I was in Southern California (LA) for this last week to support a family member returning to teaching after a medical issue last April. Certain aspects of the experience were expected, and some were quite surprising and intense. One of the things I had anticipated was difficulty with allergies, as I generally have in LA anyway, but the family member has bunnies — and I am allergic to hay. So I brought plenty of the medicines that help for me with sinus congestion, and hoped for the best.
I flew down from the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday, on a flight that was supposed to leave at 12:55pm (the flight was ultimately moved to another aircraft after several hours chasing repair estimates, and we left around 6:20pm). I made use of the opportunity to network with at least a couple dozen people, determined not to let my first day feel like a waste of time. My productivity did not alleviate the exhaustion of waiting and uncertainty, and I was so glad to land in LA at 7:40pm. (I arrived at the airport at 11am, so I could have probably driven to LA in less time, as it turns out, though I would not have met nearly as many fascinating people.)
Needless to say, I was exhausted, and very grateful to have dinner with the family member I was there to support, get my bags to her apartment, and sleep. Tuesday was her first day back, and we went with my dad to the Hollywood Bowl, which was wonderful, despite having a migraine triggered by 1. messing up my upper back, neck, and shoulders in an unfortunate grocery shopping incident (don’t ask, I’m still a bit embarrassed about it), 2. sinus congestion, and 3. dehydration.
After midnight, the ongoing war my family member had been fighting with her depression and anxiety overwhelmed her private mental barriers and charged out into view (at least for me, apparently this unintentional revealing of her mental state had been underway for months, for those who spent more time with her or lived closer to her). Coordinating with family and talking with her to try to convince her to get help consumed the rest of my energy during the week, and I spent the time while she was at school trying desperately to maintain a basic level of self-care for myself.
You may recall, if you have visited my blog before, that I have been struggling with depression myself. In fact, I posted about it on Monday morning (though technically I wrote it on Sunday, knowing that Monday was a travel day). Thankfully (I think?), due to being thrown into crisis mode, my own depression was thoroughly shut out by adrenaline and concern (ok, terror) regarding my family member’s mental and physical well-being. I am looking forward (ha!) to a return to my own current mental state, most likely sometime this week, but for now, I am still winding down from this experience.
Yesterday (Saturday), the hay finally caught up with me (I’d closed windows to be able to use the AC, which felt lovely, but sacrificed fresh air — whoops) and I was sneezing a lot all day, especially in the morning. On a truly positive note, I had the opportunity to go with my dad to my hometown-prior-to-high-school’s annual car show by their chamber of commerce; as I told someone there, I’m really not interested in cars, but this event could convert me. Perhaps I’ll post some pictures for you!
That afternoon, I went to the airport and got back to the Bay Area around 5:30pm, putting hundreds of miles between myself and LA, the hay, and the crisis. I am breathing much easier today.
As a bit of an aside: Both LfL and APP! are definitely delayed as a result of all this, as the week essentially didn’t exist work-wise. I apologize and will get them back on track as soon as I can. It may not be this week. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
If you want to help, I would very much appreciate it. Positive energy, spoons, and/or prayers for my family member, myself, and my family are more than welcome. To offer more corporeal assistance, there are a couple of easy options: one is to pledge on Patreon and the other is to give me the joy of living my dream and fulfilling my calling by signing up for and trying out a budget coaching session — the initial consultation is free and helpful (according to my clients and people who’ve tried it out), so I highly recommend that option. If it seems like a stressful idea, just think of it as a loosely-guided chat about money. You might actually have some fun!
Thanks for reading. I appreciate you. ❤
Edit, August 20, 2017: It occurs to me that this might seem self-centered, and this is because I do not want to reveal personal details about my family member or presume to know her experience.