Another key element that we discussed at my first therapy appointment was ENERGY.
How to find a balance....what gives me energy? what takes away energy?
The gap between my true self and the self I portray to the world sucks a lot of energy from my life. We all have such a gap, I think. I mean, if we all walked around with our hearts on our sleeves or our minds completely open to each other all the time, it would be like an episode of "The Twilight Zone." We probably all need a small gap, just to keep the world spinning.
It's just when the gap is so big that you are physically and emotionally drained from it, that it becomes a problem. My gap is huge right now; I'm spending too much energy trying to keep the gap the size that it is. The result of reconcilizing that distance should be an energy gain. And if I can gain energy then I will feel better.
But.... that's going to be a process. Finding a balance and closing the gap is not going to happen quickly. So in the mean time, where am I getting energy from? And where am I losing it?
I kept a running list on Thursday night and Friday during the day (before the car accident, which, I might add, was HUGELY energy draining, but obviously out of my control). Here it is (and it is not all inclusive. This is just what I kept track of in about a 24 hour period).
ENERGY Plus +
*Cleaned the kitchen after my therapy appointment (I had 45 minutes, and I'd left my kitchen a mess for 3 days, and the thought and sight of the kitchen drained my energy)
*Picking up the kids at day care/school gives me energy. I love seeing their happy faces when I pick them up.
*Reading one or two blogs at a time.
*Writing my blog.
*Listening to music.
*Cooking a healthy, from scratch dinner for myself (chopped veggies & chicken & stir fried them)
ENERGY Minus -
*Not eating lunch (by 5 pm hungry & tired)
*Arguing with Luke about gymnastics (after day care, he didn't want to go right then, but he still wants to go to gymnastics. I had to explain several times that we don't just NOT do something because we aren't in the mood.... I know, I need to take this same advice)
*Facebook. In many ways I love Facebook. Love it so much, it became an addiction in many ways. More often than not, it's bad for me.
*Reading too many blogs at once
*Writing (too much at once)
*Dirty, messy house
*Worrying about my messy house & all the unfinished projects
*Trying to DO too much after work (Thursday nights are gymnastics for Luke from 5:30-6:30, then I have church choir at 7 pm. I haven't been to choir in a couple of months. I want to go to choir, but I'm out of energy by 7 pm. But NOT doing choir when I'm SUPPOSED to be doing choir is energy draining. Oy.)
I have a lot of "shoulds" in my life. They are mostly, if not all, self imposed. And the shoulds are very, very energy draining.
Also, when I'm out of energy, I often do things that make it worse. Like eat fast food or junk food and lay around on the couch and watch TV. I actually feel better making good food and listening to music while I cook. The problem is, when I'm tired, the idea of doing anything but nothing is overwhelming.
Thursday after therapy I felt a lot better. Friday I felt better during the day (the sun was shining). Friday after the accident, I was toast. Saturday I was a lump all day. I could not make myself do anything but take care of kids and the dog. Sunday we all went to church, I taught my 2-3 year olds class, we all went to the grocery afterwards, I chopped & cooked fresh foods while listening to music, I ate lunch in the sunshine.
And I had a sliver of happiness that I let get snatched away by a conversation with my husbands about "shoulds." I was observing (a.k.a. complaining, I guess) about everything that needed to be done outside (deck and fence powerwashed, new outdoor table so we can eat outside, new loungechairs so we can lounge outside--table got shattered in a storm a few years ago; lounge chairs were stolen from our backyard the same year). All he heard were things that were going to cost us money; he made a snarky comment, I got mad and went in the house. We had a fight, then a disucssion, and we were OK but then I was toast again.
I ended up having a fairly productive Sunday. I slept well last night, but today was cloudy and windy and a low pressure storm system came through and sapped my energy (very sensitive to weather changes, obviously). Then when I got to work, I had an unexpected client review to do, and then while our client was here, I got a call from Sophie's teacher that she wasn't feeling well and could I come and pick her up. So, picked up Sophie, off to the doctor, then wait at the drugstore, then back to the office.
I was wiped out and instead of doing work, I wrote this blog. It made me feel a little better. Sophie & Mark & I talked for a bit about her day, and that helped me feel a little better. When I got home tonight, I cleaned my bedroom, started my laundry, cleaned the kitchen, got dinner put together, made sure Sophie did her homework, and now I'm finishing my blog.
I've still got laundry to finish (two loads of my clothes), and we are getting the kids to bed now. It was an energy sucking kind of day. But because I'm AWARE of that, and of what makes me feel better, I found a tiny bit of energy that is making me feel a tiny bit better.
Tiny steps in the right direction.
p.s. - I discovered (confirmed actually) that I can't eat any chocolate anymore if I don't want to have a headache. It was just dark chocolate; now it's any chocolate, even a small amount. I also had a burrito from Moe's Saturday, and had a horrible headach almost immediately after eating it. They advertise "all natural ingredients." I don't know what did it, but something there made me get a migraine. No mo Moe's. Or chocolate. If I want to feel good anyway. Which, yeah, I guess I do. Heck, before you know it, everything that's in a package will make me sick and I'll have to eat healthy all the time... there's a thought.