27 March 2016

I'm a shy introvert with anxiety. It's the trifecta.

Growing up, I was labeled as shy. I didn't really make friends easily or talk much. I kept to myself, and was more likely to be found in my room reading than playing kickball in the cul-de-sac. My parents, in their attempts to help, told me I should be more active, friendlier, and come out of my shell.

I couldn't seem to bring myself to do it.

Then, when I was in high school and college, it became apparent that on top of the shyness was anxiety, which made it difficult to deal with the shyness. And, in continued efforts to try and help, I was not only told that getting over my shyness would help me make friends, but that it would help me get over my anxiety, too.

It didn't.

Some time after college I discovered the term "introvert." It seemed to describe me pretty accurately. I could handle one-on-one interactions rather well, but after a while, any interaction drained me, and I found myself craving time alone.

But the revelation didn't make the shyness or anxiety go away. It was simply another layer. Another element of myself that I've had to deal with.

It gets hard to have this trifecta. The shyness keeps me from making friends easily, and the introversion keeps me from too many interactions with the friends I do have. And, of course, the anxiety keeps me from asking for help or interaction when I actually need it because of course it does.

In some ways, I think it's advantageous. Because of my shyness and introversion, being alone is helpful to the anxiety. But it also means that when I want (or need) to interact with people, it seems to drain me more quickly than it might other people. I need more breaks than other introverts.

I think I'm managing pretty well. Now that I have a better understanding of who I am and what I need, I can handle it a little better than I used to be able to. I have an amazing wifey that helps when I need help (and gives me space when I need space). I have family and friends who understand, and who love me anyway.

So I'll keep taking breaks when I need them, let online interactions be enough every once in a while, and embrace the trifecta.

22 March 2016

It hurts to be still. It hurts to move.

Can I work like this?
I have chronic pain. I have for quite some time. I've been going to appointments lately to try and figure out what's causing it so I can get it taken care of.

In the meantime, I'm managing as best I can. I'm in the middle of a busy period for work, so my typical day is rarely less than 12 hours. When you have chronic pain, that's a long time to be sitting in a chair at a laptop.

There are a few things I've learned in the last couple of weeks as I've been dealing with my life lately.

1. I need a new desk chair. The one I have is technically fine. It even has a bit of padding. But if I'm going to have to continue balancing pain with work, I need more padding. And better back support. And maybe a better reclining feature would be nice.

2. Naps are okay. Sometimes I need a nap. And that's okay. Some days it takes me a lot more energy to do what I have to do, and on those days I need to allow myself to take naps so I can keep pushing forward. Sometimes naps are part of my self-care, and that has to be okay.

3. My body sucks at temperature regulation. When everyone else is comfortable, I'm either too hot or too cold, and there's no real logic in it. I spend half the day fanning myself with a client's file folder, and the rest of the day bundled up with a hoodie and blanket in central Florida. Because that's how I roll.

I'd love it if I get the answers I need at the next appointment.

18 March 2016

I have rosacea

This week I had an appointment with a dermatologist, and I was diagnosed with rosacea.

To be honest, I've probably had it a long time. But because of the kind of rosacea I have, I didn't realize that's what it was. I just thought I had bad skin, and I dealt with it.

Rosacea flare (September 2014)
My skin was a source of stress for me. It was embarrassing. What's worse is that I also have really sensitive skin (especially on my face), so I couldn't even wear make-up to cover it up. And some days I couldn't even use moisturizer because it hurt. I just dealt with it, and pretended it didn't bother me, and pretended that I didn't assume everyone saw my skin before anything else about me.

But I have rosacea, and that's what's been causing the redness and acne-like bumps all over my face.

My doctor gave me the name of an over-the-counter moisturizer he hopes I can use without a bad reaction to my skin, and a prescription to minimize flares. I'm hopeful that the treatment will reduce the bumps and redness, and that my skin will be healthier and happier for it.

And somehow I'll find a way to manage my symptoms without having to cut coffee from my life. Because, let's be honest. That's just not going to happen.

11 March 2016

I had to get a new Keurig

Two Christmases ago, my sister-in-law gave me a little Keurig. I was ecstatic. I'd been making due with my coffee pot, but I wasn't drinking it fast enough to justify making a pot at a time, and was looking for an excuse opportunity to have a Keurig, since I could make coffee one cup at a time. Dantyelle* had my back, and got me one.

The problem is that because I could make it a cup at a time, I was drinking a lot of coffee. And my poor little machine gave out about six weeks ago.

So Wifey got me a new one.

My new machine is bigger and sturdier than my old one. It even has a reservoir for water so I don't have to fill it for every single cup. It's wonderful.

Wifey also got me some k-cups to go along with the new machine. I typically use my refillable cups with fresh-ground coffee, but I won't say no to the gift of coffee! So I've been drinking dark French roast lately.

A lot of it.

I'm grateful for my new machine. I've used it throughout the day every day since I've gotten it. And, as you can see, Puck has been helping.

It's good to teach kids early about important things.
Like how to make a cup of coffee for Mama.

*Wifey's sister's name is Danielle, so we introduced her to the munchkins as "Auntie Danielle." Tink couldn't say that, and it quickly became "Dantyelle." So that's who she is now. Sometimes "Auntie Dantyelle."

08 March 2016

By way of an update

Things have been a little hectic in my life, both personally and professionally.

In addition to Tink's ongoing health concerns, I've had health concerns of my own. My chronic pain has gotten considerably worse, so I've got some upcoming appointments to try and get a diagnosis. My primary care physician referred me to a couple of specialists based on what he thinks it might be, and I'll be going through some diagnostic testing to see if he's right, or if it's something else altogether. It's been a frustrating process, and I don't know how much longer it's going to last. Not only do we have to narrow down what might be the culprit, but we have to simultaneously eliminate other things that it could be. And then, I can get a diagnosis and start a treatment plan and (hopefully) start to feel better.

Work has been busy, too. I'm getting into a busy season for what I do, and am taking steps to expand my work to include new and bigger clients. I haven't had much free time lately, and what little I've managed to scrounge has been spent with the munchkins and the Wifey. And, you know, sleep. I've heard that's important to get from time to time.

Fortunately, things are getting better.

Tink's appointments are slowing down and her health is hinting at getting better. I have appointments lined up so my health will get better. Work is more organized and I'm settling into a routine.

And I hope this means I'll have more time to blog. Because I have some things I think are worth blogging that I want to share. I have stories and experiences that make me feel alone, and I want to tell my story. I want to give voice to what has happened to me and how it has contributed to who I am today.

Here's to blogging.