I am learning to be intentional about taking days off. For a long time I would have so much anxiety and distress that I didn’t have much of a choice, I couldn’t get anything done and spent hours in a mental vortex. Rather than giving myself some space, I still struggled with the need to “get stuff done”, and probably made things worse because I felt guilty about my anxiety interfering with my productivity. It’s been a battle for me to accept stopping, pausing and resting because I’m so afraid I’ll fall behind and not catch up.
Having a day in which I don’t accomplish anything and don’t intend to is a radical form of self-acceptance for me. And while my mind still has swirls of “but you could…” or “what if you did…” and “you need to…”, I am pushing those thoughts aside and letting the day be the day.
And on a Monday, I am not behind, I am not scrambling to catch up, I am not in the weeds or faltering, I have a normal workday with requests, requirements and opportunities and a schedule that was not negatively impacted by taking a full day off.
I’m in the process of separating from my business partner. It’s a process that he isn’t really participating in, which is no real surprise sine he quit participating in work three months ago. It’s been hanging over my head, and while he’s been absent for personal reasons, it’s an absence that neither I nor the business can tolerate.
He had initially agreed to sign things over to me in exchange for his half of the assets, but he has since changed his stance, although he cannot give a time that he will be back to work. After a few unproductive phone conversations I decided to send a letter giving him the option to keep the company or sign it over to me, but either way I cannot continue to be his business partner for a number of reasons that stem from issues that existed prior to his absence, but which have certainly been exacerbated by it.
I have yet to receive a response from him, and I am in the middle of projects that are about to require a great deal of involvement and some travel. There are conference registrations coming up. There is new work that needs to be gotten. And I have no idea how our business divorce is going to go. I am the face of the company and can independently perform our work, so it makes sense (and people close to me argue it’s the “right thing”) for him to take his part and let me continue building the company that arguably would not exist without me. But people don’t always do the right thing, and since he has changed his statements on this, I don’t have a lot of confidence that this is going to be a smooth or quick transition. It could be if I just walked out, but walking out has its own consequences and challenges.
This is a lot of uncertainty, and uncertainty about my livelihood. And I am having to sit with it, because half of it I cannot control, and the half that I can I have done what I can do for now.
I hate uncertainty. Take the normal human response and add PTSD to it and I can experience so many negative effects, because my experience with the negative tends to be magnified. I was at a rodeo last night, and was crying as the women rode in with the rodeo flags. That’s not my normal response, it was a magnified emotional response, but it took me until today to realize that the uncertainty with the future of my company and my work is weighing on me that heavily, and that I am that emotionally disregulated.
But how grateful I am that I can now recognize it for what it is and continue to sit with the uncertainty.
I’m still sleeping a lot. I don’t remember sleeping this much since weekends in college when I would pull a couple of all-nighters during the week. But the body knows what it needs, right?
All of my clients needed something today, whether it was a project discussion or advice on proceedings or review of subcontractor submittals or, in one case, just a chat. Normally that would overwhelm me and stress me out, but today I’ve taken it one thing at a time and gotten done what I need to, what I was asked to and what the job required. It’s a huge step forward from where I was a month ago, when just getting an email would send me through the roof. #grateful
I’m working, I’m focused, I’m doing yoga without issue other than that it’s challenging for my body, I’m ignoring things that aren’t important right now, I’m connecting, I’m planning ahead, I’m not pushing myself to do things “just because” or out of some unhealthy sense of obligation, I’m eating for fuel and nutrition and not to cope, I’m sleeping, I’m learning and I am so, so grateful for today <3.
The Sahara Dust is killing any ideas I have about walking outside (I tried it Monday and won’t be doing that again), so I’m probably not achieving my exercise goals this week. Eh.
I also am losing interest in food as a way to numb/cope, which feels weird but is good. I haven’t stopped eating, I just am not focused on eating, and can go hours without any interest in food. It’s such a change from before, and it’s nice! I’ve also been sleeping a lot this week, and letting myself sleep. Things are still getting done, even if they are not all getting done today, and my resting heart rate has dropped another 3 beats per minute – a sign that I have less stress and anxiety.
I had a really great conversation with my boyfriend last night, much closer to when we started dating than recently. We talked about Things Going On In The World until late, and that free flow of ideas and questions is such a gift, because I can’t do that with just anyone, and it reminded me why I like him so much.
I am kind of resentful. Sometimes a lot resentful.
It come from not having boundaries and being mad that no one observes/respects my non-boundaries. And letting people drain me until there’s nothing left.
I made the statement yesterday that, “I am nothing if not resentful.”
Saying it out loud made me think about it, made me consider it, made think about what I could do instead. Resentment isn’t a good place and it won’t contribute to love, belonging and wholeheartedness.
So that means setting and keeping boundaries, making and following through on choices, more being uncomfortable for a short time to avoid resentment for a long time and better communication.
I’ve been pushing against the walls of the past that confine me, and I’m disappointed, scared and angry that they exist. It’s like I’m struggling to get out of a cocoon or a restrictive jacket, and I haven’t managed to tear my way out yet.
Apparently, this is called Day/Act/Part 2. It’s the middle.
I’m thankful that Brené Brown went first and did the research and self-application that have given me a path to healing. I’m listening to Rising Strong now, and the timing is good. God-thing good. She describes a curriculum in which participants go through an intensive three-day learning process. Day Two – the middle, the part about vulnerability and blame and shame – sucks. And you can’t skip Day Two.
She connects this to the Hero story. Act two is the part in which the Hero tries every easy way around the problem, only to climax at the realization and engagement with the hard truth that there is only way through. Act Two sucks for the Hero. Act Two sucks for us. I am in Act Two, and it sucks. But I can’t skip it. I can’t ignore or skip or evade the discomfort, the struggle and the frustrating constriction, and I’ve come too far to turn back.
But hey, at least I have a name for it and I’m not the only one.