Minchin Monday and Inner Peace

Good morning, lovelies!

It’s been a weird few days. I’ve been working with my doctor on treating my attentional/impulse control issues, which is tricky because I also need to manage pretty strong anxiety. While stimulant medications work well for the ADD, they have the potential to exacerbate the anxiety. I’ve been on many different ADD medications over the years, stimulant and non-stimulant, and have found one that I really like. I did have some breakthrough symptoms on the lower, starting dose and titrated up to the next dose last month. I’m nearing the end of this month’s prescription and had a bit of trouble last week. The medication is one that’s used to treat both ADD and binge eating disorder, and while I don’t technically binge eat, I do tend to wait until the girls have gone to bed and then cram myself full of as much bread and cupcakes as I can some nights.

Just because they’ve driven me out of my mind and I don’t smoke or drink so I may as well commit carbicide.

In any case, on the increased dosage of the new medication the eating problem has become thoughtlessly managed.

And therein lies the rub. Without realizing it, I was going all day for several days in a row with nothing but coffee and a piece of toast or some measly scrap of something in my belly. I didn’t even realize it, really. I just stopped thinking about eating at all.

Which is great. But not when your blood sugar dips into the negatives.

And, as the blood sugar dove to rapture-of-the-deep levels, the anxiety slowly grew. Anxiety, particularly social anxiety, is an insidious thing. It looks and feels a lot like paranoia, but it’s more related to social interactions rather than pervasive across domains and it tends to be less about “they’re coming to take me away,” as it is centered around rumination on how others perceive a person, whether they’re being judged, and whether they’re being noticed or talked about.

It starts in so slow, too. And it takes just one little thing that a person interprets incorrectly for it to get out of control. If you deal with social anxiety, you know how overwhelmingly exhausting it is to constantly be scanning for and addressing places where the dyke is about to burst. Constantly checking yourself and your inner critic against reality and questioning whether you’re right or wrong.

Anyway, the increased dose of the medication coupled with the lower blood sugar made me more susceptible to cognitive fallacies and I spent about four days just trying to reroute the Titanic – eating deliberately, making sure to drink at least a full Voss bottle of water during the day, and trying to be even more aware of social reality vs. social Stacey Crazy Land.

I’ve got it back under control now, and am hopeful that, now that I’m aware of it, I can keep the great qualities of the medicine without having to take on side effects because, with side effects this medication is no longer feasible for me. I just can’t afford the side effects, as much as I see a vast improvement of symptom control.

Sigh. That being said, I’m focusing on some of Minchin’s less funny and more calming songs. The ones I like to listen to when I’m feeling reflective, morose, or even bored with a loop of my favorite satirical pieces.

The first one is dear to my heart. Have you ever heard of ASMR? There’s controversy over it, and a lot of misconception. Only about ten percent of people who claim to experience it compare it to a sexual experience. It’s not, at least not for everyone and certainly not exclusively. Yet, it’s taken on that tone with the cropping up of a lot of sex-related ASMR videos on YouTube.

And hey, to each their own. That’s all well and good. But not all who experience ASMR have that relationship with it. I, for one, have always felt the tiny bubbles when presented with very specific triggers, which for me are mostly auditory. The tone of a voice, the pitch of a song…just certain things. That’s why there are certain songs that stir me on a deep, deep level every time I listen to them, no matter what.

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is one, and perhaps the top one in terms of songs that can get my ASMR going. It’s just this really intense rush that starts behind my forehead, like a migraine, and everything gets really tight and my whole head aches intensely for a minute and then, I don’t know. It’s like opening a bottle of carbonated water. It just pops and fizzles out, from my forehead to my spinal cord and from there down and out, to both hands and both feet. It’s crazy.

Hallelujah does it every single time, the whole time. It’s insane. I feaking love this song. And, while Minchin’s rendition is neither my favorite or one that most intensely sets off the ASMR reaction, I do love it. And since it’s Minchin Monday and all, here you go:

This week has also been one where I’ve come to a difficult realization. I love my children. I would kill or die for them without thinking. I would do absolutely anything I could to help them and make them happy.

But I do not enjoy the job of motherhood. It’s a thankless job, riddled with guilt and uncertainty, and as of right now, with my girls at the age of five, I just don’t have enough pleasant interactions to outweigh the overwhelmingly frustrating and depressing aspects of it. It’s not that I never have happy times with them. It’s not that they don’t make me laugh as well as cry and scream and sigh. It’s just that as of right now, I don’t find motherhood to be rewarding or fun. I find it to be mind-numbingly frustrating most of the time.

I hope that will change. I feel like it probably will, the older they get. I just have such a hard time right now being the only one. I know, the Grandmas help immensely. They make my life possible. Without them I’d be sunk immediately. But I’m still the only parent to these girls and it’s lonely to parent alone. It’s difficult to be the only one making the ultimate decisions, and the only one that will ultimately be to blame if their lives turn out horrible because of something I should have done differently. The pressure of the responsibility inherent in parenting one child well is crushing. Now imagine having to parent two very different people, who need very different parenting styles and interventions, and who need you at the same time for the same things. Who are dealing with constantly struggling for attention and competing with their twin. Who are just beautiful, amazing creatures that you feel you’ll never, ever be able to cherish as much as you should.

It’s just a lot. I don’t know. That’s not a focused attempt to explain it but I hope that explains it a little. I know I’m not the only mom, single mom, mom of twins, or all of the above, to feel that way. But most moms of any kind keep those feelings on maximum security lockdown because it’s not okay, still, to come right out and say that motherhood is not fun.

It’s just not what people expect women to say. We’re supposed to grow into it, grow to love it, or at least take it without talking about it when we don’t come around to it.

I love those amazing future women. They’re fierce and I’m beyond proud of them already. But the day-to-day task of raising them solo is too much to foster enjoyment as of right now.

But I listen to this song and I feel like it’s just reverent and calming. I just feel like, in this song, Tim really relays a complete and pure love for his child, and for all of his loved ones, without fluff or frill or pageantry. It’s just honest, quiet, adoration. And I love it. It’s what I hope my daughters and I will feel for each other as they journey into adulthood.

So here. It’s a double shot of Minchin Monday today.

You’re welcome.

Also, I wanted to share the new Gaelforce Audios meditation audio. It’s stunning how well it worked for me last night. I passed out within minutes and stayed asleep the entire night. I think I feel the need to have a narrator telling me what to imagine during a meditation but really this one worked better for me than any I’ve ever tried. Looking forward to seeing if it works as well again tonight or if perhaps I was just a bit exhausted last night and didn’t realize it.

Diddlee Dee!

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