I've been up and down and up and down lately. It sounds like a lot more fun than it actually is.
I am one of those unlucky few breastfeeding mothers who doesn't get a post-partum break from periods, nor did it help me lose any weight last time around. Jury's still out this time around, but it isn't looking great. So last week was punctuated by an intense bout of PMS. Plus our favourite family hang-out was still closed for renos, AND we were in post-holiday recovery mode. I am surprised we made it through the week relatively unscathed. I managed to lose it on both my son and my husband - all the while a voice screaming in my head that "my anxiety is creating exactly the situations I am trying to avoid. Stop it!"
I think that means I'm growing.
I have been having wonderful conversations with people. Wonderful, helpful, engaging, interesting and enlightening. I've been giving myself permission to run off and spend time with friends and family without my kids in tow (or without both kids) - I am fraught with feelings of guilt over abandoning them, but its weight is slowing me down less every time I walk out the door.
Today I left my kids and husband at home and enjoyed a lunch and shopping trip with my friend Shannon. She and I are crazy-similar, so our meetings are always full of drama, soap-boxing, challenges and lots and lots of laughter. We went shopping after lunch and I found a couple more things to send off to my very patient swap partner. I feel so bad about missing the date that I really want this package to rock her socks. Plus I'm hoping to take her up on an offer to stay a night when I go on my journey to Portland.
That's right, this girl (and her little girl) are going on a road-trip in April to see Elizabeth Gilbert in Portland. We're driving straight there, then we have three days to wander home. This is a totally indulgent trip, I hope it will allow me some time to connect with myself and experience something outside of normal. My husband and father are supporting me financially (Dad), physically (Andrew) and emotionally, and without that support this would not happen. I've been sitting on the idea for a few days, letting it sink in, and while some anxiety has creeped up over it, it has only barely dulled the excitement (perhaps to a more realistic point) and I still want to go and I still want to go alone. I've begun telling people about it. Strangers, mostly. The guy at the bookstore who mentioned her coming to Vancouver (it was sold out) and got the ball rolling, the waitress who commented on the book (which I had just gifted to my friend Shannon - purchased used from said bookstore), you...
In other news, I had my first CBT session yesterday. It was great. I like my therapist and the fact that I was able to find a sitter for Sebastian. I came away from our initial meeting with a couple of small goals, a little more insight into my thinking, and a lot of resources. I see her again in two weeks, she thinks she can get me some extra sessions (I'd normally get 5-8) if I agree to be filmed for a provincial training program (she said I'd be "great" for it - I am choosing to take that to mean she thinks I am personable and eloquent (chatty) and not that I am so nuts I'd make a great case study). I'll also start group therapy soon - as long as I can get 8 weeks of mid-day childcare... I do think it is possible.
Hang on - I just remembered I want to put another coat of paint on Sebastian's closet doors while he's out.
We are now once more coat of yellow and two coats of blue and brown away from having his room finished. This has been one long, drawn-out project, which we will likely continue to change and tweak (glowing stars, anyone? little flowers? woodland creatures?) - but it is nearly done. His room is now home to a four-wall mural depicting a nice Dick Bruna-esque outdoor scene. It makes me think of the line from Where the Wild Things Are where "his ceiling hung with vines, and the walls became the world all around." I'll post photos when it is done *and* we have a decently sunny day.