Focus on What is Light, Shed What is Heavy

My favorite part of working from home is having calm, quiet mornings to myself.

The past few days have been so amazing. I realized that I’m probably starting to feel much better because my PA increased my dose on the medication that he started me on in November (Trintellix- it’s very expensive, but worth it). We had never increased it from the starting dose because the last time I had an appointment with him I was doing fine.

I have been struggling more and more, and I tanked last week, so I asked him to increase it.

It has been about 5-6 days since he increased it, and I feel so much lighter!

Amazing Few Days

Church on Sunday was amazing. Worship was spirit-filled, our pastor spoke truth as he always does.

We had a picnic lunch after as a family in the 70 degree, sunny weather.

That evening I made homemade granola, homemade whole wheat bread (with fresh ground flour), whole wheat banana muffins (with that flour also), smoothie bags, and Greek yogurt. I also fed my sourdough starter to start the process again!

That night, Robert and I played 42 with our sweet friends/neighbors. I just love hanging out with them!

Yesterday I worked a lot of the day, but it was a super productive day, and I actually enjoyed the work that I did. I also went for an amazing run! It was so beautiful outside. I planted my succulents as well.

I ended the day playing my favorite game with Robert and Levi!

GREAT News: I am Seen

This morning I woke up to WONDERFUL news from my principal: my ADA accommodations exempt me from testing! My accommodations state that I work from home ONLY. With online school, all teachers have to do all of the testing in person (unless they live out of state or have accommodations). This was going to be literally weeks away from home, and it honestly would affect my mental health greatly. I had a really hard time last time I had to be out of town for testing. It was really hard to take good care of myself.

I am still testing next week because I do not have a treatment, and they don’t have enough time to find someone to replace me (there are only 3 of us at our location currently). They gave me the option (she literally said, be honest, be transparent)! But they asked, and I want to support my colleagues that I test with. The next two appointments that I have are in the middle of testing, so it just wouldn’t work anyway. They are going to find someone else to fill my spot for those dates.

The “black out dates” (dates that we are required to be available for testing) on the calendar take up most of April and the first week or two of May, and now I don’t have to worry about it. My ADA accommodations are good until May 18th, and if my doctor thinks they need to be extended, they can (I’m sure they will be extended as my doctor originally said indefinitely on the time period, but I’ll just go with this for now!).

I’m so grateful. I have struggled to work my whole adult life because of my mental health. This is a huge reminder that it’s not my fault that I have depression and anxiety. It’s truly a disability that I cannot control. Now I have flexibility to be able to take good care of myself AND do what I love! This has been something I have talked about so many times over the years. I have had to quit my jobs because I couldn’t manage. Especially when teaching in person. Again, I’m hoping that the accommodations can be extended, but I’m going to just take what I get at the moment.

My accommodations state that I have off at noon on the dates of my appointments, I have flexibility in my schedule as needed (i.e. later start time, etc), and I work from home only.

The flexibility and working from home only are recommendations. They are going to follow them as my accommodations, but it gives me the flexibility to decide what I need and what I can handle.

Lighter and Less Foggy

It’s amazing how much better I feel now. I felt like I had a heavy blanket on me, and I was weighed down so much. I felt very foggy-brained. I couldn’t focus. I was so depressed. I had no desire to do things that I enjoyed. I didn’t think I could work.

Now, I feel light, I can think clearly, and I have more desire to do the things that I enjoy. It all changed when I started taking a higher dose of that medication. I’m so glad that I advocated for myself and asked my PA if he would increase it. I also have treatment on Thursday. It has been quite a while, and I know it’ll only continue to help my mental health.

Wild and Free?

I changed my blog name back to what it used to be.

I thought that because I am often bogged down by mental illness that I couldn’t be “wild and free.” The thing is, it’s a desire that I have. It is a goal, an intention, and what I work towards. So, I’m going to make that a focus.

Yesterday I wrote this on my Facebook (I posted a picture of a sticky note hanging in my office that says “Focus on what is LIGHT. Shed what is heavy!”):

“One of my counselors told me this a few years ago. She said when making decisions, to decide what is light and shed what is heavy. I tend to hang onto the heavy, and it makes the light hard to see. Perfectionism is a huge one for me. And I’m realizing more and more that it’s from pride. And thinking that I have to prove myself to be “enough.” That’s heavy. I desperately want to live a “wild and free” life! To do the best I can but also just live life, have fun, be outside a lot, play, dance, sing, and be a happy person. I’m always so bogged down by anxiety/depression and heavy things. I’m over it. As I move forward, I’m going to constantly ask myself what is light and go that direction. I’m never going to be perfect. It’s impossible. And it just weighs me down! Especially since there is no reason for even trying to be perfect! No one else cares so why do I?? It’s time to stop focusing on the hard stuff and focus on being “wild and free” and living and enjoying life. I really have a great life! I have everything I need and more. I have an amazing, supportive husband. My kids are really awesome (despite some tough stuff- teenagers can be rough but if I live a more “light life,” maybe it’ll bleed into parenting). I get to work from home!! I have always wanted to do that. I love my little home. It’s perfect for us. We get to live at this amazing camp! We have the BEST camp family and live on 1400 acres! All of our physical needs are met (and more). We have a roof over our head, plenty of food, healthcare, etc. Our extended family is supportive and our friends are family. I have the ability to move as I want to. I can walk outside and go for a hike anytime I want. I can be the person I want to be. It’s a huge gift. I have a relationship with Jesus which is the most important thing!”

One more thing about Wild + Free: I LOVE being outside. Hiking is my FAVORITE, and I hike at least once a week. We live where there are tons of hiking trails, and I just walk outside my door and go hike 5 miles whenever I feel like it. I love camping, and we are making a point to try to do that more. I don’t love ALL of the outdoor things, but I have decided that it doesn’t matter! I am wild and free in that I love to just take off down trails and be outside! It’s my happy place!

I’m just so grateful.

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