On figuring things out…

Women's Mental Load Linked to Distress, Dissatisfaction, Study Finds | The  Swaddle

I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve written anything, let alone anything of value. The last year or so has been a huge drain on my creativity and, frankly, my ability to think cohesively. There are reasons for that. Plenty of reasons. And every time I think, “Damn, I really miss writing and I should do the thing”, I just get overwhelmed with all the things I want or (think I) need to write about.

Everything always feels so important and so pressing all the time. There are so many things going on in the world and so many issues that need to be addressed and I’m also trying to figure out how to just let things go while also navigating the idea of choosing just one or two “causes” because I don’t have the mental or emotional capacity to be involved in everything, but how do I choose the things that are the most important to me? It’s an absolute mess in my head. I suspect that’s true for a lot of people.

I even struggle with things like choosing the next journal I should write in. I’d rather just have someone else make the choice for me. Any time I leave the house, I make sure I have three types of books, seven types of pens, two journals, an iPad, my laptop, and my phone because I don’t know what I might need or might want to use and what if I only have one pen, well, what if that pen doesn’t feel right when I’m trying to write?

I have a few hours to myself every day while my kids are at school. I want to read and write and work and rest and work out and do yoga. I need to clean and finish laundry and unload the dishwasher and make sure I have everything for dinner and work on our budget. I get so overwhelmed with options that I end up just shutting down and doing nothing. Which results in me feeling guilty and lazy and unaccomplished.

It’s exhausting.

And it turns out there’s a reason.

Over the last year, I’ve noticed my brain going haywire more often than usual. I figured it was fatigue or stress or depression or anxiety. And it was. It is. But I also started to wonder if it was something deeper. My anxiety meds weren’t working as well as they had in the past. But was that because I was SO happy and healthy in Japan and suddenly SO depressed when we moved to the States? Maybe. Probably it was a lot of that, too.

But it turns out, I also have ADHD. Which can very often present as anxiety and depression. So my meds weren’t “attacking” the correct thing in my brain. My meds would work for a while and then…nothing. So I figured I’d get tested to see if ADHD was something I struggle with. I mean, there’s really no hard in getting tested, right? Either the psych would tell me I had it or I didn’t. And either way, I’d have a way to move forward.

So here I am, a few days into new-ish meds (it turned out the anxiety meds I was on was correct, but the dosage was way off), hoping that I can start to get some balance and control over the inner workings of my brain. I know that medication alone won’t solve everything. I do need to take practical steps to manage things a bit better. My magic Apple watch has been an absolute godsend, helping me set reminders and taskers and generally just letting me empty non-essential shit out of my brain. Technology is absolutely glorious sometimes! I’m much more intentionally meditating and saying affirmations every morning which is keeping my heart rate down. And I’m (finally) working with a PT to fix my pelvic floor, so running is (slowly) coming back into play…and I’m trying to get back to my yoga practice on a more regular basis.

I’m not sure this was writing that was of any substance. Or if it was more of a brain dump/journaling situation. Who knows? But it does feel really good to write again. I should do this more often.