Be positive they said, things will get better they said. 

If you live in America and did not vote for Trump to be your president, chances are you wake up everyday with a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety. Add to that Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), depression and OCD and you have yourself quite a mess. People who do not normally feel anxiety are feeling it right now. Although this is only Trump’s first week in office, he’s managed to divide the country even further, provoke fear where unnecessary, provide “alternative facts” to the public and threaten human rights. I can’t imagine living in a country like this for the next 4 years and to even think that way is heartbreaking. I don’t have much hope for the Trump administration. 

On another note the reorganization happened at work. I now have the same boss but a different reporting line, which I think will be better. Hopefully the culture of my department will shift from negative to positive. 

We are going to Hawaii in 9 weeks. Can’t come soon enough. With all the chaos going on I just want to run away from reality. When I’m there I feel free from the burdens and restraints of my life back at home. The scenery is calming. The smell takes me away. I plan on turning off my phone while we are there and not looking at social media. 

They say history repeats itself. That is proving to be true. I’m not really a person of faith so I can only hope that everything will work out. I haven’t posted in a little bit because I feel like a Debbie downer lately. I don’t know how to even end this post on a high note. Blah. 

Be a good human. ✌️❤️

Suspense

I’m paralyzed. Feeling bound and gagged. Blurry vision. Sweating. My heart is pumping fast, I’m gasping for air. “Am I having a heart attack?” My body feels tingly. All of my muscles are constricted. My eyes are wide and overstimulated. It’s taking everything I have to not to cry or scream. I’m being choked by something invisible. I want to surrender but I have no control over my mind or body. I can’t focus on anything in particular but my mind is racing. My body wants me to stay still but my brain wants me to fight. I’m feeling doomed and defeated, spiriling out of control. I would do anything to make it stop.

My breathing begins to slow. My heart beat is calming down. My body feels like it weighs 1000 lbs. My throat hurts.  I can’t form a coherent thought. I can’t keep my eyes open. My muscles begin to slowly un-tense, leaving behind knots that will undoubtedly give me a headache soon. I don’t want to be around anyone. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I just want to be alone.I’m completely exhausted and depleted of energy.

Alone I am, traumatized by what I just experienced. I hate when this happens. “Why me?!” I think to myself. “What caused this?!” – a question I never have an answer to. Most of the time it just happens. Knowing it can happen at anytime, I have altered my lifestyle. I don’t leave the house much. I don’t go anywhere without a plan. I avoid certain people and situations. I get lost in the depressing realization of my reality and get down on myself. I don’t deserve anything I have in life, even the things I work hard for. I’m not worthy of love in any form. I’m cheating my husband of a good life with a “normal” wife. I could go on. I obsess over everything. Even create problems when there are none.

These are feelings that I have almost daily. Sometimes provoked, oftentimes unprovoked. This is life with generalized anxiety disorder, depression and OCD. This life is hard. This life takes a lot of courage. This life takes a lot of strength. This life is exhausting.

 

 

Toodles 2016

2016 was a rough year. An anxious year. I struggled though most of it but managed to get by. I started a new job. I visited Cape Cod and Key West. We remodeled our master bathroom. I paid off my beauty school student loans (tough paying these, especially since I haven’t been doing hair for about 7 years). I survived getting blood work done (major anxious moment – I passed out last time). I lost a Grandma. Donald Trump was elected president (insane in my opinion).  I was sent to NYC for my first offsite work seminar (which was a nightmare). I hosted my parents for a week over the holidays and didn’t have a total breakdown (just partial). I survived several panic attacks over the past 365 days.

I’ve decided that 2017 will be the year of me. I’m going to start taking care of myself. Worrying more about myself. Not being as hard on myself. Making choices for my happiness. Doing things for me. I have GAD, depression and OCD. There is nothing that I can do to change that so why should I beat myself up over it? I’m tired of making excuses for my anxiety. It’s something I live with and struggle with everyday. Although I fight it to be a productive member of society I have limitations. This is not a choice. I do not take medication for it (nothing wrong with taking meds – I did for years). I’m not going to feel guilty for saying “no” if I don’t want to do something. I don’t think this is selfish. My anxious mind spends so much time worrying about others. Worrying about what they will think if I do certain things. If I don’t do certain things. Worrying about things I can’t control. We all have a duty to worry about ourselves because if we don’t, who will? This year I’m going to do my best to let go. If you don’t understand my mental illnesses and think I’m making excuses – educate yourself. 

This year I’m going to Hawaii (aka one of my favorite places on earth) for the 3rd time. I would love to live there but I’ve been unsuccessful in finding a job (why would they hire someone from NY?) so I’ll just have to retire there. I’m hoping my job turns around. The company is stable (unlike the last bank that I worked for) but the culture is horrible and my job duties have changed 3 times in the past 6 months so now I’m not really even doing what I wanted to do/was hired to do. I hope to have the floors in my house re-done (since I ruined them) and I hope to take many long weekend trips! Most of all, I’m going to try and stay as positive as possible despite all of the negativity in this world. Wish me luck!


 

NYC Adventure

It’s been a crazy few weeks. Lots of stress at work. My employer sent me to NYC for a conference. I have family coming into town. My anxiety has been horrible, and now I have a bad cold.

My boss’s boss’s boss told my boss that I’ve been a “trooper” and asked if I would be interested in going to this conference in NYC that was relevant to the project that I have been working on. Since traveling gives me such anxiety and NYC is drivable from where I live, I reluctantly said “yes”, thinking that at least I don’t have to fly. I signed up to go and my husband drove with me to NYC.

We arrived in NYC on a Monday night, the conference was on Tuesday. We walked around the city and had a blast. NYC is so beautiful at this time of year. Last time I had the opportunity to tour NYC I had a panic attack sitting in traffic and told my husband that I couldn’t get out of the car. This time I convinced myself that doing that wasn’t an option. We saw Times Square, the tree at Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station and the holiday display at Saks 5th Avenue. The streets were crowded and at times I left claustrophobic, but I kept going. I was able to push past any anxiety that was trying to take over and distract myself from the pounding in my chest, dizziness in my head and sweat on my back.

Around 9:30pm we got back to our tiny hotel room. We both wore the wrong footwear to put in so many steps but it was worth every blister. The room had 2 beds, both of which had broken box springs and missing sheets. My employer wanted to put us up in a nicer place but this place was closer to the conference and I would’ve rather walked there than taken a cab. No bed bugs – a win!

Then the anxiety sets in that I had been pushing back all day. The car ride was about 6.5 hours. It is really hard for an anxious person to sit still for that long. All the anxiety that I held back as we walked around the city for hours came rushing to me. I was nervous about the conference – I had never been to a conference before so I didn’t know what to expect. When I registered for the conference I was told that it was an exclusive event. That made me a little nervous, but I thought I had to be one of at least one hundred people attending this event, right?

I think I slept about 2 hours that night. Between the anxiety and the road noise I was doomed. I got up and went into the shower and started getting ready. My husband planned on walking around the city while I was in the conference for half of the day so he started to slowly get ready as well. We decided to get breakfast before he walked me to The Harvard Club, which was where the conference was. When we got there, I told him to wish me luck and I headed in.

I checked in with the front desk and they told me that my event was on the second floor. I get into the elevator and hit “2” with my sweaty hand. I get off of the elevator and proceed to the registration desk. I sign in and they give me a name tag and tell me to go down the hall. That was when I walked into the conference room.

There were tables in the shape of a “U”. Each seat had a microphone. As I looked around the room I saw accomplished banking professionals that were way above my pay grade, and my age group. Mostly men. There were only about 40 seats in the room. I found a seat close to the door and began to look at the materials in front of me. I glanced down at the agenda and saw “Introductions”. My heart skipped a beat and I immediately started having an anxiety attack. “Why would they send me here?” “I can’t do this”. In that moment I forgot my name, my job, my career experience. These were all senior leaders who were looking to network and share industry experiences.

I looked down at the materials and decided that I couldn’t do it. I put the materials into my bag, didn’t make eye contact with anyone in the room and walked out to the elevator. Thank God it was open and going down. I got in, closed the door right away and went down. Struggling to breathe, I walked briskly into the NYC street and took a few deep breaths. “I should really go back up there” “This could be career suicide” “What if my company finds out that I didn’t attend after they paid for me to come here?” “What if I accidently gave proprietary company information?” “How do I introduce myself after 40 people who have been in the industry for 30 years and maintain credibility with them?” “Why would they send me to an exclusive event meant for senior leaders?” My brain was flooded with thoughts. I decided not to go back in. I called my husband in tears and told him to meet me back at the hotel. Worried, he said that he would be right there. We went up to the hotel room and I sobbed, realizing that I don’t think I’m cut out for the path my career is taking me. I’m a hard worker but I like to be behind the scenes. My anxiety doesn’t allow me to be extroverted, to be social, to network, to travel to unfamiliar places, to appear confident even when I’m not.

After my meltdown my husband assured me that I would get through this like I get through everything. We checked out of the hotel, got in the car and headed home. The entire car ride home I had panic attacks thinking about what I was going to say if my coworkers or boss asked me how the conference was. I began to study the materials given so that I was prepared to answer questions and realized that it was really just a networking event for senior leaders. I don’t think I missed too much.

The moral of this story is that if you suffer from an anxiety disorder shit is going to happen. I push myself through extremely difficult situations all the time to get through life like a “normal” person. It’s not always going to work out. I’m feeling really guilty about it but I’m human and I have limitations that are beyond my control.

On the bright side, I had a nice night in NYC with my husband. I did get through walking several blocks in huge crowds. Spending time in a crowded room. Lived through being overstimulated by noise and lights. Rode elevators several times. The little things that are so normal for the average person that I struggle with so much. These were big steps for me.

I need to start giving myself a break. I’m a perfectionist. I have to be the best at everything. I have to hide my anxiety at all times. I can’t let anyone see that I struggle. Well this is my reality. It’s easier said than done, but I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Unlike many other things in my life, having generalized anxiety disorder, depression and OCD are things that I can’t control. There are things I can do to better manage it, but I can’t fully control it. Now I just need to focus on getting rid of this cold and facing my next challenge – entertaining my parents at my house for 5 days. Continue reading

Welp, it had finally happened.

I’ve spent the past 6 years of my career successfully avoiding any continuing education opportunities that involve traveling. Until yesterday, when the CCO asked me if I would be interested in going to a conference in NYC. I couldn’t say no. 

Good news is that I have convinced my husband to come with me and we are driving not flying. More good news is that the conference itself is only half of a day – most are a few days. If I was going to go to any this would be ideal. 

I’m excited and so nervous. This particular conference is a smaller one (about 200) and it seems to be more of an exclusive event so I’ll really be representing the company that I work for. I hope it goes by fast and nobody talks to me. Better yet, I hope I can hide my anxiety long enough to get through it. HA. I have 3 weeks to mentally prepare. 

I’m feeling really overwhelmed lately. The holidays are not my favorite. Especially during times of family feud and political disagreements. I just don’t have the energy. I feel like I don’t have the energy for anything anymore…

If I could get more than 4 hours of sleep that would be great. Anxiety kicks my ass.

Is it breakfast time yet? 🐽😁

Old pain dies hard.

It’s been a rough week. My depression is pretty bad. My head has been throbbing from all of the crying I’ve been doing. My stomach is sour from all of the anxiety and I haven’t been able to catch my breath from all of the worrying.

It’s during times like these that I just want to hide from the world. Shut off my phone, the tv, lock my doors and be alone with myself. 

But I cannot do that. Life must go on. Chances are if you’ve seen me this week you would have no idea that I’ve spent the last 5 nights hyperventilating. That my brain hasn’t shut off enough for me to sleep more than a few hours. That I have dark circles under my eyes from the tears and sleep deprivation (thank god for makeup). Why is it during my darkest hours do I revisit my childhood and fall apart even more?

When the weight of everything going on in my life gets to be too much I start thinking about why my anxiety is what it is and that makes it even worse. I came across this meme the other night and it’s so true. I’m not sure you ever really heal once you become a broken child. 

Poetic thoughts.

Noise in the distance, people yelling;

pounding in my chest, this is telling.

She picks us up and takes us to the car;

It’s not long before we change who we are.

Are you happy, honey? Is this where you want to be?

Yes it is, but can I leave?

 

Days go by and things turn ugly;

she’s leaving again and the lights are acting funny.

He comes home late smelling like alcohol;

wonder if he remembers that he has kids at all?

Waking up at night, head pounding;

can’t take this anymore, feel like I’m drowning.

 

Breathe child, think about what you’re doing;

Can’t you see it’s a family that you’re ruining?

Tired, sweating, anxious and out of breath;

this is what I want, I have nothing left.

“You’re not old enough to make your own decision”;

tired of you telling me what to do, you don’t know my vision.

 

No longer thinking someone else’s thoughts;

who would have known I could be my own boss?

Alone and afraid with nothing to lose,

these kids are tough, but honey so are you.

Going through the motions and putting up walls;

getting tired of walking down these halls.

“Be strong you can do this”, I’d say to myself;

you control your own destiny, you don’t need any help.

 

I haven’t heard from you in months,

that must mean you’re not missing me that much.

“A parent has unconditional love for their child”,

practice what you preach and I may feel worthwhile.

She stayed and I left, does that make me bad?

The few times I talked to you, you always seemed mad.

 

It hurts so much but I’ve become numb from the pain,

I used to wish I could take out my brain.

Memories come late at night flooding back,

here comes that dreaded anxiety attack.

Heart pumping, mind numbing, shaky limbs and a sweaty back,

how long is this going to last?

 

Graduating from high school; such an accomplishment,

you’re weren’t there, but I don’t have any resentment.

Never heard from you that day or the next,

if you had a cell phone I’m not sure you would text.

 

Life has a funny way of working itself out,

a few years later the truth all comes out.

Now you know how I feel even though it was ugly,

I resent you for the childhood that you took from me.

The only thing that remains the same,

are those anxiety attacks that always came.