My Year in Review was positive
It was full of a sense of new peace and happiness that I felt, specifically in the ending months of the year. I was scared to write that post and was very hesitant to even hint at the thought that…I’m happy...because inside, I felt like I knew there would soon be a down swing. I don’t believe this is a pessimistic voice talking, but rather a realistic one, learned from experience.
I was scared to be the “boy who cried wolf” – one moment saying I was happy and the next saying I was struggling. Who wants to listen to someone who is always going back and forth with what they say?
Well. Here I am. Hi there.
cookies + coffee + window seat
In the last couple of weeks, that happiness I felt skipped away somewhere, leaving me on the playground alone with a bunch of bullies. And unfortunately, a return of some very powerful depression.
My ED has become nasty and mean. The need to exercise has become an addiction that makes me sad when I feel like I haven’t done “enough.” But of course there is no enough. My guilt and fear about eating too much has kept my mind locked.
Why has this all gained strength now? Why, after such a relaxing, grounding holiday and end of year? Well one half of it makes tangible sense. It’s winter, which is hard for all of us. It’s cold and depressing and hard to want to go out and do anything. My job is dead and boring and completely un-soul-filling. And I’m not doing much acting.
A walk. Not the prettiest walk, but still a walk…
I’ve been working really hard to get myself out of it. I’ve been trying to be intentional about feeling happy again by pulling out all the “strategies” I have for things I know usually make me feel better. In the short term, they sorta work. But man oh man they can also make things feel so much harder.
They often make me feel more sad.
It’s a cyclical part of the healing. When those nasty thoughts have been roused from their bed, anything that challenges them will make them upset. It often feels worse in the short term. The hope behind performing these bits of self care is that these things will add up and will eventually leave you feeling better – and stronger – in the long term. You just have to push through. Including the sadness that may come.
For my Week In Review, here are the things I did last week to and try to help myself feel better. Even if they only worked in the short term, and even if the nasty voices make me feel worse for them…
Organization, productivity and home time
On an especially low feeling day, I spent the afternoon at home in my bed, even though it was in my plan to go to the gym. I wrote my WIAW instead, which put my mind off other things
Over the course of the week, I went through my notes from my acting classes and took out the nuggets that spoke to me. This not only reminded me of their wisdom but also made me feel like I now have my notes in a more organized, simplified place. This also put my focus back onto my goals and passions.
And… pencil crayons. Because they always make me happy.
acting notes…. life notes?
I finished organizing my singing binder, which again made me feel organized and much more clear in my head. I now have a better sense of my song goals for this year.
I threw out some things in my fridge that were not bringing me joy (her words ring true for every part of your home, you know).
At this very moment, I am spending the morning at home on the couch, writing this post, instead of going to the barre class I had planned to. I was feeling way too tired, so I listened to my body.
Organization and bringing things back to simplicity make me feel clearer in my head
Seeing and baking for friends
For most of the week, I didn’t really want to do anything and the thought of making plans just felt like too much. But, I stuck to plans with friends that I had made previously. I know being social and seeing friends has often helped in the past. Sometimes it doesn’t but I was willing to take the risk and try.
Dan and I had a couple friends over to our place to finish a bottle of cider we’d been holding onto since the summer. One of the friends is vegan, so I made a batch of Kristy’s new chocolate coconut crunch balls along with a batch of Kat’s caramel rice krispies (that I made into ball form and drizzled with extra caramel) to set out for munchies.
baking for friends
I went to a little party one of my close friends was holding. It was a ladies clothing swap party, but was mostly a group of us girls just chatting, eating and hanging out.
Being proactive, taking initiative and taking care of my health
I saw my chiropractor twice (a new something we are trying to treat)
I had a singing lesson
I booked another singing lesson for next week, as well as a lesson with my acting coach.
I got myself a 45 minute massage.
I booked an appointment to return to my dietician this coming Wednesday
The day after my massage, I couldn’t believe how much better I felt. I felt so much lighter, both in my body and in my mind. It’s amazing how we can store emotions in our bodies.
I talked, wrote, and took myself out
What weighs me down the most when I’m not doing well, is not talking about it. The more I don’t talk, the more the thoughts fester in my head and make me irritable around those that I love. I went too long without speaking out loud about what’s been on my mind, so the other morning, I had an open conversation with my mom who let me tell her all the seemingly irrational and crazy fears and thoughts that I’ve been having. And then the next morning, I also told Dan.
I took myself for a really nice lunch, sat by the window, journaled, and finished my acting notes
I also talked to the negative voices. I told them they aren’t welcome anymore.
Between talking and having that massage, I can say that I am feeling a lot lighter at the end of this week.
But…what’s the other half? What else has made the depression rise and the nasty thoughts stronger ?
Ever since the turn of the new year, thoughts about my health have taken a huge focus in my mind. To be honest, I didn’t really give much thought to my hypothalamic amenorria recovery last year. After “trying” the year before, I think I felt burnt out and was just kind of complacent in the spot of recovery that I am.
Since my time in Newfoundland, however, I’ve had a lot of really heavy thoughts weighing me down. Something hit me then. Was it seeing my niece? Was it reading about all the people currently having babies? Maybe. Or, is it something to do with the happiness I felt at the end of last year? A new freedom that my toes were dipped into. Maybe taking this step “up” toward finding my authentic self has pushed me a step forward into my readiness to battle recovery. I’ve never been one to necessarily “want kids,” but…. I would like to have the choice?? I would like to be healthy. Normal.
My mind and heart has grown, and now I feel like it’s time my body catches up. It’s time my body catches up to my mind and matches the mature, smart, generous, and wise person I feel like I’ve become.
But as my will for health has gained strength in this past week – so have the nasty thoughts. They race together, side by side, up the mountain, challenging each other to not be out done. One takes one step forward, the other takes a larger step to match it.
This leaves me in a brain space of ambiguity, ridiculed with fear from all directions.
Fear of still not having my period by the time I’m 30
Fear of not looking my age and not being taken seriously in my profession
Fear of my health, my heart, my bones
All battling against
Fear of a change in body image
Fear of looking different
It’s amazing how this latter side of my fear can actually be strong enough to battle all of its opponents.
But I think, its like my chiropractor says. “It may get worse before its better. The work we are doing may irritate and upset your nerves, and they may try to rebel and act up. That is a good sign. It means they’re fighting harder because we are fighting harder against them.”
Like I said, I booked an appointment with my dietician. Not that I don’t know what I need to do, but simply making this appointment and making this physical step tells my psyche that I am taking action.Self Care through Depression, Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and Recovery thoughts. #weekinreview #recovery #HArecovery #selfcare Click To Tweet
Thankful to Meg for her link up, and her constant motivation to have patience and grace
Do you ever experience self care has being hard in the short term, but feel its effects in the long term?
Have you ever experienced feeling fear from all sides?
I am 200% not a relationship expert. Let’s get that out right now…