myself into the ground, crash, and repeat. I think it’s called balance. Since leaving home I have been itinerant. Around the 2-3 year mark I relocate, sometimes abruptly, often with a side of, ‘OMG, what am I doing with my life, let’s change EVERYTHING.’ I’m just past the 2 year mark in San Diego. I like my job and co-workers. I paddle. And ride. I’ve made friends here. How do I maintain? Can I NOT rock (or disable, set on fire, and sink) the boat?
One line of defense is my Brain Maintenance. I see my shrink regularly, whether I need it or not. When issues come up, she already knows me and knows what’s going on so I’m not trying to fill in backstory (or find someone when I’m crashed – that is the WORST time to be trying to find a shrink) Things that could become major don’t because I catch them earlier. Or I have the skills to cope and the support to USE those skills when I’d really rather be a snarky bitch.
I’ve been pondering a ‘shrink’ blog for a while. Awareness of mental health seems to be on the rise. Depression, anxiety, ADHD. But what do you do when things are going well? Or you’re ‘cured’ (or coping, or in a good phase)? Or maybe you don’t have any mental health issues. Consider a physical analogy. You go to the gym for a year and get fit. Great! You’re there! You can stop now, right? Um, no. That sounds ridiculous.
I consider my mental health to be equally important, and worth actively maintaining. For me, that means I get to spend an hour a week at the park with my Bad-ass Biker Shrink.
Some little bits of advice on shrinks from a serial shrink-ee. If you have one and don’t like them, get a different one! Fit is SOOOOO important! And if you think you might need one, try not to wait until it’s urgent. In crisis, judging who you are going to let into your brain, who is a good fit, is nearly impossible. Maybe every week isn’t your game (because you’re shrink isn’t as cool as mine), but having one who is a fit and knows your backstory for those occasional oil changes can be crucial to get you back up and running.