21 Feb On Getting Help
Yoga is not quite enough
I used to think that my evolving yoga practice was all I needed to heal and grow as a person. Turns out, I was wrong.
It actually worked for a while, many years, but at some point I crawled up on a plateau and my progress leveled out. This isn’t a bad thing – sustaining life is as important as generating life and letting it pass away. The seasons teach us this.
But eventually, my season of keeping things level expired and my plateau dead-ended in a brick wall. Then I stepped up on a treadmill facing the brick wall and kept walking. You know the feeling of getting nowhere with nowhere to go from here? Yea, it’s depressing.
What did I need? If not more yoga (shock), what could it possibly be?
Asking for help
It’s the wrong question, actually. Instead I needed to be asking who did I need? Because I needed support from actual people. And not just any old loving friend. I needed support from professionals. So I searched for a mental health therapist, an acupuncturist, and a massage therapist.
An important note
Full disclosure, I have insurance that covers a lot of services, which is an advantage I have that many other people do not. I also want to acknowledge that these services cost money, and being able to afford them is another one of my privileges.
I don’t deserve the extra help any more than anyone else, and it’s not fair that it’s easier for me to access. It’s actually part of the reason I relied so much on yoga, because it is easily accessible and oftentimes free. Which is also why I teach free classes. But the hard truth for me is, yoga just wasn’t enough.
Six months with my head therapist, two with my acupuncturist, and one session with this new massage therapist and I’ve finally emerged from swimming deep beneath the surface into a world my bleary eyes can start to make out. What I’m saying is, I’m at the beginning of a chapter where I think clarity might actually be possible, but it ain’t clear yet.
The funny thing is, a lot of what my team of folks are helping me with are things I kinda sorta knew about myself already. After all, I’d climbed up to my plateau in the first place, learning about myself as I ascended. I walked across the miles of that mesa, gaining confidence and comfort at my new height above sea level.
Finally, with all that knowledge and skill, I took off on a treadmill facing a wall. My helpers, they got on the treadmill with me and asked if I’d like to turn it off for a minute so I could climb up on their shoulders. Now I’m standing on my tiptoes atop a tower of women all invested in my wellbeing and I can just about see over the wall. I have a feeling the next six months will be about building the upper body strength to pull myself over the top. I’ll be doing pushups at the brick wall next. 😉
My call to you
This is my call to you. If you are at a place where you’ve had even an inkling of desire to reach out for professional support in some way, and if you’re able to reconfigure your budget to afford that support, please go for it. Make an appointment. Get started.
If you’re not in a place where you can afford the support, I know there are resources and I’m happy to help you find some in your area. When I first started getting acupuncture years ago it was free from supervised students at the health clinic downtown. I got back into mental health therapy with a coupon for a cheap first month from TalkSpace, a text-based therapy app. There are ways. We can find them.
Image by Johannes Plenio from Pexels