Monday, May 8, 2017

End of the School Year Anxiety - Unwinding -

At the end of every school year Scott and I usually pack our bags and head out of town as soon as grades are posted.
We've been to Southern Utah, Alabama and Tennessee, Northern California, and this year we're off again (details to come).
Leaving is a good way of regrouping - clearing the UVU files from my brain, changing my focus from go go go to a possibility of relaxing. And it takes me a few weeks to do so. While in this liminal space, this transition from one level of earnestness to a level of relaxation, I suffer from anxiety.
And I really do mean suffer. I've had a couple of panic attacks the past two weeks. I can't breathe, my heart races, the walls come closer, I cannot focus, relax, or sleep.
This is new to me. Only happening post-cancer, which, interestingly, does coincide with school ending.
So right now I'm aching, tired, anxious, and I can't focus. I hop from one project to the next, attempting to complete, but almost like a caged animal - I pace and I fidget. I glance around, wiggle while sitting, wander, eat like I shouldn't, I'm cranky, and although I am kinda numb, my mind won't stop. I have a hard time carrying on a conversation, I want to be alone, and I don't really want to do much of anything.
I do think anxiety and burnout are synonymous with focused energy over a long period of time, a mindset that says "when school is out," and then the realization that school is out. I push so hard that it's really difficult for me to reframe.

Hence the need to leave town. Away is where I can refind myself. Engage with me and my honey. Decide what is important, what my priorities are for the summer, where I see myself in August, and then figure out a plan.
But that's not all that happens while we're away. It's a chance to really "chill." And typically with a long drive or plane ride, by the time we've arrived, I'm breathing a little more slowly.
So Scott and I have a chance to be "us." Not a chaplain, a professor, a mother, a daughter, not even a wife. I'm Ronda, Scott's Scott, we're lovers, wanderers, explorers, tourists. I like this us, and this time to gather myself.
And come home clean, ready to be a part of the world where I'm not hyper-focused, hyper-vigilant.


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