Not gonna lie, the last month was pretty hard. I launched my new business, my daughter started back to school, and the world is.....gestures broadly at everything. If I had to pick an optimum time to turn my world upside down, this probably wouldn't have been it. But, as the old saying goes, there's never a good time to do anything, so might as well do it now. (Is that a saying? I feel like it is. If it isn't, let's make it one.)
Because of all this tumult and strain, I've been struggling to maintain my mental equilibrium. I have a long, deep history of anxiety and depression, and for the past four years or so, I've been managing it unmedicated. (Here's my obligatory aside: medication can be great. It literally saved my life when I was younger. I'm just older now and managing my stuff differently. You do you, no judgement here.)
But being unmedicated means I can't just pop a Xanax or up my dosage when things get really hard. I know that option exists, but I'm still reluctant to go there. So instead, I have to find other ways to keep my shit together. Lately, that means spending a lot of time on self-care. (Another aside. I hate the term self-care. Seriously. Can we come up with another term that isn't so twee?) My combo recently has been stretching, meditation, and seeing my trainer as regularly as I can. Some days, I do all three. Twice. I also read a book of Buddhist thought before falling asleep to get perspective and I'm trying to drink less. (Which is really hard when....gestures broadly at everything.)
Is it working? Well, I'm still here. I'm not curled up in a ball, sobbing. I haven't broken anything, even though the urge has been pretty strong some days. But when that happens, I try to take five (or five hundred) cleansing breaths and focus on what I can control. I tie metaphorical balloons to the most depressing or destructive thoughts and set them free and remind myself that I'm in better shape than lots of folks and to be grateful for what I have. I hug my kid, kiss my husband, pat my dog and close my eyes.
And then I open them and get back to work. The only way out is through.