Thursday, June 15, 2017

I don't like...

I'm just recovering from bronchitis. Last week passed in a blur. I worked most days, had a fever most nights, took lots of pain reliever/fever reducer medication, got the most essential schoolwork done, and watched Netflix. I was sick enough that OCD usually left me alone.

This week, I'm feeling better. Which means OCD/anxiety/depression re-enter the picture. The monsters. Today, I took off work to get more schoolwork done. And what do I do first off? I sleep through nearly the entire morning. It is quite probable that this sleep will help me get over bronchitis, thus not being a waste of time. But there is enough of a possibility that I wasted time that my anxiety has stepped in. What if sleeping in was the wrong choice? What if my boss would judge me for how I spent my time off? My coworkers? What if I don't get my homework done on time or turn in sloppy work because I wasted too much time? What if I was wrong to cancel seeing my friend with a very young baby? What if my cough isn't contagious? What if I'm just selfish wanting to get more homework done this afternoon? What if my friend reads this? I really do have a cough. I really don't think it is a bad idea to wait another week before hanging out with a very young baby. I really also want to get schoolwork done.

I don't like anxiety. I don't like being tired. I don't like coughing until my head aches and I fear I will gag. I don't like the feeling of a shadow hanging over my life.

I don't like wondering if I was wrong about the whole mental illness thing. I don't like wondering if it is just spiritual warfare and I should just be praying it off. I don't like feeling alone and cut-off because I'm not like my friends even though they think I am. I don't like wondering if I am making a cosmic mistake.

This is when I should start into gratitude stuff, I bet. Being thankful that I at least got the day off. That I got to sleep 12 hours. That my fever is gone. That according to the calendar, I'm half way done with this summer session. That somehow, things are going to work out again.

That is all probably true, but so is that I am behind on homework, ready for another nap, needing a shower (and those are something I almost always dread). Well, I'm off to stare at my homework again. Enjoy any sunshine that gets through your clouds.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy "Just-in-case-you-need-a-reminder-that-you-still-don't-have-a-kid-even-though-you-want-one" Day

Last night, I dreamed that someone broke into my garage. They mixed my stuff up and even took the garage door down. And they left me a baby. I called the police, and they already knew I had the baby. I was given a contract to sign, but I got to keep the baby, at least for now.

And not too long later, I woke up, and it was Mother's Day. People are funny (funny strange). Some call every women a mother of some sort, which I can sort of go for. Someone called my job (childcare worker) that of being a professional mom. I know it is very different from having your own kids, but I can complain about potty training, too. Or putting sunscreen on toddlers. Etc. Then there is the person at church who hands you the gift being given to all mothers. I looked at her strangely because I didn't put it together that it was for mother's day. She said, "We have enough for you to have one, too." And she is a wonderful lady, and I am certain she did not in anyway mean to make me feel like an "other," but she did. I got a gift because they had extra ones. (Actually, that isn't true; I'm pretty sure that the originators of the gift meant it for every woman in the church. This lady just managed to pick less than ideal wording.) And then there are all the people that treat you as your pet's mother. I'm not my pets' mother. One of my pets is the other one's mother, but I'm neither mother nor grandmother. I'm more of a zookeeper. Hopefully the good kind that takes good care of the animals.

So, yeah, there is the Mother's Day issue.

Then there is the "You no longer fit in the young adult group at church" issue. Granted, hanging out with kids just out of high school assured me that in truth, I did not fit in this group any more. But you know what is next? The singles group that runs from as early as you are willing to come to all the way through, well, when you die, or are in poor enough health that you can't make it, or something like that. I went once with a friend and we sat with people old enough to be our fathers. I went again, and sat at a table with women most of whom could have been my mother. Not saying they shouldn't have a place. Maybe the singles group belongs to their stage. But just what are we supposed to do when we are too old for "young adult" groups and too young for "singles" groups at church? If you haven't met someone by the time you graduate from "young adult group," are you just stuck until you are in your fifties? Or maybe for that ten or twenty years, you should depend on bars or online dating?

Well, I really like complaining, but it isn't exactly a desirable trait. So maybe I should... well, I could clean, but that's not happening. Maybe watch another movie. Who knows.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Putting together puzzles

It has been a while. I guess I got tired of blogging for a while. We'll see how well I like coming back.

I started putting puzzles together again. I used to think that 500 piece puzzles were too hard, but I did one yesterday and one today, so maybe those unrelated graduate classes are paying off.

Change coming my way again. I struggle with change. My depression thinks it is the perfect opportunity to launch another attack of depressed cognitive distortions. And my anxiety - well, it is hard to keep track of that. Maybe it's taking a vacation.

I'm hungry because I decided to eat cereal for supper. Silly me, I know better. But it was yummy. Unfortunately, now I'll have to eat something more substantial after 10pm at night, which the doctor does not recommend for acid reflux. Of course, I'm eating for my brain and to stop feeling nauseous (although I've heard that sometimes the nauseousness is actually acid reflux, not hunger).

I'm putting puzzles together because it takes up my full brain. Because wading through my thoughts is an intimidating thought, kind of like cleaning my house is intimidating. Although cleaning just might be easier. Anyway, "they say" not to stuff my feelings, so how about I write several disjointed paragraphs and act like that is getting my feelings out.

I've reached that, "I'm tired" state that is more than tired. It is weary. Weary of the daily struggle. Therefore, I sit and watch preschool tv shows or kids' movies while putting puzzles together. I like problems to resolve in 22 minutes, although within two hours is okay, too.

Tomorrow, it is back to teaching. Back to being patient. Back to trying not to eat too many chocolates that somebody very sweetly gave me for teacher appreciation day. Back to doing my best throughout the work day and coming home exhausted. The plus side is that at least I won't have schoolwork to do. Not until after Memorial Day, at which point I have signed up for a very optimistic number of classes. I really want to finish this degree. Or give up. But mostly finish the degree. Dear brain, please don't betray me. I know I ask a lot from you, but I don't know what else to do. The degree will let me keep doing what I love while being more financially stable, hopefully. That will be good for you, brain, to not have to weigh each purchase you make, to not have to depend on gifts to get by. Brain, you can do this. Just go take a shower and go to bed. Oh, and eat somewhere in there. You are strong. You can do this.

Actually, I'm wondering about that whole, "You are strong" argument. I'm considering something else, like, "You are weak right now, so I'll ask as little of you as possible and take as good care of you as I know how, and somehow we'll get through this." Maybe it would work better. Because I get tired of hearing myself tell myself that I am strong.

Well, if you are reading this, I hope you got something from it. I got a little more calm, so I think that is a success. I feel like my mental health is on the fence, easily tipping into trouble or into doing pretty fine. And I feel like I might have some say in which way I fall or if I fall, but I'm not sure how much say, or even if I would use as much say as I have.

I find that when you cannot solve the questions of the evening, it just might be time to go to bed. Which can require a lot of effort. Showering? Yuck. Feeding guinea pigs? Bother. Flossing teeth? Time consuming. Brushing teeth? All that water and toothpaste dripping... And then there is still taking medications - do that before brushing teeth since one of my pills usually feels stuck in my throat, so I eat afterwards - which I needed to do anyway since supper wasn't enough. And putting on chapstick. And setting alarm clocks and checking them. And hand cream, and devotional reading (I don't mind short), and some silly game to put my brain to sleep (twenty questions with a robot/toy or a rubiks cube). And then trying to sleep. And then having to wake up the next morning. Ugh! So much work. But tomorrow afternoon I can put together another puzzle.