10.09.2018

WON'T YOU BE MY ALLY?

Not to be extravagant about it (EXTRAVANAUGH ABOUT IT), but these last two weeks have been the pits and I am SO super over it.

How are you guys hanging in there? Are you doing okay?? It is supremely okay if the answer is No. Has someone brought you a potted plant yet, or made you some cocoa and told you everything was going to work itself out yet?

I've been seeing social media posts from allies and friends, basically saying, Go Easy On Yourself Right Now. Take Care And Be Forgiving Of Yourself Right Now. Don't Push Yourself Right Now. Take It Easy On Your Heart Right Now. 

I just want you to know that, ugh. Can Confirm 100%. It's been rough over here lately.

Nothing lately feels very okay, does it? And the frustration I feel with myself for how low I still feel, or for how little motivation I can seem to muster up for anything, or for how frequently I just feel like I need another napgosh. You know? You too??? I'm so sorry if it's you, too. 

I keep reminding myself it's okay that I feel this way right now. I'm not sure I believe myself terribly reliably, but, I tell myself, given the circumstances, this is normal and acceptable and I am not at all alone in this right now. 

But I'm still frustrated with myself. Oh to snap out of it and get on with life already and start making positive changes! . . . 

So here is my effort at piping in and saying, Hey. Here, too. Let's be Not Totally Okay Yet together. Today's post is a commiserative pout and a sloppy group hug and a Please Pass The Chocolate and a Which Meg Movie Should We Put On Next? . . . among other self-care notes. 

Here are a list of things to do (and not to do) right now:

// First of all, watch this right now (at 4:12 if you're short on time):


And then ASAP go rent or buy the Fred Rogers documentary. (You can stream it on Amazon Prime HERE)

// DON'T skip out on your vitamins, your anti-depressants, your veggies, or your mascaras right now. Okay? YOUR ROUTINE. Guys. STICK TO YOUR ROUTINE! Whatever makes you healthy normally needs to stay & keep making you healthy. Do NOT skip ballet. Give up the showers, fine! But not the vitamins! I've been seeing a naturopath lately who put me on a serious two-handfuls-a-day vitamin regimen, and over a two-day-long period last week I felt too irritated with life to be able gag them all down, and I skipped them. And friends. I NOTICED THE DIFFERENCE. It made everything unnecessarily tougher. So please. Gag down those vitamins. Brush your teeth, I guess, if that's your thing. But take your vitamins, is my thing. 

// Listen to the My Favorite Murder Podcast and really wallow in how shitty the human race can be sometimes. Actually, I'm not sure if that will help or make things worse? But sometimes you just really need to wallow in it. I did that for an afternoon while stitching uplifting quotes on tote bags, it was weirdly delightful. 

// Weighted blankets feel like a nice hug and have been recommended for treating anxiety, depression, Asperger's, and other spectrum disorders. These blankets can cost their weight in dollars, but after a lot of hunting around I found THIS ONE. Probably the best price I've seen. Yes I have one and I love it. Huck and I frequently argue over who's turn it is to snuggle under it during movie night. 

// Look, when worse comes to worst you can always rant and rave about it on social media, but I can't recommend this one all the way, personally. Like, I did it, I felt SO much better, for approximately three minutes, and then I regretted all of it . . . but like, look. If ya gotta do it, even for 3 minutes, do it. Doth get it outeth thine system. And if you're on the viewing end of someone's ranty IG story, give them grace you're gonna want someday when it's you doing the ranting. It happens to the best of us. (This is what I tell myself.) 

// On Twitter last year I saw a post about the best Netflix shows to binge on while being in the depths of the worst kind of depression. I couldn't find the post, but I do remember that it included Queer Eye, The Great British Baking Show, and Parks & Rec. I'd add in The Good Place, the new Anne With An E, The Last Kingdom, and may I also humbly posit The Vampire Diaries? Because that one got me through a real tough one in 2013. (Please contribute yours in the comments! I feel like we ALL could appreciate.) 

// If ever there was a good time for a paint-by-number kit, that time is now. I've been narrowing down my options on Amazon. I feel like a good P-B-N might really save me. Here's a few of what I've been choosing between, cause guys, I like it classy like this: 

guys not only am i still supes rusty at this, but my blog is also 35 updates behind, so this graphic here is the best I could do
one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten

If you extra love yourself, you get yourself one of these fancy easels bc babe u worth it.

Now here is where I say out loud the things I am doing right because I deserve it! 

1. I have stayed on top of the laundry and the dishes!! Even if I haven't necessarily brushed my hair. And even though I DO have a fruit fly infestation still. Uh. But I finally got the pet door for my sliding glass door that I ordered, so now no more can get in, AND I have already killed a ton of those suckers, SO WE ARE GETTING THERE! Plus, after I fed the parakeets this morning they gave me all these twirly chirpy happy noises. And that was really sweet. Though right now they seem to be arguing with each other about something. Screeching and occasionally quacking like ducks kind of, so, guys, don't ever get parakeets. Parakeets are not one-for-one substitutes for chickens. Just don't do it.

2. Last night while watching our nightly Great British Baking Show episode before bed, I made Huck this incredible offer: "Huck," I said, "Huck, I'll scratch your back during the Signature Bake if you'll scratch my arm during the Technical Challenge," to which Huck said, "Mom, you don't have to do that, I'll just scratch your arm for you now." And then, he did! Granted, it only lasted 20 seconds before he announced he'd changed his mind and yes he would take that back scratch after all. But still!

3. I had a lot of pizza this weekend, plus I got to watch both Clue and The Witches with my sister on Sunday. 

4. I still don't have a day job and I haven't been able to remember how on earth I used to make a living off this here Internet thing, but when I sit and search my brain for proof that I'm making progress on this one, it turns out I HAVE been making progress!  

5. Not to brag but I cleaned my car out the other day and IT IS STILL CLEAN. (Although there is still a 15-pound box of kitty litter in the trunk and I have still not brought it upstairs.) (Update since I wrote this first draft: It is now upstairs! This does not feel like an accomplishment. :/)

6. The last two weeks have been a nice (not very nice at all, but good) opportunity for me to provide a necessary filter for Huck on the news of the day and all the world's happenings. We've discussed consent, living through things that scare you, and mistakes. We've discussed what it means to be a good friend, a good ally, and a trustworthy person. We've discussed how scary honesty can feel, but how GOOD it can feel when you are. We've discussed how ugly and damaging deceitfulness can be, even when you feel certain you've been wronged. We've talked about the responsibility we have to each other when one of our friends has been hurt, even if we don't understand it. And we've explained to each other all the good things we can do for ourselves to lift ourselves up whenever we feel not-so-good in the moment. I am just hoping and praying that I did it right.  

***

The good news is, I think I'm nearing the end of the worst of it. You know how circumstantial depression seems to follow a certain arc? Oh! Wait! Is that this magical 'Stages of Grief' thing that professionals like to talk about?! Woah, Fun! Anger was my favorite phase. Can Confirm 100%. Depression is . . . alright. So long as you can convince yourself it's temporary. (Guys, in one way or another, the worst of the sadness is ALWAYS temporary. It HAS always gotten better.)

Anyway. Won't you please tell me, in the comments, what you've done Right this week, Despite The Shit. The middling and piddlier the better. And then also tell me what you do when it sucks. KTHX.

It's a work in progress, I think. And now, having reached the Acceptance stage of my grief, I will now sally forth into the Forgiveness stage of my Boot Straps And The Pulling-Up Thereof. Whew! Wish me luck.

I love you all and I have so many hugs. 

17 comments :

  1. Thank you for offering up some love! We all really need it.
    I'm planning for my son's golden birthday party in a few weeks and am dreaming up all the gold balloons, gold cupcakes, little gold crowns?? Idk. It'll be very fun and glittery, even though I'll be crying over my baby growing up.
    I usually have NPR on in the kitchen, but there be times (such as...lately) I have to shut off all the news because it's making me too miserable. I always, always turn it off when 45 speaks. That's my bit for self care.
    Wishing you well. All hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. it's been a helllofa a couple of weeks that is for sure. your advice on routine is so spot on. i rececently got back into playing tennis and is my driving force through all of this. had a bad day? it's ok, playing tennis in a few and i swear it's like the magic pill that doesn't really exist. it's the one thing i do in which i don't think of anything else. so there is that. here's hoping everyone finds their sanctuary and escape from the world when it's all too much. hugs + forehands :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. First off, it wasn't the best idea to watch that video first thing this morning!! I cried the whole time. Second, I just started RBG on Hulu. You should watch that if you haven't already. xo

    ReplyDelete
  4. Woof. Yes. These are crazy times (but also not-so-crazy, because I'm not shocked at all by the news). So one thing I know I need to focus on more is not grazing on empty calories throughout the day. I'm not big into eating "clean" and actually think labeling foods as "clean" or "junk" is pretty terrible, but I also know that my body and my brain suffer when I eat 3 bowls of pumpkin-ohs from Trader Joes...and lots of dairy...and 2 lunches (an early and a late lunch). Food is fun AND fuel, but self medicating with food doesn't do a lot for me and I KNOW THIS, but still fall into the attractive snack trap. My self care can be boiled down to a few essential items: keep a tidy(ish) house. Nothing crazy, but one non-negotiable item are the dishes. Do the dang dishes, because I can breath better when there aren't dirty dishes. I also need to move my body. Bonus points if it's done outside, which leads me to my next item... NATURE. Feel the breeze. Marvel at the sunlight streaming through the leaves on the trees. Right now I'm staying home with my baby and I've found I do need to put on clothes to feel like a human. Last, is reading. Read a book instead of scrolling instagram at all hours of the day (and night). Those are my things! Another important thing is this: keep showing up for my people. My family needs me and I need them. Checking in on friends is important. Emails! Quick texts. Is there anything better than texting gifs back and forth to your bff? Does any of this fix the world? No. But these are small things I can do to find a little peace. Sometimes that's enough.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've been listening to 'TTFA' podcast. 'Terrible Thanks For Asking'. Its really good. It does make one realize that the world sucks sometimes but like you mentioned I'm not sure why that feels good to listen to at the moment. so it does, so I will. Also reading your blog. Those are all good things.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've been listening to 99% Invisible (LOVE IT), "running" even though I am slow and terrible and don't have time, sewing (also don't technically have time), letting my kids eat homemade cake for breakfast, and writing postcards to voters. Go to postcardsforvoters.com if you're interested in that last one, it's so gratifying and good for people like me who can't handle phone calls.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is so on point for me right now. I think all the ridiculous negativity in the world was piling up on me without my awareness of how it had impacted me so much. This morning when I went to Panera to try to get a pink ribbon bagel that they sell for breast cancer awareness in Oct. – they were out again. I haven't been able to get one yet and that silly thing made me bawl. I went back to my car and just cried my way to work realizing that it had so little to do with the bagel. I'm trying hard to take care of myself, getting to the doctor and making myself healthier. Thanks for your post, it was nice to read and feel less alone.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, yes, yes yes. I may treat myself to a snuggly blanket. I want to feel hugged by something that also won't ask me for snacks in five minutes, just for a little while. Self care, ya know. What a time.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am going through a divorce and I’m heartbroken about it and everything you’ve shared about yours has made me feel less alone & helps me survive this horrible thing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. OH GLORY. This is my life. I'm a million weeks pregnant and my sister keeps almost dying (no, really, age 26 and they can't fix her and no one knows why) and the effing government and I'm a therapist so I hear death/dying/divorce stories all day and it's a LOT. I've started, first and foremost, practicing what I preach. Even people who aren't therapists have great advice that they spew around and then never take themselves! Last week I didn't sleep for three days and wasn't tired. If a client told me that I wouldn't let them leave until we dealt with it - it would be all we discussed. I contemplated that and then bought a big box of Unisom. No biggie in terms of drug, but WOW when it works for people the release from some of that anxiety and worry is huge. And of course there are lots of other methods and medications to help with sleep, but it's my big soapbox right now, both personally and professionally. For the light get-yer-mind-off-it stuff, Jonathan Van Ness' podcast is wonderful, even the episodes from two years ago. I love Mindy Project, Kimmy Schmidt, Good Place, and Younger for 30-minute-maybe-I-could-be-that-cool-someday fixes of happy. I'm also letting some feelings come out of my fingertips at funnyloveblog.com (shamelessplug), with mixed reviews from readers, as you can imagine. It's an uphill battle, but one that we can win.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hugs for all you're going through, Lindsay (or Not Hugs if you are a not-hugging person. You know.).

      Delete
  11. I am mega-inspired by the list of stuff you and Huck have discussed this week. My kid is 4.5 so I am skipping pretty much all the news with her, just talking about consent as we usually do, but I am mentally (actually?) bookmarking this for when the time comes (as it will) to talk through the news with my daughter. Thanks. <3

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's a great list of helpful things to do! GBBO gets me through + I need a weighted blanket in my life. At the risk of being super weird, the other night, my husband made a joke about being a human weighted blanket, and then he proceeded to lie on top of me for a few minutes for the same effect? And it actually helped? Ha ha. Baking also helps me, especially if I'm baking for others. And talking to another human in person is always helpful! If in-person won't work, a phone call or text conversation about something happening in someone else's world is usually helpful to me. It's nice to get outside my own head, even if just for a few minutes. And YES to sticking to the routine, even when it's tempting to stay in bed and eat cookie dough (which I DO keep stocked in my freezer ALWAYS, because sometimes that IS what you need).

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am crocheting a baby blanket for my friend who just gave birth (at HOME!) to a new little son, and it's seriously soothing my soul and not allowing me to obsess about anything.
    Also, Natalie - getting rid of fruit flies is very easy. Just mix equal amounts of liquid dish soap and apple cider vinegar in a bowl, and leave it on your counter. They love the vinegar and the soap prevents them from flying away. Try it!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lately it's been all about baking cookies and crocheting. Following a recipe, measuring out the ingredients and then sharing the end results is very soothing. Same with the crochet; pattern following, repetitive action, progress , and eventually gifting are all good for this wearily soul of mine.
    Finding a balance of listening and honoring my (intensely active) inner life and taking time to care for others is at the center of my self care. If I go too deep inside myself for too long, hopelessness heavily sets in. By acts of service, compassion, and expressions of appreciation for those around me, I can start to believe there is a chance everything could be okay.
    Thanks, as always, for sharing sister friend.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey, would you mind using a darker font color? Zooming in on mobile makes it nearly impossible to read.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Depression is an inactive emotion but anger is active. So if you have the ability, channel your anger into taking some kind of action.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are moderated because mama ain't no fool.