Saturday, January 21, 2017

One Year

One year ago today, I was in the hospital. My aunt was also in the hospital.

On this day she died after a short, nasty fight with cancer.

As much as today marks a sad event for my family, it's also a day of deep gratitude as we reflect on how far we've come. My aunt is no longer with us, but I am still here and doing a lot, a lot, a lot better. She would've liked to hear that :o)

I didn't see my aunt while she was sick, or for many months before that. Years ago I started tapering off seeing her because it was too upsetting for me. She was a big smoker and somewhere deep inside I just knew she would get sick and leave us too soon. I couldn't stand it.

It's sad, but I don't really regret my decision. I couldn't handle the sadness and the stress of watching her kill herself. I did what I had to do at the time. While I probably would've gone to see her in the end if I hadn't been in the hospital myself, I'm glad that I didn't see her like that. Instead, I can remember the Aunt Sally that meant so much to me in a happier light.

So I raise my coffee cup to my aunt as well as to myself on this anniversary of sorts. I'm glad to have shared so many wonderful years with her and glad to feel once again like I have many wonderful years ahead of me.

Love. Love. Love.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Bumpy and Confusing

No, I'm not talking about a skin condition! I'm talking about a few of my days this week being bumpy and confusing.

It all started out with a bit of snit between me and the hubby. He was hangry and I was feeling confrontational. It was a little fun arguing (we don't do that very often) but it was also out of my comfort zone. It's difficult for me to argue without taking things personally and exacerbating insecurities. We worked through things but I was left shaken and off balance.

The next day was rough for me. I started noticing my mood sliding and negative self talk flaring up. The hubs and I talked more and tried to work through it but I was down. No question about it. The confusing part? I was down without being bottomed out. It was a feeling bad without feeling suicidal, hopeless, or having the urges to harm myself-it was a more normal down. I had a bad day without having a crisis!

In a way it was good to be able to just feel bad and not feel in crisis, but it was definitely odd and confusing for me. I took things a bit easier and tried to simply experience the emotions without overthinking and worrying about a relapse. It was tough, a little scary, but I made it.

I remembered to use my DBT skills along the way. Even reached out to a gym instructor to help battle back some of the negative self talk I was experiencing. (I was beating myself up for my chunky legs and not having perfect form or working the right muscle groups 100% of the time-classic Hannah hating on Hannah/perfectionism stuff)  It really helped hearing that I'm doing a good job and it was also really helpful to connect with someone instead of feeding feelings of not belonging and isolating like I was inclined to do.

So here I am Friday after a few rough days feeling like I'm coming outta the woods with a new victory to add to my books. I can have bad days without it being a crisis, or dangerous. I can experience emotions without things getting out of control! It's okay to take it easy sometimes and let things work out.

I can.


In other news, it's been way cold and icy here. I'm over all the windshield scraping and slick parking lots! We don't usually have this many days below freezing and it's getting old! It's not normal for 40 degrees to feel warm, at least in our neighborhood.

Wishing everyone a happy and pleasantly warm weekend :o)

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Good Weekend

It was a good weekend. Not because anything spectacular or amazing happened. It was a good weekend because the simple things happened.

For many months I've struggled to watch or enjoy any TV or movies. If it wasn't the material triggering me or being emotionally overwhelming, my anxiety made it impossible to sit through and focus on the show. There were even times when just sitting down for a movie gave my depressed mind an open playing field for my negative and even, at times, suicidal thoughts.

The hubbo and I hadn't been able to sit down and watch something together-and truly relax-for quite a while. Last week and this weekend we were finally able to again! It was a simple pleasure, but a great time and a huge sign of progress for me.

I have to stick mostly to romantic comedies, comedies, classics, or light action (too much drama or violence and I can get scary dreams or over-stressed) but we're able to chillax and enjoy a movie together again and I'm so glad.

The hubster works hard to provide for our family and take care of me and Baby Bananaface, so he really appreciates the down time. For many moons I wasn't able to relax enough or cope with the shows-we played board or card games to keep me distracted. It was sometimes tiring or just too much for the hubster after a long day of work, cooking, and childcare.

Anywho. I've been feeling really good about this and even a bit proud. I hope to keep building my resiliency and watching more flicks that I know I enjoyed at one point in my life. Maybe I'll even test the waters with some new ones... any suggestions are much appreciated!

In other news, I wore some of the new clothes I acquired last month. A shirt my sister found for me while we were shopping and a skirt that my mom gave me for Christmas. It feels good to put an outfit together and actually put forth some effort getting dressed to go out. For so long I've just been throwing on the layers and baggy clothes, hiding in the folds and skulking about-but things are changing. Hell, I even blew dry my hair today!

Here's a pic from this weekend:

Yes, I'm rocking the sippy cup and snack bowl from BB's afternoon snack ;o)

I'm still experiencing anxiety and pretty often feel myself on the precipice of panic attacks, but more and more I'm riding the waves and utilizing those coping skills. I may not ever be symptom-free, but I'm certainly feeling more confidence about being able to cope and survive.

Happy Monday everyone, I hope y'all had good weekends too!