Hello all! First, a quick little update since my last post. I ordered my meds online and they arrived today. So just in time before I ran out. I’m not much of a high maintenance lady. I don’t need to shower too often, I’m most at home by a campfire in the mountains or on a salty beach. I can’t remember the last time I bought new clothes. But boy howdy am I emotionally high maintenance. Poor Andrew :) He copes with it wonderfully. I’m a work in progress and I know it.
We hiked up a mountain yesterday straight into a storm. We could see it brewin’ but didn’t pay no mind and just kept on hiking. I never said we’re the smartest couple. On the way up the mosquitoes were terrible. Either they were a constant nuisance, one landing on my leg and arm every now and then, or they were swarming, covering our clothes and skin, buzzing around my face and landing behind my ear. There was rarely a reprieve from the little suckers. I covered myself with bug spray but they wouldn’t quit. I think they’ve become smarter than the deterrent.
While hiking along, getting attacked my bugs, I couldn’t help but think of my anxieties. I hear women who are in their 40s and above tell me encouragingly that my anxieties will subside when I get older. I’m banking on that because man, do they haunt me now. I’ll be strolling along in life and boom! just get swarmed with anxious thoughts. Things I can’t control and things I shouldn’t be worrying about will flood my mind. They come out of nowhere and no matter how much bug spray armory I put on, they still get through.
I tried to sleep last night but all I could think of was Islay Blue falling off a cliff and dying. Or Andrew getting attacked by a bear. This is ridiculous yall. Why do I focus my attention on such things? I’ve said it so many times before that it is a choice. A choice of what to focus your brain on. The more I countered the unproductive thoughts, the more I came up with new things to stress about. Sometimes it’s a swarm of negativity, other times it’s just a constant nagging that creeps into the back of my mind.
When I start struggling with this I have my go to things that I check. Am I eating well? Did I drink too much or too consistently? (Drinking cuts the effectiveness of my meds in half, so my doctor says…) Is it a full moon? (My sister used to work at a Mental Heath and Mental Retardation clinic and she said that drama would always happen on a full moon. Truth yall.) Am I exercising daily? And last of all, is it my lady time? My world kinda falls apart during my lady time. Oh, it must be that. Deep breaths Elle, deep breaths.
I have an Endocrinologist that I go to regularly for my thyroid issues. He is the most affirming, comforting doctor. One day he told me, “You know women got it hard. Real hard.” He pulled out a little piece of paper and showed me with a line the hormones that men have throughout the day. He was able to list the exact hormones and everything. The line had a few ups and downs. Then he drew a line of the hormones that women have just in one day. There were so many spikes and falls, I thought I was looking at an extreme mountain range. This is just on a regular day! He said it gets even worse during lady time.
There it was, a scientific explanation of my crazy. Of all our crazy. I’m not discounting the drama that men struggle with. But I am affirming the anxiety, the depression, the highs and lows that women deal with on a daily basis. Does this make us less than? No. It’s just a wee bit more work to keep it in check.
This is what I reminded myself of last night when I was looping around on my anxieties. And this is what eventually calmed me down and helped me get to sleep. I realized that for the next couple of days I’m just going to have to work a little bit harder to battle the nagging, swarming mosquitoes.
During our hike up to Divide Lake I realized that I was just staring at the trail and my mind was consumed with the bugs. I finally made a choice: I looked up and saw the light shining through the bright blue petals of the Mountain Lupines, I saw the mountain range in the distance cool and hazy, I took in the twinkling Aspen leaves, how they danced with the wind. And before I knew it, I forgot about the mosquitoes.
The clouds thundered overhead. It sounded like huge boulders falling down a rock face. A gentle rain swept through and washed away the mosquitoes, the troubling thoughts and anxious wanderings.