Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Putting On Armor

I mentioned earlier today on Twitter that I skipped out on my second class of the morning. I taught the first one, had a decent time doing it, but when the time came to skip over to the second, my stomach seized up, I started sweating, it felt a bit like the floor fell out from under me. In short, anxiety happened. I put an "out sick" note on the board and posted work online for the day.

I can't say that something like that has happened since, oh, 2003. Not in relation to a class anyway.  I've been open here about anxiety and depression. It's one of the reasons I left my old job. Anxiety was eating me up.


In my previous post, I mentioned wanting to get back on track with running to try to prevent some of this. That wasn't really the whole story though. Lately, every day feels like putting on armor. Steeling myself for the next thing.

Greyson is having some difficulties in school and "ADHD" has been tossed around, much to his dad's chagrin, so I won't go into detail. Needless to say, I feel the need to closely monitor and advocate for him. We're working on a different approach to behavior...something we've tried before with good results...so it seems promising in the long term. We'll see.

I have a wicked case of electionitis, which I've also mentioned but not discussed in any detail. As much as I try to be objective, even-tempered, cool-headed, and rhetorically-sensitive, I am at a precipice. Texas, for the first time in my memory, is a swing state. It is almost unbearable for me to see people I went to school with, people I've respected, and family members defending Trump's toxic rhetoric. Being that rhetorically-sensitive teacher--it's my literal job--I do understand some of what persuades these folks, but since politics is all about priorities, I can't stomach support for a candidate whose actions have made it a grand old time for racism and sexism to come out and bask in the sun. I want to say, yeah, you're a garbage fire and sit the fuck down. That's as honest as it gets. Ugly, but honest.

Finally, I'm tired. Bone tired. I have wonderful support from my husband and mom, but I feel like I'm driving a lot, nurturing a lot, without getting enough back. Again, that's not anyone's fault close to me. I'm tired of being an adult when others are not. I'm tired of being observant and responsible, involved, outspoken, when others are not. (Nope, not giving any more detail.)

Armor. Every day.












18 comments:

  1. *hugs* I am sick of your election, too. I just cannot get my head around any of it. And I want it to end so we can move on to whatever comes next. I am a bit scared about what comes next, though. I hope that things get better with Greyson. Kids are kids. It might not be ADHD, I find that labels are pretty quick to be attached. But, if it is, at least you know early and can set out a proper course? I would think it is better than ignoring the possibility, but my kids are of the furry variety, so this is more me trying to be supportive than necessarily right. :)

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  2. Oh, man, Andi. I am so sorry, for all of this. Sending lots of empathy as you address what's going on with your son. A coworker told me being a parent means you're only as happy as your unhappiest child. Between that and this election, it's no wonder you're feeling like you've got to arm yourself. I'm feeling that way, and I'm in Massachusetts. :/

    If I can do anything for you, please don't hesitate to ask. Wish I was local enough to bring over dinner or something. Sending love.

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  3. Sorry you're going through this. Sometimes being an adult and a mom suck - that's all there is to it. Keep advocating for Greyson, though, because it will pay off in the long run. The school will tell you they want what's best for him but no one does besides you.

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  4. Aw, girl. You need a giant vacation to some place where your biggest decision is whether you want a mai tai or a margarita. But in lieu of that remember: the election is less than 3 (2? I'm bad at time) weeks away. The semester is half over. And someday Greyson will be an awesome adult. Stressors are always there, but fortunately they usually have time limits.

    That said, if you have a chance to take vakay, do it!!

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  5. I feel you so much right now- as a teacher, mom, and person in general. I give all day to my 135+ high school juniors, so much to my 2.5 year old all afternoon until my husband comes home 30 minutes before the kid's bedtime, and then I'm just DONE. It's hard to take care of everyone and everything. I constantly feel like I am half-assing things and I hate that feeling so much. But, one day at a time. There's always a weekend to look forward to!

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  6. I felt that need for armor every day when my oldest was in school. He is extremely bright but does suffer from ADD. Which was not diagnosed until he was in middle school, despite our having had him tested before he even started school. Even after he was diagnosed, finding the right meds and keeping him on them was a struggle. Saying "he has this" was hard; we so did not want to label him. And we relied on professionals to give us an answer to what was going on that we never got. I can only say, trust your gut (we moms are usually right!) and get on it while he's still so young.

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  7. No words, since everyone else has stated my thoughts much better than I can (at 5:50 a.m. with only half a cup of coffee in my system). But I am sending you virtual hugs and good thoughts. You're one of the toughest women I know and I know you can handle this. Stay true to yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help (and hugs) from those around you. Ok, so maybe I did have a few good words for you. ;)

    P.S. This election can't be over soon enough. I've stopped watching the news and no longer listen to NPR. I'm tired of all the negativity and pray for a peaceful transition in 2017. I'm a little more than worried about how that will go, though. :( Rod and I joke about my dual citizenship and moving to Canada, but there are days when it does have a strong appeal...

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  8. Sending lots of positive vibes your way. As draining as it is, SO many props to you for putting in the work of advocating for Greyson and trying different things. Sadly, too many people like to jump to a single conclusion (that has a perceived quick fix) whenever behavior veers off course instead of figuring out the real root of the problem. Greyson will thank you one day for giving him that time and devotion :)

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  9. You are an awesome mom and Greyson is getting the help he needs thanks to you. I can't imagine how hard it must be, but you are strong and will get through it. As for the election - ugh! I'm sick of hearing about it. I already voted and was proud to cast my vote for HRC. My fingers and toes are crossed about the outcome, but the way things are going who knows. I suffer from anxiety and depression, too - so I get the need to put on armor every day just to go outside the house. I'm gearing up to do so today - and that's just to run a few errands. It sucks and it drains. I'm hoping I can get it under control again. I'm sorry you are experiencing bouts of anxiety, too. I know that you've written about it and I think its awesome you tackle it head on. Its got to be all the stress drawing it out. I hope you feel better soon. Take care, Andi. Remember you are badass and can handle anything :)

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  10. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I can relate to some degree - I have been feeling a lot of those same feelings the past few weeks and it's especially draining. Try as I might to get out of my funk, it's not easy to do and I'm struggling. Sending love and positive vibes your way - hoping it gets better for you!

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  11. Whew, this sucks. I'm sorry that you're having to deal with your old "buddy" anxiety again right now. Sometimes it feels like life is just piling on, right? But I'm glad you have your husband and mother around for support. And yeah, this election is ... getting to be too much, honestly. On the one hand, I don't feel quite so alone as a "blue girl in a red state" these days in TX, but on the other hand this election feels so much WORSE than any I've experienced before even knowing that my vote hardly counted around here. We'll all be relieved when it's over (I hope).

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  12. (hugs) - I feel you. Courtney here. Posting from my new blog which you will understand for obvious reasons when you read. Girl, this life is HARD and the election is only making it so much harder. My friend Matt says we just need to get through it and NEVER forget how awful it was so we can do better next time. I actually had an anxiety attack this week too - my first in a long, long time. One thing that has helped me is really establishing my goals and what I want for the next several years of my life, and making sure my money and my time go toward those goals. If something crops up that doesn't support those goals I don't put my spirit or my finances toward it. So that has really helped, as has running. I was so happy to see that picture of you running again on Instagram - running is the place where my heart opens up and I don't need so much armor. I hope it's that way for you as well. love you!

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  13. I am right there with you. I have reached the point yet again where I struggle even getting out of bed in the morning. It is not so much the election anymore, as it is all of the other petty bullshit that has started getting to me. I do think that being a mother and a woman means that we by nature have to don our armor to protect our loved ones and to protect ourselves. If this election has proven anything, it is that women still have a LONG way to go before we can ever truly feel safe out in the world and be considered equal in the eyes of everyone. The armor is necessary to protect our children because no one will fight for them as we will. It is taxing. It is never-ending. Yet, we do it and continue to do so because it is ingrained into our very being. It doesn't make it easier, and the added strain of anxiety and depression only make our burdens heavier. However, my friend, you CAN and will get through this. Don't think of the armor as a bad thing but as a protective measure against the onslaught of BS and negativity that comes Greyson's and your way every day. Just take it one day at a time; it is all you can do.

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  14. I need to find my armor. Right now I just push everything down and then eventually freak out in a huge f-bomb tirade (in the privacy of my own home). This isn't healthy and I feel it affecting my body. I am going to rejoin my gym this weekend though. I do think that physical activity is essential for stress relief and I need more of that that isn't so disruptive.

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  15. Ugh. I'm so sorry things are so difficult right now -- it can suck to be an adult. Armor, positive self-talk, moments to comfort yourself.

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  16. Hug hug hug. I think this election is screwing up mental healths all across the nation, and it must be a ton worse in a sort-of-swing state. Be kind to yourself, lovely friend. <3

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  17. Hugs to you Andi. I know exactly how that feels and it's no fun - I hope things get better for you soon!

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  18. I put on a mask and armour every day. I don't remember it ever being this bad before, and whether it's my own issue or a product of the way the world is around us now. Or a bit of both. The US election is drawing out the bitterness and anger in people - I seem to recall previous elections being so much more about hope! It's not much better in the UK right now. Which means it's so understandable that people's anxiety and stress is coming more to the fore. Wishing you the very best in handling it xxx

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