Thursday, June 14, 2018

How Am I Doing Update

Here's an update on my wonky mental health state of affairs. I've been trying to put my finger on it. I have no momentous birthday approaching or major change of life. I have a kid at home, and yes granted, this is her last year of high school, but I shouldn't be dealing with empty nest syndrome yet. She's spent weeks at summer camp and mission trips since she was 9 years old for goodness sake. My older kids, while both should be better off financially than they are considering how hard they work and how much both invested in their educations, but neither are destitute. I do carry their burdens on my shoulders though, even though I know they do not expect or want me to. It is a poor mental health habit that I would like to break, but I just can't seem to think and hope and wish for things that are none of my business or responsibility. I know if the worst happened with jobs or finances, we would buckle down as a family and deal with it. The angst I sometimes feel about money and finances and our future is usually subdued a bit when I remember that we have been intentional about putting money in retirement accounts, in emergency accounts, and each of us have small sums of gift money that we did not go out and blow on toys, but tucked away for rainy days. We have relatively few wants in life other than good health, some travel, and to provide for our kids, which we have done. Still, I do financial exercises in my head, planning for that worst case to happen.

 I can't shake this feeling that doom is waiting for me on the other side. The other side of what, I have no idea. For weeks, I am physically exhausted at the end of a work day and after giving pup a walk just wanted to go to bed and sleep. I've been unproductive at home, though at work, I am staying on top of things and not letting my lethargy impact my job. That might align with my financial fears, making sure I don't put myself in a position of losing my job. Of course, losing a job is never completely in one's control, and again, the anxiety calls to me. Legitimately, I do have a huge unknown facing me at work when after the new year, we will have a complete change of upper management.While technically having a job won't be impacted, how the work is prioritized and focused could change a lot.

I've been seeking help on this mind clutter. So far, it has been talking and some small exercises like making sure I speak about my fears and concerns out loud. Even if to just myself, saying the worst out loud or even writing it down gets it out of my head and it becomes more tangible to resolve rather than letting it stew in my head. I am greatly paraphrasing and Spo if you are reading, you are sure to say I have got the concept at least partially wrong. We've just started to scratch the surface on talking about expectations in life and whether I am putting too much weight on what should be, instead of just letting my life be what it is. Ironically, if I think back 20 or even 30 years, someone might say my life is exactly how I had planned it, from a big picture perspective. I am married with healthy beautiful children, living in a good community, with a good job, and a few good friends. I've heard of a mental health issue where a person deliberately sabotages their own life over and over. Am I person that can't accept when life is just good, and so need to create conflict, if only inside my head? I don't think so, but hoping the sessions give me tools to unpack this clutter and think more rationally again.

I'm still trying to plan for the trip and enjoy the sunny days, but need to relish in both more. Yesterday was gorgeous, but I could not stay up later than 9:00. Tonight, I am going to push myself to take a later night walk-make myself not succumb to the comfort and hiding of my bed. Perhaps that will help me stay asleep better than I've been. Last night I had a dream that featured my friend A that passed away in December from brain cancer. In my dream she was healthy, and inspiring, and full of expression. I hated waking up from the dream, it seemed so real, and I had her back. I want to feel better. I know life is too short and  I want to have new memories with those in my life now and I feel as though I am just sleeping through it.

28 comments:

  1. Sometimes there isn't rhyme nor reason as to why we have the thoughts that we do. I'm glad you are trying to unpack/get rid of the clutter kicking around inside your mind. It's good you are seeking support/help. <3

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    1. Hard to admit I can't resokve alone but it is the truth. Thanks, TraceeBee.

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  2. I worry about a lot of the same things you do. My husband worries about nothing and sleeps like a log. I think as women, we take on more emotional burdens than most men do. It's not fair, but it seems we torture ourselves with those "what if" thoughts. I think it's because we want to be prepared for the worst if it ever happens. In that way, we deny ourselves the joy of the present. I hope talking and writing about it helps get the noise out of your head. Here is a great article written by Wil Wheaton about that noise.
    https://medium.com/@wilw/my-name-is-wil-wheaton-i-live-with-chronic-depression-and-generalized-anxiety-i-am-not-ashamed-8f693f9c0af1

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    1. Will Wheaton has some great insights on anxiety. I follow him on FB and he's been a good source of new information.

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  3. just on the physical side . . . are you sure you don't need more rest, or that there's not anything going on with your health? Something straightforward like anemia or more complex like lupus could certainly cause the physical symptoms. I felt this way right before I was diagnosed with lupus. I'd just get checked out by a doctor, if you haven't already.

    And, big hugs. What have you tried to quiet your mind? Do you do yoga or meditation? Have you tried the Head Space app?

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    1. Yes I know I need more sleep. I'm getting good meducal care and hope the balance of meds and vitamins help soon.

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  4. Nothing unusual about worrying on kids and finances. Your feelings of exhaustion have definitely a physical not mental ground. Give priority to shedding of pounds and adequate sleep, and things will, no doubt, greatly improve for you. Only if your efforts will seem to fail, only then you should perhaps address a doctor to find out a possible cause such as a thyroid gland not functioning well, or other such reason.

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    1. I've a myriad of health stuff but absolute I need to eat better exercise more.

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  5. If it were me, (which, when it was, I did) I would stick to a strict schedule of bedtime/waketime. No matter how tired, I would refuse to go to bed before a certain hour (my bedtime is 9:30) and would wake up at the same time every day. I would stick to my regular routine throughout the day, including a daily run, but add nothing extra, even picking up/dropping off a kid to, say, the movies. Bedtime is non-negotiable, and woe betide anybody who disturbs me for anything after I have retired for the day. or keeps me from my bed when I am heading there. I would let the house know after school each day that I was unavailable after 7p.m., so if they had anything they needed help with/found/signed/check written for/permission for, to let me know before dinner, or consider it a lost cause. I also used to make kids all be in bed before or at the same time as me...now the older ones get to monitor their own bedtimes, but they know how to be quiet as mice after our light is out. By adding nothing extra to the day, I mean it. I would even turn off the phone, (I don't turn my on, period, it's for my convenience, not other's) when you are not at work, and keep it turned off while you are driving to and from.
    If, after two weeks of utterly intentional living, (if you can stand it for that long), you still feel this way, I would highly suggest you go see a doctor.

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    1. I'm semi regularly under doctor care due to a history of chronic anemia and autoimmune issues, so seeking the right combination of medical, mental, and self care. I have to smile-utterly intentional living, such a foreign concept but worthy goal.

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  6. I have found great help from reading Ekhart Tolle's book "The Power of Now." Most of my adult life has been spent regretting the past or worrying about the future with resulting anxiety and/or depression. I also recommend yoga and meditation.

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    1. I will look for it. I jave major reading to do.

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  7. We all go through funks like this. I imagine having a change in management at your job is a huge thing hanging over your head even though your job is safe. Change is super-difficult. Just an observation, you don't seem to have a lot of "you" time. Maybe you need to carve some more out for yourself?

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    1. When I have just me time, that's when I start over processing. One more thing to unpackage. Yes, the January changes are nerve wracking but I can't do anything yet so the anxiousness is ill timed.

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  8. I agree with Jane. The Power of Now is excellent. I have been very intentional about living in the present rather than regretting past mistakes or worrying about future ones, and it is the most freeing experience I have ever had.

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  9. I had a terrible 3 months when my last left for college. It was so hard. I felt finished, angry, hopeless, useless, my life had no meaning. It is a process, you will get through, and I am sorry you are not feeling up. Trade you? :)

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    1. I know my funk is nothing compared to real crisis but that's what anxiety does-elevates tension irrationally. Remember though even when darkest the sun eventually comes up.

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  10. Not much to add to what others have already said, but sending you hugs from France. A

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  11. It is so hard when we KNOW how we want to feel but our head won't cooperate! It WILL get better - maybe you had that dream about A for a reason - maybe it was to let you know to live life to the fullest because we never know what is going to happen.....her gift to you???

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    1. She would have no tolerance for self pity, but would be there for support and guidance and with compassion. A gift is a wonderful thought.

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  12. Hi Sam,
    I am diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It is mostly managed by meds but I still get tremendous lows so I really empathize with you. What I really want to stress is that you are so clearly a lovely person and you exude kindness, generosity and humanity every time you post. You are valued by readers across the world and I know we are all sending you love and best wishes.

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    1. I hope you continue to get the care you need and deserve. I appreciate your kind words.

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  13. With what is facing you, I think you are getting a headstart on worry. Okay, maybe not. You may need to just make an appointment with your doctor. He will test for things, like thyroid problems. You may need this if for nothing else but reassurance. If there is a physical problem, he can find it. Good luck on resolving these feelings.

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    1. My care team is all women, so yep, she will help me find solutions.

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