Here We Go Again

I feel it creeping in again.

The feelings of anxiety, of sadness bordering on depression, of not being in control.

I haven’t felt hungry in days, which makes it really difficult to want to eat.

I am lonely, and it’s day 1 of summer break.

How did I get here…again? How did I not see this coming?

About 2 months ago, D came home with some pretty big news. He was on a project that would eventually send us on a move sometime in 2018, but his boss offered him a new gig – we move in August-September time frame.

I was a very integral part of this decision, and I do feel like it is probably the right choice to go ahead and go through with the move. However, it’s frustrating that the second a place starts feeling like “home,” we up and move again. It’s comforting to know that we will return to this location, eventually, but I also know that life continues to happen and things will change while we are gone.

We also don’t know where we are going yet. We have three possible locations, one more likely than the others, and all three on different continents. Want to know what makes an already stressful situation more stressful…not knowing what continent you will live on in 3 months.

As anxious, stressed, and nervous as I am about the entire situation, I also feel incredibly selfish for feeling this way. I know I should be excited. I know should be looking forward to this new chapter of this amazing life that D, S, and I get to experience. But in reality, I just want to curl up on the couch and pretend it’s not happening…again.

I am scared of living in another country where I probably won’t work, probably won’t have friends, and probably will sit home alone all day. I am scared of living another year relying on weekend trips and visitors to make me happy. I am scared of another opportunity to significantly regress in my recovery. I am scared of losing friends (shoutout to C and A and B and everyone else who continues to put up with these concerns even when they are unwarranted). I am scared of being homesick, depression, and putting D through the hell he experienced last move.

Friday was my last day of school. I had a very difficult year – I truly don’t believe teaching is for me. But even so, I miss my kids, I miss my coworkers, and I miss having a purpose. I don’t know what I want to do in life right now, which makes me even more anxious.

Finally, this weekend was incredible. D and I met C, P, A, and J in NYC for a fun Memorial Day weekend. I miss all of them so much, so any time we get together makes me so happy. I also got the chance to meet up with B (which was absolutely fantastic, exactly what I hoped it would be, and I can’t wait to meet again). But, after spending such quality time with my closest friends, I am definitely having some post-trip blues.

All of this has snowballed into a big ball of anxiousness, sadness, and loneliness. I know I need to be productive and go to the store. I know I need to eat. I know I need to do the next right thing. But, I don’t want to. And this is how I know I’m falling back into that hole. I can feel the downward spiral and I haven’t reached the point of wanting to catch myself and climb out.

I also don’t want to open up about it. I mentioned it slightly to C, A, and B over the weekend. I even acknowledged that he was right when D called me on some old anxious habits (twisting my hair over and over again). But, I’m not ready to admit that I am struggling…again. I’m not ready to admit that after almost a year of relatively okay recovery with only slight bumps here and there, that I feel shaky and weak in my recovery right now. I’m not ready to reach out for support and disappoint everyone who has helped me reach this point. I’m not ready to feel ashamed.

So for now, I will sit and listen to “She Used To Be Mine” on repeat. Thank you Sara Bareilles.

“She’s imperfect, but she tries

She is good, but she lies

She is hard on herself

She is broken and won’t ask for help

She is messy, but she’s kind

She is lonely most of the time

She is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie

She is gone, but she used to be mine.”

Thought Stopping

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately.

Call it writer’s block. Call it boredom setting in. Whatever it may be, I’ve found creating a new blog post (on either of my blogs) very difficult.

It shouldn’t be difficult – I have plenty to write about! New workouts, coping skills, fun trips D and I are planning or have already taken. I’ve even got one blog post half written with no idea how to finish it!

So, I decided to break down the wall and just write something. Anything.

Thought stopping.

Thought stopping is a coping skill my therapist in college taught me. It is difficult in that it requires you to be present in your day to day thoughts.

This coping skill was extremely hard for me in the beginning. But, I found myself using it as recently as this morning. So, it can be very useful once you get the hang of it!

Basically, when you have a negative thought about yourself such as, “I feel fat,” you stop. Do not move on to the next thought. Seize that negative thought and redirect it to be positive.

You change, “I feel fat” to “Fat is not a feeling. I feel (anxious, scared, annoyed, etc) and that is leading me to have negative thoughts about myself.

You change, “If I eat _____ I will get fat” to “It is not logical that _____ will make me fat. I need a healthy, balanced diet in order to survive and recover. Eating _____ will help me reach that goal.”

You change, “My friends haven’t talked to me today, so they must not care about me” to “My friends have lives and jobs and they are busy. When they get a chance, they will reach out to me.”

See, I told you it’s hard. But, it is possible!

Each time you thought stop, you are using logic to counteract the irrational thoughts that pop into your mind. These are usually thoughts that you don’t actively think about – they usually passively come into your brain. Once they do, they leave you stuck, one thought leads to another and you are on a downward spiral. By seizing that first negative thought, you are redirecting that spiral, making those next few thoughts more positive and logically sound.

Thought stopping has played a huge role in my recovery. It has helped me challenge both ED thoughts and OCD thoughts. It has helped me break free of those thoughts that send me to my downward spiral. But, it takes lots of time, practice, and patience.

So, here is my challenge: Be present in your thoughts today. Try to redirect just one negative, irrational thought into something more positive and logical. See how you feel. Be patient with yourself and practice everyday! If you have any thoughts, questions, or comments, feel free to ask! 🙂

“The ability to be present in the moment is a major component of mental wellness.” – Abraham Maslow