anxiety, depression, parenting, Uncategorized, wellness

All the Feelings

39610582_10215319901768390_8168202209788428288_nI haven’t posted in a while. I had a draft started about turning fifty, which happened earlier this month. But since then one of my daughters has gone to the hospital, and it just doesn’t seem important or relevant anymore. The gist of it was “I don’t feel fifty” and “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be getting older”.

Instead, my days are spent glued to my phone, in case my daughter or someone from the hospital calls. Researching the internet for resources and answers of how to best support my child. Mental illness is a horrible thing. I wish it did not exist. It very much does. The adolescent programs we have been using are bursting at the seams. Anxiety. Depression. Eating disorders. Addictions. Self harm. Trauma. The list goes on.

It is hard to be a teen, period. Coupled with these illnesses it is down-right scary. I know parenting teens is difficult. Parenting a teen with a mental illness is terrifying. I so want to do the right thing. In all honesty, I want to take it away, fix it. But I can’t do that, and according to my favorite author, Glennon Doyle, trying to fix other people’s pain is like stealing their happiness; both are sacred. All I can do is hold space for my daughter and her beautiful, strong spirit.

That and try to take care of myself, so I’m not a train-wreck next to her. I have been doing an abysmal job of this, which is another reason I haven’t written. Didn’t seem appropriate to get on my “nurturing self and others” blog and talk about how I don’t have the energy/desire to even get out of bed, let alone do one of the many self-care practices I know would help.

I did meditate once yesterday. I also scheduled a therapy appointment for myself. I have amazing supportive family and friends, whom I’m eternally grateful for. So yeah. That’s where things stand. Not a glowing, rosy picture, but one filled with infinite love and a sliver of hope for brighter days ahead.

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anxiety, depression, Uncategorized, wellness

Zero or Ten

20180525_184311My mental health has been (and still is!) an arduous process. Anxiety, depression, and addiction are deeply seeded in my family’s DNA. I know these disorders are prevalent in our society as a whole. I am using this entry as a means of making this issue clearer in my own mind. If feelings or problems are not your cup of tea, you may want to pass this one by. I will get back to posting about gardening and parenting soon.

Anxiety has been my primary disability for years. I operate at a heightened state of alert that does not allow me to inhale or exhale fully. A lot of my self-care continues to go into attempting to let go of this ever-present tension, and remembering to breathe to get oxygen to my brain. (I wish I was jesting.)

I tend to be less self-aware when depression is creeping back. For me, it often surfaces as trying not to feel. I will sleep a lot or numb-out on social media. I am an optimistic and busy person by nature, so anxiety is easier for me to accept than despondency.

Self-awareness of my addictive tendencies has allowed me to side-step the chemical dependency many grapple with. However, I am a compulsive person. As a compulsive eater, I have found sugar to be a very effective mode of numbing feelings. I made a vow to adopt a clean-eating life-style a couple months ago; so that is no longer an option when I am feeling the need for escape. My latest compulsions are essential oils and podcasts… not all compulsions are negative!

So I am coming full-circle back to self-care. It is interesting, self-care is easier for me when I am already feeling good. When I am most down, most in need, it is the most difficult for me to implement. Case in point, last night I was at the center our family frequents for therapy. My daughter had an appointment, and I was considering taking a bio mat session. My thinking went, “I don’t want to waste a bio mat session when I have such a severe headache.” My daughter pointed to the bio mat poster in the office that listed “alleviates headaches” as one of its uses. I had the session and felt better. My point being, it is so easy to snowball in the downward spiral. When I am low, I don’t want to do anything, however that is exactly the time I need to take steps to help myself.

I feel I vacillate between attempting CONTROL (anxiety) and attempting ESCAPE (depression). There is certainly much I have little control over and escaping feelings is a loosing battle. Yesterday the words that kept swirling in my head were surrender and release. I often joke that I am a zero or ten girl–all in or all out. It is very difficult for me to “just be”. My current goal for myself is to surrender. It is a work in process, but awareness is a good starting point.

 

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