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Anxiety Girl Awakens

Trigger warning: illness/COVID-19

green forest

Hey there, Besties! 

How are you all doing? How is your brain coping with being shut up in the house? Hopefully you are well, healthy physically and mentally. Personally, I’m sort of enjoying being “allowed” to be home so much. I am finding that my methods of “self care” are working better, because the guilty feeling isn’t there. I mean, don’t get me wrong, my anxiety brain will find plenty of things to beat me up with, about how I should be painting a room in the house, not putzing around with “paint and sip” projects. 

The problem is that the big things I try to do to keep my brain and body healthy are gone. I can’t make myself get dressed and go run errands; I don’t have my job, so i can’t be spending stupid money on silly things that make me smile. I can’t take myself to coffee, I can’t slowly stroll downtown, or window shop at TJ Maxx. So, now what? 

I started out pretty strong, I spent my dwindling paycheck on some more art supplies and a new board game to teach my kids, but then, my 16 yr-old started acting out and both my kids fell behind while transitioning to remote learning. Trying to keep up with two high school workloads is mind numbing for a 43 yr-old who was homeschooled. 😛 Then, I got sick, REALLY sick. I have had two…yes, two Covid tests. Both were negative, but I couldn’t breathe, I was in pain and had a fever for days. They did x-rays and a flu test and it was all negative, so they put me on antibiotics and told me to come back if my breathing didn’t improve. 

Sure, no sweat–sounds great. YIKES! Anxiety Girl went into full panic mode! They told me the tests were only really 68% reliable, so I PROBABLY don’t have it, but to quarantine like as if I do. Okay, sure, that’s reassuring. There I was: laying in bed, feeling like crap for days, worrying, stressing, having awful dreams. Then, one day, it didn’t hurt to breathe. The next day I could think straight, and go up and down the stairs without taking a break. 

For now, I’m healthy-ish, but I AM at risk, I have bad asthma, and I need to be super careful. I’m also prone to depression and anxiety. I need to take care of ME! I NEED to be selfish, I NEED time and space by myself. That’s hard right now. I need to do my “silly little art” projects, I need to write, I love writing, and I’m ok at it usually. I need to read my favorite books while sitting in a sunbeam, and maybe take a catnap on the couch. I need to show my kids that this is important. That yes, I’m anxious–in fact, my son got me so worked up that I had a full blown panic attack, and I told him HE DID THAT. (He needs to know his dumb decisions affect people).  I told him it’s ok, because it’s a moment. I’ll survive it, we will all move forward, and hopefully he won’t do those dumbass things anymore. 

I am trying to show my kids things they can do to blow off steam and release tension. Like a movie night together, or sitting around the table to eat a meal once in a while. Cooking. I’ve been able to help my son learn some new cooking techniques, he really loves to cook. I’ve been able to vocalize to my daughter that she needs space–space to have some feelings, but then to wrap that up and get back to work. Space for a nap, but a timed nap, and then maybe a walk. I’ve encouraged my son to start running. He should be playing baseball right now, but that’s not happening. I used to run, and I know that if you can do it, the result is amazing. It was really good for my brain when I was running regularly.

This time with the four of us home ALL THE TIME is awesome, but also so stressful. Our big house feels small, my office space is now called my “hovel,” as it’s where I go and blast music or play my true crime podcasts when the world is too much for me. It’s good practice and an interesting learning experience for us all to recognize when someone needs to retreat away. 

So, that’s how life is going in the Donut household. Just trying to make each day bearable, doing whatever I can to keep my brain from concentrating on WORRY. That’s the enemy, friends, don’t let worry overshadow your little happy moments. Time to cuddle your fur babies, time to crank some favorite tunes, time to binge that show everyone keeps talking about. It’s all good stuff, and it’s all ok, because this is a big moment in time, and when we get past it, everyone will have stories, and they will all be important, unique and worth listening to. <3 luv ya friends! <3

sara donuts

Sara “donuts” Doenges

A few words about me

Sara is a native New Englander, married to her sweetheart Mike, and mom of two teens. She’s been a stay at home mom for the most part of 16 years, recently starting a nanny job caring for her infant niece. Sara loves yarn and paint crafts of many kinds, she’s a D&D nerd, and general geek on many plains. She’s a crazy Sports fan, mainly cheering for her offspring in their many sports, and a Theater mom, building sets and acting as “crew” for her daughter’s theater group.