A Little Distraction
I’ve managed to avoid griping about the 2ww thus far, after my rather optimistic post about it a week and a half ago. Now that the wait is nearly over, I’ve definitely had my ups and downs. I went through the first week of this 2ww feeling pretty good about this, taking a “who knows what might happen?” approach and going about my life. But this week I’ve been a hormonal wreck, I haven’t been sleeping well, and I’ve had bouts of crying for no apparent reason.
Whenever these things happen, my first instinct is to get upset because it seems as though it must be PMS, and therefore I’m not pregnant, and therefore the world is going to end and I will cry harder. Then I give myself a familiar little pep talk about how PMS symptoms and early pregnancy symptoms are so similar, and I shouldn’t get myself all upset when I really don’t know one way or the other what is going to happen. Yes, I basically have internal (sometimes external) conversations with myself and go a little bit, well, a lot, batsh*t crazy.
Yesterday in an attempt to distract myself from this emotional turmoil, I did something I almost never do. I got out a piece of paper and a pencil and I started to draw. Now, I am not an artist, folks. I like to think there is an artistic gene in me somewhere – I think I might even be a bit creative at times. But drawing is not my forte. In fact, really there are no visual arts that I excel at. I made a clay mask of a pig (why?) in junior high and gave it to my mother – she kept it hidden in a drawer where no one could see it. But that’s exactly why it helped to draw yesterday. Because (a) it got a different part of my brain working to distract me from all the 2ww drama, and (b) I was able to laugh at myself when I saw how awful the drawing was that I produced.
All this got me thinking about how easy it is to distract ourselves when we want to. I used to see a therapist several years ago, and she taught me that when you are about to react emotionally to something, the best thing you can do is step back and ask yourself, “Is this really how I want to react to this situation? And is my reaction justified?” I can’t lie and say that I remember to do this all the time. I am definitely guilty of being a gut-reaction type of person most of the time. But I think that distracting myself is a similar technique to what she suggested. Having a good cry sometimes is a good thing, but it’s not healthy to sit around feeling miserable for no apparent reason. So why not do something to distract yourself, in effect stepping back from the situation and asking whether you really want to react this way. Do you really want to sit and blubber and cry in your office with the door shut? If so, go for it. But if not? Draw a stupid picture and laugh at yourself instead.
This all sounds very self-help-ish and I don’t proclaim to be an expert on that subject. I just know what works for me. And that doesn’t mean I’m never going to let myself cry or wallow. That is a valuable thing to do sometimes. But when I want to pull myself up by the bootstraps, why not make an ass of myself and laugh?
Anyway, the point of all this is to say that I am doing my best to distract myself. And it seems to be working so far. I slept a little bit better last night, and while I still feel a tad hormonal and my skin is still breaking out like a mofo and I still feel tempted to eat all the chocolate in my house in one sitting, I am feeling a bit better.
And after all, this 2ww will be over in a matter of a couple of days. I’ll let you know what happens.