Posts Tagged With: anxiety

feeling the appropriate amount of drama

Apparently my wish is PWCS command. I got the text that schools were closed last night just before 9:00.
We have a snow day!
But it’s dry as a bone outside…the southern part of VA got pounded, even the southern part of the county.
Who cares! I’m home today!
Gotta make the most of it.

**warning**
Buckle up kiddies, we’re going on one hell of a stream of consciousness ride today.
For your own safety, and peace of mind, please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times.

I wrote this on Friday:

It feels like I waste so much time.
I am truly astonished at how much time I actually waste each day.
I’m not sure what that’s about.
I don’t have it in me to write.
I don’t pick up things to read.
I am not depressed.
I am not having issues with my brain.
I’m just in this weird cycle of pressuring myself to work and not actually getting any thing done.
Will put some time at considering how I might break the cycle.

I wrote these words this morning:

I’m a bit worried. I can feel myself being really anxious and there’s not a logical reason for it.
I’m not doing anything I’m meant to be doing except go to work and do my job. I’m barely feeding myself. I’m not writing or reading. I’m not doing homework.
I’m avoiding things I normally enjoy.
The more I write, the more these things are describing depression.
I don’t feel depressed!
Unless…
These are signs of what’s to come…? These are my warning signs…?

I’m not sure how to shake myself loose!
It’s easy to say, “just do it” (fuck you, Nike) but it doesn’t work that way.

I have to write six lesson plans and I literally cannot even open the rubric to see what needs to be done.
I need to watch classroom videos and can’t stand the sight or sounds of children long enough to record my observations.
I have a stack of books in my TBR shelf and I don’t even want to touch them!
And the thing that kind of frightens me the most…I’m not all SQUEEEEEE!! about wrapping gifts.

On this gift of a snow day I’ve already started the laundry and plan to wrap gifts.
And if there’s time before my massage appointment, I’ll do some homework.
I may attempt to turn part of this into a blog post, but maybe not till Wed…?
Of course, I started one Sunday last week when we came home from the play…I lost my momentum and thought process because I didn’t make the time to go back to it until yesterday.

I think those words are key: make the time

I’m not making the time to do anything!
I’m literally just wasting the days away.
Of course, I’m tired after school. And this family schedule is…tricky to say the least. But I’m not sure I’m actually forcing myself to do what needs to be done.
Just the words ‘forcing myself’ speak volumes.

I am overwhelmed.
I’m not sure what that’s about really.
Is it conceptual overwhelm-edness? Am I just so caught up in what needs to be done and what I’m not actually doing that it’s stressing me out?
I do feel overwhelmed.
Anxious.
Like I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
But I need to sort it so I don’t go down the rabbit hole! Especially at this time of year!

Perhaps building a quick schedule. Moderate my time?
Also create a looking forward to thingie, some kind of list maybe?
So I’ll do what I’m meant to be doing and then I’ll be excited with what I’m looking forward to…that could inspire me to get it together with a quickness…?

I can hear my mother in my head, ‘put your nose to the grindstone and work’ ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ ‘stop being so dramatic’
Is it that easy?
Can I just buck up and power through?

It’s not just my stuff that makes me anxious.
I’m anxious around the house.
I’m anxious around my husband.
I’m avoiding the kid so as not to be anxious around him. I was saying this to YBW and he mused that perhaps that’s why the kid never leaves his room when he’s home.
That was more responsibility than I’m interested in taking on. I was just talking about how tricky it is to want to help him and also let him do his own thing. How that induces anxiety in me. Is what I’m feeling causing actions in the kid? Well, that’s a conversation that could be had, but I’ll not be taking the responsibility for it.
Feeling all the more anxious…

I don’t feel comfortable.
Almost as though I’m in a show I don’t understand. As though I learned my lines, and blocking, and costume changes, but when I arrived on stage, I don’t recognize the other actors, or dialogue, or anything really. As though I prepped for a completely different show.
That seems rather dramatic as I read it, but it’s exactly how I feel!
That scenario is appropriate for the level of confusion and anxiety I am experiencing.

I hear my mother hissing, “Don’t be so dramatic!”
My initial response is the hang my head.

But the reality is that this is my life, and the only one I’ll get.
I feel the way I feel. I’m not behaving in an overly dramatic way, I’m just feeling my feels in a somewhat dramatic way.
Feeling my feels is only mine. So I’ll feel as dramatic (or not) as is appropriate to me.
I’m going to do my best to figure how to work through this. To do what needs to be done, tempered with not feeling so anxious about it.

However overwhelmed I’m feeling, I have the power.
My life. My power.
I can do whatever, whenever, and however it works best for me.
Now, currently it doesn’t feel like much is working…but I have the power to change that.
I just have to figure a way to make the time to tap into it…

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Categories: me, mental health | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

perk me up playlist

I couldn’t sleep for a few hours in the middle of the night Thursday. I was kind of cold, and not exactly awake enough to get out of bed. But not really able to sleep either.
I thought about the positives and negatives about my day. I considered ways I could trick myself out of this emotional state so that the old adage ‘feelings follow actions’ might just come true. I thought a load of other things too, but kept coming back to this one.
How can I jump start myself into a healthier emotional place?
And a song came into my head.
Or rather the way it feels to play the song in the car with the windows down singing my heart out.
I caught myself smiling.

I decided then and there to create a playlist filled with songs that perk me up the moment I hear the first chords. Obviously I did this in my head because I just told you I didn’t get up.
I did eventually fall back asleep, but when I woke, I remembered most of the songs I’d considered in the middle of the night. So I did the only thing I could possibly do.
I made a list. In my brand new List Whore notebook.
A quick list of songs that perk me up the moment they begin to play.
Please listen responsibly.

Zero to Hero
Hercules

Balance Beam
Blue October

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Crosby, Stills & Nash

Platinum Blonde Life
No Doubt

SexyBack
Justin Timberlake

Dancing Queen
Mamma Mia! (the movie)

N17
Saw Doctors

California Gurls
Katy Perry

A Punk
Vampire Weekend

Wild Wild Life
Talking Heads

Who Do You Think You Are
Spice Girls

You Can’t Stop the Beat
Hairspray (the movie)

They’re not in any real order. Which is OK, because this isn’t a play list you can listen to in order. You gotta hit shuffle and turn it up! They probably don’t make much sense to the average listener, but that’s OK too. These are my perk up songs so they make sense to me.
Now I’m curious, what do y’all listen to to perk yourselves up?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

yay and boo (a homework assignment)

I follow this wonderful blog written by a woman in NYC. Like me, she writes about life and her observations. Yesterday she wrote this post.
In closing, she wrote:

I’m giving you homework tonight. At the end of the evening, go back and reflect on your day. Write the highs and the lows.

She went on to say the highs must be equal to or outnumber the lows, and wondered at the process.

I’ve actually been considering this as a way to keep me looking for the positive while I’m in this state of mind, so I was inclined to accept her homework assignment.
It was a quiet, and mostly uneventful day. Here’s what I came up with.

As you can see, I made two columns.
A yay column and a boo column. I felt making it playful might possibly cut the edge.

Under the yay column is written:
*pampered with pedi (a curious Tiffany blue color that reads a bit greenish)
*chili for dinner (seems self explanatory)
*ladies free skate (thanks, Olympics)
*Beat Bobby Flay (love to binge this show while I’m doing things around the house)
*sold 4 items (at a discount, but still made profit)

Under the boo column is written:
*stuffy ear cannot hear (also hurts, but already on antibiotics)
*rainy af (especially after two days of gorgeous, the rain just seems to make my emotional mood worse)
*low (seems self explanatory)

I actually enjoyed this exercise. Of course I already mentioned it was an uneventful day, which made it simpler to watch a little TV after coming home from a well executed pedicure at a new salon.
But taking that time for myself, stopping to have my feet pampered, then watching Bobby Flay while I prepped dinner and did a few things around the house made me feel comfortable and content. Simple ways to live my intention.

I’m going to continue this daily exercise for a while and pay close attention to where my focus is during my days.
Thanks, LA for putting it out there so I could pick it up.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

apparently, I need to “calm my stress”

At the holistic doctor on Tuesday, “Your adrenals are pissed. You need to calm your stress.”
Um…Ya think?

I’m staying off social media.
I’m not watching the news.
I’m trying not to listen when I overhear folks talking.
This is what I’m doing to calm my stress over the school shooting in Parkland Florida.

It is not lost on me that I spend my days in a public school. In a huge, open room with no safe place to corral children to hide. With doors that do not lock.
Would I do whatever it took to keep these children safe?
Yes.
Would I die for them?
Possibly.
Do I feel like that’s my job?
Hell no.

Do I want to keep the children in my school safe?
Absolutely!
Do I need to give my life to do so?
I’d rather not, thanks.

I’m a mom. I’m a wife. In the Autumn, I’ll be a grandmother. However grown, is it acceptable for my girls to be motherless because I died protecting other peoples children? And YBW? Is it acceptable for him to be a widower before we even gain traction on our greatest life adventure together? And little Shrimpy, the bebe I long to know and love. To teach and learn with. To watch irritate his or her mother and Auntie. Is it acceptable for that child to miss out on what might possibly be the coolest grandmother-grandchild relationship ever?

I carry this in me each day I arrive at my sweet little suburban elementary school. (Which, BTW shares physical campus space with an equally sweet suburban high school.)

Now this concept is always and has always been in the back of my mind. And to be quite honest, I lived through something similar during the sniper attacks in October 2002. Keeping children safe through that was a bit more simple, we just never let them go out of doors. At school, or at home.

Do I honestly believe someone will come into our school and start shooting it up?
No.
Is my concern understandable?
Yes.

And then we had a two day heat wave. And I mean record breaking warm temperatures.
I opened the windows wide!
I let the cruddy stale winter air be replaced by delightful breezy spring air.
We needed the sunlight. (My vitamin D is so low.) We needed the beauty of the past two days.

Of course, we’re not the only house in the neighborhood with windows open. And so it came to pass yesterday from the hours of 3:00 to nearly 8:00 the horrible shouty man screamed obscenities and threats at his wife.
This is not new in our neighborhood. There is long standing knowledge of the chaos that is their relationship. Apparently it isn’t physical, just verbal. She drinks too much and he shouts horrific things at her. He shouts horrific things at her and she drinks too much.
Which came first?
We may never know.

I’ve been anxious and bordering on depressed for a few weeks now, to such degree I’ve begun conversations with YBW about me talking with my doctor regarding mood meds.
I’m dull. I’ve lost my sparkle. I’m sleeping too much. I’m suffering insomnia. I eat nothing. I’m bingeing.
I can’t seem to shake myself loose from it.

It’s partly because of this that what happened to those kids in Parkland feels…more.
It’s partly because of this that the horrible shouty man screaming at his wife on and off for five hours did me in yesterday.

Early on in the afternoon, his shouting made me anxious. I knew it then, but I was busy with laundry, and had the TV on for sound it was easy to not hear his actual words. And somehow that kept me feeling safe in my own house while I could hear him in his. But as it wore on and on I could feel myself flooding with stress hormones.
But then as suddenly as it began, it stopped.

Just as I began to feel comfortable again, YBW came home. Even though I’m struggling, I had momentary joy.

Before long, the shouting started again. Only this time, it was closer.
From what I can deduce, the wife went over to one of the neighbors to get away from him. So when his shouting began again, they were at the house directly behind ours.
I was sitting in my comfy chair right next to the window. I could hear every word.
I was on the computer in the middle of something that I needed to finish immediately. I turned on music to drown out his shouting. I wanted to close the window but I was hot and the breeze felt nice.
As I sat here, I became more stressed and more anxious. Realizing I was feeling fearful in my own house!
My face was hot and my head began to hurt and I forced myself out of the shallow breathing pattern.

When I finally finished my task, I went downstairs. YBW was watching the Olympics. I came into the room and said, “I’m so anxious from listening to him shout for so long.” YBW immediately wrapped his body around mine and held me close and quietly. I actually felt as though I melted into him for a moment. That embrace was powerful enough to calm my body and my spirit. YBW’s love grounded me, and I’m so grateful.

Just writing about this now I’m feeling nearly as anxious as I did yesterday.

The actions of others are impacting me with a greater force than I would like.
Normally I have the skills to fend off these outside influences. I normally repel them with the strength of my character. My strong will, and sense of humor.
Seems I’m tapped out of late.
I seem unable to calm my stress.
I hear Hagrid’s frantic voice in my head, “It was dark times, Harry. Dark times.”

I have an appointment with my therapist.
I have herbs and supplements from the holistic doctor that are meant to aid in improving my sense of emotional well being.
If I can’t seem to shake myself from the place I am, I’ll go my general practitioner and have a conversation to see if spending a bit of time with Wellbutrin might make a difference.

In the meantime, I’m only watching HGTV, Food Network, and the Olympics, and I’ve closed the windows on my computer and my house to help block things that only make me more anxious.
But I left the curtains open to let in the ever helpful and hopeful sunlight.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

(not) punching people at Costco

Ran to Costco yesterday.
Big mistake.

Everyone and their third cousin was up in that joint.
Nobody knew how to drive a buggy. Nobody knew how to load their items on the belt.
Bunch of freaking lollygaggers!

And I’m on the phone with Thing 1 having an absolute fit about it!
She is howling with laughter about how she learned to drive from me (fuming and cussing without really being mad) because that’s how I was rolling through the big ol’ warehouse store.
In the checkout line, the woman in front of me parked her buggy at a 45 degree angle instead of moving it straight up. That was the last straw for me.
I whispered into the phone, “The chick in line in front of me. I’m going to punch her right in the back of her head. Hard.”
Thing 1 laughed and said, “One day someone will hear you and you’ll get in a real fight. I’ll have to come to come see you at the hospital where you’ll be handcuffed.”
We laughed and laughed.
Though that would be just my luck…

I said goodbye to her before I checked out. (I may be a bitch, but I’m not rude. I think it’s so disrespectful to cashiers to be on the phone while they’re helping you.)
I did call Thing 1 back to report the ridiculous way the cashier backed my box. Eggs underneath peanut butter? Really, bitch?
Thing 1 had quite a laugh at me!

Of course I wasn’t quite finished with my spitting rant, so I called Sundance. If there’s anyone to join you in a crazy, spun-up rant, it’s Sundance. And that was just what I needed!
I’m all screeching and shouting and cussing and she’s feeding me with a spoon. At one point only dogs could hear us.
And then it stopped.
And I said, “This is my anxiety manifesting itself.”
And just like that (finger snap) I was calm.

This is something for me to pay serious attention to.
And I mean Serious Attention.

My anxiety is heightened right now. My stress levels are elevated.
I know this. I’m working to manage this. But sometimes it manifests in shopping rage. And in reality, nobody was harmed. I didn’t punch that woman. I avoided handcuffed hospital visits and possible jail time.
Managing my anxiety is an active process.
I’ve got good help.
I’m learning to let go. I can’t control everything, however much I long to. I’m working at not taking things so seriously. I’m working at making sure my expectations are realistic.
So…sometimes I want to punch strangers in the back of their heads. And sometimes I want to stab people with my ice pick. (It’s metaphorical, I swear! I never carry one in my bag or anything…I’m not remotely shifty…)
But wanting to punch or stab is not actually doing either.
So it’s cool.
Maybe.
Just gotta keep paying attention. Knowing I feel stressed or anxious is good, knowing why is better. Knowing how to manage those feelings is best.
Right now I’m at better…gives me something to strive for.
For the moment, that’s good enough for me.

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just hold on a bit longer

I haven’t felt like writing in a while.
What’s curious about this is I find I miss it. Writing, that is.
My health has been…questionable. This plays a huge part in my desire and ability to write, but it’s also my mood. Where I am in my head. I haven’t had the emotional strength to write.

I feel as though there are angry little fish swimming round in my brain.
I feel as though I’m barely keeping my head above water.
Chronic pain breeds anxiety and depression.
I’ve got to break the cycle. I’ve got to figure a way to get it together.

Perhaps forcing myself to write will help with that.
If this was my journal I’d just write stream of consciousness stuff till I found my groove. I’ll spare y’all the chaos of that, but I will write about what’s taking up the most space in my mind…

Right now that’s the state of my health.
It didn’t go well at the new neurologist. She had (like every other neurologist I’ve seen) the bedside manner of a toad. I managed to keep it together until I left her office, but once I did I burst into angry tears. I was shaking and crying the whole way home. And I mean ugly crying. Poor YBW just held my hand. I am so frustrated! I just want to know how to feel better! So back to the drawing board for another new neurologist.
I’m tired of living with daily pain. I’ve lost my patience with always being tired. This is no way for a girl to live.

I’m overwhelmed and frustrated with life. It seemed smart at the time to throw myself headlong into school and lula and work, but now I’m realizing I bit off more than I could chew. I’m not sure what needs to be pushed off the plate. School can be pushed off the plate for up to three months, but that’s as long of a term break as I can have without withdrawing. And I can’t do that as I only have two more terms to finish.
Lula is almost successful. But needs more of my time and attention.
Work is overall good. Only it’s hard to stay engaged when I fell awful so frequently.

Perhaps I need to manage my time better. Surely I could do it all if I was properly organized? Though, I feel fairly organized and yet there are things that need to be accomplished that never seem to get checked off the list. I don’t feel like it should be this hard to live my life.

I miss being around my girls. I miss them every single day. It’s much harder to experience than I ever expected. It’s the silly things, being in the car together with fun music and great talks. Getting ready in the mornings together.
It’s hard for me to be so far away from them. Especially when I’m struggling, they bring me such comfort.
I know that they’re grown girls, that Thing 1 is married now, she’d be away from me no matter where I was. Thing 2 is at an age where she might be away from me too. I sometimes suspect it would be easier if it happened in that natural way. Or perhaps it would never be easy at all?

I’m floundering.
Being near my girls would be comforting, but I know that isn’t the way it’s to be.
YBW is comforting, only right now he’s preoccupied with the health of his mother. I see how it causes him to fret and I don’t want my stuff to add to that.

I’m just in a bad place right now. It will pass, and I’ll feel less like this. I’ll feel brighter and more engaged. Until then, I just have to hold on.
I’ve done it this long…
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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

my defining moment as a frog in cold water

Acute stress feels like it will crush you where you stand.
I promise you it won’t. Your fight or flight instinct will kick in and save you. Acute stress feels overwhelming and most of us would do anything to get away from it. But, acute stress won’t kill, no matter how much you believe it might.
Chronic stress is what will kill you.
Chronic stress is like putting a frog in a pot of cold water and then slowly turning up the heat. The frog doesn’t realize what’s happening until it’s already boiling! That’s when one of two things happens. Fight or flight kicks in to save you, or you just die.

I’m an expert in chronic stress. I’m that frog in the pot of water. I was lucky enough that my instinct for flight is so strong. It saved my life.
I spent seventeen years with a man who emotionally abused me.
His sabotage so subtle, his manipulation so nuanced, it was poetry of pure unadulterated evil. He brought passive aggression to new and frightening depths. For the most part I was unaware on a conscious level. I went about my daily life feeling anxious without actually realizing it.
Sometimes I would wonder…Why did I require so much sleep? Why did I turn so much of my focus to my children? Why did I feel nauseous when he would come home? But never for long because there would be some sudden kindness and I would smile and believe him when he told me everything was lovely.

But on some level, I did know what was going on. I did know that something was amiss. I focused on my children to be a buffer between him and them so he couldn’t treat them the way he treated me. I presented the picture of the perfect little family to the rest of the world so no one would realize that he was not what he seemed.
I was scared of him. And scared isn’t a big enough word, but I’m honestly too lazy to thesaurus right now. He frightened every fiber of my being. Somehow I knew he’d never lay hands on me. I wasn’t worried about that. I didn’t realize the internal wounds could occasionally be worse.

He used to tell me that I was crazy. That I was certifiable. That they would put me in a straight jacket in the padded cell and that was where I belonged. He told me no judge in his right mind would give the girls to me. I had nothing and I was crazy. He told me that he would take the girls and I would never see them again.
I would have done and would still do anything for my girls. So I stayed with this man.
He read my journals. He read my email.
He even tried to sabotage my friendships…he had to do that carefully because he didn’t want to show his true colors. I was lucky that most of my friendships were strong enough to withstand his tricks.

I was trapped in a hell I helped create.
Every single day of my life I was scared.
Every single day of my life I was anxious.
Every single day of my life I was angry.
I was miserable. My girls were miserable. I was failing at being a mother. I was failing at being a person.
I was the frog in the pot of water suddenly aware that I was boiling!

This was the defining moment.
Would I die in that pot of boiling water?
No! I would save my own life!

The chronic stress was literally killing me. I was dying. I had to do something to preserve my own life.
I told him that I was done. I told him that I was empty and dead inside. I told him that I had nothing left to give. I told him I was leaving because I knew he would never leave.
When I finally left, he acted as though he was surprised. As though I’d never expressed any of my concerns. I didn’t even argue. I just walked away.
That’s when he turned on my girls. He manipulated them. He used them as weapons to hurt me.
That’s the only thing I regret about leaving him…what he did to my babies. You want to hurt me? Come at me directly.
My poor babies had to suffer for me to live.
That doesn’t seem right. But it was how it was.
A dying person is a desperate person.
I had to save my own life.
They’ve moved through that part of their lives. Will they ever heal? I honestly don’t know.
I know the only one who came out unscathed was their father. He has no clue what he’s done…or he doesn’t care. How’s that for crazy?

I was told by friends and family that I was strong. That I was brave. I felt neither. I felt as frightened as I’d ever been. I did what I had to do to stay alive.
It was the hardest thing I ever did, saving my own life. I only wish I’d been strong enough to do it sooner. Of course, the frog doesn’t realize what’s happening until the water comes to a boil…

I’m writing about this because of a conversation I had with my friend Nora last night, and a conversation I had with my sister in law today. Nora and I talked of relationships and life and celebs and sports stars we’d like to have our way with. We talked of previous lives and choices we make. We discussed “winning” at divorce. (When your life is better than it was before AND better than your ex’s current life.) We talked about being mothers. We ate pasta and drank a goodly bit of wine. We were “just girls” together, but we talked of important topics.
She’s actually the one who verbalized the frog in water analogy.

This afternoon I had a distressing conversation with my sister in law about her relationship with her children’s father. Apparently their state of chronic stress has escalated to acute and he’s announced he’s leaving. Knowing him as long as I have, I think he’s having a bit of a temper tantrum and it will blow over and they’ll go back to their life of chronic stress.
It is killing my sister in law. Now, there is a fairly decent amount of her stress that has little or nothing to do with him. She has some of her own shit to sort.
I told I knew what she was capable of. I suggested she tap into that deeply rooted power and make a better life for herself.
She expressed her fear.
Fear can ride shotgun, get it out of the driver’s seat. Fear will never drive me again. But it sure as hell likes to go along for the ride. I was scared half to death to make that huge change. Especially considering what impact it had on my children.
She’s not ready to do that hard work. She will eventually have to decide to save her own life or she will die.

I can’t run other people’s lives.
Some days I can barely run my own life. Seems that way lately.
I have stress in my life. But it’s acute stress. It causes an immediate reaction. And though my flight instinct is the strongest, I’m learning to fight. Fight the good fight. Fight for what’s right.

I fought the good fight by flying all those years ago. The fight to save my life. Because I tell you, I was dying. Not metaphorically dying. Actually. Physically. Emotionally. I was actively dying.
I learned the most important lesson about myself by saving my own life.
I learned that I can do anything.

Categories: divorce, loss, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

pipe the f**k down, Marcus Aurelius

When you arise in the morning think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love. ~ Marcus Aurelius
Well, this morning I woke rather grouchy, so why don’t you just pipe the f**k down, Marcus Aurelius.

I had bad dreams again last night. My body exhausted when I woke. These dreams fill me with pain and anxiety. My body produces adrenaline and cortisol but has no outlet for it because I’m sleeping. So I’m flooded with these stress hormones that my body has to somehow reabsorb. No wonder I’m grouchy AF.

Normally, I can remember and recount the particulars of my dreams. These icky ones aren’t like that. All I can call up is imagery and the way it felt.
There was water in my dreams. It was dark and rippling. This water made me fearful. I was frightened that it would drown me.
My one true pathological fear is to smother. Drowning is essentially the same thing. So what is happening to me that I’m experiencing this level of fear and anxiety?

The logical part of my brain considers this:
Every thought we have causes a ripple. Every choice we make causes a ripple. Every action causes a ripple. Ripples move away from the starting point out in all directions and pretty much looks like this.
ripple

So when you’re having many thoughts, or making many choices at once it rather looks like this.
ripples

The feeling part of my brain sees only that the water is dark and moving rapidly. I become frightened. I become overwhelmed. I begin to panic. Stress hormones get released. I go to my brain stem and enter fight or flight mode. I don’t understand what’s happening to me but I feel that water is going to overtake and drown me. I’m not frightened enough to wake. I’m trapped in this cycle of fear and anxiety.
Here’s the part that I cannot wrap my brain around. I never enter the water. I’m never swimming or fighting to stay afloat. I’m just paralyzed by fear at seeing the water. I absolutely know that it will drown me even though I’m not actually in the water.

What is happening to me that this is my sleep?
What am I struggling with so hard?
What needs to be done to quiet my brain?

Apart from today and of course, Monday, I’ve been feeling overall well emotionally.
Obviously something is stuck and whatever it is needs help getting sorted. This cannot be my sleeping life. My fear of smothering is something that rides with me every single day, I can’t have it decide to try and drive once I’m sleeping.
Sleep is supposed to give your body a chance to rest. To restore. To recharge. Right now sleep is making me its bitch and wearing me out.

Something’s got to give.
My instinct to run is present. And getting harder and harder to ignore.

So, when being alive and able to think and enjoy and love is precious privilege, you’re waking from deliciously restful and restorative sleep, not from stressed and scary dreams.
While I appreciate the sentiment,Marcus Aurelius, I’m not feeling especially privileged today. Maybe I’ll get lucky tomorrow.

Categories: me, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

riding the struggle bus

I had a bad day Monday.
It was the day of: Are you even alive?
I struggled the entire day. In all honestly, I should have gone back to bed and waited for Tuesday.
My friend Nora was quick to offer to come to my rescue, even though there was nothing she could really do to help. She’s good like that. I’m blessed to have her in my life. She’s a wonderful human being and she’s a good, strong, and loving friend.

I got a text message from her a little while ago. It said: Now it’s my turn to ride the struggle bus today.
She shared her struggle and we “breathed together” and she asked one question that I answered with truth and love. I think she’s feeling less anxious, and I know I don’t feel as concerned for her as I did when it started.

All that said, (and this is why she’s so great…she has the same wack-a-doodle sense of humor as me) I freaking LOVE that phrase “ride the struggle bus”. I’m fairly clever with words but have no qualms admitting I’d probably never come up with that phrase.
She was amused that I dig it.
She could see past her anxiety and appreciate the humor in the phrase.

Sometimes you can’t help but ride the struggle bus.
But if you’re really fortunate, you’ll have people in your world that will ride with you…or at least wait for you at the next stop.
That’s when you can stop and breathe together. And hopefully be amused.

Categories: peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

it’s as simple as that

I worry that my brain will never get better.
I’m damn tired of being in pain. I’m sick of feeling tired all the time.
I keep thinking my brain must get it together and heal itself. But it doesn’t seem to give a damn. Sundance and I were talking about it yesterday. I told her I don’t even tell YBW how my head is feeling anymore because it’s chronically painful and I don’t want him to worry about it.

Is this just the new way of being?
Of course the constant low pressure weather systems that have been hanging over the mid-Atlantic only make it worse.
I’m being a whiny crybaby. But I’m so damn tired of feeling like this.

Perhaps writing it down and getting it “out” is helpful?
I don’t know.
Am I simply grouchy? (it’s possible)
Do I long to see the sun? (Good Lord, YES!)

Being alone during the day isn’t good for me emotionally. I’m acutely aware of that. But I feel like hell all the time…that doesn’t bode well for doing anything productive.
It’s been since September that I’ve had a job. It’s time. I can’t stay home any longer. It’s taking a negative toll on YBW financially. It’s taking a negative toll on me emotionally.
It seems ridiculous that I never feel well enough. Can I go to work and have my head hurt all day long? (pourquoi pas?)
What I’m most passionate about, I can’t really do successfully if it compromises my health. (au revior, early childhood education)

Perhaps I just need to suck it up and stop whining. This brain swelling isn’t going to kill me…it would have done it by now if it was going to. It really might be the new way of being. So, I get used to the new and different chronic pain and live my life around it. I just quit whining and as Mommie used to say: ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ and get it together.

velvet jones
Eddie Murphy’s Velvet Jones says: “It’s as simple as that.”

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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