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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

7 hours and counting

I have now been noting in my blog for several weeks my own mental preparations for the new year. Sadly, just because we want things to be one way or another, they rarely are. It is much easier to decide how things should be than to make them so. I dreamed that by today I would magically find happiness and learn to leave my stress behind. My reality is much different.

Try as I might, I can't seem to just settle down and enjoy myself. I think I am being tortured by my own brain and I don't mean the one suffering from MS. Just when I have resolved to make changes in my thoughts, I feel myself giving in to the most destructive ones. It seems I feel best late in the day. Getting started is the hardest and leaving things undone is a killer for my peace of mind. Even when I am pulled by the desire to relax, I just can't seem to. Even my breathing is shallower than it should be.

I have been looking through my "toolkit" (the place I keep reminders of what makes me happy and sane) and the tools still look good. I am just having trouble using them. My husband says that 2009 can't possibly be worse than 2008 so things are looking up. I want him to be right. I seem to have lost perspective on most things and I can come up with a ton of worse scenarios for 2009. Where did I go from the glass half full to seeing it nearly empty?

I am going out with friends for New Year's Eve. I should be excited. The problem is I don't seem to get excited about anything anymore. I am not excited about the coming year either but there is still a part of me that hopes it will bring good things. I will awake tomorrow with a new, clean slate. What will I make of it? Will all my effort eventually pay off and I'll find some new joy? I still think that we make things what they are with our outlook. How can I change my outlook? I have seven hours and I want to bring in the new year with hope and enthusiasm.


pUNKrOCKfairy said...

I'm not the expert on positive thinking by any means, but I read your blog a lot and I can't help wondering if maybe you are just trying too hard. There are probably a lot of factors contributing to your state of mind and I think it would be hard to juggle them all. The effect of how you feel physically, the effects of your meds, stress, the holiday rollercoaster of emotions... it's a lot of balls in the air! Maybe you could just stop trying to be happy, let all the balls hit the floor, and let yourself wallow a little. Just give yourself permission to be bummed out for a while and maybe it won't last as long as you think. I'm sure that your jobs make you feel obligated to set a good example by having a positive attitude all the time, but that's an unreasonable expectation for anyone, much less someone struggling with a chronic illness.
If the only things that make you happy right now are your man and your dog, be happy with them an don't try to force anything else to please you. It's ok to keep doing things (work, dishes, even socializing) just because you HAVE TO or feel you SHOULD, even though you don't REALLY want to. I think sometimes it's enough to "just show up" even if your not really gonna give every single task 100%.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I think it's ok to just keep truckin' along until you actually DO FEEL HAPPY again. I don't think it works when you pressure yourself to feel differently than you do.

Sorry for the novel-length comment. :)

Denver Refashionista said...

Ms. Punkrockfairy you are probably right but lately I can hardly even stand being in my own skin. I think I can just keep truckin' but I can't feel so much angst all the time. The angst is what is tearing me up...

Jen said...

Hey Nadja--

Happy 2009! I'm sick at home right now, coughing and blowing my nose all over the computer and spreading my germs (yum...)

A better year is ahead. You're gonna be okay, chickie...Just keep this in mind when you feel crummy....


Heather said...

I agree with Punkrockfairy- if you're happy with your man and your dog be happy with them. You should try what I am doing: at the end of each blog I try to state something that I am grateful for that day. Some days it is harder than others but there is always something to be thankful for. Hope you're new year is a good one.

Serina said...

Nadja, I think that I agree that you might be trying to hard. Find a way to forgive yourself for everything you think that is not falling into place the way you imagine it should be. We tend to set up unrealistic ideals about life.

Life in reality was guaranteed or even meant for us to be continuously happy. We learn far more from our hard times than we do from good times. Consider it a growing pain. You haven't failed, you are just a work in progress..

I think once you aren't beating yourself over "how you should be feeling" vs "how you are feeling" then you may be able to gradually reach the actual point of happiness you are looking for. It will take work, but focus on living in the present.

Repeat to yourself that this IS going to be a better year, don't analyze what could go wrong, just tell yourself over and over that it will be better. In the end, all the worrying over what may or may not be, doesn't amount to much except for lost energy.

I believe in you! :)

Serina said...

edit.. It was supposed to read

"Life was never guaranteed or even meant for us to be continuously happy"

Kind of makes a difference in what I was trying to say.. lol.

Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks to everyone who commented. I see a trend here. It seems I need to adjust my expectations. I guess I don't have to work all this out or have the answers by tomorrow. This reminder is helpful right now.