I melted down on the phone with my mom last night. It caught me entirely off guard, to lose it like that.
I’d had a pretty good day – loved my clinical shift on postpartum, doing assessments on three moms and their newborns, and then even getting in some cuddling for half an hour or so, when one of the moms needed a little break.
And then I got home, and mom called about something completely insubstantial, and I lost it. We argued about some family stuff, and how different, (how other) I am from the rest of my family. It was one of those conversations where we were both talking but I’m pretty sure neither of us was hearing what the other was saying. It didn’t help that I was in tears for a good chunk of it.
I knew that my hormones were affecting things. I also knew that I was exhausted. But I don’t think I realized quite how tired I was emotionally and physically until that moment.
It’s been a crazy month and a half. Hours before I left to spend time in Florida with friends, continuing to explore Catholicism in reading and conversation, and attending mass with them, I found my grandma collapsed upstairs in her house. I spent that evening staying in touch with my mom at the hospital, and then communicating that information to the rest of the family. Oh, and I had to pack for two weeks away.
While I was away I needed to stay in touch with home by email since Grandma was hospitalized and waiting for cardiac surgery. On top of that, a few days before I was to head home, on the same day my mom and sister-in-law were both admitted to hospital. My sister-in-law was admitted for a minor labor scare and released the same day. My mom was admitted for kidney stones, sent for surgery, had a fairly serious surgical complication and ended up spending a few days in the hospital. I was trying to stay on top of all of this while being in an another country, on the opposite edge of the continent.
I came home to a highly complicated living situation that had flared up. It’s been complicated for years, but grandma’s hospitalization definitely caused a flare up of all the things that go with that.
I’m in the process of very slowly weaning off the anti-anxiety/antidepressant medication I’ve taken for a couple of years, knowing that I don’t really need the chemical support anymore at this point in my life, but my body is definitely noticing the changes in chemical levels and working to adjust.
Plus hey, somewhere in there I started a new semester, in a brand new area of practice (one that I love) that has a super steep learning curve, and the beginning of the semester has been even more disjointed than usual for the university I’m attending (and that’s saying something, since organization and administration is definitely not a strength of the nursing program that I’m enrolled in.)
And then there’s this catholic journey. Because there seems to be a shore in sight, and because I’m oh so tired of living in this weird land of in-between I’ve been pushing hard over the last few weeks to make steps forward on this journey – to take steps toward.
Add all of that up, and it equals a crash, which is where we started this post.
I’d planned to spend Saturday doing some social stuff, and then check out mass again somewhere. As I consider that possibility now, it seems like an immense weight.
And so I’ve decided that I’d better rest. My weekend has some things structured in that I can’t cancel – things that will aggravate ongoing family and faith and life issues in small ways. But other than those few things, I’ve decided to take a few days off. For a few days, if I’m not feeling it, I’m not going to listen to Catholic podcasts or read books or Catechism. I’m going to take a weekend off from trying to find a parish that will be a good fit for this next season. I’m not going to stress over homework. I’m not going to push to get through cleaning and organizing projects in my living space that are ongoing. I’m going to limit my social commitments, and try to limit the family ones as well. And I’m going to see if I can recover a bit of myself.
And in the meantime, I’m going to keep reminding myself of that advice of Anne Lamott’s that Kirsten passed on to me, “Left foot, right foot, left foot breathe”