Does It Make You Sad?

We had a quiet Thanksgiving this year. We had a yummy dinner of German food (Schweinemedallions, sweet and sour braised red cabbage, red Chard, and roasted potatoes), just the two of us. We had an afternoon of wine, cheese, and board games at my mom's with my sister and her husband on Saturday. Wednesday night we did a spontaneous thing -- I was in sweatpants all day since I just had PT, and was lying on the couch when Bryce said, "Let's get dressed up a bit, after dinner we're going to go have drinks at a bar." So we went to one of our favorite restaurants that's less than 5 minutes away and sat at the bar and chatted with each other and the waitstaff, and it was out-of-the-ordinary fun. 

But then, on Thanksgiving itself, Bryce asked, "Does it make you sad? That your friends have tons of family and they have the big traditional dinner and we are" 

Once upon a time it would have. But now? Nope, not sad. I didn't have FOMO, I had that lovely JOMO (Joy of Missing Out), because it is a lot to host a big Thanksgiving and that sounded very stressful to me. I liked our quiet pajama'd Thanksgiving. It doesn't make me feel sad. 

Another "does it make you feel sad?" moment came on Sunday, when I talked with Bryce's mom. She has a grandson, who is Bryce's stepbrother's son, and his arrival coincided pretty right on top of our ending adoption. It's been rough early on, and I will admit it was really hard to see this cute toddler and then 4-5 year old doing all the things we'd hoped our own child would do when visiting in Maine through social media photos. But we wanted Bryce's mom to embrace this unexpected Grandma-dom, and get joy from it (which she does).

When I talked with her, she was saying how the little boy has a LOT of energy and needs some active things to do both inside and outside, and I had a whole bunch of recommendations for places to get toys that involve building, and bouncing, and building so you can shoot marbles down your own design, and stuff like that. And she said, "I'm so sorry, I never know if it's okay to talk about {the boy} with you, because I don't want to make you feel sad." And I realized -- I liked talking about fun toy solutions and ways to keep him busy, appropriately. It didn't make me sad. 

Now, I would not want to be at a Christmas thing and do presents and have the experience we never had in our face. But, I can recommend activities. I can talk about him and what he likes. 

So, it was lovely to have two situations where a few years ago I would have been sad, and now, I'm not. Do I still have the grief of not having the children and family that we wanted? Of course. But it's not front and center. It's surrounded by a whole lot of appreciation for the life we do have. 

Mmmm, German food feast

Enjoying a pre-dinner power outage, reading by fairy lights and fading window light. SOOO glad we didn't have things in the oven yet. 

Skills, Not Pills

I've been missing a couple weeks. Is it a coincidence that it's the same couple weeks I've been building up on the ADHD medication that I finally launched? 

No, no it's not. 

I don't think it's for me. In the beginning I had stomach upset and indigestion, which is apparently normal for the whole messing-with-your-brain-chemistry part of it. But then in the past week, something changed, and not for the better. I started feeling...blah. Blah started feeling more melancholic. By this weekend, I felt downright depressed. I'm tired. I'm zonked. I feel flat and gray and unhappy without a cause. 

I am very fond of balanced brain chemistry, and I feel like I was at a good place with my anxiety/depression medication. This new addition? I feel it is messing with me without any positives so far. And I'm not sure I want to wait to see if positives erupt, because it makes me feel so yucky. 

Bryce said, "you just aren't yourself. You seem sad, and disinterested. Flattened." He only said it after I offered up that I don't like it, and that I didn't feel right. I so appreciate that he waited until I shared my thoughts, because he's trying not to influence my observations. 

I'm going to go off this med. I don't think it's a loss because it was determined that I have definitive generalized anxiety disorder, but that I also have quite a lot of ADHD traits and behaviors. The psychiatric nurse practitioner said "skills AND pills," but I feel  good about trying "skills NOT pills." He did say that I've compensated for a really long time, and I am a reasonably successful human, so working on those strategies to manage my difficulties with focus, and time, and organization, and rejection sensitivity (which is also an anxiety thing) should make for positive change. Previous sessions were in my home office, but the last session was at school...which was super helpful because I could unveil the disaster that is my desk and pretty much every available surface near a computer. I think that was enlightening. 

So, I'm going to use timers, and copy people with more successful executive function, and set better routines. And get my brain chemistry back to a lovely stasis. I have learned to listen to my body, and to believe myself when I sense that something is wrong.