Archives for posts with tag: take a deep breath

I’m relaxed and smiling this morning. I’m happy yesterday is behind me. Though I had gone into it expecting the day to be in some small way “celebratory”, the day had something very different in mind for me. I spent much of my morning in a state of frustration (because, reasons) and grief (over my Mother’s death last summer), bouncing between tears, and a roller-coaster of (mostly) negative emotions of various sorts. It was hard on me, and hard on my Traveling Partner, who was, let’s be honest, having his own experience, too.

…Turns out grieving colors our experience, and socks that are too tight can wreck a potentially delightful day. Who knew? (Well, probably most of us, but nonetheless, we can all be taken by surprise over such things, and that is what is so unexpected.)

Once my partner and I recognized that I was struggling with grieving (and feeling fairly foolish about it, some 9+ months after my Mom died), dealing with my bullshit was easier. Dealing with his? I shrug it off, now, as “humans gonna be human”, but yesterday was hard for both of us, for a variety of reasons. At some point after I went to bed last night, he realized that his physical discomfort (see “socks that are too tight”, above) was wrecking his mood. This morning he was merry and comfortable, his usual loving self. I was over whatever (grief) was biting my ass, yesterday, too. Very different experience of each other. 🙂

Building a life characterized by contentment and sufficiency does not, ever, guarantee a smooth easy ride to the end of a happy life. lol There are verbs involved. Results may vary. We’re each having our own experience. Bullshit and drama are a very human experience. So. Sipping my morning coffee this morning, feeling infused with perspective, and decently well-rested (although short on sleep). Will it be a good day? No idea – but it is a new one. I get to begin again. 🙂

I woke this morning in a good place. I would say, if asked, that I ‘feel pretty good’. Everything this morning has gone smoothly, right down to the basically perfect latte I am sipping now.  Why do I also feel a growing edgy discontent?

Big jobs need big tools.

Big jobs need big tools.

I remember that I have new tools, new skills, new ways of viewing old things… and I take a moment to do a quick self-inventory. (“Hey there, Self, just checking in – how are things?”) A couple deep relaxing breaths, and some calm consideration of self, and i find that although I do feel good, and it has been a nice morning so far, I also have a headache – and I so often have headaches that I fail myself on self-care because I don’t acknowledge the pain, discomfort, and reduction in emotional resilience that go with a headache. Generally I ‘don’t notice’ – and what that really means is that I reduce my level of mindfulness until I am no longer aware of the headache – and open myself to a long list of risks and consequences of moving through my day mindlessly. So, this morning, I am allowing myself the freedom to both be in a good place, and be there with this damned headache. 🙂

I have a few things on my mind that I do want to talk about, write about, think about… I am finding it hard to find ‘cognitive space’ for that, and the intervals in my day still available to write, or think, seem to be dwindling away.  (I write those words and suddenly feel so tired…)  There is new stress in my experience – at work – and my routine is being upset.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal, I’m sure, although ‘routine’ is something I use to get around some of the lingering cognitive consequences of my TBI.  I keep expecting that to matter to someone besides me. lol.

Last night was an exceptional evening; hanging out with an old friend, dinner as a family, a leisurely evening hanging out and talking.  I feel like I’m forgetting something… maybe we watched a movie? If we did, right now I don’t remember what it was.  It was the delightful time together that was important.

Today is my new therapy day.  My schedule is changing and I feel uprooted and confused.  It sucks.  I’ll be changing to a new time, too.  I really like stability, and this is not that.  I already feel the effects of these small changes – for one thing, my therapy day is now also a work day. Instead of being entirely focused on my needs, my recovery, my wellness, and therapy-related thinking and self-work, I will be spending it thinking about someone else’s needs, someone else’s work – then racing across town during peak traffic to drop exhausted into my therapist’s office and try to switch gears efficiently and ‘take care of me’ for an hour, then hurry home and try to get enough head space to decompress from what are usually pretty emotionally complicated visits with my therapist, so that I can sleep.  I am aggravated and feel like I am being undermined at a time when I am finally making real progress.  There have been very few experiences in my life that have made me angrier – a bitter seething anger that lacks expression, poisoning me slowly; it feels very connected to ancient anger about powerlessness.  More of life’s challenging curriculum.

Changing seasons and roadside wildflowers as a metaphor.

Changing seasons and roadside wildflowers as a metaphor.

It seems noteworthy that this few moments and words reflecting on my feeling of ‘growing discontent’ and edginess (and realizing that it was my stress about my schedule changing and the knowns and unknowns about that change driving the shift in my mood as I got closer to heading to the office for the morning), positioned me well to observe the feelings, identify the concerns, accept the potential that my experience in therapy may be affected by my change in schedule.  I feel less like I’m driving past a ‘caution’ sign and more like I saw one and slowed down. 😀  I get a real jolt of delight when my new tools work well in a way that actually improves my experience.  My headache even seems to be slowly easing – although that could be the quad latte, and the lovely sunrise unfolding before me.  lol

...sometimes taking a moment for simple beauty is enough.

…sometimes taking a moment for simple beauty is enough.

In spite of challenges, I am making real progress with taking steps beyond just ‘managing’ my PTSD, to real healing, as well as slowly doing what I can to rehabilitate a decades-old TBI.  I’m even satisfied with my progress, and able to appreciate the work I am doing.  This is change for the better – used to be I just couldn’t detect any progress at all, and any hint of improvement in my experience seemed quite fleeting, or even illusory.  This new ability to observe, recognize, accept, and be pleased with growth and improvement is wonderful. 😀

Sometimes it helps to talk things over with a friend... thank you for 'being there'.

Sometimes it helps to talk things over with a friend… thank you for ‘being there’.