Sunday, March 27, 2011

all talk and no action....

I don't know who to talk to about everything that's going on in my head these days. I need to process whatever it is I am going through and I have a hard enough time putting it into words in my own head, let alone explain it to someone else. I'm tired of coming back to the same issues - lack of confidence, self esteem, not knowing how to be myself completely (especially in my new role as a mother), how to speak up, how to not be afraid or anxious as much, exercise more, eat better, make more friends, connect better with R again, on and on and on. Its like a broken record. I found some old journals from a few years ago and I was saying the same things then - exercise more, eat better, be better in general - how can I just be happy with who I am when I don't know who that is?!! or who I want to be?!! I always end up wallowing, feeling like I'm suffocating in my own inadequacies or lack of motivation or inspiration or energy or whatever it is this week. I stopped worrying so much about the sleep stuff and now pour all that fear and doubt into my relationship with R and how we don't connect the way we used to and how I can fix it - but its not about that either. It's about being happy to be myself, but also remembering that I am taking care of a toddler full time and we have no family here to help us out and I have yet to organize a babysitter, so life is pretty full just on its own.
Its like I have all these little boxes that need to be checked off everyday, every week - did we get some couple time, did R and the Little Man have some time, did we both get some alone time, did I eat well, did I exercise enough, did we see our friends, did we have some family time - and if I don't check them all off, then there's something wrong with me, and i'm failing on some level. or lots of levels! so I set myself up to fail so I can beat myself up - lovely. And I have been doing this for a very long time - even when I was a kid. Now I need to stop and figure out what makes me happy, what helps me feel more grounded and settled on a daily basis, and what I can do something about and what I have to let go of.
I'm so worried about saying something or doing something that will upset R, put him in one of his bad moods, that I end up doing nothing and feeling anxious because of it. I'm allowed to speak my mind or say I'm going for a run or need some space or ask for help around the house. My inner assumption is that if someone gets mad, they will leave, so I don't want to risk it. and because I'm not my best self these days, I worry he doesn't even have a good reason to stay, other than his adorable son of course! I feel clingy, highly strung, needy, and lost - nothing that can be very appealing to someone living with me. Sure, I make him tea and take care of things around the house and spend the day with our son, but can that be enough? I want to be fun, energetic, interesting, full of good stuff to talk about, braver, and more in tune with myself - am I putting too much pressure on myself to be that person? I think she's already in there, I've just covered her up under fear, laziness, anxiety, and boredom. and I could go the rest of my life like this - but I don't want to. I need to accept that life is tough right now, but stop being so negative and afraid and just do something about it!!
what can I do right now, in this moment, today, this week, to be more authentic? I can continue to go running three times a week. I can connect with my friends again this week. I can sign us up for a class. I can set up a date with R again - a walk or just a movie together at home. I can stop eating so much crap, get it out of the house altogether, and find a new way to feed myself that isn't a diet or restrictive and painful. I can make more time to read my books, to learn something new. I can make time to find some work I can do from home. I can find a way to meet new people. I can get us out for longer walks now that its getting nice out again. I can get my family out for a walk every weekend somewhere - research some in the area and just go. I can research a few holiday options for us for this summer - then we know how much, how far, what there is to do, where we'd like to go. I can encourage R to set up a family playdate with some of the people he works with who are really nice. I can let go of the perfect image i have of myself and my life. I can take a few minutes to just breath and be grateful for how lucky I am.

Monday, March 21, 2011

filling a hole...

Plug Hole, England

Its yet another grey day and I can't help but think how much this winter has kicked my ass. We've barely seen the sun, the wind blows a constant chill through all of us, and it doesn't feel like spring will ever come back! I have always had a hard time with winter - the short dark days, the cold, the stir craziness, the dreariness of it all - and I have yet to find a way to shake it off. I go into each winter hoping this year will be better, only to come out in March feeling beaten and so depressed. Maybe I do have SAD (seasonal affective disorder), might need to get that checked out. I loved winter when I was a kid, so maybe as the Little Man gets older, I will find ways to enjoy it again, but right now, I'm not happy and its only getting more frustrating.
I am finding life really hard lately and I don't know why. I keep eating to try and fill the hole in my soul...sounds so silly really, but that's what it feels like. I have a wonderful husband, an amazing little boy who brings me more joy (and more fear and anxiety and frustration) then I ever could have imagined, with some great new friends and we live in a wonderful part of the world- what do I have to complain about?!!!! I think that's what's making it even harder for me to feel like this - like something's missing, or I'm not doing enough. I've put on the pounds this winter from my diet of carbs, chocolate, cookies and homemade goodies. I haven't had enough vegetables, or fruit or anything that really resembles healthy eating. I'm sure a therapist would look at me and see right away that something is off - why can't I put my finger on it so I can fix it?!! I know the sleep deprivation is one thing - I'm tired and I feel like a failure for not being able to get my child to sleep better, or for even trying to change anything. Sleep deprivation does lead to weight gain, so they say. Of course, weight gain only slams my already weak self esteem even more - why don't I take better care of myself, I look horrible, I am so un-sexy and unattractive, who would want me really?!! I know I'm using my role as a mother to hide behind my own priorities, but why? I'm afraid to speak up, even to R. My mom just keeps telling me I need to get more people in my life, which is another obvious solution, but not one I seem to be able to solve very well. I think about signing us up for a program for Luke, but he hasn't been into it and I am not sure which ones would suit us both. After the debacle with the swimming lessons in the summer, I must admit I am totally gunshy about joining something. and he can be so shy sometimes and scared around new people - I don't know how to set it up so he feels comfortable and also learns that its ok to be around new people. trying new things isn't something he's scared of, just the people.
I feel guilty about so many things- not bringing more people into Luke's life,not being able to help him sleep better, not being able to stop the breastfeeding or bed sharing, not socializing him more, keeping him away from his extended family, not going away with him or going out to eat more often, on and on and on- part of being a parent I know, but when I'm already down, the guilt only increases.
I feel like I'm on such a downward spiral, I don't know how to catch myself. How to feel energetic, happy, useful, productive, interesting/interested, beautiful, connected, calm, alive again. Then, on the other hand, I don't want to put so much pressure on myself to be amazing either - can I not just be myself and that be enough? But who am I when I'm being myself? the self I want to be!?! The one I am right now isn't it!! I don't like being tired, scared, lazy, unmotivated, anxious, uncertain, lost. I need some direction, some help, some guidance to shake this off and get out there and start living life again. I'm tired of waiting for life to happen to me, for it to sort itself out, for L to learn how to do it differently on his own, for R to tell me I'm amazing and wonderful all the time and do more around the house on his own. I need to stop feeling like life is running away with me,with us, and figure out which things I can do something about and which things I simply need to let go of or accept. I'm not saying this is going to be easy, but its a much better road for me to be on then sitting around worrying about messing up my child, ruining my relationship with R, and totally losing myself in all of it.
Life feels so hard sometimes, but I'm not dealing with the aftermath of an earthquake (knock on wood!!) or a flood or with so many other challenging things I could be facing, so I need to be grateful for the life I have and the opportunity to make it even better. Need to be gentler with myself though and set up some goals to go for and see what I can do from there.