I started something amazing in January. If you are pretty good at guessing you’ll know it was College. So, yeah, I went back to school. It was incredibly nerve wracking and i was filled with anxiety almost the entire time.

The biggest issue I had was the challenge of self confidence. It’s been a long time since I was a scholar and even though I was pretty good in the ol’ school department when I was in high school it did not seem to me that I could translate that into my college academia.

During that time I had a huge paper for my PSY101 class. It was worth 200 points of 540 points for the whole semester. The two finals were 100 points each. 140 points were for the mini tests that were due each week as a part of the hw. ( I also took a math class. That’s why I can math so well now.)

The paper was a problem solutions paper. When I sent the first draft of the paper and I felt so good. The instructor gave feed back, there wasn’t a lot she said about it, and I  knew this was makings of a great paper. A few weeks past. Then it came time to turn it in. I couldn’t figure out how to send it the way she asked so I emailed it to her. Then I waited. I waited all night. I waited until the next morning. She sent an email saying she had graded all of the papers.

I was going to puke. I wanted at least a B. I knew it was at least B work. It felt like an eternity as I made my way from one computer tab to the next. I sat there in the greatest suspense.

0/200,

0/200,

0/200,

I read three times. The numbers did not change.

Tears sprang into my eyes and I felt the earth shatter. My paper. My beautiful paper was worthless. I was worthless.

I was a puddle. Melted under the duress of my situation. My higher functions were gone in a sea of swirling anxiety.

Brian, hero of a husband, came to my rescue. He wrote out an email explaining where things had gone wrong. We begged for the chance to at least have some credit. She knew I had done the work, or at least most of it. I had the rough draft turned in to her weeks before.

Silence Saturday.

Silence Sunday.

Silence Monday.

I couldn’t think. I decided to go to her office during business hours on Tuesday. Brian had a  day off and I needed the support.

i cried explaining what happened. She offered me tissues and comfort. Of course she believed I had turned in the paper but there was no email evidence on her side. I meekly showed her my copy along with the attachment. She accepted my new email, that Brian sent because I could not, with the paper attached. She told me she would read it the next day and grade it then. I thanked her and left.

Once we reached the car all of the adrenaline rushed back to me. I was a mess again. Reliving all the embarrassment of crying in front of a stranger. The class was online. I never met that instructor in person and THAT was how she had to meet me! I cried remembering the topic and how this was ultimately the best of a worst case scenario.

Please please please don’t let me live through something like this again!

I was not prepared to handle those emotions. I was not  able to process all of my thoughts and feelings that day. Brian lovingly suggested I call, Autumn, the Queen of my Heart, to recap and help me work my emotions down to an un-fevered pitch. After a few minutes i did just that. I got an ice cream and talked. Modern technology, HUZZAH! As we talked I saw a notification from the instructor in my email. The paper had been read and graded. I got off the phone not too long afterwards. My fingers jittered and my mind began to spiral. This was my make or break paper. This woman who taught psychology, was actually the head of the creative writing department, so I knew she would be a strict grader.

Words.

I read them all.

Grade.

I saw.

My stomach flipped. Pukous came up to my throat.

200/200.

Relief, tears, and sweat. Relief, more tears, and a lot of sweat.  RELIEF! TEARS! SWEAT!

I made 200/200. Who does that?? Me, I suppose. I rounded the year off with two A’s. Two classes, two A’s. I wasn’t worthless. My brain was good.

Who would you say was my foe? Who would you say I had to work hard to defeat?

Since I like to make you guess and you already for one freeby I’ll leave you to make up your mind on what or who it could be.

I’ll also leave you with this paper I wrote to show you that life is hard enough without the foe getting in the way.

 

 

I’ve been taken hostage. I’m blindfolded and my skin is crawling. My body is forced into submission and I want to cry but if I do it’ll be seen—somehow it will be used against me. Every fear I have is gripping me. “This time I won’t succumb”, I tell myself. But it’s too late. I’m crippled. Frozen in time, incapacitated by a captor that resides in my own mind. Anxiety has made my life miserable and I am at its mercy again.

In my youth I could make my mind up with composure. I would quickly analyze problems I had and almost instantly I could reason out what was needed and the issue would be solved. My mind was made up and I would move forward. As I’ve aged the opposite seems to happen. I struggle to know what my mind wants. I analyze and overanalyze until I get mentally fatigued, frustrated, or paralyzed into inaction.

The problem can be as small as which cereal to choose at the store or as large as whether I should go back to school or not. The more trivial the issue the less time it takes to decide but the outcome remains just as far away. My mind spins into discord and all the options open or all the options disappear leaving me feeling as though going back to school is the right cereal to choose. So I do nothing. Those are the options: do nothing or freak out trying to make the choice. Pacing back and forth between the options in a stupor, staring blankly into the abyss of the answer knowing that there might be a simple solution. Wheat Chex vs. Honey Combs? School or no school? Up is down and down is up. The hard and fast journey on the road to anxiety has just begun.

Now that I’ve arrived at this point of spiraling over-activity my eyes widen, my fists are clenched, and my heart races as if I’ve been doing an hour of cardio. Because I am panicking any question I am asked sends me into high alert. The pressure builds and I yell, “I do not know what I want!” Like the Hulk I’m ready to smash. My family and I are left feeling anxious and upset. They can’t talk to me because I’ve made it impossible for them to feel like their concerns are valid. As for myself, I am left feeling guilty, drained. I want to answer their concerns. I want to make up my own mind. I can’t. I’m too stuck inside myself to be effective.

I remember the times in the distant past when I was able to process things quickly. I knew what I wanted and the answers were clear. The difference then, I think, is that I cared less about the outcome. I used to not worry about whom my decisions affected. I solved problems by doing what I wanted without concerning myself with long periods of introspection. I lived unaware that there could be a space between a stimulus and my response.

My early childhood family had a major impact on me, like most families do. In my family there was only one consistency and it was in the form of inconsistency. Sure, I had chores, meals, and siblings like most families. What I didn’t know was whether I would have to re-clean all of the dishes in the house if my stepfather noticed a single spot on any dish. I never knew if the food I ate was for us or my stepfather. If I ate it would there be repercussions? I never knew. I was left in charge of my siblings with no direction. I had to make decisions quickly. I couldn’t afford to be wrong because it meant punishment or danger to them and myself. After some time living with that uncertainty, I stopped caring about any potential consequences. Life became free to whatever I wanted it to be.

Naturally social, I picked up a wide range of friends. Academics, where I had thrived, turned into a study of parties and clubbing. By sixteen I had experienced more “life” than many college students. I felt completely liberated. Worries melted away with every hit, shot, and bump. I was safer not thinking of others and living solely for me. I floated through this scene barely holding myself and my relationships together. I somehow managed to avoid death and any other serious harm I could have done to myself. At twenty I felt the blow of real disappointment when my first serious love ended and my first true reality set in. I was alone and pregnant.

New to the role of mother, I had to think of my child but I still felt like I had some autonomy. I came to be more aware of consequences and how my actions affected my son. I had to start to put him before me, whereas in my youth I only had to think of myself. I struggled to understand the difference between what I needed for myself and what my son needed from me. I grew more mature and my fears and anxiety grew with me. I began to have an internal dialogue of horror that I would become the same inconsistent parent my parents had been. There seemed to be no logical reason why they were making those snap decisions but I was unequipped with the right tools to do any better on my own.Then I met my husband.

My husband is the voice of reason and analytics. I didn’t feel like I had any of these skills. When I met him he opened my mind and challenged my paradigms. He seemed to live effortlessly in a space between stimulus and response. As I shifted my priorities and tried to emulate my husband’s approach to problem-solving, I began to overemphasize every issue I had. At the time I believed the change was good. I thought I was improving but I wasn’t using any of my natural gifts. I submerged myself into his world and allowed myself to believe that I had been doing everything wrong before he came along. Instead of using my talents, being myself, I buckled under the pressure of trying to be someone I wasn’t. My mind became the mess of nerves that is my daily reality.

I never wanted perfection. What I wanted was success. Some tangible proof that my selfish past life was gone and I could mother, home make, and wife. I once believed that the metaphorical apron of womanly victory would be mine and no one would doubt my mastery in these roles. Instead of achieving that domestic eminence I now doubt myself and recoil. I compare every mistake to—not a Shakespearean tragedy of follies amongst laughter, but Dante’s Inferno. I’m in hell and keep putting myself there. My family, friends, and closest companions see the thriving woman that I crave to be, but the anxiety of failing everyone won’t let me have the success I deserve.

One solution I constantly toy with is how easy (or not) it would be to revert back to my prior selfish ways. It takes less effort to regress than to make new changes. I would become carefree again with the knowledge that, at the very least, I could make choices without becoming irrationally stuck. But, that would hurt me and my family. While I’d be able to process my options much more quickly, I would only be able to do it for me and no one else. I’d start over in a fantasy life of pleasure but all the while I’d be slowly killing myself. I’d have destroyed my family and removed myself from the ones I love the most.

Another solution would be taking the time to better utilize the space between stimulus and response without working myself into overstimulation or complete inactivity. I would need to learn to look at all possible choices logically without letting my emotions overwhelm my ability to think through the problem. However, I’ve been down that road and I know it leads to anxiety.

Ultimately, I believe the best solution will be a happy medium of creative, explorative thinking and careful consideration. On the one hand, I can look at potential solutions as creative investigations, adventures into an unknown. By gum, even cereal selection can be exciting! The rationalization of each detail won’t be as scary, it becomes a horizon to be explored. In essence, I would begin to incorporate how my choices affect my family without the anxiety of believing that a simple misstep could royally screw up our lives. I can put emphasis on what is actually important and remind myself of what I can and cannot control, ensuring that what is small remains trivial. On the other hand, I can slow down my thoughts to organize problems and give weight to each thought as necessary, permitting myself to bring solutions to fruition. Cereal selection becomes a matter of wants and desires, while choosing to continue school takes more consideration so I can weigh the pros and cons. I can develop an action plan then discuss it with my family to see how to make my goal a reality. Over time I will craft a better understanding of the process until I am no longer held hostage by anxiety and I am forever free from its bonds.

 

 

 

 

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If had a dollar for every time I thought of a funny thing to say or do I’d have… math’s not my strong point.

I should have saved that for a title!

IF my life were one line titles…

I’m back at my job. It’s called writing today. Yesterday it was called playing with my niece and nephews AND trying not to do too many things to get better prepared for my brother and his girl friends visit. It was a fun job.

EPIPHANY!

I should should just call whatever I’m doing in the moment my job and that way when the job is over with (no matter how repetitive it might seem) then I could proudly say, “My work here is done!”

That’ll show my stinky old brain who’s the boss! ME! I don’t have to be dictated by mundane tasks anymore. I can be the super hero of my mind and with each load of laundry folded DECLARE, “FOLDED AGAIN THIS TIME!” While laughing maniacally.

FAntasy is beautiful!

I have what one might call chronic procrastination. OK, I call it that. Probably my friends and family call it that too but I don’t ask them because it’s not their business how I spend my time. Because of this chronic disease, I can self diagnose because I’m a doctor of creativity, I put off a lot of stuff.

Stuff can be defined as the things I don’t want to do.

There are days that I am struggling to actualize the thoughts I have in my head. The creative stuff (loosely used here as things I want to do but I don’t) because my brain is too busy doing stuff I don’t like.

Here is a list:

  1.  Cleaning
  2. thinking about cleaning
  3. doing the cleaning
  4. watching the shows
  5. thinking about the things I should be doing instead of cleaning
  6. listing lists about stuff

 

The list could have been longer but I don’t even want to do that.

So here we are together or alone. I don’t know what you have going on in your personal life. Either way I am writing and you are reading what I write.

I decided to try to get back to that creative stuff I used to take time for. I need to have a focused time to do it and I don’t need to procrastinate. I need to do it because frankly when I don’t do it I’m miserable and lonely feeling. I am empty and I start wanting to do things that are scary.

The scary things can be self destructive.

I have always had a wild side and because of that I have lived a lot of life. I have seen things and braved worlds that could make it to at least a made for T.V. movie about a crazy girl who does bad things.  (I won’t go into those things because I like being dramatic and if I shared then it would seem like I’m giving you everything today. Plus, it makes me want to be more wild…)

So maybe I’m going to make this my work. We’ll see.

 

 

Alright, you caught me. It’s been over a year. Math isn’t a  very strong point for me. Neither is my pointer finger. Since we are on the subject of points I’d like to point out that I am just on the cusp of nothing. Really. You’d think after all this time being away I’d have a lot to show for it but it seems that I don’t. I have nothing.

What makes things even more difficult for me is that I can’t seem to get away from it either. The nothingness have been pulling me in for some time now. It’s not that there is a void that can’t be filled. It is that I am so unsure what to fill it with. I have often considered doing some volunteer work to help pass the time but in the end it seems to me that even THAT won’t be the filler.

I know that I have value and that I am making a difference in peoples lives but is it enough? In this time of life that I am NOT calling a midlife crisis, because I’m pretty sure my body wants to live for way longer than 68 years, I am still searching for something. The only thing that I keep coming back to fairly consistently is travel.

I feel stuck in the same place and as much as I want to go funds, time, and children are always there. I like those kids, and I promise myself I will not talk about my kids too much because this isn’t about them, but how do I get out there. How can I get out there and be with them?

Have you ever been here. In this spot. Have you ever been wondering where to go and what to do? How did you make the change? How did you challenge yourself?

The anticipation of reading this page should be at an all time high. I don’t know how long it’s been and I’m not ever sure how long it will be be til the next one. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called MAGIC!

Nope, really it’s called being lazy but it’s always well meaning.

So, to begin again I want to say that I have made big changes in my life. One major change being a move to another state in another town and even in another county. Those things are all our of order but so has this blog been. Completely out of order and in danger of being completely forgotten. To make matters worse I have to acknowledge the facts. The facts are that I can not complete one solitary thing.  The facts are that in my desperation to make things happen I get all crazy and wonder why I can’t keep to the facts.

I was far from quitting this blog. I joked with myself that I couldn’t be so many things. I thought for sure that quitting would be a thing of the past. I realized that sometimes being a quitter can be good. I wanted to create and be passionate about a thing. Even one thing. ONE. I searched and searched for my thing. I saw all the possibilities and was inspired!

I came to the conclusion that you don’t have to be good at any THING. I could be good at some THING. The thing that I am good at is trying.

It’s kind of strange to think that not achieving something is still good. I can see that failure isn’t a sad thing or a bad thing. Trying and failing is infinitely better than never. Never doing. Never seeing. Never working.

Maybe in the end you tried and failed but you created something in that moment and that is still some THING.

I am constantly trying to get myself organized into someone that I want to be. Instead of trying to rationalize myself and fit myself into someone why not just try being who I really want to be? The person I want to live for?

Every day I am afraid of not being enough, not for others and not for the world, but just for me. I am afraid of my success. I am afraid of never living a life that is full of wonder and excitement. I make myself so full of worries that I can’t enjoy the wonders that I have to offer. I can’t get the words out to you and be bold enough to allow myself to awe inspired by my own self.

I have more than a little something to offer myself. I am joy and beauty. I am rapturous wonder. I am life full of fun and fantastic.  I am kindness and love.

 

Some days I learn a lot about who I am and who I am going to be. Today I am not going to be scared anymore to be the most real person I can be.

Maybe writers are more articulate than I am. I haven’t quite found my pace. I have tried to do writing exercises to increase my creativity but it seems to me that the best time I get creative is when I am playing.

Let me elaborate.

 

I play pretend with my friends. I can’t be funny here because you aren’t here to talk to me. Maybe I will eat all the buttons I have in my home. Maybe I will chuck tinned foods at my children. Maybe I will pretend I can sing opera to catchy rap tunes. Maybe you want to give me an idea and I will go withthat one?

 

I’ve been taking a lot of time to reflect on things that make me happy and things that I want to accomplish. I sometimes think this could be one of those things but I peter out of ideas when I am not near a friend to play iwth. Maybe you guys are my muses??

I think that this will be all for tonight. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes less is just what it says.

Good news folks. I am feeling much better than the last time I posted here. I was a mess. Maybe I wasn’t as bad I as I felt I was but trust me, it wasn’t good.

 

Special shout out to Christine and Autumn for helping me keep it together. Both of you guys are AMAZING! I know I picked you two gals for a good reason.

 

So here I am again trying to keep up with the blog. I guess as long as I come back every now and then it should be good, right? I’m curious to know if there is anything in general you guys like to see when I’m writing. It’s not that I don’t have plenty to say, of course, I always have something to talk about. I was just wondering if there was something you don’t know about me or another subject that I might know more about that you would like to know about too. I could write about a movie or books or clouds or even birds. Obviously I know that they love titles. Birds do anyway. I bet you didn’t even know they could read. They might be more prone to read more things if the title was good. Good title more bird reading.

 

I believe that will be all for today. I’m tired from my nap yesterday. Late naps in the day make you stay up all night. Then you have to wake up early the next day and stay up all day in order to get back on a good sleep schedule and that is tiring.

For some strange reason I have totally abandoned my poor little bloggette. I guess it might be a girl blog since I am a girl but I am not sure if I want to put a gender on anything because maybe it’s a boy and I just offended all of it’s poor dear feelings. Oh, well. If it’s truly mine I can call it what I want when I want to.

I’m going to get to business on here and call it like it is. I have been suffering from some sort of depression/anxiety of sorts for a while now and I have been taking it hard. Usually I like to be with people and talk to folks and interact pretty frequently. SOmetimes in person, sometimes on the phone, sometimes in mail or emailed messages. I haven’t been up to doing a lot of that lately. I have even been having a hard time fulfilling other obligations in my community.

My family isn’t suffering too terribly from it yet. At least that is what I tell myself when I am willing my body to relax and my mind to rest so I can sleep. 

I work really hard at being a good person. I try to be a loyal and compassionate friend. I try looking out for others and at the end of the day I am usually pretty happy with what I do. Lately I have been over burdened with feelings that make me want to hide in a fort and eat nothing that can’t be eaten without not cooking it first. I don’t even want to go to get the fast food junk because I would have to be with people and people are scary right now.

There are a few friends that I can be around fairly comfortably but even they who usually make me feel lighter after being around them are starting to make it me feel like I’ve just spent a looooooong day at the beach and I can’t get all of the sand out of my cracks.

I’m tired and need a shower and somehow am sun burned even with all of the sunblock I’ve used.

Things I think about doing are:

  1. Going for long drives
  2. Reading books outside 
  3. Going out to the beach and walking around the water at night
  4. Painting pictures
  5. Writing in this blog
  6. Lots of other things

The first three things are things that I would like to do out of the house but the thought of getting on the road in the area I live in is almost enough to make me have a panic attack anyway. I live the D.C. metro area. This place is HORRIBLE to drive in. Of course getting out of the area is a nice thought but you still have to DRIVE through it to get OUT of it. Not a nice thought.

The second thing on the list is doable. The only problem is that for me there is absolutely no privacy in my area. SO, if I am outside so are others and let’s face it, I don’t want to see anyone else right now. It’s enough to know that you are there but to have to actually look at you and interact with you is almost too much.

That brings us to number three. I would love to do that. It’s less crowded at night and there aren’t as many if and people there to bother me. I’d still have to drive in this area but it would be night time and that means less people on the roads too. Great. But what about that family I have?? My husband is home sleeping all day long and working all night. The other family members (my kids who I don’t really talk about here) are either in school or home or sleeping too. I can’t leave anyone alone. I don’t want to get a babysitter during the day because my husband is sleeping and that would be super weird. I don’t want to get one at night because I should also be trying to sleep because who has to be home all day with awake kids? It’s me.

It might seem like I am just throwing my options away before I even have considered all of the possibilities but I promise you that I would do these things if my brain would stop stopping me from doing them. I have a lot of interests and talents that feel like they are being blocked. It’s driving me nuts and I can’t seem to stop myself from feeling these feelings. I’ve tried to reach out and talk to someone outside of my friends and family but I didn’t hear anything new and because of the situation I’m in it always had to be a different person. How can so many different people have the same things to say? I mean I already heard them from myself and thought I could use an outside opinion to get some fresh variety but even that isn’t working out.

I guess I need to to be finished for now. I have to say that even writing it all out doesn’t seem to be enough today. Thanks for you being there to listen though.

I almost didn’t make my writing goal this week. I was in danger folks! 

 

Here is the deal. I am not usually a big time complainer and I know only complainers say that. Today i will complain. A LOT. A little lot. So if you don’t want to hear any of my complaints wait until I post again. It might be more worth your time.

I’m sick in my body and I’m sick on my soul.

Allergies are in full effect and my face feels like a balloon inflating and I have more gunk coming out of my nose than tissues can hold.

My soul is sick because of my efforts at friendship. I have tried so many times to be a good friend to people but it seems like some of the ones I choose don’t want me back. That is mostly okay because I have a couple of handfuls of  REALLY REALLY awesome friends who are the way I enjoy my friends to be. Loyal and to feed me food. Can’t hurt to be fed folks.

The rest of my friends who aren’t in the handfuls of awesome friends are still extremely loyal and feed me too. This is what is important to me. Likewise, I do the same for them. For me, it is easy to be a good friend. I even feel like to think it is a talent that I have. I know that it’s a little difficult to get used to me at first because I am also a super honest friend. So maybe friends who leave are the ones who can’t handle my honesty. I’m not even brutally honest. I used to be and now I’ve even learned some tact . Well, I’m mostly tactful.

The big point is that I have been trying even harder than ever to not get disappointed when a friend decides they don’t want to be close (or closer). One thing that I still find really hard is when they outright dismiss me. It hurts me. I care about all of my friends so much. I think about every single one of them pretty regularly. I’m constantly trying to figure out a way to better our friendship and try to help them with whatever they need. I really put myself out there for them. If you are a friend of mine and you ever feel like I have done something that is irreversibly bad and there is no point in our friendship or if you are just not that interested in knowing me anymore please just let me know. I still might have a hurt feeling or two but I won’t have any ill feelings for you. YOu were my friend after all. And I love every one of you.