Gooood morning sports fans! That seems like a peppy way to jump into this, let's go with it.
I feel like the past month-ish or so I've been all over the place. And I tend to keep everything bottled up inside me until it really gets to me and I'm terribly stressed and anxious. I'm not really great at opening up or talking about my feelings, but writing is a good way for me to let everything out. I hate asking for help or feeling like a burden, so I'm really thankful that writing can be my way to work through things.
That's not supposed to sound all Debbie Downer-ish, and this post isn't going to be either. Nobody even has to read it, but it's kind of my own little therapy sesh where I can recognize why I'm feeling anxious and stressed. Also for anyone out there dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression, I feel you. It sucks. It's consuming and frustrating. You feel like you can just will it away, but it doesn't work. It takes over your entire day, it makes you doubt everything you do, and want to overcompensate to think you're doing a good job at anything. Some days you feel like yourself and that terrifies you, because what if that feeling goes away? It fucking sucks. I feel you. Hopefully I can share some of the ways I deal with it in hopes that it might help someone else out there.
It's been a while since I've felt like this, and it made me momentarily forget how awful it is. And I think I know what triggered it. Which is awful and a relief at the same time, because I know what's making me feel so shitty. And I know I can overcome now, and know what's already been helping.
My grandma (Gram to those who knew her) passed away in March. I was lucky enough to have her in my life for 26 years, and we've always been extremely close. We texted frequently, and joked about how she bickered with my Pop. They were married 63 years and he literally bought her flowers every single week. They bickered but loved each other more than I've ever seen possible. It makes me want to be better in my own relationship. They showed each other they cared in small ways, and I hope I can do the same for what I hope one day will be 63+ years of marriage.
At my Gram's celebration of life (she hated wakes, so we knew one was out of the question) I did everything in my power to stay moving and busy. I make sure people had food, took coats, helped my mom since she was hosting, and drank a lot of wine. Basically anything that kept me from breaking down. And when I did, I ran downstairs or in a bathroom. Again, I don't like to show emotion or that I'm broken. But when I did, I was so thankful for a hug from Patrick.
So what have I been doing to get through all of this emotional baggage? Not dealing with it. Which helped a little at first. I was staying busy, helping my mom with whatever I could, immersing myself in work, etc. But lately I've been dreaming about Gram and I actually woke up crying in the middle of the night last night. It's kind of my "aha!" moment to deal with everything I've been ignoring, hopefully to get myself back to my normal happy, not-self-doubting, kickass self.
Something that's been a huge help are my best girlfriends and being around Patrick. Texting my girlfriends in our group chat makes me laugh and realize I'm so grateful to have them always, but especially now. Being around Patrick makes me calmer, and makes me feel safe and loved especially during a time where I'm feeling like anything can just be ripped away from me. Even just sitting watching tv together makes me feel better. Playing volleyball on Tuesdays with his company has been just what I need to stay active and remind myself to be present and just have fun. Even though, admittedly, I'm not the best at it. I've officially become that person who's "just happy to be here!" lol
On Saturday we went to a beer garden with some friends, and after the 76ers game I danced around in our living room (okay yes, some tequila also contributed to that). Putting on something that makes you want to jump around and sing and twirl is magic when you need it. Grey's Anatomy is right, sometimes you just have to dance it out. And I'm grateful Patrick even danced for a little bit with me even though he was tired. I'm truly very lucky.
So my tips are these: Eat a really fucking good cheeseburger (or something else indulgent). Dance around when your body knows it's the right time (the right time is when Beyonce comes on). Go for a long walk around your neighborhood, even though your dog has been increasingly annoying lately. Linger a little longer in the garden across the street. Laugh hard at something you've seen a million times (for me it's The Office, or Will & Grace); let yourself laugh until your sides hurt. Cry. Drink some wine, surround yourself with people who make your heart happy, and know it's okay that life is shitty sometimes. It just is. But we get through it our own way, eventually with a smile on our face.