Last week was the fourth week. What that means is that in addition to managing my anxiety, I also have to deal with emotions that are already on high alert the rest of the month. I feel like a teenager who is having her first bout with PMS. Barbecue chips and dark chocolate better be in the cabinet. Tears flow during the training of the rescue dogs for the Puppy Bowl. A loud sob forces me to take a seat when the Puppy Bowl referee canoodles with Shirley the Sloth, the other referee.
I am on birth control. Not because I am trying to prevent a pregnancy but because I am prone to ovarian cysts. With the birth control pills comes the wave of hormones. The first week comes with heightened sensitivity and nausea. The second week is definitely the best week. I feel lots of joy and am grateful for feelings that I know are fleeting. This is how the medicine works and it can be frustrating. Having the knowledge that I will have one week in the month where I will feel pure happiness can be kind of a bummer (the irony I tell ya). The third week is a mini version of the fourth where I know I am going to be bitchy so analyzing every emotion and movement is key.
The fourth is my anxiety going into overdrive. I can’t make myself sit down and write because I am convinced it’s going to be garbage. I make myself exercise but I don’t get the same joy out of it and the endorphins don’t help as much. Motivation is almost non-existent, procrastination wreaks havoc and prevents me from accomplishing anything. I also whine a lot more and try not to look at the effect age and gravity is having on my face (remember two weeks ago when I didn’t care??).
Times like this I think about successful people and how they got there. Hard work and talent, sure. But confidence and strength are key. Nobody forces me to sit down, eat all of the tortilla chips and salsa, and go down the rabbit hole of Instagram stories. Getting distracted the fourth week is much easier as my defenses are down and I would rather pine for somebody else’s life than propel myself to better mine. I then feel pathetic for doing that and keep the cycle going.
Doing online research about anxiety and the different kinds can feel triggering but I push forward, knowing how important it is. I wish that I could not be as hard on myself but all that energy I normally have has checked out. Even being aware, which normally keeps my chin up, seems to fade into the background.
I know this has been a post of self pity. I try to allow myself that in order to move past it. And even though I am not writing all of the thoughts down, my brain doesn’t shut off (clearly). As the days keep coming a lot of what I am thinking will find it’s way out so I can continue to move forward as a writer and speak my truth, for better or worse.
This picture was from the fourth week when it was too early for dinner but I was really needing (okay, wanting) an In-N-Out grilled cheese and fries. So Curls, Red, and I had first dinner by splitting one of each. I suspect in the future this is what I will remember and not all those negative feelings that want to rule my world. They will not succeed if only because of these smiling faces.