Phew, where has the time gone? One minute I was doing well creating and posting, and then bam! I ended up in a spiral. The very thing I was trying to be proactive about landed right on my doorstep. It seemed like an unfortunate series of events. During the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year,) I got strep throat! What the hell? Have you ever tried to swallow with strep throat? Nasty work. No idea if the sore throat triggered my trouble sleeping, or winter solstice, or a combination of both because my sleeping schedule was in shambles. I would fall asleep and then wake myself up when I swallowed lmao. I thought when I got better, my sleep would improve, but nope. I wasn't quite at the 2020 level, but I was getting hypnic jerks pretty badly (I still get them on and off now.)

It's odd because my anxiety isn't bad this year, but I still don't feel the best. It's almost like a dark energy is floating around me at all times when the sun sets early. That's what gave me the idea for this photo series. It represents how I feel. When the sun sets early, I don't want to do anything after work, so I go straight home. This time frame made me realize I need to tap more into the "hobbies" post I did. I felt like I didn't have enough distractions in my life.

You know what? As I went back on my medication, I zeroed in on the fact that I should start working on healing myself. I can take vitamins, do yoga stretches, and work on puzzles, but if I'm not addressing the root, it will continue to poison my crop! We're gaining a minute of sun each day (53 days until daylight savings, but who is counting?), but I don't want to sit idle as I'm feeling better. I want to work on myself even through the feel-good summer months. I'm currently waking up early every morning, using light therapy and starting my day with a workbook on anxiety (a cognitive behavior workbook), and I'm still early on because I just got it last week, but something that stood out was -

"Anxiety is unpleasant, but I'll live through it. If life is not how I expect it to be, I can accept it as it is."

It's a common sense quote, but the workbook talks about fear/anxiety based on survival and exaggeration and how they differ. They say when you dwell on your anxieties they grow bigger, so now - if I don't get the best sleep, I accept it. I don't fight against it because I'll live through it. Instead of ruminating thoughts (they call it “alarmist parasitic thinking.”) and procrastinating, I'm taking corrective actions. I'm not giving up; however, I'm still giving myself grace and I’m going to take a different approach.