Update and Moving Forward

November 25, 2019

Thanksgiving week. I am trying (and somewhat failing) to get excited. For better or for worse, we have a lot of family events planned.

I have 2 days of work this week, and then 3 days off. I am — right here and now — vowing to take the entire week off next year. I have enough days in my PTO bank to be more generous with myself, and I don’t think there’s any year I won’t feel like I need a break by November.

I am still struggling with a number of things. At home, not at work, just to clarify. Someone who noted it sounded like my zest for life was missing — well, that sums it up fairly well. I feel rather negative and tired and the length of my fuse is essentially zero (not that I am gifted with a long one in my usual state, but still). I do remain hopeful that I can fix this, and that this is not my New Normal for this phase of life (please, no). I have felt like this before, but usually there has been some sort of triggering event. This time, I cannot identify any specific thing that is wrong or stressful. I just know that I need to fix things.

Steps I am Taking:

I saw a therapist last week and will go back to see her again.

I am trying a hormonal birth control, because getting rid of ovulation and my entire luteal phase seems like a good first step (I spoke w/ my OBGYN about everything, and she was very understanding and willing to help me. She is awesome).

I am trying to work on improving certain routines at home that are not serving anyone (kid bedtime in particular).

I may also try meditation again; I need to work on my aforementioned reactivity and I do feel like meditating helped me with this in the past (and research actually supports this, too).

So there you go! Steps.

Bright spot of the weekend!

PS: So emotional watching Frozen 2 with A (since, being born in 2012 she grew up as a toddler completely OBSESSED with #1). I acutally have to say I enjoyed it 🙂


  • Reply Holly November 25, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    This is hard stuff and at a hard time of year. Just letting you know that I see you and respect all the steps you are taking to help. I am a long time reader but rarely comment, and it just seemed like a good time to say — HIGH FIVE. Thanks for all the awesome free content you share and your transparency. Season of life juggling work and motherhood can be hard. Hoping all of the steps you are taking help you move in a better direction. <3

    • Reply LD November 25, 2019 at 3:48 pm

      Holly, this is an awesome comment.

    • Reply Alyssa November 25, 2019 at 9:14 pm

      Agree with you, Hollly, and LD! Thanks Sarah for always being so open.

  • Reply Marissa November 25, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    I know you are an MD so you’ve probably thought of this, but in regards to your struggles…have you have your vitamin levels & other bloodwork run recently? I know when my B vitamins dip a little low, I start to feel like what you are describing. When I up my levels, I’m back to my usual self. Just a thought!

    • Reply Lily November 27, 2019 at 5:23 am

      I had the same experience – I’m definitely not dismissing the need for therapy or time off etc (and I know marissa isn’t either) but I was stunned how much my mood and energy improved when I started taking B12 and D vitamin supplements. I wasn’t super low (borderline according to clinical guidelines) but I saw a integrative medicine doctor and she recommended boosting both as they were at the lower end of the range and also increasing my thyroid meds (which were also within guidelines but at the lower end of the scale…and also way way too low if I was TTC…and I’m really annoyed my family doctor never asked if this was the case…) Within a few weeks on supplements it was like a light came on. It wasn’t the whole solution but it was a start – since then I’ve also reduced work hours and taken up a paying side hustle (I like diversity!) made a conscious effort to add more recharging things into my life and although I didn’t have any luck with finding a good therapist in my area I’ve tried to read and implement things from books (I really recommend Lost Connections) just wanted to share in case it helps another reader.
      Best wishes with finding a solution that works for you – it’s so hard to persist when you’re down and low but so worth continuing the fight. I’ve learned so much from your blog and really appreciate your work so sending lots of happiness and energy your way

  • Reply LD November 25, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Not trying to imply that you NEED a triggering event, but could stopping breastfeeding (and the subsequent hormonal shift) have been a trigger? So glad you are taking steps to help yourself. Well done! When I have been in dark times, I tried to find one tiny thing a day to enjoy, even just a little: a special cup of tea. A meal *I* wanted to eat even if no one else did. Putting up white Christmas lights in the living room. Curling up with a straight up romance novel.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns November 25, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    I also wonder if stopping BFing contributed, even though you tapered really gradually. That could be part of it? I hope that the hormonal bc helps! It’s tough to have a short fuse and feel that way for a long time! I’ve been there before and it’s not fun to feel like you are living under a rain cloud and are just one small thing away from losing your cool! It’s good that you have a plan, though, and the running you are doing for your half training should help, too, or at least force you to take some me time! I am in dire need of some me time as we moved this weekend and it’s been a hectic 6 weeks between buying/selling a home. But I have 12/6 off from work to prepare for a cookie decorating party that I host for my friends and their kids (which I love doing – it’s a super fun night!) so I am going to use that day off to ‘fill up my tank’ and do only things that I enjoy (ok, plus some party prep stuff that won’t all be fun but needs to get done like some cleaning).

  • Reply Taryn November 25, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    I think it’s amazing that you’re seeing a therapist and taking pro-active steps to getting help! I highly recommend trying meditation. I’ve been doing it myself every day, even if it’s just for a short time. There are plenty of free guided meditations to try. I love the blog and podcast and wish you all the best in feeling better!

  • Reply Ellie November 26, 2019 at 7:29 am

    I’m wholeheartedly with you Sarah! It is very brave to face the situation as you do, acknowledging that things are not going the right way for me and taking steps to address the situation. Not many people are so proactive about their lives! They would complain but do nothing about it. Your situation resonates with me as I am also in a kind of low moment. Yet, I am lacking the energy to do something about it. So I gave myself a break until the beginning of December and then will try resuming my good habits (including journaling and meditation before going to bed. That has really helped me putting things in perspective this year and accept some life changes) to end the year on a high note! Good luck!

  • Reply Lana November 26, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for the last 4 month or so, after discovering it through “Best of Both Worlds”. Thank you for being so honest and authentic – so refreshing to see that someone who seems to be living a “perfect life” from afar can have struggles so similar to my own.

    This is still kind of a taboo subject, but I’ve become a big proponent of medication after white-knuckling it through many challenging periods of my life.

  • Reply Erica S November 26, 2019 at 10:11 am

    I’m so glad you are taking steps to help yourself :). Frozen 2 was so good! We all really enjoyed it.

  • Reply Heather F. November 26, 2019 at 11:43 am

    I assume anyone you talk to would think of this, but … any chance it’s seasonal? I know you’re in Miami so the weather says warm, but the days are still shorter this time of year! Even if it’s not just that, maybe could be a factor?

  • Reply Katy Rotman (@katy246) November 27, 2019 at 10:37 am

    I love your blog, and appreciate so much you sharing the tough parts as well as others.

    It’s great to hear that you’re seeing a therapist, since your description absolutely sounds depression like to me..
    (And it took me a year and some insistence from my friends to figure out that’s what it was for me .. G-d bless medication and therapy)

    Hugs . Hope you feel better soon ♥️

  • Reply jkdublin November 29, 2019 at 4:35 am

    Just wanted to send some support & solidarity your way. Appreciate the real talk, and I hope that you find the combinations of support you want. I’ve also experienced holidays where it feels like ‘going through the motions’ rather than real zest and joy. It didn’t last forever, and there have been a few holidays when good enough was good enough, and we all came out the other side. All this to say…I hope you aren’t too hard on yourself for not feeling up for it 100% of the time. Parenting a long game 😉 If you ‘phone in’ a holiday here or there, it’s all ok in the long run.

  • Reply Kelsey November 29, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Sending warmth and empathy to you, Sarah. Thank you for being willing to be so honest about this. And for creating so much great written and spoken content despite your full life! Another commenter mentioned ending breastfeeding and it made me think of this post:

    In spite of this heard season you are prioritizing your mental health and taking steps towards feeling more like yourself. Definitely give yourself credit for that. It can be so hard to do! I hope that soon you are seeing glimmers of a more balanced feeling.

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