Self reflection.

Well, Hawaii was amazing as usual. Lots of hikes, volcano views, waterfalls, beaches and awesome weather. Celebrated 5 years of marriage to my husband and ate way too much. I also had some realizations. 

1. Vacations are necessary. Always. For someone who struggles with mental health issues, getting a break from the daily grind and going somewhere where I don’t have to worry about doing anything is the only thing that eases my mind a little. I find that I do less worrying and more reflecting and I think that’s important. 

2. Dreams are good to have but they need to be realistic. Since the first time I went to Hawaii in 2012 I’ve wanted to live there. I’ve applied for jobs there and we have gone back for vacations but the reality is that it’s an expensive place to live and I can’t move there without a job. That said, a realistic goal may be to retire there and continue to go on vacations there every few years. I just need to come to terms with that.

3. You are not a bad person if you let go of people that hurt your soul. This one is complicated. Let’s just say that I have a Father that doesn’t really want me in his life but pretends to others like he does thus making me look like the bad guy despite the fact that he never talks to me. I’ve tried for years to get his approval, his love, shit even his acknowledgement to no avail. I’ve spent a lot of time and tears dwelling on this relationship. One night while in Hawaii I found myself laying awake in bed, listening to the waves and reminiscing on the past and the present state of things with my Father. That was when I decided it was time to just let go. Breaks my heart but it is what it is and I’m walking away knowing that I gave an honest effort. 

4. Finding your passion and making it your job is a must. I’m dreading returning to my job as a compliance officer at a regional bank. I’m not passionate about being a compliance officer working in banking. I don’t look forward to going to work everyday; in fact, I dread it. I have so many anxious sleepless nights and moments of frustration during the work day that it consumes me. But what am I passionate about? Nothing that will allow me to make similar money and continue to live the lifestyle I’ve grown accustomed to. Good news is I make an honest living doing something I’m not ashamed of. Bad news is I have no sense of fullfilment. I hope one day it comes to me.

5. My body and mind has changed a lot in the past 5 years, and that is ok. We were married in Hawaii in 2012 and went back to he same resort we were married at for our anniversary. In 2012 my new hubby and I went out to dinner at a nice waterfront restaurant and the waiter took a picture of us. I thought it would be fun to take an identical picture at this restaurant 5 years later, until I saw the picture afterwards and compared them. What did I see? Well my husband is still very handsome. The scenery is still beautiful. But when I looked at myself I felt sad. In the 2012 picture I was thinner, had way less anxiety, looked more attractive and overall my happiness was visible in my face. 2017 me was heavier in the face, had bags under her eyes, looked exhausted, and although the happiness was still visible in my face at that time I lost my spark. After reflecting some more, I’ve been through a lot in the past 5 years. Too much to share in this posting. 2012 me was in her early 20s, still getting a grip on adulthood and making immature decisions (like running away to Hawaii and eloping with my boyfriend of 7 years when we had no money). 2017 me is established, responsible, and more mature. And I have the emotional scares to prove it. My mental state is different. I don’t look bad in the 2017 photo. It’s just who I am now. And In another 5 years I will look even more different. I need to be ok with that. 

6. Facing your fears is necessary, even when your anxiety tells you there is no way you can do something. Listen. I have GAD, OCD and depression. I live in a constant state of fear. Fear of flying, fear of driving, even fear of being at work. But in order to live I need to face those fears every single day. I’ve been to Hawaii 3 times now. I live in NY. It’s anywhere from a 12-14 hour flight not including layovers. For someone who hates flying, being in the air that long and having to take 3 flights to get somewhere is the worst. I drive myself absolutely crazy the entire month leading up to a trip where I have to fly. But no matter how much I hate it I push myself because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have the memories. The experiences. I wouldn’t be living. Honestly most of the time I surprise myself when I fly. Yes, I have panic attacks pretty much constantly but at the end I’m amazed by how strong I can be when I’m really determined. And for that, I am proud of myself.

Now I just need to adjust to being in the eastern time zone again and get the sleep I need to be productive on my first day back in the office on Monday. If only I could keep this anxiety at bay…πŸ˜”.

It doesn’t matter where you’re going, it’s who you have beside you.

Almost a week out from our 12 hour flight to Hawaii, my favorite place on earth. I cannot wait. I wish I was in a position to never return to my reality here at home. When I say that I mean my job; day to day as I know it, relationships I have with certain people that drain my energy. Since I was little I always looked forward to going on vacations – any excuse to run away from difficult situations and my anxiety. 

That’s what I usually do. Situations that make me anxious drain my energy and the only way I recharge is when I escape. Otherwise the life gets sucked out of me and I feel like I’m drowning slowly and everyone is just standing around watching me screaming for help but not hearing me. Reaching for a hand but they turn a blind eye. The life drains out of my eyes and no one notices. 

My husband and I went to see Logan this morning at the movies. I try to avoid the movies at all costs because sitting still and being overstimulated for hours gives me more torture than pleasure (thanks GAD) but every so often I make an exception and suffer through it for a movie my husband really wants to see that I do too. For those of you who have seen it, Logan dies saving his daughter Laura. While Logan is taking his last breaths the two share an emotional moment where he pretty much tells her that he cares about her despite not showing her much love and emotion throughout the movie, even after finding out she is his daughter. So why am I telling you this? As the lights came on I realized I was sobbing. Yes, it was sad when Logan died but I think sub consciously I was thinking about my own relationship with my Dad. My Dad has a wall up with me, and visa versa. We don’t show emotion to eachother. We don’t interact like a father and daughter typically do. He doesn’t even really acknowledge me. Seeing Logan finally let his guard down with Laura made me so happy. How would she have felt living the rest of her life if he didn’t let her how he cared about her? Would she have regrets? Would she feel alone? They say actions speak louder than words; and I agree, but sometimes, especially when it isn’t obvious how one feels through action, words are necessary too.

Ok that was deep. Anyway, I have a busy week ahead at work as I prepare to be out of the office for almost 2 weeks. I have no back up so whatever I don’t finish will be waiting for me when I return. And that burden will be weighing on me the entire time I’m gone. Yay. 

Did I mention I can’t wait to get away? Oh and that I’m terrified of flying? That my anxiety is ruining my life? Well I am, it is. But I’ll get through it. Always do somehow some way. 

Oh and 4/9 is our 5 year wedding anniversary. Staying at the place we were married in Hawaii. ❀️

My cat has a growth on her ear and I’m afraid it’s something bad. This cat was there for me when no one else was. Send good thoughts her way that it’s nothing bad please! 😻

Have a great week. πŸ™…πŸ‘™πŸ¬πŸ πŸŒΊπŸŒ΄β˜€οΈπŸŒŠ

Sunday Depression

Sunday depression = waking up and realizing you have to go back to work tomorrow. For most people Sunday depression happens because the work week is a drag. For me, it means I have to go back out into the world and hide my anxiety, OCD and depression. I have to pretend that I’m not being destroyed on the inside while in meetings or on conference calls. I have to force back the adrenaline that surges through my body all day and remain seated at my desk in order to do my job. I have to wash my hands every time I touch a door handle, put in my key code to enter another suite, shake a hand or get sweaty palms because the thought of the germs that could be spreading makes me crazy. The anxiety of doing all of that discretely while hoping that nobody asks me “are you ok?” is terrifying.

Contributing to my Sunday depression is the fact that I have been eating clean 85% of the time, meal prepping my lunches at work and working out 3-5 times per week and all I have been doing is gaining weight. I don’t doubt that some of it may be muscle, but I just tried on the shorts that I wore on a vacation last Spring and my muffin top is off the charts. My husband and I are going to Hawaii in 8 weeks. So I have 8 weeks to squeeze myself back into the shorts – but how am I ever going to do that if I’m gaining weight like this!? So today I didn’t get up and work out. I got up, meal prepped, did some retail therapy and now we’re ordering pizza and wings because that’s what people in Buffalo, NY do and I’m tired of depriving myself only to put on weight! Plus it’s Superbowl Sunday…

I have an appointment on Wednesday with my primary doctor for a physical. I hate this doctor. She has no bedside manner and no empathy. I simply see her because it seems no other primary doctor in my area is accepting new patients. I also need to see if she will give me something that will allow me to fly 12 hours and not freak out. Let’s hope she pulls through. I’m going to do my best to get through it without taking anything but just in case. For my husband’s sanity, really. He’s a saint for dealing with me.

I’ve been using an essential oil diffuser at night. After spending hours on Pinterest I found a concoction that allows me to sleep 3-5 straight hours but I wake up feeling hung over. So far frankincense and lavender have been working the best for sleep but lemongrass is my favorite. I’m trying to figure out how to deal with my mental issues without taking medications. If you have any homeopathic remedies please share!

Ok I’m off to watch Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian (I know what you’re thinking) and feeling gross about myself as I devour pizza and wings.

Go Falcons!!!

Have a great week everyone!


 

 

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!


 

Energy level: 0

This week has been rough. Some days my anxiety gives me the strength and adrenaline to power through the day. Other days it sucks all the energy from me and I feel lethargic. This past week has been a lethargic week. I’m shaky, I’m weak, I’m dizzy, I’m hyperaware of every ache and pain in my body and I am afraid to do anything. Despite feeling this way I pushed myself to get up and make it through the days at work. 

Now it’s the weekend (thank gah) and I have so much shit to do around my house, including the dreaded grocery shopping. I’ve been up since 2:30am thinking about it. I should’ve went late last night. Now it’s going to be busy and I’m going to have attacks all throughout the store, if I can muster up the energy to go (like I have a choice). 

I wrote a few posts back about how my husband wants to go to Hawaii for our 5 year wedding anniversary. A 12 hour flight of hell. My favorite place on earth. I’ve been thinking about it and we have to go. I need the trip for mental sake. 

My husband’s 5 year high school reunion is tonight. He told me I didn’t have to go and when I told him I would he said he thinks he’d rather I not go. That hurt. Can’t say that I don’t agree with his reasoning though. He wants to stay longer than an hour or 2 and wants to catch up with some of his old buddies that he hasn’t seen in years without having to worry about me. Sucks but he’s right. Hurts but he’s not lying. My anxiety makes it so hard to be social. I don’t want to ruin his night. He shouldn’t have to sacrifice doing things he likes to do because I’m a hot mess. 

I wish I could be someone else for a day. Someone who lives life to the fullest and didn’t let fear hold her back. Someone who was wasn’t paranoid about things. Someone who isn’t awkward during small talk. 

But I can’t. I’ll always be me. Anxious, paranoid, hermit me. And that’s something that I have accepted as I’ve gotten older. It is what it is. I need to try and sleep…!!

Have a wonderful Fall weekend! πŸƒπŸπŸ‚πŸŒ»

My brain is tired.

Short weeks are a blessing and a curse. Blessing because it’s one less day in the office. Curse because it makes for the longest 4 day work week ever because going back to work is so depressing. Oh and having anxiety makes the days go by in slow motion because it is torturous.

We leave Saturday for a long weekend in Cape Cod! I’m excited to go, have never been there. Dreading the long car ride there, but it could be worse…we could be flying. At least if I start to have a panic attack in the car we can always pull over or I can drive. Having a panic attack in an airplane is horrible because you’re trapped and you can’t escape. Visiting unfamiliar places gives me anxiety. Hell, everything gives me anxiety lets be honest. I don’t remember the last time I actually enjoyed something without this weight on my chest. That’s depressing to think about…

I’ve decided I’m going to turn over a new leaf. I want to better myself. Not just mentally, but physically too. After my trip this weekend I’m going to start eating better. I’m going to work out. I’m going to start putting myself first. People often say that exercise and healthy eating helps their anxiety. Hopefully once I get passed the sugar detox I will start feeling better physically. I often use food as a crutch when anxious just to distract myself from my thoughts. Not healthy food, sugary, high carb food.

I posted last weekend about my husband demoing our master bathroom. I’m glad he’s motivated to do it (it was gross…tile cracking, discolored flooring, etc) but I also was looking forward to enjoying our summer and it seems that this project will be taking up much of our time. Don’t get me wrong, it really needed to be done. We found black mold behind the bath fitter that was in there (big health hazard). But this was a long weekend and we’ve just worked on the bathroom the entire time. I was hoping to take out our kayaks but that didn’t happen either. Home renovations are not good for my OCD. I hate things being out of place. I hate when things aren’t clean. The joys of being a homeowner…and suffering from mental illness.

Anyway, this post isn’t really about anything in particular. Just some random thoughts as I take a break from being a construction worker and my husband runs to Home Depot.

Next April is our 5 year wedding anniversary and hubby wants to go back to Hawaii where we got married. We’ve spent so much money on home renovation the thought of dropping money on a Hawaiian vacation makes me anxious (we live in NY…it’s not cheap. Did I mention I HATE flying?). But you know what? Maybe I need to stop being so uptight. Maybe I need to stop worrying about things I shouldn’t worry about. Maybe, I should do the things I want to do. Maybe, I should just move to Hawaii and live off of the land….

Maybe…

A girl can dream…

 

  

‘Twas the night before Xmas…

Or the morning before. Early morning. I’m laying in bed anticipating my alarm going off in a few minutes. Then I’ll get up and get ready for work.

I’m anxious but what else is new. I get to go to work then spend the rest of the day with too much family crammed into a little house. Most people would enjoy being around all of their family like that. I may enjoy it too, for the first hour or so. Then the anxiety will set in and I will be struggling for the rest of the night to hide an attack, distract myself or try to slip away for a minute. 

It’s hard for me to spend time with this side of my family sometimes. I often feel like a close family friend when I’m with them and not really part of the family. I don’t think it’s necessarily intentional, but time and circumstances of the past have lead to this. It is what it is. As hard as it will be, I’ll be glad I went for a few hours. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. I really want to move to Hawaii. Bad. I need to go back again. I also need to find a job since I’ll be losing mine likely between June and December 2016. Ugh.

The mind never shuts off. Except when I’m in Hawaii. I can’t explain it. That place is good for my soul. 

Until next time…

Hope you all have a nice holiday. 😊