Now that I have your attention, can you figure out what I am referencing? Answer: a roller coaster. In particular, it is the emotional roller coaster that I am on right now. Ever feel like you have been on one? If not, I want to come visit you and find out what you are doing. Right now my rollercoaster is beginning to feel out of control. One minute I am doing okay, not great, just okay, but handling things and then the next I feel tears welling up. Where it is coming from, I think I know but it is a huge combination of things. Two of my main triggers are stress from work (sometimes feeling I can’t handle all the issues I am presented with and help everyone solve their problems. Big error in that thinking because I can’t help everyone solve their problems they have to do it themselves but I sometimes put too much pressure on myself) and the next one is having a senior in high school and this one for multiple reasons. One is I will miss her and I am already thinking about how she won’t be around next year (I am really conscious of the time I get to spend with her now and relish in every moment). Another one came this evening when I had to go to senior parent night and listen to the guidance counselors tell us about the admission process. Can you say DAUNTING?! I myself have gone through the application process on multiple occasions for myself but it is different with your kid, mainly because it seems like they want more info now than when I was younger. But we are facing it head on and will make it through.
So how do I handle the emotional roller coaster part that these things bring on? Well, I would like to say with grace and ease. But really I am my own worst client. Tonight before my senior night I wanted to go for a run. So I got dressed and was getting ready to head out for an outdoor run (it was in the high 60’s, perfect for a run) but at the last minute decided to go to the gym instead, mainly because my roller coaster was in mid-weeeeeee mode where I was not really in the mood to go, knew it would help, but really did not want to put out the effort. So by going to the gym I could just get off the treadmill when I felt like I had had enough instead of knowing that I had to run back as far as I ran out if I went outside. And that is what happened. I made it 1.25 miles, got off the treadmill, went and stretched and left. Did it help? Kind of. Should I have gone longer? Probably. But the problem was that my roller coaster had translated to tight muscles in my legs and I was in pain. I am smart enough to know that if I am causing myself pain, it is better to stop than really hurt myself. So I did.
My roller coaster is still running and I am trying to figure out how to at least slow it down. I have some tricks in my bag like using breathing techniques and visualization techniques which I am finding somewhat helpful. I am hoping that the most helpful thing is that today was my Friday so I get to sleep in tomorrow and I feel like I need that extra sleep. Sometimes that is really all I need and here is hoping that my roller coaster is a kiddie one tomorrow instead of the crazy wooden one that jerks you around and sends your heart up into your throat as it drops as well as beats you up along the way.
My biggest hope is that you have learned through this blog post is that we all struggle (even someone trained to help others cope) and perseverance and desire to make some changes is what is going to pull me through in the end.