Just how long…?

Just how long can I keep asking God what He wants from me and expect a different answer?
Just how long can I have this…feeling…that I should be doing something, but still choose to push it away?
Just how long can I keep second-guessing everything?
Just how long can I feel this ping of sadness, jealousy, guilt and not do anything about it?
Just how long is this going to take?
Just how long will it be until I stop worrying and start praying?
Just how long before I open my eyes and realize that maybe all of this…all of this isn’t a coincidence?
Just how long before I truly let go and let God?
Just how long before I stop being so afraid?

Venting

Literally, this post is pretty much going to be entirely venting. You’re welcome to stick around and read if you like, but there will likely be nothing insightful or meaningful tonight. You have been warned.

—–

In 45 minutes, it will be Friday! Hallelujah! I think with each week that goes by, Friday becomes more of a celebration. I have even begun using the term “Friday Eve” to describe Thursdays. It’s getting pretty sad. I rush through my work week, anxious for the week to be over to have two days of “rest” where I don’t have to worry about anything…work related, that is.

Some days, I can’t tell if I am truly happy where I am. I mean, I like my job and I am very thankful to have it. Not to sound like an ungrateful swine or anything, but there are a few things that I truly think are making me unhappy. I’m not miserable, but I’m not ecstatic either. I drag myself out of bed, drag myself out to my car, drag myself into work, (sprint out the door for my lunch break), drag myself back to my desk, drag myself around the office, then fly out the door as soon as the clock hits 5:00…

  1. I am literally the only woman in my office. Which doesn’t bother me except for the fact that I really do miss having lady conversation with other ladies (not that I consider myself to really be ladylike, but that’s beyond the point). I’m not explaining to my male coworkers that I’m tired because a pain in my abdomen kept me from getting comfortable and going to sleep. as a matter of fact, most of the time I shrug off any questions and throw in a quick “I’m fine” hoping that will suffice. Not just at work either–pretty much all of the time.
  2. I realized I know very very little when it comes to the IT field. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy it and I most certainly gain a sense of satisfaction when I run into something that I know exactly how to correct. Problem is, I’m not there for help desk work; I’m a temp employee, for one. Second, I’m supposed to be the inventory specialist. I cannot tell you how frustrating it feels to have to explain to the people that call me with off-the-wall problems that I don’t. do. that. I’m not supposed to be taking these “help desk” or “troubleshooting” tickets, but somehow I keep getting stuck with them. Which brings me to number…
  3. I feel ashamed to ask for help. Okay, that’s pretty much me in a nutshell. I will stand on my tip-toes and stretch my arm out as far as it will go–heck, I’ll even climb on the bottom shelf–but I’ll be darned if I’m going to ask anyone to help me reach that item on the top shelf! Self explanatory, right?
  4. And when I do muster up the courage to ask for help (sometimes I do get it), but often times I find myself being ignored or the person I am reaching out to becomes frustrated at me. Even though it’s obvious that no one has had the time to train me for help desk work, yet. I think I’m just supposed to sort of know what I’m doing enough to get me by, but for the most part turn these tickets down. Which makes me look lazy to the rest of the group, at least the ones who are located in other parts of the state that don’t hear the sheer frustration I do when I try to figure something out myself. At least, that’s what my anxiety makes me feel.
  5. Did I mention that I’m a temp? I want to pray to be hired as a permanent employee, yet at the same time, I realize that I more than likely wouldn’t be any happier if that were to happen. Again, not ungratefully so either. I want to be very clear: I am grateful for my job and am very blessed to be where I am.

So besides all of that, let me jump straight into another vent: My husband’s job pretty much screwed him over. So not only am I an unhappy temp, but my husband is now a very unhappy and very irate “co-manager.” Long story short…

  1. Meat department manager left for another job
  2. My hubby gets two month “trial period” before (we assumed) he would be receiving full manager position + pay raise that is well over-due for a position such as this one with the amount of experience he has.
  3. After two months are up, hubby is informed that instead of making him manager and giving him manager pay, they’re going to make him “co-manager” with a guy that he trained just a little over a year and a half ago. Other guy gets charge of fresh meat and butchering. Hubby gets lunch meat, still no authority, and the “assurance” of a very little raise. Oh, did I mention that the guy that HE trained personally is now pretty much above him?
  4. So, the hubby is understandably quite irked. I know exactly how it feels to have an employer pretty much screw you over. But this…this is just flat out WRONG. After all he has done for that store…

Moving on…

Quite literally, actually. In case I did not mention this tiny detail previously, we have to move by the end of April. Long story short, we’re well over income limit for the place we’re living and currently have nowhere to go but back with my husband’s grandparents, where we lived for the first three years of our son’s life. It really sucks, because we make too much to get help, but we still make too little to actually live without going broke every other month. But I’m not looking to step on any toes right at this moment, so I will save this particular vent for another day.

Also, we’re looking at buying a house. But we’ve never bought anything before, not really bought. We have no clue what we’re doing. This is really going to be a leap of faith. Our largest purchase was a $1,400 mistake car that I bought off of Facebook. The current cars we have now were gifts. My hubby has the same car he had in high school (and I’m currently on my fourth–second I actually own–but we won’t go into that either).

Also, in case you were unaware: anxiety is a real pain in the neck. And it’s really been hitting me a lot lately (no wonder!). To go along with the anxiety, I’m pretty sure the heightened anxiety, insomnia, vertigo, etc. that I’ve been feeling for the past few weeks is linked to a Cymbalta withdrawal. It did not occur to me previously and I even kept a follow-up visit with my doctor after some blood tests that the unusual sensations I was feeling could be linked to stopping the medication. (I stopped the medication with my psychiatrist’s advice before you think I just upped and quit cold turkey).

Insomnia is a pain in the neck, too, and it would really be nice if I could lay down and go to sleep sometime before midnight. So brain, if you could just stop with the racing thoughts and actually let my tired body and tired mind just friggin’ SLEEP, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Stomach issues are returning again and we thought this would begin to sort itself out after finally being off of antibiotics and taking both a probiotic and fiber supplement every day. I won’t go into details, but I have I.B.S. (look it up). I just can’t feel 100%. Ever.

This one is going to be a little more personal (and a little bit T.M.I.). Back in either July or August, I was working as a cashier (at the same grocery store that just screwed my hubby over, but that’s beyond the point) when I started experiencing abdominal pains. Not just any pain, but an unusual pain. Sometimes so bad that all I wanted to do was lie down in the floor. Sharp, stabbing pains that would come with seemingly no warning.

After a visit to a new doctor, she suspected that I had an ovarian cyst and sent me to the hospital with an ultrasound order. They did find one about a centimeter in diameter and I was given a birth control prescription to get it to go away. Occasionally, I did feel the pains again, but it eventually lay dormant for quite some time–until most recently.

—–

I’m seriously getting so tired right now, I’m going to make myself stop and cut this thing short. Melatonin tablet is finally kicking in. But my head is still spinning in circles.

 

 

Changes

I’m not gonna lie: this past week has felt like one great big anxiety attack. Every. Single. Day. I can’t focus. I can hardly function. I feel like nothing at all has been accomplished.

Okay. I’ll stop the normal crap and cut straight to the point.

On Wednesday, we found out that we are well over income limit for our apartment now and we are going to have to move by the end of April, if not sooner. I can’t say I’m all that surprised. For a couple of weeks, I have been browsing around just looking for things to rent. I was sort of expecting us to have to move, but I didn’t expect it to happen so suddenly. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like this is reality.

Once you get used to something, losing it is hard. It’s different when you willfully let it go. You’ve given yourself the chance to mentally prepare ahead of time and ultimately decided that it was for the best. I’d love to say I was prepared for this, but I’d be lying through my teeth. We are taking a complete leap of faith here; we’re going to buy a house. At least, we are going to try to.

I’ve spent the past couple of days arguing with myself in my mind over this. My husband is perfectly adamant and ready to jump right in. I, on the other hand, am not. Though I have decided that leaving this place behind is for the best. We’re letting God take our hands and lead us where we should go. Change is nice. Change is good.

On Tuesday, I went to the doctor with some rather unusual complaints (which I will not detail here) and ended up having blood work done. Now, let me be the first to admit that I HATE needles. I’m not even sure that the capital letters, bold typeface, and underline were all enough to really justify my hatred for having needles stuck into my skin, for any and all reasons. I accept that it is a part of life. I tolerate it, at best. When I was a kid, my mom and the nurse both used to have to chase me around the room and hold me down to give me a shot. I am proud to admit that I’m not quite that dramatic anymore, though I will admit to turning into a baby just as soon as they tie the string around my arm.

I also bruise just about every single time I have any blood removed from my body or anything introduced into my body. This time was no exception and I have to say that this is probably the worst needle-induced bruising I have seen yet and it seems to be growing larger rather than diminishing. I’m not really exaggerating here; it looks pretty bad.

Nonetheless, I took both needle pricks and didn’t shed even one tear. Yes, I said both. The first stick didn’t quite get the vein, so she had to do it again. Also, I nearly passed out and the nurse convinced me to move down the hall to an exam room to lie down…just in case.

I have been anxiously waiting for the results since then. I called both today and yesterday, but the doctor was out sick yesterday and she has not had the opportunity to review the results. I won’t go into any details, but there’s one thing in particular I am really looking to find out and it’s driving me nuts!

I am praying that next week is much, much better. I am going to try to use this weekend to start cleaning out some clutter that should have been addressed weeks–if not months–ago. I’m really trying to have an optimistic point of view on all of this. I don’t think I am exactly succeeding, considering the massive amount of anxiety weighing heavy on my heart. At least I seem to be finally trying, though.

The Moon

The moon. One side of our moon faces the sun while the other side is completely swept in darkness. The only side that we ever see…the side that faces the sun…faces the light. To many the moon is a symbol of a light in the darkness. We tell stories about the “man on the moon.” The Japanese say that it is a rabbit.

What do you see?

It’s just the moon, though, right? Nothing special. It’s just there because God put it there. It gives us some light in the darkness. Gazing at the harvest moon is a wondrous sight. We all see it, but do we really see?

Anxiety and the moon are quite a lot alike.

Now just wait and hear me out on this one. I have been thinking about this concept for a couple of days, debating whether it really made any sense or not. So I am going to try to explain this…really explain this. This is real talk, here, folks.

For me right now, I have an awful lot of anxiety going on. If you’ve come back here a few times before, that is probably pretty obvious at this point. But really, this can apply to depression, OCD, etc. This could apply to a whole host of “invisible illnesses.” So if you fall into the category of an “invisible illness”, keep reading and tell me if you also see what I see.

I see the moon hanging up there in the sky. It’s bright and beautiful, even when only a crescent. The moon is certainly not alone in the galaxy, either; a whole host of stars, planets, and other interstellar objects are around it. And not to mention, the billions of people living on this planet gaze up at it nearly every night. We write songs and stories about the moon. This moon is pretty popular, isn’t it?

But wait. Earlier I was just talking about the moon having a dark side. That couldn’t possibly be true, could it? Something so beautiful and so popular could not possibly have a side of it constantly cast in the shadows–a side that we never see.

Think about all of the people we see on a day-to-day basis: coworkers, the people at the restaurant where we buy lunch, the UPS driver, nurses at the doctor’s office, the police officer directing traffic, that one lady in the blue Nissan that you meet on the road every morning you drive to work, sometimes even our friends and family. Unless they specifically told us or let us see (not unlike before we learn that we only see one side of the moon), how are we to know that part of them is also cast into a shadow? We would never see it.

It’s amazing how we can hide our troubles. It’s amazing how we can go years directly facing the sun so that our backs are figuratively constantly in a shadow. It’s amazing how people only see what is in front and can easily be completely unknowing of this shadow.

I hide behind this blog, for one. I choose to type how I feel to people I will never ever meet rather than open up to people in real life, even to my therapist. Oftentimes I know how I feel, but willing my lips to move and willing myself to speak words to describe this feeling is just too much. Whenever I’m in a rush in the mornings and have to take my medication to work with me, I huddle up in my cubicle and count out my morning pills and quickly sneak the medicine container back into my desk drawer before anyone notices. Anyone who knows me fairly well–I am sure–has often seen glances into the shadow that I struggle to keep hidden.

Anxiety happens. It knows no boundaries.

Now here’s another one for you…

There’s this “stigma” surrounding mental health that says that it isn’t real and should be kept hidden. You wouldn’t tell a cancer patient to just go get some sleep and wake up and be cured, would you? (See: How People Treat Mental Illness Vs. How They Treat Physical Illness)

Our human minds are either in the dark or facing the sun. We choose to forget that the moon even has a dark side in the first place. People tell us, but we choose to ignore them. It doesn’t really matter, does it?

Yes. It certainly matters.

And I am also here to tell you that YOU matter. If you too have a side cast in darkness that you hide from the rest of the world, I’m here to tell you that I get it. And I sincerely hope that using this metaphor will help you understand those who live with invisible illnesses. There’s a reason they choose to hide this side. There’s a reason some people choose to ignore it. There’s a reason for everything.

There’s also a God for everything. He sees every side of you. He still loves you. You are not less of a person to Him. He opens His arms for you and will care for you because you ARE one of His own. He created you, just like He also created the moon.

I can’t be…

  • That person who has it all together
  • That person who seems to have it all together
  • A miracle worker
  • The perfect mother with a perfect angelic child
  • That crafty chick who has the time to sew cute little things
  • A rocket scientist
  • An acrobat in the circus (I am afraid of heights)
  • A Pulitzer Prize winning author
  • That woman with the spotless house/car/wardrobe/office/etc.
  • A culinary chef
  • Rich and famous
  • Perfect

But, that’s okay. I can just be me. I can be who God created me to be. Sometimes I may not know who I am or why exactly I’m here. I just keep on keeping on. I gotta just keep swimming. I have to do what I know is right, regardless of pressure from others.

It is better to try and fail than to never try at all. Mistakes help us learn and grow.

—–

On a side note, we have lost another incredibly talented person here on this planet. R.I.P. Harper Lee. Thank you for giving us a book that we can read countless times and never grow sick of.

Nasal Cauterization — a.k.a. the most “fun” I’ve had all week!

Underneath the extremely irked feeling I have been experiencing for the past day or so (not to mention the pain pretty much all over my face), I am feeling a strong resurgence of sarcasm. Hang on tight, people. We’re about to experience some turbulence, here.

—–

Ever heard of having the blood vessels in your nose cauterized? Yeah, me either. Never even remotely heard of the term “cauterized” until this past Tuesday when I made a quickly planned visit to the ENT for a week-long bout of nosebleeds spanning between one to three or four episodes per day.

To my immediate knowledge, I went my whole life without experiencing a nosebleed until I was somewhere around the…third trimester, I believe…of pregnancy with my son. I grew up aware of kids getting them in elementary school. No biggie. To some people, it just happened and usual did not warrant any sort of extreme panic. Let’s just say, the first time I experienced blood coming out of my nose, the words “don’t panic” were nowhere to be found in my vocabulary. Eventually, however, I did accept that for some women this was a normal side effect of pregnancy and that it would stop after giving birth, which it did. Therefore, I went five and a half more years before experiencing any more significant nosebleeds (not counting any of the times I had sinus infections and blew slightly bloody snot out of my nose…I’m talking a real bright red nose bleed here, folks).

Maybe I should have warned you that this post might be a little gross…Oh well, too late now…

So–long story, short (technically long story made short then abruptly made shorter, but who’s really keeping track of that…)–when I felt a tickle in my nose while sitting at my desk at work and wiped my nose with a tissue only to find blood(…and then more blood…oh, and some more from the other nostril, too), I only slightly panicked.

“What on earth, sinuses? What is going on with you guys now?! Can you please stop causing me so many problems?”

So after a little over a week, I left a message with the nurses at the ENT’s office to explain to them what was going on. Next day, I received a call asking me to come in later in the afternoon. So, I went in. I talked to the nurse; the nurse took notes. Mentioned something about me wearing jewelry and that if the doctor mentioned something about having my nose “cauterized” then I wouldn’t want to have any metal touching my skin. “Okay…why not?” No further explanation was given. She prepared some supplies, all the while saying that she wasn’t telling me that he would do one, but she was letting me know and getting the stuff ready “just in case.” Apparently nurses aren’t supposed to tell you what the doctor is going to do, so they have to throw that “just in case” thing in there.

So, are you feeling the effects of my sarcasm yet? Don’t worry, it’s normal to chuckle or even roll your eyes. I’m pretty much used to it by now.

The nurse promptly left the room, leaving me in a chair with a paper pinned to my shirt that was reminiscent of the paper (or whatever it is) that they pin to your front at the dentist’s office to protect your clothes (and I soon figured out so they would have something to easily wipe all the gunk on that they scraped off of your teeth…gross.) As I sat there, my eyes couldn’t help but shift over to the tools laid out on the table next to me: “Oh God, what are they going to do to me?”

The doctor came in, just as cheerfully as ever. After a quick look at the nose, he mentioned seeing a few blood vessels that needed to be sealed off and promptly put on his headlamp. Yes, ladies and gents, the doctor was wearing a headlamp. Again, I couldn’t help but wonder just what on earth I was doing in that room at that exact moment.

He stuck a cotton swab covered in gel up each of my nostrils, explaining that it was lidocaine(sp?) and that it would numb the area. Okay, I knew what that w–“Wait did you just say NUMB???”

All I could do was close my eyes at the bright light from the doctor’s headlamp. At first, I tried breathing slowly in and out through my nose. I am a little sensitive about my breath and was afraid he would smell it. At the same time, I was wondering why I wasn’t smart like he was and chewing gum or something, knowing that somebody would have to be pretty close to my face… And at that moment, I understood why this doctor was always chewing gum: because he knew he would be right in his patients’ faces (and he was probably hoping the same thing from some of us).

Immediately he switched the cotton swabs for some kind of thin stick with a silver end. “Oooookayyyy…what the heck is this thing?” Then he stuck it up my nose and started pressing and rubbing. “God Bless America, what are you DOING to me?!”

At first, it was just a slight pressure then it really started to hurt. Twice in the left nostril, then he got started on the right. By then, my whole body was suddenly starting to feel very hot. I wanted so badly to take off my jacket. I felt slightly lightheaded, but I was afraid to open my mouth to say anything. I was afraid to even move or to convey any sort of discomfort. I just laid there with my eyes squeezed shut and my hands crossed tightly over my stomach.

And just like that, it was over. The doctor removed the headlamp from his head while the nurse removed my paper bib and promptly raised the chair. Upon standing, my legs felt like jell-o. Immediately, I had to remove my jacket. I felt warm. Too warm. Like the time I was thirteen weeks pregnant and I was in the mall and all of a sudden started getting hot, then I got lightheaded, then next thing I knew I was on the floor with a sharp pain in my head from hitting it over a shelf and a crowd of people surrounding me–one of them being an employee offering me a cup of water.

Before I stood up to leave the room, the doctor instructed me to not use the nasal spray for about a week and to apply some KY or another water based lubricant (my immediate impression of this product was that it was not marketed for the nose) to the insides of my nose gently with a cotton swab to keep the area from getting dry.

And that’s pretty much it.

“Okay, that was no big deal, right? He just mashed on the blood vessels and all and made them stronger and I won’t have any more nosebleeds. I randomly have this weird gray stuff on the outside of my nostril that I can’t seem to wipe off with a licked finger alone, but no biggie, right?”

And with that, I returned to work and went about my day. Eventually the small amount of initial numbing began to wear off and my nose started to get sore, which was to be expected after I had several sticks and metal objects shoved up each nostril.

Next day I woke up with this awful crud stuck in my nose. It was driving me nuts. I couldn’t help but pick at it because I wanted it out. It made my nose itch and made it hard to breathe. So the whole way to work people that passed me on the road probably thought I was disgusting for picking my nose. Yes, I was rubbing with a tissue and using my finger to try to get this crap out. By that point it had overstayed its welcome and I wanted it evicted immediately from my nose.

If you were one of the people reading this that knew what a nasal cauterization is, I know what you’re probably thinking: something along the lines of… “Moron!” or “You idiot!” or if you’re Japanese, you might use the word “Baka!”. Unfortunately, I did not know any better as this procedure or the complete “recovery details” were not explained to me.

Sometime after arriving at work, I thought I had finally removed the biggest chunk of gunk only to find that all I had succeeded in doing was making my nose bleed worse than it had ever bled before. Blood was really dripping out, staining the knee of my jeans. I grabbed a tissue and hurried to the bathroom, pushing past a co-worker returning to his desk. Blood dripped down my nose and into the sink. At at moment, I realized I had made a mistake. I needed to figure out what it was that really happened.

So I consulted my good pal, Google. Unless you’re just dying of curiosity and really want to click that link, I will spare you the shocking details. Not only did I find out what cauterization actually means, but I also discovered a whole host of recovery instructions, side effects, complications, and other details that were…how should I say this…left out of my visit last Tuesday. Like I said, the only thing I was informed of after the procedure was to apply the lubricant to keep the area moist and to not use my nasal spray for several days, then return again at my regularly scheduled appointment time.

Fast forward to today…(or rather, yesterday being that it is now after midnight). I woke up feeling less than stellar. I won’t say horrible, because that didn’t come until about an hour later. Then, it really hit me. I felt completely, totally, terrible. I mean, I had started to get a slight headache the day before that progressed as the night went on, but really didn’t expect the sudden onslaught of pain, congestion, and pressure to hit me all at once. So after a little more research, I discovered that feeling such symptoms (those that mimic a sinus infection) after a nasal cauterization was apparently quite common.

I mean, it would have been nice if I had known what I was getting myself into. So, needless to say, I am a little bit irked.

In the past two months, I have been on three different rounds of antibiotics and two rounds of prednisone. But this crap still keeps coming back. So I find myself back at the starting line, where I was at this time last year…and the year before that…and the year before that…(as I have so been reminded by the Facebook “On This Day…” feature). Apparently, I post a lot about being sick. Which means I am getting sick…a lot. I’ve been under the care of an ear, nose, and throat specialist since last May and I am back to square one.

Needless to say, my husband is less than thrilled and has instructed me not to return to this doctor. Deep down, I am starting to feel the same way. Maybe I do need a second opinion? If I am unhappy with how am I progressing, why am I continuing on the same treatment plan?…….OHHHH because I like the option of not having to drive around thirty miles to the second-nearest ENT facility when this one is literally less than five minutes from where I work.

Unfortunately we get too comfortable with convenience nowadays. So after much contemplation, I believe it’s time for a second opinion. Because I know that if this was my child, I probably would have whisked him away for a second opinion three months ago, if not sooner. If it were my husband, I would have pitched a fit quite similar to the one that he pitched.

But now I know that given the options between the not-so-severe nosebleeds and having THIS done again (Warning: you faint of heart folks should not click that), I would choose the nosebleeds. I feel like I have gottenĀ nowhere. I mean, at first things were going pretty good, then I started regressing again and I currently feel like no improvement was ever made at all. I don’t have the luxury of spending tons of money on the “very best” treatment just because itĀ might work. And I’m sick and tired of taking pills.

So, something is going to change. And in the meantime, I’ll be inhaling Vick’s Vapor rub and eating Luden’s throat drops like candy (because, they pretty much are because they taste so good.)

 

When even your dreams are invaded

Last night, I dreamed that I was in the therapist’s office. But the place was huge. There were a lot of doors. It looked nothing like the office actually does and more than four people worked there. I do not remember why I was there or how I got there, but this is certainly one of those times I wish I had kept a notebook and pen beside of my bed to write it down.

I was in the office…and I was having a panic attack. A major one. Crying, shaking, etc. I have not experienced one quite so severe since five and a half years ago when I was being rushed down the hall to the operating room for an emergency c-section.

I awoke at around 5:45, still feeling the anxiety. It felt so real.

———-

I have had so much on my mind for the past few days and it’s pretty obvious by my last post that one thing in particular has been at the front of my mind…

I was sitting at my desk last Friday and felt a tickle in my nose. I reached for a tissue and blew and was shocked to discover blood in the tissue. I went to the bathroom and it took about ten minutes for me to get the bleeding to stop. It wasn’t pouring out my nose or anything, but it was enough to cover the tissue in red splotches. I know, this sounds gross right now, but I am getting to a point.

I NEVER get nosebleeds. In fact, I had never ever had one in my life until I was pregnant with my son. During that time, I got them rather frequently: at least one or two times a week. So the next day when I discovered my nose bleeding again, a little alarm went off in my head. More paranoia, I suppose.

For the past week, I have had a nosebleed every. single. day. Sometimes I have two or three in a day. And it seems to be getting worse. It doesn’t make a bit of sense. Why on earth would I suddenly start having such frequent nosebleeds?

I’ve had an off and on minor headache as well. Nothing too severe, so I certainly don’t feel like heading to the ER or Urgent Care or anything (not like I could get out of all of this snow, anyways). I will certainly place a call to the Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist on Monday, however, who has been treating me for TMJ.

My stress level this week has been extraordinarily high, even for me. My mind has been a mess with everything going on and everything that I think is going on.

My therapist strongly recommended that I try taking a few minutes each day at least three days out of the week to have some time to myself and really relax. She also recommended that I stop using the computer right before bed and create for myself a bedtime routine to “train” my brain that it’s time to go to sleep (in the same way our brain learns that it’s time to wake up, though I won’t really say I have a regular morning routine either).

I am very bad to Google symptoms and spend hours reading medical information that may or may not pertain to me. I crave information; I never feel like I have enough, for some reason. I spend time on Pinterest pinning recipes I’ll never cook, crafts I’ll never make, and articles about budgeting and meal planning that I’ll probably never even read.

It’s pathetic.

So for the next week, I am going to make it my goal to try to relax. Resist the urge to use the computer quite so much. Read a book. Watch something on the Roku. Play a game with my kiddo. Listen to some music. Clean up all of this crap that has somehow accumulated to an increasingly unbearable amount in my home. Spend less money…

…though I might say I have improved drastically on the money management thing. The last bank overdraft really hit me…when we were left without any money for four days until my husband got paid. So now I am writing down everything we spend. I check the bank account multiple times in one day. I write down checks as soon as I write and send them and go ahead and subtract them from the amount of money that we actually have showing in the account and make that our amount that we truly have to spend. I feel so much better looking at my notebook and seeing where our money is going and what we really can afford. No more surprises when the landlord finally decides to cash the rent check. As soon as I deliver that check on the first of the month, that money is no longer available to spend.

So today I am feeling a little better than I have been. Here and there I’ll find a quick tidy job and get it done, but otherwise I am really trying to take it easy, trying to fend off an oncoming migraine and convince my son to head outside and build a snowman while he still can (though I can’t say I blame him; it is kind of windy out there).