They Tried to Make Me Go To Rehab, and I Said Yes.

Friends, do you remember back in March when I wrote to you – albeit indirectly – about the blizzard that hit my life?

I’d prefer to keep that crisis vague and metaphorical; it suffices to say that I went through something tough. That’s one reason why I’ve been quieter than usual on the blog this year. (That, and writing a book.)

When I wrote about the hard time, I described it as “a slow-motion train wreck with no end in sight”, and it was. But there was still hope. I just couldn’t see it.

First, I needed to take a trip to rehab … but not for the reasons that you might imagine!

Despite the cheeky post title, no one “tried to make me go to rehab”. I sent myself there, and it was one of the best choices I’ve ever made.

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You Don’t Owe Anyone An Interaction: The TEDx Talk

Here’s one way I could tell this story …

A few months ago, I was accepted to TEDxBirmingham’s All Star Salon. I worked hard and delivered my 5-minute talk, You Don’t Owe Anyone An Interaction, on September 13, 2016.

In the talk, I addressed concerns over my viral blog post of the same name. I discussed how, in this age of hyper-connectivity, we can still give to others without getting burnt out. Today, I’m thrilled to share the video with you!

That’s one version of the truth.

But there’s another version that I want to entrust to you.

There are a lot of overly simplistic success stories out there. According to these triumphant narratives, all you need to do is work hard and believe in yourself and eventually you’ll live your dream and never doubt yourself again.

But what if that story doesn’t ring true? What if you give your best effort and you still don’t feel good enough?

What if the spotlight reveals your weakness rather than your strength?

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Boundaries are a Girl’s Best Friend

If your energy is dragging and you need a boost, here’s my favorite trick: Set some boundaries on your time and attention.

Step away from something that doesn’t feel right for you and put your focus elsewhere.

This can be terrifying in theory, but when you actually do it? What a rush! This practice has the power to increase your energy like you wouldn’t believe.

For example, recently I decided to try an experiment on Facebook, as I’d noticed my mood dropping whenever I signed in. (Since I’ve been dealing with some health issues, being mindful of my energy has become even more important lately.)

Given that I use Facebook for client-based work and also to maintain A Wish Come Clear’s page, quitting entirely wasn’t a good option. But being on social media drained me daily.

For a long time, I didn’t understand the problem. After all, I’d already unfollowed people who posted triggering content or a disproportionate number of “Which Harry Potter character are you?” quizzes.

Eventually I figured out that simply seeing status updates from hundreds of old friends and acquaintances is hard for me. It induces a kind of compassion fatigue.

When I think about how many people I’ve said hello and goodbye to over the course of thirty years, I sometimes choke on the bittersweetness of it all.

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