Episode 3: Mental Health as an Empath
I'm back. Took some much-needed time to enjoy the holiday season with my family. That being said, this time of year is the hardest for most.
For many reasons; grief, seasonal depression, toxic people, holiday seasons, kid's birthdays, and more.
So I wanted to lean back into this episode with mental health.
I will preface this week's episode was recorded when I received downloads from the Holy spirit and off the cuff. There was no editing and I did not want to re-record. I am making it a point to carry my microphone with me to get clearer audio in the future.
Without further ado, please read the audio transcript below. There will be links to a few items mentioned- they do not contain affiliate links, just sharing what I love.
Happy Monday. It has been a few weeks since you've heard from me. I have been doing a lot of deep diving into myself and had a few other things going on. The kids weren't feeling the greatest, so kids will always be my #1 priority along with my husband and myself.
So, something I wanted to talk about and dive into is a pretty heavy topic that not a lot of people necessarily talking about and/or really acknowledging is: THERAPY, mental health, mental support, mental help, mental illnesses, and getting it together.
So, I don't remember when my first therapy session started, like I don't remember the date of my first therapy session… but what I can remember is how I felt when I was in that session and after I left that session. I remember my therapist looking at me and saying, "I promise you that things can get better. It may not be tomorrow. It may not be a year from now. It may not be five years from now. But it will get better."
I said "okay"... and I remember walking out of that appointment thinking, "That's a load of shit. Because I feel like in this dark freaking hole, and nothing is going to be able to help me change the way that I feel, the way that I think, that there is no hope for me, I'm a complete failure and anything I try will completely fail".
And one of the things that has really helped me was one of the things that my therapist did say to me is, there is a study (I can't remember exactly what it is called)... but it is basically like cows when they go to eat they always take the same path day in and day out. And so, in order for them to get to a new location to eat their food, they need to be taught how to get to the new location by rewiring their paths. *need a link for cow path theory*
So basically, in order to get from point A to point Z instead of point B, you have to take a different path. Your brain has to create new pathways within its thinking and its habits to get to the end result that you're looking for or you're hoping for. And so, I was like, "Okay, I'm going to focus on that and you know just really know that I am going to work hard at moving the damn cow to the new path".
And I did.
I worked on that really, really freaking hard. And it has been a long, long time to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And when you're in the thick of being in these feelings that you are, you know I've struggled with postpartum anxiety, I have normal anxiety, like moderate anxiety prior to having a child. Or children. And I also have PTSD.
And one of the things that I remember feeling in that first session is that there is “no way that I will be able to walk out of here in one year from now, two years from now or a year and a half from now whenever and be able to think that I have my shit together”, because I very much felt like I was just losing my mind.
I did not think that I was capable of creating new pathways in my brain to get to be the person who I am today, essentially. I am just so freaking proud of myself about it. Because I just left my last therapy session (it is not my last one forever like this last one that I just did on Thursday), so incredibly proud of myself on the things that I have accomplished and things I have done.
There are a lot of things we talk about in my therapy sessions and one of them is of me being a very spiritual person and psychically in tune. And I took the last 90 days and did a Bible plan in YouVersion of the chronological story of Jesus Christ. (PLAN LINKED)
I think I've mentioned this before, and I'll mention it again; this is the first time in my life, adult or adolescent, that I have read the Bible in any capacity.
I've had a lot of questions about my ability to communicate to spirit. I've had a lot of questions answered in the times that I've prayed to God while reading the last 90 days plan (I will link it so you guys can try it out if you're interested, if not, no big; but anyways). I am very proud of myself because I had a moment today where I went for a physical and I was able to sit there and read the room of what was happening without actually letting the chaos that was unfolding outside of me to sink into myself.
I have for years as an empath struggled immensely with absorbing the emotions and energies of everyone else around me.
And so one of the things I've talked about with my therapist is that you know, I have actually just been reading a book called Grit by, I think, Angela Duckworth is her name, I'll have to look it up for sure.
And what I've noticed, in the stories, it talks, not the stories, it's a developmental book, a psychologist book, it talks about Grit.
Talent versus skill and effort and how it all, like, coincides.
I wish my 16-year old self would have read this book. But I also know this book came into my life when I needed it to, I don't think at 16 I would have been ready to digest the information; that I am reading about in this book.
But essentially, I've struggled with it, because I, for the longest time have known that I am naturally gifted in hearing spirit and talking to spirit. And, I have always questioned whether that was right or wrong.
And, everyone interprets the Bible however they want to interpret it, however, the last three days of the 90 days of the chronological story of Jesus is the Book of Revelations, which is basically one big prophecy.
Like, I told my therapist, like honestly if I had no clue and like having not read the other passages, I would have thought that this dude was straight up tripping on some acid or shrooms, like the stuff that he wrote about if you have not read it, is pretty freaking trippy.
Uhm, and it astounds me that there are so many people who question the ability to connect to God and spirit. But can still read the book of revelation and know that John was able to talk to Angels and prophesize and see an entire, like, crazy thing happen.
Uhm, I do know I have a lot more to talk about, I just have to take a pause because I have to get inside the house, and I will get back to this.
Okay, so I am back from checking on the kiddos and I left off on the Book of Revelations and how it astounds me that everyone comes to their own conclusions. People make their own conclusions about the Bible and different things like that.
Which is totally fine, and it does really astound me that there is a separation of being able to communicate to spirit and what God truly wanted. And, that’s not for me to dive into and totally something for you to dig in on your own.
But one of the things that I did want to continue talking about in regards to going to therapy and how it has really impacted and shaped how I have unlearned a lot of the fight or flight methods that I had growing up.
So, when you live in fight or flight for so long, you only think of you. Your survival. Your needs. Your happiness. Your desires. Your wants.
And, really everything else kind of gets pushed to the back. So, I, for the longest time, have been asking my husband to have conversations with me about, like, what our plans are for the week, what our plans are for the day. And really, I was so focused on my fight, or flight, or fawn or freeze responses and getting out of that to get into my safe space and, like, feel safe in my body.
That what I was essentially doing was pushing away, like, the times that he was actually ready to have those conversations.
So, for example, I, the other day, was given time to put away a buttload of laundry that has been piling up, like I’m sure every other mom has had this like piles and piles of laundry. And my mom was over, bless her, she totally banged out washing and drying all of the clothes but she was like “You’re going to put them away cuz I don’t know where they go”.
So she had the kids, she was, like, taking care of them, while I was putting away the clothes. And I was like great, threw on an audiobook, was totally jamming.
Then my husband came in as I was close to being done, and he was like “hey, so, here is my thing that I need to do today”.
And I was like, “Okay, well, just, yeah, you do what you gotta go do, I'm in the middle of doing my stuff”, right?
And then I stopped after he walked out of the room. And he was, like trying then to tell me what he wanted to do, like his to-do list. And my response to him was, “okay go do what you gotta do, like I don’t want to hear it”.
Then I stopped and thought, “wait, I do want to hear it. Like I shot myself in the foot for hearing it this time, but moving forward ‘How can I actually open myself to hearing what he says?’”. Because for so long being in fight or flight or survival mode, no one else matters.
And that has been one of the hardest things, being a mom and wife, is that fight or flight, you’re looking for your safety, you're looking for your safe spot. And, Other people depending on you or needing you is hard, because you’re like, well “how do I create my own safety, and then how do I create safety for them?”.
So, I don't have the answers to it. I am still learning how to get there, but I am very proud of myself. Because I am finally in a place where I feel safe enough to let my guard down and know that, like, I am in my bubble, I am okay, I am safe, I am providing my emotional safety needs, no one else has to meet those for me. But I am figuring out my baseline. And, since I'm figuring out my baseline I’m now able to open myself up to tending to other people's emotional needs and wants and desires and happiness. Not that anyone else's happiness depends on me, but I am able to model emotional safety for others, for my family really.
And that is my main goal, because, you know when you’re in survival mode, it is really hard. And a lot of us in the world are in survival mode because there has not really been an emphasis on emotional safety or mental safety, for that matter.
So that is something that I just really wanted to talk about is you know once you give your body the ability to feel safe you have the ability to dig deeper into harder questions that seem so scary and especially as an empath, like I mentioned earlier I was for the physical right and I could sense the room and for so long old me would totally let all that just sink right into my body.
I would absorb it because I was a sponge. Like I had all these holes in my emotional auric field that I just let everything in. and I didn't that day and I'm so incredibly proud. So this has been a pretty amazing and intense turning point for me where I am actually allowing myself to be who I want to be and pretty much not give a damn about what other people say I should be doing or need to be doing in order to make myself feel safe, secure, and happy.
And that is the hardest thing especially when you’re an empath because you think that other people have your best interest; because you see the good in other people. And seeing the good in other people is a great thing, but if you don't have that solid foundation. Man, it is hard to recover from, it really is.
Uhm, so I just really wanted to leave that with you for food of thought. You know, I am not a medical professional, I don't claim to be a medical professional, in any shape or form. But if you need to think about therapy, or if you have someone that has been like, “Oh no, don’t do therapy or whatever”.
NO, DO IT! If it has been on your heart and it’s been on your mind, go for it. And, don’t be afraid. So I hope you enjoyed today.
And I know that today‘s messages were going to be about routines, that is coming because i have a guest. We just have to coordinate our schedules, since we both have kids and find a time that we can have the kids not be with us so you don't hear screaming in the background.
But we will dive into routines and why they’ve been so hard, especially for me as someone who hasn’t had like, when I’ve been in fight or flight for so long, but until next time, I’m so excited and thank you for listening to today’s episode.
Love & light- Victoria