Calm after the Storm

My poor parents. They read last night’s blog post and were very concerned. I assured them that I wanted to document my anxiety attack to educate my readers but to also remind myself that I can overcome said attacks. I did. I woke up this morning, got to my 9am call and 9:30am meeting, and did fine. This is what high-functioning people do. They struggle, deal and move ahead. We have no choice if we want to function well in our lives.

When I got home last night from work, I bumped into my next-door-neighbor and I told her I thought something was brewing. She said that I have a lot going on and it was understandable. My mom told me this morning that my dad said that I have so many good things going on…why be so glum?

It only takes one small thing to set the anxiety in motion, but fortunately, I have learned strategies to deal with things when they come on. First, I can tell when they are brewing. I often warn Ted or my folks or my brother/sister-in-law so they will look out for me. I tell my two best friends. I reach out to my supports. So, today, I told them all that things are stirring up for me right now. They then know to be patient and check in on me.

I often take a social media break when I’m in this place. Social media can be wonderful to wish friends happy birthday or whatnot, but it can also be triggering if there is a lot of negative political or news on there. We’re all subject to that.

Listen, it is vulnerable to write about this stuff. Who wants to point out their vulnerabilities? Because I know it doesn’t define. I can also be a caring daughter, loving girlfriend, successful fundraiser, and good friend while dealing with depression and anxiety.

In this article, it discusses some of the side effects of high-functioning anxiety, including some physical ramifications. Remember I mentioned my stomach issues the other day? Clearly they are stress related. How do I help them? I work on eliminating the stress. It’s not easy – it’s a day to day struggle – but I’m conquering it little by little. Stay along for the journey!

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This is anxiety

It’s 3:15am & I’m wide awake with a head full of remorse. I’m regretting something I said earlier in the day. It was none of my business. Now, rational me tells me to let it go, it’s done. Learn and move on. But anxious me can’t. I’m gripping it with my brain and stressors.

I’m writing about it in the hopes this helps. I can’t figure how to disconnect comments on this post, so I’m asking – please don’t. I just need to vent.

Do you have anxiety too? You can imagine this moment, right? Heart pounding, pulse racing, the swirl of wind in your ears. Tossing & turning in bed as you ruminate over and over about your regrets.

It’s brutal. I can use my CBT skills to calm it down or take a pill, but then I may not make it to my 9am meeting. So I opt to wait it out.

This is anxiety. I will go listen to a podcast to distract my thoughts.

Had to take my medication. Couldn’t stop this attack on my own. When my anxiety gets to the point where I can’t talk myself down, I take medication that will kick in & lull my thoughts. Can you believe I’m live documenting this? Even within the moment, I understand the importance of documenting my journey so that I can go back & read about a heightened moment & hopefully know it will get better. But in this moment, it’s unbearable.

Not sure what else to say. Waiting for that lull. In the meanwhile, brushed my teeth (again) and listened to a podcast. Those usually calm me down. It’s quiet outside – peaceful – but I still feel the ringing in my ears.

You are experiencing me with anxiety. I’ve been dealing with it, that I can recall, since I was 24, but maybe even sooner. Still waiting for the lull.

ah, the lull. The moment my medication kicks in. My thoughts start to calm now. I can focus on rational thoughts again.

I have just taken you with me during a raw moment – a panic attack. If this stirs up anything in you, I apologize.

Again, no comments, please ❤️

5/14/19

Belated Happy Mother’s Day to the moms out there (and my friend who is a future momma!).

My mom mentioned that so many people commented on her wall on Mother’s Day. “I guess they’re glad I’m alive. It was touch and go there for a while,” said mom to me on the phone. I believe I responded something like, “fuck yeah we’re glad you’re alive, mom.” Maybe I said that in my head, but it’s the truth.

I’ve been dealing with some stomach issues – dumping syndrome – but working on it.

And, I’m going to Africa! Yes, in July, I’m heading to Kenya & Uganda for 10 days with our local Jewish federation to see the impact of Israel on two developing countries. Super excited. Need to get my yellow fever shot. You know, all the cool people need vaccinations for their vacations from work.

Speaking of work, things have somewhat calmed down since the 25+ people quit or were let go in the past year. Yep. I have one of the longer tenures there. 2 years. But I’m determined to make it work!

We’re busy planning mom and Dad’s 50th anniversary party in June. A huge reason to celebrate…so glad ted will be joining me. Speaking of, next Monday is our 1-year anniversary! Love you, Ted! ❤️

Meet the Parents

So, I finally met Ted’s parents this weekend! What a lovely couple! They welcomed me to their home on Cape Cod from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon, which is a bit of time when meeting your son’s girlfriend. They were gracious and so kind. It doesn’t surprise me since Ted is such a good person.

We toured a few towns around the Cape, and on Saturday, Ted & I spent a little time wandering. We had his kids with us, so they entertained us throughout the weekend.

All in all, it felt comfortable, and I had a good time. Progress! 😃

Writing a book

It’s been my dream since I was a kid to write a book. I guess with Amazon you can self publish. Do I need to write a best seller? Mulling this over.

4/29/19

The weekend in NJ was nice. I arrived on Friday and we had meatballs that mom’s aide made. They were too dry. We all went to bed early, and I had one of the best sleeps in months. I told dad I believe it was because I saw, with my own two eyes, that mom was doing great.

On Saturday, mom & I showered, got dressed, and headed downstairs to hit the shops. Mom chatted with her neighbor and then she sat in my car, and proceeded to throw up. Thank goodness I had a trash bag in the car as I was cleaning it out. I ran inside, grabbed more trash bags and a roll of paper towels. Mom insisted she felt fine and to press on. We were both looking forward to shopping.

We arrived at 606, our favorite local boutique. We picked out a few things for mom to try on to wear for her anniversary party, coming up on June 9th. She sat in the dressing room and suddenly held her hands to her mouth. I asked the woman working at the store if she had a trash bag. I grabbed it, handed it to mom, and she threw the dressing room curtain shut.

Mom did her thing and handed me her credit card, asking me to pay for the items she had selected. I went to the counter to pay, and she eventually walked towards me. She saw a pretty purse nearby and said, ” throw that in too.” Somehow, amongst the throwing up, we managed to drop $600 in 10 minutes!

We headed to our other favorite shop, Welcome Home. We’ve shopped there so often that the owner know us. She was so happy to see mom! We wandered a bit. I followed mom carefully because I had a trash bag tucked in my purse. About 10 minutes in, mom excused herself to my car. You can guess what happened next. I paid her bill, and grabbed a few items for her for Mother’s Day. I took mom home and as soon as she laid down on the couch, she was out. She slept there without a peep out of her for 3 hours. I went out and ran some errands for her & dad.

The rest of our family arrived, and we had a Passover meal together. Between courses, we all gathered in mom’s room where she lay peacefully so she wouldn’t get sick.

Sunday morning, she woke up and was completely fine. Ate, had coffee, chatted on phone.

Every day is a new day.

4/27/19

In NJ now visiting my folks. Both look well. Mom is very thin but otherwise, doing well. She has a lot of energy & is walking around like a champ. She’s anxious to “get her life back” and is making plans with friends. She went to a Seder last weekend, and out to dinner twice! She said it was a miracle. I’d like her to share the credit for her success too 🙂

I didn’t mention it before, but I met some of Ted’s family – his brother & sister-in-law who love in MA, and their kids & in-laws. Lovely people! Smart, kind, just like my Ted. He’s with his kiddos this week, or he’d be here in NJ with me. But we’ll both be here in June to celebrate my parent’s 50th anniversary.

Looking forward to shopping with mom today! My brother, sister in law, and her folks are all headed here tonight for a belated Passover meal. Should be a good day!

4/25/19

My former boss was laid off yesterday. We have been assured that no more layoffs are happening but I don’t think anyone feels secure.

Needless to say, I’m exhausted. I don’t think I’ve slept well in weeks.

Saw my friend J last night (hi!), who is visiting from Philly. So nice to reconnect with a good friend!

Heading to Ted’s tonight, and then to NJ tomorrow to see my folks for the end of Passover. Mom and I have plans to go shopping on Saturday – it will be our first shopping outing together since her surgery last June. Can’t wait!

Never forget.

In other sad news, my cousin’s mom on my mom’s side passed away late last week. Her name was Gittle, and she was a survivor of the Holocaust.

I remember like it was yesterday – December 19, 1987 – my Bat Mitzvah celebration. Afterwards, the out of town guests went back to my house to have coffee and watch me open presents (ok, that’s clearly a 13-year-old’s memory). My cousin Fay (daughter of Gittle) was there, and my mom told me that she was a survivor, born in a DP camp. Fay told me her family’s history, and I never forgot it. It’s been more than 30 years since I heard that story, and I still remember. Our family was part of this video below, documenting their experiences during the Holocaust. If you have 22 minutes, take a look.

 

Winning.

Screenshot 2019-04-22 14.43.28.pngThis morning, I stopped at my local Dunkin Donuts for an iced mocha. I like it with almond milk (lactose intolerant) and light on the chocolate sauce (bariatric surgery). It was handed back to me with gunks of chocolate on the bottom. I told the guy behind the counter that I had asked for lighter “mocha” and he then handed me a cup of ice, no mocha, with a splash of coffee and almond milk. I couldn’t even get my straw into the cup. I then asked for a large cup. I started explaining that as ice melts, it expands and the cup would overflow, but then I stopped and said, “Please, just give me a larger cup.” I poured the medium into the large, and headed to work with enough ice to make a second iced coffee in the office. I call that a win.

Then I got back into the car and when I got to Newton Corner, where I have to cross over two lanes of busy traffic rather quickly to access our parking garage, no one would let me over. I finally jerked my car ahead, and quickly made it into the garage without having to circle around the block. I call that a win.

We then had a meeting that was scheduled from 12-3pm. It ended at 2pm. I call that a win.

So, when someone told me this weekend that the “Jews were responsible for killing Jesus,” I responded that “I wasn’t there so it wasn’t me” and left it at that. Can I call that a win? I can call it offensive, off-putting, and ignorant, but I don’t call it “surprising” because there is a lot of anti-semitism out there. Is it right? Nope. But spending the afternoon with this gentleman was quite pleasant, once we moved away from the whole different religion things. I call that a win.

70.

I weighed myself this morning and I hit the 70 pound weight loss mark. Crazy to think I’ve lost that much weight since October 22. I’m pretty excited about it. My energy levels are so much better. I can work out more and I’m not always out of breath. It’s awesome!

Things with work vary day by day. It’s a bumpy road that I hope with smooth out soon.

Exciting weekend ahead. Ted and I will celebrate Passover at my brother’s house, and then Easter at his brother’s house. We’re so domesticated. But, in all seriousness, things are going well with us.

Mom is doing great! She’s been gaining back her strength and is embarking on a journey to a friend’s Seder this weekend. I’m even hopeful that we’ll go out shopping together next weekend when I’m there to visit for the end of Passover.

That’s pretty much it. Off to watch makeup hauls on YouTube.

4/12/19

TGIFF, righScreenshot 2019-04-12 12.13.19.pngt?

It’s been a rough few weeks. Yesterday my depression hit me like a ton of bricks, but I managedto pull myself out of it by soliciting some chat time with my sister-in-law. It definitely helped to talk through the stuff that’s bothering me.

Mom is status quo. She’s gaining her strength back and putting in a lot of effort to get stronger. Go, mom, go!

Spending time with Ted and his kids this weekend, which should be fun. It is supposed to be 70 degrees tomorrow, so that’ll be awesome.

Work is…well, currently a 4-letter word…but I’m putting in my best effort to get through the days. 2 more people resigned this week.

Ciao for now!

Monday, Monday

It’s a new week. Pressed the reset button.

Mom is home. She was in the hospital last week because of bowel/colon obstruction. Remember that they had to rebuild her insides during her cancer surgery last June? Well, these are the side effects. She’s in good spirits. Just spoke with her for a while.

Had a nice weekend! On Sat Ted and I took his kids to a local museum and then out for bbq. Later that night my college besties came over for dinner. On Sunday a friend came by and then I did some wandering around the local mall.

That’s all for now!

Tumult.

Monday. Going about my business when we hear that our CEO has resigned. Our COO is out. Our CFO is now CEO. Our ED is now CDO. All announced in 30 minute meeting.

Phew. Needless to say, I’m wiped out and stressed out.

Guess I need to update my resume because you never know. That’s the problem – you don’t.

In other news, I had a lovely weekend, namely because I spent a lot of time with Ted.

My mind is spinning.

3/27/19

I had an interesting work meeting today where we discussed – among other topics – the assimilation of American Jews into society in the US. A professor at our meeting, who lives in Israel, said that the German Jews before Hitler also considered themselves assimilated. That’s some scary shit to discuss in a work meeting!

I have been sick all week with a nasty cold and now I’m having a terrible stomach ache. 😂

Next post better be more optimistic!!

3/25/19 part 2

I can’t stop thinking of three suicides that took place this week. Two Parkland survivors, and the parent of a 6-year-old who was killed in Newtown. It breaks my heart to think that their suffering – their survivor’s guilt – whatever it was – was too much to bear.

It took 1 day for the Prime Minister to ban assault rifles in New Zealand after 49 people were killed for being Muslim. Why can’t we do the same? It may not prevent every shooting but it’s a start.

I don’t love this world we’re living in. Many of my Jewish friends tell me that they secretly sleep with their passports next to them in a drawer. That’s some scary shit.

Just needed to get this off my chest.

3/25/19

Sorry it’s been a while since I wrote – got a text from a loyal reader today asking about mom, so I promised him I’d catch you all up on things!

Mom is doing so well! She’s gaining her strength back, walking a bit, and appears to be in good spirits. Ted and I are heading there this weekend to visit & check in on the ‘rents. Mom said Sophia is heading out on Thursday for her break. I hope she comes back! She’s been amazing.

I’m dealing with a cold so been laying low. I haven’t been on the scale in a week or two so not sure about my weight progress. I don’t want to be obsessive about weight so I check it out every so often.

That’s all for now! Oh, and happy spring!!

3/17/19

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s amazing what a difference a few days can do. I am feeling so much better. Ted & I spent some nice quality time together this weekend, including walking 6 miles yesterday! My legs hurt but it’s worth it.

I participated in a Brandeis alumni focus group this morning which was a lot of fun. I always enjoy being back on campus. I then went and purchased my new washing machine – No Samsung this time!

I am going to Worcester tomorrow for a donor meeting so at least it’ll get me out of the office. Ciao!

3/15/19

Longest week ever! Seriously, it was so slow. TGIFF!

My week – well, in my world – was pretty shitty but when I think about it, it’s all relative since mom is getting better! Remember I said I’d know she was on the right track when she started watching Hulu again on her iPad? Well, she watched “Three Identical Strangers” last night! She’s been wanting to watch it forever. And she’s getting out of bed! She’s been sitting and standing. Soon she’ll be running that marathon. Ok. Ok. Us Rothman’s do not run marathons. But you get my point.

I’ve been looking forward to tomorrow all week! My beau & I are spending the day together. Can’t wait!

My job has been incredibly stressful and icky this week so let’s hope it gets better next week. I’m optimistic.

I have been doing spring cleaning too. Earlier this week, I packed up more donation bags and tonight, I threw out old makeup. I dropped my gorgeous Laura Mercier foundation on the floor but in true “me” fashion, I had a replacement one ready to go. Luckily I dropped the old one. But damn, that stuff is expensive!

I’m down 65 lbs. The big excitement this week is that I can fit into Victoria’s Secret stuff again. It’s not great quality but it’s symbolically fun not to have to only shop for unmentionables at Lane Bryant or Avenue. I have more options now. Of course this stirs up all sorts of feelings of “why can’t more stores be inclusive with their sizing?” But it’s also nice to be able to shop in a store for these things.

That’s about all for now. Doing a Brandeis alumni focus group on Sunday which should be fun!

Bought this dress at Target today. Cute, huh???

3/11/19

Monday again. This one was pretty good, though. I went to an interesting event at Brandeis and enjoyed learning in the middle of the day!

Did my taxes. Although it’s a lot less than 2017, I’m still getting a refund. So that’s helpful since I now need a new washing machine (cue the water gushing out of the bottom of the old one….).

I spoke with my folks a while ago and had a fairly long conversation with mom. She had a nice visit today from our cousins and has been enjoying her phone conversations/visits with neighbors, friends, family, etc.

Ted and I will plan to visit at the end of March. They’re thrilled for our upcoming visit. I’ll meet Ted’s folks in May when they’re back from snowbirding in FL.

Officially lost 65 lbs. Saw my recent photo on FB and could see such a difference in my appearance. I feel more like myself now. A less puffy version of myself. I refer to myself as the “incredibly shrinking woman” which makes me laugh.

That’s it for now.

3/5/19

Best part of the day: pjs. Who’s with me?

It’s 9pm and I’m snug as a bug on my couch with last night’s Bachelor queued up. So, why does Colton jump that fence? Anyhow….

Very long workday. Getting adjusted to the fast pace of the office. I feel very behind with my work. Will need to spend many hours catching up, but I’ll do it.

Mom did not have a great day so dad turned away calls and visitors. Please check in first with dad or Sophia before stopping by. Speaking of Sophia, I spoke with her today. She’s the best!

Thank you to my two friends whose names begin with H for supporting me today during a rough patch. Trying to juggle a broken washing machine, getting acclimated back to work, doing my taxes, finding clothes that fit me, and the like – I’m spent!

Tomorrow is a new day. Let’s hope mom has a better one. ❤️

3/4/19

It’s 9:32 PM and I’m back home. Today is Monday, and we got a foot of snow, but I was able to get to work by 11:30 AM. It was so good to be back at work! That’s when you know you like your job. It was also clear that I was missed, so that’s always encouraging. Our new assistant started while I was away so there’s a general good vibe in the office right now.

I’m a little behind in my writing because I took the last few days to decompress. I needed to catch up on sleep after the last few weeks of extreme stress and decision-making.

I spoke with mom earlier today and she sounded good. Sophia is a blessing. She is helping her eat, which I believe is giving her more strength to move her body in the bed. Her mind is strong, but her body is still very weak. I can’t wait till the moment when she said she wants to watch her new Hulu subscription. I will know at that moment that she is getting better.

I bought myself quite a few new items of clothing over the past few weeks, so I just went and packed up two more black trash bags to donate to the Vietnam Veterans of America. I also have a bag packed to sell to ThredUP, an online consignment shop. So far I’ve made about $100 from selling things there. I realized how much I needed work clothes! I’m buying things in sizes medium, large, and extra-large. I’m getting close to the size large, but in some things I still need the larger size. I’m trying really hard to get rid of anything that is over an extra large (besides pajamas) so I’m not walking around looking “frumpy.” Again, I’ll use my favorite word here: surreal.

I’m starting to make plans with friends again. I was holding off because I never knew when I’d have to leave for New Jersey at a moment’s notice. I feel like I can make plans again now that we have Sophia living with my parents. I think she knows how important she is in my life, but I’ll make sure I tell her again. I told my dad to tell Sophia that I missed her! I hope mom doesn’t get jealous 🙂

2/28/19

9:24am

one word: exhaustion. I have been couch surfing at my parent’s since we have Sophia here so I haven’t slept well. I’m grumpy and want to sleep for days. Mom seems to be adjusting well to home life. Dad and Sophia are figuring out their roles to support mom. Yesterday, I did a big Target run for them.

And I had coffee with my friend T, who I’ve known for 30 years! Thank you for the break.

I’m heading home tomorrow. Ted will come over after work & hug me for hours, I hope.

I have to do a work project this morning. Ciao for now.

2/26/19

11am. At my parent’s place working. Waiting to hear if mom will be coming home today. We have no hospital bed for her yet, so there is no where to put her right now. So we wait.

11:13am. Bed will be coming “at some point” today. That’s all I know. So, hopefully that means mom will be coming home today. I think around 4pm but it may be later. Please check here for updates. I love you all. I get between 15-20 texts, calls, emails, and FB messages a day, which is so thoughtful, but remember, I have to respond to them all! So, this is the best place to check for thorough updates. If you are just saying hi or thinking of us, please keep those coming!! Mom and I thrive on the social stuff, as you know.

I am drained. About 50% depleted, I think, which means I’m running on 1/2 of a tank of energy. My thyroid levels are WAY off so for those of you who deal with that, you know it completely messes with your body chemistry. Tack on caring for mom (and dad), trying to work, and keeping my own health in order – it’s a ton to deal with at once.

If anyone is interested in helping, I can tell you that our friend Michelle brought over a bunch of prepared meals from Wegmans and some Girl Scout cookies, and those went over huge with dad! I’m on a strict diet right now post-surgery so I need to take care of my own food needs. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t partake in some Girl Scout cookies! A lot of people want to come and visit mom – give her a few days to get settled in before coming over. Dad is still getting over bronchitis and she still has Cdiff, so please do not come over if you have any colds, flu-like symptoms, or if your kids or grandkids are sick, avoid Chez Rothman for now.

What else to share with everyone…I think that’s all for now. More news later!

5:34pm Mom is home. She’s snug as a bug in a rug in her hospital bed. Dad is getting her pills and apple sauce ready. Sophia is a delight!

 

Manic Monday

It’s 12:30pm and this morning has been chaotic. While I was trying to catch up on work, my phone and my parent’s home phone was ringing and blowing up with texts. The texts from people who were checking in were great, as usual.

But then my doctor’s office called to tell me my insurance was cancelled and they’re sending me a bill (their error). At the same time my surgeon was calling me about some vitamin deficiencies and my thyroid levels are a record low (overly medicated).

And dad apparently threw out some of mom’s friends when he arrived at the hospital in a rude way….and then I’m running around trying to find out when mom will be transported home.

Sigh. Taking a deep breath.

It’s a lot. Thank you to T & M who both reached out today to have coffee/chat (one is in NJ/one is in MA). I hope to see you (T) and talk to you (M) soon. And to my cousin Fay -we’ve been devouring your valentine goody basket! Yum!

And thank goodness for Ted who chats with me before bed most nights and calms me down.

It’s all starting to take its toll on me, I think, so bear with me balancing things. I have to remind folks that I had surgery only 4 months ago & I’m still recovering.

Mom is sleeping now. She’s excited to go home. We hired a private P/T guy who will help her (hopefully) walk again.

I asked dad last night as I ordered size small adult diapers on Amazon: when you married mom 50 years ago, did you ever anticipate you’d be arguing with your daughter over getting size small or medium?? Sometimes it helps to put things into perspective!

More later! Thanks for reading.