Sunday, June 26, 2016

Dawn at Midday

This afternoon I was driving home from yoga with Baby Bananaface snoozing in the backseat* when a realization came over me. It was a good but sad realization. I was conflicted with feelings of pity and disgust as well as a sweet release of acceptance and acknowledgment backed with the tang of self critique as it swept through me. Quite a whirlwind of emotions as I recognized this afternoon just how much trauma I've been through this past year and change.

It may seem obvious, like I've already accetped that I've endured trauma, but as I drove home today the acceptance spontaneously blossomed in me. I suddenly acknowledged the pain and hardship and loss that my mind has tried to hide and dismiss or belittle. Instead of feeling oblivious or shaming myself I felt the weight of it all come down upon me and saw just how far I've come and what I've endured. I felt grateful for my strength and my endurance instead of just feeling grateful for those that have helped me along this long, hard path. Instead of labeling myself a burden or a problem and giving all the credit to those who've helped me, I accepted my achievement. I've fought a long, hard battle for my life-somehow there is part of me that strives to live no matter how frequently I feel ready for death-and it's good to acknowledge that side of myself.

It was a strange feeling, sad and beautiful, quite humanizing too. I felt a bit of pride and belonging as I recognized myself as a fighter just like so many others battling disease or other unfortunate challenges in life or simply surviving, really. The internal criticism and minimizing still chirps in the background but having those nicer thoughts break through and thinking something positive about myself was so meaningful.

I was a little shocked to feel all this dawning on me after so many, many months; especially when I spend so much time thinking of my sickness and getting better, but the wise hubster was not surprised. "When you experience trauma it takes some time to accept it, to get past denial into acceptance and moving on. Totally normal." Just like him to take it all in stride! I felt bowled over by my emotional wave of self discovery, relating my afternoon moment of zen with tears in my eyes and a tinge of embarrassed pink in my cheeks but the hubster cradled me with his words as if he'd been waiting for me to tell him this for weeks... Anyways.

For a long time I have (unconsciously and consciously) berated myself for being sick, for not "sucking it up" and making due, for not "fixing it" and moving on. I thought that because I didn't suffer birth trauma I had no excuse to be feeling down, completely neglecting to recognize the trauma of postpartum depression, multiple hospitilzations, intensive ECT treatment, a suicide attempt, and countless other disruptions to my life. Those are traumas. These things count. I've been through some shit! I'm still in recovery and that's totally understandable because what happened to me was significant, it's gonna take some time to work through and work past.

I feel like a lot of this is stating the obvious and repeating things that I've wrote about in past posts but for me this things feel fresh and there is something novel and important about acknowledging these thoughts and feelings that came over me so randomly this afternoon. It's not all news to me but the feelings of acceptance, soothing, and understanding that came with this moment of realization have given me a new perspective on my life, a new abililty to be kind and gentle with myself, to validate myself, to better support myself in recovery and those are all very important things.

I'm sad as I acknowledge what I've been through and more fully appreciate the anguish of these dark times but I also feel a swell of glowing gratitude and feist as I appreciate the progress I've made on this journey and feel a little piece of me start to believe that I can make it back to where I want to be, that I can do this crazy thing called life, that I do have it in me... I'm not a weakling, a hot mess, or a lost cause. I'm a fighter.




* This was big doins. BB and I went to the gym and gave Daddy time alone at home! First time in a long time that I've been out alone with the babe. Progress!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Good For Me

Today was the third day in a row that I attended a group exercise class at our gym. The past several weeks I've been going to the gym pretty regularly and working out on the treadmill and doing some stretches or a few ab exercises but the group exercise classes are a much bigger challenge and more out of my comfort zone.

It feels good to have sore muscles and feel a sense of accomplishment but I think it feels even better because the instructors have been so supportive. I didn't expect to have them speak to me personally or give me a big ole high five for coming back to class a second time (that happened this morning) or give me a compliments on my form and effort-it's really made an impact and encouraged me to keep getting to class, sore muscles or no!

Unfortunately we're coming up on the annual resurfacing of the big workout room so I'll have a week and a half without classes from next week til after The Fourth. It kinda sucks because I'm just breaking into the regimen and I don't want to lose my momentum but a couple of ladies from the classes mentioned going to some other branches of the gym and hitting up those classes to tide ourselves over and I think I might just do that. Little intimidating going some place entirely new and unfamiliar, but I think I've got the oomph to venture forth and try something new :o)

There are lots of chores around the house that I haven't got to but I have been doing pretty well keeping up with laundry and dishes and I feel good about that. I'm so hard on myself for not doing everything I can think of... it's really sad. I have to just dismiss the mean thoughts and focus on giving myself props for what I do achieve and recognize how far I've come over the past couple months. Things aren't all sorted out by any means but I'm doing a lot better than I was and that is certainly worth something.

It's tough for me to feel pride, to be grateful, to think well of myself, but I'm trying. It feels a little strange but sometimes a positive outlook coalesces in my brain and I think to myself just maybe I'll be able to alter my negative patterns and figure out how healthy and happy works... just maybe I can embrace "liveable" instead of misery. Sure is tough remembering to take things one moment at a time and let the changes build over time when I'd rather just flip a switch!

One thing at a time :o)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ask Me Anything Answers: Part VI

This week's 'Ask Me Anything' answers are to questions provided by Linda over at Linda's Peaceful Place. At first, I thought the questions were pretty straightforward but they were surprisingly challenging for me!


1) What is your favorite animal?  Birds. Growing up, it was horses but in my teens I started shifting toward birds. Choosing one particular species to be my favorite is an ongoing challenge! I'm not sure if my favorite bird should be local so I have a better chance of seeing them or something exotic and unique? It's a puzzler.

As for local birds, I love Stellar's jays and they are a special treat to see whenever I spot one though they make a terrible noise. I enjoy owls but have never seen one in the wild, like waterfowl and cormorants and I even appreciate crows; they seem to have more character than the other little birds that flit around town. All in all, watching birds cheers me up and makes me happy and that's something I need in life!


2) What fragrance or scent do you find the most soothing?  I'm a big fan of lavender as well as peppermint and to a lesser extent rose but I'm also quite comforted and soothed by the smell of coffee and fresh ground coffee beans. Even in some of my worst moods the act of making or getting coffee can be a very soothing practice for me.


3) Do you prefer eating at home or dining out?  This is a tough question! I enjoy eating out but it's always been a sort of special thing, I usually eat more at home so that is my "normal" and comfortable option. Right now I'm in an odd phase where I've somewhat forgotten what my favorite restaurants around town were or some of the recipes that I used to make from memory at home, it makes meal planning a little more tricky! I miss going out for Indian or pho... hopefully we can do that again soon :o) Overall, I think I enjoy eating at home more but sometimes I really enjoy getting out for a meal I have a hankering for!


Thank you again to everyone that submitted questions! If anyone has anymore to ask please leave them in the comments below or message them to me and I'll try and answer them, otherwise I think this is it for this session of "Ask Me Anything!" Thanks for participating!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Happy Friday

Today I switched things up and instead of going to the gym this morning I did some cross stitching and then went downtown to donate blood. Only after I left the condo did I realize that I wasn't quite sure where I was going. It had been so long since I donated and I've had so much ECT that my memory of the route was very sketchy.

Luckily we had happened to drive by the blood center last weekend so I had a teeny recent memory to cling to and found my way there with only mild anxiety issues! Even more marvelous, my iron was high enough to donate *booyeah* so all the water I drank this morning came in handy and my donation was pretty dang efficient.

Last night I managed to finally fill out a volunteer application for the blood center and this weekend I will hand out reference forms to some family friends to get that process moving. It's been months and months that I've been talking about volunteering there and I'm finally feeling up to it. Though I'm not feeling 100%, I have to admit that improvements have been made and this application is evidence!

I think I'm in an awkward transition between sickness and wellness... I've been sick for so long that I'm overly aware of my illness and it's challenging to maintain a healthy mindset. I'm certainly trying but I'm definitely aware of a tendency to think of myself as weak and sick instead of healthy and capable. It makes things like a volunteer application tougher to dive into and makes things feel more challenging than they otherwise might feel but I'm aware of the mindset and I'm hoping to make changes (on top of so many changes!).

*sigh*

I'm doing what I can and beating myself up for not being totally healed and 100% better isn't going to get me anywhere! I've made progress and I can make even more progress, little by little.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and is doing well :o)

Happy Friday!


Monday, June 13, 2016

A Monday Walkabout (with a video!)

I'm sorry that I'm not very tech savvy and that not everyone may be able to see the vlog but I'm trying something new and hopefully I will figure out the quirks soon!

This video and these pictures are from a walk I took this morning to a nearby park with boardwalks and lots of birds and running water and some funny smells and even garter snakes and snails and slugs and beyond. I really needed to get out and the overcast weather was more welcoming to me than the idea of the gym.



video


Little flowers along the boardwalk!

A little overview of the wetlands.
You can't quite see the boardwalks,
but they're there!


Ask Me Anything Answers: Part V

I have a slew of questions from Martha over at "Plowing Through Life" for this round of answers from my "Ask Me Anything" post and I'm going to try to plow right through them, all at once, but there are some challenging ones to be sure!

1) What is one of your biggest fears? One of my biggest fears is losing my husband. He has shown me so many wonderful new things, so much joy, so many positive angles to look at life through, and so much love that I have a very hard time imagining my life without him. It's a very scary thing for me and I try to avoid thinking about it whenever possible!


2) What is one of your favorite quotes? One of my favorite quotes is, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." from Mr. Henry David Thoreau. When I changed my major to English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing I remember this quote soothing my anxious soul and making me feel more at ease with following my heart and my dreams instead of outside pressures. Not that I'm a published author or a professional editor (yet) but maybe someday?

Another new favorite that I recently discovered is, "The future is no more uncertain than the present." from Mr. Walt Whitman. It is quite helpful to me when I'm struggling with anxiety (which is frequently of late). 


3) If you could live in another period of time, what would you choose? This is a tough one for me. I know watching certain older movies and seeing how women are treated and/or portrayed can really bother me, so I imagine living in another period of time might rub me the wrong way! That said, I think it would be exciting to live during colonization, during a period when new animals and cultures were being discovered so often that there must've been a sense of wonder and willingness to admit to not knowing everything whereas today I feel like people think every answer is on the internet somewhere. Not having toilets would suck but I guess I'd get used to it!


4) What superpower do you wish you had? Hmmm... flying was my first impulse and initial response but I think having super healing powers and being able to touch someone and cure them with my mind would be a nice power too.


5) What changes, if any, do you want to see in the mental health care industry? I think there is still a long way to go as far as stigma is concerned. I know that I hold mean judgments against myself and believe that I should be able to "fix it" with or without meds and think "why are you still sick?" and have a sort of angst and I see that far more often than I'd like in all circles including providers, patients, and the public. I think once we work past that we might get further with treatments and support systems to really make an impact in mental health care on a broad scale.


6) What is the meanest thing someone has ever done to you? What is the nicest? I think the meanest thing someone has ever done to me (or one of the meanest things) was my college boyfriend hiding that I existed or that we were dating from his family. This included hiding my clothes and things in the closet when they visited and even pushing a dresser in front of the closet to prevent his brother from seeing my things (they even got into a fist fight, so he said, over preventing the brother from inspecting the closet) and diligently preventing me from ever bumping into his family. It was very invalidating and I ended up becoming suicidal and quite miserable by the time we broke up and I moved out... now that I think about it I'm amazed I lasted as long as I did in that relationship! It was a very... unique experience.

I think the nicest thing someone has done for me is the hubster stopping everything to get me to look him in the eyes and "Tell me what you're thinking. Tell me everything. Please." He has done this or something similar to it multiple times when I'm feeling anxious or having negative thoughts and he is trying to uncover my dark thoughts and it is the most validating, soothing thing anyone has done for me. It feels like nothing else matters except shedding light on those dark thoughts and getting me to feel better and I so appreciate that recognition and assistance.

There was also a surprise birthday party I remember when I was 13. We walked into the house after my dad had taken me to Seattle for a day trip and lunch or something and I already felt so spoiled from the trip I just burst into tears when everyone yelled "surprise!" it was so overwhelming. But then my mom yelled at me when I ran to my room to hide my red, crying face so it's sort of a mixed memory... Anyways! Moving on.


7) What historical person do you admire most? Honestly, I feel under-educated and under-aware when it comes to historical figures which makes it difficult for me to pick someone. Once I can explain why I would admire that person most and actually have a grasp on their basic biographical information I could answer this question, but as is I'm claiming ignorance... I know I admire John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt and while I know it has to do with conservation and personality I don't feel educated enough to lay down a firm answer to this question.


8) What would you do (on thing or many) to improve the world? I tend to get confused and overwhelmed when I think about this. I am aware of the fact that I don't know much as far as "how the world works" and I'm also a victim of highly variable moods that can really affect my thinking/perspective. That said, I'll try to express a point...

Sometimes I feel like the world would be better if there wasn't so much... um, I don't know how to put this, "industry" isn't the right word because industry is good but what I mean is the selfish, ad-centric, self-conscious, "fix it til it's perfect" sort of race that makes people feel bad about themselves and makes comparison run through our culture like a plague. I feel like we're as unified as we've ever been all over the planet and I hope this will keep improving but I feel like we have some serious problems with hurting ourselves and each other with the way we run our economy and our world... It's really complex and confusing but something about improving kindness and consideration I suppose. I hope this makes some small portion of sense to somebody!


9) What's your advice in life in a few words or a few short sentences? Be kind to yourself. Live life with a legacy of love in mind.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Good and Bad and Life

Yesterday was quite a busy day.

Part of my busy was driving down to Seattle to meet a friend from my second hospitalization at a cafe. I used my turn-by-turn navigation and even found parking, I was so proud of myself! Our visit lasted hours and we really enjoyed ourselves although I stayed a little longer than I should've (my anxiety flared a bit toward the end) and drank some caffeine that I should've avoided that caused me some discomfort later, but all in all it was a great visit.

After that I drove to the Eastside to drop the commuter car with the carseat off at Hubster's work and take the clunker home and then I made dinner and then later that night I checked out a support group-lots of activity, lots of driving, lots of socializing. It was a different sort of day than I've had in quite a while!

I felt proud of myself for getting out there and doing more but I'm also concerned about my mood stability and being too "up" and risking a crash.

This morning was a little crash with some suicidal thoughts messing up my chill. It's so easy to believe that I can't fix myself and that dying is the best option but a part of me knows that that is a flawed message from a flawed brain that needs to be fought and remedied. So challenging for me. So sad. So frustrating, disappointing, and angering.

Anyways. That's some of what's going on with me. I also wanted to share some of the hubster's perspective from some of our recent conversations.

We were talking about my memory troubles and trying to determine what was caused by ECT and what wasn't and the hubbo dropped this line, "Your memory goes to shit when you have bad anxiety." It made me giggle! He did make a good point that I've suffered memory issues from anxiety since before ECT so we can't blame it all on treatment.

Days later in a separate conversation he was talking about me getting back to life instead of focusing so much on the sickness and said, "You're not being institutionalized. You're not a mental patient. You're a healthy human being with a disease that sometimes gives you serious issues." He also commented on my unfortunate tendency to have my thoughts fly toward suicide so quickly by saying, "You're conditioned to have that response-you're a self-harmer. At some point you gotta stop focusing on your disease, depression, and suicide and you gotta live your life."

I feel pressure to perform and disappointment in myself for not being "better" as I reread these comments the hubbo made but the part of me where the spark of life and rebellion against the darkness dwells sees a truth in his words; hopes to return to living a life first and foremost instead of the diseases always coming first and occupying so much of my existence. It's a terrible way to live dwelling in misery and frustration so often! No wonder I'm no excited about life, I don't give myself much to look forward to when I surround myself with symptoms and treatments and coping and crises-ugh!

We're also a little concerned about my bonding with Baby Bananaface. It's been a bit better lately but I still feel detached and distant. I'm more affectionate with the hubster but I still feel like a third wheel in the family. They are "normal" and "functional" and I'm this weird extra figure that brings more problems than help... maybe that's my negativity speaking and not facts? Ugh. This brain o' mine!

Like I said, it's been a rough morning. Now I think I'm going to go for a walk or hit the gym and try to distract myself from my negative thoughts, even try to inject some positive, reassuring thoughts instead! I'm doing a good job, I'm trying my best, I'm on the right path, I'm worth working on, I can do it!

Happy Friday and happy thoughts to all :o)


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fruit Salad Post

I'm just gonna go for it and throw in a handful of the thoughts and feelings that are with me today and let this post turn into whatever it is meant to become!


A) I really appreciated this blog post and how it helped simplify and validate my disorder while also providing some concrete tools for improving communication with others. I don't get to talk with people in this fashion about bipolar II very often but it's something that I would like to feel confident talking about if ever I got the chance.

*I was concerned about the comments she made about bipolar being highly genetic and the 50% stat she threw down, but the hubster has reassured me that it is more complex and less stark/severe than that and that I shouldn't feel like Baby Bananaface is a timebomb or that I've poisoned him... he found some other statistics that were more realistic and thankfully, reassuring. That said I am not an expert on this so I can't clarify what the "truth" is, I just don't want anybody freaking out like I did!


B) I've been having a lot of feelings about my aunt's passing and my relationship with my cousin and some of that involves feeling grief but also shameful or fearful or upset about the distance that has evolved between me and my cousin and my sorta-uncle (I don't call him "Uncle __" I just call him "__" and they weren't officially married til later in their relationship so... it's confusing but I like the guy). 

Part of the reason that distance evolved was because of my postpartum depression and the fact that I was in the hospital while my aunt was in a different hospital dying. She had had cancer for months prior to that and I hadn't seen her because she was a heavy smoker and I had stopped visiting years before because it was physically uncomfortable and very emotionally painful for me to see her and "__" smoking and, in my eyes, hurting themselves. I feel like a part of me knew that a very painful end was coming and I backed away early because I just didn't know how to cope with all the feelings I was having at the time.

Since she died I've been more and more expressive about my sadness but I've felt a little odd and "on the outside" of the grief since I didn't see her during her sickness and death. It feels like my cousin and my sorta-uncle and my first family have more license to be sad than I but I think this is the mark of an invalidating family structure, a part of the ongoing battle I experience around being myself and being okay with that... 

The fact is that I was too sensitive to watch my aunt slowly kill herself and I had to get distance, I had a lot going on in my own life and my mental health issues prevented me from coping with that high stress situation and prevented me from seeing her not only while she was sick but before then too. The fact is that my experience is unique and different from everyone else's and it happens to involve grieving from a greater distance and I am thankful that I protected myself from potentially very traumatic memories surrounding her disease and death. It has made things awkward, but I really don't regret my decision to run for the hills when I did-it was the best I could do for myself and that's all I can hope for. I don't know if I'll ever regain as close a relationship with my sorta-uncle or cousin but I can't blame myself for that, I can just do my best and be me and hope for the best.

*Still sorting through this, but that splat of feelings certainly helps!


C) I have a little update related to reintroducing myself to myself (I talked about feeling like a stranger in my own life the other day and the hubbo suggested reframing my loss of self as a journey to rediscover myself, to reintroduce myself)... On Monday I was up to some good ole Hannah mischief! Here's the scoop:

The hubster had a dentist appointment to get a filling. He's been complaining about it for weeks because he hates the feeling of the needle they use to numb him up and generally isn't a fan of the dentist anyway. That morning as I was driving home from the gym I had an inspiration to make him a little encouragement card and drop it off at the dentist's so they could give it to him when he checked in. I made him a little card with a scattering of shiny red foil hearts and a grumpy Garfield cartoon and a little note and dropped it off just before the dentist's office went to lunch. 

That afternoon I could cheery text from the hubster about "running into Garfield at the dentist's" and he was so grateful for the card! I was so glad I could help him relax and also grateful I could feel like myself again. It was a wonderful moment and I'm hoping I can continue to build on the positive vibes.


D) Overall, my wellness is improved. The jitters are gone and I'm off my Latuda now (we are keeping a watchful eye out for any symptoms that may crop up related to this). I am still struggling with anxiety but I've been able to use my DBT skills to help me cope and there is a little piece of me that sidling up to the idea of thinking of a future, looking ahead, buying into life more-and that's a big deal.

I still very much feel like a work in progress (and/or a "hot mess") but I feel like I'm starting to push back against those dark, sticky ideas that I'm worthless and hopeless and while that bit of fight in me feels a little strange, it also feels a little good too. 


E) Here are this week's "Words for Wednesday" prompts provided by River:

1. energy
2. caravan
3. drop
4. whispering
5. farmer
6. tracker

and/or

1. slinging
2. risking
3. young
4. absolute
5. morsels
6. contain

and/or

"the headlights were the only illumination on the single lane road"

I didn't write anything based on the prompts but wanted to share them around in case anyone needed some inspiration! :o)


F) Bonus link for anxiety disorder related boost-ya-up/perk :o)


So there is this fruit salad post, hope it doesn't hurt yer eyes too much!



Monday, June 6, 2016

Ask Me Anything Answers: Part IV

Part IV of my answers from the "Ask Me Anything" post comes from questions submitted by fellow blogger Angella at "37 Paddington."

1) When did you first understand that you were struggling emotionally and how did help come to you?

The first time I really, really understood that I was struggling emotionally was in high school-I think I was 16. I had taken some angled tweezers and scratched up both of my forearms from my wrists to the crook of my elbows during an overnight field trip with the band. I ended up going to my instructor and showing him and breaking down and crying and we had a chat and he told me that what I was going through was something I needed to get help for.

When I got home from the trip I showed my parents my arms and told them I needed to see a counselor and they got me scheduled with a therapist at the military hospital we lived near. I began driving myself to therapy appointments and I saw that therapist for nearly two years, I think. He's actually part of the reason I like birds so much; he was a birder and would talk birds to calm me down whenever things got really upsetting in therapy. To this day seeing birds, drawing birds, watching birds, just birds in general are soothing to me.

It took years for me to be okay with trying medications (stigma and fear) and my current psychiatrist is my first psychiatrist-all my other prescribers have been an ARNP or a doctor. I've been through lots of therapists since that first counselor in high school and I'm currently in DBT therapy which so far seems the most helpful therapy technique I've experienced; it's still early but I'm hopeful. There's been a long road, is what I'm trying to say, and help has come from my parents, myself, campus resources, my husband, and beyond. I've been fighting this beast for a long time and have taken recommendations and resources from many different sources.

Unfortunately, having a baby really threw me for a loop and sent some tricky new stuff down the pike that definitely caught me off guard but as much of a struggle as it has been I'm very grateful to be as empathetic and sensitive as I am, I'm grateful for the people I've met through my mental health journey and I'm glad that I can be a sister to them even though it means being a part of this very painful challenge that we share, and I'm very grateful for the closeness my husband and I have developed through coping with my mental health together. I think he is my greatest source of help, hands down.


2) When you are in a dark place, what can people say or do that will be most helpful to you?

I think the most helpful things that people can say when I'm in a dark place is, "Are you safe?" or "It's going to be okay" and things like "You matter, you're worth it, we just want you to be better" or "It's the depression, it's not the real you."

My dark places usually involve a lot of anxiety so comfort and reassurance is helpful. When my depression flares up I tend to develop a lengthy list of reasons why I'm not worth keeping around and tend to lose perspective that it's a disease meddling with my brain and my thoughts. Reassurance and encouragement that target these pitfalls are most helpful for me and thankfully the hubs and my current therapist are quite good at reading me and offering helpful phrases as well as many of my blogger friends; they are so comforting and encouraging. I am very grateful for all these sources of support :o)


Thank you for the questions, they were definitely "thinkers." I'll post more answers next week. Thanks everyone for reading and submitting questions, I've definitely enjoyed answering them :o)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

RELAX! No seriously, CALM DOWN!

Me and tension are so mixed up lately, intertwined like two slugs on a trail, all slime and shades of brown blending together so you can't quite tell who's who...

Basically I can report that I've reduced my anxiety a teeny bit but I am still combating panic attacks and all day tension and fear. Today kicked off with a boatload of worry on top of an evening of poor sleep because of running thoughts and anxiety but things turned out pretty well after the hubs said he would escort me to the NAMI walk I was planning to participate in with friends from the hospital stay this past January. Even though I was excited to see my friends (we keep in touch through a Facebook group) it was anxiety provoking and I was a bit of a mess until the hubster volunteered to go along (it was quite a relief A) knowing he would be there at the event and B) having him drive and deal with parking and navigation).

The walk was sweltering and I sweated like a pig but I had a wonderful time chatting with my hospital buddies and enjoyed getting out and doing something proactive and social, something I felt I haven't done in a long time.

The hubs and I also got to grab coffee at one of our favorite cafes and I even had a lovely individual excursion (ran into a grocery store solo to grab lunch fixins) where I chatted with a funny deli lady and a friendly checkout lady. There were moments where I wasn't stuck in my head or body fretting over my anxiety and I actually did calm down for a bit and enjoy life-WHICH IS WONDERFUL!

It's tough but I'm trying my darndest to hold space for this delightful moments to build on themselves and for my calmness and joy to increase. Things are certainly still challenging but I notice little improvements overall in my well being and I'm very grateful for this even as I battle fears and tears and challenging moods.

A big challenge is the feeling of being a stranger in my own life. Having been down for so long I've lost a sense of self, a sense of familiarity with my personality, my likes and dislikes, my hobbies, even what I like to cook (making a simple spaghetti sauce felt like a novel adventure Thursday!). It's quite sad feeling like I've lost myself and I struggle not to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of rediscovering myself but as I said, I'm trying to hold some safe space for such things as I sort through feelings of loss and frustration and intimidation and beyond!

I also must say a few words about feeling like I've fallen out of my comfort zone even here, not writing or commenting as much as I feel I "usually" do but I'm trying not to overthink it and just let the blogging rhythm wax and wane as it naturally will... *deep sigh*

Lots of hurry up and wait lately, such mixed up feelings it brings! but I think I'm on the right track, so that's good.



Did I mention it's way too hot here and I'm dreading this summer already? Ugh! Me no likey! *poutyface*

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Words for Wednesday-on Thursday!

I have fallen into a funk it seems and haven't been writing very much. Today I am struggling with some tension and anxiety so I thought I would try and occupy myself with a writing exercise!

This month's writing prompts are being provided by River and this week's are as follows:

Copious
Executive
Remember
Question
Undrinkable
Optimum

And/Or:

Bear
Deadly
Phase 
Employees
Unproven
Procedure

And/Or:

'but it was never enough'

 
Copious tension wove through my body while my husband focused on typing yet another dumbed down email to a well-meaning executive. He sat across from me at the dining table that served as our communal desk, a bowl of Cheerios secondary to his work responsibilities. 

I tried to remember the last morning I had woken up and felt relaxed or cheerful and couldn't summon up the occasion. There was no question I was in the midst of another mental health battle with my slew of miserable days running together in such a long string I had begun to forget the happier version of myself. 

I sighed and felt my body slump with frustration. My husband eyed me over his laptop and sipped at the coffee I had just deemed undrinkable. 

"What has you so anxious this morning?"

I shrugged, shook my head, and frowned as tears welled behind my eyes.

"You're gonna be okay. It's okay." He set the coffee mug down and I watched concern wash over his freckled face.

"I'm just so worn out."

We met each other's eyes and sighed together. We were both worn out. My being sick had been wearing us both down, not to mention the toddler getting the best of us day in and day out. Optimum conditions were set for breakdowns and we were barely hanging on to our slight progress. Surviving in such conditions is an achievement in itself but when you've been struggling for so long you forget what feeling okay feels like it makes it easy to lose sense of where success is.

I sighed again as tears teetered on my eyelids. I was worn out, I was tired, I was frustrated, but most of all I wanted to be able to give back to my husband instead of constantly taking support from him while I struggled. A tiny part of me clung to the hope that I would be able to spoil him soon and give back the care and concern he had shown me the past nine months.

"I love you," I said, gazing into his sleepy morning eyes.

"I love you too," he replied with grin.

I grinned.



Thanks for reading, I sort of used "Words for Wednesday" as a portal for my own feelings and needs this week. Somehow the word list suited my state of being this morning and I did not see that coming!

I haven't been commenting and reading as much this week but I have been thinking of my blogging buddies and I hope that everyone is doing all right in their own ways and journeys.