Tag Archives: self care

Tired.

Have you ever felt so tired inside and out that you just wanted to cry but…couldn’t? 

It’s not depression. I’m not depressed. I get out of bed. I go through with my day. I find enjoyment in small things. I just feel…exhausted.

This isn’t news either, I realize. I’m working a 40-hour a week job in which I see an average of 35 patients a day, I commute 40 minutes by public transit each way, I’m taking a class every Sunday for three hours and I am actively interviewing, meeting with clients and attending births at all hours. Even as I write this, I feel guilty saying that this is ‘busy’ since I’m not shuttling kids around all day. Still, I feel so busy and just tired.

I’m doing such awesome things though you guys. I am seeing BABIES BORN. I’m watching moms become moms and dads become dads. I get to see dads go from disinterested or unsure to, “HOLY CRAP!? That’s my SON!” then racing to cut the cord.  I talk to loving nurses and doctors who very clearly want the best for my clients, regardless of what they’d do.  I get to help women see how amazingly capable they are and see them fall in love within seconds. It’s so ridiculously wonderful and by far some of the best moments of my work.

The flip side to that is…I see a lot of not so fun stuff.  I am having trouble walking away from each birth after seeing care providers disrespect my clients, knowing it didn’t have to be like that. Hearing someone say, “Well you’re ONLY three centimeters…” and then walk out of the room. Seeing them perform vaginal exams without even asking before penetration. I see family members trying so hard to convince their daughters to just, ‘take the drugs’ and ‘why do you want to suffer?’  I see a lack of lactation support in hospitals, a lack of true, unbiased childbirth education, I see a lot of scared women who are not being helped by their friends’ horror stories of how awful their labor was, how tired they were after their baby was born, how badly it will hurt and how their life is over.

So. Naturally. Sometimes, the bad outweighs the good. I can’t seem to step away from each birth and feel like I really helped. Instead, I walk away feeling like it could have been different and I couldn’t help MORE.  This is primarily why I suspect I’ll be applying to Midwifery School in the next couple years. Once I get some other things settled – I really think it’s the only way for me to really change the system. As a mentor of mine said, at least if I were their care provider, I’d know that they were treated with respect and would be heard.  I at least would know that someone believed in their bodies. 

What I am finding is that…I am struggling to open up. I’m struggling with all of this inside. The good, the bad and the ugly – all wrapped up inside.  I sat in a circle of amazing doulas last night, listening to birth stories. Some were so beautiful and wonderful, while others were absolutely tragic.  I was so proud to listen to these beautiful women tell the stories they’d been a part of and was blessed to support them. Even through all of this – I felt alone. I felt like I didn’t belong and didn’t fit in. I found myself wanting to share but not being able to figure out WHY I wanted to share. I just wanted to talk. As a particularly hard memory from my last birth popped up, someone I didn’t know well looked me in the eye and said, “You know, if you need one of us to cover you for even an hour during a birth, so you can take care of yourself, you need to do it.”

In that moment, I wanted to go off and talk to her. There was something about this person’s energy and spirit that I just…felt safe with. I had felt so alone that night, in the midst of all this love, but in that moment I just felt like I needed to cling to her.  Instead, I gave her a hug before I left and made a note to email her a thank you today.  I cried when I left the workshop because I felt like I didn’t know how to make deep, meaningful friendships. The kind where I don’t feel guilty calling them and needing them. I NEVER feel bad when someone needs me, but…it’s different. It’s me. I’m too much for anyone.

So. I’m struggling with just being emotionally tired. Exhausted. Worn out. I can’t stop being a doula, taking classes or reading about birth because it really feels like who I am inside. I can’t stop working the paying job even though it’s crazy because I make decent money for us and they love me there. I love my patients. I’m not quite sure where to go.

I just am finding it hard to reach out and say I need a hug – without some REASON for needing to talk and hug. Just because isn’t enough for me. I had no idea I struggled so hard with being vulnerable but apparently I do.  I worry too intensely about what someone will think of me, will my thoughts be crazy or too spinny. I don’t even contact my own mentor that gets PAID to help me because…I just don’t know what to do. What to say. Why we are meeting.  Then it makes me anxious.

I came home early from work today at 3pm and crashed. For 2 hours. I’ve been weepy ever since but I think it will pass. 

I’m just really tired y’all.  Thanks for keeping this space open for me.  

2013 Copycat

I was completely geared up to do a lovely run down of 2013 a la All & Sundry  after enjoying posts by Jess and Jennie. But you know something? 2013 feels a bit more fluid than that for me so I’m just going to ramble and see what comes out.

2013

2013 was pretty sucky in so many ways but also I started to really find myself this year, so it ended pretty well.

This year, my heart hurt, my body hurt, my mind hurt. I feel like I suffered an awful lot, telling myself ‘at least you have a roof over your head, Sarah’. Not that that sort of self talk is helpful, but, I am nothing if not constantly working at being nicer to myself while reminding everyone else to do as I say, not as I do.

I was heavily depressed in 2013.  I struggled and some days just getting out of bed was something to celebrate – that is – if I had the energy to celebrate.  I drowned in a sea of fear and anger and instead of taking charge of my life, I let it wash me away.  I lost one of the best people I’ve ever known because I did not take my own life into my hands and let fear overrun me.  I was too afraid to take steps I needed to.

In my most self-compassionate moments I can look at 2013 and see exactly why I felt so heavy and burdened.  I felt heart ache and heart break. I lost close friends. I lived far from my family. I struggled financially. I almost left my marriage.  I worked out too much. I didn’t work out enough. I forced myself to restrict my diet. Then I let it all go and ate like crap. I left an apartment I’d lived in for almost 7 years. I left behind everything that wouldn’t fit in a Toyota echo and moved across the country. I got riled up by injustices and hateful words so easily spoken.   I moved to NYC…without first having a place to live. My Nana’s sister was diagnosed with dementia, moved out of her lifelong home and my Nana went to see her for the last time. I was jobless and rejected. Repeatedly.  I lost weight. I gained weight.   I laid awake nights worrying about a dwindling bank account. I had a sick pet. I felt lonely.  My Aunt was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer and was not expected to live through the year.  My Dad was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma and did not heave health insurance.

I mean…I may have a reason or three to feel like I did. Maybe. 

I guess it really is the truth when they say you have to know the lows to appreciate the highs.  When I was at my worst, I reached out. Those of you that have suffered heavy depression and anxiety know just how hard it is to reach out in those moments. The fears of those judging you or thinking how annoying and ’emo’ you are can be so soul crushing.  You know? I really think that opening myself up and reaching out to friends both near and far – new and…well new, was one of the best things that I did in 2013.  I harbored a lot of hurt and resentment in 2013.  I laid a lot of heavy blame on myself and took a lot of damage points but…I reached out. I asked for help. I asked for understanding and love.

Boy, did you guys respond. Holy hannah.  So many of you just came out of the woodwork to support me, pouring praise and love in tidal waves and I cannot thank you enough for that. For all the energy you send me, for the time you spent thinking of me and being hopeful for me. For all the love you had to give and gave to me.  I feel so indebted so often to many of you and I don’t say thank you often enough. I have a running tally of people in my head that need to be thanked, told how much I appreciate them and that they are wonderful people.  Thank you. All of you.

The last bit of 2013…got better.

My Dad’s cancer responded to treatment. I got to spend Christmas with my family. I took a leap of faith and completed Birth Doula Training which changed me inside. I blogged more. I told friends I loved them.  I got a job that I love.  Friends visited.  I decorated a new apartment.  I found peace in running through the park.  I got a real Christmas tree.  I joined the Sisterhood of Avalon.  I read…a lot…of crap that felt great.  I began to love New York City.  My Aunt’s cancer has responded to treatment.  I participated in several CDP exchanges that made me happy.  I discovered there was a reason that I was so emotional – I’m a Highly Sensitive Person.  I read and found others like myself.  I opened up and was vulnerable.  I loved as much as I possibly could.  I discovered New York pizza.  I got an Edible Arrangement! I started finding some self confidence.

So, 2013. It’s gone.  Literally and figuratively.  I’d like to be different this year.

I plan on setting a few intentions quietly here at home, maybe making one of those cliched intention boards.  For now, here are a few things that I want for 2014.

-I want to be more compassionate and kind. I always try to be more of these things but I’d like to make a bigger effort. I want to stop judging and being crabby about people. I just want to love them for who they are even without knowing their story. We are all coming from somewhere.

-I want to take better care of my body -emotionally, physically and mentally.  I would like to exercise more and eat better. I know how – it just takes discipline and willpower. I’m coming out of the fog, I can do this.

-I want to attend a Sisterhood of Avalon Intensive, bonding with my sisters and the Goddess.

-I want to kick sugar.  It’s awful and has a hold on me like whoa. No good people. I would like to be able to eat a cookie, not the box.

-I would like to attend at least 4 births this year – completing my DONA certification.

-I’d like to take some coursework/certification in aromatherapy.

-I want to run some type of race this year. I’d LOVE to do a sprint triathlon in June. We shall see.

-I want to take a yoga class, an aerobics class and a dance class regularly.

-I want to be better at planning meals and snacks, to make sure I am fueled all day and can avoid sugar and caffeine to boost me.

-I want to learn more handicrafts. Knitting. Crocheting. Quilting. For peace of mind and spirit.

-I would like to volunteer in NYC – perhaps as a birth doula or elsewhere.

-I would like to budget better and save money to afford to help others and surprise friends with little things more often.

-I’d like to journal more often and keep on top of my thoughts and my heart, working on doing things to keep my self-confidence growing.

***

I think this year is set up to be far better than last and boy, am I ready.

Bring it 2014. 

Currently

Thanks to Sometimes Sweet for the inspiration for today’s post. 

Currently I am…

Reading:  I am such a schitzophrenic reader. I have so many abandoned books, not because I didn’t like them, but because I wanted to read something else RIGHT THEN. I am at the moment, drowning myself in smutty romances in attempt to hide from stress. Drowning myself I tell you. I can’t tear through them fast enough. I have gone through this and this in the last twenty four hours. I know, I know. Quality reading.

I am also reading The Birth Partner as a requirement for my doula training which begins TOMORROW. Gasp! I love the topic but I won’t lie, it’s pretty dry.  I have the Emperor’s Edge on hold, half read. I also have Elaine Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Person continually banging around, reading parts of it as I have time and energy. It’s some heavy reading and ‘doing’ for me. Lots of internal work but honestly, if you are Highly Sensitive, think you might be or have an HSP family member, it’s a great place to begin.  (You can also see my growing list of resources here.)

Oh hey! I also am reading a TON of blogs lately! Thanks NaBloPoMo! I love having a full feed of blogs to read so keep up the great work people!

2013-11-08 16.53.08

Doing: I have spent some time each day searing and applying for jobs, but honestly? I am not doing much these days. I am lethargic from all that is going on, (as you may have read earlier this week) and I’m just not doing a whole lot. I feel guilty about this of course but some wise friends I think would categorize this as self care. I’d like to get out a bit more, but for now, I’m just making sure I am up, dressed (sort of), showered and fed. It’s a tall order these days.

Cooking: I’ve had a few days of I-have-no-energy-even-to-do-what-I-love, which suuuuuucks. It sucks to feel like you can’t even enjoy what normally makes you feel good, let alone feed yourself. Now I’ve gotten into the I-need-to-hide-from-the-pain-and-stress period of this crap, which means lots of cooking and baking.  Yesterday I had a pot of beans going all day, but other than that I laid in bed for over 12 hours, reading and napping.  A few days before that I made this Caramelized Onion Greek Yogurt Dip, which is DELICIOUS.  I’ve got Smitten Kitchen‘s Lazy Pizza Dough rising on my counter for a Mexican style pizza with queso fresco and I may try to do some baking. Perhaps banana bread or chocolate chip cookies. We shall see, it’s getting late, or at least I feel the pressure of evening bearing down on me.  (Side note: You should make the pizza and the dip. Really. )

2013-10-21 21.00.08

Thinking: I don’t even know. My head hurts. My brain is scattered and thoughts are all over the place. I want to get up and go out but don’t have the energy. Right now I just am thinking about my training this weekend and trying not to be too stressed about it. It will be 9am-6pm for three days. I’m excited but a little scared at the same time if I’m honest.

Watching:  Oh man, I am a TV watcher right now. I’ve exhausted my Vampire Diaries, The Originals, American Horror Story today. Last night it was Covert Affairs, White Collar, Elementary and The Voice.  This moment it’s Big Bang Theory and maybe some Archer for a little levity. As always, The Cosby Show is a daily occurance. DAILY.

Other shows that I am following this fall: Dracula, Reign, RHOBH, Vanderpump Rules, Top Chef, Cutthroat Kitchen

Working on: I am working on keeping myself upright. I am working on reaching out and being unapologetic for who I am and where I am. I am working on being more kind, less sarcastic, less crabby.  I’m working on writing more poetry. I’m working on putting myself out there more. I am working on feeding myself, exercising and laughing. I am working on healing some pretty deep wounds lately and I am really, truly working on understanding why they are there.  I’m working on making sure that I have a happy, healthy space.

More tangibly (or maybe not), I am working on some spiritual things. I am really giving a lot of thought into my application for the Sisterhood of Avalon. I think I am ready and am looking forward to the journey. I think it flows so well with my doula and midwifery training. I am a bit fluttery inside about it.

Loving: Pacifica’s hand lotions and body washes. I found a bunch of travel sized ones at Marshalls and have been going through them like crazy. I love the Hawaiian Ruby Guava, Blood Orange and the French Lilac. I may have to hunt down some of the spicier ones to sniff. I love scents. I’m also loving my new Sock Monkey slippers from Target.  I love them. They make me happy and are cozy on the hardwood floors. Sometimes little things make me feel good.

2013-11-06 12.58.54

Feeling grateful for: The friends who have come out of the woodwork to support me. So many people that I’ve never met, but would welcome into my home any day of the week at any time. So many lovely people that have texted, emailed, commented, tweeted and private messaged just to check in on me.  I cannot begin to tell you how much the outpouring of support has meant to me. It’s always such a risk putting yourself out there you know? It feels like one to me and I just…I am overwhelmed by the support. I can’t always find the right words to respond with, but I am listening and I feel you. Goodness do I.

So thank you if you’ve spoken to me, or prayed quietly for me. I feel the love and I hear you. I’m trying to hear you better so keep talking, keep speaking.  Thank you for being kind people.  There really are lovely people in this world. I know this for a fact.

What are you up to currently?