A Hypocrite No More!

Dealing with stressIn my last post I wrote about some struggles that I’ve been having. Today I had my first session with a counselor (thank you to everyone who made recommendations and who reached out – it means the world to me). During the session we talked about self care and stress relief a bit. I described my lifestyle to her (which includes yoga, meditation, eating relatively healthy, no smoking or drinking). For stress relief I’ve most often turned to working out. It’s always allowed me to get the pent up energy out. Do you ever react to situations and find yourself shaking (internally perhaps, or externally)? I always have. And the way I’ve always coped with that is to distance myself from whatever has triggered it and work out. I used to run. I would run so fast sometimes because of that energy was built up inside. It would exhaust it right out of me! I haven’t been able to run for a long time. A recurring problem with my hip meant that wasn’t an option anymore. But then I would do power yoga with lots of jumps into various positions. I would practice jumping back into low plank from standing forward bend, from crow pose, from anything I could think of really. But I ended up with arthritis in my big toe joints so that’s completely out of the question now. But I could still do some pretty tough flow yoga that got me sweating and feeling pretty wrung out. I did this kind of yoga almost everyday up until about a year ago. Slowly, I started doing less until I do more like 3 classes a week now. It would seem the physical release of tension isn’t for me. Message received.

That means new coping strategies. The counselor I spoke to talked about mindfulness. Now, of course I know what mindfulness is, I write about it all the time! And I practice it – you know when things are easy. If you asked some of my yoga students they would tell you that I’ve often talked about doing difficult things in yoga class to prepare us for difficult times off the mat. And I completely believe that. The problem is I’m not doing that. Yes, I’m calling myself out as being a hypocrite. I want people to do as I say, not as I do! I know coping strategies. I know breath work, I know feeling where the tension builds in my body. I know tensing and releasing muscle groups. I know relaxation imagery. I know I can put on music anytime – I have a lot of meditative music. I can take a walk – I don’t have to go fast. Why am I not doing any of this?  Why is it that I lose all of my knowledge base when I feel stressed, depressed or angry? It’s like I’m sabotaging myself.

Today I will make a new commitment. Instead of feeling bad about all the things I can’t do to rid myself of stress and anxiety I will start using the tools that are available to me. I will start taking better care of me.  And I’ll work on feeling grateful that I can do as much as I can.

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This morning I found myself wishing for the oblivion of being drunk. But without drinking. I’ve been sober going on 17 years, I have no intention of ever drinking again. But on occasion I want to escape my life. I know even when I was drinking it never worked. Life was so much messier then, so depressing and so out of control. But I’d like to escape for a bit. Maybe temporary amnesia would do the trick.

Is life so bad? No, not really. But I feel like I’m struggling right now. I haven’t been able to gain a proper perspective in a while. Likely since my Mom died in December. I’ve been slowly sinking into depression again, unsure of how to pull myself out of it. The things I normally do for stress control don’t feel available to me – hard workouts feel out of the question with my kidney function now at 12%. I need to conserve my energy so I can get through work. Meditating has been a bit disastrous. It turns into crying sessions. And I know that I need to let that all out, but sometimes it’s not convenient. And the problem with me is my way to stop crying is to get a little angry. That’s gets my control back. But let’s face it, anger is no coping mechanism. It also makes me feel like a fraud. I’m a yoga teacher. I feel like I’m expected to walking around all peaceful all the time. Smiling because I awoke to another day. Feeling the gratitude of the little things. But honestly, it all feels too hard right now. I want things that I can’t have. I want my daughters life to get easier, I want my boss to be more fair and consistent, I want my kidney function to come back up, I want my father to stop being lonely, I want my family to be better than just OK. And I want my mother back. And I can’t have any of those things.

I’m advised to see someone, that this is grief. But who do I go see? I know intellectually what I need to do. I just can’t seem to get out of my head and do it. I know that I have to stop fighting what I can’t possibly control. And I have to accept the things I cannot change. I know that. But it all seems too much to me right now. I just want an escape.

No I’m not going to drink, I’m not suicidal (for anyone getting all worried about me now). Everything will carry on as per norm. I’m just sad and I don’t know when I’ll stop being sad. Mom, I wish I could talk to you right now.

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