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How Has Everyone Been?- Week 11

Welcome back everyone. If you are someone who's returning, thank you for your patience during my hiatus, and thank you for coming back. If you're new here, welcome. Thank you for taking the time to check this all out. What's this all about you may ask? Last year, I was starting therapy because life is...life. It was suggested that I try and journal to write down frustrations, stressors, good things, hard things, etc. So, I decided to do that in the form of a blog. I'm not sure how many people will read it, but I thought it may be beneficial for others to read and see that these stressors can be normal and that so many people can go through these things. I also write up some ghost stories that are from myself or others. That's just for fun. I do have a shop set up as well for self love items. So, this blog is a little bit of everything. I'm not a professional therapist of any kind. I just write the real, hard, scary and uncut feelings and hard ships that I go through, and others. I hope people will read this and gain a feeling of not being alone. Sometimes it's nice to hear that we're not the only ones going through rough times. There are so many things that people don't open up about. Maybe, this could help. This may at the very least, offer some entertainment for a bit. So I encourage you to come back each week, read along, interact with the posts, send messages, and just open your mind and have a good time.

So, I looked back and found that I haven't been here since Valentine's Day of 2020! We have a lot to catch up on. Since I've been here last, the biggest change has been a career change. I was a medical coder at a place I've been at for 10 years, then our department was bought out by another company, and then I decided to leave. At the same time, I had decided to go back to school for nursing. I did attend some classes, and then I became an office manager at a non-profit mental health clinic. I love my job. It's an amazing place to work. We do so much good in the community. I've also started some new friendships/relationships in life, our kids went back to school in person, and Don and I got matching tattoos! It's been a ride. What has been new for everyone else? What new happiness do you have? What new stressors do you have? It seems like there has been a mix of things that are going in a positive direction, and things that have turned to shit and hit the fan. It seems like people are feeling like they can head out into stores again, hang out with friends and family more, kids are back to school in person. This has been the case at my house. After the long long summer, we had gotten word that our kids were going back in person. That brought this big mix of emotions. On one hand, we were feeling like we were ready to take that leap and go back. Being quarantined together had some fun moments, but also some really challenging moments. We're a close family that gets along well, but we were honestly getting on each others nerves a bit. Nobody felt like they could get out. Nobody felt like they had any sense of alone time. I worked from home, helped teach my kids their schoolwork, cleaned the house...looked at the same walls constantly. So, yes, there was relief. On the other hand, there was a lot of fear. Covid hadn't gone anywhere. Were we sending our children out to get sick? Were we throwing them to the wolves? Were we making the right decisions? We struggled, but ultimately decided to have them go back to school. It coincided with my new job as well. So I left the house at the same time. I started work and it was great. It also kicked my ass. Still does. Nobody tells you that after you work from home for so long, going back out into the general population, and an office full of people, is exhausting. All of a sudden you have to wear business casual clothing, pack your lunch, talk to people throughout your entire day. You're now driving a commute again, pouring your coffee into a thermos, eating your breakfast in the car. It's a different ball game. For the first 6 weeks or so, I'd come home absolutely mentally and physically exhausted. I ran around this new office all day. I interacted with people at every turn. At this point it's getting better. As an office manager, you wear 50 hats! You don't just have one task, you have several. So it's been a bit of a shock to the system. How many of us have switched jobs/careers during this? What kind of mixed feelings have been experienced? Do you think it's what was right for you?

Through this positive change in my life, came some things that reared up their head. Some, not so pretty things. It had seemed like good things were happening, my career had changed to something that made me feel like I was doing important work. Like I was making a difference. I met some new people as well. I've made some good friends and had these beautiful relationships. As you know from before, I'm someone who suffers from anxiety, and most likely depression (since they mostly go hand in hand). As these new changes came, my anxiety kept coming up again and again, reminding me it's still there. I'm a runner. I'll admit that it had started as a weight loss activity, but it became more about helping my mental health as time went on. Journaling, running and leaning on people, helped keep my anxiety at bay. I suddenly hit this point, where it wasn't enough anymore. My anxiety was eating me. Day after day. In all aspects, I should have been happy. And I was. I was in a good place. I had good people who surrounded me. But my mind fought me excessively. So what did I do? I reached out to my doctor. I bared my dirty secrets. I let my soul speak. I finally admitted, I needed more help. What triggered this? I haven't had to take anti-anxiety medication for years. I had stopped for a number of reasons, the main one being that I had horrible side effects. I stopped feeling. Anything. Anxiety, yes. But I also stopped feeling happiness, affection, love, desire. At least fear was still there. Enough fear to realize something was wrong. Luckily my husband noticed it as well. So over the years, I've battled it on my own. I started running, journaling, talking. I stopped fighting it. Pretending it wasn't there. So, with the new job, with some new relationships and some issues there, and with a new trauma, I just couldn't bare it alone anymore. So, since the end of September, I've been on medication again. And you know what? That's not something to be embarrassed about. I was. I never saw anything negative about people taking medication. Not ever. But for some reason, I didn't want to take it. I think a part of it was my previous experience, and part of it was that I didn't want to admit that I couldn't do it on my own anymore. So, I took the leap. I also purchased some workbooks for worrying and anxiety. And you know what? It's helping. Do I still have a lot going on? Yes. Are there still hard times and days? Most definitely. But the important thing, is that I'm not giving up. I'm continuously trying to get better. To be ok. I realized, waiting for it to change isn't working. There's work that I need to put into it. And I'm doing that work. Does anyone else just feel like things are so off right now? Like the world is in chaos? Like we're standing up against this enormous beast that towers over us? Does anyone else ever question how we'll move forward?

Fluctuation. That's a constant in life. We can always count on things moving, changing. It's inevitable. What are some of those things in your life right now? How are you handling them? What realizations have you made about yourself during these times? How are you handling the world being the place it is right now? Right now, it's important to find your happiness. Find your peace. One of the things that I've been learning and realizing, is that we can be in such a hard place. We can feel like our entire world is being turned upside down. Things can hit us so hard. But the world moves on. People move forward with their lives. Their realities. I've been leaning on people so hard lately. And they're doing their best to help. But their worlds are moving. Their lives are needing their attention as well. I've had to stop and take a hard look at myself lately. What's important to me? How can I find my own happiness? What are things I can do for myself? These aren't selfish thoughts. It's ok to put ourselves as priorities as well. Balance. Life is a balance. I'm in my thirties, and I haven't figured out that balance yet. I try. All of the time. I make lists, schedules, plans, all of it. I'm always striving to find that balance. All of these things that I do for myself as well as for others, is me trying to attain that balance. It's an endless battle. It shifts and changes with time. Are you able to find that balance? What can you do? Well, I have some suggestions. The first thing that I've found that can help, is some kind of routine. Work, life, self-love, love and time with others. Find a nice routine that works for you. I highly suggest making sure you're putting enough activities that you like to do. Activities that make you feel well. My running, for instance, is something I stick to as much as I can. Crocheting is another thing. I also make time to journal or work in my anxiety books. These are things I make sure I do to help myself. Other suggestions, are surrounding yourself with those that you can trust. People can be great resources to talk to you, as well as bring us joy, happiness, challenges, connections, love, and understanding. Make sure these people are right for you. Good for you. Know that you can decide not to tolerate relationships that don't work well for you. That don't feed your soul. I always also suggest exercise. It's important, in my opinion, to be healthy, but also to have that outlet. Exercise can give you a beautiful look of self confidence, endorphins, stress relief, etc. Do things to rediscover yourself. Find out what things speak to you. Are you doing things that truly make you happy?

Thank you so much for hanging in with me for this long. It's really great to be back. I hope people find this useful or at least entertaining. If it's not your cup of tea, I totally get that. Thanks for giving it a try. If you find it useful or you like it, I encourage you to keep coming back. We'll get through all of this together. Please reach out and comment or email with stories, or even things you'd like to talk about. Thanks everyone. Have a really great week.

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