Ok, y’all. I’m back after six months of not posting. I have to admit that I have not been doing much Thing-ing this year. I have read a couple of books for Read or Rid, but mostly, I’ve been reading very trashy romance novels that I checked out on the library’s Overdrive App. (And I’m only a little embarrassed about it.) This week I’ll be making a recipe from Smitten Kitchen’s cookbook. It’ll be the quick pizza dough, which is technically my husband’s birthday meal…from last year’s birthday because I’m a slacker. So what have I been doing all this time?
Well, we have kept up with doing at least one fun outing with Fig per month. Adam and I have not been keeping up with a regular date night. We still haven’t found a babysitter. I’ve been doing a lot of bullet journaling and hand lettering practice. I’ve definitely fallen down the bujo rabbit hole and it’s such a happy place to be. I go to monthly meet-ups with fellow bullet journal/planning enthusiasts from all over Houston, and I’ve met some really badass ladies. And I’ve been making more frequent visits to see my parents since my dad’s been in and out of the hospital for various maladies since April. Oh, and in March, Adam broke his ankle so that kept me extra busy for a couple of months while he was unable to get around easily. I’m happy to report Adam is nearly as good as new and my dad’s not in the hospital – at the moment.
Also I have been doing a lot of mental health maintenance. With the aforementioned stressful events of March and April, I felt like I needed to really shore up my defenses against depression. I’ve had regular doctor appointments and lots of therapy. I even joined a women’s group that my psychologist holds once a week. It’s been interesting and more helpful than I expected. I feel like the bullet journaling is a form of mental health maintenance as well – creative expression and all that good stuff. And I am happy to report that my efforts are working. Despite the extreme stress I’ve been under, I haven’t gone into a depression. I’m not at 100% but I’m well above 50%.
On the other hand, my anxiety has been through the roof. I’ve had this endless record playing in my head – “Your dad’s gonna die. Your dad’s gonna die. Your husband’s leg will never be the same. You probably need a knee replacement. Your teeth are going to fall out. Your boobs are going to hit your knees. Your dad’s gonna die. Your dad’s gonna die. You suck! Your dad’s gonna die.” – on repeat, with occasional verses about bad things happening to Fig. My therapist recently asked me how I learned to manage my anxiety. I’ve been in and out of therapy for most of my life and anxiety has always been something to work on. But mostly, we just focused on talking me down from whatever specific things were making me anxious. Aside from a brush with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, I’ve never had a therapist or doctor try to focus on actually beating anxiety in general. We usually focused on beating back my depression more than the anxiety. Even though they so often go hand in hand.
Since I’m in a good place depression-wise, she recommended that I buy an anxiety workbook – any anxiety workbook, she said – and see what happens. I immediately went to Barnes and Noble and bought The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety. Most of the workbooks were CBT-based and that wasn’t really a helpful approach for me. If anything, it made me more anxious. So I’m slowly digging into this workbook. It seems to be about learning to accept anxiety and let it go rather than try to fight it. They say that fighting anxiety is what makes it really get to you so learning to accept it and stop fighting it can actually decrease your anxiety. I’m skeptical but it rings true with some of the Brené Brown stuff that has helped me so I’m trying to keep an open mind.
I want to start tackling some of my 30-day Things and I found that there are several Etsy stores with kits I can use to make a literary sign post so I don’t think this year will be a total bust with regards to my Forty-Two Things. And I still have purple hair so maybe I can count that twice?