Monday, October 11, 2010

What to do when you’re not ok

This is not professional or clinical advice, this is just me talking about what I’ve decided to do now that I’ve admitted to myself and CW that I am not ok. And now that I've admitted it to you.

It’s a hard thing to do. Even when things are really bad, I tell myself I’m ok, or at least everything will be ok. I’m the rock, that’s what I do. I think that’s what most people do. But after a while, I couldn’t even fool myself. I’d let so much slip over the last two years that I was barely functioning on a civilized level. Not difficult stuff, people, we’re talking basic necessities: eating and sleeping and hygiene.

CW and I have accomplished the goal we set out to achieve two years ago. It was a long and difficult road that shook me up badly, but now that the mission is accomplished, I can take a step back and say
“I’m not ok. I need to make myself ok now.”
That means every morning:
  • taking Maddie for a long walk,
  • eating something healthy for breakfast,
  • brushing my teeth, and
  • looking decently professional for work.
  • It means focusing on work while I’m at work.
  • It also means eating something marginally healthy for lunch every day.
  • And it means getting some exercise in the evening, having a healthy dinner, having a conversation with my husband, and brushing my teeth again before going to bed at a decent hour.
Just writing all of that down makes me a little nervous. These are ambitious steps for me right now.

Especially brushing my teeth – for some reason, when I’m angry or sad, I can’t bring myself to go in the bathroom and take the two minutes to clean my teeth after they’ve worked so hard all day. I’ll pee right before going to bed, hop under the covers, and groan because I didn’t brush them, but feel that it is completely impossible to go back into the bathroom now. It’s too late at that point. Tomorrow morning, I promise myself. But of course I don’t brush them then either. I probably have a dozen cavities after two years of sporadic brushing.

So after admitting that I am not ok right now, I’ve decided to brush my teeth twice a day. Maybe after a few weeks of that, I’ll add flossing at night (something I’ve never been able to do regularly my entire life). Maybe by 2011 I’ll become a model of dental hygiene that my formal self won’t even recognize, bringing a toothbrush to work to brush after lunch or some such nonsense.

The good news is for a Monday morning, and a holiday on which I'm working, I'm surprisingly optimistic. Cavities, watch out.


  1. We will work to get you back to where you are ok!

  2. Meg, I dont think a better word could describe you than "a rock", ok so that is more like two words, but you get it. You accomplished the impossible (listen to me, sounds like I have known you forever) in the last couple of weeks and I just wanted to let you know that if you need a supporting friend (other than your husband of course) I am here. I will be more than happy to go walking with you or send you a text to say "brush your teeth". :)

    PS. can we hang out soon? I miss you! :)

  3. I'm w/ the Panther's Fan!

    We all have the things we let fall away when we are upset, angry, or just completely overwelmed by the world!! Focus on getting you back to OK is a good plan! Any thing I can do to help along the way I'm always here!

    You have faced some challenges over the last two years you should never have had to endure! The good news is that you made it out! I'm not saying that things have completely settled down or that you made it out unscathed, but with time and the right people around you we can get you back to where you are comfortable saying that you are OK! and no one will care if you miss brushing once in a while before bed like the rest of us! ;)

    Most importantly, WE LOVE YOU!!!