Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Fresh start

OK. Time to get down to business. You've got a house full of camping equipment and that's just the tip of the iceberg. You've got a headache and you have to be at the optometrist in 3 hours, in heavy traffic... So, you've got only two freaking hours left to get something done around here! OMFG. You haven't had breakfast yet and it's well past noon. Girl. WOMAN. Person, you have got to get it together. Shit now I'm sad...
Sometimes I realize just how much pain I'm hiding inside. Sometimes. The surface gets scraped away just slightly, unexpectedly. There's a lot of hurt in there. It needs to come out.
In the meantime, though, I really want to accomplish SOMETHING so I can feel a bit better about myself and in my environment (and give my dear husband a wee bit of hope).
Two hours left. Do I hammer out the to do list as I wanted to do? Do I hammer out that day-planning form that I wanted to make? Or do I just go eat breakfast/lunch and then get freaking busy on the biggest, most obvious clutter so my family (and I) can see a difference?

I want to both list and tidy...

Go get some food and that hammer out that list.
Give yourself 30 minutes. That will leave 90 minutes to go hard on the house and accomplish a little bit (pick the most visible tasks...😉).

Okay. It's a plan. Go get food and then write the list. Time is ticking.

Update: I spent almost two hours making the damn list (and replying to a few texts). I forgot to set a timer and forgot all about my 2 hour deadline. If I leave 30 minutes to get to the optometrist, 15 minutes to get out the door, that gives me 30 minutes to eat and do a mad dash tidy so that I've done SOMETHING with this mess... Go.

Rambling, stream of consciousness, meanderings. Whatever.

I'm here again. Writing is calming. It helps me feel accountable to myself.
It's time for a fresh start. Start what? Start taking care of myself and my family. Put away the camping gear. Choose a new career. Everything else. It's a long list, or it would be long if I wrote it. Mostly it's floating around in my mind and cluttering up my home.
Anyway, where was I or where should I be?
My mental to do list today started with, "Step 1. Find calendar." (Calendar/diary/blank book that would be a bullet journal if I remembered/took the time to use it.) Done, actually, but since I didn't write it down I don't get to check it off. (Damn!)
  1. Find calendar. Check.
  2. Water hanging baskets. One done; one to go.
  3. Water plants I bought but haven't yet planted.
  4. Buy Borax. Better yet, start a grocery list.  
Okay maybe this diarizing in a public forum is just really, really stupid. ... [Attempt to ponder; just stare and eventually realize that my brain is stuck on: "Don't care!"] ... I don't seem to care. I just want to write and it seems to be good for me. Why not make it all private? The only answer I have is the hope that one day someone will say that he/she gets it, or better yet, that someone will feel better by reading what I've written and feeling some common ground.
Anyway, I wandered again, didn't I? F#$&.
Perhaps if I'm going to write stream of consciousness (as in, journal, let it all flow out of me, which is where the healing happens... I think), I shouldn't berate myself when my mind wanders...
I berate myself because no-one would want to read such drivel... which is where I see the conflict in my desire to blog. I want to write for my own benefit... I tend to write stream of consciousness... I think that it helps my ADHD'd brain to sort things out... but I know that it doesn't makes for terrible, verbose, unfocused, boring, writing. Okay, so that tells me something: I have an interest in writing and I care about the craft of writing and its readability. I enjoy the craft of writing. I really do enjoy that process. ...on the other hand, THIS process of just letting it all out is also good for me (and even enjoyable). I mean, that sentence actually told me two things: 1. I enjoy the craft of writing for others. 2. Writing stream of consciousness really does help me to sort things out and learn things about myself. They are two different things but they are both true and valid. So then... Oh yeah: 3. For some reason I really do want to write in an open setting, because I do hope to help and to find common ground. However... [Big sighs and breathing while I ponder and work up to this (why the hell do I have to work up to this???] Do they necessarily have to happen simultaneously? I mean, I can write stream of consciousness for myself, and at some point, if I really want to be a writer, I can SEPARATELY and SUBSEQUENTLY craft a concise, reflected, version for public consumption.
Ah ha! 4. I don't want to do that because then I would have to admit to myself that I'm actually seeking public consumption of my writing. Then I would have to face the fear that my intentional writing is not good enough! If I consciously wrote and edited something for others to read, I would have to admit to myself that I'm trying to do something that seems audacious.
In my imagination, floating between my and my laptop, is an image of my father laughing at me. "You? A writer?" I don't really know where that comes from because he's never said that I'm a bad writer. ...no, but he's said that I shouldn't take chances. He's said that only rich people's kids can be artists, and are writers in that category?
He's definitely said that I should keep things to myself.
I disagree, but maybe, just maybe, the stream of consciousness can be for me alone. I like this format. I like typing, here. I like reading my posts with their pretty barbed wire backdrop. Maybe I do want to hear that I'm not alone... Is that ego? Or loneliness? I don't know. It's probably both, right?
Well whatever, I learned a few things today:

  • I like to write. 
  • Writing stream of consciousness helps me find order in my whirling thoughts. 
  • I enjoy the craft of editing, too. 
  • I like the idea of actually figuring out some helpful stuff, crafting it, editing it, and even (big jump over an emotional chasm) publishing it. I can state that. It doesn't mean that I necessarily will do it, or even want to do it enough to choose to do it, but it does at least interest me...
That's as far as that goes. I'm still on the fence about whether to turn this whole thing to a private setting (is that even possible?) or write in Word (probably makes the most sense) or whatever. i.e. It does seem most logical to do my private journalling privately, yet some part of me is resisting to the point that I'm wasting precious time trying to justify it... Ridiculous but also curious. I mean, WHY???? Why do I care so much? I guess...
  • I'm lonely.
  • It would feel good to help someone. 
  • There's that old fantasy that someone will read my blog and invite me to write that book... Hello Julie, I'm jealous of you... (Yeah mom, I know, it's not all about me...) See THAT cryptic thought is the type of thing that makes me think that private writing should be private. I know what that means and can come back to it later. In a public setting I feel that I should explain it as it suggests, misleadingly, that I resent my mom. On the contrary, it's been a source of guilt. She was right and I knew it immediately, and even more so when it was too late to hear her again. 
Life is heavy. 
I think I'm going to call this rant a day (which, yes, imagined critic, makes no sense -- another point in favour of keeping this on the down low -- to hush my inner critic!), and start a new post along the lines of the post that I'd envisioned writing today... Still, I guess this was the stuff that part of me needed to write...??? I don't know why. 
Over to the next post -- all about being productive and motivated and kicking some housekeeping butt. Woo freaking hoo. Yeah I'm trying to motivate myself and so far I'm just rambling as a form of procrastination... which seems like a really big faux pas. I mean, I'm talking to myself here, aren't I?!
Is that what it's come to? I'm talking to myself? I mean, I'm silent, but I'm writing a conversation with myself... Can't decide if this is totally fucked up and embarrassing, or if that's what writing, or at least diarizing, often is...??? Seriously. Can't figure it out because I'm stuck on the hot, intense, embarrassment... My arms are tense, my chest is tense. Breathe, breathe, breathe... 
Well that's something else to come back and ponder... When I can actually think because right now I just can't... 
Is it the fact that I'm writing that is blocking my thinking? Is it ADHD? Is it just me? Does everyone do this? 
I think it might be, if not the ADHD, the fact I'm writing. For public. 
OK. That's it. Im going to keep this in draft. so forget punctuation etc. what was the damn question? 
Oh, God, it was a stupid fucking question in the first place. 
It's possible that stream of consciousness writing eventually gets in the way of thinking because I'm too busy writing... and unlike writing with a pen and paper, I can see what I write after I've written it...! Not so with paper... not as clearly. 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Change isn't easy

I'm trying, but it's slow. A few steps in, a lot of steps sideways, many steps back.
Today I was going to go to the gym. I dressed in my gym clothes, but I didn't have time for breakfast before my school run, so I pulled into a coffee shop. Which is near a bargain shop. Where I decided to go since my son lost another glove. Of course I then looked at handbags, sports bras, housewares, and water bottles, and they had no gloves in his size. I bought another pill organizer (bigger than the two I have), a box of votive candle holders, a wallet, and... probably some other stuff I've already forgotten. Nice wallet though.
I wasted over an hour in there.
Now I've got my breakfast/lunch.
I'm tempted to skip the gym since I've wasted so much time (and it's so boring).
No, I have to go. For my brain, for me, for my hubby and my son.
Time to eat, here in my car, and then go life weights. Even though I forgot to pack a towel or a change of clothes.
One step at a time Kady. You can do it. You just have to actually do it. Save yourself little girl. Save yourself.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Lesson: When I do something small, I feel a bit better.

Yesterday I had a little bit of energy and I wanted to make some progress in my life. While I had breakfast I started to write in my journal. I started off like this:
OK. Let's get started. What's missing? What needs to be done? What needs to change? 
A river of indecision followed. Pen up; pen down. I stood up to do something, anything, and, turning, saw the dishes on the counter and sat back down again, struck by confusion, doubt, and the incomprehensible inertia of depression.
At some point I took to the internet to find out whether a particular Ikea product could hold CD's. One thing led to another and somewhere along the way I thought about supper, decided to buy the ingredients at a store that had sent me a coupon, remembered that I need eye cream, and proceeded to spend hours reading reviews of skin care products in preparation for a trip to buy frozen french fries and chicken strips...
Heading out to pick up my son, no time left to shop, I was overwhelmed by the futility of my actions and choices (or lack thereof). Pulling out of the McDonald's drive-thru with supper I wondered, quite seriously, "Have I lost my mind?"
The necessity of parenting being what it is, I rallied to meet the need, focused squarely on my role as homework helper. When my husband came home I looked down and told him that his supper was in the bag on the stove, focusing on our son's homework with steely resolve. My husband is amazing. He thanked me for supper without a hint of malice, chopped up veggies when I asked, and tolerated my tension. I am lucky.
That's not what this was supposed to be about though.
This is the thing: after supper, while the guys were working on a project outside, I started some laundry.
Then I emptied the dishwasher and cleaned up the kitchen.
When our son told me he was sad I listened and I got my husband to come and listen to.
Then I hung up the laundry and started another load.
It was very, very little, but it helped.
It helped me and my family because those tasks got done.
Moreover, it helped my mood.
Just sorting that laundry gave me a tiny lift emotionally, even if my body ached.
I reached out to my sibling, who asks me to stay in touch. That helped too.
Cleaning the kitchen is a victory because I'm building a habit: a daily clean counter and sink habit.
Hanging the laundry felt like completion. I did a little something. It didn't much matter what. But I did it and then I felt better.
Before bed I set up a digital checklist to help me remember if I've taken my meds, and then I added some more tasks, daily and weekly.
When I awoke, I got some reminders. Best of all, I remembered that it feels good to do something, no matter how small.
I got up earlier, I took my medication, I had breakfast, and emptied the dishwasher. Best of all, I have a start of a plan and some peace of mind. That is priceless.
So now off to tackle a bit more... If at times I don't know where to start, I think that I know now, deep in my soul, despite all of the confusion that depression, anxiety, and ADHD can bring, that starting anywhere is much, much better than nothing. 💝

Monday, 21 November 2016

A step in the right direction: ebooks

A couple of hours ago I was in tears, for no reason except that I was sad and tired. I hoped that I might have PMS. No, I don't know, because I don't track my cycle (or anything else). Yes, I should. No, knowing that I should is not enough to make me do it. It's just another thing on my nebulous mental to do list..
Anyway, I came here for the second time in a day(!) to note that today I took a step in the right direction. First I have to step back to two days ago when I quit using Facebook. Wow. I'm not sure that I'm comfortable even writing about that, but, (deep breath) let's be real here. It's 2016 and I know I'm not the only one with an unhealthy attachment to their phone. Remember when they called them smart phones? Right, like smart drugs. My phone might be something, but it's not making me smarter..
Oh my goodness, such a detour.
Where was I going? Right... felt like crap, quit Facebook... possibly another reason why I felt especially overwhelmingly awful today... so, well, I guess I cheated. I read an electronic book. Not the whole book, but several chapters.
Reading! All the Distraction. None of the shame.
Okay, less of the shame. I still got nothing done, except that I read from an interesting and helpful book. The book I'm reading, which I recommend, was written by Dana White and came out last week.
Okay, that's all. Just a tip for the social media addicts out there... After a two day detox, an ebook helps. Hugs.
Oh yeah, maybe also blogging... Is it social media if I'm writing to myself? Anyway, the take away is reading. :)

One step at a time

I'm overwhelmed. Simple questions rush through my brain, unanswered. 
Is it better to keep a to-do list in the same notebook as my (recent) journal or separate?
Should I use Excel to make myself a daily checklist, or should the first scrap of paper I see suffice?
Should I spend time making my husband a birthday gift, or just catch up on and put away all the laundry, for once?
Should I tackle some laundry, try to declutter, or put on my coat and go get food for supper? I have no desire to leave my home or enter a store. 
My kitchen is littered with the debris from last night's homework. 
I'm cold. 
I guess I'm kind of a whiner. I'm not here to whine though. I'm here... to begin. 
I'm here to take one step, then another, with the hope that enough little steps will add up to a journey to somewhere... less sad. 
Every day there's a flow. Things to do. Things get done. Needless to say, I'm really behind. Yet, if I can do one more thing, then I am making progress. Sometimes the best I can do is to eliminate tasks. Christmas cards, for example, are not on my radar, except for a vague sense of guilt on the horizon. 

Okay, let's regroup. Let's pull it together. 

This very day, what's ahead. (In no order.)
- School pickup. 
- Homework.
- Groceries. 
- Supper. 
- Bedtime. 
- Activity drop-off and pickup. 
Those are the essentials, though often enough groceries and supper get passed off to another. 

Bigger picture, what is there? 
- Start a to do list.
- Make a daily check list. 

What else today?
- Plant the bulbs; there's snow in the forecast.
- Find my gloves. 
- Moisturize. 
- Feed the sourdough starter I got yesterday (like I need another responsibility). 

What else soon?
- Pay the bills.
- Do the laundry.
- A birthday present.

I feel so down. A week ago I felt optimistic. What's going on? 

Make a plan. Today I will:
- No. I'm stuck. It all seems too hard. You can do it. Make it easy. 
- OK.
- Easy supper: there's chicken in the freezer. make rice. buy some vegetables. 
- Cook it before pickup, so it's ready when he's hungry. 
- Maybe some caffeine before pickup, and hope that it helps.
- Make the bed, but don't wash it. No energy for that. 
- Wash some clothes, bring some up for the morning. 
- Feed the damn starter. Or just throw it out. 

How did this happen? I felt hopeful last week. It's nothing new. I just tend to avoid it.

- Grocery list: Milk, peppers, 

I need to lie down.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Mommy is trying to hold it together

Here is a story. There are two parts.

Part I

My mom died seven years ago. She was young. I was young. My son was just a baby. 
He wasn't yet walking. He was my pride and joy. Still is. 
He kind of lost his mommy that summer too. He lost the mommy who had always been 100% his. Suddenly his mommy was gone on a plane, trying to get to a hospital in time to say all the things she wanted to say. So daddy packed up baby and they came on a plane the next day. But then mommy was grieving. Everyone was sad and crying. Mommy was going to funeral parlours and florists. Then mommy was writing a eulogy. Delivering a eulogy. Making small talk with people about death. God it breaks my heart. Baby was with daddy all week. Which isn't all bad. Daddy had never been responsible for baby for a week. But what it must have done to baby's heart to see mommy, here and there, running in and out, happy to see him but busy, busy, busy. 
Then mommy had to go back to work, bringing baby to daycare in the morning, crying, picking him up at the end of the day, and so on. Mommy was angry. Why was mommy's mom dead? And mommy was busy at the job that she hated. Mommy was busy trying to prove that she was good enough, day in and day out. Rushing to the daycare and getting baby into his snowsuit at the end of every day was challenging. There is an image in mommy's mind of that year and this is it: 
The tiles on the floor are terracotta. Smooth squares, burnt orange. Baby's snowsuit is on the floor, spread out like a star. It is bright blue on the outside, silvery on the inside. There in the middle of the star-shaped snowsuit mommy places baby. Baby is mommy's heart and joy. Mommy feels like a mess. Mommy is wearing a dark suit, pantyhose, and high-heeled boots. Actually she has had to remove her boots, because those are the rules. Mommy feels like Bambi, crawling on the floor, long arms, legs, bare feet. Mommy is trying to get baby into the snowsuit, but baby is fighting it. Baby is crying. Mommy is trying to hold it together. Other mommies and daddies walk past, to and fro, while mommy tries to get baby into the snowsuit and baby cries, night after night. Outside, baby refuses to go into his carseat. He resists, rigid. Mommy waits. One day mommy says okay. We can play in the snow. Mommy and baby walk in the snow for an hour. Mommy's feet are numb but she feels good: she is being a good mommy. Finally mommy leads baby back to the car. Baby refuses to go into the carseat. He goes rigid. Mommy is worn out. Mommy is sad. 

Part 2

Little one is now seven. Seven-and-a-half, maybe. That's as far as mommy is prepared to go with that. Because mommy doesn't want to believe that so much time has passed. That her beloved boy is growing up, and his mommy is STILL sad. And beloved, beloved boy seems sad too. Mommy cries hard just writing those words.
Mommy has a LOT of sadness and guilt and worry to work through. And whenever she gets close to it she cries and she gets scared, so usually she avoids thinking about it. It's hard to avoid the sadness, because it's inside mommy's body. It's in her brain, supposedly, and she feels it all over her body. It is awful. 
The most effective way mommy has to avoid it is social media: distracting mommy's brain with novel ideas and images. The problem is, mommy has a new job now: mommy is a housewife. Mommy got depressed and left her old job, which she hated. She was supposed to get well and get a different job, and she tried going back to school, but it went very badly and mommy even thought that it would feel good to be hit by a train. Finally, mommy said, the only job I ever wanted was to be a mommy. So this is mommy's dream job, but mommy is busy avoiding her thoughts almost all day long. I'll tell you this. It's really, fucking hard to be a successful housewife when you spend most of your time avoiding your sadness. Not a lot gets done around the house. A bit of weeping and curling up in bed. A lot of staring at screens until the funny images and friendly people and interesting stories there grab hold of mommy's brain and hold it tight. Mommy's brain temporarily forgets the pain and sadness. For just a little while (or as long as possible) mommy feels better. Until mommy has to stop staring at the screen. Mommy has to deal with reality, of course, eventually. And the reality is a mix of sadness and despair and fear and shame and guilt and it sucks. It is very, very hard. 
Mommy knows that she has
Mommy looked away from that sentence for a moment and now mommy has no idea what she was going to say. 
Oh yes. Mommy knows that she has to get better. Maybe not 100% "better" (because what is that?), but better than she is. Imagine if mommy could not be depressed and sad and anxious! Mommy has AD/HD or ADD or whatever they're going to call it in the next edition of the DSM, and that is not going to stop, but what if mommy could learn to manage it better. Imagine if mommy could be healthy and happy. Just imagine... Mommy can't imagine it. All she can feel is sadness. Mommy cries hard. 
Mommy has to try to improve though. Not only because this is awful and mommy feels so much guilt about it, about being a sad and anxious mommy with a messy house, but also, also, because what if mommy got worse? 
What if mommy got something life-threatening? This is a new fear for mommy; mommy's cousin has metastatic cancer and mommy knows so many people with cancer right now. It's not right. Mommy has been meaning to meditate and throw out all in the crap in mommy's cluttered cupboard and cook organic food, for more than a year. There is zero doubt that mommy wants to do this, but mommy hasn't made a single step towards that goal. Originally this was about cooking healthy food for little one. Now mommy sees that she has to stop poisoning herself and daddy, too, with the crap they put in so-called food these days. Little one needs mommy and they both need daddy. This thought, about food, is oddly comforting... Why? Because it is a distraction. Because thinking about cleaning out a cupboard and starting to bake is a fucking fantasy, and it's easier (easier!) to worry about GMO's over which mommy has little control, but can feel very worked up, than it is to worry about the fact that mommy is falling apart. Mommy knows how to avoid GMO's. That would be easy. 
It would be easy, if mommy weren't so fucking sad that she may or may not get dressed or make supper at all, let alone anything that requires a trip to the store and thinking and decisions. 
Mommy is fucked up and she is scared. 
She is scared to feel how she feels. She isn't scared of hurting herself. That's not going to happen. Mommy is loved and she loves her people so much. But she's scared that she won't be able to be a good mommy if she stops avoiding her feelings. That she'll be too sad. 

The End


More thoughts...

Mommy's psychologist is a wonderful therapist. He pointed out that mommy has been telling him that she wants to clean up her house for about 10 months. He wondered if maybe not cleaning up the house was enabling mommy to avoid something else...This was a very interesting question. The messy house causes mommy anxiety and grief, so why would she do that? 
There are layers of answers to this question. If mommy avoids the house altogether, or avoids seeing it even though she's in it, she avoids the horror of the messy house. However, mommy knows that when she decides to work on it, she is forced to face the fact that she can't possibly clean it up in one hour or afternoon or one day. It's frightening. It might take... more time than mommy has. It makes mommy feel anxious. Sometimes mommy works on it. It's very hard, she may start to feel less anxious as she works, but she feels sad and worried and scared.  
A possible answer came as mommy pondered the question. Mommy doesn't like to host because the house is messy and mommy is ashamed of the house. But maybe the messy house is a protective barricade. Mommy doesn't have to host if the house is a mess? Is mommy avoiding hosting? This doesn't seem to fit. Mommy used to like hosting. Mommy wants a clean house. Mommy does find hosting stressful though, but isn't that because of the messy house, and the distraction, and the sadness and pain... 
Does mommy avoid cleaning up the house because she doesn't want to go back to work? This might seem an answer because mommy won't go back to work unless the house is organized. But no, this is not the answer. Mommy feels such clear rejection of this answer that it is a little bit troubling. It seems like an obvious answer, but mommy doesn't think that this is the problem. Why not? Why doesn't this fit? Well, two things. 
First, mommy wouldn't be adverse to going back to work if mommy were healthy and well and the house was organized and she had laundry and grocery and cooking and bill paying and filing and all the other fucking routines (hmm) that mommy would need to cope with life, and if mommy had a job that let her still be an awesome fucking mommy because mommy loves her little one more than the sun itself. It's true! He is her beloved shining star and she wants to be here for him. Which, of course, she doesn't feel that she is adequately now, because although she's in the house all day, or picking him up, or taking him out, her mind and body aren't healthy. She's not all here. Okay where was mommy? Right, it's not work that mommy is avoiding, it's going back to work and having a complete fucking breakdown. Being "here" mentally is what mommy wants. 
Second... what was second... it's related, I think... There was another reason why mommy doesn't accept the idea that cleaning up the house is a way to avoid working... Right: getting on top of this house and running it well would actually increase the odds that mommy could continue not working if she chose. If she could get on top of the house, then she would have choices. She could keep kicking butt at being a SAHM, or she could work, or work part-time. It would all be ok. 
So, no, mommy does not buy the idea that she's sucking at being a housewife so she can not work. Au contraire, mommy is scared that if she continues to suck at not working, she might be pressured to try working while her home is chaos, and that is scary. So yes, the idea of working does scare mommy. It does. But that's not why she's not making progress on the house. 
Rather, mommy feels that this whole why-can't-you-clean-up-the-house topic is a distraction and wants to get back to the real issue. 


Because mommy had an epiphany last week. A scary epiphany. 
Mommy realized that she isn't just avoiding looking at the house. It's a lot bigger than that. The house is a red herring really. (Mommy used to be a lawyer and lawyers like red herrings. In analyses. Mommy doesn't eat herring. Mommy's never seen a red herring, but the grey ones look gross enough, oily, pickled things at a Dutch pier or worse, in a big, bland jar in the supermarket.)
Mommy's distracting herself again. She's fucking annoying that way. 
Okay mommy, where did that epiphany go? (Mental flashback to the coffeeshop where this happened, while working on homework for anxiety group therapy...) Just the flash, not the irrelevant distraction. Stop typing and let yourself remember. Even if it hurts. 
Right, I don't just distract myself to avoid seeing the clutter (although the clutter is upsetting and overwhelming.) No. 
I distract myself to avoid feeling my pain. The pain isn't (just) about the clutter. (For all I know the clutter is a way to avoid the pain too -- isn't that what they say about hoarding?) See, distracting myself again. No. No. No.
I (that's me, mommy) distract myself to avoid feeling all my pain and sadness. Not just the stuff around me. The stuff inside me. 
I realized this when I was working on my homework and I had to take off the blinders. I had to look at my feelings. And the pain came and it was scary. The pain is emotional pain. It's sadness. But it's so much more than sadness. It's a lifetime of fear and sad and scared and confusion and trying. Or something like that. I'm not really tapped into it now. Or rather, my door is shut. I'm distracted by typing, etc. 
What forced me to open the door was that anxiety group therapy homework, so I guess I should get back to it. 
It was so powerful to me at that moment, so much so that I expressed it in the group 30 minutes later, by which time it sounded trite or fake... it's so easy for it to slip away from me, but it hit me like a tidal wave when I was open to it.


I'm reminded of the day I blurted out in therapy that, "I stare into the computer screen to avoid seeing my life!" and made a little box around my face with my hands. 
I took this as an explanation of why I waste time online, but that missed the point, which is that I'm avoiding my life. A friend later asked, "What is it in your life that you're trying to avoid?" It struck me as a profound question, and I couldn't answer it.
I think, now, that I'm avoiding my emotional pain. It's that simple and that big.


The thing I realized last week is that I am full of pain and sadness, and I am afraid of it. I am afraid that if I feel it, I'll go under. I'll fall apart. I put on a happy face and out I go. So much so that sometimes I doubt myself. My depression is being treated, I'll tell myself. My mood is okay. Except that it isn't.
Each day I can worry about my ADHD or my anxiety or my mood or my son or other loved ones or the world (no end of worries there). And just typing that brings up a rush of anxiety. I'm scared, because in my heart I know that those are distractions. 
Then that next thought comes flying in -- no, no, think positive! Do the opposite thing! Don't wallow. 
I'm not wallowing. I'm avoiding. 
When I look at, really look at, what I've been avoiding, I start crying. 
Again, counter thought says, see, if you stop avoiding you start crying! So stop avoiding!
But it doesn't work that way. Even my dear, sweet husband said that. You can't keep avoiding it. You have to get in there and deal with it. 
Okay. That's my assignment.