Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day in my part of the world. Happy Mother’s Day!

My husband brought me home some Spring flowers yesterday and both he and my younger son gave me cards. We are having a chicken done on the barbecue rotisserie tonight. Should be yummy. Probably no wine, though, as I am limiting my sugar intake. Between limiting sugar and carbs, I’ve lost 12 pounds so far! Feeling much better.

I received a text from my older son today, wishing me a happy day… still haven’t seen him in person since October. We are planning to get together in two weeks on my birthday (combining Christmas and his birthday and mine), when my husband and I will both be more than two weeks past our first Pfizer shots and my son will be more than two weeks past his last contact with a guy at work who had dinner with a COVID-positive family member. He didn’t find out until he was at work on the Monday. Apparently, the aunt knew she had COVID, as did the grandparents, but they decided not to tell anyone and to go ahead with the Thursday dinner anyway! What is wrong with people!?

I’ve been managing to take every Sunday off for several weeks, which is really needed. Work has been stressful, particularly as I am coordinating a workplace HR investigation that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We are using an external consultant, but as I am in the middle of it doing the communicating and coordinating, people seem to want to “shoot the messenger”. Not fun.

In any case, I’m still trying to keep up with my Sunday morning reading before doing any personal chores or paperwork. I’ve even started reading again sometimes in the evenings, which I had not done in a long time. Here is my reading area and my companion who now thinks that this is the place where he gets treats. (I’m a pushover.)

Being a mother is nice and rewarding in many ways and I look back fondly (with rose-coloured glasses?) on when the boys were little. I do miss the handmade gifts and the time we would spend together. (My younger son has finally deigned to watch a movie with me this evening, instead of playing his computer games! Debating between Sound of Metal and Run.)

But I do have to say that I don’t miss the worry and anxiety about keeping them safe and making sure they got through school. That’s not only inherent in being a parent — it is also the result of having an untreated anxiety disorder. Which I am now treating, as part of my quest for health and wellbeing. What a difference. Even my stomach issues have substantially subsided since I started on antidepressants. My doctor wasn’t surprised. Smart guy… he said, “That’s why they say you can feel it in your gut.”

That’s not to say I won’t still worry about them, but hopefully the worry will remain more manageable and allow me to keep focused on feeling better.

Same song I shared last year, but a different version, as she sings to the daughter she wrote the song for.

"Welcome to the end of being alone inside your mind
Tethered to another and you're worried all the time"

19 thoughts on “Mother’s Day

  1. Happy Mother’s Day to a great mother! It seems like you are starting to realize your work-life balance plans more and more, despite the stress at work and other stuff. Interesting about the anxiety disorder. How did they diagnose that? Did you prompt it or did the doc?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes, even though work is stressful, I am managing to have a bit more time for myself. Really, with the anxiety disorder, it was probably a combination of both of us. Embarrassing to say, but my doctor actually prescribed the medication originally for me in late 2013! I was really bad then, I think really starting around the time my mum died a couple of years earlier (probably more coincidental than related). But my husband, being then fairly anti-medication, convinced me not to take it. I got quite a bit better just as time passed, to the point where I actually thought that how I was was just normal for me. Finally, though, now that I’m focusing more on myself, I figured I should give it a try. My doctor was saying, “It’s no different than if you need glasses to see normally. You wouldn’t not wear glasses.” Lo and behold, apparently the way I felt and reacted was in fact not normal. I no longer go around holding everything tense. My husband says, “I haven’t been yelled at in weeks!” Meaning, really, that I am no longer so on edge. It all leaves me wondering why I waited so long. But it’s hard to see it when you’re in it.

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      • This whole question of medication for mild mental illness is one that would be worth talking about if it were somehow easier. I, too, was raised to believe that one didn’t need to take meds for these things. I think part of the problem is that everything seems like a gradation, i.e., I could just be tense for exogamous reasons. Or I could have an anxiety order. The question is a familiar one for me.

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        • Yes, I shouldn’t blame the decision not to take meds before only on my husband, although he was a big influence. I also know that I am strong and resilient and I think that therefore, I should be able to cope. But then the question is, is coping good enough? Or should one actually try to feel calmer and happier? And that is also better for everyone around me.

          When my son was trying to get through the last bit of school, I was really on edge. He would tell me I needed to be on medication (as he is). I’d say, “No, I’ll be fine once all this stress is gone.” But really, that wasn’t true. I’m amazed at how different I feel. And wonder why I didn’t do it earlier.

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          • I had a weird albeit minor intellectual crisis this last summer during one of JK Rowling’s outbursts. She was busy conflating hormones for gender transition with anti-depressants and liked a tweet saying that taking anti-depressants is lazy. I have briefly taken anti-depressants twice (as a teenager and again in the 1990s) and was prescribed a short prescription of Xanax once (I think it was 5 pills), also in the 1990s. In essence I do not believe that taking the drugs is lazy but I act as if I do. (That said I would never take Xanax again except in severe crisis — that stuff is frightening. I could tell I was “feeling” anxious but it cut off all the physical manifestations. That could get addictive, fast.) In the end I stayed where I am (no meds) but realized that I am essentially being hypocritical. As you imply — if it’s not harmful, what’s the problem with feeling a little more balanced, as opposed to constantly having to work at it?

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            • Oh I never saw her talking about antidepressants, but definitely saw the rest of it. I know what you mean about not thinking it’s lazy but acting like you do… I mean, I used to run a mental health organization dealing with depression and bipolar disorder and saw how helpful medication can be. And yet, I figured I should just get on with things! A bit hypocritical.

              I’m glad you mentioned that about Xanax. Last couple of weeks at work have been very emotionally stressful and even with medication, I could feel everything getting worked up again. I was wondering if something like that would be helpful. Maybe I’ll pass though. The pressure this week is a bit less anyway.

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              • I got the prescription when I had a hallucination that was probably a response to a huge negative convergence of three horrible events in grad school. I was in the library and I was convinced the movable shelving was going to crush me, and I couldn’t avoid the library. In retrospect someone should have told me to take two or three weeks off — but that didn’t seem possible then and Xanax was the brief solution. After three days with it, my memory of the hallucination and my response to it abated enough for me to return to normal work — or in any case, I was in the position to realize it had not been real. I often experience that I can deal with my thoughts, but that my physical reactions are huge obstacles.

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                • Wow, that’s a scary experience! But we are taught to “soldier on”, which is probably not the best response. I’m constantly amazed by (especially younger) people at work who prioritize themselves before the organization and take the time away that they need, It’s an attitude I envy in a lot of ways.

                  I think medication is often useful just to get us into a position where we can actually address how we’re feeling and the stresses. In terms of physical reactions, I apparently hold myself really tense when I’m stressed, and so my breathing and my digestion are quite impacted. At least with medication, I notice it and can make myself relax (usually) and I’m not as prone to self-medicate with food or a glass of wine.

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                  • If I had taken time off, I would have had to delay my doctoral exams for six months to a year — significant esp insofar advancing to candidacy meant a huge financial burden fell away. And of course, yeah, people told me to just keep going.

                    I absolutely agree with what you say about medication.

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  2. Big congrats on your weight loss so far, Sue. Sounds as if you are on the right track. (I have totally forgotten… ahem… my own weight loss plans…) Sounds like a nice Mother‘s Day, too, especially with some of the family back home. Also keeping my fingers crossed that the HR issue at work gets resolved, soon. Very stressful!

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    • Thanks so much. The best thing is that I feel better. I’m sure we can all get back on track! Hope you had a nice Mother’s Day too, although I guess yours was a while ago! And yes, I do hope that the HR issue (or at least my part of it) gets resolved soon. I am in the middle of several processes right now, including being the point person when there is a COVID-positive test. This weekend and last weekend, there were two each among staff and clients. Sigh. The goal is to ensure that they all remain one-offs.

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  3. Happy belated Mother’s Day!
    You reading nook looks cosy and your visitor there is cute. 🙂
    It’s good to hear you’re still working on the work-life balance thing and that you’re doing things for yourself. Small steps, really well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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