Monday, January 20, 2020

Anxiety...What a Bitch.

Welcome. This is my blog. Enjoy.

Anxiety...What a Bitch.

So. It's been. Just shy of two months since my last post about not posting and I feel I need to share a little about what's been going on. (EDITORS NOTE: It's been like 4 months...but I wrote this a couple of months ago and thought I was good...I was better...but not THERE yet. I'm going to publish this and move forward but I'll add in my commentary.)

I would like to joke that Life is what's going on, but it's not life. It was my life, and the anxiety and depression that kind of held me captive for the last couple of months.

I was sad. I struggled to sleep well. I couldn't take a full breath. Eating was weird. I was totally off.

To be fair and honest with you, but mostly to myself, I didn't do the things I'm supposed to do. I didn't start working out. I didn't start meditating. I didn't start mindful breathing. I didn't do yoga. I didn't talk to anyone. I didn't take medication prescribed by a doctor. I didn't start eating better.

But, I did quit drinking. I did give myself time. I did give myself permission to be not ok. I did talk about it with my husband, and some family members. I did what was best for me at the time.

I'm getting better. This time of year is really weird for me. It's right around the time Facebook likes to remind me that my mom was dying, and I was watching it all go down. It's also like, right before the holiday season (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) and my birthday is jammed up in there, and not in a good place (I'm a Christmas Eve baby).

So I work through every year this weird: Do I like my birthday? Do other people like my birthday? Is it too inconvenient? What do the girls want to be for Halloween? What do I want to be?  Who is coming for Thanksgiving? Should I make appetizers? Should I do a signature cocktail? Who are we buying presents for? Are we doing anything for New Years? Oh yeah, who IS coming for Christmas?

I also had two conferences scheduled this year where I was going to be away from home for 7 days. And all of this is compounded by, oh yeah, by the way, your mom's dead. It's just, not a good time.

It was a lot this year. This year was 5 years since my mother passed away from cancer. One day I'll share the story of the shit storm that was our life for 3 years, but, that story is exhausting and I can't today.

But again, this was the typical thoughts this time of year. But this year, it was different, and not in a good way. I really struggled. Sleep was not my friend. I would wake up in the middle of the night and then not be able to get back to sleep. I would have mini panic attacks (MPA) all day. Nothing where I had to get out, but they definitely slowed me up. My mind would race as I drove and share all the awful things that could happen. I wasn't eating right, I definitely wasn't exercising. I stopped yoga and I stopped meditating.

But again, I made changes. I'm diligent about my skin care, I'm also diligent about some vitamins I take, and I started taking a new one a couple of months before I noticed I was going downhill. I stopped taking it. I got better.  If there is one piece of advice I will share for your life, it's learn your patterns (EDIT DANIELLE HERE: I'll add some other stuff about this but foreshadowing this is important).

It's taken a couple of months for me to feel better. To sleep better. To stop the MPA's. To stop the mind racing. I'm doing better, and that's important. I'm feeling better enough to jump back into this. I'm apprehensive but looking forward. It's gonna be cool.

EDIT DANIELLE AGAIN! Hello! So I wrote all of that a couple of months ago and never hit publish. Why? Who the heck knows! Probably not ready. But I am now. I actually told a wonderful friend that I was gonna publish this on Christmas with some edits for the "Holiday Blues" but, I didn't. She went looking for it. Because she's awesome. Thank you Lisa!

But I'm publishing now. But wait! To expand on the "learn your patterns." Most woman know about their periods. They might have an app or write it old school on a calendar, but they keep track of that sort of thing. Some people mention "mercury in retrograde" and nursing and teachers like to make, "pray for me it's a full moon" statuses. These are all patterns. Learn yours. Are Monday's rough? Figure out why? Do you get a stomach ache after milk? It's a pattern. I'm not saying you have to make changes. NOT AT ALL. I'm saying notice them. Then if you want to make changes you can.

I cut alcohol. It's been super helpful. I also cut those vitamins. Awesome. Since the first writing of this, I've moved to more plant based meals. I've had less heartburn and I'm not AS tired. I still haven't jumped back to a regular yoga practice, and I definitely don't meditate like I want, but I've made small changes that I felt were doable for me during my anxiety and depression. 

Much like getting sick, you have to come out of it easy. You don't just jump into all foods after recovering from the stomach bug. You don't just go crazy and push hard after the flu. You ease into it. Once I recognized my patterns, I made what changes I could, small steps in the right direction. I've shared with my daughters that as long as they are moving toward something it's OK if it's slow, like a turtle (slow but determined), not like a sloth (slow with no purpose). So I'm turtling my way through this.

Thank you for letting me take this time. See you on Wednesday.


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