Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Climbing...

Today I woke up in a better place. I started my day off on a better footing. My kindness and self-validation is returning. I'm feeling calmer and less afraid, less sad, worthless, and weak.

I think part of my upswing has to do with a conversation the hubster and I had last night. He started by pointing out how serious things were getting. That I didn't seem to be fighting back against the dark logic like I had been in previous blips. That we had to get on top of things and stop this from becoming a full-fledged episode.

After some hemming and hawing from me, lots of apologies and guilt and shame, he launched into a sort of monologue/rant (not usually his style). He said something along the lines of, "You should be proud. Not ashamed. Not guilty. You should be proud that you are here. You should be proud of how far you have come and what you have done, not just for yourself but for us, for your family. You don't have to feel guilty about all that time in the hospital or all the treatments or all the therapy. You should be proud of all the hard work you have done and all the tough times we have come through together. You would have done the same for me, I know you would've. We are moving forward and you don't need to look back and feel guilt or shame about all that we went through. That's the past. We're here and we're moving forward. Do you get that?"

I do get it. What he said did resonate with me. While it's still hard to internalize and really believe it in my bones, it's something I want to work toward accepting and integrating into my being. I'm a survivor. Sure, that means I've been through some shit and it's definitely been a costly, difficult journey, but it also means that I'm strong. I'm skilled. I'm dedicated. I love my family and friends and worked hard to stick around for them.

And that's worth being proud of.

Just like everything else I've worked toward, I'm gonna work those baby steps. One day at a time I'm gonna cultivate that pride. Planting those seeds and no matter how long it takes, I'm gonna get them growing. I'll never stop busting my ass to be better, to stay healthy, to be here for those I love and this is just the next leg of that journey.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Rough Waters

Been a wobbly couple of days... I think having a friend babysit Baby Bananaface for the first time and going out to a dinner with my folks stirred up some emotions and made me more vulnerable to a little dip in my mood.

I keep thinking about "27 days."

I asked the hubster how many days total I stayed in the hospital between the two visits and he replied, without a moment's hesitation, "27 days." It's seared into his memory. There's so many feelings and memories and pain and struggle. It wasn't just me falling apart, it was my entire family.

It's been pretty emotional and confusing having my brain awash with gratitude for being here and alternately shame for bringing so much distress, anguish even, to my family. Thinking about those I love most and how they stood by my side through all that madness and thinking about all the things they did to get me the help I needed as well as try to keep my little family afloat in the meantime... it's overwhelming.

Thinking about where we've been is one thing, but I'm also distressed thinking about where we are now. I'm doing better, don't get me wrong, but it feels like we're barely keeping our heads above water. The hubs is fraying around the edges trying to balance all the financial stuff, spending hours on the buses going to-and-from work since our other car broke down, working on his *hopefully* last class to get his degree, helping out with BB, me, and all the other spinning gears of life. I wish I could do more for him.

I want so much to do more for him but I also have to be careful not to send myself into a tailspin. I mean, hell, right now seems like a little tailspin! All these thoughts and feelings getting the better of me. Crying in yoga class, tearing up in interval training, losing my appetite and interest. I'm trying not to become too frightened and holding onto the hope that it's a temporary, little blip, but it sure sucks seeing myself floundering like this when all I want to do is be able to help my husband.

So as I sit here typing and crying, I can feel the sadness and anger but I can also feel the love. I know that I want things to be better and I know that there ain't nothing wrong with that. It ain't all roses but I'm here and I'm trying. My family is here and we're trying. We're just all gonna have to keep it up with those baby steps and soon enough the sunnier days will return.

<3

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Argh!

It's been a bumpy few days and I think the biggest thing that is bothering me is my body issues. I ain't talking about self-consciousness or something. I'm talking about my knee bothering me---and then my lower back---and then my heel. It's cramping my style and interfering with my gym schedule!

I stayed home Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday. I even skipped cycling today after a light workout on the elliptical caused me discomfort. I'm gonna keep nursing things (hopping into an Epsom soak after this) and hopefully next week I'll be back to normal.

In other news, I had another seizure Tuesday morning. It was scary. The hubby wasn't home. I woke up in pitch black, unsure of where I was, and very disoriented. After a few minutes and knocking over some jugs of soap and tangling with the shower curtain, I realized that I was in my bathtub.

It seems that for whatever reason I slept walk to my tub and had the seizure there (as far as I can tell). There wasn't as much blood on my shirt as the couple before this but my tongue was a bit sore for a couple days.

I got in with the neurologist last minute and he upped my dose. He also showed me some MRI images that he got after our last appointment and pointed out a slight variation in my right temporal lobe that may explain things. He said some folks decide to have surgery for things like that when they can't get their epilepsy under control within a couple years. As scary as the seizures are, I think it'd have to get a lot more frequent for me to consider surgery.

So, there have been bumps lately and it's definitely got me a bit down. That said, I haven't bottomed out or started getting really negative. I reassure myself that these are temporary setbacks and that I'll most likely get back to normal soon-and if they don't, there's a good chance I can rise to the occasion and handle things regardless.

For now, a nice soak followed by some coffee, maybe an English muffin, and some reruns while I study for my terminology quiz tomorrow sounds good to me!

PS Many smiles and much pride for those that participated in the women's marches. I didn't go myself, but it sure looked beautiful from the pictures I saw. My friends that did go said it was amazing.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

One Year

One year ago today, I was in the hospital. My aunt was also in the hospital.

On this day she died after a short, nasty fight with cancer.

As much as today marks a sad event for my family, it's also a day of deep gratitude as we reflect on how far we've come. My aunt is no longer with us, but I am still here and doing a lot, a lot, a lot better. She would've liked to hear that :o)

I didn't see my aunt while she was sick, or for many months before that. Years ago I started tapering off seeing her because it was too upsetting for me. She was a big smoker and somewhere deep inside I just knew she would get sick and leave us too soon. I couldn't stand it.

It's sad, but I don't really regret my decision. I couldn't handle the sadness and the stress of watching her kill herself. I did what I had to do at the time. While I probably would've gone to see her in the end if I hadn't been in the hospital myself, I'm glad that I didn't see her like that. Instead, I can remember the Aunt Sally that meant so much to me in a happier light.


So I raise my coffee cup to my aunt as well as to myself on this anniversary of sorts. I'm glad to have shared so many wonderful years with her and glad to feel once again like I have many wonderful years ahead of me.

Love. Love. Love.

<3

Friday, January 13, 2017

Bumpy and Confusing

No, I'm not talking about a skin condition! I'm talking about a few of my days this week being bumpy and confusing.

It all started out with a bit of snit between me and the hubby. He was hangry and I was feeling confrontational. It was a little fun arguing (we don't do that very often) but it was also out of my comfort zone. It's difficult for me to argue without taking things personally and exacerbating insecurities. We worked through things but I was left shaken and off balance.

The next day was rough for me. I started noticing my mood sliding and negative self talk flaring up. The hubs and I talked more and tried to work through it but I was down. No question about it. The confusing part? I was down without being bottomed out. It was a feeling bad without feeling suicidal, hopeless, or having the urges to harm myself-it was a more normal down. I had a bad day without having a crisis!

In a way it was good to be able to just feel bad and not feel in crisis, but it was definitely odd and confusing for me. I took things a bit easier and tried to simply experience the emotions without overthinking and worrying about a relapse. It was tough, a little scary, but I made it.

I remembered to use my DBT skills along the way. Even reached out to a gym instructor to help battle back some of the negative self talk I was experiencing. (I was beating myself up for my chunky legs and not having perfect form or working the right muscle groups 100% of the time-classic Hannah hating on Hannah/perfectionism stuff)  It really helped hearing that I'm doing a good job and it was also really helpful to connect with someone instead of feeding feelings of not belonging and isolating like I was inclined to do.

So here I am Friday after a few rough days feeling like I'm coming outta the woods with a new victory to add to my books. I can have bad days without it being a crisis, or dangerous. I can experience emotions without things getting out of control! It's okay to take it easy sometimes and let things work out.

I can.

Booyeah!


In other news, it's been way cold and icy here. I'm over all the windshield scraping and slick parking lots! We don't usually have this many days below freezing and it's getting old! It's not normal for 40 degrees to feel warm, at least in our neighborhood.


Wishing everyone a happy and pleasantly warm weekend :o)

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Good Weekend

It was a good weekend. Not because anything spectacular or amazing happened. It was a good weekend because the simple things happened.


For many months I've struggled to watch or enjoy any TV or movies. If it wasn't the material triggering me or being emotionally overwhelming, my anxiety made it impossible to sit through and focus on the show. There were even times when just sitting down for a movie gave my depressed mind an open playing field for my negative and even, at times, suicidal thoughts.

The hubbo and I hadn't been able to sit down and watch something together-and truly relax-for quite a while. Last week and this weekend we were finally able to again! It was a simple pleasure, but a great time and a huge sign of progress for me.

I have to stick mostly to romantic comedies, comedies, classics, or light action (too much drama or violence and I can get scary dreams or over-stressed) but we're able to chillax and enjoy a movie together again and I'm so glad.

The hubster works hard to provide for our family and take care of me and Baby Bananaface, so he really appreciates the down time. For many moons I wasn't able to relax enough or cope with the shows-we played board or card games to keep me distracted. It was sometimes tiring or just too much for the hubster after a long day of work, cooking, and childcare.

Anywho. I've been feeling really good about this and even a bit proud. I hope to keep building my resiliency and watching more flicks that I know I enjoyed at one point in my life. Maybe I'll even test the waters with some new ones... any suggestions are much appreciated!


In other news, I wore some of the new clothes I acquired last month. A shirt my sister found for me while we were shopping and a skirt that my mom gave me for Christmas. It feels good to put an outfit together and actually put forth some effort getting dressed to go out. For so long I've just been throwing on the layers and baggy clothes, hiding in the folds and skulking about-but things are changing. Hell, I even blew dry my hair today!

Here's a pic from this weekend:


Yes, I'm rocking the sippy cup and snack bowl from BB's afternoon snack ;o)


I'm still experiencing anxiety and pretty often feel myself on the precipice of panic attacks, but more and more I'm riding the waves and utilizing those coping skills. I may not ever be symptom-free, but I'm certainly feeling more confidence about being able to cope and survive.


Happy Monday everyone, I hope y'all had good weekends too!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Cuteness!

This afternoon I picked up Baby Bananaface from daycare like the usual, but we had a special moment of uber cuteness...

He seemed to be looking across the street so I followed his gaze and saw a fluffy, labrador-sized, blonde dog hanging out in a fenced yard.

BB babbled, "Da, da," and continued to point.

"Yes! Dog!" I encouraged and smiled.

I whistled at the dog and it came to the fence and looked at us-even barked at us! BB responded with a big smile and more pointing. I asked him to wave hello to the dog and he did! More pointing, smiling, "Da, da," and joy followed. We even made "woof, woof" sounds to the dog.

It was a wonderful moment :o)




In other news, I've been doing chores around the house, preparing for my class to start on Monday, and hitting up the gym for my regular classes and some new ones. I'm trying to push myself a little more at the gym and it feels really good to get those sore muscles going again. It also feels good to be cooking for my hubby and baby, getting back on top of my household chores, and making the most of my days.

One step at a time sure gets ya places, I tell ya what!