Nail therapy

Nail therapy ?? Hmm…not like getting your nails done, but more like hammering nails into wood is what finally drove me into sitting here and starting this blog.

Before I continue let me give you a little bit of background about myself. I am 35 years old, married, have two elementary age children, three dogs, and a 12 week kitten. I have struggle with depression since I was a 14-15 years old. At first I didn’t really understand why one day I just woke up and was not myself anymore. It kind of feels like that at first, but trust me that feeling has been lurking in the background for a while. We are so busy “living life” we just do not pay attention until it hits you like a brick wall. Over the years I’ve had many ups and downs, but I am still here, fighting to find the why or how.  I recently had a mental breakdown due to life circumstances and I believe I reached that point where I am strong enough to feel the pain instead of trying to numb it down. Therefore, I decided I will share this journey with whoever wants to listen and maybe I can help someone out there that feels the same way. This is my laisser {french for ” let go”} yeah…I’m not shooting lasers, although that would be fun!

OK back to the nail experience…I just finished installing wood flooring throughout most of my house two weeks ago or so and I’ve had the wood trimmings sitting in my living room because I have not gotten to do that. Today I decided it was the day, at first I wished my husband had done it so I wouldn’t have to figure out how to fit the two pieces once they meet on the corners. Boy was I wrong! that was going to be the least of my problems. I started to position the first small fraction when I realized that hammering a nail into this flimsy piece of wood was going to break me, but I refuse to give up and still manage to finish all four nails into that piece. As I was doing this, I realized how my mind needed this project to be perfect…that voice started saying “you redid the flooring in this house and can’t even figure out a nail?” The more negative the voice became the fastest I would hammer into those nails that kept bending on me. So, I found myself having to redo the piece because the nails looked horrible and now I was going to have to repaint the trimming as well.

I began to cry and was frustrated because I just wanted it to be over…I wanted all the misery of the nail bending to stop. I kept telling myself why did I do this to myself?? I knew I was not going to be able cut the pieces correctly, let alone hammer it and still look good. I felt silly for crying over nails and bruised wood, then my inner voice started saying..”you did this…you did this to yourself”… just like it has many times in the past specially when I have felt lonely and in pain unable to figure out what is wrong with me.

Oh and did I mention I am a perfectionist, I’ve improved after having children, but that need for perfection comes back out every so often. Do you find yourself needing to excel in random tasks or is it just me? I know it’s a big part of dealing with depression because when you set such high standards for yourself and don’t meet them the results are brutal, it feels like a punch in the abdomen for sure.

And that is when the ah ha moment hit me…

Life is like hitting nails!! you have to take your time, there is no point in rushing and getting it done as fast as you can’t…unless you are in a nail hammering contest and you have prepared for this, than kudos to you!

I started watching my breathing and telling myself slow and steady wings the race and I began to focus and found my rhythm and voila! a nail in without hitting the wood or having to unbend it. Then another good one, the next not so good, starting to bend, oh no we are back to hitting the wood again. Broke down once again, but took my time and then regain some stability. Isn’t that what life feels like? One moment we can be at the top of the world and the next we are down in the trenches unable to get out of bed. At least that’s how life has felt to me for the past twenty years or so. I’ve enjoyed those high moments but then I begin to panic wondering when will I fall and break myself over and over again. Then all the sad and hurt overtakes the good moments and that’s how you find yourself living in a haze, not enjoying anything because you know the hurt is coming.

The way I see it, this piece of wood was once perfectly white but then the hammer started bruising it and leaving marks, some were intentional and some not at all. Now, it has some perfectly positioned nails, some are horribly embedded into the wood, and some are OK. I guess what I am trying to say is life it’s not perfect, but neither are we. Unfortunately sometimes in our upbringing we are marked directly or indirectly by certain messages, such as: you need to excel at everything, be the best out there, look a certain way, act a certain way, etc. Then we feel people won’t like or accept us if we just show ourselves as we are. We feel the need to fill their expectations and to make them happy while forgetting about ourselves and our needs.

Yeah, I got all that out of hammering nails….free therapy I would say!

Today, I will accept myself the way I am. I will not continue to shame myself because of my mental disorder anymore. I know I am strong because fighting this fight every day is not easy, but here I am, not cured but working on improving myself. Loving myself for the first time in a long time and I want you to have that too.

Today… stop for a moment and take your surroundings in, find the beauty, even if it’s a small piece. And be thankful, you are here….you are enough…you are YOU!

Be kind to yourself,

♣ Erriugazi ♣



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