Rising Tide

Now that I’ve developed some awareness around the issue of fear, I’m much more likely to recognize it in my day-to-day life. Right now, I have it in spades—my heart is racing, adrenaline released, on the verge of panic scared. Of what? Every day life. Of making the thousand of little decisions necessary when raising a young child. Of I don’t know what.

Of course, to focus on what might happen next only engenders more fear. Every day, time to sink back into the moment and just do what I’m doing. Eventually, this too shall pass. (Including the fear that it won’t.)

Somehow, universe, I’d really like to learn how to take that energy and use it for creation instead of destruction. At least I’m currently in limbo instead of active destructive mode—hey, more progress! Yay me!

Meticulous kindness, how do I practice that in the here and now? Let’s go find out…

Overwhelmed

That about sums it up these days. My brain has a very difficult time getting organized these days. It’s happened before at various times. When I sit down before a pile of work—rational mind tasks—just as I contemplate where to start first and what order to do things in, you know, prioritize, my brain freaks out. The anxiety builds very, very quickly until it reaches a panic state. I have learned how to stop it from escalating fully: stop, breathe, come back into this moment, and do something else. I can handle individual tasks: pay the rent, write a cheque, whatever. But figuring stuff out, my brain boggles.

I think I’ve moved past the denial stage, grieving seems to be the work of the present moment. I was a National Merit Scholar Honors scholarship recipient majoring in Astrophysics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute when I was 17. I used to be very, very good at this. Maybe I will regain that ability again, as has happened before. But at least I’ve recognized what’s happening, which is the positive step.

And that’s why I am letting go of who I was and learning to celebrate today’s victories: getting the livingroom cleaned up, successfully planning and preparing a meal. Riding the waves of emotion as they come. Doing a design that thrills somebody. Playing with Brianna.

It does occur to me that most if not all parents of young children feel overwhelmed—I am not alone in that. But my inability to focus on large amounts of technical data and organize it is what makes me disabled from my former profession of technical writer. It’s entirely possible that it will never come back. Given that today, right now, it is not part of who I am (self). I need to learn how to function in the world of this and that. Chop wood, carry water.

Where do I go from here? I really don’t know. Forget the five-year plan, I’m working on 5 minute plans.

Ah, the patter of little feet. Time go be mommy. :)

Mayhem and Recovery

This was a bad morning. Perhaps it’s the fact that we all seem to be fighting off/coming down with cold bugs. Maybe it’s the onset of that time in my cycle I like to call “PMS hell”. Maybe it’s the onset of the bitter cold (-23C this morning, -10F for you imperialists). It’s also possible that Brianna’s “bad day” and her resultant attitude was a factor. It doesn’t matter in one sense, it’s done with and over. Yet I want to be cognizant of triggers and make a plan to avoid a repeat.

But the time for that is later. Now is time to practice letting go, slowing down, and practice the moment. It’s what I’m doing now, not what happened this morning. When emotions calm down (Ativan helped), then I can reflect. Now is time to take care of myself.

Difficult, difficult, difficult. Easy, easy, easy. More like, a little from column A and a little from column B. Now it’s time to bundle up!

Aaack!

Well, not really, but that’s the feeling inside. My practice has been to really pay attention to my emotions and I am seeing a lot where my emotions are completely out of sync with the day-to-day reality I live in. Yay me! Seriously, as a  person with an emotional disorder that has been present from childhood, the ability to actually see this is a massive step forward. (I do forget that too.)

Right now, where I’m really seeing it is when I try and figure out what needs to be done next. I feel completely overwhelmed as my mind starts throwing out the list of things that need to get done. In past, my priority was to stop feeling overwhelmed by any means necessary. Today, I’m aiming for the middle way of (a) addressing the symptoms via relaxation, self-hypnosis, medication, and mindfulness and (b) not getting derailed completely from the tasks at hand. Most important is to not get sucked into failure mind, that whirl of incessant self-critical thoughts that maintains a tattoo of abuse. Yuck.

The emotional mayhem is highest surrounding paying bills and doing the finances. Technically, I’m very good at it. Emotionally, it derails me to see the pile of receipts and paperwork on my desk. I’m just doing the baby steps thing, one thing at a time and let go of the worry.

Again, fear and anxiety are the driving forces in the emotional mayhem. My only defense is to breathe and to start where I am. Not sure if it’s working yet…