Getting Better | TToT #12

As the plane drove upwards gravity pushed my back against the seat and I amusedly thought to myself, “My body will finally be as high as my anxiety has been the last two weeks…”  It was a random thought, yet more random was the feeling of tranquility that washed over me the higher the plane rose in the sky.  As though merging the height of my body with the metaphorical height of my anxiety actually made some kind of difference in how I felt.  I was grateful nonetheless.  

I learned a lot about myself in the past two weeks.  I am stronger than I give myself credit for, even in the moments I feel weak.  When anxiety strikes I no longer zip from 1 to 10 – FULL PANIC MODE (ok, sometimes I still do)!!!  I am generally able to utilize learned coping skills and recognize when I need to use them.  I don’t realize I am doing these things until I have time to look back and reflect on how I reacted to certain situations.  I have wonderful support from friends and family during these times as well, I most definitely can’t take all of the credit.  However, it is extremely gratifying to see my progress and know that I am getting better.

I had the opportunity to reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen in a long time.  Reconnecting is always so sweet and also bittersweet.  I had a fabulous time seeing things I remembered and people I remembered and making new memories!  Alas, these things also come to an end, wherein lies the bittersweet.  I spoke about this in A Drive Down Memory Lane so I won’t go into too much detail, I’m sure you’ve all been there.  Everyone says ‘goodbye’ at one time or another and sometimes you simply don’t know how long it will be until the next ‘hello’.  The bitter never overwhelms the sweet, though.

I made a difference and forged a new friendship with my friend’s grandmother, whom I cared for in the absence of my friend’s family.  I have experience in home health care, so when my friend’s brother got married in Italy her family asked me to care for their grandmother because she could not travel so far.  There are challenges in learning a person’s routine, especially when they are diabetic and at a higher risk for falling.  There is a transition period in getting to know someone you are caring for, personality idiosyncrasies and such.  It is difficult for many elderly persons who are coming to terms with needing help to carry out daily activities of living, things you and I take for granted; such as dressing ourselves, showering without assistance, preparing our own meals, etcetera.  They feel a loss of dignity, in my experience, and understandably.  Knowing I was able to help my friend’s grandmother with these needs in a way that did not feel overbearing or unwanted is heartwarming.  My friend and her family were very thankful, but when my friend’s grandmother expressed her sentiments of gratitude – that’s what brought me to tears.

As cliché as it is, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.  Due to caring for my friend’s grandmother I was away from home for two weeks and separated from my husband for one of those weeks.  It was nice being away from home at first, but two weeks is a long time!  Trying to settle into new surroundings, at times, peaked my anxiety.  I woke with a tangled knot of nervous energy every morning that liked to sit in the pit of my stomach most of the day, every day.  I had to set up a station with my computer and notepad, and I would turn on the television for background noise.  It’s important to be aware of little things that bring comfort, things that help ease those tangles so they can start unwinding themselves.  Medication plays a role as well, I can’t deny that aspect of my mental health stability.  Once my husband was gone, talking to him on the phone and via text messaging played an important role.  He has this way of knowing what to say when I’m discombobulated, even though I know it’s hard on him as well.  Of course, seeing each other at the end of that week was an enormous relief!!  The little things so easily taken for granted are appreciated that much more.  And while there is always stress at home, I am once again surrounded by all of the things that make me utterly comfortable and more thankful for them than I was two weeks ago.

Being that today is June 19th, I would be remiss in not mentioning how very grateful I am to have the incredibly loving and wonderful father that I have.  I am, without shame, a Daddy’s girl.

Fathers-Day

A favorite moment from my wedding ❤

 I’m sure many of us look back upon our youth and wonder how our parents survived us, but I continue to wonder how mine survive me – due to my ongoing mental health struggles.  Never once has my father faltered in his overwhelming support of me, no matter what that has cost him.  I have called him at my worst, begging for the pain to stop, telling him I can no longer go on – which I imagine is a parent’s worst nightmare.  I have tremendous guilt concerning all that I’ve put my parents through.  My dad bears the full brunt of it now that he’s retired and is the one who’s home to answer the phone.  However, he is also there to celebrate each and every victory, he reminds me of all that I’ve accomplished and how far I’ve come.  I could never express the amount of love and admiration I hold for this man, though I wish I possessed the knowledge of all languages in the world so that I could attempt it.  For today, however, I will simply say – Thank you, Daddy, I love you to the moon and back!  Happy Father’s Day!!!       

Are you an anxious flyer or do you like traveling?  Do you know what it’s like to care for someone elderly?  What are you grateful for?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!!

#10Thankful     

 

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26 thoughts on “Getting Better | TToT #12

  1. Okay, so FIRST I love this because you feel as though you’re getting better, and that is HU-UU-UUUUGE! And I’m so happy and so relieved, and so damn THANKFUL that things seem to be on an ‘up’ for you. I know there’s always the slight feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I hope this lasts. I so SO hope it lasts.

    Second – “Everyone says ‘goodbye’ at one time or another and sometimes you simply don’t know how long it will be until the next ‘hello’. The bitter never overwhelms the sweet, though.” – this struck right through to my core. I’ve faced this. I’ve got some HUGE ‘this’ to come. Given my propensity for spending plane journeys in floods of tears because of goodbyes, I really DON’T know how I’m going to handle them.

    Third – your relationship with your Dad is beautiful and wonderful and I’m so SO SO glad you have him. He really does seem o be one of the excellent ones and I am thrilled to pieces you have him. The pics of you both are STUNNING 😀

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  2. I do enjoy traveling, but I’m always relieved when take off and landing goes smoothly. I have respect for those who are caregivers; I took care of my grandma for a week and that opened my eyes a bit. Speaking as a parent of someone with mental health challenges, I wish I could take away your guilt. Parents have a way of knowing when it is the illness flaring and when it is the real person inside–and the person is worth all the pain/trouble! So glad you are getting better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kristi, that means a lot 🙂 I think the guilt will always be there, but I know the victories outweigh the setbacks and that is the most important piece of the puzzle!

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  3. I love flying…everything about it. Taking off…landing…turbulence. I remember comforting a coworker when we were flying in the middle of a storm. Were you able to see blog friends who live out that way?

    I’m happy that you are healing. Mental Illness will not win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was able to meet up with Ra of Rarasaur!!! It was SUCH a pleasure and she is just wonderful 🙂
      You are right about one thing for sure – mental illness will NOT win!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “I don’t realize I am doing these things until I have time to look back and reflect on how I reacted to certain situations.

    you know, for a lot of us… well, ok, for me… this is the toughest part of self-improving oneself. Not the knowing the things to do, but remembering to do them…. and, even when I remember, it takes, as you say, looking back and noticing (which also reinforces the learning) that things are changing.
    zoe and I talk on occasion, that one of the most difficult things about changing is update our image of ourselfs. When it comes to changing and improving, we’re usually the last to know! lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s SO true… being able to *recognize* the changes and improvements can be the hardest part of it all!! Sometimes I feel like I’ve made no progress at all, but when I think about how I would have reacted a year ago to the same situation I can see how much better I am now. It’s an important part of the process, my friend 🙂

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  5. I’m a very anxious traveler period. Even day trips. And I feel as though I need weeks to recover. (That CANT be normal lol)
    I love to travel-it just doesn’t love back the way I hope it would.
    My mother in law was over today. She has dementia. She was not a nice person before she forgot she enjoyed being so awful. Now I spend time following her around making sure she won’t burn her mouth on the coffee she’s warmed up 40 times, and I get to tell her all about her seven grandkids all day, over and over-which I love to do because bragging about what I do all day is kind of nice. She is a different person, and it is sad, but I’m grateful she has her child-like kindness back.
    I’m so thankful for my husband, who is a good father.
    And of course I can’t say goodnight without saying this…Your father does not see YOU as your mental illness. He sees his beautiful, brave, baby girl with a side of anxious heart and mind. That’s love baby. That’s love.💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment has me very near tears, my sweet friend! I am certainly a lucky girl to have such a kind and loving father (my mother is the same way) ❤
      As for your MIL, dementia is a nasty disease. It sounds like you are the lucky one in this situation as it often causes the sufferer to become more agitated and irritable than they were before. I'm glad she has a child-like kindness about her now, you should be recognized for all of your hard work, seven kids is a lot!!!

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  6. beautiful post – anxiety is tough – each has its own level – i am glad you are feeling better.
    what a wonderful selfless act to be able to take care of one and still make them feel dignified..that is a talent my dear.
    i am not sure if we truly understand the importance of a father and daughter relationship.
    a dad is the first man that a girls loves, can count on and eventually without realizing holds the bar high as she gets older.
    i love how my husband does that for our daughter – she is also without a doubt a daddy’s girl. when she gets older the man in her life has big shoes to fill. 🙂
    have a lovely week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A good father always leaves big shoes to fill, and I say that is a wonderful thing. Us ladies should have high expectations for the men in our lives! My papa definitely left big shoes but thankfully I found a man who has done a pretty darn good job of filling them (I think my dad is pretty grateful, as well)!!
      I hope you have a wonderful week, love ❤

      Like

  7. Wow. Just love how you start this post. I can see what you mean and you worded it beautifully.
    I know that guilt about putting parents through a lot. My father is always there for me. He’s seen me go through more pain, physical and emotional, than any parent ever deserves to see their flesh and blood deal with. He worries about me so much and I feel bad for that. He gave me a piece of himself, literally, but luckily humans have two kidneys.
    🙂
    He would have given me his one and only heart if I’d needed it. I am sure of it.
    I tried to find a Father’s Day card for our bond, but they really don’t make one.
    🙂
    So I wrote one instead.
    Sounds like you and your father have just such a bond, with everything life has thrown at you and your family. Thankful for our fathers today and every day.
    Love this list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds to me like we are both pretty lucky in the Dad Department 🙂 I bet both our dads would give us their hearts if needed (and possible)! Greeting cards rarely do the trick, and dads tend to like homemade cards/gifts better anyway, right?!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love your post because I truly love to know that someone – anyone – holds a sense of “bettering” in their heart. I love that feeling. Great sweet pic of you and your dad.
    As for traveling…no. Just no. I am a terrible traveler and admittedly not even good at short jaunts. I hate highways and I absolutely loathe flying. I’m such a curmudgeon! 😀
    Hope your good feelings and bettering continues!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, I have anxiety flying – as well as lots of other things in life like money, children, relationships. Your giving spirit to your friend’s grandmother touched my heart. I remotely care for a couple of octogenarians – my step-father and mother in law, and although challenging, it helps my heart grow. Your hubby sounds like a gem. Love to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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