While cleaning up the disaster zone known as my bedroom this week, I came across a notebook I hadn't seen in a while. Curious as to what was in it, I started flipping through it and came across several entries from during & after my pregnancy with Alex. I was blown away by reading what I had written during those times and it's very clear to me now that I definitely had some antenatal depression, which is something I wish I had the courage back then to recognize and seek treatment for. Perhaps if I had, my experience with PPD & anxiety would have been drastically different. But it wasn't and that's ok because I've learned valuable things from it, I've met valuable people from it, and I'm able to help others by sharing my experience, so hey at least it served a purpose right? Something else I came across that was rather interesting and rather inspiring was a sort of contract I had written out to myself. I'm not sure exactly when I wrote it, but reading it brought tears to my eyes, because it was full of love and compassion to myself, something that was missing a lot during the past 2 years.
So, since I was inspired by what I read, I thought I'd share it with you and encourage you to make up your own Self-Love Contract/Goal sheet. I updated some of it, especially the parts about beating depression since I now have a new diagnosis.
addyeB's Self-Love Contract
I, A'Driane Nicole Dudley, agree to do the following:
- Believe that I am an awesome person.
- Believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who loves me tremendously
- Believe that I am a good woman, even with all of my flaws & imperfections
- Will be confident in my abilities as a woman, mother, Christian, student, writer, dancer, etc
- Believe that I am beautiful. Really.
- Battle stigmas surrounding mental illness
- Take my medications everyday
- Attend every therapy appointment unless an emergency occurs
- Read God' word everyday, even if it's just one line!
- Talk to God daily
- Smile at least once a day
- Be colorful-from my hair, to my clothes & accessories, to how I decorate my house...I will live in COLOR
- Will allow myself to make mistakes & give myself room to learn from them
- Be a strong, loving & nurturing mother for my boys without smothering them or inhibiting them from being who they are.
- Attain my degree in social work, a masters in counseling, and a certification in DANCE movement therapy
- LOVE myself
- Be KIND to myself
- Share my stories with others. Live wholehearted. Be vulnerable. Be open. Reach out. Advocate for others & myself.
- "Recover" from Bipolar Disorder through compliance, exercise, nutrition, a structured routine, and coping strategies.
- Dance at least 2-3 times a week.
- Love my muffin topped, overstretched, tiger striped belly...because I'm a real woman and this belly housed my incredible boys. I will appreciate my body for what's it's gone through and given me.
- I will paint-even thought I have no idea what I'm doing. HA!
- Yoga...lots of yoga. Only doing exercises that work with my body not against it.