Monday, October 24

Happiness disconnect

I'm kind of new to blog posts.  Do you ever write something out and realize, woah, that's waaaay too much?  I did that today.  I'm hoping that after getting out all the specifics that this version strikes a better balance on the issues rather than details.  Granted I write this essentially for myself so even writing out the overly detailed post is theraputic.

I have come to realize I have a happiness issue.  I am happy in moments.  Every day there is something that makes me smile.  A lot of things are going well in our house, my promotion in August, recently paying off debts (which weren't big relative to IVF in the US, but it's a relief), financially we're in a good spot, we're both generally healthy and I have a really solid marriage.  But I also know that something is missing.  I'm not happy in the quiet moments, it's a fake smile for others sometimes, I'm not... fulfilled.

This manifests into not taking care of myself.  I actually hear the words "I don't care" in my head a lot.  I didn't buy more prenatal vitamins last week (and even before I ran out I wasn't taking as many as I should), I forget to take Metformin (I should take 3x/day, I might take 2).  I'm eating crap and my weight is high (not crazy high, but enough) and I say to myself I don't care.  I do a little bit of this at work too, I don't care about other peoples projects, I don't care that they want it today. 
But I do.  Somewhere inside I do care.  When I am happy, it's easy to remember far more medication and vitamins than I am taking now.  When I'm happy and I want to, REALLY want to, I will eat my healthy snacks, watch my portions and lose weight.  We aren't talking about Canada's Biggest Loser here, but I like how I feel and look 6lbs lighter.

And yet I see my hand reaching for a Halloween treat and the words going through my head?  I don't care.

Why don't I care about me?  I know I should.  I know I'm the only person being hurt by some of these choices.  The root of this likely lies somewhere in the lack of control I feel elsewhere in my life.  I can't fix our fertility issues, I can't go forward with adoption quite yet, I am bored at work but because that would upset a lot of dominos in my life the timing doesn't feel right to change that.

This is more than a bubble bath and glass of wine is going to fix.  I'm good with the momentary happy.  I just can't seem to string them together into caring about me.  My head seems to recognize that I can't change a lot of what's going on in my life, I have to change my perspective towards it.  Getting there isn't going to happen by accident.

Anyone else felt like this? 


  1. Yep, that definitely sounds familiar. I would call it a sort of depression, but more situational than chemical. You're in limbo, and the brain doesn't like being in limbo so it translates that into ennui. It's hard to move forward when every action seems like it will lead to a negative.

    I'm a big believer in talk therapy, and that can help with exploring your feelings. If you don't want to go that route, making a plan or doing a challenge or picking up a new skill can be enough to shake the doldrums. You might say, we're going to explore adoption after the New Year or I'm going to run a 5k, or I'm going to learn to make jeans/knit/cook the perfect Baked Alaska. Even a planned trip to look forward to can give you a bit of spark to carry you through these tough times. I can also tell you that what DOESN'T work is telling yourself to change your attitude, or trying to scold yourself into behaving better. It's far easier to change external behaviors until you actually FEEL better.

    Also, I pretty much ignore the whole "weight loss" thing from Halloween to New Year's. I figure if I don't let myself have the treats, I'm going to binge later and that will have far worse consequences. Usually, I just aim to keep active and eat healthy 80 percent of the time and let the rest go.

    I missed commenting on your stuffy post below this, but those stuffies are really adorable! Maybe you need one for yourself, so you have something to pet? My stress levels went down remarkably when we adopted our cats. Just saying.....

  2. Stupid back button. I'm having a hard time picking words this morning and I lost my comment because of a wrong click.

    I agree with everything. Talking is important, working on a skill is good, weight loss right now is hard... All of it. It's how I've ended up learning to bake with yeast and make a chocolate collar for a layer cake (even if it did make me cry). We do have a vacation planned, and I'm happy to go, but it feels more important to my husband than me. I also suspect that I'll go away for the week, feel okay but return to the exact same place.

    Thanks for the compliment on the stuffies. I was handling the second one last night, taking a needle to pull the fur away from the mouth that really and truly is there. I find I have been moving or touching Dumpling a lot since makeing the second one. Cats won't be making an appearance in my house ever (I like breathing), but I do appreciate the role pets have in stress reduction. Unconditional love and soft fur go a long way with mental health.

  3. I agree with LSCG, it does sound like a mild depression (not unusual given the season, either, though I suspect this is a more ongoing thing). I like Lazy's ideas for kicking it, too, although finding the strength/energy/focus to actually stick to a plan of action is the kicker.

    Guilt and anxiety are my mental-health issues of choice :P. And they're having a field-day this year. I actually think my state of mind has declined significantly since I stopped dancing (I started bellydancing when I was sixteen and never went more than a few weeks without dancing until two years ago, when I stopped cold turkey). When I get this goddamned thesis out of my life I definitely be back at that.

    Which is a long way of saying, take care. Of you. You're worth it. And if cats aren't an option, puppies are nice to pet, too...


Thanks for your comments, I love to have a two way conversation. I seem to be getting a lot of spam from anonymous users and am turning off the ability to comment that way. I really would like to hear from you so if you do want to add your two cents without an OpenId, email me at seraphinalina at gmail dot com.