Archive for the ‘stress’ Category

7th Car Accident

We have been incredibly unlucky with car accidents here. Together, DH and I have been involved in 7 car accidents, NONE of which have been our fault.

Me:

  1. Hit by a car that went through a stop sign as I was turning left off a more major road (Evan was in the car at the time – he was about 1 year old). Good amount of damage to the driver’s side; 1 carseat had to be replaced.
  2. Rear-ended by a car as I was stopped in a left-hand turning lane. Not enough damage to get insurance involved but 2 carseats had to be replaced.
  3. An oncoming pick-up truck (F150) tried to turn left in front of me as I was going straight on a 2-lane highway. Large amount of damage to the driver’s side wheel well and door; my car was written off; 2 carseats had to be replaced. We had to purchase a new vehicle. That was last October.

DH:

  1. Side-swiped by a car trying to change lanes while he was waiting at a stop light. A large amount of damage was done to the passenger side; 1 carseat had to be replaced.
  2. Rear-ended while waiting at a stop light. Bumper and trunk mechanism had to be replaced; 2 carseats had to be replaced.
  3. Rear-ended by a school transport van while waiting at a stop light. Bumper had to be replaced; 2 carseats had to be replaced.
  4. T-boned by a car that ran a red light. Passenger side airbag went off; large amount of damage to the passenger side front wheel well, door, and headlights; DH get fairly serious concussion. Car is written off; two carseats need to be replaced; need to buy ANOTHER vehicle.

This is quite the list, don’t you think?  That last one just happened on Labour Day. DH is still recovering from his concussion.  We’ve had to buy two new vehicles within a year because of accidents that weren’t our fault.

DH says if he gets in another accident, he’s going to stop driving. I’m feeling the same way, but would not have the ability to follow through because my job means I am travelling around the city and surrounding area.

Though we’ve never been at fault, it always ends up costing us money, especially when a car is written off. Plus, it’s always a giant pain the ass to get all the insurance sorted out, to make sure a police report gets filed, buy new carseats (they have to be replaced if they’re ever in a car that’s in an accident, even a minor one), etc..

When I moved here, I immediately noticed the drivers were not as safe or aware of their surroundings as in other – much larger – cities I had lived in. That’s just something people say when they move, right? Well, this is definitely proving true – at least in our case.

Anyone else out there feel like they’re a target on the road?

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Things Making Me Happy

Since going on my leave, I’ve been able to focus on ME as much as possible, and it’s been a) very weird and b) awesome.

It’s very rare to get so much time to focus on your own life and happiness, and it was difficult in the beginning. It induced guilt, of course, because I’m used to putting the needs of others before my own (as with many of us).

I know I’m very privileged to get the opportunity to work on this, so I am trying to take advantage as much as I can.  I have been continuing to do the things in my initial post about my leave, and have achieved some of the goals I listed there (baking, new recipes, making phone calls).

The good thing is this inner focus seems to be working to “fill my cup”. A month ago, I was in a deep pit of despair, would break down in a sobbing mess over the simplest things, and I was worried that my heightened anxiety/panic state would lead into a deep depression, as it had in the past.  Now, I am feeling more relaxed and calm regularly, and even have ever-extending moments of happiness.

Here are some things lately that have been making me happy:

  • YOGA is amazing. Even if I go to class in a horrible state of mind, I come out feeling grounded and happy
    • meditation does the same thing!
  • I got tickets to see U2 with two awesome friends
  • I signed up for a knitting class to learn how to make socks (I’ve been wanting to do this for years)
  • I bought a new purse on Etsy, that was exactly what I’ve been looking for (something else I’ve been meaning to do for a long time)
  • READING! I’m on my 4th book already since starting my leave
  • Today, after waking up to help DH get the kids out of the house, I went back to bed and slept until 11am…11 AM!!!!!!!! It was glorious!

Another reason I know this is all helping is the fact that I am able to think about going back to the classroom without panic or anxiety. Last night, I was able to organize my notes/assignments/tests from the last couple of weeks, and I felt neutral about it. It was just a task, not something that was choking me or sending me into tears.

So, onward I go. I know I’m not fully ready to go back, but I am confident I will be able to. In fact, I think I might be in a better mental headspace now than I was in September.

 

Filling My Cup

Hi – it’s been a while.

Without getting into too many details, the start of my career in the public education sector has been pretty bumpy. Severe anxiety and several off-the-charts panic attacks have led to me take a leave of absence only 3 months in.

Needless to say, there was a lot that I was not prepared for or to handle. With my time off, I am trying to learn to fill my own cup before running on empty. The old “put your oxygen mask on before helping someone else” idea is definitely something I need to focus on if I want to be successful in this career.

Things I have been doing that have been helpful are:

  • yoga multiple times a week
  • learning the art of meditation
  • reading
  • knitting
  • seeing a new counsellor
  • starting medication again (same one I was on during teacher’s college).

One thing that I have been doing that has not be helpful is relaxing too much. I find that I can get drawn into excessive laziness where I’m just scanning Facebook over and over, watching mindless TV that I don’t really care about, eating junk, and napping.

That might sound like a good thing after what I’ve been through, but after a day like that (such as today) I feel groggy, even more tired, and grumpy. It does not fill my cup.

I need to have productive times so that relaxation time is time to wind down (it’s hard to wind down from a lowest energy state). There is a list of things I’d like to do/get done that are simple/easy tasks but are also productive:

  • Christmas baking
  • Create C’s 3rd year book
  • Cleaning
  • Making some phone calls that I’ve need to do for months
  • Looking for new recipes

So, the plan is to 1) get out of the house at least once per day to do something (hopefully enjoyable) as per my doctor’s orders, and 2) do at least 1 thing productive per day.

I’m unsure when I’ll return to work (but now in week 3 of my leave, I’m finally able to think about it without going into a panic attack), but I want to feel strong and ready to handle the unpredictable nature of the game.

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