State of Kate: Coming out of the Deep End

As I intimated in last week’s State of Kate, I was was struggling. This week was more of the same. However, instead of floundering and trying (unsuccessfully) to pull myself up by my bootstraps, I said screw it.

I let myself have a bad week.

And bad is, of course, relative. Nothing terrible happened. No one died, no one got sick, in the grand scheme of things, nothing much happened. And for that, I am grateful.

We managed a very short wander in a nature reserve last weekend. It helped.

My struggle was internal. My anxiety got the better of me this week, and as a result I had a difficult time sleeping and regulating my moods and reactions to. . .well, pretty much everything.

I know my anxiety is not nearly as bad as many other’s; I don’t take medication for it, I’m not seeing a therapist, and for the most part I’m able to function in my daily life. Knowing that there are others who struggle worse than I makes it doubly difficult to allow myself to feel bad. After all, who am I to complain? I should just suck it up and deal. Which. . .is not helpful.

Just because my anxiety is “less than,” doesn’t make it any less important to address. After all, I’m the one living in this meat sack; if there’s a problem I need to deal with it.

So, I did some helpful (kept going to Kempo) and not-so-helpful (tater tots) things to keep me afloat. We have a bottle of CBD pills we keep in the fridge, mostly for evenings when we’re having trouble turning off our brains before bed. I took them during the day. I stopped berating myself for not exercising as much as I “should.” I gave myself permission to have some damned bread.

By Wednesday, the anxiety had eased up enough so I felt like I was coming through to the other side. That day I had an incredible acupuncture/massage/cupping appointment with a colleague, and that helped immensely. The acupuncture, followed by a rousing Kempo practice later that evening, meant I slept well—without assistance—for the first time in over a week.

Yesterday I felt pretty raw, and today is the first day I can say I feel almost back to normal. I’ve got a massage appointment this afternoon, and I am really looking forward to it. I’m also hoping to get to the local hippy-woo store and restock my incense supply. I’ve also started eating healthier foods again (aka vegetables).

If you had asked me even five years ago if I suffered from anxiety, I’d have said “no.” I didn’t equate my occasional self-sequestering, binge-eating, and tirades about the blinds at work being up or down as “anxiety.” I should have. As with so many things, I denied I had a problem and I squashed it down. I dissociated, I closed off, I hid in favorite old books, movies; I hid away in my own mind.

I shut down.

I can’t do that anymore. You see, I’ve got a husband now. An awesome one who saw what I was going through and did his best to take care of me. When I used him as an excuse to vent whatever I needed venting, he was there (and I apologized. Eventually). He made dinner. And I mean made. Sunday night dinners are now his responsibility. He gave me hugs, and love, and most importantly, understanding.

Because of him, I understood what was happening. Quite possibly for the first time in my life, I gave myself permission to admit that I was going through something, and I needed some time and space.

Everything turned out okay.

I’m still married. He still loves me. I haven’t ruined friendships or work relationships. No one hates me. The world carried on and my inability to deal with it for a little while didn’t even put a dent in things. Well, I’m a little behind on my homework, but that’s about it.

So. . .that’s the State of Kate for this week. A little raw still, but on the upward hike back into the land of the moderately successful and haphazardly ambitious.

This guy has also been a tremendous comfort. He’s been sticking close, and I appreciate his love and craziness.

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