Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Feeling Lighter

Finally, the blues are gone! Was it a weekend away from home? Hormones? The position of the planets in relation to the sun? Who knows and who cares, I'll take it. I'm still sick though, but decongestants and NSAIDs work wonders.

For some reason, I can no longer reply to comments on my own blog. I've tried on 2 different browsers and on my phone and the comments just disappear instead of posting. Anyone else have this issue with Blogger and if so, any solutions?

So I am reading your comments and thinking of replies, and then frustratingly cannot post them.

But to clarify about the whole "feeling your feelings" thing, I obviously cannot do this all day every day because there is *&*( to do. Ideally, I am supposed to carve out a few minutes in the day to "check in" and see how I'm feeling and acknowledge and accept whatever is there. I actually do appreciate taking a moment every morning and evening (as I walk to/from work) to see how I feel, and what I need. Time alone? Sleep? Socializing? It helps me be more intentional with any flexible parts of my day and how I use my energy.

Anyways, I'm growing to really appreciate my therapist, though I was very skeptical of the somewhat woo-woo nature of her approach at first. Like I told her at our first visit, though, nothing else has really stuck so I'm going to be open-minded and see what happens.

I had a regrettable parenting moment last weekend that we talked through today and I ended up seeing an entirely new side to B's behavior, and why he gets under my skin so easily. While its certainly easier said than done, the idea of "coming into the interaction from a place of curiosity" (her words, not mine) does seem like a better approach then trying to endure until I snap and then feel like *&^t later.

How I feel right now? Hungry. What I need. Lunch.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Power Through

Still have the blahs. Maybe its seasonal, as OMDG suggested, though doesn't seem to be easing up yet. But now I'm sick so YAY! I have a long, full day of patients (with a short mid-daybreak, that I am using to eat lunch and type this) and we are heading straight out the minute I get home for a camping trip with friends.

I briefly considering skipping out on the trip, but I already missed the last one, and this is likely our last camping weekend before next spring. And it'll probably be more relaxing than being at home feeling compelled to work and clean and shop and cook. Also the weather will be perfect and our friends are great fun.

When I talked to my therapist this week about my mood, she reiterated that the goal is to acknowledge and accept any negative feelings, instead of trying to push them down, numb, or distract, which are all my go-to methods of dealing with life. It sounds so easy in principle, but in reality...its really hard! I don't WANT to feel bad feelings. And its so easy to distract/numb with my phone, or food, or wine.

The past couple of days I've been meditating, and leaving some time for thinking/reflection as I walk to and from work. I've been writing "3 good things" in journal every day. But then last night I was exhausted, and I reached for a couple glasses of wine to relax and get through the rest of the evening.

Ah well, every day is a new start. I'm a work in progress.

Thursday, October 3, 2019


Maybe its hormonal or maybe 10 mg of Paxil is just not enough but I'm feeling super "down in the dumps" as L says, this week. Just---sad. On the verge of tears. Nothing is wrong, nothing happened, I can't pinpoint ANYTHING to explain it.

I had a fabulous weekend on my own (the play was great and the dinner was awesome). I got work done,  cooked and prepped for the week but also got to go to the play/dinner, ordered take out, slept in, and watched loads of TV.  My parents were here M-W which was nice, and absorbed some of the childcare load.

It sucks because I generally love this time of year. L's birthday is Saturday and we have a great party planned, that I still need to do a LOT to prep for, and I'm just not feeling the mojo. The thought of all that small talk and cheerfulness seems exhausting to me right now, even though I generally love all the parents and was looking forward to seeing everyone together.

Even one of my long-term patients and the MA in our clinic noticed that I seemed tired/not my usual self this week, and L made the "down in the dumps" comment, so I have to try harder to keep a smile plastered on my face I guess. Oh well, off to fake it til I make it some more!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Action v Anxiety

Not sure where I first heard this "the antidote to anxiety is action" but it immediately rung true for me, and yet I continue to forget/ignore the lesson.

I've had a roiling pit of free flowing anxiety and fear over some work-related stuff I need to do for the past couple of weeks. So of course, I did the reasonable thing and completely ignored it, busying myself with all manner of other work to avoid having to deal with it ("work is the most dangerous form of procrastination", which I'm sure I heard from Gretchen Rubin and was skeptical about, because I have LOTS of other procrastination tools). And the pit grew. I would wake up in the middle of the night worrying about it. Every day it was on my list and every day I decided other things were more pressing.

Yesterday morning I sat down, opened up the files, and just started typing. I worked for hours (even more hours after I wrote yesterday's post). And I FINISHED.

I got comments back today, and did more proofreading and editing, but I feel pretty good about it.

All done, 2 weeks ahead of deadline.  A big HUGE load off.

NOW I'll watch some more TV and read a book.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

On My Own

So I have a weekend to myself! G and the boys went camping, since the kids had Friday and Monday off school and he was able to take time off. My Friday and Monday clinics are packed and I have a lot of work to do (call week followed by a very clinic heavy week!) so I stayed behind. I miss them and the fun they are having, but I was also very much looking forward to a chance to catch up.

So far its been boring and glorious. Yesterday I came home and just...chilled. I ordered Thai food, poured some wine, finally watched the last episode of Handmaid's Tale (OMG! If you are not watching this, you 100% need to be!) and binged a new show, Ramy, on Hulu (very funny/cringy and unique, which is my jam, I wholly recommend). I went to bed at 10 and slept amazingly well for 10 (!!) hours.

I woke up, had coffee, took the dog on a walk, and sat down to work. I haven't budged from this chair in the living room for 5 hours but I completed and sent off several documents well ahead of deadline! Tomorrow I will probably go into my office to do stuff it is easier to do on the intranet and with a large monitor, like an IRB continuing review, updating my CV in the university faculty database, and closing out clinic charts. I can do all this from home but its clunkier on my tiny Mac Book Air and I don't mind the change of location. I'm also going to go to a yoga class tomorrow morning, which I generally avoid because its at a bad time for family stuff. I skipped working out today because I was so very sore from back to back beach body extreme workouts this week and needed a rest day.

It is now only 3 pm. Brain is tired so no more work but I'll do some light housework (laundry and changing sheets) and then watch more TV (I need to finish Season 2 of Fleabag). I am going to watch a play, all by myself, tonight (I have season tickets with friends, but I couldn't go with everyone else so changed my ticket to tonight because why not?) Would it be weird to take myself out to dinner beforehand?

Monday, September 16, 2019

I need a weekend from my weekend...

We've had some extremely fun, but also very full weekends lately. Lots of adventures---we did day trips to the beach the past two Sundays, family bike rides and hikes and picnics, get-togethers with friends, G and I went to a concert Friday night, etc... I purposefully made plans to take advantage of the weather and ample opportunities, but when you are out the whole time certain things fall to the wayside.

The house is a MESS, and I haven't been keeping up with the kids new whiteboard system, laundry is piling up, and the guest room remains a staging area for bags of stuff (well, it WAS in bags until the kids dumped it all out at some point) to donate/recycle/otherwise deal with.

I am a big fan of going out and doing things, especially things that actually bring me joy*. And I know that there is nothing relaxing or refreshing about a weekend doing chores and refereeing siblings squabbles in the house. But I WOULD like to be able to sleep in, and go do a workout at the gym (instead of setting my alarm to a crazy hour to fit in an abbreviated at-home workout), and sit down for an hour or two to deal with all the random minutiae that are falling through the cracks. And plan Halloween costumes, and L's birthday party. And maybe have some energy at the end of the evening to actually watch a show!

We are out again next weekend, so I gotta keep waiting though.

*The best part about older kids is that so much of what we all do together is really and truly fun for me, too. Except for 3-hour long games of Monopoly.  And certain Super-hero movies. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Whenever I tell my therapist I feel something or think something negative about myself or my life, she rephrases it as "a PART of you thinks/feels/believe that". And then points out the various other parts of me that made the choices and decisions for some reason. Even if that reason was "I felt like it at the time". The whole thing she is doing is getting me to see which emotions/impulses bring on which behaviors, so that instead of being triggered and reactive, I can step back and be intentional about my actions, decisions, and coping mechanisms.

For example, last night I was so mentally drained after a painful clinic and frustrating evening with the kids (I rushed home and dragged them to swim lessons only for the instructor to not show due to a miscommunication and they were grumpy and annoying the whole time there/waiting/back). Also my shoulder is hurting again and its a constant, tiring ache. When they finally got to bed at 9 pm I was spent, and probably should've gone to bed, but I had that (rare for me) feeling that I wanted to stay up and take some time for ME, probably because nothing in the entire day brought me joy or even satisfaction (and I didn't have a book to read!). But I was didn't have the motivation to actually DO anything, so I poured a glass of wine and grabbed a snack and set to scrolling and wasting time for a good 30-45 minutes. I may have refilled the wine along the way.

It was later then I wanted to go to bed, I slept poorly because of the wine, and was beating myself up this morning for setting back my health goals. The typical cycle of being depleted, seeking comfort/relief in "easy" ways and then feeling like crap about my choices. Why do I keep doing this?

Apparently I've never learned to "feel my feelings" nor have I learned how to deal with them except by distraction and numbing---scrolling, eating, drinking, shopping (I've gotten WAY better about this, but the urge strikes sometimes)...even some seemingly positive behaviors like reading, exercise, and planning can be used as distractions if I'm trying to avoid unpleasant emotions. (and I definitely admit I've been staving off work stress by planning NEXT SUMMER).

Tonight I'm supposed to take 10 minutes after the kids go to bed to just sit by myself and think or journal about my feelings and what I actually need in the moment. I'm almost 100% sure what I really need would be to go to bed. I'm very tired, every part of me.