Friday, December 26, 2014

Practicalities of Living Life in a Hard Season, Part One

Note: I wrote most of the material in this post and series at the beginning of November. Comments on time frames reflect that, I didn't go to the trouble to update them all. "Last Wednesday" means the Wednesday before the day I wrote this in November, not actually last Wednesday. The "Merry Christmas" part is current, but not the rest.

Okay. That is all. Carry on.

Merry Christmas! This may not be the best time ever for a new six-part or however-many-parts series, but I've been working on this one for a while now (see above), and am feeling particularly inspired at the moment to finish it up and put it out there, so. *shrug* Eh, it's okay if you're busy with your family right now. I'll link back to it again later.

(And if you're not busy, or you're feeling particularly sad or lonely or let-down or frustrated or all of the above right now and that's why you're online, welcome! This is for you. Hugs. I wish I had easy answers for you, instead of my story. But I hope it helps a little.)

If you follow my blog at all, you're probably aware that this year hasn't exactly been my easiest ever. As I said last Wednesday on Facebook, "Feeling a bit overwhelmed. Why don't I do nothing at all? THAT always helps."

Later I commented on that some more.

"I don't know if it's the natural response for everyone, but I think for me it's that doing something means facing the unpleasant feeling, instead of just ignoring it and hoping it will go away? Plays into a sense of pseudo-control when feeling out of control too, I've written about that before:"
"Also is common soon after I've had a therapy appointment. Therapy is... helpful, overall, but I have moments where I think about the session I had and say, 'Wait! I know! Why don't I talk about JUST all the horrible and stressful things that have happened recently! It'll be great!' >_>"

So in the last week, especially, I've been thinking over some things related to that, and I think there are a couple links that sum up my problem pretty well.

I recently read an Alpha Mom advice column from way back in March, "The Crushing Weight of All You Ignore."

The letter writer says, among other things,

"The crushing weight of all the things I am ignoring is getting a bit overwhelming."

Aww. Like the author/advice giver, I can understand, and also could have written... well, some of this, except for things like that level of education and potential, and the part about wanting someone to confirm disappointment with my life choices. That's my fear, but not my desire. I want someone to give the kind of answer written here. Except for maybe the part about "SACK UP AND BE A GROWN-UP WHO DEALS WITH HER OWN CRAP." There's gotta be more to it than that? Oh, well, she does mention learning "how to," over many therapy sessions, so I guess there would be a bit more. Anyway. My anxiety is not so intense as this, I think, but yeah, I've done head in the sand.

"You asked: Do you see the failure that is my life??? 
"No, actually. I see zero failure. I see LIFE. A crappy job hunt in a notoriously bad economy. A dues-paying entry-level job (we’ve all had one! or several!) that you made the best of. A big stressful job change in your household, then a major move right in the middle of a pregnancy, combined with the loss of said dues-paying entry-level job. (I dunno, can you cram a couple MORE major life changes/stressors in there? Let’s not underachieve here.)"

This is so awesome and makes me laugh. I may not have ever had any very impressive job or career, but I'm an overachiever, apparently! (In my case the year's list goes: pregnancy, job loss, miscarriage, related health issues over several months, major move, and another job change in our household with some accompanying transitions besides the major move.) Woo! ^_^

And I mean, aside from the more traumatic and big life event stressors, there's just... being the parent of a toddler. I mean, sometimes it feels like it's like this little Reasons My Son Is Crying post, but substitute out candy for something else and make it ALL THE TIME. Well, you know. That whole Tumblr. Even though my girl's pretty good and generally amazing. She's still a toddler. As she should be.

And then I see stuff like this article about how being a stay-at-home parent is a luxury for your spouse, and I'm like, that's great. Really. Except all those things? Doing errands and chores, arranging doctor's visits? Those are all the things I suck at. My spouse... still does a lot of that stuff, unfortunately. Which is awesome of him. But grrr, self.

I have a hard time figuring out where the line is. When do I need to stop being so hard on myself and do just one more major thing, like find a therapist... and when am I ignoring important things in an unhealthy fashion, and I need to sack up and face my crap? Are they the same thing? Is doing just one thing both being gentle and sacking up? And then how long before I need to do the next thing? Heh. Maybe I should talk with my therapist about this...

But hey, I'm doing better than I was, I HAVE found an awesome therapist, and

"You’re going to come out the other side from this, I promise. Happy, healthy, fulfilled…and living the sort of chaotic, hilarious, barely-together life that still somehow manages to be inspiring and rock-star status to people on the outside."

I hope so. That sounds awesome. (I mean, it'd be nice if it looked that good from the inside too, but I guess I should remember I'm a human, not a robot, and this is life we're talking about, so, yeah.)

More to come, musings and links. I have most of it written already, so yes, it will be happening.

Part Two: High Sensitivity

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