You all know I’ve been trying my absolute hardest to complete the Mental Cleanse Challenge, and, honestly, I’ve been struggling with it.
The plague that’s blown through my house this past week prevailed yesterday. I apologize for not posting, but I spent the vast majority of the day in bed. In the afternoon, I was feeling a bit better, so I grabbed some fresh air and spent time with my mother and her husband outside boiling down sap.
I know, can I GET more Vermont-y?
The idea was to get outside, enjoy the sun, and then come in, energized from the Vitamin D, and write my post. But, it turned out, I was less energized and more completely exhausted. So, while the sinus pressure simultaneously wiped me out and prevented me from getting any restful sleep, it also made the idea of sitting in front of a computer and typing out a coherent post for you wonderful readers rather impossible. I hope you forgive me!
My goal for yesterday was to get up earlier than Katie, read, and share a poem. This, obviously, did not happen. Though, sitting outside for the few hours I felt awake enough, breathing in Spring, smelling the wood burn and the sap boil and slowly turn to maple syrup, and enjoying some conversation with my family was likely more effective self-care than reading a poem. So, I’m chalking that up to a win.
Today, learning a new song on the guitar was the goal. That did not happen, either. One of my main goals with this blog is to be honest about my experiences in hopes of destigmatizing issues around mental health, and, hopefully, helping others to feel a little less alone. So, I want to share openly and honestly that today was rough. Not being able to sleep last night put me at a bit of a disadvantage in being able to do important things like grounding when feeling panicky, flash back-y, or generally on edge. All of these feelings increase in frequency when I’m sleep deprived. So, I spent most of the day trying (and failing) to sleep with the exception of a few hours’ worth of catnaps, and trying (and failing) to stay grounded and present while awake. Today was heavy on the dissociative symptoms common with PTSD. Which, while not fun, are things I have to accept sometimes. There are good days, there are ok days, there are not-so-good days, and there are bad days. Today was a bad day.
Thankfully, I was able to get a solid two hour nap in immediately before my daughter came home, which helped me stay present and focused during my time with her. I ended the day on a positive note with a lot of mama/daughter snuggles. These are always the best evenings, no matter how challenging the day. And, she’s learned to make a heart with her fingers! (A skill she was very eager to show me.)
Unfortunately, the nap has thrown my sleep tonight. Luckily, I’ve got my second appointment with my new therapist tomorrow, and hopefully that, plus a PRN sleeping aid, will help me reset and get back on track.
While, objectively, I did not meet my goals the past two days, I hope you’ll humor me in celebrating the “small victories.”
Oh, and for inquiring minds, here’s the poem I planned to share (main message: don’t beat yourselves up! Which, I might say, is rather fitting at the moment, at least for me.)
“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver