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16 - I've been trying to manage my stress, mostly without success

So, the past month has been kindof an exercise in how much stress I can handle.

My niece and nephew started school. They have a hybrid model, so they are home two days/week and in person three days. At first I was super concerned about them being exposed to other kids at school and bringing home whatever cold is going around. But now I'm kinda at the point where I just need a break.

They have just absolutely forgotten a whole bunch of social skills and somewhere in the last 6 months they just quit caring what I think. Like where I used to just be able to give a disapproving look, now they don't even care if they are doing something they're not allowed to do. Ok, so I get that they are 9 now, and with getting older comes trying to push the limits of what is allowed. They have to test how far is too far. But.....For real I'm starting to get burnt out.

I'm starting to suspect that they don't respect me because they know I cannot physically pick them up and just go home if they are acting up. I cannot make them listen to simple commands, like - no don't touch that, sit down, no you can't take that, go play outside.  I can barely walk to the bathroom, trying to physically separate them when they are fighting over some dumb thing is something I don't even try anymore.

So instead I yell, and now I feel like I'm yelling all the fuckin time. I hate it. Last week I fell. I was trying to grab my nephew who was swinging a plastic and foam tball bat at my niece. I was sitting on the couch and leaned forward to grab his arm and instead of standing up I half stood and my legs gave out and I tried to lean back but before I knew it I was on my ass on the floor next to the couch. Yea, pulling myself up on the couch almost tipped the damn thing over on me. It took me like 20 min to get off the floor, and only then was because I scooted all the way out the front door and out onto the porch and put my legs down and pulled myself up on the handrail.

The thing I hate about the whole thing is that he thought it was a game. He was diagnosed with autism a couple of years ago. He laughed and laughed and I was so mad I just started crying. And yelling. And crying some more. Just fuckin sobbing big boogers sobs. He thought it was awesome. I ended up with a migraine and I felt my pulse pounding right behind my eyes.

So yeah, I think I need a break. It's looking more and more like "burnt out" was where I was weeks ago. Now I'm somewhere beyond that. I feel like daily I'm reaching my breaking point and it's kindof amazing it hasn't happened yet.

So, if you saw my thread about bracelet making, you know I dropped a bunch of bracelets off. I'm working on making a new batch for another domestic violence program. I'm excited about it, but as a habit I try not to make things for other people when I'm freaking out or angry or otherwise just putting negative energy into it. Call it superstitious, but I feel like if I'm making something as a gift I want to just put all my best intentions into it. Being a crying mess and crafting just doesn't go together.

So the bracelet making progress going really slow. I need a creative outlet. I need to feel like releasing my emotions isn't just a burden on other people. I need some kind of help that isn't just another fuckin pill to take.

I did hear back from the staff person about the bracelets I gave them last month. They were so appreciative and I'm glad.

I started painting again. Mostly just doodling and making beautiful abstract messes. Today, though, I painted this monochromatic foggy mountain forest. It's probably the best watercolor painting I've ever painted.

So yesterday I learned that I'm probably going to have to move my house (I live in an rv trailer) or risk losing my health coverage. This fuckin sucks. If I'm living in it, then it's my house (and as such, it doesn't count as an asset), but since I'm not well enough to go back there, since the back surgery, etc, all the health bs that's happened with me in the last half a year. If I'm not living in it state and federal medical insurance count it as an asset. If they do count it as an asset, I would be over the asset limit and theyd cut off my health insurance. I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about that. I'm going to have to pay someone to unhook it and drive it over here. It needs new tires. It's connected to a bigass propane tank. This is going to cost a lot of money. FFFFUUUUCCCCKKKK! I feel like there's no winning. Like I literally am helpless. I hate that feeling. Maybe I should paint that. Just a stress hurricane.

I'm exhausted, and sleeping well is something that happens rarely. I need to just vent some of this stress, but I feel guilty because so many of the fucking problems that are eating away at my sanity are minor stuff. Like truly I'm privileged to be in a situation where I have a place to stay but now in order to keep my health insurance the government is going to make me move my house like 300 miles so I'm actually living in it. It seems like such a spoiled kid problem. But even saying that is, I know, a self judgment.

I just need to get some decent sleep and maybe a day or two away from the kiddos. I need a refresh.

I need to say to myself - look, you got a lot of shit going on right now. Even just one of these things would be stressful. But you have a whole stack of them. You are allowed to feel overwhelmed. You are a human person with a heart and a brain and a need to vent. That is normal. It doesn't make you weak. It means you are susceptible to the stresses in your life. You are not a thoughtless robot. Go sit outside in the fresh cool air and listen to an audiobook. Go do something fun. Go do something where you just think about nothing at all for like 2 whole hours. Go find AC/DC's Back in Black and play the whole thing from start to finish and sing along to all of it. Every. Last. Word. Watch a online tutorial on pencil sketching and then draw dozens of pictures of lumpy fruit and spheres with shadows at different lengths that hide from an imaginary light source in your sketchbook. Breathe. Just really, deeply, breathe. Rub rose lotion into your aching calf muscles and fantasize about when things open up enough that you can get a proper actual massage. And don't feel guilty about it. Self care is not selfish.

I hope you are all finding small ways to take care of yourselves. You deserve it. Maybe you are so busy trying to keep all your plates spinning that you feel like you don't have a minute to spare. I feel you. 

✌️+💞to you all

RR

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That's a really beautiful painting, @RubyRosie.  I resonate with feeling really overwhelmed, and that sometimes it is the small things that pile up that really make me feel stuck and drained.  Sending support and sitting with you, if ok?

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