Another Purge

in an effort to document everything that’s been going on the past couple months, aside from new york.

i don’t know where to start. all i know is my mind is a web of thoughts recently and it needs to GTFO.

i have not been myself lately. i think part of me has been trying really hard to cover it up, mostly because i’ve become increasingly aware of it over the past several weeks.

i think the tipping point was going through the low iodine diet, which was a month and a half ago, give or take. this is absolutely, 100% my fault. had i read more into it beforehand, i never would’ve done the diet for myself, and would’ve just cooked separate meals for brett. but… like they say, hindsight is 20/20.

this diet rocked both of us, and by the time we actually noticed the side effects and repercussions, we were both too far down the rabbit hole. by about week 1.5, i started eating normal lunches again. by normal, i mean, not leftovers of the iodine free stuff i cooked the night before. not just salad. real food, that would (i hoped) start undoing what i had just done.

for that 2 weeks, i cooked everything from scratch. i always buy as much organic produce and ingredients as i can, but for those 2 weeks, it was organic AND no-or-low sodium AND non dairy AND unsalted *everything*. i mean… everything. low iodine was basically no iodine. when brett went to the doctor at the end of the 2 weeks, she said it was the lowest levels she’d ever seen, and that it was basically too low.

caylin eats breakfast and lunch with my mom, so she was fine. but brett and i were all out of wack.

i felt like shit. sluggish. depressed. i felt huge. i felt gross. my hormones were and are all messed up, which wreaked havoc on my skin and mood swings and my body in general. my short term memory went to shit. as in, missing meetings. forgetting to feed the cat. forgetting to set alarms. forgetting to do things at work that are normally routine. forgetting to take the keys out of my car before getting out, for christ sake. this happened at least 5 times. i forgot to put underwear on one morning before putting my pants on. i got out of the shower with soap suds in my hair god knows how many times. the list goes on.

given all of the stuff brett has been going through, i finally made an appointment with a primary care doctor near work. it had been since caylin was born that i’d gotten a physical. they ran some blood work. my TSH levels are more than double what they should be. hypothyroidism. every symptom, every feeling now makes sense. to put it in perspective, brett’s were quadrupled.

all of this. plus, it was all happening when daylight savings started. that always messes me up. every year, as it does a lot of people. in the evenings, i usually have an hour drive home from work. if i’m lucky it’s 45 minutes. most days i get home at 6 or later. when you’re used to cruising home in the warm sunshine, getting your 1 hour of down time, no conversation, no nothing, just you and your thoughts and the music and the windows down, and suddenly that turns into driving home in the dark, depressing, crappy, stand-still traffic… it’s an entirely different end result. combine that with an unexpected hormonal imbalance in the works, it’s quite lovely.

i wasn’t ready for it. we weren’t ready for it. brett felt like shit, so did i. we were grumpy in general. moody and sluggish. working out didn’t make much of a difference, mentally, like it usually does. it was just kind of like “meh” all around this household for a while.

fast forward a bit.

our company underwent a major rearrangement a couple weeks ago. everyone moved desks, teams switched spaces, no one is where they used to be, for the most part. we have had a LOT of new hires lately, our company is growing, we need to make it work for everyone. so an overhaul was necessary. we all had to recreate our own spots at work.

i. panicked. i don’t do well in 100% group environments.

i’ve always had a “cube” at SPARC. ever since i started. i’ve always had a quiet spot, when i needed to get away from the crazy that is our work environment. always a place to hide when i couldn’t be around people. i am not a people person. i suck at it. i’d like to be, and i try to be. but when it comes down to it, i’m just not. i don’t have a poker face. if someone gets on my nerves, i can’t hide it. i have no patience. i snap easily. i get frustrated. i don’t convey emotions well.

i am very aware of this, and it’s a work in progress, but i know myself well enough to know that if i don’t have that place to go when i need it, i will not be a good employee. i won’t get work done. i will be anxious and fidgety and i will more than likely leave and go home, and put my hours in at night instead.

when we rearranged, i didn’t have that unless i rebuilt it for myself. i’ve been on a new-ish team over the past few months, one that doesn’t know me as well as my previous teams, who are used to my awkward. granted, i haven’t really made that a possibility, because since i’ve been on this team, i’ve been a bit off (read: all of the above).

so when the day came that we had to move all of our belongings and tables and lockers and desks and unicorn paraphernalia, and i started building walls around mine, and holing myself away, i looked like a bitch and a half to my teammates, who were sitting happily at one giant table together.

since we rebuilt, i have hardly left my desk. half the time, no one even knows i’m there. i’ve brought lunches multiple times a week, when i normally go out to eat every. single. day. i’ve gotten food from the food trucks more in a month than i have in over a year. i’ve gotten a stupid amount of salads from bojangles and brought them back to the office and eaten alone in my cube. i used to hop from couch to couch at work, beanbag to beanbag, desk to pirate ship, trying to work near as many friends as possible throughout the day, going back to my spot periodically to recharge. that has come to a screeching halt, for the most part.

i’ve become a hermit.

even at night. after we put caylin to bed and i get done working out, it’s around 10pm. i go downstairs, and i have done nothing but work… for weeks. i took on so many tasks and side projects, i don’t know what the hell i was thinking. there have been 4 nights that i can count besides this one that i didn’t do any work, including thanksgiving break.

4.

FOUR.

4 nights without work.

2 of those nights were nights i forced myself to put the computer away and bake cookies. the other 2 were nights that we had social events with work. that’s it.

that in and of itself has only compounded all of it. frustration with clients, frustration with myself for taking on so much work, frustration because of increased frustration due to lack of sleep, fuzzed thoughts, and an overall sense of exhaustion 24/7. no one to blame but myself.

i am so incredibly happy for the night that i got drunk and bought tickets to new york all those months ago. i needed that. brett and i needed that. our marriage needed that. we had so much fun. it was refreshing and exciting and awesome and a HUGE FUCKING RELIEF.

and that brought on a whole new onslaught of weird anxiety and guilt.

because whenever i get freedom like that, freedom from being mom for a little while, freedom from charleston, freedom from home and work and my computer and responsibility. i go all out. as in, i will literally party until the sun comes up given the opportunity, and even then i probably still won’t be ready to call it quits.

i was fairly responsible when we were in NY. because brett can talk some sense into me, and keeps me grounded when i am unable to do that myself. otherwise i’d be screwed.

i just want to see and do everything when i can. especially in new cities.

when it comes down to those moments, since they don’t happen often, i soak it up. the same thing happens every time my company holds an event and i have a night out of the house–i don’t know how to contain my excitement. even in charleston. i will go nuts until i pass out.

and that’s where the guilt comes in.

i love my family. and… i love being a mom. i love caylin more than i ever thought was possible. i HATE not seeing her. 4 days without her feels like a lifetime. every day, she grows a bit more. in just a few days, you miss so much.

but i feel guilty for wanting to just go all over the place.

i feel guilty for wishing i did more when i had the chance.

i feel guilty for feeling relief when i get an “out” for the evening and can just not think about anything.

i feel guilty when i tell brett i don’t want to have more kids and do it all over again. here goes a whole new rabbit hole.

part of me thinks more kids would be fun. part of me wants caylin to have a sister or brother. and then the logical side reminds me of the hardships of the first year or so.

the distance from work and friends and the “norm” that we’ve come to love.

the part where my mom probably will not be our nanny if we had another kid. it would be at least a year. at least. then there’s the paying for her or a nanny or childcare, plus preschool or after school care (guessing by that time, caylin would be in kindergarten).

how do both parents have a real career and have more than 1 kid in this world? i just don’t get it. it doesn’t add up. maybe my expectations are too high. i feel like if we did it all over again, i’d be neglecting something or someone. which is already hard enough with 1 child.

i want so badly to be good at being a mom, wife, engineer. but i feel like the harder i try at any of those, one or more parties suffer.

i want to be 100% for caylin. i want to be 100% for brett. i want to be 100% for my career. i want to learn everything i can learn and experience everything i can experience. i wish there was a way to do all of the above without failing at part of another.

does everyone experience this? how do parents of multiple children households cope? how do you maintain a career you’re so passionate about? how do you keep up? how do you make it all work and keep yourself happy and your spouse happy and make sure your children are getting everything they need?

i don’t know if this post is a big fat #firstworldproblems or if it’s just raw. i just wish i had the answer to all of it. there are so many things i want to see and do. and i don’t want my family to suffer because of that. i want to give them the best of everything i have.

i don’t want to fuck up.

my biggest fear is regret.

3 Comments

  • Jo says:

    ((HUGS)). I know how you feel. So many working moms do. Caylin is very little right now, but she will be more independent before you know it and work will always be there. You’re doing a terrific job momma!

  • Josh Kittle says:

    I’ve got to say that having a second kid was way easier and way less bumpy than the transition of having the first one. My wife is wanting another one (is she nuts!?!) as our youngest just turned 8. The thought of having another and going back down that rabbit hole again…. I can totally relate.

    Hang in there girl.

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