Why self care can feel like baptizing a cat, and how I’m putting an end to self neglect.
In a culture where exhaustion and “no sleep” is often seen as a mark of a success (yay insomnia and mania! #HUSTLE 😂) I am guiiiiiiilty.
I live in a mental prison where my existence is only “acceptable” if Im constantly doing something. I see myself as a failure if Im relaxing, watching TV, “not doing anything”. Having spent a chunk of my early life as a drug addict doesn’t help, because the act of "not doing anything" can trigger flashbacks of being a junkie who for real wasn't doing anything... but theres a difference between decompressing from life and allowing our bodies and minds to rest, versus being strung out and on the nod.
I’ll level with what it looks like for me now, as I haven't taken a day to “do nothing” and not place a never-ending to-do list on myself in YEARS. Well, I’m having my fair share of health problems my friends! Im 20 lbs underweight, my sleep schedules fucked, I'm clean and sober 12 years but my liver enzymes are abnormal, so is my thyroid, doctors are now testing me for autoimmune disorders due to this and a few other symptoms, mental health is dicey as I fluctuate between fine and suicidal (although I don't really ever tell anyone that but fuck it) aaaaaaand I get overwhelmed and aggressive really easily.
It's almost like I don't even have a fuse. My tolerance for the fuckshit of the human experience is zero. Molehills become Mount Everest real quick. This is no good. You’re sheets to the wind if you're that reactive, you’ve lost control and probably should avoid others until you can reset, being that the alternate result is getting into a fight and ending up in jail/prison. Or dead. Depends on how it all goes down.
This might sound dramatic, but I am dramatic. I'm also being honest. Thats what it looks like for me. I have a huge shame complex around “not doing enough”, as if I’m in debt to some invisible thing and must constantly produce “perfection”, which backfires and leads to the paralysis of avoidance procrastination-because perfection doesn’t exist. I ignore the calls of my body for sleep, rest, food, even exercise now. Its like I’m deaf. My brain is so quick to rush in to tell me “I’m so behind, I have to do everything and it must be perfect” that anything that might get in the way of whatever I have to do, will not get done. And those things? Those things are what I need to do to take care of myself. How am I gonna get these goals of mine done if I’m falling apart? How can I be of service to someone else or the world if I’m not even attentive toward myself? I wont. It’s delusional to think otherwise.
When I do slow down- lets say I sit down for a second. What do I do? Im usually on my phone. I’ve noticed that staring at a screen has begun to make me nauseous, and I observe my mood when I'm viewing social media or whatever the hell I'm looking at. It's usually that or the news. Everything is so fucking negative right now, and I don't believe in burying ones head in the sand and being the “light and love fairy”, I think thats avoidance and in times like these cowardice, but I cant live in the “end of days” mentality all the time either. Theres gotta be some balance and clarity, but the harder I push, the more I just try to muscle my way through life and its obligations, the shit I have to do for my music career plus whatever I gotta do to make money to pay my bills and buy food for my underweight self, the foggier my brain will become. Why?
Because I haven't slowed down. I haven't emptied my mind. When I sit in silence I often notice a panic comes on immediately. It's that voice there to remind you of all the things you SHOULD be doing and all the things that will go wrong if you don’t do them now, and all the things that are supposedly wrong already, and all things that could go wrong for whatever reason.
Yes, thats anxiety. Yes, I am someone with ambitions that feel like trying to lift a mountain when youre doing the work for it on your own, but the reality is that if you undertake the path I’ve chosen, you are on your own in the beginning, and/or for a lot of it. No one held a gun to my head and said “become an independent artist and do all the things yourself and find a way to make a living doing music and writing, handle all your marketing, merch, videos, promo, studio shit, yada yada, oh have fun with all the men who will randomly tear you apart and attack every part of you down to the way you look if they think you're getting out of a woman’s lane in the industry, or whatever the fuck fuels those heavy Incel vibes, yeah don't look up addresses and be a nutcase, you're gonna have to let that shit go, A LOT.” So yeah, no one made me do that.
I could have gone to school for a “practical career” and be making 100x what I make now and likely have a much less stressful life. But I’d be dead inside. Thats not to say other ways of living are bad, I’m saying for ME they are. When you have this innate NEED to create, and you live in a world on fire and you know that you have to be part of extinguishing the shit show, and your strongest tool is your creativity, you don't have a fucking choice.
Our soul DEMANDS IT. if we stray from it, the results are fucking catastrophic. If you are an artist you know what I’m saying. You decay internally. You don't see the point in living. You are miserable because you are not living the truth of who you are-you are out of alignment.
We all know how painful it is to get physical injuries and have bones and joints out of alignment- imagine that on a spiritual level. It is death. You will resent your own heartbeat if you don’t find your way out.
There are many questions I ask myself. How to continue doing what I’m doing without losing my shit or in a cycle of constant exhaustion, regardless of how much I sleep? How to take care of self, how to identify ones own needs, how to give everything to creative pursuits that arent yet paying the bills (so youre never off the clock, be it yours or someone elses), how to escape the matrix of working for someone else while your intuition is attacking you the longer you engage in soul sucking jobs that drain the energy you need to put toward your purpose--how do you navigate that fucking shit show?
And when it comes to rest, how to unlearn what may just be capitalist cultural conditioning to being in a constant state of "doing", and rest being seen as a mark of failure? Lord if I had a million dollars this blog would not be necessary, but I don't, and most people I know don't either. Most people I know are trying to climb out of this same hole and create a life that wasn't outlined for them by someone else.
So what works? Well for resetting the brain, being in nature is probably number one, that and LAUGHTER. The dis-ease in my body and mind comes from taking things too seriously, like if anything doesnt go according to plan then life is fucked. Thats a garbage ass way to go through life. The fucking comedy, just laughing at ridiculous shit, I cannot believe how much it helps me. Especially when shared with friends. Time stops when you guys are being ridiculous and laughing your asses off. Nothing else matters. That is one of the best things in life, laughing and playing together. Kids do that by nature because it is in our nature. Thats probably why it feels so good, because it is the truth of our being.
To contrast laughter, periods of silence are very effective, but when we're not used to spending time in complete silence, its a lot of fun. Heavy sarcasm on that. Good, healthy amounts of food is a must and something I constantly fall short on. Cleaning my living space is a big one- not just basic cleanliness, but to get heavy, negative, dead energy out, so I practice energetic cleansing of my spaces using the smoke from various herbs. Sea salt or epsom salt baths make a big difference, you can reach a high level of meditation or sometimes what people refer to as "downloads" when you spend time soaking in that water. I remember when I was in New Mexico being taught a chord-cutting practice (severing toxic connections/traumas stored in the body) while in salt baths. At the time I didnt have a tub so I used a big pot and put my legs in, and it was still effective.
Ultimately, I think the answers are going to be in my own inner voice. But right now, my mind is so loud, I cant hear any answers. Only questions.
Today was my day of trying to rest. I didn't really, but I laughed a lot, met with a friend, and I got myself some groceries which I desperately needed. Im going to eat some food, clean my living space and take a salt bath and go the fuck to sleep. I’m going to listen to some of my favorite comedians podcasts and laugh a lot. I want to be reset and well rested because I’m recording a track with another artist in the morning, so I cant be all fucked off. And right now, I feel fucked off, but I have some hope that im finally acknowledging hey… despite this insane legion of anxiety in my head screaming at me that im going to fail and be homeless if im not constantly doing something, I need to put my health first, and sometimes that means putting other shit, or all of the shit, on the back burner. Who would have thought that caring for ones self could bring on shame. Weird ass world. Weird ass me. But I know im not unique in this, far from it actually.
Everyone I know is extremely hard on themselves, some of us are just really good at hiding it. I know I am on the higher end of neuroticism though, so I’m facing that, because that is no way to live. Ive spent a lot of my life wanting to be dead, or living as if I were. Its time to thrive to the maximum and give everything of my soul, that I may leave this life like a deflated balloon. That is my prayer and wish. And in order to do so, my shit needs to be together-mind, body, and spirit.
You can comment on these blogs. I’d love to hear your experience with how you relax and tune out the fuckshit so you can tune in to your inner and higher self. Love to you.
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