I felt so low this morning I was struggling to function. I almost sent an email to my volunteering supervisor at the school for children with learning and developmental disabilities, explaining that I need to quit for mental health reasons.
However, despite being on the verge of tears the entire hour beforehand, I kept thinking of my values and long-term goals, doing a mini pros-and-cons in my head to find reasons to resist the avoidance urges.
I did the most ultimate Opposite Action I could muster, and pushed myself to go. I spent the next few hours with the children in Orange Class at the school, and by the time I left the spirit within me was largely replenished. I couldn’t believe what a difference it made, even though this happens every time. I get so much from these children, and it would be such a shame to lose that.
This is a reminder to myself off the back of today: Never quit on those kids. Never quit on yourself. It may feel impossible, it may feel hopeless; but those kids will restore you. Just try it and you’ll see, and keep trying again each week. Do not leave them. Think of their smiles. They look forward to seeing you. They love you. They need you. And perhaps more so – you need them.
And another reminder – as much as I dislike the DBT skill Opposite Action, it might actually work 👌