Tag: anxiety

Weathering Storms

Sometimes I try to take on more than I know I can handle. I know I multi-task well. But not well enough it’d seem. I’ve been watching a show on Netflix with a friend, I was listening to it tonight while I played a video game and chatted with someone else. I was doing my best to split my attention but I missed some bigger moments of the show.  Which sucks, but I was ok with that. My friend never expressed that he wanted me to have my undivided attention there, or even just focused on spending time with them. Instead, I was left feeling hurt because I unintentionally hurt them by not paying as much attention as I should have.

I’m human. I make mistakes, but is it so wrong to expect some of these things to be communicated to me? If someone wants to spend time with me and have my undivided attention shouldn’t I know that instead of just assuming it? So instead I end the day feeling defeated. Knowing I once again let someone down, by not thinking of everyone else’s feelings instead of just my own.

I’ve also apparently said things I don’t remember that I’m doing too now. I can’t make up for the fact that I don’t remember saying those things with that intent, but now I know not to say anything even if I’m worried. It’s not my place and I need to relearn that.

So I once again batten down the hatches and wait for this part of the storm to pass. It’s the first bump like this in a while, and hopefully, it’ll be the only one. Be kind to yourself and others. It’s something small that we can all do that creates a lasting impact.

~T

Disappointment

So it’s not often that I feel like I’m a disappointment to myself or to others. Today though? I’ve felt that way. And I know realistically that I’m not disappointing anyone (except maybe my Mom), but I still can’t shake the feeling.

I purposely laid in bed until almost noon today. I didn’t sleep well and just didn’t want to get up or be responsible. From there I was a disappointment by getting fast food for lunch followed by sitting on my bum and not doing a darn thing that was productive.

I finally did grill dinner, and a few other things for a couple of days while my friend/roommate and I continue our futile attempts at meal planning. This is something that’s an ongoing struggle since we moved in together over a year ago. But I’m going to keep trying because something has to stick before I start working. Now, where was I? Oh yeah being a disappointment.

I managed to burn the bacon I was trying to grill. I then threw caution to the wind a few hours later and bought more junk. Because nothing says that I’m trying to lose weight and eating low carb like sugary sodas and candy.  On top of that, I’m trying to keep moving forward but I just can’t. I hurt. I’m sad and I’m just a failure. Or that’s what it feels like right now.

These feelings will pass, soon I hope. Until then I just have to keep trying to remember to be as kind to myself as I am to others.

~T

Anxiety and Battling My Dreams

My anxiety has been astronomically high lately. I’m on edge about jobs, living spaces, the future, the past, and everything in between. My familial tremors in my arms have been worse the last few days than they have been in quite a while. They are almost at the rate/duration when I was diagnosed with them. Are they related to my anxiety/depression/stress? No idea- my neurologist at the time said to just have a drink when one started, and that should take care of it. My family is full of functional and not so functional alcoholics. My grandparents owned a bar at one point, one of my uncles ultimately died from his drinking. That’s not advice a doctor should give so lightly. So I just deal with them as they come. It only slows down my typing, makes it hard to chop/cut things up at times but otherwise, it’s just a nuisance. But it makes me self-conscious. I still don’t want to be the freak who can’t always control my limbs.

So as I get ready to start a lot of new things, I know I can’t hide it forever. I know coworkers will see and ask questions. That brings a whole new level of anxiety. I don’t like being the center of attention or put on the spot about something that’s happening to me. That anxiety creeps into everything. Is moving really such a good idea? Are you sure that this is the area you want to be in for a little while? You claim to want stable but have you looked at yourself in the mirror- the only thing stable about yourself is the weight you are and the predictability of the fact you’re going to get hurt again one way or the other.

I try to keep myself together and strong for the people around me. But the mask is slipping. I don’t know how much longer I can be like this. I’ll keep trying until it either weighs me down to where I can’t do it anymore or until the chaos passes and things get better.

I keep dreaming that I’m falling into a dark, wet pit. In that pit is a monster I can’t see. I only hear it.  It occasionally whispers menacingly at me in a language I don’t understand but from the tone, it makes me scared. I yell for help, hoping someone will walk by and hear my pleas, clawing at the dirt and root bound walls.  I scream until my throat is raw, and no sounds come out. Suddenly, there’s the sound of something being dragged through the muck and water, before something tosses the large rectangular box at my feet. 

The creature snarls, “get in the box” before kicking the lid off at me. I find a renewal of my voice and scream some more as the muddy water splashes onto me, covering me in more filth. The creature sighs, “Why do the pretty one’s struggle?”

My vision goes black, and I wake up panicked in the box. I beat on it with my fists, and kick with my feet. It doesn’t budge. The thuds of my arms and legs making contact are the only sounds I hear. The top end of the box lifts slightly, as I began to get drug through this hell to god knows where.  I know there’s no airflow into the box, so if I can’t get out soon I’ll just be dying one way or the other. I try to calm myself, without taking deep breaths. I don’t know how long I’m being dragged through this place. It seems to go on and on. And that part of my dream just goes and never seems to end. 

 

Now I have no idea what to make of my dreams, let alone the other things my brain throws at me. All I know is if I go the rest of my life without having that dream again, it’ll be too soon. The only problem with that thought? I’ve had it the last 4 nights in a row.

Maybe tonight’s dreams will be better. And if they aren’t there’s always some kind of hope out there right?

~T

Day? Who Knew Numbering Things Would Get Old So Fast?

Alright, so obviously the number thing is going out the window. I sometimes have a hard enough time keeping track of who I am, where I’m going and what I’m doing that things get a little sideways for me at times. Today, while not a bad day, just leaves me exhausted looking at numbers and the short amount of time I’ve been at things. I love writing, and I love getting my thoughts out but sometimes, it’s impossible for me to fully wrap my head around an idea and see it through. Today is one of those days.

So this may be a little all over the place- because I don’t edit and parse things down. I just write, make sure it looks good and my grammar isn’t totally atrocious and call it good. So you get my off the cuff, thoughts that are plaguing me right now. In no particular order of importance.

First off, I’ve been in Illinois helping a friend. What with or why isn’t my story to tell. It’s not been easy, but it’s been worth it.  I drove for 6 hours because my friend needed me. Insane? Maybe. But if nothing else I’m loyal to a damn fault. He and I have had many ups an downs in the time we’ve known one another, but we work past it. I know he’d be there for me if I needed him, just like I am here for him.

I know I’ve struggled a lot in the last couple of days with a few things. My anxiety has been through the roof. Not just about me and my situation, but for my friend. My depression through a curve ball at me that I didn’t see coming. I’m still not completely out of that one, but I can deal with it. It isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with feeling like this, and it won’t be the last either. I’m scared of leaving here tomorrow (Saturday.) I’m scared to leave my friend alone, not because he can’t handle it. I know full well he can. But because I can help now, and carve out time now, but I can’t promise that later. I have a job to find, an apartment to get and things to do in Iowa. But he understands, and I know that he’ll be okay in the long run even if things are tough right now.

On top of those fun issues, I have a long, boring 6-hour drive ahead of me tomorrow to go back. I am dreading it. I hate traveling alone. Music and podcasts only get me so far. I’m hopeful I can find some people to talk on the phone to and spend the day chatting or catching up with others. But if I can’t, it is what it is. When I get back I resume taking care of my mom and the joy that is. I know she’s been fine since I left on Tuesday, but I know I need to get back.

The other big thing right now, racing through my head and thoughts? Relationships. I’m in one. It’s been great so far. I’m a little scared because of the quickness things have moved, but at the same time, it feels right. It feels more right than my marriage ever did. I’ve only told one friend (and they’re happy I’m happy) but I know I can’t tell my mom. She’ll just criticize me and my decisions assuming I haven’t learned anything. Despite all of that, I’m happy. That is something I haven’t felt in a long, long time. I feel cared for. I know he would support me if I needed it. And you know what? It feels good.

Sometimes we just have to let ourselves feel the good things, and let ourselves get recharged so we can keep doing positive things.

~T

 

Day 2(and Day 3 Because Life Happens)- Indecision and How It Affects Me

I have always been indecisive. Not sure what I want, where I want to live, and what I want to do. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember. I was indecisive as a child because my mom refused to let me be independent while my dad encouraged it. My mother was convinced that I had to be the best/brightest at whatever I was doing in order to bother to do it at all. It used to drive her insane in high school when I actively was involved with the band. I refused to bring my trumpet (that I chose over getting a cheap car mind you) home to practice. I didn’t want her to constantly tell me what I was doing wrong, despite her never playing an instrument in her life. I had quit playing organ years earlier for the same reason. She had the unrealistic desire for a 4-6-year-old to play perfect the first time they played anything too.

Twelve years ago, I got married to someone I knew for 3 months. We went from dating to married in that short time. I don’t regret it, but I don’t recommend it either. We were happy for the first 6 or so of our 12-year marriage. After that, our differences started becoming too much and we mutually decided to end things last year. Where’s the indecision, you might be asking? Well, when you can’t decide for 6 years if you want to be married to someone or not it takes its toll. When we finally parted (officially earlier this year), it was on mostly okay terms. Not the best of friends but not bitter enemies either.

There’s been more indecision and upheaval throughout my life. From bouncing around and moving the last year and a half, and the instability that brought, to dealing with being the “adult” at 19 just after my dad died. My mom played the grieving widow part well, but it was me who sat with my dad at his chemo appointments, and me who took him to radiation before he passed away. It was me who made some of the hard decisions after he died. I was the one who couldn’t say goodbye the night he was moved to hospice. I was also taking her to work and working some at the same time too. But then I had to listen to her go on about she just did so much for him… It killed the last part of love I had for her. Which has made me indecisive on how I feel about her and taking care of her as she gets older. I do it now, out of obligation and guilt. Guilt because I promised my dad I’d do everything I could to help her out. Now no one expects a 19-year-old to follow that, but I have tried my best to. And now with me at 33, she needs help. I give what I can, but if she doesn’t want to take care of herself, who the hell am I to force that? And I feel torn about it, because well she is my mom and the only family I really have left. At the same time, where was the mom I needed when my world kept crashing down? Why do I have to be there for her now? I know I don’t owe her anything. I just do it for my own peace of mind and so that the guilt won’t completely eat me alive.

Where does that leave me now? Still undecided in a lot of things but I know a few things. I want to finish my degree in Psychology so I can help people. I hope it’s sometime in the next few years but no one really knows what the future has in store. I want to find the happiness that I’ve lost out on and had previously given up finding. I want to be the person I could have been 10 years ago if life hadn’t decided to dump all those things on someone who wasn’t wholly prepared or even a little prepared. But at least I have things I want to accomplish and want to strive to be now. That’s more things decided than what I had yesterday. And maybe tomorrow, I can finally decide what some of my favorite things are.

The goodness and kindness we can show to others is what keeps me from getting stuck on all the bad that has happened in my own life. We can each be that force of good- if we just get out of our own heads from time to time.

~T

Day 1- And There’s Just Not Enough Spoons

I’ll be the first to admit I wear my feelings on my sleeve and run headfirst into situations I have no business being in. I have a very long history of doing that, and I don’t plan to change that part of me. I like helping people, offering them support even if I am on the verge of my own breakdown. I don’t ask for that help in return, because I know most people can’t give me that time I need to feel more like myself. But today, I just don’t have enough spoons for a lot of others. I use the Spoon Theory a little differently than most. A lot of people use it for doing basic everyday things. I use it for interactions because they can wear me out depending on how emotionally driven they are.

A friend feeling suicidal? I’m generally the first one to hop in my car and do what I can to ease their pain, and just listen. Doesn’t matter if it puts me into danger or not. I go in, talk to them, let them talk, yell, vent, scream, whatever it takes. I help get them back into an ok state of mind and push them towards getting the help that they do need and deserve that I just can’t give.  I give them the normal suicide prevention hotlines, and there are some great texting options as well. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say there were times I’ve reached out to them for support for myself in some very dark times. It was some great crisis support staff that encouraged me to seek out therapy for own self-destructive behavior.

A different friend just needs someone to listen to their problems, no matter how big or small they are. I lend my ear and we spend time together with me just listening and offering bits of advice as I can. I don’t force my opinion and I don’t just straight out tell them that their problems are insignificant. I value that time with others because it helps give me perspective on some of my own problems and I can work through them with someone else.

Then there’s a third friend I have. We barely speak, just occasional messages on social media with the occasional visit if we are in each other’s vicinity. We live states apart but have been friends since we were kids. It’s all a different type of support, that no one can try to take away and we’ve lost touch at various times but always end up finding one another and picking back up like no time has passed and no distance is there.

In my own struggles with life, depression and just being overwhelmed, I’ve discovered that I can’t offer help to those I care about most if I don’t have enough spoons to take care of myself first. Today, I almost didn’t have enough spoons. I stayed up very late last night (ok it was into the very early morning hours before I finally slept a little), but a special someone I cared about needed my support. It was when I was woken up by the first friend with a phone call that I quickly shifted from having plenty to not having enough. Once the phone calls resolved and I talked with that special someone I started getting those spoons back. They showed they cared. They showed that the care and love weren’t just one-sided. And I quickly regained my footing for the day and was able to get a few of the things done that I really needed to.

But back to the subject at hand here. Sometimes all it takes a little kindness to someone we don’t even know. Other times it’s a smile and a friendly word to the cashier at the store we’re at. Just be kind. It doesn’t matter what your stance it, what your income is, what your politics are. It’s free to be kind and show compassion.

We all need some kind of support in our lives. I’ve finally found someone who understands that I give so much of myself so freely because I don’t know any other way to be. Even when it means I slowly destroy myself in the process. We have to help one another find the good things in life.

Be kind to each other. The world needs more of that.

~T

Information/Resources

Suicide Prevention:

1-800-273-8255

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Crisis Text Line:

Text HOME to 741741

https://www.crisistextline.org/

LBGTQ

1-866-488-7836

or text START to 678678

https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

There are other groups that offer help out there, and I’ll be happy to include them here.

But if you or a loved one are in crisis, please reach out to your local first responders/ call 911 or your local emergency number.