I’m a pretty average mom. I love my kids, target, wine and coffee. That last one is the kicker. Coffee loves to cheer you on with a “you can do it!” but it’s really just an enabling friend.
Yesterday was my sister’s baby shower. I woke up at 4:30 in the morning, full of anxiety. I was nervous to socialize, about my decorations, and about getting everything set up on time. When my alarm finally went off at 6:00, I leapt out of bed. I was so sick of staring at my ceiling and making lists in my head. The first thing I did was run over to the coffee pot.
Fast forward a few hours to setting up the hall. I was a jittery mess. My hands were shaking so badly that I couldn’t operate scissors, build a cardboard cake stand, or write clearly. I definitely had the opportunity to take a rescue benzo, but I didn’t want to be tired or hazy for the shower. I decided to power through and try to make the most of my extra energy.
The shower was beautiful, just like my sister. I got many compliments on my decorations (and to my surprise, many compliments on my blog too!) Now that it’s behind us, I’ve been able to take some time to reflect.
Caffeine can be helpful during a low day. Sometimes a coffee is the only thing that will get me out of bed on a depression day. The energy makes me feel confident and alert while boosting productivity. It can be a great tool for an immediate, non prescription, low cost fix. The problem comes when caffeine is used during a mid to high mood day. Because caffeine can lift me from a depression negative to my baseline happy, it also has the potential to take me too high, causing mania and anxiety.
Yesterday is a great example of this. I woke up and already had things on my mind, but craved the confidence the caffeine provides. I also tricked myself- I told myself I had too many things on my list and needed a boost to get them all done. The reality is, I had a completely manageable number of things to do. I needed to calm down and focus.
I was incredibly lucky to be surrounded by friends and family at the shower. My friend Heidi was quick to jump in and help with the things I couldn’t steady my hands for. My sister built up my confidence by being appreciative and supportive of the work I’d done in her honor, and the thought of celebrating my niece-to-be kept me striving for success. I was grounded by my mother, grandmother and kids when I needed to take a moment to sit and collect myself. Even when I shoot myself in the foot, support of loved ones keep me on track.
The truth is, I actually set myself up for disaster by guzzling down several coffees that morning. If I’d been in a different environment I’d have likely crashed and burned. It goes to show you how important and meaningful a support system can be.
I’m cutting back on the coffee. For the most part I stick to decaf, and just had a temporary lapse in judgement. Someone this week suggested trying green tea instead, and I’m going to give it a shot!
As always, the first part of learning from our mistakes is taking accountability for our own choices. The second part is accepting help, love and support. No matter what the issue is, no matter the day- there’s nothing you have to do alone. Always reach out, always ask for help when you need it.. Even if it’s only encouraging words.
With healthy hearts,
Kate and the Kids.