Our story within the mental health services here in New Zealand continues and this week I had a meeting to discuss where we are at. As I want to keep my daughters privacy and respect, I will not go into details, but I did feel I needed to offload something after such a huge amount of energy was zapped from me on Friday. It got me to thinking about how others cope in these situations and I wondered if I could share any helpful tips to those who might be at the start of their journeys or have difficulty expressing what they want to say.
I find it extremely difficult to sit face to face with sometimes, quite intimidating Doctors and more often than not, left brain dominant thinking psychiatrists. I am right brain dominate, meaning that my thinking is always emotionally based. I am a creative, sensitive type who works things out judged on how I feel, both intuitively or emotionally. I have a lot of common sense and am able to think of new ideas quite easily. I think of things based on feelings. A psychiatrist will most likely be a left brain thinker. An academic, someone who works from data and abides by rules, logic. They are analytical and objective. It’s quite hard then, to have a meeting of minds when the two ways of getting to the common goal are interpreted so differently.
On Friday I was able to hear our psychiatrist and I felt that he heard me. I did do a lot of preparing and it took a lot of brave to stand up and say what I wanted to say. It’s taken me 2 days to get over. I think I might have had a bit of an internal meltdown over it all actually, but that’s OK. Nothing a weekend of rest and quiet can’t sort.
Here are some tips if you are in a similar situation.
Keep a diary. This is my number one piece of advice. Times, dates, who you met with, what was said. The public system have to do this as well, but trust me, they won’t capture every detail and it’s amazing what can be forgotten, especially if you are in it for the long run. I have diaries going back years and it’s very handy if you need to prove anything.
Keep another diary. An account of your day to day stuff and observations of your child’s moods and changes is really helpful. You can use these records to watch improvements or declines, you can join dots and find patterns or triggers.
Plan what you want to say before your meeting and type up anything you want them to hear in case you don’t cover everything in the meeting. Don’t be shy to hand in anything written if you find this way of communicating easier. I find that if I have a list of points, I can refer to it in the meeting, or it’s better stored in my mind because I’ve taken the time to plan and remember. Accept that you can’t prepare for every scenario. I have to remind myself of this because my anxiety is triggered when I can’t predict what’s going to be said. I sometimes find it hard to process whats been said and come back with a quick reply, but then other times, I have such a quick reply I want to cut in. I work really hard in my head to try and get the timing right. I have no idea if others do this, but if so, then I know how much energy and anxiety is pumping round internally whilst trying to maintain a calm exterior!. As a rule of thumb, I start with facts, then positives, then suggestions. I carry rescue remedy with me at all times and I’m not ashamed to use it!
Be assertive. This is a skill and one which I recommend practicing if you are a shy or aggressive person by nature. It’s hitting your vibe between the two and trying to control emotions and not put out blame. Facts are good, stick with facts because they can’t be judged or twisted. Saying how you feel is fine, but don’t go off point. My husband tends to get upset and blamey and although he may have great points, they get lost in translation. It’s really important to be taken seriously and respectfully and this is much more achievable if that’s the vibe you are giving out too. You get reflected back what you are giving out.
Raising the energy. This might sound a bit hocus pocus but in order to change or improve ones situation, one must have an open, loving, kind and strong heart. Having this light shining will rise the vibration and draw in what you wish to see. Having a bit of quiet reflective time before a meeting to deep breathe and find inner calm and love, will put you in good stead and you will radiate this energy. Coming in with a battle axe, will keep the energy at a negative level and you might find yourself thinking of the saying “You could cut the atmosphere with a knife” Meaning, it felt awkward and tense. You are aiming for respectful high vibration. You may have other self calming tricks that you do if you suffer from anxiety, use them.
Love yourself. In order to feel comfortable and confident in how you portray yourself, you have to give yourself a great big inner self hug. Over the years I have learnt to be kind to myself no matter how things go. There is no prefect and any slip ups just mean that there is lesson in there for more self improvement. It might be that a certain patterns keeps coming up and you have begun to believe that it must be everyone else because this always happens to you. It might feel like you are on repeat or stuck. It’s so important to take responsibility for oneself and ask the hard questions. Like how can I do this differently? Where is the deep feeling coming from? Was there a time in my early childhood where I felt safe if I acted in a certain way or held a certain belief? Honestly, these details might seem unnecessary, but if you are stuck or feeling lack of voice, you will be able to shift things by checking in in this area of self.
Saying no or sticking to your guns. These things can be really hard to do if you feel overwhelmed. Sometimes we just want to hand the batten, to land softly, to go with what we are told even if we feel uncomfortable about it. But remember, it’s your life, it’s your child, it’s your right, to say no, ask for another opinion, suggest something different or hold someone accountable. All of the above tips should help with this. I thought it was worth mentioning because I know a lot of parents feel they can’t say no to things. You can.
Being OK with yourself so that you are not spending your energy on seeking approval or needing empathy. We all need to be heard and seen. It’s our very base and core. The more settled you are with loving and accepting yourself, the less you will feel upset when the Doctors or helpers don’t provide that for you and you can concentrate clearly on results for your child without being tangled in your own needs. Some might appear to care, most probably do a bit, but ultimately, you have to provide that love to yourself and not rely on it from others as your main source. Once you have mastered this (and EFT can really help with that) you will find an inner strength that is really powerful and you will achieve more of what you want and need. You will feel less hurt, feel less unloved, less angry and more empowered if you find ways of filling this need yourself. A quiet confidence will grow. Your light will shine and you will be uplifted to be able to not only help yourself, but be there to help others too.
OK, I think that’s it for today. Thanks for reading, thanks for following, thanks for sharing good luck in that meeting, I’m thinking of you. xxx LOVEPDA. xx