Keeping it real

by - April 07, 2014

I've been trying to figure out how to go about this post for awhile and have been admittedly procrastinating and struggling, but mostly struggling.  This blog is a documentation of my life and I know someday I will look back fondly and remember with gratitude all the memories I've shared and likely roll my eyes at the stupid things I wore or wanted to wear, like overalls.  So I wouldn't be true to me if I didn't also document the harder times.

I feel this has been a rough year for me (when I talk year, I measure in school years).  There have been some struggles that I've shared and others that I've kept to myself.  One topic that has maintained it's high position on my drafted blogs of things to talk about is my anxiety.
I was gifted (and I say gifted because I really feel that there is a lesson and a gift in everything we experience.) with panic attacks (along with swollen ankles) (I'd show a picture but I'm far too embarassed) when I was pregnant with Lucia.  I would find myself having random panic attacks, so bad that I would have to lie down and get into deep breathing exercises.  I found many ways to deal with these, including: a cold bath, breathing in a bag or having a cup of tea. They have decreased significantly over the years, but the odd day I'll find myself getting into a thither (and sounding like a granny when I say thither.  Thither. Yeah, no. Can't pull that word off) On top of that, anxiety attacks were also prevalent and taking over my highly organized life.  No fun.

They got to the point this past October, where my doctor actually requested that I take some time, noticing that I was looking worn down.  Honestly, I think that mostly had to do with the fact that I just finished doing my extra-curr at school and was coming up to Parent/Teacher interviews and report cards.  Teaching isn't easy all the time.  I considered her offer and carried around the doctor's note in my pocket for some time.  I think it was the validation I needed: to know that it was okay to take a breather and get it back together.  I would have dropped a class for 8 weeks and then reassessed.  However, I decided that it would likely cause me more stress to drop a class, plan for a sub, miss my students (I likely would have had to drop my favourite groups.  Yes, teachers have favourites.  Well I do, anyway) and then pick up the pieces before finals and I therefore went against the doctor's orders and instead valiantly made an effort to calm my life down.

I've been working on doing so ever since.   Have I been successful?  Maybe?  I don't know how to even measure that.  I've only had one panic attack since.  That's good, I think.  I feel less anxious.  I'm trying really hard to be laid back and happy with the husband.   I've focused on my marriage, I've paid more attention to my kids.  I even get angry less.  So ya, maybe being aware of the fact that little things were working me up has made a difference.   I do know that I have been re-evaluating my life and where I place my priorities, which means change is in the air, folks.
How do we know this in Deenaland?  I chop off my hair, that's how.

Sometimes it just helps blurting things out.  I should have done this post in October, it's so healing talking about things, isn't it?

In other news...I bought white jeans, which is something I swore I would never do.
Yup, change is in the air.

Have a great Monday!

Also? I decided to post the swollen foot pic.  You know everything about me, you might as well see how awesomely I can impersonate an ogre.

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  1. Proud of you Dee! Not easy to be transparent but you do it so gracefully and are an ispiration to me.


  2. Great post, Deena. Sometimes I find the posts that are the most difficult to write are the ones I am most proud of writing. Proud of you for writing this.

  3. You put into words something that I sometimes have trouble talking about and thank you for that. Panic attacks are terrible and luckily mine have mostly stopped but the general on edge and anxiety are often in my mind. Thanks for sharing your coping mechanisms and it helps remind me that I am not alone!XO

  4. Hi Deena,
    This is a great post. It takes courage to write about one's anxiety. I, too, deal with anxiety issues and during my teaching career needed to take a leave to cope with it. It was very 'embarrassing' for me to tell people why I was taking time off work. But I did find that once I started sharing my story with others, they too, would open up to me and share THEIR anxiety challenges as well. By writing your post, I know you will help another person not to suffer in silence. By sharing our stories we can open a dialogue and support each other. Take care.
    Shelley F.

  5. Putting yourself out there is always the hardest. Good for you!

    I still haven't bought white pants... gotta get on that but they make me so nervous.

  6. I've had a lot of catching up to do on your blog! When I went to my acupuncturist last year for anxiety she told me that almost 90% of her patients go to her because of anxiety. Could it be because our society is 24/7 and speeding? Could be many things. I too have been working hard on this and really loved and identified with your post. It's hard to find that balance but by recognizing what your needs are and actually taking care of yourself you can kick the butt of those anxious thoughts and jitters! Great post!!


Have a lovely day!