Feeling bad. Feeling broken.

I have had a fever and a terrible cough for 6 days.  I have eaten very little in that time because there is no appetite and there is nausea with eating.  Alan got hit with it a couple of days ago, too, so now we’re both in bed and relying on grandma and grandpa for help with the girls.  I am so, very grateful to have them in town.

Along with hitting rock-bottom with my health this week, I’ve hit rock-bottom emotionally.  I am not enjoying my life right now.  Something has to change.  Since starting this school year and my internship, the way I feel about life has been on a gradual decline.  Now I am at a point where I am no longer excited about school, do not like my internship, and honestly, am freaked out about the career I am signing up for.

I need a hiatus from it all.  I want to quit my internship, take some time away from school, and rekindle my spirit.  I want to be here to see my kids off to school in the morning, see them when they get home, and tuck them into bed every night.

Since I am in a depressed state, I have a “fuck it” mentality.  I can see that I may come out of this, and I can also see that going forward without changing anything is not going to make anything better.  I don’t want to give the next year of my life to an internship that totally stresses me out.

Also, I strongly dislike my LADC track at school.  I dislike the classes and the whole vibe of the field.  Even though my classes are at Adler, they have nothing to do with Adlerian psychology. It is very rigid and rule-based.  I don’t roll like that.  I need room for creativity in my work, and I do not want the pressure that comes along with working with the government for funding.  I despise that kind of work.  An LADC job an office job with deadlines and more work than one person can handle.  Basically that is a nightmare in my book.

So, if I want to do this mental health thing at all, I am thinking just getting the MA in the MFT and see if I even want to get licensed.  Maybe I don’t want to get licensed.  Maybe I just want a cash-based practice.  I don’t know if I want to deal with all the insurance bullshit. I want to make my own hours.  I want to keep my family first.

“Never Enough.”

Well, it has been a while since I posted. So what better time than Mercury retrograde to post about the misery I am going through at the moment?

I am on the verge of bronchitis, which I have been sort of expecting at one point or another.  Fall is Vata season, in which it is very easy for a Vata person like me to go into excess and get a respiratory infection–and especially when I am doing too much and having too much change along with it.  And that is precisely where I am at.

My internship is the hardest thing I have done since having my second baby.  I am weak and vulnerable and feel like I am on the verge of drowning.  I really want to give up, and I am looking at that “off” switch, knowing that at any moment I am free to flip it–I am free to quit this at any time.  My mental health is suffering, and I am operating at a low-grade depression at the moment.  I am not enjoying any aspect of my life right now.  It is hard for me to access that warmth and gratitude that was just at my fingertips not so long ago, and it’s hard for me even to enjoy the time I have with my children.

There is so little time now.  Little time for quiet, little time to think and dream, for my marriage, for my kids, and last but not least, for my own spirit.  What IS getting lots of time is my internship and my classes, and also chairs and my car.  All the sitting and driving and learning so many new things and sucking at all of them.  It is so hard.  So fucking hard.

So, things are not good in any department right now.  I feel like I am never enough.  And there it is again–that mistaken belief that I have to work through once again, while learning all kinds of new information that makes me feel like my head is going to explode.  And my husband is finishing his thesis, and he can’t give me the time that I need away from the house and the kids.  And this weekend I have some major things I have to prepare for next week: a midterm exam, a 1 1/2-hour lecture, and a presentation for Anna’s class (which was totally voluntary and actually gives me some joy, unlike the other two items on my list).  The good thing about all of this is that I believe that I am capable, and once I get through this week, I think I will feel pretty good about that.

I want to quit, but I won’t.  Somehow I will have to figure this out.  Maybe I can shift things around, including my attitude.  Maybe if I weren’t so concerned with being perfect or doing so much all at once it would be easier. Maybe if I wasn’t so jaded, like my husband says I am.  Which probably is true.

I don’t know if this would have been any easier had I waited a few years.  I just think it would have been hard no matter what.  I am not the toughest nail in the shed.  But I am determined, and maybe that counts for something.

New chapter

I am starting another new beginning.  As usual, it is exciting and anxiety-provoking.  New beginnings bring up old doubts and fears–mostly of not being good enough and of inevitably failing at the new task at hand.

I am no longer a caregiver for the elderly woman I’ve been with for over 3 years.  Next week, I will begin my new job as a mental health intern.  I will be there for one year, and then move on to intern at another site.

In the meantime, I will be continuing my coursework, taking care of my family, cleaning my house, planning, shopping and making meals, and hopefully having some fun with my husband and kids–and hopefully be able to take care of myself in the process.  It’s all about balance, I suppose.  I am not sure if I have that figured out yet.

I’m also waiting to attend my first birth as a doula–another area that brings up the what-ifs of being good enough and of being a failure.

I’ve been recording my dreams the last two mornings, and am learning from them based on the Adlerian framework in which I am being trained in my studies.  

A year has passed since I took my special trip to Denmark with my dad–it is and will always be one of my most cherished memories.  I have yet to go through the photos and get them on my hard drive.  Somehow those technical projects always end up on the back burner.  I guess I am not a techie kind of person by nature.

I’ve been thinking a lot about social interest–another part of the groundwork of Adlerian psychology.  This has had my trying to speak less and listen more, and to think about how blogs and Facebook can push us into self-absorption rather than social interest, ironically.  This has me moving in a direction that is different from where I’ve been moving in the past, and I like it.  I am building my own sense of social interest and decreasing my need to feel unique and noticed.

Alan spent his whole summer break putting new siding on our house.  It looks so cute.  We’ve both fallen in love with our “new” house and are so glad it happened.  The summer went by so quickly because of it, though, and we’re all a little sad it’s almost over.

I shredded my two credit cards and am going to attempt to get back to a cash-only system.  Financial management is so important and anyone can do it–right? It’s one of my greatest struggles, though; I’ve always been a spender.  I want to be a saver now, and a debt-payer-off-er! I also want to be smart and frugal with meal planning.  It’s so hard.  I love variety and convenience, and those are not cheap.

Being back on Facebook has been good and sometimes wasteful.  I feel better about it than I used to and don’t get as affected by negativity on there anymore, but I tend to comment too much and “like” too much.  Again, I would like to work on listening more and speaking less.  I have such a need to be heard.  Why is that?

 

Weird to look back.

Four and five years ago, I was writing on this blog. It is so weird to read my posts from back then. They were pretty frequent and carefully written, and had nice photographs along with them. I had a lot of time and energy for this. It feels like a different life, and like they were written by a different person.

Back then, Mia was as old as Anna is now. I was a different mother with her then compared to how I am with Anna now. I don’t know what I think about that. I was extremely devoted and connected with Mia, and my life revolved around giving her the kind of experience I felt she deserved, which, in hindsight, I still think was pretty awesome. In the meantime, I think I denied myself the experience I deserved, and neglected myself quite badly. That was not so awesome.

With Anna, I now have lower expectations of myself. I have made countless mistakes with her, and I am trusting that things will work out. I am more forgiving of myself than I was back then. It is easier. It is better now. The girls play with each other and don’t need me so much, and I have room for myself. More room than I had back then.

Over the years, my idealism has faded. That is a good thing. It’s still there, but much more realistic and forgiving. We’re each on our own path, and there is no one-side-fits-all. I see that now. It’s okay that we are all different. It is good. I am not as defensive and protective of myself and my beliefs as I was back then. People will agree sometimes, people will disagree sometimes. I am more comfortable with that now.

What I did not realize back then is how hard it is to let go of those old patterns and beliefs that I thought I could just “think” away. The gut reactions, the handling of stress, and the self-defense mechanisms I had back then have not changed all that much. Those deep, unmet needs from childhood that are still hanging on. I would like them to change. I would like them to be healthier and more functional. Those things cause stress to my family. What is the purpose of that? I am trying to figure that out. (This is how we are trained to think as Adlerians! All behavior has purpose!) Perhaps the purpose of overreacting to stress is to have significance, to get attention, to matter. How can I get that in a positive way? Maybe just by being nice all the time. That is hard for a Gemini to do.

This was probably the dumbest post I have written in a long time.

Good.

Since my last post, there has been action and closure.  My action was not easy, but it was necessary.  I am in a good place now, and ready to move forward and leave the past in the past.  

The pieces are coming together for the journey I’ll be on in the coming year.  I will attend my first birth in August and also begin an exciting internship for my mental health training in August.  I am so excited for both, and for the new beginning that these two signify.  I feel like I’ve been on one train for a long time and am now arriving at the station, ready to step onto a new train, heading in a new direction.

My internship means that my children will need some before and after school care, because Alan and I are not always able to drive and/or pick up on time every day.  This will be a new and different experience for all of us, and hopefully a smooth and positive one.  It’s a little hard sometimes with the notion that I’ll no longer be a stay-at-home mom like I’ve been for so long.  It will be different.

Alan will be at the girls’ school 3 days a week–the same days I will be at my internship.  He did not get the school administration jobs he applied for, and this is a relief for all of us, actually! It means a minimal change in our lifestyle and routine, and also that he will have Mia in his 5th grade band next year.  We are all really happy about that.  Having all three of my most special people at the same school is a comfort, and I know that the girls are in a good place when I am away from them.

I am back on Facebook.  With new boundaries and enough personal work under my belt, I feel ready to handle it in a healthy way.  I choose who and what I let into my world, and it’s that simple.  It is so nice to be in touch with people who matter to me, those who are far and away, and those who inspire and support me and make me laugh!

Alan and I are in love with Portlandia.  I highly recommend it for anyone needing a good laugh.

Have a good week, friends!

xo

 

Life is change.

Mia’s last day of fourth grade is today, and I can hardly believe how much she has grown up this year.  She is a confident, kind, and sweet girl, and I feel so lucky to be her mom.  It has been special and fun to watch her become increasingly social and interested in her friends, and the best part is that her friends are as sweet and wonderful as she is.  Sometimes I get worried that she will lose interest in me and our family unit the way kids sometimes do at this age.  I am hoping that we can create something different and both family and friends can coexist in her world.

I have been applying and interviewing for internships starting in the fall.  I was accepted for my top two choices, and aside feeling flabbergasted and surprised, I am extremely honored and happy about it.  It will be a fantastic learning experience and prepare me for the work that I want to do after I am a licensed therapist.  I will begin at Park Avenue Center this fall and intern there through the school year.  After that, I will intern for the Hazelden adolescent program.  

Interning and going to school will have me occupied as much or more as a full-time job, and it will be a major life adjustment for all of us.  I have been a full-time caregiver of my children for ten years.  Now they will both be out in the world without me for much of the week, and I will be out doing my own thing.  Somehow we will have to balance school drop-offs, errands, housework, and meal preparation.  How do people do that? I am so used to “doing it all” and I think the biggest change will be for me to let a lot of things go.

I am looking forward to summer, and my hope is that it is a good balance between fun and relaxation and productivity.  We have a lot of house projects that we must complete this year, a pool pass and Childrens Museum pass to use, camping to do, and a family cabin to visit.  

Well, that was my self-centered post of the day.  We’re in Gemini right now, and this Gemini always has a lot to say during this time of year.

I am a doula!

Today at 4 pm, I officially became a doula!

There is still work to do until I will be DONA-certified, including to attend 3 births.  At this time, I have no births lined up. So, I am putting it out there that my doula services are available at a low/negotiable cost, including birth photography.

My plan is to become certified in placenta encapsulation at the end of May, as well, and offer this service to those who are interested.

This will be a one-step-at-a-time adventure.  I don’t know where it will take me or what it will bring. It is exciting.

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