Friday, October 31, 2014

Random Updates from the Loony Bin

Life is wild, isn't it?

I admit I got myself stuck in the thought that I was totally screwing up this life thing. My kids are a mess, I'm a mess, a lot of crappy things have happened (this year particularly), and I'm not quite sure where I'm heading.

And then I read THIS.

WAIT....I'm actually succeeding at life? Who knew!!

1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they used to be. 
Check! Drama is stupid and grownups who thrive on it are ridiculous.

2. You're not afraid to ask for help and support anymore.
I admit that I have a hard time delegating. But when I need help, I typically turn to the husband and he is awesome about it. I should probably turn to friends more than I do, but I'm glad that I have someone under my roof that just gets me and gets my needs.

3. You have raised your standards.
"You don't spend time with the 'energy vampires' in your life anymore."
Seriously, I don't need to have the life sucked out of me by passive aggressive, immature bullshit. Take a chill pill and call me in the morning.

4. You let go of things that don't make you feel good.
I'm am VERY good at this. I took stock of everything over the summer and realized I needed major changes for me and my family. I quit my job, focused more on them, put more passion into MY training, did little things that were just FUN, and ignored some of the stuff that just wasn't. Contentment happened, people.

5. You have moments where you appreciate who you see in the mirror.
I'm a 40 year old woman and I love it. I take care of my health and it shows. I am a caring, intelligent person, and I like me a whole lot.

6. You have learned that setbacks and failure are a part of self-growth.
"In reality there is no such thing as a setback. It's all just part of a wondrous journey."
I try to learn something from every challenge, and I know that all the stumbles have made me stronger and smarter and more empathetic. I'll take that.

7. You have a support system that includes people that would do anything for you.
I have a pretty kickass family and some pretty kickass friends. My circle has tightened over the years, but those who are closest to me are the best of the best and I love them to death.

8. You don't complain much.
I suck at this one sometimes. I really try to keep the worst of the worst off of Facebook (Twitter is a different story). I try to remain positive, but it's so tough when you're at your lowest. My poor husband and friends hear it all. But I do try to temper it with positives as often as possible, because there are always good things around me at every moment, whether I choose to see them or not.

9. You can celebrate others' success.
YES!! Not to say I don't want to occasionally punch the most cheerful and perfect people out there, but YES! It's great when things go well for others.

10. You have passions that you pursue.
DUH. I kick ass at this one. If there's one thing I've learned is that if I don't take care of ME, I can't take care of others. And pursuing the things that give me my spark is pretty amazing.

11. You have things to look forward to.
I don't want to live in the future, but I do like to have events and goals planned out that I can slowly works towards, whether that's a race or a vacation or whatever. I can look to a few months from now and say, yep, that is going to ROCK.

12. You have goals that have come true.
I am a wife. I am a mother. I am healthy. I am a marathoner. I am a triathlete. I am living in the great state of Texas. Just to name a few.

13. You have empathy for others.
Sometimes I think I'm too sensitive, that I internalize suffering a little too much. But I'd rather have compassion than to be completely selfish any day. I might joke that I hate people, but in reality, I love them to death.

14. You love deeply and open yourself up to be loved by others.
This is very true and it has burned me so many times in the past. I trust people a lot, sometimes too much, and it means that my heart is wide open for hurt. But because of this, I've also been able to love unconditionally and to BE loved beyond what I ever thought possible.

15. You refuse to be a victim.
Oh, hell yes to this one!! One thing that drives me completely bonkers is when others seem to fall into the same trap over and over and yet refuse to take responsibility for it. They are perpetual victims and blame everyone else for it. They thrive on the attention that victimhood provides. Um, NO. Ain't no victim here. It doesn't mean that I don't feel sorry for myself sometimes, because I definitely do, but I'll do my best to conquer again.

16. You don't care what other people think.
This has been very tough for me. I am a sensitive person and it cuts deep when someone doesn't like me or disses me in any way. I'm slowly stepping away from this mentality but I have work to do.

17. You always look on the bright side.
I fail here. Frequently. Probably a product of depression, but yes, I fail here. Not all the time, but too often.

18. You accept what you can't change.
It took me a long time to understand who I really am. I'm an introvert. I have a mental disorder. I need to stop being someone I'm not and this year has been about embracing myself, faults and all (although introversion is not a fault by any means). I am learning to live with the challenges that being me entails.

19. You change what you can.
ABSOLUTELY!! If something isn't working and it can be changed, I try to chip away at it until I'm satisfied.

20. You are happy.
Well....I'm probably unhappy more than I'm happy, but now that I realize that it's beyond my control a lot of the time, a big weight has been lifted. Some days the depression takes over and I've learned to recognize it and try not to beat myself up. So my happy days are pretty incredible. I hold onto those when it happens and enjoy every second of it. Overall, things aren't so bad really.

So, life in the loony bin isn't a complete failure really. I've done a lot of things right, and the fact that I can recognize when I'm not doing such a good job has to have its merits.

Where are we all right now?
Working with my kids' struggles is a daily thing. My son will take one step forward and two steps back at school, but after discussing a lot of these issues with his teachers I think we're getting cut a little slack. However, I am looking into school alternatives for him. I think he'll be happier and more successful at a smaller school and I need to give him some options.  My daughter is in therapy and we've gone through all the diagnostic testing to see where her tummy troubles are coming from. It looks like her anxiety and stress are having very negative health consequences for her. Therapy is helping, but her emotional episodes are still frequent and exhausting.

As for me, I'm tired. Incredibly tired. It's the worst of the depression symptoms for me right now. I have a combination of insomnia and excessive sleepiness, so it's kind of a mess. Daily naps are my reality, and while a lot of people do like to poke fun at me for it, I honestly can't avoid the exhaustion. Some nights I have horrible insomnia. I will wake up several times a night, so my sleep is quite disrupted. After doing a bit of research I discovered that this is common during depression. Sucks. I know that the emotional exhaustion I feel when dealing with my daughter's episodes is manifesting itself physically.

Training, surprisingly, is going well, however. I'm not as fast as I once was, but I'm strong. My mileage base is deep. I'm recovering well from my long runs and running volume. It's one thing that I am in complete control of and it helps me mentally and physically to put my effort and passion into it. I truly enjoy training days and being around my running friends...they give me positive energy and I embrace it.

I feel a lot better after writing this. Life really is pretty good and all the crappy things will get better, I know it.