A girl sits at a well with a broken pitcher at her feet

“The Broken Pitcher” by William-Adolphe Bourguereau

I’ve been frustrated with myself over the last couple of years for failing to stick to my plan of regularly posting on my blog and of posting daily on my Instagram. But I’m done being frustrated with myself.

I’ve been a busy, busy bee. Not just in my daily life of juggling depression and cptsd with teaching and grading and trying to still at the end of the day be a halfway decent person for my husband to be around. Not just those things. I’ve been deep down in my Moon-y subconscious processing and transforming trauma. It’s been draining my energetic well faster than I can refill it! Even if the vast majority of days I couldn’t see it and didn’t feel like I was making progress. Even when I felt disheartened.

I did attempt to be gentle with myself — to sit with the unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings and to not rush healing. To cut myself some slack when I wasn’t able to reach my goals. I can’t say I was successful all the time — or even most of the time — but it did get easier the more I really practiced it.

However, recently I have felt a release. Something has changed. If I was a seed, I’ve finally pushed through the dirt and I can see the sun. I’m a sprout! I still have growing to do and lots of hard work, but where I am now is nowhere near the place I have spent the last few years.

That doesn’t mean I’m not still juggling depression and cptsd with the rest of my life, and it doesn’t mean that my energetic well is magically full or “normal.” It just means I am feeling better than I was, that I have become so much better at honoring my own needs, and that the energy that was being used up while I was a seed is now available to use for growth in my next season of life.

Through this transition, I am finally settling into a space where I accept and embrace my limitations. If I set goals that are unreasonable for the energetic well I have to draw from, of course I won’t be able to achieve them. Respecting and monitoring my energetic well has forced me to prioritize and say “no” more often. It has made me let go of some of my perfectionism (some) and shown me what it feels like to not constantly be “running on e.”

I am going to set a goal to revive my website because it gives me joy. I will just be more realistic about how often I am able to post. Posting “regularly” doesn’t have to doesn’t have to mean every few days or every week. If I can get one post a month up, I will be very pleased with myself.

One girl tips a pitcher to another's lips

“At the Fountain” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

It has been transformative to take charge and start guarding my energetic well. I often categorized so many things as “oughts” and “have to’s” that I felt I had no choice but to be run down and, inevitably, have regular emotional crises when I would have no energy at all left to deal with even “small” things.

I had no idea that many of the things I took on I didn’t actually have to do. And (healthy relationship) people wouldn’t hate me for not doing this or saying no to that. I sure would have liked to know these things earlier, but I don’t know if that would have been possible. I needed a lot of experience and practice. And let’s be honest, I don’t even think I’m great at monitoring my energetic well now — I’m just way better than I used to be. So I still have lessons and practice ahead of me.

Like when one of my first counselors said I should just tell a toxic person I wouldn’t speak with them if they talked to me a certain way. “Uh, what are you even saying to me?? Let’s get back to reality, lady.” There was absolutely no way I could go from being totally submissive and fearful and feeling obligation to being assertive enough to say, “Don’t speak to me like that.” I needed lots of tinier practices leading up to standing up for myself.

So this is not a post where I tell you that I have it all figured out and you should too. Just a post where I reflect on the journey and feel really good about where I have found myself. I know I’ve got trials ahead, that I’ll make mistakes, that I’ll be angry with myself. And yet, I am still proud when I turn around and see what I’ve left behind.