Saturday, July 9, 2011

Coping with friends and family

Let me start by saying that I love my family. I love my friends, I love my in-laws.  And, I love the time I get with them. In fact, each summer my husband's extended family descends upon our home for weeks of BBQs, fun, frivolity, and complaints from the neighbors.  Typically, it is a fun-filled, food-centered madness inspired period of time, with more wine bottles destroyed than one could reasonably assume could be consumed by such a limited number of adults.
This year has been no exception. However, it has been markedly different.

  1. I can't drink.  Anti-depressants mixed with depressants (how can WINE be a DEPRESSANT???) equals bad bad bad.
  2. I have been limited by Sky King to 3 things a week. Houseguests should count as 1 thing per guest per night. I am SOOO over limit.
  3. I can't do much in the housework department
  4. I have WAYYYYY less energy
  5. I get sick of discussing my health, yet get irritated when people don't automatically KNOW and REALIZE I'M JUST NOT UP TO IT/CAN'T DO IT/NEED A BREAK. Yes, they should read my mind, and it IS all about me. Deal with it.
  6. I have a certain FUN AIMEE reputation to uphold, and it is significantly more difficult without Mojitos.
  7. I can't eat ranch dip.
OK, those last 2 are a bit of a stretch, but really, this is my first year truly dealing with all my issues, and having them be as bad as they currently are. 
However, I am surviving (so far).  Here is how:

  1. Sky King-he is constantly checking in on me, and maintaining working order on everything so that we can all enjoy our time together.  Normally, he is FAB, but he has brought FAB to stellar levels of late. Special favors are overdue (TMI, I know...)  In fact, he is out right now, with the GUYS, and I am thrilled that he gets a break from me.  I wish he wasn't so worried about me, once in a while
  2. Meditation-My therapist has pushed this on me over and over.  Excusing myself for a 20 minute break to my room, with noise-canceling headphones for a meditation session has truly allowed me to hit the reset button on my feelings of being overwhelmed.
  3. Letting others help-this has been the hardest to adjust to: I'm notorious for doing too much.  In the past 2 weeks, I have:
  • taken the trash out 0 times
  • emptied the dishwasher 1 time
  • cooked 2 side dishes
  • shopped for groceries 1 time (with assistance!)
Now, how have I done this, you ask? I have followed some rules.  Here they are, in no particular order:

  • When someone asks, "What can I do to help?" (which someone ALWAYS does), I give them something.  Then, I walk away when I am done with what I was doing. I may even delegate that task out, too!
  • I have shared with just about everyone what is going on with my health.  They have all understood, even more than I could have hoped, and I got over being weird about sharing the info
  • I take time for me, to reconnect, center, reset, even if only for a while, and even with a pool full of screaming kids just beyond the door.
  • I am more tuned in to my needs. If I am tired, I sleep.  No one has given me a hard time for laying around, and schlepping off to bed at 11, when the house is full of guests-they have all been tremendously understanding.
Maybe I am truly fortunate, blessed with people that "knew me when" and know that I am truly sick, not being a big baby or faker.  Maybe I have just surrounded myself with great people.  I don't know, but whatever it is, I am a very lucky person.

Also, my kids and husband have been amazing.  I have not sailed through this without some hard times, but i would rather have some extra hard times and not miss out on all these memories.

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