Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Anxiety, and intentional self-care

Yup, I was right.

I worked myself up really well today and tonight.

By the time I got to the orientation with my daughter at her school, I could hardly manage to sit in on it, I was so anxious. I was sick-to-my-stomach-anxious.

When we got home, I managed to get all the things that I think Peter will need into his back pack. All his school supplies are there already, dropped off at his open house last week. So, its just some residual paperwork that had to be signed and turned in to the teacher.

When I got home with Marina, the house was quiet, so I put in a favorite movie, and got her settled in.

Then I went and changed into my pj's and took some of my medication to help my anxiety.

I have 2 different types. One is supposed to be for panic attacks, as they are happening because it is fast acting. The other is a longer term (12 hour) medication to control generalized anxiety. I can use them in combination because sometimes I will still have a panic attack at times while on the longer lasting medication.

I started with the 12 hour med. tonight. Hmm... after about an hour I realized that I still felt like I couldn't breathe and had a tight band around my chest and I was still sick to my stomach. So I went and took half of one of the pills that is for my panic attacks. Just half a dose (the whole thing might have made me too sleepy).

I can breathe a bit better, and maybe enough now to be able to concentrate on praying and writing, as I may not have much of a chance in the morning.

It depends on how the morning plays out, and if I can get up early enough to spend some time in the Word before I have to get Peter to school.

In the summer, I have had the luxury of getting the kids to the farm, or leaving them with dad on some mornings, so that I can get to the church early... some days way earlier than I need to be. Those days I have been able to have as much as 45 minutes sometimes before I actually start work. I have curled up in the sanctuary with some hot coffee, my bible and my journal. Sometimes I have brought in worship music and played at the piano first to focus me and my thoughts.

Now I am going to have to rearrange things for this school year. There is no way that I am going to be able to get in there that early anymore. Not with dropping off either one or two kids, at two different schools before hand. Even on a good day, I might not be able to get there more than 10 minutes early when I have to drop off both kids. When I have to drop off only Peter, I might make it with 20 minutes extra.

Hey, I know I sound like I am complaining. But I have had a really hard time with getting up early in the morning. And with my house in the horrible condition it's in, I have little space to call my own to do a quiet time before I leave home. My desk isn't even a sanctuary because my laptop is on it, and it has piles of paper EVERYWHERE!!!

I need my time with God, now more than ever. I don't know how or when I will get it. But oh, do I need it.

Please pray for me in this area too.

I feel like I am sounding so selfish that the "kids are putting me out by interfering with my time with God" and though I know that the condemning thoughts aren't from God, they are hard to counter.

I have always felt selfish when caring for myself. I know getting good sleep, writing, spending time with God, and having some alone "me" time are parts of self care that I really need to work on.

But I still feel selfish when I take them.
I feel like there are people who look at me and judge me for taking that time out.
Or there are times when I feel like I am getting a cold shoulder because I have taken that time.

So then I stop.

And then I suffer.

Depression.
Exhaustion.
Disconnection.
Anxiety.
Fear.
Overwhelmed.

And thus the enemy has used lies to get me to stop taking care of myself. In the process, I have spiraled down again. And I feel like I have to start over at square one. Again. And again.

So, as the school year starts, with both kids being in school, I have to seek out the times that I can carve out (even unlikely ones) to care for myself. Caring for myself physically and caring for myself spiritually as well.

I know I have to pursue this intentionally or there will be so many things that crowd in on me that I will not be able to handle it.

My medication has worked enough that I can breathe now, and I can focus enough to write. That is a plus....

....Now with an intentional decision, I am shutting down this computer, and climb into bed with my bible and journal for a bit of time with God before I completely fall asleep.

3 comments:

Leebird said...

Sweet friend...the best gift you can give your family is a healthy momma full of the love of God. Take your time each day...some days may be longer than others. Get those nuggets throughout the day. I keep devotional books and scripture flip calendars all over the place so i can get little tastes of God throughout the day.

Love you bunches and bunches! Lee

pam said...

Life with small children...I remember it well. Looking back I am so thankful that God saw it all...He knew my heart and He carried us through. Lots of things won't matter some day...like a messy house or lots of other things you put on the "should" list. It is good for you to find your time with God...whatever part of the day it is...and BAH to what ever others think about anything in your life....be free. God sent Jesus that we would be free...praying He reveals Himself to you in a new way...that you can embrace the wonder of His love for you...just as you are because He sees far more of you than you even know...AND HE LOVES YOU!

stephseef said...

Ruth Graham used to leave her Bible open on the kitchen counter. She was a single mom to 5-6 kids, realistically speaking, since Billy was constantly on the road. She said that she rarely had time for the 'big' times alone with God during the season when the kids were all small, but that she would make her way through a book verse by verse, chapter by chapter, by leaving the Bible open on the counter in the kitchen. Small helps, but helps nonetheless. It has helped me on some chaotic days! ;)