I feel like I’ve been very careful to make sure that in my posts, social media excerpts, and in my life in general, that I am not a whiner or a complainer. While I don’t believe in being negative, a “Debbie- downer”, or constantly looking at what’s wrong with life, I do believe in having seasons or moments of struggles and to be perfectly honest I feel like I’m in one of those seasons. I can’t go into the all the details but I’ll cover some of what I’m dealing with and how I’m not wallowing in them but actually trying to work through and combat them to come out better and stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally.
So without further ado…
Stresser #1- I’m physically burnt out… and I feel like I’m a sputtering failure.
No for real. In the last couple months I have accomplished so much physically. (If you haven’t been following my other posts I’ve gone from from barely being able to walk for 20 minutes to accomplishing things like multiple 7 mile walks, 9 mile bike rides, full 30 minute cardio workouts every day with minor modification, averaging 11K steps/ day, etc.) I also had so much more I wanted to accomplish in this month of May. I wanted to start training for a 5K and commit to a new BarreBlend workout program I was super excited about. My plantars fasciitis has flared so horribly and my shoes have been giving me blisters so it’s just miserable to do any of that. I’ve been so incredibly exhausted from the lack of sleep due to all the stress that I don’t have any physical or mental energy work out.
Solution: I’m gonna give myself a freaking break! I’m not going to be lazy. I’m not going to neglect eating properly. But I am going to play each day by ear and accomplish what I can. If I can go for a long walk and do some jogging, great! If not, I’m not going to beat myself up. If I get a good night’s sleep and can wake up with enough energy to work out, I will do it. I know they say “when you’re stressed, that’s the most important time to workout.” But for me, trying so hard to get a workout in in the midst of all the chaos and exhaustion right now is SO stressful. So I’m taking a little break and making June 1st my hard, no excuses date to recommit to my workouts. I’m still getting my steps in now for the most part even without going for walks and working out (about 8-10K minimum just so you know how busy I am).
Stresser #2- Family problems, anyone?
It’s crazy how a family member you aren’t even in touch with and have’t been for years can create so many problems and so much stress. Sometimes it’s because they are stressing out a family member you are around a lot and they are struggling from being treated poorly. Sometimes its because they are stirring stuff up and you can see their storm brewing and because of the vast lack of predictability they have and you’re just laying in wait for the next problem to surface as they attempt to ruin your life and that of ones you love. Now that there is a pending wedding in the family, they are making their presence more known than ever. There’s a long history with this family member as they’ve fallen into drugs, alcoholism, adultery, gun violence, putting the lives of their children at risk repeatedly… the list goes on. When this person resurfaces I live in constant fear that they’ll show up at my house when Isaac is at work, or that they’ll stalk me, or more prevalent in my mind is that Emmy will get hurt in some way by them.
Solution: Take it one day at a time. It is insanely hard to not live in fear when there’s someone lurking that you know is a narcissistic psychopath. You have to be aware but not afraid. Be prepared but not overreact. Trust God but also be shrewd with the knowledge you have and keep in mind the endless warnings in scripture about “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. Having a little one has definitely made me feel more vulnerable both for myself and for her. I can’t live constantly afraid of what’s going to happen. Because the truth is that I have no clue what will happen. [Breathe in- Breathe out]
Stresser #3: The upcoming task of homeschooling.
Not the quarantine “homeschooling” but the actual make every single decision about curriculum, lesson plans, time commitment, your-life-revolves-around-it type of homeschooling. The homeschooling where you know that your child’s education and therefore her future is completely dependent on *you* and your dedication and commitment. Now I’m not ignorant to homeschooling. On the contrary, both my husband and I were homeschooled. I often helped my siblings with their lessons and am familiar with the options as far as programs, coops, curriculums, etc. I am just not feeling like I’m capable of doing it properly. That coupled with a lack of desire is making it a very daunting task to me. I see the benefits of homeschooling and I honestly love so much about it. Actually I love most things about it. The early grades are the most intimidating for me. Maybe it’s just the fear of something new, idk.
Solution: Utilize my time over the summer to perfect our routine and focus on researching and laying the proper ground work to commence a successful school year come August. I am going to try to find a homeschool curriculum convention nearby and go do as much browsing and connecting with other beginner homeschool moms as possible. I’m also preparing myself mentally to take it in stride and give myself time to get into the swing of it. I know it will be a learning process for me and Emmy both so I’m going to be mentally prepped for both of us to need an adjustment period.
Stresser #4: Nightmares. Non stop nightmares.
Ever since they put me under general anesthesia for my surgery when we lost Leo in February, I have been plagued with nightmares every single night. I was mid-panic attack when they put me to sleep and ever since, what little sleep I get, is ridden with stressful scenarios and they often include losing Emmy, not being able to help my family, not being able to find my baby, struggling with my weight/ health forever, not being able to make people happy, etc. Sometimes they involve horrible things happening that I won’t even mention but you get the idea. I’m so exhausted. Sleep aids/ supplements make them worse, lavender and essential oils don’t help, and relaxing, pre-sleep rituals are pointless. My improved lifestyle hasn’t helped it at all. I feel like there’s something buried in my subconscious I haven’t processed or dealt with yet. I wake up having heart palpitations, anxiety attacks, and just wanting to curl up and go back to sleep but not wanting to return to a nightmare.
Solution: Keep trying to sleep. I mean, really, what else can one do? I’ve tried “all the things” and nothing works so I can only hope and pray that as time goes on they’ll eventually fizzle out. For now I’m taking life in stride and trying to get by with what little sleep I can get. Sometimes I have to wake up and revamp my plans for the day but that’s okay because, ya know what? It’s the best I can do that day.
Stresser #5: The pending infertility hunt for answers that keeps getting pushed and delayed.
It’s so hard when you just want to get some answers. Any answers. And not just because I want another baby but because getting answers to why we keep losing little ones could give me even more insight into other health problems that I haven’t been diagnosed with yet. We keep having to delay it for a variety of reasons. On the one hand, I am perfectly fine with delaying it and have even suggested doing so myself once. But on the other hand, it’s still a massive, life-altering thing that’s just hanging over my head as another thing we need to get done and that I want to get over with and just have answers finally.
Solution: Keep reminding myself that it’s the best decision for right now. It really is. I’ll reveal why another time and I don’t mean to be cryptic but it is best for us. We’ve always said we wanted to be done having kids by 30 but as we all know, plans change, God brings different things into your life that you don’t expect, and sometimes all we can do is accept the way things are and move on.
Stresser #6- The emotions of losing Leo are finally starting to hit me.
Literally everything is making me cry. I see a random baby- I cry. I walk past the baby clothes in the store- I cry. I see a pregnant chick- I cry. Even songs that I remember listening to while I was pregnant- when those come up in my music shuffle… you’ll never guess… I cry. Emmy asks me to hold a stuffed animal like a baby- I cry. I feel stressed about life and think about how hard life has been since our loss, therefore remembering our little man- and I cry. Like seriously I’m finally starting to really lose it and grieve. I’m a very delayed griever (shocker!). Things typically really hit me once I’m out of “survival mode” which usually takes me a few months. In this case, 4 but hey- I’ve had a lot to survive the last few months.
Solution: Grieve when it hits. Live to the full when I’m not lost in it. That’s pretty much it. I can’t bring my baby boy back. I’ll never know him or hold him. But I’ll always love him and miss both him and his other 6 siblings that I’ll never meet on earth. It sucks. It hurts. But as the saying goes “sometimes the only way out is through.”
(This picture was going to be our pregnancy announcement. I took it right before we went to the doctor appointment where we found out Leo was gone.)
Stresser #7- I’m re-opening my custom sewing and alterations home business.
There’s so much involved to do it properly to include putting together the proper space for it, coming up with sewing lesson plans, a price list, business supplies, sewing supplies, building my clientele… I could go on. Right now my house is completely torn apart because I’m turning the guest room into my business and sewing space. Everything is everywhere! In addition to that, we can’t complete the set up until IKEA re-opens so we can take a day trip to Atlanta and get all the cabinetry, desks, and workspace I need. They won’t answer phones unless you have an order number and they have yet to announce a date they even plan to re-open on. I can’t finish my room or commence my business until this is all done. They aren’t offering curbside pick up in a store anywhere close to me and several items I need are “in-store only” purchase options. It’s very frustrating and not having a date to even plan on being able to get everything finalized is quite frankly irksome to say the least.
Solution: Enjoy my project. I love projects. I really do. Given the sense of urgency I feel to launch my business, I’m finding myself trying to just rush it all into existence. But this is the first project I’ve had in so long and it includes all my favorite elements- interior decorating, lots of pink and glitter and glam, organization, sewing, crafting, creating, pretty things, customer service/ interaction, and so on and so forth. I don’t want to taint this very exciting (albeit nerve-wracking) time. I loved running my sewing business when Isaac and I were first married and I’ve always wanted to re-open shop. I didn’t think that’d be something I could do for a few years still but I’m finding a way to make it happen. It’s best for our family right now for many reasons and honestly it will be so nice to have a sense of accomplishment by building my dressmaking career. I have so many ideas for launching an Etsy shop and what I want to put in it plus an endless list of things I want to be able to offer to my customers. I’m going to slow down and enjoy the process. And try to ignore my house is in utter chaos!
In summation ya’ll- life has been hard lately. It’s all emotionally, physically, and mentally draining for a multitude of reasons. There are several other personal things that have been going on I can’t really share. Some are root causes of additional stress and some are ripple effects of what I’ve already mentioned. I think it’s important to acknowledge when life is just hard. There isn’t one person on earth who doesn’t have bouts of stressful seasons. I know as time goes one, I’ll be able to recoup and juggle all the balls even better than I have before with a few more thrown in for good measure maybe. Who knows.
Until then, I’m gonna keep plugging through each day as best as I can. I am going to show up as much as I can. And I’m going to keep praying and giving it all to God. I refuse to let stress define me. I refuse to let it keep me from creating a home worth living in for my family.
One day at a time. One emotion at a time.
What else can one do, really?
Keep plugging away, my friends! XOXO