On Anxiety

Anyone who has been reading my blog for the past two years knows that the annual visit from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law each summer is usually a giant source of anxiety for me.

Without going into the details out of respect to my husband, let me just say that while I love them both very much, it’s very challenging for me when they are here. They don’t come for a weekend — because they live in El Salvador, they come for 3-5 weeks (though we’ve put the kibosh on those long visits the past few years). There’s a language barrier — my Spanish isn’t very good anymore and is about as good as my mother-in-law’s English, which means a lot of communication gaffes and a lot of me tuning out the situation around me once I lose the train of the conversation (even with my husband translating, it’s hard to keep up). My mother-in-law is a lot older than my own parents, and far more traditional so culturally there are some major differences. And finally, my sister-in-law is sweet as can be, but 37 and severely mentally challenged, which just adds to the complexity of the situation for a variety of reasons. Continue reading “On Anxiety”

Hangin’ Tough

I hope everyone had a nice Labor Day. Frankly, I’m too exhausted to do much justice to this post today (and no pretty image, sorry!), but I thought I’d give an update since most of you know that my in-laws are here now from El Salvador.

We spent the weekend in Chicago, which was really nice. I love the windy city, and it made sense to hang out for a few days given their 3 a.m. arrival time!

We went to IKEA (they’d never been), to Navy Pier, dinner at Gino’s East (sorry Chicagoans — we are both partial to NY-style and went with thin-crust after tossing the whole deep dish kind last time!). Continue reading “Hangin’ Tough”

Managing Anxiety

social-anxiety-googleIf you’ve been reading my blog since its inception, you might know that my husband’s family is from El Salvador and that every year in August or September, his mom and sister come to stay with us for several weeks.

You might also know that while I love them both dearly, there is always a lot of stress for me when they are here.

To say my anxiety levels skyrocket is an understatement. For several weeks, my life is not in my control as usual, and it throws me for a loop.

In fact, last year my chewing/spitting was at its peak when they visited. (I certainly don’t blame them for it; how I react to stress/anxiety is what I was working on in therapy at the time.)

Well, this coming weekend, we will go pick them up for their three-week visit.

And so I am mentally preparing myself now — not dwelling, not projecting … but mentally gearing up because I don’t want to see shades of last year’s visit once again; I pretty much hated myself for a long time after that visit. Continue reading “Managing Anxiety”