Archives for posts with tag: stress
My old roommate had this on his FB wall. It about sums up my thoughts on the matter.

My old roommate had this on his FB wall. It about sums up my thoughts on the matter.

I started this blog as I was preparing to move from Boston to the Albany area of NY. I’d moved to Boston for graduate school, and had started my career there. 6 years living within biking distance of the T, and right on multiple MBTA buslines. I lived in Somerville and Arlington, went to school in Cambridge, worked in Brighton, and Charlestown and Dorchester. I also grew up less than 2 hours northwest of Boston. I refuse to call myself a Bostonian, because I’m from NH dammit and I won’t be labeled a Masshole. But Boston was my home for a long time. I did a lot of growing up there.

One of my roommates right after grad school had an amazing girlfriend who ran marathons for the Liver Foundation. They are now married, and she ran again this year. Through them I met another fantastic friend who was also running for the liver foundation. My cousin qualified to run the Boston Marathon in 2011, and I biked out to see him. I met the woman that he married last month that Monday.

So even though I did not have the day off, I did not watch the marathon, and I was not in Boston, yesterday is hitting pretty close to home. Because I would have been there. I am often in the scrum near the finish trying to find my friends. That could have been me. I’m so very, very glad it wasn’t, and I’m so very, very glad that all of my friends are ok, but still. These sorts of things are supposed to happen somewhere else, to someone else, not to “my” city, not to “my” people.

To add insult to injury, one of the fatalities in Boston is an 8 year old boy. My client that died in February was 8. Too close to home.

We had a regularly scheduled trauma-informed training today. That is, we are learning how work with kids who have long histories of trauma and how to effectively treat them. And our instructor Would. Not. Shut. UP. about how it’s making everyone feel on edge, and that it’s making people fear that there are bombs in buildings. He named the school I work at specifically as a school that people might be afraid had bombs in it.  He clearly didn’t even think that anyone had personal ties to Boston, or to people who might be running. He didn’t even check to see if we were ok emotionally about it. I was really pissed. I had to spend most of the morning trying not to cry. I had a really hard time with it. I posted something bitchy on FB around 11am.

My father called my cell shortly after that, and left a voicemail letting me know that while he was now ok, someone in my family had recently taken ill, and was being cared for. That was it. I lost it. I had to leave the room, and couldn’t stop crying.

I cancelled my appointments for the day, and came home. I’m still not ok, but at least I’m not crying. Jarak was here, and he gave me hugs and let me just decompress. I’m knitting a hat for my niece who’s due this week. I’m mailing a check to our wedding photographer. I will go to the gym tonight and do deadlifts with my friend. I’m doing really basic, self-care things, and not being at work. Work is really hard right now. I need some scheduled time off I think. This is just too much.

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I’ve been dealing with some serious shit recently. One of my clients died a week ago. He was a little guy, under 10. If you live in the Capital Region you’ve probably heard about it, but I’m not going to go into detail. Suffice to say, I’ve been caught in a maelstrom of grief, anger, disbelief and worry. I found out while I was on my on-call week. I got a phone message from CPS asking for information about this kid, and that he had died. I had to kind of sputter into the phone to the answering service that this was *my* client. I hung up the phone and promptly burst into tears.

Jarak was home as it was Saturday. I told him what happened and he just held me while I cried. All I knew at that point was that I needed him to be there for me. And that all that was keeping me held together was his touch. If he hadn’t been there last weekend I honestly don’t know what I would have done. He was there in between all of my phone calls to hold me. He didn’t ask a lot of questions, he was just there. After 3 years, he knows what I need when I’m upset and I’m so grateful for him.

The grief keeps hitting me in waves. I’ll be ok most of the day or evening, and then it will slam into me and I can’t work or do anything except go home and cry. And Jarak is just there for me. More than any other time, I’m realizing why we have partners. We have partners, husbands, wives to support us when things go to shit. To hold us when there are no words and the only thing that will make us feel better is human touch and connection.

We drove down to Maryland for my cousin’s wedding this weekend. The wedding was amazing and beautiful, if absolutely nothing like ours will be. I’m so very happy for them. We spent Friday night in Philadelphia with one of my college roommates and our cake maker. I haven’t seen her in 6 years, and we picked up right where we left off. There is a reason we were such good friends in college. And our cake is going to be Epic.

Going to a wedding, visiting old friends, and seeing family after this past week was a welcome break, but probably the best part of it was spending 3 uninterrupted days with Jarak. I fell asleep on the couch last night snuggled up with him. I’d been anxious since we got back into New York, but something about touch makes it all go away. We’ve been through a lot as a couple, with 2.5 years of long-distance and financial issues, and learning to communicate, but this week and this weekend has really hammered home to me that there is no one in this world who I’d rather have with me than him as I tackle the rest of the adventure of life. He makes it better just by being there, and that’s what makes him the perfect partner for me.

First, the good things! My spent-grain bread came out well, although it could have used slightly less water, and maybe 10 more minutes in the oven. Next time we buzz the grains in a blender before baking. Barley husks are pointy and have a nasty tendency to get caught in soft places in your mouth. (Which is most of it.) Also, today Jarak and I made spent grain cookies. Oh my goodness so tasty! Chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Yum.

Hard things. My cat Mystique has been acting up. She keeps pooing on my bed. I wash my top blanket, she does it again 3 days later. Clean litter box almost every time. I’m very frustrated. Hopefully it will stop when we move into our own place.

Other hard things, and ones that are way more important: learning to live with the love of my life. I knew that the transition from seeing each other for 6 days a month, (3 at my place, 3 at his) to living together would be hard. I just didn’t realize how it would manifest itself.  We’re having to learn to communicate and negotiate in ways that we haven’t previously. I like to make decisions quickly, looking at the facts I have and saying “ok, let’s go for it” (or not.) Jarak deliberates. He looks at all the options and then mulls them for a while. He gets grumpy when rushed or when he feels pushed into something. I got a glimpse of it this summer when we were planning to go to Seattle for my friend’s wedding, but it really crystallized for me during our apartment search.  I see something and go “yes, let’s do this” and he says “wait a minute, what about these things that need to get fixed.” It’s a nice check for my gung-ho self, but sometimes creates hurt feelings when the whys of decisions or opinions aren’t spelled out, from either of our directions. We keep reminding ourselves to work on communicating better, and that we still love each other. We may have an apartment though. Details when things are solid and signed.

Sometimes though, it’s less Big Relationship Things like communication and more the “we planned poorly and now we’re in a mess.” Last week we got 4″ of snow, and I had an 9am meeting. I pulled Jarak’s big rear wheel drive  Crown Vic out of the driveway so that I could get my car out, and realized that A)rear wheel drive cars don’t handle the same as front wheel drive and B) he had postponed snow tires. Our residential street had yet to be plowed, and I couldn’t get enough traction to get up the slight incline. After fussing and sliding and getting frustrated, and his mom not having any luck either, I finally went and woke him up and said “I can’t do it, the car is stuck, and I have a meeting to get to, can you get up and move your car? Thanks, love you, bye!” And because he is wonderful and helps me out of messes, he did. First gear and patience, (which I didn’t have) got the car unstuck, while I raced off to my meeting (which had been cancelled!) And then he went back to bed. He works nights and 8am is not a time that he often sees. For the record, my AWD Subaru managed just fine thanks.

To end with a Good Thing. Which is a very good thing. I get to see my boyfriend, my partner, Every. Single. Day. That is SO COOL! Even if it’s for 3 minutes when he’s half asleep and I’m headed to work, I can still wake him up and give him a kiss. Every Single Day! And sometimes when he gets home from work after I go to bed he’ll wake me up to say hi, and then let me go back to sleep. I get him all evening on two nights a week, and most of the day on the weekends. (Our days off don’t match unfortunately.) Getting to see him and connect with him every day is totally worth any amount of frustration I have.

I officially got the job offer for my new job the middle of November. I had to give my job 1 month, and I had to give my apartment 1 month notice as well. So I looked at the calendar and realized that one month was the 15th or so of December. I decided that I needed as much fight club as I could get, and The Boy’s days off from work are Thursday and Friday, so I decided that my last day at work would be December 14th and then I’d move the 15th and 16th.
December has a way of sneaking up on me. I didn’t even consider the fact that I’m moving a week before Christmas. I didn’t consider that it starts getting dark around 3:30pm this time of year, which inevitably makes me lethargic and cranky. Now that I’m in the throes of packing, I’m realizing that this was poorly considered. I have too much to cram into too small an amount of time!

The stress is getting to me. I’ve been eating very little, and what I have been eating is all carbohydrates. That’s how I know I’m stressed. Chocolate and clementines and coffee seem to be my go-tos right now. I forced myself to eat some bread and cheese (more carbs, but at least it was homemade oatmeal bread) around 2pm today. I hope I can force myself to eat something real at my goodbye shindig tonight. If I don’t, I’ll be very drunk, very quickly. My stomach is in knots right now, which is quite uncomfortable.

*EDIT* I found a solution to the ‘nothing seems tasty’ dilemma. Marinated mussel salad from the grocery store. Salty, vinegary and high in protein. It’s junk food that’s mostly healthy. 

I keep warning The Boy about how I am when I move. I invariably forget to eat or am too stressed to eat, I get over tired and overwhelmed quickly and there are inevitably tears. And that’s just when it’s a regular move, not when there’s lots of emotional stuff to deal with in addition to it. I despise moving. At least this time I’ll be moving when it’s cold out, instead of in June or August, which is when I’ve moved in the past. The heat always makes me more of a head case. I just have to remember to keep talking to him and asking for help when I need it.

What about you guys? Do you have any ideas for staying sane during a big emotional move?