It's definitely a buzzword and people throw it around left and right that they're grateful for their job or family or whatever...and it's often followed by the vomit-inducing #blessed. Right?!?!
Here's the thing - true gratitude is more than just knowing you have it better than 98% of the world. It's more than hearing someone's inspirational speech and being caught up in the moment and making a list of things you're grateful for.
Don't get me wrong, I've done these things. And yes, I'm thankful for what we do have...because 10 years ago I prayed to be where we're at right now.
But...true gratitude isn't just a thought - it's something that moves through you, something that can even inspire that next step.
Anxiety was a bitch today.
It’s Thursday, we’re on day one million eight hundred and forty three of the stay at home order. I’ve been working from home for my 9-5 and I’m grateful that we’re able to work from home and even more so that they’re willing to work with me on a schedule so I can work and homeschool the kids. I typically start at 7am, work until 10am, log off for two hours, and then work noon until five.
I woke up super late today, like twenty minutes before I was supposed to start work with a headache from the weather change. Freaking low pressure systems suck ass.
By 3pm I’d had 4 cups of coffee (read: 8 cups)
I made healthy choices this morning...I only had one coffee and had two 25oz bottles of water before I had my second cup of coffee. I had a healthy breakfast and no unnecessary snacking.
I was super conscious of how I was feeling and what affect anxiety was having on me. I didn’t want it to negatively impact our daughter’s e-learning. I handle hers and my husband handles our son’s.
I caught myself a couple of times getting angry, because that’s what my anxiety does, it makes me a raging asshole. All in all it was a good day for e-learning
Once it was over, though, my anxiety came back full force.
Supernatural, last episode of Season 5, that’s what I’m watching after dinner. I’m sitting at the desk, blue Dr. Seuss eraser in hand, I’m erasing everything I’ve written down on my “content calendar” for the year going forward. Why? Because in November I wrote out a full year of “proper” social media content so that I could serve my audience, whoever that ends up being.
I’m listening to the part where their “ending” is being written and my heart skipped a beat, I felt butterflies in my stomach, I started feeling the twinge in my fingers - the feeling I haven’t felt in so long. The feeling that says YOU NEED TO WRITE. YOU HAVE A STORY TO TELL. YOU CAN HELP PEOPLE.
Anxiety is a pain in the ass.
Anxiety and being a parent, that’s a whole other level of hard.
There are a lot of people who are out there bringing awareness to the mental health space, and I truly admire them. It takes a lot of courage to say, “Hey, this is me, this is my life, and I’m dealing with it and I’m not going to be ashamed any more.”
But there’s something in this awareness that I’ve allowed to make me feel like “less than”. See, my anxiety isn’t “severe enough” to incapacitate me. My anxiety takes a bit of a different form than what’s being brought to light on social media. The anxiety I experience now, as a wife and mom, is very different than the anxiety I experienced in my twenties, and even in school.
So, for months I sat and told myself, my husband, and a few people close to me that I want to help others who have anxiety. Because I’ve managed it before, I’ve successfully managed it for more than three years before it started its bullshit again.
And then I would see someone whose anxiety has a crippling effect on them and I would tell myself, “You won’t be able to help anyone, you’re going to fail, you’re the only one who struggles like this, if they had the anxiety you claim to have, they wouldn’t be complaining, it wouldn’t be anything to anyone else.”
It was the first parent/teacher conference of the school year. Second grade. I came to the conference with no expectations. And I did this on purpose because every year I have the same question. Should we be concerned about anything?
And every year the response is, well, we can’t tell you yes or no, but I really feel it’s just her age. But, if you feel there’s concern somewhere, you will get faster action raising the issue with your pediatrician than relying on the school to notice anything.
My reaction to this two years ago was something to the effect of, “But you’re with her for the majority of her waking hours and you would know if there was something not on par with where she should be for her age.”
Nevertheless, as much as I love my kids’ teachers, and teachers in general, their hands are pretty much tied with what they can and can’t say. And I completely understand why they have to be very careful of their wording.