Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Self Care, or what I like to call BWAHAHA these Days

Self care. Today's prompt from the lovely is self-freaking-care. Clearly, I am awesome at this. I am sort of wondering if somehow B knew that I had therapy today, and that I have been horrible with the self care lately.

It has been really hard, the last two months. I have a hard (ugh that word again) time not qualifying the hard. I mean yes, June and July were tough for me, but I feel like I need to say but not as hard as cancer or hey there was no tragedy here. So instead I will do my best to channel Ash Beckham and say it's been hard, for me.

In a nutshell, the very first week of June I get the dreaded mid-morning call from the daycare saying your daughter threw up. This sends me into a whirring panic, because I am an emetophobic. I leave work, get baby girl go home, take care of her and do some major praying no one else gets it. Fast forward 6 days, baby boy wakes up at 11 pm and starts vomiting. Fast forward 5 days and the Husband wakes up with the stomach flu. So over three weeks now I've been taking care of 3 sick people. Oh and this is also the week of my birthday, yay.

Then the day the Husband returns to work he is notified that they are cutting him down to part time, and cutting his accrual rates and everything because of the budget issues that they created. It is widely known that they have mismanaged some pretty serious fiscal situations. Oh, and he works for a Christian university. There were no "we are sorry's" no "we thought long and hard about who to cut." Nothing. Just hey guess what we decided to take half your income, oh and btw we want you to work 10-2 every day, rendering any reduction in daycare expenses completely impossible. My birthday trip to the coast for the next day gets cancelled, and we all sit at home and try to get better. The following week the Husband meets with HR, finds out he is getting laid off instead, with one month severance, and the kids start running fevers.

The kids have fevers for three days, don't eat, and sleep a lot. Then baby girl is fine and baby boy starts throwing up again. Baby boy then starts waking up almost every night to vomit once and go back to sleep. We see doctor, we get referred to specialist. He continues to vomit. Then July 3rd we are supposed to be leaving to go see my parents, at long last something fun! We get in the car and within 10 minutes my baby boy who has no motion sickness problems is throwing up, again. After one hysterical call to my Mother,  baby boy and I head off to the local children's hospital. Long story short, after many questions, and a CT scan, the docs discover a raging sinus infection up in baby boy's head. It was causing him some nasty nasal drip, which turned into reflux, and is causing the vomiting. Luckily, baby boy responded to all of the meds super quickly and stop vomiting that very day. Yay! Unfortunately, they found something else abnormal on his CT scan, which resulted in an MRI the following week and days of waiting and literally wringing my hands to get results. The end result, baby boy is fine. He has this thing, it is an incidental finding. He has a repeat MRI in a year, and he'll be fine. Whew. That week I could literally sit at my desk and feel my blood pressure rise. I imagine it looked like the outdoor thermometer my in-laws have by the pool. I was a zombie.

Meanwhile, Husband is waiting on news for a job he applied for the day before we found out the job at the university was getting cut. He was supposed to hear from a recruiter, and we waited, and waited. Then they called and say hey we are moving recruiters around so you just get an interview! Yay for us! He interviewed, then we waited, he got background checked, and we waited. Then we find out he GOT THE JOB. The job he really wanted, the job he applied for before he knew he was losing the old one. The high that gave us both, so awesome. 

Fast forward a week or two, and guess what? We find out we do in fact need to move. Preferably by the end of the month. I scramble for about 10 days, making calls, doing drive bys for new rentals. I go see like 10 houses before I find one that will work for us. Luckily, the Husband can help me pick a house because he isn't working yet. We have like 10 days to pack and move, oh wait silly, the first is during the week. Ok, we have one week; and this is the week Husband starts the new job; shit. Then we move. We get a giant ass truck, my parents and Father in Law, and we work our little hearts out in 106 degree heat until we are all getting sick and we call it a day.

That was less than two weeks ago. My kitchen is functional, and the kids rooms have been assembled. Other than that, I live in a house surrounded by boxes, black trash bags, and overwhelming clutter. To say I feel unsettled is the understatement of the year. The week days only provide enough hours in the day to get normal shit done. Plus, baby boy had several follow up appointments last week and I had to leave early 4 days in a row. Thank goodness my boss is understanding, but it is still super stressful to be taking so much time off. I look forward to the day when vacation time is used for vacation, and not "dealing with shit situations" and taking care of sick kids.

I tell you all of this only to explain why the idea of self care sends me into a fit of hysterical laughter that ends with my crying on the floor of my closet. I have spent the last 8 weeks against the wall, just fighting to get through each and every day. I think this Monday when my Sister asked during our morning IM conversation how I was, I responded with "you know I am ok today" (and meant it) for the first time in at least 8 weeks.

To be honest, self care is something I always struggle with, even when life isn't so freaking stressful and full of hullabaloo. I grew up as the oldest child of a single mother. I was taking care of my Sister after school when I was 9 and she was 6. I heledp cooked dinner, or cooked dinner, at 10. My Mom taught me a lot of self-sufficiency so there is no dig there. It is just programmed in me to take care of others. I am always last. I feed everyone else, I make sure every one else's needs are met before mine. It is second nature to me. Most of the time, I don't even notice.

Lucky for me (or not luck I chose him) my Husband is supportive of self care, most of the time. I think in the day to day neither of us realizes when I put myself aside to make sure everyone else's needs are met. However, when I tell him dude I am going to lose it I need some alone time tonight, he will send me out for a pedicure. I have dinner once a month with a group of friends. He lovingly smacks my ass on the way out the door, and tells me not to rush home, because he's got the this. I get the "hey babe why don't you go take a bath" at least once a week. But the kids have been giving us such a hard time at bedtime the past few weeks, that by the time they are down I would drown if I got in the tub. Also, although I am totally looking forward to trying out the new tub, I feel terribly guilty about even considering using it. I mean holy California water shortage batman. I feel like I may as well be bathing in Cristal - hey wait a minute  that's an idea.

So, I do have therapy today, and when I sit there and cry (because I can already tell today will be a crying appointment) and I tell her how hard it has been and how overwhelmed I feel she will ask me what I have been doing for self care, I will tell her the truth. Nothing. I have done nothing to take care of myself in two months, which is resulting in exhaustion, fear, discontentment, anger, frustration, and LOTS of yelling. Momma has been yelling.

I will also tell her I have a plan. I am supposed to leave Sunday for a two day work trip. Initially once I realized it was quickly approaching, I was like ahhh two evenings to myself. Then I started thinking, hey I bet my Sister would love to go. We would have so much fun! I have agonized for about 6 days going back and forth in my head about whether or not to invite her to go with me. In light of this post, I think it is rather clear that I better take this time for myself. I will eat good food alone (whatever I want). I will watch copious amounts of Grey's Anatomy, and I will finish the book I started 3 months ago. I will just be, and hopefully I will return home less apt to bite someone's head off. Writing it out makes me feel bad too though, my Sister is having a lot of the same struggle. Maybe she needs to the time away too, see it never stops. Choose you Erica! I will also follow through with taking the kids to the in-laws Friday night and have an evening with the Husband free of fighting with baby girl over bedtime. Although to be honest, there is a good chance I'll break that one.

Self care is important. Self care is putting on your oxygen mask so you can help someone else with theirs. Self care is essential, and spawns other areas of difficulty when not properly utilized. Don't be like me. Don't "help" yourself into a corner that you can't get out of.

I've been a long time fan of Kate Voegle. However, I heard one song of hers last week and it was like it was brand new. If you know me online, or through CGG, you know how deeply music affects my soul. Well this song was sent to me like a life preserver. It highlighted all of the feelings of my heart I wasn't able to put into words yet. So I share the lyrics with you here below from

"Sweet Silver Lining"

[Verse 1]
Well I'm going home
Downhearted and hoping
I'm close to some new beginning
I know there's a reason for everything
That comes and goes

But so many people are looking to me
To be strong and to fight
But I'm just surviving
And I may be weak but I'm never defeated
And I'll keep believing
In clouds with that sweet silver lining

[Verse 2]
Most days I try
My best to put on a brave face
But inside
My bones are cold and my heart breaks
But all the while
Something's keeping me safe and alive

But so many people are looking to me
To be strong and to fight
But I'm just surviving
And I may be weak but I'm never defeated
And I'll keep believing
In clouds with that sweet silver lining

And I won't give up like this
I will be given strength
Now that I've found it
Nothing can take that away

[Chorus x2]

1 comment:

Theresa Lollis said...

I haven't even heard the song yet and I am getting ready to tear up because I know it's going to be good...the lyrics! I am literally friends with my closet and yes self care is so important but very hard to include in life when it's inconvenient. I am going to therapy still but thought if quitting because of something traumatic with my son. However with the advice or more of the gentle almost threat of his care team that it's important for me to keep up what I am doing so that I can give him what he needs I keep going. It's hard though because my instinct is I don't have time for this shit my baby needs me. I am glad you are taking that time you are such an amazing mom, wife, sister, and friend. MUAH!!!