The past few days have been weird.
Friday I didn’t know what to do with myself. I guess that’s normal though.
We cleaned and unpacked more boxes. I moved into the apartment in July quickly after my surgery when I had just gone back to work. JP moved in at the beginning of September. So while there’s quite a bit set up and unpacked, there’s also a good number of boxes. Many of you have told me that you’ve experienced the drawn out process of unpacking, but you haven’t really said if it impacted how you felt about your home. For me because I’ve been struggling to navigate the boxes, this place wasn’t feeling much like home. There’s home-y parts, but the living room hasn’t been useable until today and the apartment as a whole didn’t feel like ours. Unpacking on Friday made me feel calm. Like I was getting something accomplished even though I didn’t know what to do with myself.
Saturday wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. I had chest pains because I was nervous about going to see JP’s family. As you can imagine, especially for some of you who are trying to have a better understanding of what I’m going through, but haven’t experienced it – they don’t understand. I’m not taking leave because I don’t like my job, quite the opposite. I love my job. To be a little cocky, I’m actually good at my job and I think it’s partially because I enjoy it so much – so I work as hard as I can. No, I haven’t been in the military, but as we learned in the last post, so many more people can experience PTSD, not just those who have been in combat. So, I had chest pain because I was concerned about the possibility of questions, not knowing if or how I should or would respond. My brain was essentially getting me worked up. #thanks
We did pick my car and that was so relieving. Relying on JP this week made me grateful so having my own vehicle to get around. Living 15 to 20 minutes away from most things, public transportation isn’t very reliable and walking isn’t much of an option. I went to the gym twice and I wish I had gone more, but looking back, I didn’t want to force him to do something he’s not interested in doing and at the beginning of the week there were some pretty low lows, so getting to the gym emotionally was tough. I will take my two days and say, this coming week is going to blow it out of the water. I was nervous about driving my car because aside from the rental car, I haven’t been behind the wheel much. Even driving the rental car made me nervous, but no one ever asked how I felt about getting behind a wheel after my accident.
After picking up my car we made the executive decision to knock out our steps at the mall. I told JP that I felt if we went home right away we wouldn’t be doing anything and I was already nervous that the next few weeks will be like that as I navigate my life. We mostly window shopped. We found a candy shop and split a house made peppermint patty and dark chocolate caramel cashew cluster. Both excellent and definitely big enough to share. We did find a cookbook that pairs cookies with beer. It really is our kind of cook book. The cookie recipes are paired with specific brews, but also suggest styles of beer. It may be fun for date night in. When we did get home, we made some dinner, put on a Halloween movie and put up the tree. Opening the ornaments was fun. JP asked me about each one, where it came from or what it meant. There’s a story with every one.
Today was the first day that I didn’t feel anxious or have an attack, even a mild one. Today was the first day I got up and felt not necessarily purpose, but felt like I knew what I wanted and needed to accomplish. I was up before my alarm and last night we went to bed at my normal time, well a little later. But 9:30 is closer to 9 than 11:30 is. Since I was up a little earlier than expected, I decided to write out a plan for my workout. I didn’t want to just wing it. I want to have some structure so I can be more strategic in maintaining my weight (input and output), but also in how I can look toward progressing in my lifts this fall and winter.
Today was all about the fun. Like I said, I had a plan in the gym and that started my day. JP and I had an awesome breakfast that consisted of a cinnamon apple bread that I baked on Saturday. Recipe here, found on Pinterest! We got ready and drove separately to New Haven, Connecticut because Alicia’s boyfriend Evan is a PhD candidate at Yale and she was visiting for the weekend. This girl is like a unicorn. I was so excited to meet her. The only plan we had was #brunch…#brunchsohardbasicswanttofindme
We checked out The Pantry, which had at least a 40 minute wait, but didn’t take reservations and was totally worth the wait. I’d still suggest just getting there early and not around 12:30. I’d also suggest the cinnamon roll pancake. Yep, it’s that excellent and I’m now searching for it on Pinterest.
We drove up to Hartford and walked around downtown for a bit. I now have a better understanding of what it means to be a working city. Hartford is dead on a Sunday, but when you’re with good people and the sun is out – you walk around and hit your step goal. You then quickly decide that you need to escape the dead city so you remember that doughnuts aren’t too far away. Alicia, Evan and I ventured to obtain doughnuts and JP headed back home because he had to work tonight. He hadn’t left for work yet when I got home and he’s pretty excited for the doughnuts I brought home from Mrs. Murphy’s in Southwick. I mean, have doughnut, will travel. Today we definitely cleared some miles, but I didn’t mind. I didn’t feel rushed. I didn’t feel like we couldn’t drive to doughnuts, which are in the middle of nowhere, because I didn’t feel like I needed to be somewhere. I felt like I was where I needed to be. Hanging out with a friend that I “met” months ago.
I have a loose plan and I said I was going to share it with you. So here’s what I have so far:
- Daybreak Breakfast for the YWCA of Central Massachusetts
I used to sit on the planning committee for this fundraiser. This organization supports survivors of domestic violence: women, children and yes, men too.
- Gym: Back&Shoulders&Cardio
- Read for 30 minutes
- Gym: Bis&Tris&Cardio
- Read for 30 minutes
- Gym: Legs
- Read for 30 minutes
- Gym: Upperbody&Cardio
- Read for 30 minutes
- Gym: Back&Cardio
- Read for 30 minutes
I’m in the process of scheduling my appointments with my therapist for the week, I think there will be two sessions, hoping for Tuesday and Thursday, but we will see. Here are a few things I want to do this week as well, but haven’t decided when to do them, but figure that can be a conversation with JP as he figures out his plan for starting his new job.
- Go to Salem (we’ve already talked about this one)
- Go hiking/trail walking
- Bake two more apple recipes: I’m thinking apple crisp and possibly hand pies
I keep thinking about what I’m going to do with the time off. I know there’s no pressure to have some big awakening experience where all of a sudden I have clarity, and there’s no wrong way to figure your shit out, but I also have a huge problem slowing down – could you guess? I have a problem with going too much with the flow. I know this is going to make me uncomfortable and I’m hoping that by having a loose list of things I want to accomplish or do or eat or see that I will feel like I have more control. I will feel there is still purpose to get up every day. I can’t remember the last time I had a vacation or a break or a chance to just say “nope, not today.” I have a partial fear that I won’t be good at relaxing and that I will work myself up. I’m going to have to get over that because I need to feel like myself again, not just for myself, but for JP and others that I interact with.
Here’s to the first week of figuring out my life a little more.
2 thoughts on “You Are Enough Blog Series: Post 2 “I Know This Is Going to Make Me Uncomfortable””
So proud of you and excited for you. It is not even remotely the same thing, but once I had a month off from work recovering from surgery. It was a dark time personally in many ways and I was glad to be able to deal with all the crap that was going on without worrying about work. I was able to work on me and give myself time to really face things and figure out where do I go from here.
Some people do not understand that mental health is not JUST “in your head”. If we get an infection in one part of our body we don’t say “AH well everything else is safe”. We work to eradicate the infection and prevent it from spreading. When we do not take care mentally, it will affect us physically. I do not understand why that is such a hard concept for some.
Looking forward to follow your continued progress.
Just wanted to let you know that your not alone. Those chest pains that you have been experiencing is something I too have had. It’s all new to me …. it’s been a crazy 10 months dealing with anxiety I didn’t know I had until I got the chest pains and a tight chest where I would lose my breathe just walking up the stairs. Mine usually come after a bring “thing” like hosting a dinner for my husband company(200 people). Speaking in front of large group etc. Things where I have a ton pressure. I have never had this problem until recently. So I’m learning how to deal with it all. I have started talking 5-5-htp . It’s an over the counter medicine and it has help balance me out a bit. Maybe it can help you too? Anyway,
I have enjoyed following you. Good luck with the next few weeks.