Tag Archives: Excuses

Inked

22 Jan

I have a reputation for being a “good girl.”  And honestly, it’s been earned.  I’m polite in mixed company, friendly, well-spoken, shy in groups, and petite.  I’m not the friend you call when you want to throw a wild party.  Instead, I’m the designated driver, the voice of reason.  Everything about me reads “girl next door” (I hate how E! has ruined that phrase.  I mean, really.).

So the fact that I want a tattoo would shock the people I grew up with – probably my parents, certainly my extended family, and maybe even my friends.  And although it’s not such a rebellious thing to do anymore (several of my IRL friends have them, many of my family members, and apparently tons of the twitter crowd), it’s still outside my comfort zone.

There’s the pain for one thing.  I don’t do pain.  At all.  Yes, I know I’ve given birth, twice.  I’ve herniated a disc in my back.  I’ve broken bones.  But to decide to sit while someone shoves a needle in and out of your arm for 10-15 minutes? There’s something different about that kind of pain.  I worried about what people might think, too.  What would my father say?  And would it keep me from getting hired later on if I return to public school?  Now, I’m proud to say that I care little enough about what others think to do what I want instead.  It’s not that others’ opinions don’t matter.  It’s just that they matter 1% and mine matters 99%.

But more than all of that, it’s the commitment that kept me from it for so long.  How could I choose what to adorn my body with, forever?  I’d need it to be meaningful.  A flower, a bird, a star…none of those would be worth the pain.  I mean, this is art on my body we’re talking about.  I want it to represent me in some way.  I briefly thought about having my daughters’ names or birthdates, but realized I want this to be about ME.  Something that sums up who I am and something I love.

I couldn’t think of an image, so I challenged myself to think of a quote.  And then a quote got whittled down to a word.  Party because it will hurt less, but also?  Because sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes one word is really all you need, if it’s the right one.  If I could come up with one word that I could live by for as long as I have the tattoo…one word that speaks to who I am not just as a mother, or teacher, or wife, but as a whole person…then I would take the plunge.

During my pregnancy, the word came to me.  It’s how I want to live my life now that I know it doesn’t have to be ruled by fear and anxiety.  It sums up everything I’ve accomplished, growing as a person in the last several years, becoming more whole, and is necessary for living life to its fullest.  It’s my life goal, my one word.

COURAGE.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

~Ambrose Redmoon

I’m excited and nervous – but determined not to let fear keep me from doing something wild and crazy and totally out of my comfort zone. I’m torn as to whether I should wait until I’m not nursing anymore.  Some places won’t even ink you if they know you’re breastfeeding.  But that’s okay.  I’m committed.  Whether it’s now, several months, or a year.  I’m going to do it.

So tell me…or link to pictures…are you inked?  If so, why did you choose what you did?  What does it mean to you?

 

A Rough Couple of Weeks

6 Sep

Y’all?  It’s been a challenging couple of weeks.  In the blink of an eye, I went from being motivated, confident, and optimistic to overwhelmed and anxious.  That’s the thing about depression and anxiety – just when you start to feel safe, it can creep back into your life.  I often wish it could be removed surgically – cut out permanently – but that’s just not how it works.

The doctor warned me that as pregnancy changed my body, medication doses would need to be adjusted.  I knew all along she was right – after all, I’d already increased the dose once before.  But secretly, I was feeling so good that deep down, I hoped we had found the perfect combination of medication and therapy.

When I started to feel edgy, I talked to my therapist and we agreed to give it a few days.  After all, sometimes a bad day is just a bad day.  It’s all-to-easy to overreact to a bad mood after you have experienced the lows that accompany a mood disorder.  I took deep breaths, reached out to friends, let my husband know how I was feeling, and spent my time living self-care.  After a week?  It just wasn’t enough.

The amazing thing is that I was actually managing the episode quite well.  All the self-care and coping skills were allowing me to function normally: to work, care for Doodle Bug, and enjoy time with friends and family.  But it took so much emotional energy that I was exhausted.  Pregnancy is tiring enough.  I didn’t need to be struggling to feel good.

My mom asked if there was anything wrong.  She suggested that life has been stressful lately and that we’ve been very busy.  She was right about one thing – we have been so very busy.  But it’s not been anything worth being overwhelmed by.  In two years of therapy, I’ve become very good at looking internally for issues.  And I knew for sure that life was good.  All the busy?  It was a good busy.  This wasn’t life getting me down.  It was the chemical imbalance in my brain.

I was sure of it…so why was it so hard to call the doctor?  I know I was afraid of the side effects.  No one wants to sign up for a week of zombie-brain and headaches.  But I think I stalled partially because, well, it sucks to have to increase meds.  I know it’s not my fault.  And I know I need the medication to correct my chemical balance like a diabetic needs insulin.  But I feel a little like I’ve let myself down, no matter how unrealistic that is.

So.  I allowed the feelings to be what they were, but I chose to ignore their narrative.  I called the doctor.

This is day one on the new full dose and I’m a little fatigued…but also feeling less tense.  I knew I did the right thing when I called the doctor, but now I also feel like it, too.

I’ll be back…

17 May

Really, I will.  When I’m not sneezing all over my also-sick two year old.  When I’m not overwhelmed with lesson reschedules and meals I don’t have time to cook.  After weeks of doctors appointments are all done.

In the meanwhile, enjoy this little blast from the past…

DB Infant

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