Today has ended up in a very different place that I originally thought that it would. Being married to a full time graduate school student while being a full time graduate school student and both of you working full time is not easy. There are very few days where we get to bed before midnight, including tonight it seems.
For us, however, life doesn’t end at just school and work. Erin’s doing some research work for her graduate program and this requires analysis and planning. She’s responsible for a lot at her job, so there are many nights when she comes home with work as well. I have grading, and I am in charge of the Youth Education department at our church, which means I am responsible for the lesson planning and classroom set up and tear down.
Our middle school kids have finally grown too large to stay in the high school room, so I work with them now during one of the two services.
And we are in the end stages of adding two new faces to our family through foster care and adoptions.
You know that sticky note feature on computers? I have 8 on my computer. Three for generic graduate school assignments: lectures, readings for class 1, readings for class 2; one for hard due dates for graduate school, one for my second job’s hours, one for account information for something I can’t remember at this point, one for lesson plan ideas, and one for important dates: doc appointments, foster care training, etc.
This isn’t news. In the fall, this will have been my normal for 365 days. In the fall, my new normal will include two kids with a lessened graduate school load. I don’t know a single person as busy as I am. It’s exhausting.
And while I keep it together most days, this weekend has been exceptionally hard for some reason. Maybe it’s the stack of grading that is staring me down…or the fact we only have five weeks until exams…or that my class finals are at the end of this month… or that Erin can’t get her physical before the end of May, making her the limiting factor, and our licensing finalized towards the end of June.
I’m not going to complain. Do I wish I had my future son and daughter home with us? Yes… but there’s a reason for this, and I’m not going to complain. We’ve done literally everything we can to get it moved, and if it can’t be moved, then oh well.
But somewhere from the time I got home from my last class in one of my three graduate classes (got a 100 for the final grade, btw) and when we went to a cookout for our friends’ daughter, I had a complete and total 100% break down.
The single most beneficial thing I ever did was to give up exaggerating (unless I’m being silly/funny or telling a very dramatic story). When it comes to reality, I tell it like it is.
And I am not ashamed to say that today was a bad day for me.
I felt hopeless. I felt lost. I felt overwhelmed. I felt like I was drowning. I felt like there was a vice around my heart, and I felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I felt separated, like this wasn’t really reality. I felt like there was no way out of my current situation. I wanted to throw up.
I had an anxiety attack.
This isn’t the first one I’ve ever had. It definitely wasn’t the worst one I’d ever had either.
My personality type, according to Myers-Briggs, is ENTJ. It is the single rarest type in women. We tend to have control problems, and from what I have been learning, a lot of ENTJ’s suffer from anxiety because they can’t fully control their environment.
This is very true for me.
I’m learning to cultivate the “let it go” mentality, but it’s not exactly easy. I’m better than I was, but no where near where I should be.
Luckily for me, I married someone who has a nearly perfect compatibility to me. She is an extremely rare gem in the Myers-Briggs world, and she’s very good at comforting me and giving me what I need when I can’t take care of my anxiety by myself.
Sometimes, I don’t show that she’s helping, but it’s because I have a slow reboot after an anxiety attack. My body likes to try and stay in that place, so it can take me awhile to drag myself out once I’ve fallen in, but she always manages to bring me back out.
This morning seems like it was so long ago, and seeing as how it is nearly two in the morning, it really was a long time ago, but in that time, I’ve managed to have my anxiety attack, get back on track, and get two more things completed for my graduate school work.
I realize that this post was fairly complaint driven, but sometimes, that’s all I have: a recapturing of my day like it was… and today wasn’t very pretty, but I made it through and even got some stuff done.
So go me!