What comes next for me?

Sorting out the details of my life

Late January 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — merimnao @ 11:50 am

I have my first appointment with a psychologist today.

Well, I am *supposed* to have my first appointment today. I am sitting in the waiting room as I write this.
I am waiting.
…and waiting.
…and waiting, 20 minutes past the scheduled appointment time.

I arrived early (as requested by the therapist when I scheduled the appointment) to complete paperwork. I was given the option of downloading the forms and completing them in advance, which I did, but the therapist said she would also have a copy waiting out for me when I arrived. I arrived about 20 minutes before my appointment time.
There were no papers awaiting me.
Here I sit waiting, 40+ minutes later.

I am an anxious person. Scheduling this appointment was a big step for me; it was not easy. I was a nervous mess this morning as I got ready for the day and left the house; I could physically feel my tension as I was sitting on the bus en route to my appointment.

This does not feel very nice.
This does not help.
This is not a good first step.

 

It’s a popular question… December 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — merimnao @ 6:53 pm

My husband and I are visiting out of town family and friends for the holidays. We spent Christmas with his family, and we will celebrate the new year with old friends. I am enjoying spending time with everyone, but, like most people, I only have so much emotional tolerance and energy for the long days of socializing and snacking.

By the way, …
Oh.
My.
Goodness.
…the food and treats of Christmas may have been exactly what I needed to start springing me out of this funk. Who knew?!

However, I was just not prepared for the many inquiries about our reproductive status.

From an aunt, after being told that it was time for us to go home: “Why? Is she pregnant?”

From a family friend: “So good to see you! Do you have news to share? … No? Not yet, then? Oh well.”

From another relative: “Adding to the family soon?”

Really, people?!

*Sigh*

The reality is that I would love to be able to say yes to all of them.

Hopefully soon…

 

“Your ability for accomplishment will follow with success.” December 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — merimnao @ 5:42 pm

Wouldn’t it be great if the fortunes inside those cookies were actually valid? …if I could peek into my future just by eating a sugary treat and then deciphering the cryptic message within?

If only life worked that way…

I wish I could predict some successful accomplishments right now. I can think of a few things that I would like to see happen with success, but unfortunately I can’t rely on my fortune to tell me my fate.

Life is unpredictable.
Friends unexpectedly lose their unborn babies.
People get cancer at unusually young ages.
Children inexplicably fall unconscious only to never regain brain function. Marriages fall apart despite many efforts and tears.

Quite simply, that all sucks.

I am having a hard time dealing things lately. I feel rather anxious, worrying about all of the possible catastrophes and tragedies awaiting me and my loved ones. I know this is not quite rational or healthy, but it is difficult to escape these thoughts. I don’t enjoy my job anymore, even the little parts that I previously found rewarding. I keep experiencing a sense of floating above my life, rather than participating in it. I feel awkward in social settings, like I am forcing actions or responses purely because I know they are expected. I do not like any of these thoughts and feelings.

Today I started the process to schedule an appointment with a counselor; I am hopeful that talking through these things will be helpful.

Let’s hope that my ability for accomplishment will follow with success, whatever that means…

 

From now on, our troubles will be out of sight December 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — merimnao @ 3:44 pm

I need a merry little Christmas like that.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to have my troubles out of sight and miles away?
…to let my heart be light?
…for life to be like it was in happy golden days of yore?

Alas, I am just not feeling it this year. I am finding it really difficult to get into the excitement of Christmas this year, although I am usually a “most! wonderful! time!” kind of girl when it comes to the holiday season. I keep longing for it to be January already. I am dreading participating in some of the traditions about which I have previously been positively giddy. We are not getting a Christmas tree for our house, and I am completely okay with that. I feel like I could give or take the family time. I have only watched two or three sappy, made-for-TV Christmas movies, and I am not compelled to watch more. (This, my friends, is the true sign that something is off. Those who know me best know that I adore sappy Christmas movies and will give up sleep, chocolate, and everything else I enjoy in order to watch as many as I can!) I cannot put my finger on exactly why I am feeling this way, but I am pretty much apathetic about this holiday season.

Perhaps because I cannot precisely identify the source of my indifference, I do not know how to treat it or how to get my pep back. (PEPpermint candy canes isn’t going to do the trick. That does sound like something pulled from one of the aforementioned sappy movies, however!) Maybe this is a symptom of depression that would be aided by talking to a counselor and/or consulting with my doctor about an increase of my antidepressant dose. Or maybe it is a symptom of our busy, hectic life and a signal that I need to cancel some of my scheduled activities for the sake of my mental health. Or maybe it is simply one of those things that happens every once in a while and I just need to wait it out.

Regardless of the reason, I do not like feeling this way.

I do not like feeling like I am a bad friend because I have neglected to follow up with numerous friends. (Related note for another time: I suck at staying in contact with friends even when I am in tip top shape. Not surprisingly, it is even worse when I am in an unexplained funk.)

I do not like feeling like I cannot keep track of our finances. We have an overdraft fee because I neglected to move money in time. Oops. I have communicated to my husband that I need some help keeping an eye on where things are, so at least there is a solution. I remain annoyed that it is a problem, though.

I do not like feeling like I just want to go back to sleep when I wake up or that my husband gazes deeply into my eyes most mornings lately and asks me if I am okay or if there is something wrong. I have never been a morning person, but I seem to be starting every day lately with an exceptional sense of melancholy.

I do not like feeling like I am dreading all of the upcoming family occasions. I value my family so much, and I have really enjoyed further building my relationship with my husband’s family. Usually, I am quite excited about getting together with these people. I sometimes can’t sleep before big family gatherings; I get that excited about them. At this point, I feel like I would much rather just stay home with my husband.

I do not like feeling like I have to know what is going to happen and in what order, to the point that I become privately tearful and upset when others do not go along with my planning. This has happened twice lately. Both times, I pulled myself together relatively quickly, but I continued to experience an unsettled, impatient mood for several hours. I usually like knowing what is coming next, but it is not usually this upsetting when that doesn’t happen.

I do not like feeling like I cannot remember things. …wait, what was I talking about?😉

I want to step into a better mood so I can experience the fun parts of the holidays. I want to be still on peaceful, silent nights… to celebrate with people I love.

I want my troubles to be out of sight.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself

A merry little Christmas now.

 

I understand now. November 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — merimnao @ 9:48 pm

When my husband and I became engaged, we knew we did not want to wait very long to get married. Why wait? We knew we wanted to be together, and we wanted our engagement to be short enough to minimize extra stresses and anxieties but just long enough to sort everything out and make our plans. While we were trying to find a date that would work, we worked to coordinate a time that would be appropriate for our immediate family and closest friends. My husband and I both checked with our most important people, and we were thrilled by how painless it was to find a few possible dates that were good for everyone. ..well, almost everyone.

My closest friend expressed during many conversations and in many emphatic ways that she was not pleased with my timing. I asked what dates or weekends would work for her.
Why, none, but thanks for asking.
Why were we getting married so quickly anyway?
Did we realize that life doesn’t always revolve around us?
Regardless of what we chose, it was going to be incredibly inconvenient for her.

Ouch. That was not at all the response I was expecting. I was shocked. She had previously been very excited about my relationship with my (now) husband, and she knew we were planning to get married in the near future. I did not understand why she was now abruptly hanging up on me during phone conversations, snapping at me during conversations, and telling me that I was being exceptionally selfish when I was bending over backwards trying to figure out how to accommodate her. (I actually remember one phone conversation during which I had worked myself into such an anxious state that I was hanging upside down off my bed and pounding on the floor while talking to her. That’s pretty close to literally bending over backwards!) I was hurt and puzzled. I tried to apply logic to the situation to sort out why she was acting and speaking in a way that simply did not match what I knew about her. There was a bitter resentment aimed my direction that I was unable to explain or understand.

I understand now.

This understanding hit me today, just about when a colleague asked me with a mischevious glint in her eye if my husband and I were going to be having kids soon. Reading between the lines (and noticing her eyes darting downward towards me during our conversation), I realized that she was wondering whether I was wearing many winter layers, had eaten too many treats over the weekend, or was sheltering a mini little being-in-the-making under my sweaters. Ugh. The question was uncomfortable — who likes to be told in a veiled way that they need a diet? — but I was able to easily answer it with a standard, boring response. (“Oh, well, someday, but not in the immediate future!”) What bothered me was the intense frustration that I felt when she asked. We’re not very far into this baby-making process, but I already find myself wanting to shout “Mind your own business, you nosy twit! OF COURSE we want to have a baby, and I don’t know when it is going to happen, but hopefully it will be soon. Now get me another cookie!”

That was unexpected.

Suddenly I had a flash to a conversation that I had with my friend during the wedding planning, one that ended with me in tears and wondering why she was so angry. Today, while I was feeling unexpectedly and uncharacteristically annoyed at this well-meaning if nosy and tactless coworker, I realized that what my friend was feeling is similar to what I felt today.
Resentment that I do not yet have what I want and that I do not know when I am going to have it.
Disappointment that other people do have what I want.
Annoyance that I cannot say what I really think about it.

Today, during this eureka! moment, I was finally able to identify the emotions and thoughts that have been nagging me for several weeks. The things I have felt…
…when I learned that an acquaintance/friend (who is pretty similar in regards to career, age, marriage, etc.) is 12 weeks pregnant. Amid all of the audible gasps and congratulations from the women in the cluster around us when she announced she is pregnant, I found myself wanting to cry and forcing a smile. That was unexpected.
…when I read a news story about a quasi-celebrity’s pregnancy with baby #20. First, shouldn’t this make me sad for humanity instead of frustrated and longing for just *one* baby soon? And yet, I wanted to scream at the computer and shout about how unfair it is. That was unexpected.
…when I saw the posts on Facebook about my cousin’s pregnancy – and my other cousin’s pregnancy. I am thrilled for both women, one pregnant with her second baby and the other pregnant with her fifth. I was surprised to find myself bitterly muttering to myself that they should stop flaunting it and be more sensitive. That was unexpected.
…when I learned about an acquaintance who is dealing with the shock of discovering an unplanned pregnancy soon after breaking up with a longterm boyfriend. This woman is in her mid-20s and is stunned and overwhelmed. She is adjusting to the news, but it sounds like she is currently devastated. My first thoughts were not of sympathy and compassion; rather, I was jealous and surprisingly judgmental. That was unexpected.

It is not logical, nor does it feel good to experience these emotions. Regardless, they pop up, and I find myself trying my hardest to push them away and remember that it is okay, my life is okay, and it will all work out. Something will work out.

It is just *really* difficult to remember that and even more difficult to fight those crappy, resentful, annoyed, disappointed feelings.

I understand now.

 

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes… November 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — merimnao @ 12:59 am

…well, you know how it goes.

I know what I want to come next.

If I am being honest, I have known for quite a while. I denied it for a bit, or maybe I simply resisted it. It was always clear that my husband was eager to have a baby sooner than later, but I told him from early on that I wanted to wait a few years, perhaps experience 3-5 years of married life before we add anyone else to the equation.

Let’s just say I am ready to work on that math sooner than I had expected.

With some awkwardness and trepidation, I had several conversations with my husband to explain my newly realized thoughts about the timing of adding a baby to our relationship. I was nervous and anxious, and I felt silly. I had been so adamant previously about how long I wanted to wait and why. In those many conversations before our marriage and in the time since, I had worried that I was causing him some disappointment or frustration. Naturally, my changed perspective wasn’t a shock to him; he had seen gradual signs of my new desire. Heck, he probably saw these signs long before I acknowledged them.

Imagine my surprise, then, when he was a bit resistant, not to the idea of a baby but to the eagerness that I expressed. Once I had decided to get going, I thought it would be a simple matter of telling him of my decision and then moving forward to make it happen. He, of course, wanted to proceed deliberately and thoughtfully, heeding the important details of such an important decision. (I know… I married a good, kind, logical, wise man. At least one of us has a non-impulsive brain.)

So we took a few months to talk through some things. We discussed plans and possibilities. We analyzed. We dreamed. We smiled. We gulped with apprehension. We made some changes and started working towards additional changes.

…and we decided to really start on this.

It’s exciting and terrifying and thrilling and overwhelming and so much more.

I am very anxious about this process and about all of the things that are unknown. What if it takes longer than we want to get pregnant? What if a pregnancy doesn’t happen at all? What if we lose a pregnancy (or more than one)? I do not like waiting, nor do I like not knowing exactly how things are going to happen and the timeline with which they will proceed.

I am going to try to be patiently optimistic. A few weeks in, I am still working on being patient; I have the optimism covered right now.

What comes next for me? I guess I will let you know sooner or later.

 

Lost! …but not with all the attractive Hollywood folks September 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — merimnao @ 10:06 pm

I do not like losing things. Who actually likes loss, really? I cannot imagine there are many people out there who relish the idea of not winning a game or of misplacing something valuable.

I possess a horrible sense of direction and have a tendency to get lost at an embarrassing frequency. I do not particularly like this, although I have learned to live with it and to not let it bother me as much.

I hate losing my focus and trying to remember just what that important thought was, the one that was burning a mark in my brain just seconds ago.

It is awful to lose money or time. Both are not things that I want to waste in frivolous manners.

I can think of one glaring exception to my distaste for loss – I am usually quite appreciative of losing weight. Even that can be a bad thing sometimes, although I would currently welcome a bit of this type of loss. (That will have to be a topic of its own at another time!)

There is one loss that keeps me up at night sometimes. The potential for this type of loss makes me very anxious; it might even be appropriate to say that it is the root of well over half of my anxiety.

I am so fearful of losing people in my life forever. It is hard enough to think of people moving away to another town or country, becoming frustrated with me, or otherwise ceasing to be my friend. It is horrifying to ponder losing people to death. I might even admit that I fear this to an irrational extent. If I started tracking my worries and anxieties in a completely honest manner, I think I would realize that this fear creeps into my mind nearly daily.

That can’t be healthy.

And yet… It is what it is.

I live my life, but I worry about the safety of my husband. What if he gets hit by a car while biking to work today? What if a gunman walks into his office, and he gets caught in the middle? What if that headache he mentioned yesterday is actually an untreatable brain tumor?

I live my life, but I worry about the health of my mother. What if she ignores the signs of an (another) important health issue? What if she is not careful enough while driving and causes an accident that injures herself or others? What if she does not mind her safety and gets injured when walking her dog in the city late at night?

I live my life, but I worry about all the things that could happen and the people I could lose as a result.

One of the crappy things about life is that everyone dies. That means I am going to lose people. Hopefully most of them will have had long, happy lives and will leave our world in a peaceful, painless manner. Not that losing loved ones to old age is easy… that is a sadness of its own. (I am contemplating this particular loss these days. Grandparents are special people.) I have lost people through other horrible, unexpected circumstances. I think that knowing that loss can be surprising like that and can catch you off guard has left me even more apprehensive about the possibilities of losing the people around me. I resent this.

I want to take this knowledge – that life is short and those I love could be gone at any moment – and twist it around to motivate myself to value those around me and my time with them.

I want to live my life and enjoy my loved ones.

I want to live my life and stop worrying.

 

 
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