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Learning Self Care

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Learning Self Care

Do you sincerely and deeply love yourself? I always thought that being too much into yourself is a bad thing. Turns out that in many ways, the opposite is true. Learning self care and love has been a mind blowing experience for me because I’m 27 and I’m learning that I truly haven’t taken care of myself. Even though in a lot of ways I believe that I have taken care of myself, I really have not.

When you have life threatening mental health problems it is definitely life changing if not life ending. I have been trying to figure out how to keep living in addition to receiving medical help. What is it that I’ve been doing wrong for 27 years? What decisions have caused me to not want to live? How am I working to change all of this and what lessons have I learned? I’m going to dive into that in this article and I hope it brings true help and value to all who read this!

Before my mental health became life threatening two years ago, I put my back out severely. Due to my muscle movement disorder I would put my back out or pull a muscle every month or two. This would cause me pain for a few days and then it would get better. I would stretch and take ibuprofen or use ice and it would get better.

Even though I had these regular problems, I didn’t do anything about it. Sure I would work out and do back exercises at the gym but I should’ve been seeing a message therapist once a month since I was 14. So the past 13 years I should’ve invested in seeing a message therapist at least once a month! Maybe even having a physical therapist in addition to that! But no, I didn’t.

So two years ago after fighting for four months of serious back pain through doctors and physical therapy, I knew I had to begin to change and improve in the way I took care of my physical health. So I have a good friend who is a massage therapist and I knew I needed to try that regularly. So I began going to see her once a month. She couldn’t believe how badly messed up my body was; which I knew it would be terrible because the constant muscle contractions wreck havoc on my body.

My massage therapist told me that my body literally was in survival mode. Yes, it was that bad! After seeing her several times I was still in survival mode but getting better little by little. Going to her helped me to realize that I should’ve been going to a massage therapist since being diagnosed with Dystonia at fourteen. It blows me away thinking about what that would’ve done for me. That one investment would’ve been the best investment of my young life.

So that was a hurtful realization but I was thankful that I had come to it now at 27 compared to much later. Of course covid had to ruin everything but I had been going to her regularly and will continue to do so as soon as possible. So now let’s go back to that spring I was talking about which is spring of 2018.

After finally healing my back to the extent where I wasn’t in pain, shortly after that my mental health went down the drain. It makes sense that those four months of terrible physical pain and stress would take a major toll on me mentally. In either case, I did not have any desire to live anymore.

Now over the years of having mental illness I never felt suicidal. However, there was on a almost daily basis for a long time where I felt like crap mentally. It was a combination of stress, anxiety and a legitimate depression. I was rarely happy and always stressed. So as I said, I wasn’t suicidal but I felt like I would need to do something drastic to make the feeling go away like bang my head against the wall. I never hurt myself but often felt like that so I needed help.

The problem is I never did what I needed to do to get the help I needed. I didn’t feel I was truly mentally sick. In my next article I’ll share what happened next.

mental health
Jacob Pool
Jacob Pool
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Jacob Pool

I have been working for over the last 2 years at creating diverse surfing content on Instagram through interviewing people in the surfing world. I have interviewed 174 people from 32 countries.

See all posts by Jacob Pool