I counted today. in the last three weeks I’ve physically left my home 3 times- no exaggerations. I’m beyond grateful to have a job that I have the ability to work from home a couple days of week. However, by far the largest benefit is if the weather is not fair to travel in, I don’t feel well, or the little peeps don’t feel well I’m able to stay home and work most times.
A virus came through, ear infections, a pulled fascia for the hubby, and his Lyme Disease being no longer in remission has been… well a lot for simply one month into this shiny new year. We are currently trying to hit our target goal of savings per month to rebuild our Emergency Fund that took quite a hit after 27 k out of pocket was spent for my husband’s Lyme Disease Treatment. To do that we’ve cut out the eating out, organic groceries, thrift shopping, and the Wine Budget.. so needless to say it’s been a pretty brutal month. It is a month I have wandered into completely sober, unless of course there is hidden traces of alcohol hidden in the Elderberry Extract I’ve been shooting back to help keep my immune system healthy and uninfected by these walking germ gremlins aka my children.
Truth Talk: Booze is my number one way to ’emotionally regulate’. Bascially it’s my number one go to if I don’t want to feel what I’m feeling : sad, bored, scared, anxious, angry, or _____ whatever type of emotion that doesn’t sit well with us individuals. We all have varying drugs of choice.. food, scanning social media for hours, overbusying ourselves, ‘retail therapy’, binging on Netflix days on end, or even things as harmful as illicit and illegal drugs.
I wrote down a list of 19 things I would like to accomplish in this 2019 year thanks to ‘Happier’ podcast by Gretchen Rubbin author of ‘The Happiness Project’
One of the things that made the list… I don’t emotionally regulate. I allow myself to sit with pain. I allow myself to feel the shity wave that comes with loving a spouse with a chronic illness. Does it hurt, o m g YES un-numbed pain has been the hardest to swallow since I wasn’t truly ready for the open hose spouting out so far this year.
However, what I’m learning thanks to life lessons, therapy, and self acceptance… is no one ever said it wouldn’t hurt. Being strong doesn’t mean that you don’t ever feel pain. The truth: the strongest people are the ones who feel it, understand it, and accept it vs shoving it down with merlot, ben and jerrys rocky road, a new top when you have 14 just like it, over planning your Saturday so you don’t have to have 10 minutes of being alone with your own thoughts, or scrolling Instagram for hours imaging what life would be life if you were Kate Hudson.
It takes practices just like anything else and I am by zero chance an expert less than a month in and have definitely had days I’ve wanted ‘just one’ glass of Cabernet, or Cab back when we were friends and on a short name basis. This month has been quite challenging with sickness, weather, having a spouse whose disease is no longer in remission, and cabin fever that it could be no better time or test rather to truly allow myself to feel all what I’m feeling with no safety net or numbing behavior.
I know I’m not the only one who has gone through hard seasons, where you feel like you are barely hanging on so I thought I’d share some things that have helped me hold down the fort with sick humans with zero booze, no cheat yummy food, spending money, and attempting to steer clear of endless scrolling on social media.
Self Care: (or unwind when you can’t unwine)
I never had made this a priority until I started my personal development journey and since then it is engrained in my brain, heart, and schedule. Everyone knows in the house mom takes a bath with epsom salts after dinner if you need to poop do it now before I start the water.
I had anticipated a year of little extra change to spend on myself so I had asked for self care items for Christmas. Thanks for the panda face mom!
Despite days where I wonder what further germs could walk through the door, what snow storm is next, or why Lyme wont just leave us the F*** alone.. I start my day recalling 5 things I’m grateful for. This practice daily reminds me I am blessed beyond measure.. even with the vomit, the uncovered medical cost to treat my husbands illness, or enduring the -5 degree temperature outside when I have to walk the dog that.. I AM STILL UNBELIEVABLY BLESSED.
Connect To People:
This could be by writing a card, sending a picture to your sweet friend sporting their mug they got you for Christmas
or making plans with friends after my littles are well. You can also bainstorm something nice you can do for someone else- it physically makes you happier and feel better about the shit storm you feel you are in.
Make Time For Creativity:
Making things, learning something new, or getting my hands dirty and my mind running wrapped up in a project is one of my favorite places to be. Make time for things that make you feel alive when you are struggling with the difficult parts of being a human and all that entails. Whatever you are working on doesn’t have to turn into something worthy of being displayed in an art museum, like these soon to be ‘bug birthday invites’ requested by my unicorn-loving tom boy won’t make notable headlines. It is simply just something that you enjoy doing and inspires you to remember this too shall pass.
Last but certainly not least.
Get To Moving & Get To Drinking (water that is):
It’s arguably the times you don’t want to work out or drink the dang H20 .. that you need to do it the most. When difficult times come up it is so important to have the foundations in place that continue to instill health and a priority to taking care of yourself first. If your kids are sick, your husband is stressed, and you don’t take the time to reset yourself and get out your frustrations out though a kick boxing class or a yoga dvd at home- you get yourself further into trouble when you were already experiencing unfun times as they were. You get stressed, tired, irritable, and don’t handle things your best when you are not at your best. That’s a fact Jack. If 30 minutes and half your body weight in ounces of water a day seems impossible right now to manage, start with a couple yoga stretches every morning and make it a goal to fill up your cup at work at least 3 times.
That’s all I have folks.
I hope February is good to you and also starts a healthy happy road for my family as well. I hope if you are in a tough space today- you remember you are not alone and when everything feels out of control try to focus on what you can control.. and get busy.
That’s all until next time..