I’m not sure how to start this post in an elegant way tonight, so I’ll just throw it out there bluntly. There are a lot of transitions and changes happening in my life right now, and I’m having a difficult time with them. In fact, tonight my anxiety level is pretty high again. It scares me to feel like this, as it is reminiscent of how I felt two years ago when I was trying to get pregnant. The food running right through me, the weight loss, the difficulty enjoying the now while my thoughts race into the improbable “what if’s,” — I hope this is just a sign of all the transitions going on right now, and not a sign of some deeper imbalance in my life.
What are these anxiety-invoking transitions? Well, for starters, we’re losing a lot of families from church, people that I was fairly close to. Nobody is leaving for a negative reason, it’s just that people are moving on. One of the people who has moved on is our principal, and now JJ is principal for our small school. He’s not teaching anything, but he is principal. And pastor. And trying to finish his Master’s program. And has a number of major Synodical responsibilities. I think I am feeling the weight of all his responsibilities more than he is at the moment! Plus Baby J is nursing a lot less frequently, and it’s really throwing me off. Perhaps some of this feeling of anxiety is a result of hormones trying to balance themselves out. But I’m not at all ready to wean her. You’re supposed to nurse your baby for a minimum of 12 months, if not longer, and I am committed to making it to 12 months, but at this rate, I’m not sure if I’m going to make it. That makes me feel incredibly sad and guilty. Also I signed Baby J and I up for this 2-week Mommy and Me swim class starting tomorrow afternoon, and for some reason I am SO nervous about it! I not sure if it’s the prospect of being in cold water on a potentially cold day (which I know I won’t be able to stand for long) or having to get dressed (and undressed) in a communal changing room or if it’s something else, but I’m just nervous about it, which logically I know is ridiculous. Finally, an online debate with a dear friend has been very difficult for me, bothering me on so many levels: intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally.
Sigh. I guess there’s always this fear that I’m going to end up like my mother and be on anti-depressants the rest of my life. I’m not taking anything right now, and I SO SO SO don’t want to begin taking anything, but it’s always a fear. JJ sat my crying self down on the couch tonight and reminded me how, for so many reasons, that fear isn’t rooted in reality. But I am afraid I might psych myself into it becoming reality — and I don’t know how to stop from doing it! I don’t know how to control my thoughts! I don’t know how to control my racing mind, my racing pulse, or my churning innards! I don’t know how to stop feeling like at any moment I could just break and shatter into a million pieces.
When I got depressed after my miscarriage, I started taking walks every morning, pushing Lyd in her stroller, walking up and down the hills of the neighborhood around my home. I would like to start doing that again, but there are a number of things holding me back, most of them just physical obstacles that I simply have to make decisions about. But exercise is clinically proven to boost serotonin levels, and to boost them more effectively than anti-depressants do. I’ve been saying for a long time that I need to exercise, not so much for my physical health as for my mental health. I hope I find a way to make that a reality this week. I think if I can just get one successful walk in, thereby finding a way to make it work, that will make the second walk easier, and each succeeding walk easier after that. Getting started is always the hardest thing, right? My serotonin levels need a serious boost, and I’d like to accomplish that as naturally as possible.
The other coping mechanism I was using today is music. Recently a dear friend asked me for recommendations of CDs containing good solid hymn singing. Her email prompted me to look at my CDs and find some hymn CDs that I haven’t listened to in a while. I pulled out the St. Olaf choir recordings of Great Hymns of Faith Volumes 1 & 2. They’ve been wonderful to listen to, and they help to give my mind something to think about rather than just the useless hamster-wheel spinning of my thoughts. I sing along in my head, and even sometimes out loud. If you’re interested in seeing where you can find these online, here are two links:
Lyd is really enjoying listening to them as well, and I’m pleased to be contributing to her choral music education. JJ and I have sung a few of these hymn arrangements ourselves during our years in Lutheran choirs, and it’s fun to hear those songs again. It’s amazing how that music just comes back to you, even though you haven’t thought about it for years.
So, that’s where I am. I’m considering seeing my acupuncturist again, just to get my innards straightened out and to perhaps take the edge off the anxiety as well. I do NOT want to lose a whole bunch of weight again, especially since I gave all my “skinny” clothes away already! If you would, say a prayer for me that I don’t end up where I was two years ago, and that I can stay grounded in the here and now, able to be thankful for the amazing blessings in my life, especially my husband and my two precious daughters.