This Past Week
It was pretty rough.
Sunday (the day after I wrote last), I had a good day. We went to church and worshipped, learned, God spoke to me, then Robert and I spent some time getting to know some of the members (during a time called Faith and Friends). The kids went to youth group, and it was great for them. We went out to eat after and enjoyed each other’s company as a family. We came home and went to the Super Bowl party for a little while at camp then I spent some time working on lesson plans that evening (which I enjoy).
Monday hit and everything came flooding back. The whole week I was focused on perfecting my ELA lessons because I knew I was going to be observed. I also was super stressed as I waited to find out if my ADA request had been approved. I also just experienced depression and anxiety that I experience every year in the winter. I’m so glad I live in Texas because if I lived in a northern state, it would be so much worse.
Thursday I was feeling SO depressed (as well as the day before), and I called the company that we use for disability claims. I asked if it was possible to take leave for a medical reason even though I haven’t been with the company for a year. I don’t qualify for FMLA because of that. She told me that yes, I qualify for non-FMLA medical which is funny because I tried to apply for it before and was denied. But what happened was the person submitted it as an FMLA claim which I do not qualify for.
I ended up having a long talk with Robert about this. He was pretty against it. He reminded me that I cannot take leave every winter or quit every time I have mental health struggles (especially since I really want this job for the long-term). He wanted me to fight through it because he knows I can, and he wants me to prove to myself that it’s possible… that I don’t have to quit every time I am struggling with depression/anxiety.
I then had a long talk with my assistant principal. She’s amazing! I know I say that a lot. She reminded me that I need to give myself grace, simplify, and allow others to help! She said that she knows I don’t want to feel this way, and it is important that I reach out to others to allow them to support me. She even said that she would create the upcoming lessons that I’m creating (because it’s my week). I would never have her do that, but the fact that she was willing was HUGE. I have NEVER experienced that in all of my years of teaching.
The next morning I sent this to her:
My husband and I spoke at length about everything.
First, I have to say that the fact that you offered to create my lessons made my year. I wouldn’t have you do that, but the fact that you were so willing made a huge difference for me. I still haven’t gotten over the fact that you see ME and are not annoyed by my mental health (cause gosh, I am). I’m also thankful that you reminded me to keep things simple. I often get caught up in trying to do all the things and making it flashy. Lol.
Second, the reason my husband wants me to just keep pushing is because he knows I can, and he wants me to prove that to myself. I’m sure he’s right. I’ve been through much worse and I’m still around.
I am going to get a hotel room Saturday night to just get away from the stressors of home for a bit and refocus.
(I’m cutting some things out because it has to do with a family member)
I really really hate being high maintenance. I’m working on overcoming this depression, and I think my husband is right. I’m going to prove to myself that I can get through this and be stronger on the other side.
My doc also increased my meds and the at home treatment that I’m doing seemed to make a bigger difference for me this evening than usual.
I’m just going to keep trucking.
This was her reply:
Hi Courtney, thank you for sharing your life with me. I know it’s not easy to open up and share personal things with others, so it means that much more that you are candid with me.
I’m so happy to hear that you are listening to the suggestions and allowing yourself some grace. You absolutely need to give yourself grace with starting a new job, coping with your mental health, and (cutting this part out also because it has to do with a family member). You’ve done a great job handling it all, despite what you think. I know we want to do it all, and do it all seamlessly, but we have to pull ourselves away from that thinking.
The day in a hotel will be so great for you! Sometimes a break is what will keep us from tipping over the edge. I’m so glad you are taking that time for yourself for self-care!
As always, I’m happy to take anything I can off your plate. We all made it through our first year together by leaning on each other last year, and it’s no different for our new teachers this year. We want you to lean on us for support to make it through this year successfully. ❤️
Yesterday I found out that I was approved for ADA accommodations for my treatment appointments. They approved half days on the dates that I gave for my appointments. Unfortunately, I had already cancelled those appointments because I was trying that at-home treatment. BUT. God knew this was going to happened, and He kept those slots open!
They scheduled those appointments again and just said that they need a letter from Joyous saying that I discontinued treatment with them.
All of it is set. I received the letter from Joyous by yesterday afternoon and forwarded it to my doctor’s office.
I feel huge relief and a weight lifted.
My next treatment is next Thursday!
This is all HUGE. It’s apparently really hard to get accommodations and also it happened so fast! Again, this is rare. So God worked out every detail.
This all gave me hope and was a huge reminder that I HAVE to let go of this idea that I have some sort of control and to trust God with the details. He loves me and wants what’s best for me.
He also reminded me that He set this job in my lap and to not mess that up.
Robert and I decided that a night away would help reset things for me. So, last night he got me a hotel room. It was beautiful and cozy!
Today I am spending time in my favorite coffee shop.
I spent time working on the Balance 365 Fat Loss Foundations program (watching videos and journaling), blogging (obviously), and next I’m going to work on the lessons that I need to have done by Tuesday (we don’t have school Monday). I’ve also enjoyed lavender latte and a sandwich for lunch.
If I have time, I will plan my week next week (meal plan, plan workouts, etc).
I have to get stuff done for work, but I need a break from my home office sometimes. I get to where I can’t focus anymore since I’m there all the time. A change of scenery is super helpful.
I love my office, but it starts to feel closed in after a while.
I think more than anything, I needed a reset. Being away from home for a short time, having the ability to focus on things outside of my home, being away from my stressful teenagers (that’s a whole other issue), and having several days off (we are off Monday!) has given me what I need. I look forward to church tomorrow then we are going camping tomorrow night!
Spring is Coming
I’m super thankful to live in Texas. We have had a few super cold days here and there, but for the most part this has been a super mild winter. I hope it just keeps looking up from here. Winter is my worst time of year and spring and fall are my best times. I sometimes struggle in the summer, too, which is so weird. But I’m looking forward to planting my garden soon!
I also got some amazing succulents/cacti that I look forward to planting in pots soon.
I have been hiking most weekends (at least once, sometimes more than once). I try to hike about 5 miles when I do hike. It doesn’t always happen; it just depends on how much time I have available. It makes a huge different on my mental health as well.
Figuring Out Health Things
I have struggled deeply with consistency on all the healthy things- physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
A huge reason for this is my mental health that has been so up and down.
I am going to try to stick with one thing; I’m going back to Balance 365. It is the most balanced thing that I have tried out of all the programs I have gone through over the years.
The program has recently been sort of redone (same content but different presentation), and I just started over again. It is life-long, so I have access to all of it still!
I did a lot of journaling today about what I think health is and what the definition that they focus on is. It involves more than physical health, and yo-yo dieting just contributes to poor health/fat gain. So, I’m going to work on healthy habits.
I do think that a healthy weight is important, but I won’t get there by constantly dieting, then eating all the things, dieting, then eating all the things. I’m going to focus on small habits again. I think it’ll make a huge difference on my health as a whole person. Also, a healthy weight is different for every person because weight is made up of more than fat. It is also made up of lean body mass which is muscle, water, and bone density.
I have been attempting to workout daily which has been way too much, then I don’t workout at all. I’m going to focus on working out 3-4 days a week and try to get consistent at that! I’m going to focus on addition of healthy foods instead of trying to avoid all “unhealthy” foods, mostly focusing on protein and freggies (fruits and veggies).
I KNOW what is healthy. I have tried following the Street Parking template so many times, and I really think it has messed up my relationship with food. Instead of looking at fruits as important nutrients, I have seen them as “carbs.” This also includes root veggies such as different types of potatoes, carrots, etc. When I try to restrict, I end up eating all the things. So, I’m going to try “fat loss without restriction” which is a thing that Balance 365 focuses on as well.
I had started counting calories again (and again and again), and I notice that it does NOT help me eat healthier. I’m going to try, again, to stop focusing on numbers but focus on nutrients. It’s so hard. I go back and forth so much. I also think that part of the reason is because it makes me feel like I have some sort of control (which actually ends up making me feel more out of control because I can’t keep up).
I’m going to try to make this work! I tend to have a default when I feel out of control with food. Instead of focusing on healthy habits, I focus on control, restriction, and being unhappy with my body! It’s all a downward spiral.
We’ll see how it goes. It’s a day-by-day thing just like everything in live. Baby steps!
Alright… I need to get to work on my lessons.
Thanks for reading my babbling!