My muscles love me. My knees hate me

You guys!!! I ran 3 miles today. After work. After a stupid busy Satuday. It helped that it was sunny and 60 degrees, but still! 

My muscles were so happy. They were all “Omg. I have missed moving! This is great! I love stretching and getting blood. Yay!!!”  

But my knees were saying something less family friendly. Every step was “F~€k you. F~€k you. F~€k you. F~€k you. ” It was very consistent, I’ll give them that. 

To be fair to my shitty knees, I am running in the same shoes that I trained for and completed my Ironman in, so they have many miles and no cushion in them. Don’t fuss. My new shoes have arrived and I will be wearing them next time. 

Here’s hoping this is the start of a beautiful new/old habit!! And that this kicks my brain in gear because I don’t want to have to find a therapist. 

I want to hug you all right now but it’s probably just the endorphins and the lack of oxygen to my brain since I forgot my inhaler. But still. Love you all!

Well, hello there again.

I’ve been visited by Depression’s BFF lately. Anxiety wasn’t really invited when she first stopped by, and she sure as hell has overstayed her welcome. Both Depression and Anxiety make it hard to get out of bed and function in the real world. When Depression sets up camp, I don’t want to get out of bed because what’s the point? Nothing matters. Nothing is worth getting out of bed for. I have no worth and I’m DEFINITELY not worth expending that minuscule amount of energy that I have left in my body. When Anxiety is here, I want to cover my head and curl up into a tiny ball of raw nerves that vaguely resembles the shape of a female adult human. Depression makes it hard to function because I just have no energy and no desire to do anything, even things I love doing. I live in a foggy brain that can’t make sense of the world and the sunshine. And everything feels so. damn. heavy. Anxiety makes it hard to function because every nerve in my body is ready at a moment’s notice to send out signals to run or fight or have a heart attack. Some of those nerves think it’s fun to misfire and send out those signals all day long.

I know, just KNOW in my heart that something bad is happening or is about to happen. I forgot something important or I made the wrong decision or I have a terrible disease or someone I love has something bad happening to them or the car repair is going to be super expensive or I forgot that something is coming out of the bank account or I forgot to turn off something I should have turned off or I will never get everything done that I need to do or why can’t I concentrate on anything right now or my patient is dying or I messed up that routine surgery when everything seemed totally fine but probably isn’t fine or I am going to be fired or I am going to be sued or someone is mad at me or someone is judging me or …

Actually, all those “or”s should be “and”s because all those thoughts are going through my mind at the same time and my body is pumping out crazy amounts of adrenaline and cortisol. And it is exhausting. It’s probably similar to trying to make sense of that paragraph o’ run on sentence. Welcome to my brain when Anxiety is visiting! I just want to cry all the time, but not because there is no point to being alive, like when Depression is here, but because there is just too much and I just can’t deal with all of that at once for days at a time.

Honestly, I’m pretty good in the moment when something is happening. I can deal with unexpected problems in surgery and I can deal with bad news when it is delivered and I can perform in front of big crowds and I can handle an actual emergency when it happens. (Afterward, I shake and sometimes cry, but not until that shit is under control.) I cannot deal with the constant onslaught of hormones that Anxiety brings with her. Our bodies aren’t really meant to. Those hormones and on-edge nerves are meant for sprinting, not marathons.

Anxiety is getting the hint and is starting to pack up her bags to leave, but I am worn out. And I really don’t quite know how to deal with her. She’s visited off and on since I was a teenager, but she didn’t move in with me like Depression did. I have learned some coping mechanisms for Depression (and finally found a medication that helps) but I’m still struggling with Anxiety. Exercise probably helped a lot and since I still have done nothing in the way of making that a routine again, it let Anxiety just invite herself right in.

I do have a half marathon coming up in April. Once I can quiet my mind enough to look at a training plan, I might just be able to get Anxiety out of here for awhile. You all may get tired of it, but I will try to post my workouts daily on here, for accountability.

Um… There will probably be many days (if you follow this blog and don’t “unfollow” when you see the phrase “post daily workouts”) when you think “Oh, she just forgot to post or she was too busy” and I love you for giving me credit like that. In reality, I probably found some way to rationalize not exercising that day.

I love you all and if you have any suggestions for dealing with Anxiety, I’d love to hear them. (Suggestions from experience, please.) Comment away!

Redirected Resolutions

Happy New Year! So, how excited are you all to be starting a new calendar year?!?!?!?! I have mixed feelings about the whole “It’s a new year. Everything starts anew” idea. On the one hand, it’s really just the next day of the next week of the next month of the next year in a reeeeeally (hopefully) long story of a life. On the other hand, it seems like a convenient time to re-evaluate goals and give ourselves permission to forget the failures of previous year and start again with new enthusiasm.

On that note, I was totally planning on getting this year started right!!!!

You caught that, right? “planning” Yep. The new year had different plans right off the bat.

January 1, 2016:

Me: Yay! It’s a new year. THIS year, I am definitely going to re-start training for the next triathlon AND I’m going to eat healthy AND finally get the house organized AND be super organized with meal planning and stuff AND get the mini-me’s room organized AND really be a great veterinarian AND make time for friends AND get places on time AND save lots of money AND make my house look like something out of a magazine that is super chill but really awesome….

The Universe:   Hahahahahahahahaha.   Hahaha.   Whew.  Haha.

 

January 1st I was scheduled to work; it’s my holiday to take care of hospitalized patients. I planned to go run after doing the treatments at work (even though I am still recovering from the virus-progressing-to-bronchitis fun times as is tradition for me this time of year), then head home to get started on the big cleaning day.

 

I woke up with a headache. Not unusual lately. I apparently sleep on my right side, because all fluid in my whole head was lodged in the right side, especially the sinuses. Usually this gets better the longer I am up (being mostly upright and walking around and all…). Not on that day. My headache got worse and worse. I took NSAIDs and a decongestant when I got to work, drank 2 cups of coffee, ate a little something, drank plenty of water… Nothing. Just getting worse.

Got home, after not running, and took more NSAIDs, drank more water, and hid my head under a blanket. Nothing. Plus I was freezing. I took a super hot shower, which made my sinuses feel better but I still had a headache and while standing in the shower, I suddenly felt SO SLEEPY that I almost fell asleep standing up. In the shower. I got out of the shower and went straight into bed without even drying off. Woke up in 45 minutes. Headache was mostly gone, but it was still hovering around the edges and my body felt dead tired.

I made it back to work, came home, ate a sandwich and went right back to bed.

 

I’m still feeling like my body is tired and I am still coughing up my lungs, but the headache is mostly gone.

I learned 2 things that day:

1) I have a wonderful little family. My husband and daughter didn’t expect epic things from me that day. They snuggled with me when I needed it; they did their own things when I needed a nap; they took care of their own dinner.

2) My resolutions needed to be adjusted.

 

Apparently the Universe and my body got tired of trying to nudge me toward a healthier mindset and decided to just shove me in that direction. I don’t have my goals quite right. Turns out, I don’t need to push myself as hard as I can. (Now there’s something that IS REALLY, REALLY hard for me to get my head around.) I need to take care of myself. There it is. My new goal.

Take care of yourself.

Woah. Such a cliché little phrase of 4 words. But that day, it meant something.

Take care of yourself. You only get one go at this. No one but you is expecting you to be perfect and to do everything.

You want to exercise because you know it helps you feel better? You should definitely do that. You want to beat yourself up because you didn’t run as fast or as far or as often as you planned? No. Not this year.

You want to eat healthier because you want to fuel your body with good stuff instead of junk that makes you feel cranky and sluggish? You should do that. You want to mentally berate yourself because you ate too many cookies at work and you worked too late to make the meal you planned and now you’re having a PB&J for dinner? No. Not this year.

You want to organize things so that you can find them easily (since your memory is not so good lately)? Good idea. You want to get frustrated because your stuff doesn’t look like a magazine or pictures on Facebook and Pinterest? No. Not anymore.

Take care of yourself.

I have a hard time setting aside time for me to take care of me. It feels selfish and I have a really long list of things I “should” be doing instead. But that’s silly. I know, I know. I’ve heard the whole “you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help others – that’s why they say that in the pre-flight instructions” stories and all the little inspirational quotes. And they’re true and they sound good. But I never actually internalized them. They were just another thing to put in my “you should do this” file in my brain <– which is totally disorganized and often misplaced (the files in my brain, not my brain itself. Thank god that thing is encased in bone or it would have been lost a long time ago!)

My body and my spirit were telling me to take care of myself. I am important and, although I am unique and irreplaceable, I don’t have to do everything. And, even though this is REALLY hard to admit, I can’t do everything. I just can’t. And you know what? That’s not a failure or a weakness. It’s just a fact. I can do a lot of awesome things, but I can’t do everything all at the same time. I’m going to have to pick and choose what I can do. (It’s hard for me to even type that). And the way to decide what I am going to do is to take care of myself. Number one. And not in the “look out for number one” kind of way. More of the “I need to water and nourish this tree so it can provide fruit and shade and protection for others and so it will be able to weather the storms” kind of way.

So I have rested and slept and snuggled with my family and I haven’t put any pressure on myself this weekend. Each day, I still made a to-do list because if I don’t make a list, I feel confused and directionless and like I’m forgetting everything I wanted to accomplish and it’s just not good for my brain. But this time, my list just had 2 tasks on it: one was something I needed to get done that day, but was very attainable since it was just one thing; the other was “Take care of yourself.”

Each day that may be different. The past few days, it has meant that I needed to rest. But tomorrow that may mean I try out the online yoga site I looked at or I might go run or swim after work, even though there are lots of things I “should” be doing then.

Today’s to-do list says:

1.Take care of yourself.

  1. Do laundry.

If I have energy and the desire, I’ll also clean up the kitchen and plan meals for the week.

 

If not, that’s ok.

It’s not even on my list.