Back in the day, after I found out I’d passed the bar exam,  I fell into in a dark depression. It’s common to feel a let down after completing a long-term goal. (This is also known as: “What the f*ck do I do now?”) The bar exam was about four years in the making (eight if we count getting a BA, more if we factor in BA to JD jobs): the time before the LSAT, the application period, the three years to get the JD, then the three months of studying for the bar exam, then two months of waiting for results.

It’s been a lot longer that I’ve had to hold the family together. Please note, I’m not complaining. I’m glad I was able to do it (although I told my psychiatrist I really would have been perfectly happy never knowing how strong I could be). I’m glad kH is better now. (And so, so, so better. Like fifteen years ago better.)

I am not better.

I am barely holding on.

Sure, I look pretty normal when I take pH to fencing and to Trackers and the other usual activities.

I do my daily BuJo checklists: Welsh, German, Piano, PT 1, PT 2, Interval training, Walk, No Aspartame, No Dairy, and so forth–all for the itty bitty dopamine kick that checking a task off a list gives me. (Hey, it adds up, kind of.)

I do frequent affirmations of core values, because (warning: gross overgeneralization) science shows people who affirm their core values before stressful events have less cortisol at the end of it. So repeat after me: I value learning and creativity and supporting pH and kH and putting messy things in order. (This, as a trick, is actually pretty amazing.)

When I can swing it, I seek flow, although it’s easier to get practicing the piano than writing.

And hey, yes, all that helps.

But you know what my problem is? Money. In an amount that, in recent memory, would have been a minor inconvenience.* I keep telling myself that its triviality (historically) should make me feel better (because it’s so close to being back to normal), but no. Doesn’t work. I get stuck on how bad things have gotten from where they were, and I’m not good at being kind to myself.

Argh. *head desk*

But there’s more!

I mentioned ages ago that I was taking a break from social media. Of all the things I thought I’d miss from being on it, I didn’t think a friend getting cancer and dying would be one.

I could say I can’t believe no one reached out to me, but why would people feel there was an obligation to? So I have all sorts of guilt that I can’t bring myself to unpack yet. My way of dealing with grief is to function for about six months and then fall apart; I don’t know how well that’s going to work this time.

A minor, if stressful, win: one of the things I’ve avoided talking about all summer was kH’s employer fought his unemployment insurance claim. Although he hadn’t been fired for cause, they made that argument after the fact–and so we had to go through an investigation and a hearing. (If we’d lost, we would have had to repay the state.) After living with this for months, we finally had the hearing in September. He won, and it was a very well written opinion on the ALJ’s part–if the employer appeals it again, I don’t think it will go anywhere.

So, then.

The good bit is I know things will be better in a week (provided the rent check clears). I know things will be much better in a month. It’s just getting through these days that’s so hard.

(Two other good things: one of my HS friends moved to the area! Also, I’ve won 5 books so far this week.)

*I’d promised myself I wouldn’t talk about money on the blog again, because I’m not trying to solicit pity–but I don’t want to talk about it to kH, because I don’t want him to feel as if it’s on him (he feels responsible enough). But not talking about it is making me pull my hair out (literally)–I’m hoping expressing it out into the universe will help. I just can’t believe $400 could ever stress me out this much.