I haven’t written since the holidays which is a good thing since so far I’ve been dealing with my disorder pretty well. I think taking the time to identify the problem has helped me become more grounded and aware of symptoms related to anxiety.
It also helps that I had time off from work including paid holidays of which is a new concept to me. My previous jobs had many pluses and minuses and one of those minuses was a proper wage, set hours, and paid holidays.
Since I can’t visit my friends and family due to COVID, I tried to focus on self care.
I haven’t done that properly due to the passing of my father, taking care of my mom full time, helping my college friend with her depression after the loss of her husband, working two jobs, and dealing with my husband’s stress from his old job.
So in other words, I haven’t properly cared for myself for the past three and a half years!
Now that my mom is healed up from both hip replacements, my friend is somewhat on her feet again, and my husband & I made our career changes- I think it is time to start thinking about myself.
One of those things is value… I have value or I am important enough that I need to be in the equation to take care of myself. I lost that feeling along with my confidence so now it is time to rebuild.
Perhaps I should address out loud to myself why did that happened in the first place?
Dealing with my dad’s death was awful…. 17 days in the ICU from the N1H1….visiting him everyday to watch his decline….having to communicate to my family what was going on since my mom is a very poor communicator….dealing with the funeral arrangements with my mom….cleaning up the house including places that my dad lived the most which revealed that he had hidden inhalers prescribed by his doctor. Apparently he hid the fact that he was dealing with COPD and never told us… YET the neighbors across the street knew that he was struggling with it.
I can’t express how upset and enraged I was when I found that out…which turned into self hatred. Why? Before my dad was sent to the ER then ICU, he was struggling with the flu. I told my mom that she needed to call the ambulance, but my dad refused and wanted to wait for his dr.’s appointment. So many times I thought if I had made that call against my dad’s wishes that the outcome would of been different. Self blame of “coward, spineless, inability to do what’s right” ran through my head every day to the point I was telling myself that verbally in the mirror…and I should pay with my life with misery. I did this everyday…
That’s probably why the drinking got worst and I loathed myself severely for so many years…but I haven’t told anyone.
Perhaps expelling such emotions is a start of a new path…
I can’t hate myself forever and who am I really going to help anyways if I continue to follow a dark path? End up like my father in some way without telling anyone that I’m struggling?
It took time for me to conclude this and now that I work on my healing process.
Steps that I’m doing for self care:
- Focus on my mind/emotions- trying to stop anxiety related episodes before they get bad. I am also trying to replace the negative with positive thoughts that are true. I hope this works, but it’ll take some time to reprogram my negative behaviors.
- Return to my passions- trying to get back to my love of art, music, and nature.
- Find ways to communicate with my support group/friends- it is hard being away from my friends and not seeing them. I am trying to find ways to use technology to help me (I’m not tech savvy).
- Health/Exercise- trying to workout more frequently to help ease an anxious mind, eat less processed foods, nature walks, and taking vitamin D supplements… Where the heck is the freak’n sun these days, anyways?
- Reduce the drinking- trying to reduce caffeinated drinks, especially coffee which can exacerbate anxiety which increases drinking alcohol.
- Exercise the mind- get back into reading, playing video games (on occasion) and work on projects.
There’s probably more, but this is a start.
I am hopeful, but I’ll take it week by week.
P.S. One week down of not drinking alcohol… I’m aiming for a whole month of not drinking as a start for a better path in life.