Breaking an ingrained habit

Today I made inroads in breaking one of my worst habits.

I’ve been struggling with fatigue and tummy troubles for the past few days. I’m genuinely fatigued, not oversleeping like in the past. I have a full plate schedule-wise with my return to full time work and my intensive yoga training. It will still be another week before I have a day off.

So this morning I had a really hard time waking up. I was so exhausted and still struggling with my upset tummy. And I was really, really anxious! I had a meeting with my boss’s boss today and I was nervous. I was also meeting up at lunch with old colleagues from my major depression days, who were likely expecting me to cancel. I seriously considered calling in sick.

I mean, seriously considered it. I slept in an extra half hour and it was, I think, only my kitty’s sad, hungry face that first got me moving. Plus, I just really didn’t want to disappoint myself. I haven’t missed a work day since October. So I got in the shower and started to feel better and then drove to work since it was too late for the bus.

In the end I was late for work but not too much (no way I could manage the morning without stopping for coffee!). And then I was fine!

My boss is really happy with my work. My input is taken seriously. I have a sort of work plan now so I was busy all day. And my lunch with my former colleagues was really nice!

Nothing to stress over.

Which reminds me: I was obviously too much into the future when I woke this morning! Borrowing worries for things that hadn’t happened.

Anyways, I feel like it is a pivotal day because of this: I faced a situation where I was exhausted, sick to my stomach, and really anxious. It was morning, when my defenses are low and I have a tendency to hide under the covers. And I broke through my habit! I’ll likely have other days when I struggle, but the fact that I won today will be very encouraging the next time I’m tempted to hide under the covers.

Also, more important than the actual fact of missing work, if I had called in sick I would have felt so guilty and ashamed. And that would have affected my comfort level at work. I would always face my colleagues with that shame hanging over me.

So for these reasons, what started as a pretty bad morning ended up being a great day. And now I’m taking the evening to just rest and take care of me. I was juggling too many things last night and will be again tomorrow, so today, I just need to chill…. That, and treat my psoriasis. It’s been having a field day with this underlying stress! 😛


Getting Better

Today I saw my psychiatrist for the first time in a couple of months. Now that I’m getting better I don’t have to check in as often.

It was a very good appointment. I told my doctor about how my mood has been pretty good lately. That there are more good days than bad days.

I also told her about my efforts at yoga training, daily yoga and getting a new full time job. She was thrilled with how things are going and also validated my choice to not worry about the daily yoga now that I’m working and super busy with my yoga teacher training assignments. Yay for having an expert think I made the right choice. 🙂

I mentioned my only concern was my insomnia – that for the past month or more I’ve been waking up automatically at 4 am each day. She thought there might be something to my theory that it was the switch to the generic version of Wellbutrin that led to this new development. That the generic version may have different time release properties. So I’m going back on brand name Wellbutrin and we’ll see if that helps.

Today I had a great day at work. The people I needed to speak to were there so I was able to get the feedback I needed on my plan. I love it when I feel productive.

I was still really tired at the end of the day, though, and had a lengthy nap. No yoga for me today! Hopefully the nap won’t interfere too much with sleep tonight.

Tomorrow I have guests coming over again, so the socialization should be good. 🙂

From energetic to tired and headachy

Today I woke up bright and chipper. I know, it’s Monday! What’s up with that?

Apparently my weekend of yoga was good for me. I didn’t have my emotional dip. I stayed busy, active and social. I worked towards a goal. It was really tiring, but since I went to bed early, I was actually refreshed come morning.

During the day, however, my mood slowly dipped and tiredness took over. Or maybe it was boredom? After my busy day Friday making plans and strategies, today was the day to talk things out, get feedback, get answers, and to get the go ahead to move full steam ahead. But the people I needed to meet with weren’t there! So it was a long, slow day as I looked for work rather than getting to my main tasks.

And then I had tummy troubles which really weren’t fun, nor a contributor to good spirits.

By the end of the day, I was wiped. I went home, had dinner, and struggled not to fall asleep before 7 pm. In the end, that’s why I went to yoga today. I didn’t do an invigorating class – my muscles really need a break today – but I knew I would fall asleep too early and then have insomnia if I stayed home. So I went to a relaxation yoga class where I could lie about in lots of restorative poses while staying awake.

It seems to have worked. I’m really overtired now and have a headache, but at least it’s now a decent sleeping time that will perhaps let me sleep through the night.

I hope tomorrow isn’t so boring!

Poses that trigger

This was a tough weekend at yoga training. We did a lot of poses that can trigger major reactions in some people.

First there were the backbends. These are actually really great for depressed people because they are energizing poses. I quite like them. But if you also have anxieties and traumas, they can really hit a nerve. Except for the ones done on your stomach, backbends expose all your vulnerable parts – belly, heart, neck, genital area – as you curve yourself backwards. It’s not uncommon for these poses to cause people to break into tears.

If that weren’t challenging enough, today was all about hip openers. These I really reacted to. Funnily enough, I had different reactions to both sides. When opening my left side I felt really angry! I wanted to yell at the teacher for the torture she was making us go through and for not keeping the poses short. But some poses on the right side made me almost tearful!

The hips are apparently where we store all of our emotional baggage. So if you’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for most of your life, that can be a lot! When you open the hips physically, it can then trigger the release of a lot of emotions. It’s also not uncommon for these poses to bring on anger and tears.

Also, after a LOT of resistance, I opened myself up a little mentally to some poses that I HATE! I mean really, really HATE! Not only are they hip openers, they are awkward poses that seem physically impossible for my body shape (alas, quite overweight thanks to depression). One is called “cow face” (weird, I know!). It’s a really terrible pose where, instead of sitting cross-legged, you bring the knees together in the centre, one on top of the other with the feet out to opposite sides. All the while keeping your butt firmly rooted to the floor. I could never do it, and while I’m always quite happy to do alternate poses with props, these ones were completely useless to me, working nothing whatsoever. I’d get so frustrated. But today, after I interrogated the teacher and explained my frustration and how none of the other expressions of the pose did a thing for me, a small aside helped me find the way to make it work! I could do the original pose as long as I went in from a different direction than the norm! That made me really happy.

The next hated pose is fire logs. You have your legs squared in front of you and one knee on the ankle of the lower knee with the other ankle over the knee of the opposite knee. Essentially your calves are stacked one atop the other like fire logs. Here, too, the reason for my hatred was that the pose seemed physically impossible for me. But now I can find the pose, 🙂

Aside from the occasional emotional roller coaster and struggling through anatomy class, it was a good weekend. I’m not as exhausted now and was even able to socialize at lunch. I’ve often been leaving and taking a nap instead because the program is so heavy, physically and mentally.

I’m not feeling sore or too exhausted. And I think I’ll be ready for work tomorrow, and maybe even yoga too. We’ll see. I’m also really thinking about starting to run again. I feel like maybe I need that outlet for the stuff yoga can sometimes bring up!

Have a great night. 🙂

Easy going

I’ve noticed lately that I’ve become pretty easy going. Not so easily ruffled.

This morning I stepped out into the most miserable day, and found out that my boots have a leak as I walked through icy puddles. Swish, swish, swish. And I wasn’t too bothered. I made jokes about it and once I was in the office I left off the shoes for a while to just dry out my feet. No big deal.

And work is really great. I was on my own today but found lots of motivation to get things moving. And while I felt a bit tired before the last hour, thinking it would drag on forever as I’d finished my main project of the day, after the thought passed I found something new to do and the time flew by.

I had yoga this evening and by that point I was quite tired and hadn’t had time to eat dinner either. But the practice was okay (I got a bit mixed up with the teacher’s instructions) and then it was a very relaxed class afterwards with lots of discussion. It felt nice to talk with others about our thoughts, things we find difficult and to realize many of us feel the same. Instead of the exhaustion I felt pre-yoga, now I feel fairly relaxed and ready for a nice long sleep.

At least I hope it is long. Things have been very good for me this week but there is one small concern. I keep waking up at 4 am and then often can’t sleep. It’s like clockwork. I meet with my psychiatrist next week so I’ll have to ask if it’s the Wellbutrin time release again. I may have to change the timing of when I take it so that I can forestall the insomnia.

So that’s it. A really good week overall. But I’m really tired now after my first full week of work so it’s time to get to sleep!

Making a point of going

Over the past couple of days I decided to rest rather than taking part in my daily yoga challenge. I struggled wondering if I was being compassionate or making excuses, and settled on the former.

Last night I went to bed early and slept really well. My cat woke me too early, ruining the final bit of sleep, but I woke up full of energy and speedily got ready for work.

At the end of the day, I again had my choice: do I or don’t I go to yoga?
-I want to keep up my practice and go as often as I can.
-I felt good at the end of the day, not exhausted like the past few days.
-I had to go out again anyways as the poor kitty needed more wet food.
-I was late getting home from work.
-I was really rushing and not sure I could make it on time.
-I realized while going down to my car that I forgot my yoga mat! But there was no way I’d make it if I went back for it.

I decided to go. And I’m so glad I did, because if I’d missed today, it really would have been due to excuses or laziness. I was feeling fine and refreshed. No reason not to go.

And, even better, we had a super lengthy gong meditation, so I got to rest anyway! 🙂

Compassion or excuses? Laziness or listening to my body?

I’ve blown my daily yoga routine. But I’ve done it consciously so.

I’ve missed three days now (non-consecutive), but only regret missing Saturday’s session.

Is it that I’m being lazy? Or is it that I’m listening to my body and its fatigue? Am I being compassionate towards myself? Or just making excuses for failures?

I actually think that I’m being compassionate.

This is my first forty-hour work week in months. And then I have 20+ hours of yoga training on the weekend. No days off until mid-March. (And I think that’s a good thing, because I do tend to have emotional dips on weekends when I do nothing…)

But with work, training, homework and trying to go to yoga every single day (and more than once a day to make up for missed days)… Well, after the sleeplessness of last night, I knew I couldn’t keep burning the candle at all ends.

I think this is an example of self-compassion because:
– I don’t feel guilty
– I’m not displaying my all-or-nothing attitude – I’ve missed three days so why even bother continuing with the daily yoga? It’s already a bust! – Instead I’m simply planning to go as often as I can, while being conscious of what my body is telling me.
– I’m really enjoying my work and the sense of accomplishment of doing my job well. I like going to work, even if I haven’t slept, and I’m really productive. But that’s not maintainable without rest. I need to take care of myself.

At times during the past few weeks, I’ve felt like a bubble of contentment is surrounding me. I’m enjoying getting out of the house each day and my hilly walks to and from the bus. The weather isn’t too cold and the fresh air is invigorating. Yesterday I became absorbed looking down at my scarf as I walked to work. The most beautiful little snowflake had settled on my scarf and it had the most intricate design! I guess that’s as close as I can get to stopping to smell the roses at this time of year. 😉

People seem more inclined to be friendly and do nice things for me. And I think it’s because my overall feeling of calm, patience and contentment is flowing out. I was pulled over for my first ever driving ticket the other day… And the officer was smiling and understanding and instead gave me warnings.

So while there can be a fine line between excuses and compassion, I think I’m currently exhibiting the latter. I’m adapting remarkably well to the workplace and I’m generally content. But I’m well aware of the dangers of doing too much, ignoring insomnia, and feeling overwhelmed.

I made the conscious decision today to take yoga off my plate and to simply relax. As such I could resist napping and I think I’m now ready to go to sleep at an appropriate time. And I’m looking forward to both work and yoga tomorrow. 🙂

Good night!