QOTD: How do you juggle all the balls you have? I have some answers below, but would love to hear your ideas!
Alright folks. I took my longest break from writing a blog post since I went public. I didn’t mean to…it’s just…well…I’ve been…well…life went bonkers.
So, everything was great (I mean, not really but you know). I was mostly juggling the balls I had, which is an achievement most days.
Then my boss (who I adore) told us he was leaving for a new position. Problem: our department is $1m in the hole and not hiring when someone leaves. Within 3 weeks, my team went from five to three, with no more leadership.
Here’s the part where all the balls went flying.
My new boss informed me that I would be full-time in the office within 10 days, or could leave my job. Problem:
- I am 75% FTE, with 3 days in the office and 2 days from home
- Ergo, I only have childcare 3 days a week
- Seattle childcare waitlists are STUPID long (no for real, I’ve been on waitlists since December 2015)
- Seattle childcare COSTS MORE THAN MY MORTGAGE AND WE WILL LOSE MONEY BY MY BEING FULL-TIME
But who cares. The department is in the hole.
I could deal with this change well enough (though I would like it to be MY choice to go back full-time), but was the way in which it was handled and the rest of that meeting let me know that the supportive, trusting environment I had come to appreciate, was in the same hole as the million dollars.
You know what is really hard for people with anorexia and depression, and PERFECTIONISM? Sh*@! hitting the fan, that’s what. While this post thus far may seem unrelated to my recovery, I assure you my recovery has gone through shock waves.
- Anorexia and perfectionism go fairly hand in hand. In my case, they are THE SAME HAND. You know what I like? Routine. Predictability. Stability is my jam.
- Depressed people have enough crap in their brain. They don’t need other people sending more poo poo. More bad news? Why, thank you.
I’ve spent two weeks trying to figure out how to #jugglealltheballs, and here’s what I got:
Three ways you can juggle all your balls:
1. Breathe and relax.
Simple, right? Actually, when something freaks us out, we tend to hold our breath and tighten up. In the immediate, as my new boss showed little regard for what she was asking me to do, I kept breathing. I relaxed, so my mind could be clear to ask clarifying questions. For the past two weeks, I have returned to these basic skills I was taught in treatment about handling anxiety and stress.
Be like Kerry.
2. Enter Beast Mode
Beast mode, as defined by Google: a state of performing something, especially difficult activities, with extreme power, skill, or determination.
I got my SH*@! together and figured out what had to be figured out. Like, survival mode, folks. I got my kid moved to a full-time spot in another classroom (which is actually better anyway). I also realized I wasn’t content to wait around for my husband to find a job in Texas, and started looking myself. These boots are made for walking in the Lone Star State, y’all.
Unfortunately, a beast is pretty much what overtook my recovery. I have literally vacillated between restricting and overeating everyday since the news. This is real. Ana is losing her mind and taking me down with her. I lost control of the new life I had been starting to accept, and a sudden change has thrown us. As the Fall comes and I see that I very well may have another Seattle rainy season (9 months, remember) ahead of me, Ana thinks I should restrict again. I know how to do that well. All this other stuff is crazy, but I can do anorexia.
3. Choose your balls and drop the rest.
Two weeks out, I’m convinced of the way forward. To recover. To survive.
I can’t have it all and you know, that’s okay. I can have what I NEED. So I’m choosing the balls that are important. I’m slowly learning to let the others drop and fade out (hard work, for a perfectionist). I think this is why recovery is so hard. I only like to do things I’m good at. I’m not good at recovery. I take each day, each moment that I fail, and feel broken inside again. The hard part in recovery is that between Ana’s voice and mine, it feels like not eating AND eating are equal failures. I’m really good at anorexia, just committed to it. None of this recovery stuff. Anyway…this is the current juggling deal:
Balls I’m keeping:
- Spiritual faith in the Christian God
- Family and good friends
- Career pathway that I choose
- Basic needs (shelter…learning to make sure food is in there)
- This blog
- Kickball (duh) and I think I will keep knitting
Balls I can drop:
- My house looking good (though clean toilets are a must)
- Cooking dinner (if it happens, kudos to me and JJ)
- Sitting on my bum waiting to move to Texas
- Anorexia. Like screw it, I do not have time for this. I really don’t.
If I #jugglesalltheballs, awesome. If one drops…