Learning to Breath

I honestly had no idea exactly how much tension, stress and anxiety I was holding onto.  I discovered today that it isn’t just in my mind but also in every muscle fiber in my body.  I walk around wound up so tight that it’s no wonder I don’t just explode into a million pieces.  A combination of a horrific Monday and my second therapy session today really uncovered that for me.

I didn’t write about my day yesterday for two reasons.  First, I felt so irrational that I didn’t feel like I could even write about it.  Second, I don’t like writing in any way about work.  I still think the second reason is valid so I’ll just say I did not have a great day at work on Monday.  I left feeling already kind of down about a great deal of things involved with my career.  I was already in a low mood when I went to pick up my son and it was one of those absolutely heart wrenching moments where he has crying when I walked in the door.  It looked like he had an awful day and a quick look at his daily sheet confirmed that.  He didn’t nap much and was so tired he just didn’t know what to do with himself.  I picked up my sobbing baby and I nearly lost my cool right there in the daycare.

When I have days like Monday I feel defeated.  If I struggle at work and my son has a horrible day I wonder what the hell I’m doing to myself.  Why am I putting both of us through this?  The thing is I know that I love my job but days like Monday make me second guess my entire world.  Everything gets turned upside down because of a near perfect storm of my own career discomforts and a teething baby.  After getting Nathan and putting him in the car I started the engine and began driving home.  I hadn’t even put the car in drive when I started crying.  I cried our entire drive home and then when we got there I hugged that baby so tight I almost made him spit up his bottle.  Holding him was the only thing making me feel better.

After that train wreck of a day I was almost thrilled to go to my therapy appointment today.  This woman almost instantly made me feel better.  She had a plan to battle this anxiety and stress that was eating me alive.  She told me all I needed to do was breath.  I honestly thought instantly that this was a load of bullshit but by the end of our hour I was convinced that this might really help.  She taught me to breath again and by focusing on that simple thing I could make all of the other things eating at me nearly disappear.  For five minutes during this exercise I had peace.  I wasn’t thinking about my job, the baby, or this cornucopia of emotions that I was managing.  All I was thinking about was breathing.  I couldn’t think about the things bothering me and make myself breath properly at the same time.  For that five minutes some of my tension went away and I could feel myself unwind even if it was just a little bit.

I feel like this can be managed.  Like I don’t have to feel like a ball of nerves and tense muscle fibers for the rest of my life.  I feel like I can work on this and have a tool to manage it.  I still don’t have answers to my questions about work or my abilities as a mother but that’s ok.  It’s ok for me to not know all those answers right away.  Now I have a tool to make me stop thinking about it.  I can stop myself from thinking myself sick about things I cannot change.  I still have a great deal of work to do and I am going to struggle to implement this day-to-day.  It’s like learning to walk again.  It’s hard to undo all these months of operating this way but now I have some hope that it can be done.  If I can relearn to do something so rudimentary, essentially teaching myself something that has gotten lost, then I can clearly do anything.  I can conquer anything.  I can feel like me again.


About Elaine

Mom, engineer, writer, gamer, gym rat. Ain't nobody got time for excuses.
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