Sarah Fader, CEO and founder of the non-profit organization Stigma Fighters, started a movement on Twitter #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike and it has taken the internet by storm. This one hashtag has allowed hundreds of people to express their feelings and/or experiences of the impact anxiety has on their lives. Most people suffer in silence because anxiety tells us nobody will understand, and a lot of people don’t. If you don’t have an anxiety disorder, if you’ve never had a panic attack, it’s nearly impossible to explain how debilitating it is. I think Sarah’s trending hashtag is going a long way to open people’s eyes about how the anxious mind works. Continue reading
I have a moment to breathe. A moment to sit back and think about the whirlwind of activity that is so demanding of my time and attention as of late. For the first time in months I don’t feel overwhelmed, though I fear this feeling won’t last. Continue reading
Hit me late morning
I was doing ok
Received unsettling news
Threw off my day
A nervous energy
On the edge of sanity
Holding on… barely Continue reading
I have found myself unable to write for quite some time now. It’s true, I have been very busy and that has been my main “excuse,” but the few times I have tried to write something words have not come to me as they used to. It is disheartening for a girl whose words have always been her salvation. I feel like a stranger sitting here at my keyboard today. At least my fingers still remember where the letters are, and thus begins my Ten Things of Thankful.
I’ve struggled to see light through the chaos in these past three months. In August I started an accelerated vocational program to become a certified medical assistant. A program which normally takes two years jammed into five months, it is both a blessing and a curse. It is an opportunity for which I am grateful, it will give me the education and skills needed to rejoin the workforce sooner than later. However, the workload has had me stretched and stressed to limits I did not know I could reach.
My life has changed in every way possible. I have, for all intents and purposes, abandoned my blog – unintentionally, of course. I simply do not have the time or brain capacity to write, all of my energy is consumed by reading textbooks and studying for weekly quizzes. I fear I’ve been forgotten by the blogosphere, though many have extended their love and support of my current venture and for that, I am most thankful. Additionally, my test scores have reflected my hard work (mostly) even when I was sure I would fail. I am maintaining an A in my class which I am truly proud of and thankful for.
I have accomplished things I never imagined myself doing, nor have I ever wanted to do! I am learning phlebotomy and have now successfully drawn blood from six of my classmates. Which, let me tell you, has been an enormous battle of overcoming my anxiety each and every time. Inserting a needle into someone’s arm is scary, even with the guidance of my experienced and amazing teacher. It is still not something I enjoy doing but there is a huge sense of accomplishment in overcoming my fear and doing the damn thing! Tears have been shed uncontrollably out of pure anxiety, but thankfully I have kind classmates who have not teased me or been otherwise cruel about it.
Our class has been helping The Health Department in our county do health screenings at the local elementary schools, testing the kids BMI, eyesight, and hearing. This has been a challenging experience dealing with so many children and trying to keep the process running in a timely and smooth manner, but also rewarding knowing we are helping kids who may otherwise not receive it. My gender has been questioned twice by kids, whether I am a boy or girl, I suppose because of my haircut. Kids certainly have no filter! These health screenings have been both rewarding, as I mentioned, and excellent birth control!!
For the few friends whom I speak to on a daily, or at least regular basis, I am so very thankful. They are very few lately due to time and energy constraints. I am not on social media like I once was and therefore not interacting with many people like I once did. It makes the few close connections that remain that much more precious. Especially when they’re able to put up with my mood swings and anxieties. They know who they are ❤
I am eternally grateful for my husband, who has borne the brunt of this difficult time. My anxiety has been extreme, to say the least. I have had meltdown after meltdown convinced I could not persevere. Day to day he can never be sure what my mood will be or how I will handle the latest stressor, and yet he stands by my side. I am amazed by the amount of love he must have for me to withstand it all. Aside from the fact that all I do anymore is eat, sleep, go to school, study, and repeat. There is no “fun” remaining in my life at the moment. I don’t give him the attention he deserves. I don’t give our relationship, in general, the attention it deserves. But I suppose he understands that this is all in an effort to better our future. I am thankful.
I do not know when I will have the time or energy to write my next TToT, I would like to say next week and be sure of it but I can’t. To be honest, I am pleased and thankful to have gotten this one written! I have missed the connections I had made here and have tried ignoring the guilt of not participating as of late. I know this is a guilt-free hop but I can’t help those creeping feelings of abandoning my tribe! Be well, my friends, and I will be back again when I can ❤
How would you feel if you lost your capacity to feel joy? Where is the meaning in life when all of the things you love no longer make you happy? It’s perfectly normal, my doctor says. He says it means the meds are working. I have a problem with this logic. Logically, you would think if depression medications are working then the person taking them should no longer feel depressed. I suppose this logic would depend on your definition of what depression feels like, though. Continue reading
She’s a fighter, they say, been on the front lines in the battles against her own mind for many years. She’s been fortunate despite her illness, though, comes from a loving and supportive family. They say she’s better now, the depression is under control and she’s on the right track. They all talk about how much she’s grown and the things she’s accomplished in recent years. She thinks it’s nice they’re proud of her.
She’s gotten better at presenting well and hiding her emotions, most of the time. She will tell you she is better at managing her emotions, most of the time she is. She still feels it gnawing at the edges of her sanity, an inexplicable fear and sadness scratching her smooth surface. She’s sure you can see it if you look into her eyes, but she’s not sure anyone is looking closely enough. They see what they want to see, she tries to feel what they want her to feel – she wants to feel it, too.
She tries to tell them she doesn’t feel right, that the edges are crumbling and the walls are closing in. They tell her she’s fine, this is what real life feels like. She questions herself and she questions them; after all, real life to her is different than real life to them. She wonders if feeling nothing and fearing everything is what real life is supposed to be like. They say to stay the course. They tell her to hold on and she’ll make it – welcome to the real world.
She wants to believe she can be free from the traps her mind sets so cleverly. She wants to be sure she’s not slipping back into the depths of depression’s grasp. She struggles to see clearly; feels weighted down, lethargic, and often teary. Uninspired, disenchanted, and restless, the days drag by endlessly. She uses all strategies in combating these unwelcome symptoms of her disease. She is a fighter, she refuses to let this battle be her defeat.
They say she’s better now, they say the depression is at bay. She says it depends on how you measure what ‘better’ is. She’ll tell you she’s fought enough to know she’s stronger now, but the depression is never far enough away. She’s learned the hard way that they don’t understand the intensity of her feelings and that’s okay. They love her, she thinks it’s nice they want her to be happy – even if they don’t look too closely.
Feeling safe is one of the most important aspects of a person’s life. We do all sorts of things to protect ourselves from harm. We buy alarm systems for our homes and cars, we lock our doors and windows, take defense training classes, we carry weapons of all shapes and sizes, we depend on our government and police to keep us safe, and we incarcerate those we deem unsafe (for example). But what happens when fear seeps through the cracks in our fences and over the walls we’ve built up so high? What do we do when the thing(s) that scares us isn’t tangible but comes from within us? Continue reading
Let’s be honest guys, more than likely I am not your favorite blogger and that’s ok. I know you like me, you show me love and I appreciate it so much. However, I’ve identified eight reasons why I’ll never be your favorite blogger. This way we can eradicate that elephant in my little corner of this beautiful world between the wires 😉
I have no hard feelings over it and neither should you! Let me explain myself… Continue reading