I’m cheating a little, because the time period I’m covering in this post starts right after my session with E last Tuesday, so technically it should have been shared in the last post, but, I needed to save it for this one.
E’s advice to focus on living right now, in this moment, and not get sucked into thinking about, worrying about, or trying to control the future wasn’t a new or novel thing. It is something I’ve been advised a million times, read in the Bible over and over, it is common sense. But, sometimes it has to be the right person in the right moment for something to click. I guess it was that moment for those words, because I was really… unsettled by them. They kept running through my head and my heart, and I was really spun up, to tell the truth. At first I thought I was just drained from reliving all my anxiety of the previous days in my session, and I was, but it was more than that. God was calling to me, telling me I was ready. I am strong enough now it, little by little, day by day, pursue living into the truth that He is planting in place of the lies I have believed (particularly about my needing to perform or be perfect in order to be safe and loved). I wrestled, prayed, and started imagining what it could look like to do this.
Scott had already planned to take Thursday and Friday off so we could do some Fall Family Fun, so I decided to start there. I knew it would be a lot on my still drained (from last week’s anxiety episode) resources to do something “big” both days, and I was also feeling like I really wanted to put those resources into something that would really propel us in a meaningful direction. My mom had posted on Saturday about their church’s fall festival a week later that would have most of the same activities we usually enjoy at LLoyd’s Farm, but with the added benefit of SEEING NANA AND PAPA, and i was kinda feeling like I wanted to go for it. So I texted my sister Melissa and asked for her help finding out what my parents’ plans for the day were. She then said “Oh! We will be there too!” And I knew God was doing something, because I didn’t feel overwhelmed by an addition to my idea of the day- I was excited! Suddenly this meant I was going to be with my entire family at the same time for the first time in over two years, because I knew Christina and her boys would be there too. So, my tentative plan was to go to Carter Mountain and pick apples on Thursday, and Friday could be for recovery and running usual Saturday errands, and hopefully I’d be rested enough to go to Virginia Beach and see my family on Saturday! I’d even be able to just hole up and recover in a blanket burrito on Sunday if needed. That sounded like a plan.
While eating my tacos that evening (yes, this is all still on Tuesday!) , I realized I had no pants to wear to any of this. So I messaged Jett, to see if she was ready for our long awaited trip to the mall, right this minute, but unfortunately Tuesday nights she has plans. So Scott and I threw the kids in the car and he took them to get milkshakes while I finally went to buy some jeans. I felt awkward going into the store, in my leggings and messy hair and no makeup, but I was also determined to just do this and move on with my life. I was tired of having nothing to wear in public and that being yet another barrier to going out in public. So I tried on the jeans until i figured out my size, and i bought them, and left. Boom. Done.
I wasn’t really happy with the size of jeans I ended up needing to buy, but I’ve made peace with it, because I deserve to have nice, comfortable clothes that fit right now, not just whenever my body decides to acknowledge the work I’m doing. And maybe, just maybe, living more confidently and comfortably in the skin i am in will relieve stress in a way that allows my body to let go of the excess fat that it thinks it needs to say safe for famine or whatever, These jeans, though, y’all, Madewell Roadtripper convert for SURE here. I’ve never worn anything so comfortable. I hope they never stop selling them or change them at all.
After I had my jeans, I had to pop into the Peloton showroom, because, I mean… I had to. I ended up talking my face off about how much I love the bike, and yoga, and Denis, and I hope I helped the lady sell a bike. Seriously, I love Peloton, in case that’s news, and if you want to get one, I’d love to share my referral code! 😀
Wednesday, I was obviously exhausted, and basically wandered around in a stupor all day, with some anxiety spikes- so i didn’t exercise even a little, and tried to nap all I could. More than ever, I respect my body’s need to rest and recover.
Thursday morning I had a bit of a panic about going to the mountain. I was terrified that someone would get hurt, and was tempted to back out and just sleep all day. Instead i lay in bed next to Scott and listened as God called me to trust in him for our safety and protection. Right then, and the rest of the day and a number of times sinc, when I felt afraid, I whispered to myself, “Live right now like you trust Him”. It isn’t a magic spell, it doesn’t instantly remove the fear or anxiety, but it does give me a moment to breathe deeply and reorient. I’m so very glad we went. The kids were great at listening to my guidelines to help stay safe, and we had a really good time hiking all over the mountain to pick apples, learn about pumpkins, (I had no idea they were so low calorie!) take in beautiful views, and eat and drink delicious things.
It was also a perfect day, weather wise, which was a gift! When we got home, my entire body hurt from stretching myself, so it was time to R-E-S-T for the rest of the day and evening.
Friday morning i made a short list of things I wanted to do to prepare for my big day on Saturday, and Scott helped me make them happen. The big scary for the day was getting my eyebrows threaded. I am really proud that I did it, because i overcame a bunch of anxiety to go to a new place with strangers and let them do things to me. The outcome wasn’t great, and I won’t be going back there, but i am really proud I did it anyway. After that, we went to Costco, and that went great on, with the kids listening well, and it being far less crowded on a weekday afternoon. I also did a bunch of other self care, and took a nap, trying to rest up for Saturday, which i was getting more and more excited for- I was not anxious, just very very excited!
Saturday morning was like Christmas morning for me. I was so ready to get us all out the door and go be with my people after such a long time! We ran into some traffic on the way down, but got to my parents’ church safe and sound, and thankfully Christina met us in the parking lot to save me from having to awkwardly navigate till we saw my parents. I don’t even have words for how good it was to be with my family and how natural and easy and not awkward at all it was for me. We didn’t do as much festival stuf as expected, but i promised Lexi that’s next year would be different. Declan was a little overwhelmed while we were at the church, with allll the people and activity, but once we got to my parents’ house, he opened up, and my kids had the best time playing with their cousins.
I got at least a little quality time with both my sisters and my mama(and our friend Kari as a bonus!) , and I got to eat my Papa Bear’s cooking and get bear hugs. I even got to talk a little with my brother, in between his gaming. I also continue to absolutely adore my Brother in love Blake. (Only one we missed seeing was Brandon, Christina’s hubby.) Gah. Y’all, I don’t have words. It was just such a good day, seeing my kids be loved, feeling myself be loved and safe and just belong. I never wanted to leave. I moved up here to RVA almost 19 years ago and that tonight when we left was the first time in that entire time that I had the desire to move “home”. I love our life here, but i think it just means that as able, i want to spend more and more time with my amazing family. I know that this ne perfect day doesn’t mean I’m “all better” and that i will always be up for a family gathering, but a lot of the “what if’s” are gone, i know my family loves me, wants me, and I belong with them. I can now much easier cast aside the lies about being unloved and unwanted by them. I’m already trying to figure out when and how we can see them again. There is definitely a trip to visit Melissa and Blake in Farmville on the horizon.
Sunday was going to be for recovery, and it was, mostly. Whoever did the picking for our WalMart grocery order couldn’t find the cardamom, though, and i had to get some. Declan also needed a few things, so i decided to run into the store while Scott accepted the grocery pickup. That went just fine, which felt good. No anxiety, even in a Sunday crowd at walmart! My mom and my sisters texted to check how I was, which meant a lot to me. After that, i did a little meal prep, then took it easy the rest of th day. I didn’t really start to deal with any anxiety blowback until i got really tired before bed that evening.
Recovery Is definitely a huge piece of my wellness puzzle, and th one I’ve been paying the mot attention to the last 13 days since my body and mind decided to revolt after me not taking enough recovery during my period. I’ve finally gotten back into the green on my Whoop recovery the past two nights, so I’m on the right track!
Food has been kind of peripherally intentional the last week, again- with the anxiety, i wasn’t really hungry, and there were a few off road treats during our adventures, and that’s fine. Life is for living! I am hoping and planning to get back to full meal plan and prep mode for next week over this weekend.
Until yesterday I hadn’t worked out at all since 10/3, as I focused on recovery and other forms of self care. Yesterday I did 2 back to back yoga classes with Denis, and they felt amazing. I plan to start back to exercise gently, with a short low impact ride and some restorative yoga tonight, and back into lifting, yoga, and riding my bike tomorrow, but with new rules surrounding exercise during my period and using whoop to help me care for myself and make sur I’m recovering well.
- During my period, only a low impact ride on day 1-2
- Day 3-whenever, keep it to low impact rides, low intensity lifting, and yoga- but all guided by…
- My whoop recovery and sleep score. If I’m in the red (anytime, but particularly during my period), yoga and walking only, and no getting up early.
- I probably mentioned this before, but i am using my Whoop sleep coach religiously now. If i don’t, i will suffer, and that’s not ok. I don;t want to be derailed for a week because i didn’t care for myself.
- I also need to find a way to not overtax myself with non-excise stuff during this first couple days of my period. I really did last month, with lots of planning and cleaning and just overdoing it. I need to be willing to spread that stuff out over time and adapt.
Thanks for sticking with me through all of that. I know it was a lot, but it was a really big week for me! I can’t wait to get back to (my new) normal and share that with you next week!