Therapy Corner-Come On Down

Hopefully you know by now that I am a huge advocate of therapy. I started heavily working and investing in myself when I was 27 years old coming out of a divorce. Before that, I was a scared, weak and lost little girl. Therapy needs a fan club. It needs to be openly talked about because it can change and enrich your life in so many ways. After all, who wants to live a life where you miss out on letting your true, crazy self shine? No, thank you.

At the very young age of 33, I finally have that urge to “live life to the fullest” and “grab life by the horns.” Why? Because it’s mine, damn it and I’m owning it for the first time in my life. But here’s the thing, I don’t want to live life the way I’ve been doing it, you hear me? I want to live it fearlessly. Like singing karaoke while sober fearlessly. I want to go for whatever my little heart desires. I want to walk into a new fitness class alone and not want to crawl into a hole because I’m so worried about what people are thinking about me and if my leggings are good enough. I want to be me, not what I’m expected to be by anyone or what insta tells me I should be. Therapy has helped me find my true self and embrace her. Yay, therapy!

COUPLES THERAPY– Picture me with Pom-poms behind you while reading this. Therapy has made my marriage un-damn-breakable. My husband and I go to therapy every week. We FIGHT for us, our future and our sanity. Sometimes we don’t have much to talk about, other times we come in ready to do battle because it’s been a long, stressful week and me not putting my coffee cup in the dishwasher sends him into orbit along with his never ending complaining about something just gets too much for me to take. At times it’s simply letting off steam, other times it’s hard “look into yourself” stuff. Sometimes we walk out and don’t speak, other times we get in the car and the “I love yous” flow like a perfectly tempered red wine. In doing couples therapy, you’ll find out real quick if you’re with a willing partner who’s in it for the long haul or not.

Quick side story: my first marriage ended in therapy. But not the way you think. I was the fighter, I had the questions and determination to see it through, I was going to fix us. My ex husband was asked, “What could Lana start or stop doing to help your marriage?” He thought about it and after about 6 minutes he said, “nothing.” The therapist told him to REALLY think and after another 6 or so minutes he said “she could stop leaving her makeup on the bathroom counter.” BOY… BYE. I had poured my heart out for years trying to get him to return the gesture so we could get a better understating of each other and make this marriage last. I knew right then he had no interest in fighting for us. I filed for divorce the next day. I am so thankful for his response. It put me on the path that would forever change my life.

How’s your marriage or relationship? Have you ever thought about therapy for the two of you or for yourself? DO IT. I can’t even begin to explain how it has changed our lives for the better and made us stronger people, not to mention better parents. There is no shame in our game, people. We could talk about therapy for days. We don’t go because we’re on the verge of divorce or because we’re crazy people. We go because we want to invest in our relationship and better understand how to be there for each other and support one anothers dreams.

Wrapping this up, you don’t automatically grow up just because you get older. You have to learn how to be yourself. Your true self. Not some grumpy, sass-filled lady who gives shout outs to her haters and spends all of her time talking about everyone else while she’s secretly lonely and depressed waiting on her pizza. You can’t hair cut away your sadness, people. I tried that too. We all need different things. Some are normal to need and some need to go the eff away. YOU have to make that happen. Attention, drama, guilt, insecurities… these will keep your true self hidden and denied. Learn about yourself. Why do you need so much attention? Why do you have shame or guilt? Where does it come from? HELP YOURSELF BE BETTER. STOP WAITING TO LIVE YOUR LIFE. I’m sorry I yelled. But did you hear me? I hope so.

Go to therapy, read the self help books, listen to the podcast. Invest in yourself and your happiness. Imagine the kind of wife, mother, friend, daughter, employee you could be if you were whole heartedly happy with yourself. I know you’re doing the best you can right now, but it’s time to step up.

Cheers, Lana.

Anxiety Hell

Fun title, eh? I am made up of half anxiety, half normal person (that may be stretching it). I have anxiety about everything and I mean, everything. It’s exhausting and irrational and I’m always fine once I get passed the thing that worries me but lord does it take it out of me. Do you have anxiety? I feel like everyone does to some extent but maybe I just tell myself that so I don’t feel alone. Well, if you do, do you ever feel like you can talk about it or do you just angrily throw the wet clothes in the dryer with your bitten off nails and huffy breathing? Here’s my reality. Wont you join me in this black hole?

Over the years, I have taught myself to deal with anxiety by having order. Order in my home, in my job, in my relationships, etc. I live for a routine and lists. When I can’t clean or create/find order, I panic and turn on the people who love me. I plan everything. I anticipate every outcome so I can be prepared. Fight or flight baby.

Here are some fun examples of my crazy, I’m going to imagine you nodding your head while reading these so I can exhale.

If you’ve ever made plans to go to the movies with me, you know that I CANNOT be late. I will be on the edge of my seat with worry that I’m going to miss something or not get a good seat, not have time to get my icee or the movie being sold out. The ride to the movies when we’re “Lana late” is SUPER fun. For the record, I’ve never missed any part of a movie, but I sure have worried myself into a tizzy about it. Thank you friends and family for still inviting my fun and calming self to go out in public.

Secondly, I have to be on top of everything all of the time. My house has to be clean and organized. If my house is a mess I can’t function out in the world. My “base” has to be good to go before I can enjoy anything else. You know, in case the Board of Housewives drops by for judgement. I want to tell you not to care about what other people think but Jesus knows when I’m lying. Carrying on…everything has its place. Having a baby has REALLY tested that part of my anxiety. Penelope has so much stuff and I’ve had to find homes for everything so I can get over myself and live life (she’s worth every second of it). I frequently clean out cabinets, drawers etc. My husband hates this because he thinks I’m just making room to go buy more stuff to fill it right back up. Sometimes he’s right but please don’t tell him, I can’t with him and his not being like me ways.

Then there’s my physical self. Ughhh, it’s never ending. Am I doing everything I can to be the healthiest? Should I fake tan myself this week? Nails or no nails? Should I put a mask on my hair? Are my teeth white enough? I wonder if that spot on my leg is cancer? I’m exhausted just writing this, if you’re still reading along, bless you. I worry about every little twinge. Google is not my friend. I lay in bed at night thinking it’s just a matter of time until they find some tumor or something cancerous. I can hear my Mother saying “Why do you do that to yourself” as I type this. I know I’m my worst enemy. Therapy has helped me so much in this part of my life. Yes, I was worse. I’m learning to prioritize my crazy and talk to my inner child and calm her ass down. Remembering that I have to take care of myself too and not just allow myself to stay in the same t-shirt and shorts for two days that are covered in spit-up while throwing myself a pity party. All those questions at the beginning of this paragraph? Yeah, I just worry about those things, I don’t always do any of them to help myself… I just sit and stress about needing to do them.

I hope this post makes you feel better if you, like myself, think you’re crazy. Let’s be friends and stress together.

After saying all of that, I do put A LOT of work into being me and always growing and becoming a better version of myself. I’m doing the best I can with who I am right now. Maybe I’ll always stress. I stress when I’m laying on the beach…vacay anyone!? Or maybe as I age, I will learn to stress less and get over myself. Who knows. But you? Sugar bear, you’re doing great too. You’re not the only crazy one. Is there a club?

Cheers to you.

Lana

WhataBody

“Body Image” = beating a dead horse. I know, I know. Do I LOVE my body all the time, no. Am I in crazy good shape and wake up super pumped to drink celery juice? Also, no. Do I scrutinize every picture of myself and have days where I think I’m Charlize Therons’ twin from Monster? Yes. But here’s the deal, I’m a grumpy, angry lady when I feel frumpy and that doesn’t help anyone or anything. Being weighed down by my appearance is exhausting. So here’s what I’ve done for myself and maybe it can help you too.

Like most women my age, I’ve been through all the trendy slogans and campaigns. Like Dove’s advertisement below:

Do these kinds of advertisements do anything for you? When I see these kinds of ads, I’m immediately thinking “Hell yeah, girl power.” Does it make me feel like my body is perfect the way it is? No. Let me just say this so you don’t get it twisted, I am all for loving yourself, curves and all. Some women need to hear things like “embrace your curves” and “love your body,” etc. Some women wouldn’t change a thing and some have better and bigger things in life to worry about. Whatever does it for you. For me, I want to be strong and toned. Plus I’m a perfectionist so I’m never satisfied. You feel me? I’m not going to tell you to love your body the way it is unless, in fact, you do. I’m simply going to tell you to take action and stop being disappointed with yourself. Here are some tips:

  1. Don’t Self Sabotage: Be real with your schedule. I would feel like a big fat piece of poo one day and schedule 5:30am workouts for every morning for the next month, only to depress myself further every time I looked at my calendar and realized I hadn’t made one of those a reality. This is called self sabotage. Stop it. Another personal self sabotage favorite of mine was to throw out everything that came in a box and buy all new “healthy” groceries. Only to get to snacky time where my husband would stand in the pantry like a sad, lost puppy.
  2. Stop Complaining About Yourself: You know those friends that are always like “Omg, I look fat,” “Omg I shouldn’t be eating this, it’s not on my diet,” “Omg I can’t even imagine going swimsuit shopping this year,” and you’re duty is to reply with “Omg Becky, nooooo you’re not fat, why are you on a diet, you look great!” Y’all, it’s exhausting on your tribe when you’re constantly bringing in your negative, needy crap. Say those things to yourself like a normal person and do something about it if it’s that bad. Good vibes only and such…
  3. Start With The Food You’re Putting In Your Mouth: Lean protein, veggies, fruits. You know this, don’t play yourself. You know you can’t have carb loaded meals everyday then be like whyyyy can’t I lose weight. You also know you can’t go to Sonic and get a Route 44 Cherry Limeade and sip on it all day long. Your body needs water for so many things, this is one of the easiest ways to take care of yourself. Watch what you eat and drink, educate yourself if you think you eat well but still can’t make that scale number go down. I cried when I realized how bad my coffee creamer actually was, it’s ok to not know things.
  4. Move Your Body: Even better, elevate your heart rate and sweat. You don’t have to join a gym or buy a program. Go for a walk, do jumping jacks and pushups in your living room, use your body weight to strengthen your core. All this stuff is googalable. There are a MILLION videos out there that can teach you all kinds of workouts. You will have to put effort into this, nobody will be able to do it for you. You are not Kim K or Beyonce…it makes me sad too.
  5. Dress For Your Today Body: Nothing makes me feel worse than trying to fit into my skinny jeans or that too tight top. It makes me grumpy all day, I dedicated my life to leggings and flowy tops, long ago. Don’t set yourself up to feel miserable in your skin. If you have to suck it in when you look in the mirror before you leave the house, don’t wear it.

We all have our good days where you can kind of see some abs, and our bad days where it’s a definite muffin top. Do something for yourself and diminish this body image thing out of your everyday life. We will never be perfect but we can be happy with our return on investments.

Cheers, Lana.