Anxiety Cakes

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Archive for the tag “anxiety”

Life only sucks if you let It

I am not a strong believer when it comes to certain things – but last night while talking through my reasons for wanting to make another life change, it occurred to me that I have been given so many signs that I have chosen to ignore. So many it’s ridiculous. But I guess the reason they were so easily overlooked is because it would have meant “big” change, and “big” change brings on the kind of anxiety that I choose not to deal with. This time it feels different. As I sit here with my deteriorating spine and crippled fingers, I realize that NOT making this change could eventually wreck me both mentally and physically. (Please note that while I am no longer in denial over my anxiety, I still haven’t learned how to fully manage it. I had moved onto the stage of acknowledging it then politely ignoring it, but now it seems I’m moving onto another stage – we’ll call it the “revelation” stage – the whole process is exhausting – and whoever said that ‘admitting you have a problem is the hardest part’ was full of shit.) I guess part of it is, at 40 years young I am finally realizing that there is always an end to the destructive behaviors that we choose to ignore, and it’s never good. There is nothing wrong with realizing and accepting your weaknesses and limitations. The real tragedy is when you keep doing things that make them worse.

So after 22 years of sitting at a desk, I have made the decision to find another way to help support my family by doing something that keeps me active. Something that will allow me to earn a paycheck while improving my conditions and challenging my flaws – rather than helping me down the wrong path to the point of no return. I desire the support of my friends and family in my new ventures, but the hard work and courage it will take to make this happen is solely on me. I’ve got to own this one all by myself.

And now that I finally like beans, the idea of eating them out of a can no longer scares me.

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Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse…

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Apparently there are two kinds of claustrophobia – and I’m lucky enough to suffer from both of them.

You Don’t Have to be Crazy to be My Friend, but it Helps

Did you ever have one of those days where you feel like the whole world is against you and nothing makes you happy? I hate them. They don’t happen very often, but when they do, I am acutely aware of what I am feeling and that there is nothing I can do to stop it. It usually has to run its course. And I can’t wait for it to end.

If you’re lucky, you’ll have a friend or two that can help you through these episodes (if you let them). I’ve been through enough of these to know that wallowing in self-pity and being a reclusive never helps, so instead I try to stay active and reach out to people. Sometimes it doesn’t work out as planned, and I am stuck with myself. My ugly, miserable self.

But when all else fails, the one thing that keeps me going is experience – I know it will pass. And throughout these dreadful days, I remind myself of all the things I have to be grateful for. And how much I am loved. And how lucky I am to have my health. And how much worse it could be. And I get through it. (And now matter how cliché this sounds, these constant reminders really do work.)

And when it’s all done, and the sun comes out again, I look back on it and accept that most of it was in my head.

Most of it.

The other part of it is a normal human belief that exists within all of us. It’s called expectation. Expectation is cruel. Expectation is the root of all disappointment. My husband told me years ago that one of my biggest problems is that my expectation of others is too high – that I expect others to feel as much and care as much as I do. That’s mostly true, and he’s partly right, but only to a certain degree. I believe that when you stop expecting human compassion and reciprocated love and friendship from others, you are compromising who you are and what you deserve. So instead of giving up on all, give your time and attention to just a few. The few that support you and help you get through all things, real or imaginary, without judgment or betrayal. The few that love you on your worst days. These are your people. These are your true and unconditional friends.

And the Categories Are…

I was having trouble getting started, and then all of a sudden, I found myself wanting to write about all things! So I started one thing, then another, and another. Next thing I know, I have six drafts saved and not one thing posted. Make that seven.

So, I decided to slow it down and start with a list of things I want to write about. I love lists. One time I made a list of lists I had to make. That’s as far as I ever got. I want it to be different this time.

I also decided that I should start using a thesaurus because I tend to use my favorite words over and over again. Especially the word especially. So you should be glad that I’m overly concerned about this – otherwise reading my posts would be like…like when you are talking to a person that says “um” a lot, and as soon as you notice, you stop listening and start counting.

I also need to disable the “Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level” grammar feature in Microsoft word, because their opinion doesn’t really matter here. I’m writing a blog – not a thesis. It always tells me that my finished product is shitty and I’m a 5th grade failure because there are so many fragments in my posts. And there always will be.

Ok, I got off track there for a minute. Back to the list.

Here we go:

The XanaX Files (see what I did there?) – A compilation of writings about the anxieties I suffer from. Everything from debilitating claustrophobia to the bizarre behaviors of entomophobia. They’ll be like science fiction stories, but with medication. Except for they’re true, and I don’t take any meds for these disorders – though I probably should. These stories may bore some readers, but I’m convinced that there are other people out there that agonize over the same things, and I’d like to find them. Misery loves company.

The Vodka Diaries – Alcohol-related misadventures. Sometimes the best drinking fun ends with the worst decisions.

High School Suckage* – Sure, it was decades ago, but horrible memories last forever. I was in trouble a lot, I was the only one dating a guy with a baby, and most of the girls hated me. *All names will be changed – unless you’re still an asshole and you deserve the recognition.

Parental Hovering – I’m an expert at this. My daughter sincerely believes that she won’t have a private life until she’s 30, and I’m okay with that.

Feeling 42 – It’s like a parody of Taylor Swift’s song “22”, but replace the carefree fun and dancing with bitching and moaning, and make it all about the not-so-fun changes we go through as we get older. I’ll try to add humor when I can.

You’re Doing It Wrong – I’ll complain about education, health care, personal experiences, and current events that don’t make sense to me. Or possibly anyone else.

Special Guest Stars – My favorite posts from others – friends, family or strangers – famous or unheard of – with or without commentary. Basically, anything that I can totally relate to or find outrageously witty – and definitely some whimsical stuff from the best co-workers on earth.

No matter what I write about, I know this is going to be a worthy and freeing experience. I look forward to writing brutal truths and uncensored opinions with reckless abandon.

Having trouble getting started? Welcome to my life.

I was really excited about this whole blog thing. I created a half-ass page, wrote one half-ass blog and then poof! My dream of blogging slipped quietly into the abyss of unfinished business – where my other 352 dreams sit patiently waiting to be reclaimed.

This, like many of the other “Oh yes, I am going to do that and it’s going to be great!” moments, came to a screeching halt because of the two things that always stop me: an attention disorder and something that I’ve appropriately named “unfounded fears anxiety”. These two problems would be cumbersome enough by themselves, but when combined, become a giant obstacle for me to overcome. Daily. Most days I am scattered and riddled with anxiety, so if I am lucky enough to get my thoughts together on a day that I am feeling brave, I need to seize the moment. This only leaves me with tiny windows of time to do great things – while the rest of my time is spent in an eternal loop of wishing and wanting. And worrying.

Citing ADD is self-explanatory: sometimes I can’t concentrate long enough to produce anything longer than a Facebook status. Ironically enough, I felt my status updates were becoming too long (and too frequent) and that’s what led me to the idea of blogging. I have always loved to write, but I let my anxiety take over and seemed to develop some sort of writer’s (and reader’s) block that left me in literary silence for the past few years.

When it comes to writing, if I can get into the zone, then half the battle is over. The easy half. I still have to get past the fear part. Not just with writing, but with most things. And let me tell you, I worry about some of the dumbest shit imaginable.

For example, I wanted to write about some of my experiences with people and alcohol (or drunkenness in general) and publish them as “The Vodka Diaries”. The ideas were flowing. I was ready. And then it started – I call them the what-ifs. What if I offend people? What if I am judged by people who don’t drink at all? What if I am glorifying the opinions of others who already think I drink too much? What if real vodka lovers send me hate mail? And if I can get past those, then I still have to deal with the smaller (and more ridiculous) fears that spawn from my obsessive-grammatical disorder. (Like how I name my own disorders?) What if I misspell something? What if I use the wrong word – like past instead of passed? (I may have just done that). What if I use too many parentheses? (I always do that. In fact, I’m doing it right now.) And most importantly, what if no one reads what I write?

On and on it goes, and where it stops…oh wait, it doesn’t.

I guess the best news I have to share in all my ramblings is that after a lifetime of coping with these issues, I’ve started to circle back around with the intent to turn the what-ifs into why-nots. I start by tell myself it’s total bullshit to feel this way. I remind myself of all the things I’ve already missed out on in life because of the what-ifs. I don’t need to figure out WHY I am this way – I just need to learn how to work around it. I need to push past the faulty brain wiring and just do things without over-analyzing them. I need to stop focusing on the possible (and totally improbable) outcomes and worrying about everything that could go wrong. Fear really is the thief of dreams.

So, I’m going to start writing because it makes me happy. I consider this to be my introductory post (even though it’s the second one) and a general disclaimer for the written episodes that follow. I will write a lot about the things I know – anxiety and bad decisions – and it wont always be pretty. And if no one reads what I write, sobeit. It will still feel a thousand times better than wondering if I should and wishing that I could. It makes me a little better. It deflates my anxiety a bit. It builds my confidence. It keeps me going. The fear will dissipate. The thoughts will keep coming, and I will keep writing them. I have always been my own worst critic – now it’s time for me to be my own biggest fan.

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