A few clients and some friends have been going through some tough break ups recently. Break ups can be very difficult when tensions are high, emotions are raw, and they can be complicated more when couples have been living together as well. It is important to be patient with yourself as well as to utilize supports.
Here are some things to consider doing for yourself as you go through this transition:
1. Journal: Write down your feelings, experiences, and don’t hold back.
2. Listen to music- find music that speaks to your heart!
3. Lean on your friends and family; tell them what will be helpful in supporting you.
4. Stay active- staying in may feel easier and
5. Separate yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally from the person. Disconnect from them on social media.
6. Take time for yourself. A quiet book, a soak in the bath tub, a walk in the park? Taking time to reflect can be very beneficial.
7. Pet therapy – animals can be a great way to receive physical affection and can help keep you in the moment.
8. See a counselor- find someone to talk this out with. The benefits of using a third party is that you can get perspective from someone not attached to your ex. This person can also help you grieve your relationship, set new goals, and provide a safe environment to share what is on your heart and mind.
9. Try something new. This can help you focus on something exciting and challenging in your life.
Pay attention to your body and give yourself time to heal. Know that you are processing a loss which can impact your life in numerous ways and staying in tune with this can help as you rediscover this new chapter in your life.
Today marks 2 years since my private practice opened. I’ve taken time over the last month to reflect on this powerful journey. It has been such an honor and privilege to work with so many individuals and families who have walked in the door and opened their hearts and minds. Tough questions have been asked, painful circumstances have been shared, accomplishments celebrated, and I’ve watched as my clients have courageously challenged themselves to keep growing and healing. I feel very fortunate and deep gratitude for everyone I have had the opportunity to work with.
I would also like to acknowledge some of those people who have made this endeavor possible. Thank you Michelle Brown, LPC for sharing your office space and creating a warm, welcoming, and safe environment; I so appreciate your assistance and support. Thank you to my supervisors at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Riverbend for listening, guiding, and supporting me as I continue to works towards my LCSW; this also includes my stellar colleagues there! There are so many individuals who have cheered me on including numerous friends and family both near and far. A special thank you to my professors and classmates at the University of Southern California as well as Chatham University. Last but not least I thank Jeremy for supporting my dreams with unquestionable belief that I can accomplish what I set out to do.
My Very Best,
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~Melody Beattie
Lately I’ve been working with some clients who are struggling in their relationships. Feelings include frustration, anger, resentment, loneliness, pain, confusion, and sadness. Questions I’ve seen clients ask themselves include:
Have I done all I can to save this relationship?
Am I ready to lose this person from my life entirely?
What else will I lose in my life if I say goodbye to this person (friends, family, financial stability, home, belongings)?
Will I be able to find love again?
Will I regret leaving?
Will I be happier?
Often times there are imbalances in relationships that can be looked at and discussed and those include the division of chores, time spent together, financial discrepancies, health issues, lack of support systems, and conflicting visions/goals for the future. It can be helpful for couples to keep talking about what they want their lives to look like both individually and as a couple. Too often we may assume odd dreams remain the same, but the truth is that we are evolving being and what we wanted 3 years ago may have changed.
There are other signs that indicate that the relationship is an unhealthy one and those include:
physical and sexual violence
name calling and degrading comments
problematic alcohol use
lack of intimacy
If you find any number of these problems in your relationship it would be beneficial for you to talk to someone to make a safe place to reduce the chance of harm. Intimate partner violence is a serious matter and utilizing professionals is highly recommended. Use this hotline if you or someone you know needs to talk to someone now: (800)799-SAFE (800.799.7233).
Knowing when to leave can often be a difficult process. If you find challenges in your relationship are not improving but you are not ready to leave, consider couples counseling which can help foster difficult discussions about what each individual wants and needs. It can provide time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not working, and a counselor can provide tools for discussions and goal setting that can be beneficial.
Letting go can be difficult and accompanying that is a process of grief and loss. Remember this does not need to take place in isolation and many could benefit from individual counseling at this point. This can be helpful in the grieving process, taking time to re-group and think about what you want in your life, and reflect on what you’ve learned about yourself in this process.
New video is out today. This topic is less counseling related however a very familiar topic I cover working as a medical social worker. Trying to figure out the right residential setting for someone who is unable to live independently can be overwhelming. Here I talk about the different levels of care and provide some tips to consider when trying to choose the right place for your loved one. Feel free to comment, subscribe, or email me if you have questions.
The first of her siblings to attend high school and college, Aracely has lived through a turbulent family history, her mother’s breast cancer, poverty, and a suspension from school after a disciplinary issue. As a valedictorian at a Denver High School, Aracely has earned a full ride to college. In her speech, she talks about her mother’s difficult decision to have her at the young age of 18, of learning of her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis and living past the 5 year prognosis, and then making poor decisions in school that resulted in a suspension. This past June she gave thanks to the many mentors who guided her since this suspension and helped her see her potential so that she can walk through those college doors. Watch her speech now.
It’s a busy month. My private practice business (Ignite, LLC) has partnered with another local company, Chacha’s Boutique to make these handmade copper bracelets to raise money for breast cancer. Next week we will be producing a video on my YouTube channel talking about this specific fundraiser as well as how to cope with a new diagnosis for those with breast cancer and their loved ones. Folks can purchase either bracelet on Etsy for $15 and there are two other options for personalization as well. Proceeds will go to OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute. Pre-order your’s now and they will start shipping out October 1st in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.