No matter how many strands of my hair I pick up off the floor, the amount of coffee I drink to keep me going, or how big a pretend smile I paste on my face … eventually the truth comes out. The problem was that even though my sinks were clogging from all my fallen locks and I was wearing my GRUMPY sweatshirt so often I wore a hole in it… I still did not want to admit that I was coming unglued. And then I had this dream.
“I was sitting in the bleachers watching my daughter’s swimming practice. Suddenly I saw the coach walking towards me with my daughter on one side and another little girl on her other. As the coach stood in front of me I actually watched my dream self stop breathing, bracing myself for what I assumed was going to be bad news.
The coach started talking about how the other child had done something wrong to my child. My dream self stood up, grabbed both girls by the hand and raced towards the other child’s mother where I handed them off shouting, ‘You deal with them.’ Then I jumped into the pool.
I watched my dream self floating on my back enjoying the calm. But then the water started to get cold. I watched my dream self start to shiver and try to work my way out of the pool, but because I had clothes on it was hard. I was struggling but made it to the ladder and slowly climbed out where there was a warm towel waiting for me.
Just as I was starting to feel better, my cell phone went off. It was the school. I watched my dream self freeze and stop breathing again. The phone continues to ring. My dream self still does not answer the phone. Ringing. My dream self throws the phone into the pool. A sense of relief comes over my dream self but it is immediately replaced with panic. I have to answer it.
My dream self dives back into the pool and starts frantically searching for the phone. But my wet heavy jeans are making it hard for me to swim. No matter how hard I try to dive down to get the phone, I can’t.”
Then I woke up. I tried to recall all the stuff I learned about dreams in Psych 101 so many years ago.Freud believed that the obvious content and events of the dream served to disguise the unconscious wishes of the dreamer. Carl Jung suggested that dreams reflect the thoughts, fears and concerns of a dreamer’s waking life.
Well DUH guys… obviously this had to do with my wishes for a more relaxed life, my unconscious telling me I am struggling to get to the ladder and my real LIFE fear of every time the phone rings it being the school. I’m a special needs mom… OF COURSE I am feeling all that.
There was no doubt that if I wanted to keep the rest of my luscious locks I needed to do something. Here are a few ways that I have dealt with my stress and the feeling of being on overload:
- Learn to say “NO” – It seems that we moms have a difficult time with this one, but for your sanity sometimes you just have to say “NO” when asked to bake cupcakes for the class party. And if you must say “yes”… cut yourself some slack and stop by the bakery at COSTCO.
- Take A Step Back – When you’re in the middle of a difficult situation, it can seem overwhelming, BUT if you try to see your situation as an observer would, often you will be able to see the humor in it- and we all know just how beneficial a good belly laugh is. So the next time your son throws himself on the grocery store floor because you put generic lemon lime soda in the cart instead of the real deal SPRITE- just image how you would look in a sitcom. I don’t know about you, but my life is an I LOVE LUCY episode waiting to happen.
- Reduce caffeine and sugar – The temporary “highs” caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed, sleep better and eventually not need to lie on the bed to zip your jeans!
- Seek Professional Help – It’s okay to admit you need help. So call your doctor or your hairdresser… better yet, call BOTH!