Heightened by Beth

21 Feb

Are we get more, or less, able to deal with heightened emotions as we get older?

I got worry stomach aches (I called them tummy bubbles) a fair bit as a kid. I was an intense teen. In my adulthood I have had an episode of pretty extreme anxiety and depression, and some pretty up and down times aside from that.

I think for the most part I’m better at dealing with ups and downs as I age. I’ve gotten better at processing those heightened times, making sense out of them, and understanding THIS TOO SHALL PASS – both the ‘my cheeks are sore’ good and the painfully bad. I’ve found having a kid is a really good way of drumming that lesson into you hard. What gets more difficult is that we have responsibilities now that we didn’t as teens. I can’t just take the day off. Several nights of poor sleep + PMT + a grumpy toddler, and I surprise myself how quickly I feel burnt-out. Luckily, I’ve become an expert in finding a gap long enough for a bath or a walk and making that time count as processing time, and then surprise myself at how quickly I can feel functional again. But the last two and a bit years (especially the first year) have felt like that roller coaster metaphor from Parenthood.

This feels like a good time to tell you about my podcast project. I’m interviewing parents about what they’ve learnt from their parenting experiences. The good, the bad and the ugly. But with a real skew towards the bad and the ugly because they’re way more interesting and people talk about them less. I have always wanted to do a radio doco, so this gives me an excuse to talk about stuff I like to talk about anyway and get to ask more probing questions than usual. I have my second interview tonight.


4 Responses to “Heightened by Beth”

  1. Tabitha February 22, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    Doco sounds great. And a good sequel to “Maybe Mum’s Not The Word”!

  2. Suzysiu April 29, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    I’m going to answer your rhetorical question. I’d say most people are more able to deal with heightened emotions. Borderline personality disorder is characterised by overwhelming emotions, and I was pleased to learn it’s prognosis improves with age. I guess for some people they experience something like trauma and then are more vulnerable, less resilient. But I’d rather focus on the more hopeful side. Though it’s not that hard to be better at dealing with life & emotions than a teenager.

    Your parenting podcast sounds interesting. Is it available online yet?

    • Beth April 29, 2012 at 10:35 am #

      Yes indeed.

      I’m afraid I’ve stalled on the podcast… I was enjoying the interviews so much, but the prospect of actually having to edit them together into a whole was onerous. I am going to pursue shorter interviews (10-15 mins) with one person at a time about a single topic and not editing them so heavily. You’ve spurred me on to do more! Stay tuned!

      Have also started a twitter account with haikus about parenting. Micro-blogging much better for the not-enough-hours-in-the-day issues. I’m called @HaikuMum.

      • Suzysiu April 30, 2012 at 4:23 am #

        Your new strategy to minimize editing sounds helpful! Good luck

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