When Self-Care Means Take Your Vitamins
So, this thing happened this summer.
I had the brilliant idea to cut back on my B12 supplement.
I take B12 because my mother told me to. No, actually, my father was diagnosed with a B12 deficiency, which his doctor thinks is the cause of his depression. (I beg to differ - we have a multi-generational history, and there’s a whole complex history which I think counts at least as much as any nutrient deficiency.) And although I haven’t been tested for the same deficiency, we just thought it might be best if we assumed I could use some extra, and I started taking supplements a few years ago.
It’s happened once before that the bottle ran out and it took me a few weeks to remember it at the store - a few pretty miserable weeks, and they coincided with my husband and I both getting sick, and him needing surgery and coping with ugly mood changes from the post-surgery painkillers. The less said about that month, the better. After that point, I’ve been quite good about making sure to replace a bottle promptly.
This summer, though, I thought I was doing quite well - here we are, several months after my husband lost his job, and I hadn’t once been a complete nervous wreck over it, which is a pleasant change. (Sadly, with the economy here and both of us working in the tech field when we met, job loss has been a constant in our relationship. It’s been hard.) So I thought maybe I could switch to one pill a week instead of three.
Wow, that sooo did not work. Within a couple of weeks of the switch, I was coping with nail-biting anxiety. By the start of September, it had increased to a concerning point, and I was struggling to cope with my weekly activities. And, to be fair, there was a lot going on that month as well, in the news and in my life.
Thankfully, I figured out by the end of the month that it might have been the B12 switch that set off my anxiety, and I set myself back on the 3x a week schedule. And a couple of weeks later, I could cope with the world again AND the help I had started asking for to get some church tasks accomplished was starting to come together in a meaningful way.
So we’re still facing a number of things that need to be done: my husband is in the process of finding new work; our landlord still wants us to move in less than a year; the housing market in our area is still overpriced and ridiculous; I’ve still got a number of activities and committees going. But taking care of myself right now means keeping those as organized as I can, accepting what pieces of them are mine to hold and refusing to carry the rest, and it means taking my B12 like it’s a lifeline. Because I do not know if that’s the kind of anxiety I used to live with and I was just blind to it, or if it’s something new that’s come because I’ve now increased my B12 levels - but no-one should have to live with that kind of anxiety, not even me.
How to play along
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