Well, I thought I would share a little in the way of coping mechanisms. Last time you really 'heard' from me, I was ready to jump off a tall bridge. I admit, I have that compulsion at least daily, sometimes hourly. I went to the OBGYN for that lovely yearly date last week and told her that I was losing my mind and I needed good drugs. She laughed and conceded. Coping mechanism number 1.
I have also been exercising, as many of you know, in an attempt to lose the baby weight (finally) and what I found along the way was that it was a great stress reliever. After a few weeks, I found that I am dependent on that workout 3 days a week. I have been running and lifting weights, but found that I was not losing pounds like I wanted to. So I decided to add more cardio and ride the bike. Surprisingly, I found the bike was not nearly as hard as I expected. Then my good friend Kelly suggested I get in the pool and swim. I swam competitively for 10+ years growing up, so this should have been an obvious thought, but it took her urging for me to give it a shot. And I am SO glad I did. My first day I swam 1000 yds (40 laps) and have been swimming weekly since. I had not swam/swum (?) laps in over 10 years, but a funny thing happened. Like riding a bike, I just did it. I was/am a bit rusty, and am by no means ready for a race, but muscle memory is a cool thing. My body knows what to do in a pool. And for that reason, swimming is so relaxing. There is no telling how many miles I have traveled in my life staring at the black line on the bottom of a pool. I used to compete in the 1 mile race, and often swam 2-3 miles before school in the mornings, so I have definitely logged the miles. And as a result, I can swim and think of anything, everything, or nothing. What I don't have to think about is making sure I don't drown, or how to propel myself through the water. My body just does that. It's glorious. I should mention that when I run on the treadmill I periodically have to stop watching TV and regain my balance and sort of center myself. And I do have fears of going flying off the back of the treadmill!
But swimming is my new oasis. I get in and swim and everything else disappears for 30 minutes. I realized yesterday that it is the only 30 minutes in my week that I am not on call. There is no baby monitor through which children beckon me. My phone is poolside, but someone would have to call in between laps for me to answer it. I figure nothing can happen to the kids at school in that 30 minutes that can't be handled. Any customers needing me can wait. If there is an emergency otherwise, 30 minutes probably won't be the end of the world. This is my rationalization. I admit the sheer fact that I have to articulate all of that indicates the level of anxiety I live with. Just the same, I force myself to put it aside for 30 minutes. For 30 minutes I am alone. Blissfully alone. There is no one in my lane but me. There are other people in the pool but they tend to their own business. And the water silences them anyway. When I take a breath there is a muted sound of voices, but nothing discernable. Just my own quiet little world where no one can get to me. No one can need me or demand anything of me. Just a 30 minute slice of peace. Did I mention it's glorious? Thank you Kel. I owe you one. :)