A Break

Hey.

I need to let you all know that I have to step away from this for the time being. Last week’s post, about how I had two big “stuffs” going on? Both of them took a pretty major turn for the worse late last week, which had had serious repercussions on my mental health and the way I hoped my immediate and long term future would pan out. 

I’m struggling big time, and right now this is just something I can’t invest in. I can’t handle social media at all these days – I don’t even want to scroll through Twitter or Facebook anymore. I tried reading blogs on Monday, and I just couldn’t do it. I don’t have it in me. I don’t have the emotional energy to pretend to be okay, or to have enough interest in other people’s lives to be able to read their blog posts. 

I’m in crisis mode, made worse by the fact that I’m in a double crisis mode, given the bad things that happened with both of my stuffs, and the fact that I’m not sure when the raw edge of these emotions will wear off. Though I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, right now that light is hidden by a series of curves, and while I keep pushing forward in the direction I know will get me there, I’m not to the point where I can see it quite yet.

This is the most intense quarterlife crisis I’ve dealt with to date. My therapist and my parents have been extremely supportive through all of it, but right now, I’m not able to handle much beyond the basics. You know Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, where a person can only progress up the pyramid when the previous level has been fulfilled? Right now, my physiological needs are being met, but by safety needs aren’t (to be clear, I’m not in danger – I am just lacking feelings of security as a result of the bad things that happened with my stuffs last week), which makes anything beyond that impossible to deal with right now. I’d file blogging/social media under the love/belonging level, and like I said, while I’m getting that in some areas, I can’t pour that kind of stuff out right now, including in a blogging context. 

This is obviously not forever. I’ve done this for over four and a half years now, and I’m not going to walk away from this permanently. I can’t put a timeline on getting back into the swing of things, though, because I truly don’t know when things are going to get better enough for me to function as a full person. Right now, I feel like an iPhone that’s been put on low power mode, with the screen light turned all the way down and all apps closed, because the owner needs the phone’s battery to last, but doesn’t know when they’ll next find a charger. I know my “charger” exists, but I don’t know where it is, and until I find it, it’s critical that I don’t waste my “power” on extra things, which for me right now looks like blogging.

I’m sorry that things have been weird around here, and if you want to talk to me, my info’s on the contact page. I just can’t post everything for the whole world to see online, as these stuffs are not just personal issues to me.

See you when I see you, hopefully soon.

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Thursday Things

1. Lent starts next week, so I’ve been doing my darndest to get my fill of sweets before next Wednesday. Trader Joe’s has been my primary place for indulgence, but on Sunday I wanted something a little less prepackaged, and made my way to Dinkel’s Bakery.

dinkelsdonut

Oh MAN, you guys. This cake donut with chocolate frosting and coconut was everything. I know the artisanal fancy pants donut shops get all the hype around here–and I totally buy into that hype, as evidenced by my trip to Stan’s after F^3 last week–but I was super impressed by this Dinkel’s number. AND instead of costing $3+, it was like $1.90 or something else equally affordable. That’s what I’m talking about!

2. Speaking of Chicago institutions, I went to the French Market for the first time ever this weekend. I was in the West Loop on Saturday and needed to get downtown to stop by Nordstrom Rack. Normally I would’ve taken the Green/Pink Line, but it was nice enough outside that I decided to walk instead. When I realized my walk was going to take me right past the French Market, I decided to stop in.

frenchmarket

What a cool little place! It reminded me of a MUCH smaller Pike’s Place Market, which obviously pleased my Seattle-loving heart. I didn’t get anything, but it was fun to wander around for a few minutes and finally see this place I’ve heard about for years.

3. I don’t think I ever ~officially~ mentioned this in a blog post, but my fitness plan for February is to follow a training program created in the NTC app. I’m following Get Strong: Intermediate with running, though I plan to sub out all the running for other cardio, while I give my mind (and, more importantly, my knee) some time to rest before gearing up for Shamrock in April.

Things got off to a slightly rocky start on Monday, when I intended to go to the gym to complete a 30-minute strength workout followed by 15 minutes of cardio. I forgot to pack my sports bra in my gym bag, however, so I went home and just did the strength workout. Oh well.

The program assigns you days to do certain workouts, and I thought it’d be a little more flexible, but it won’t let you do the workout through the program itself on a day other than the assigned day, which I think is a little unnecessarily rigid. Of course, you can go to the workout part of the app, download the workout, and do it on your own whenever you feel so inclined (which I did today, because goodness knows I am NOT dragging my booty out of bed early on a Friday to go to the gym before work, and I also most definitely am not dragging my body to the gym AFTER work on a Friday. This girl takes rest days on Fridays, and asking me to do otherwise will illicit a similar reaction to asking me to go skydiving.).

really love NTC workouts. They can be pretty intense, but I appreciate that a lot of the strength moves hit multiple muscle groups at once (squat to shoulder press, lunge with arm curls, planks with rows, etc.). It makes me feel like I’m getting a lot of bang for my buck, and I’ve never walked away from an NTC workout–even one of their yoga workouts–feeling like I wasted my time. It’s also done a good job of sneaking in PT exercises I should be doing, like side lunges (which I don’t ever do, because they take too long), planks (which I don’t ever do, because they’re hard [I KNOW, I KNOW. I’m not claiming I have good excuses for not doing my PT. I’m just telling you why I don’t do it :P ]), and even cones, disguised as “single leg clock squats” in the app (which I don’t ever do, because I HATE THEM. I don’t know why I hate cones so much – probably because they take even longer than side lunges, and man, I hate PT exercises that go on and on forever). I know I need to do more PT more regularly if I expect my knee to be in good shape once I start running again, but, as always, knowing and doing have not been one in the same for me with PT. Having NTC keep me at least a little bit accountable helps big time.

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Blogging Around Fear

(Oh, bother. Another post with no relevant photos. I’m putting in random photos from ghosts of blog posts pasts in here so you have something pretty to look at while I lament my current mental state.)

This whole blogging thing has been a struggle lately. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on, but I don’t feel comfortable writing about the vast majority of it. Honestly, I don’t even feel comfortable talking about the vast majority of it. One of my roommates, for example, was totally blindsided by something I’ve had going on when it came up last week, because I somehow, over the course of five months, had oops! forgotten to mention it. (To be fair, it had come up in other discussions with my other roommates – she just never happened to be home for dinner those nights.)

I have two big “stuffs” going on that I haven’t talked about publicly, either here or with most people in my life unless they specifically came up (fun thing about blogging: it’s easy to keep things you don’t want to come up from coming up when you’re the one controlling the conversation). Neither of them are bad, or dangerous, or problematic, or otherwise dramatic. They both, however, are extremely important to me, and I’ve found myself living in a near-constant state of anxiety of varying degrees, ranging from low-level to awake-at-1-a.m.-panic-attack level, since they came up. I am forever fretting about both of my stuffs, and constantly wishing I could fast forward through this ~season of life~ and just know how these stories end.

sunriseatmontrose
With marathon training sunrises!

I’ve often worried about jinxing things, and developed a fair number of OCD-y rituals to put my mind at ease. Case in point: my senior year of high school. Our boys’ basketball team had lost in state semifinals my junior year, and was on a redemption mission my senior year. I was highly invested in our boys’ basketball team, and as such developed a RIDICULOUS number of rituals that I believed were necessary to ensure a win, including: not moving anything in my bedroom for the duration of their tournament run, wearing the same pair of jeans every day they had a game, wearing a white t-shirt underneath a zip-up hoodie on game day, and wearing three specific bracelets in my school’s colors on game day as well, one of which had a charm that said “Believe” on it, and not, under any circumstance, taking those off until the game had finished.

OBVIOUSLY my wardrobe choices and bedroom arrangements had absolutely no influence on the boys’ basketball team whatsoever. Logically, I knew this, but I was completely terrified of changing anything for fear that what I was doing was, somehow, bringing luck to the team. They ended up winning the state title that year, and though I still technically knew it wasn’t because of what I had done, when your intended outcome results while you practice ritualistic behaviors, it’s hard to brush them off as ineffective.

I’ve gone through periods where I couldn’t change what I ate for lunch each day, even if I was sick of my normal meal, because I feared bad things would happen if I had ham instead of turkey (fires, thunderstorms, tornadoes, etc.). After the oven in my old apartment randomly started smoking overnight, I checked it every single night before I went to bed, not because I didn’t trust that my roommates had turned it off, but because I was afraid if I didn’t check it, it would catch fire again. I’ve had a very hard time changing things–opening a new bottle of lotion, getting a new bedspread, replacing my broken phone case, switching out the soap dispenser in my bathroom, using a different vacuum–because I worried that my old items somehow protected me, and that getting rid of them would open up a world of horrific possibilities.

rippeddowncoat
Torn winter coat = horrific possibility

 

Lately this has been particularly problematic, which I imagine is in no small part due to the fact that my baseline level of anxiousness has been much higher than I’d like it to be. Just two weeks ago I struggled to throw away an empty tube of Chapstick, despite the fact that it was most certainly empty, and open a new tube of Burt’s Bees, both because I didn’t feel comfortable throwing away the Chapstick, and because I had never used Burt’s Bees before, AND WHAT COULD HAPPEN FROM THIS BRAND CHANGE?!?!

Nothing, at least not directly, and again, logically I know that. But I’ll be darned if knowing something logically is enough to talk some sense into Anxious Bethany, who has no sense by definition, being as she is the antithesis of Rational Bethany.

So blogging has been tough. I’ve had both of these stuffs going on before, and I’ve talked somewhat openly about them before in blogging and in real life, but things never turned out quite as I hoped. Though I probably didn’t have any *real* reason to be ashamed over things not turning out as I hoped, I still felt shame. I felt like I had failed myself, and as someone who actively tries to avoid failure at all costs, it was extremely difficult to tell other people, “Hey, this thing? Yeah, forget about it. It ended up not working out.” And because I have talked about these stuffs in the past, and ended up with negative results, and even more so, because I hesitated to talk about those stuffs in the past for fear of negative consequences and then had my feared outcome happen, it feels a lot like that basketball situation I mentioned earlier, but in the reverse: instead of having evidence that my behavior worked in producing the outcome I wanted, I have evidence that my behavior worked to produce an outcome I absolutely did not want. Therefore, I feel much more compelled to keep things under wraps, which, I suppose is fine–it’s my life, after all, and my prerogative to disclose as much or as little as I choose. But when you’re used to being fairly open, and have these stuffs taking up more and more of your time, it makes blogging a bit tricky. A couple months ago, I mentioned feeing like I was living a double life at work. I feel that way about blogging these days, too. These stuffs are the biggest things I have going on right now, but since I don’t want to even mention them for fear of ruining them, I have a tough time coming up with things to say, and put up obnoxiously vague blogging posts like this instead, because this feels safe.

cubs
Safe like a baseball player. All right, that one’s a bit of a stretch :P

So. That’s what’s going on over here these days. I really (really) hope to be able to actually talk about things sooner rather than later, but in the mean time, hopefully you can bear with me.

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