So this past week hasn’t been great. Last week wasn’t great either. Last week I was on a crazy ride of depressed lows and manic highs and my brain was NOT cooperating with me. Last Thursday I tried to blog and very quickly realized manic states are not best used for writing what one would consider “quality” material. Or even well written. Or anything that has an attention span. So I gave up on that pretty quickly and just gave myself the space I needed to get on even footing again. I didn’t view it as a personal failure or beat myself up about it. I knew I would be better later and later is when I would write those posts buzzing around my brain. Instead I used that time to make lists, journal, plan, write down ideas. This was a great idea. Manic states are idea factory states! They are also states in which my baseboards get cleaned and I start projects i’ll never finish but that’s another story.
Last week I practiced that idea of Grace with myself a lot. It was wonderful. However I could only give myself that space because i’ve been doing such a great job at staying on top of my life when i’m not thrown off balance. I’ve been reasonably productive, i’ve been paying attention to my needs, i’ve been reflective, i’ve been good. Being reflective is what helped me even realize I was low in the first place. Lows are sneaky like that, one day you’re just washing the dishes thinking about how you haven’t read in a week and the only thing you look forward to is The Bachelor and then you go “holy crap! I’m in a low! That explains so much!” and then I didn’t even get a chance to hit really real bottom! I put my self care plans into action, I gave myself breathing room and understanding. I didn’t beat myself up for not being enthusiastic about things, I didn’t force myself to do things because “they’ll make me feel better”. I just kept in mind what needed to be done bare minimum and then tried to push myself to do things that I knew would help future me out.
It worked! Manic states balanced out all the stuff I put to the side. I knew enough by now to communicate my needs with my partner and give him a heads up. Last week actually wasn’t terrible. Above all else I learned that i’m doing a great job of taking care of me right now and that what i’m doing currently is totally working. Huge win!
This week however is a totally different story. I was looking forward to a chemically balanced week full of productivity and enjoying things.
Then on Tuesday I took my cat Icarus to the vet for what I thought was going to be a kidney infection, and left the vet without him. Turns out what I thought was his signature moodiness and drama mixed with a possible UTI or Kidney Infection was actually late stage lymphoma and I had to make the horrible awful decision to let him go.
I didn’t get to leave the vet with my best friend. It was traumatic. I’m still crying a lot. I’m talking through it though. When I feel like sharing I do. When I feel overwhelmed I give myself that moment to breathe. But I can’t get over the sense of powerlessness it’s made me feel, and I can’t get over how unexpected it was. Overall it’s just a really shitty experience that i’m still dealing with.
I did learn something from that though: Take time off when you need it. I missed two days of work this week and it was completely worth it. I felt bad for a second about not being there for my students but in reality this was better for them, I owe them my full presence and they wouldn’t have gotten that if I had been at school.
Second: People will be there when you need them and you should definitely reach out and talk through things. This is my first real experience with processing grief and oh boy is that a difficult series of emotions. I’m glad that one of my focuses on myself and with my relationships has been reaching out because I think I would be in a much worse place if I didn’t already have these communication skills. I can only imagine how things would be different if this had happened before.
So I guess the main lessons: I’ve been doing a great job of setting myself up for success even when i’m down. I’m getting a lot better at extending grace towards myself. All of this INCREDIBLY hard work on my communication skills has definitely been paying off for when I need it most. Grief is horrible and terrible and the worst, losing a best friend is even more terrible than that.
So i’m trying really hard right now to practice reflection and documentation. I’m using this as a part of my communication process. I’m using this blog to process the crazy whirlwind of emotion that has been my last two weeks.
I have a three day weekend this weekend, and despite having taken two days off during the week this week, i’m incredibly thankful for that and could definitely use it.
So here is to a restful weekend full of love and family. Hope your weeks have been better and hope that y’all also have a great weekend!