Saturday, May 9, 2009

Untangling the yarn

Soooo cranky today. I know I promised not to whine but it's harder than I thought! But I'm going to write anyway. And hopefully by the end of the post I'll have come up with something pithy and interesting to tie it all together and give you some food for thought or a chuckle or even just a smile so you won't feel like you just wasted a chunk of your precious time listening to me whine. Again.

The truth is, I'm on an emotional rollercoaster that I can't seem to get off of. One day I'm floating at the top of the world, making all kinds of realizations about myself, feeling in awe of the world, seeing possibilities in everything and just loving life in general despite its current difficulties. And the next day I'm plummeting down to the ground at 80 miles per hour, screaming in terror but feeling powerless to do anything but brace myself against the inevitable impact.

I know today's crankiness is caused by several things:

1) PMS (argggh - the one reason to look forward to menopause)
2) The fact that I stayed up until 2 in the morning working on a knitting project
3) The pharmacy ran out of long acting Adderall so until Tuesday I have to take the short acting which works ok but just isn't the same
4) I still haven't recovered from two round trips in two weeks between Portland and Chicago
5) That pesky divorce thing - talked to the ex today and although it wasn't a horrible conversation, it wasn't all that pleasant
6) Not knowing how I'm going to make a living once I'm officially unemployed at the end of Jun

Well . . . now that I look at the list I guess it's understandable that my emotions are out of whack. I just read this post over at Third Hand Works where Cairene talks about what happened recently when her brain didn't listen to her heart. Her post reminded me of what a physical therapist explained to me once: Let's say your back muscles are tight because you're carrying around a lot of stress and not doing what you need to do - get a massage, stretch, exercise, remove the stressors - your back will get tighter and more painful. Then you'll probably start sitting and walking differently because of the pain in your back. Then other muscles start getting tight and sore. Pretty soon you're a locked up mess of painful muscles and joints and you can barely get out of bed.

I guess the same thing applies to emotions. If one thing is out of whack in my life and I don't deal with it effectively, other areas of my life will start getting out of whack. And pretty soon I'm on that emotional rollercoaster feeling completely out of control.

So what to do about it?

First of all, I have to learn to meet myself where I am. I know I have a lot of decisions and a lot changes to make right now. There is no way I can do it all at once. And if I spend tons of time beating myself up (something I'm VERY good at), I won't have any time or mind space to do the life work I need to do.

I need to make a plan of some sort. I can't work through issues if I don't know what they are. Although I have a general idea of what needs to be done in various areas, I need to get some specifics. For example, I know I need to get a source of income. But I think I need to break that down into more manageable bites. There are several projects that in various stages of thinking about or working on. But I haven't written anything down about any of those projects. I don't have plan for any of them. And so I feel lost when I think about my financial future. That said, the idea of making a plan - a written plan at that - strikes terror in my ADD-addled heart. I guess that's one of those areas where I'll have to meet myself where I am. And maybe ask a friend - preferably a rather organized one - to help me make a plan.

I need to treat my body better. I haven't been eating well lately (and PMS makes it worse). I haven't been getting enough sleep (and last night's knitting binge didn't help). I haven't been exercising, although I have been doing some light yoga stretching a few mornings a week. And I desperately need a good massage but I'm afraid to spend the money (read: feeling guilty about spending money on something just for me that seems so indulgent). By the way, if anyone knows a good and reasonably-priced massage therapist in downtown Portland, I'm all ears :)

So now I've given myself three things to do -

1) Be kind to myself emotionally
2) Be kind to myself physically, and
3) Ask a friend for help writing down plans for the various things in my life I need to work on.

When I'm feeling emotionally overwhelmed my brain feels like a tangled thread of yarn. I can't see the beginning or the end and have no idea how to start to untangle things. Writing this post helped me see the beginning of the yarn.
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