Sunday, May 25, 2014

HALT

Perhaps you've heard the acronym HALT - Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. I would add Stressed and Sick to it.

But currently, mine would be more like HLTS, hungry, lonely, tired, stressed. And annoyed, because I told my counselor when I saw her nearly two weeks ago that the way things are going, I should be depressed again in two weeks and fine in a month. I'm annoyed because it turns out I was right. But why?

Hungry - my schedule got mixed up, working late on Wednesday and Thursday and then staying up late (like I'm doing right now) with the weekend, which is longer, so I am more messed up. Tired, for the same reasons, plus not being able to fall asleep last night when I wanted to at midnight (which probably explains my extreme hesitance towards going to bed tonight even though I really, really need sleep. Lonely. It is a long weekend. And I keep eying people's babies with a bit of jealously. I want my own baby. But I don't get that right now. I get my kids at work. And my guinea pig. Neither of which are the same as having your own baby.

And stressed. At work, we are switching from the school-year schedule to the summer schedule. This includes kids moving around to different classes. And since I decided to switch age groups, I'm also switching classrooms (still not sure what room I will be in for the summer). And back to switching age groups, that is something. I've been caring for 1 and 2-year-olds for 5 and a half years. Switching to 3 and 4 year olds is, well, a change. I'm very much looking forward to it. But it is still a change. I just sorted through my large collection of board books at home, setting aside the more baby-ish ones and keeping the ones I thought were still good for the three-year-olds. It is really exciting. Good stress.

Still stress.

Well, I'm going to make a try at sleeping. Sometimes it helps me not stress out as much about insomnia if I have a plan: If my normal routine fails, I can... lets see. I could turn on the tv and watch something fairly boring. I think that would actually work.

And then tomorrow, I'm having lunch with friends that I don't know very well. I'm looking forward to it, but also struggling with my anxiety about it.

Oh, and did I mention my dear, sweet, rusty old car? The one that needs to be repaired before I fill it with gas again, or there will likely be a nice puddle of expensive, wasted gas beneath my car again? And that I'm not in control of it's getting fixed? A friend's husband is going to fix it. When the right part is obtained. And schedules meet close enough. Out of my control, as I said. But the shop I went to already tried to fix it twice. Then I told them I would accept a refund, and they actually gave me one. So my bank account doesn't look bad, but my car... is a bit worrisome.

Anything else? No, just normal things like wondering how poorly I'm doing at caring for my guinea pig (I should clean his cage more often, for one thing...), getting down on myself for dropping my groceries on either side of the short path from my bed to the door and then leaving most of the stuff there, on either side of said path.

So it is time for the toolbox. We'll go for sleep first. I might be better in the morning. :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

medication and "you can't save them all"

Well, I've got two things to say. The first is, despite how much psych meds seem to have helped me (after all, it is pretty hard to prove exactly what medication or therapy is responsible for what improvement), and despite my knowing others who have benefited from psych medication, and despite all I've read that supports psych medication, I still struggle when I come up against anti-medication proponents.

Could I be this healthy without medication? Could I have white-knuckled it back to health? Should I have? Should I stand only on ERP, exposing myself to misery so that I can be happy? And not just on a few things but on everything OCD has ever thrown my way, with all the strength it had pre-medication? It is tiring even to think of it.

And the answer? Who knows. I've chosen to include the medication route in my treatment. It isn't always easy. Then again, it can work great. But I am happy now, and that counts for something. It counts for a lot. People say, you wont always be happy. But that isn't the kind of happiness I mean. Well, it includes that. But what I mean is that feeling of not having an invisible elephant riding on your brain all the time. The sense that the world comes in color instead of just black and white - or just grays. The sense that I have value, along with the people around me. The feeling like I belong on earth, like I actually should be alive. Perhaps if you haven't lost and then regained this (or if you never had it and still haven't ever had it), then this doesn't seem so valuable and amazing and priceless. But I lost it. And I got it back. And I am SO, SO thankful. Medication is a risk well worth the chance to regain this after it is lost (or never was). At least to me. However, I could see someone mid-darkness, mid-depression not understanding. And I could see someone who had never lost this not understanding. And then, medication wont work for everyone. And also, I did go through lots of therapy on my way here.

One other thing was said to me today. That saying, "you can't save them all." Sounds cruel to a perfectionist. What? You mean I can't significantly help every single person in need around me? You mean that some people who I try to help wont be helped, or wont be helped as much?

Yeah. That is exactly what I mean. I'll still try to help people, as a friend, as a teacher, etc. I still will try for the most helpful results possible. But if I don't get an A in every endeavor, that is okay. That is life. Permission to fail when success is not really in my control. (And when success is in my control, too. I'm still human, and that is okay.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

of tassels and graduation

Need I say more? Of course, I will say more anyway. :)
 See that big building in the background? All dedicated to Early Childhood Education and Research? (Hear the undercurrent that hints of a future quest for a Master's degree? But not yet!)
 One of my favorite pictures due to the beautiful mountains, but not quite my favorite due to the tassel still being on the un-graduated side.
 My sister drove up and I drove down and we met in the middle far from either of our homes at the college I attended from a 10 or more hour drive away (online).
 I just can't stick to traditional poses. And I'm pretty sure the sun was bright.
After I had lost my tassel. I wasn't ready to wear my hat in this picture without my tassel. That was too sad.

Speaking of the lost tassel, we walked way too long looking for it. I was not dressed for a long walk. And we didn't find it.

But while we are still on the tassel subject, since that seems to be a main theme, and because I want to tell you, I was able to order a replacement tassel, so I now have one that looks just like the original one, light blue for the college of education, with the correct year attached.

And now, here it is; I graduated with honors (magna cum laude) and got my Bachelor of Science degree in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education.

And along with my changing education level, I'm not changing jobs. But I am changing age groups, only not because of my degree, per se. I.e., my degree would serve me well (without any financial advantage) whether I taught toddlers or preschool. Furthermore, good toddler teachers are just as important as good preschool teachers.

Nonetheless, I'm moving from teaching toddlers to teaching preschoolers, same place, same boss, different classroom, different age, slightly different schedule.

And I'm so excited! But now my shelves full of board books at home will need to be sorted through and mostly put in storage (perhaps where it already is; it's expected usage will merely change). And my toddler toys that are too far on the baby side are going into storage. But my brain and my excitement are staying out of storage.