Searching for Renewal

January was a real bitch.  I quit smoking on the 10th and am now smoking 1-2 cigs per day, down from three packs per day.  I still beat myself up that it’s not a “perfect quit” but I am just going to consider it a small miracle that I’m doing that well.  I think here within the next week or so I will be able to kick it altogether.  That’s the hope anyway.

I also quit caffeine right around the time I stopped smoking.  I also quit any sort of morning routine.  I quit blogging, quit sitting in front of my sunlamp, quit drinking coffee, and, more recently, quit thinking that my life is so great.  Funny how that happens when you inadvertently go off your antidepressant and stop doing all of the things that were making you feel good.

I think when I first quit smoking, that I thought I had to stop doing all of the things that I associated with smoking.  I stopped taking breaks at work, started sleeping in and not doing a morning routine, and stopped spending time at home.

Over the weekend, I decided that I was probably going to lose my job.  Everyone was starting to talk about people being fired.  I had taken several sick days, and my supervisor told me:  “watch your time.”  I became convinced that I would be fired at any minute.

On Monday, I had a huge panic attack on my way to work.  I thought about taking the day off.  After talking to Dr. Love and my dad (and my supervisor), I cooled off for about 15 minutes and went into work.  I felt bad about being late, but I figure that it was better than the alternative — not going in at all.

Work has been really stressful lately and I have not felt like being there.  A lot of that is all of the negativity going on.  Morale is in the crapper and it’s not getting any better.  The co-workers in my specific office are on edge, as is everybody else, about budget cuts and what the new government members will do.  Instead of working harder, more fingers are being pointed, blame is being laid, and people are stabbing each other in the back.

I don’t like it.  It is to the point, especially within my office, that is almost a hostile work environment.  I can’t stand all the talking behind each other’s backs.  Sometimes I think about getting a different job.  I just don’t know what else I would rather do.

Goddess of Mindfulness has suggested practicing the Loving-Kindness meditation more routinely.  I have attempted to a few times, but sometimes I have a hard time shaking myself out of it and being mindful at work.  I wish my office had walls and a ceiling.  maybe I could do some primal scream therapy or get some dolls and stick pins in them.  Honestly, I do need to do the meditation more often because I know it would help me feel better.

We have had two snow-days back to back and it has been nice to spend time with Dr. Love and just kind of hang out.  We have done a few productive things, but the majority has been spent reading, watching movies, and playing on the computer.  I spent a lot of time yesterday laying in my warm bed and reading.  The main level of the house was only 63 degrees and it wasn’t until later in the day that QoB told Dr. Love to check the vents in the lowest level and turn them on.  It quickly warmed up to 68 degrees, but when I woke up in the morning, it was 61 on the main level and 68 upstairs.

I really felt like just going back to bed, but I couldn’t stand the thought of spending another day in bed, even if I was reading and just relaxing.  We ended up shoveling out the driveway and putting down ice melt.  It was nice to be outside, the sun was shining.   But it was bitterly cold.  I still haven’t totally warmed up.

We ended up going to Walgreens top pick up a few prescriptions, then decided to go to Dillons because we were sooooo tired of being in the house.  I had made some crab salad earlier in the day and Dr. Love decided I hadn’t made enough so we bought the stuff to make another batch and some cheese for the lasagna because I didn’t have enough.

Since we’ve been home, I’ve been trying to relax and not think about work and all of the time that I’ve sat around the last two days.  I made up another batch of crab salad and have been working on making lasagna.  The kitchen is nice and clean, and Dr. Love did several loads of laundry and cleaned the house the other day so there isn’t much more to do.  Just need to get this lasagna in the oven.

I’ve decided it is time to pull out of the January funk, now that we’re into February.  I bought some coffee creamer and will start drinking coffee in the mornings again, pulling back together my morning routine of sitting in front of my sun lamp, blogging, and getting up early enough that I can have a few moments peace before I make that mad dash to work.  I am always calmest in the morning, and I think I really need to be able to enjoy that time as much as I can.

Chris Young, Voices

One thought on “Searching for Renewal

  1. Someone like you or I do need to have regular routines in our lives. They give us some sort of struture and if we can build them into our lives they can also give us some sort of momentum. That momentum can carry us through many a rough patch.

    I believe that it is important to start your day with some sort of positive routine. That morning cup of coffee, newspaper, walk or whatever helps us to start the day on a bit of a upside. We can relax a bit and for a while we may be able to get back in touch with that part of us that is underneath all of those layers of turmoil.

    So spend that half hour every morning under your sunlamp. Have a cup or two of coffee. Type out a few of the lines that may be running through your mind. It will give you some composure. It may be enough to help you through some of the negativity that will come your way.



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