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What I Mean When I Say ‘I Have Anxiety’

Trigger warning

For most people I talk to, when I tell them I have an anxiety disorder, they nod their head and tell me it’ll be okay. When I tell them, “I’m sorry, I’m having a bad anxiety day, can we reschedule?” They smile and tell me there’s nothing to worry about and if I just get out of bed, I’ll see that everything is fine. When I don’t want to go bar hopping because I know that alcohol only increases my anxious tendencies I hear, “You’re fine. It’ll be fun. Let off some steam!”

Meanwhile, my heart is pounding so fast that I’m afraid it may be visibly beating out of my chest. But it isn’t. My head isn’t actually spinning in circles. My eyes are not crossed like my blurred vision indicates. My knees aren’t wobbling along with the trembling muscles fighting the urge to collapse. My face isn’t pale and my eyes aren’t bloodshot. No, on the outside, I look like I do every day. My hair is clean. My clothes match. I am awake, alive and breathing fine. So nothing is wrong, right?

Wrong.

That’s the thing about anxiety disorders. We look fine. Of course, we look fine. Our legs aren’t broken. Our tongues haven’t been cut out. We aren’t cut or bruised. Because anxiety is not a physical disability. That however, does not make it any less debilitating.

Anxiety is a complex disorder and it is nothing to simply smile and nod away. You telling us everything is okay not only doesn’t help us, but it hurts us more because nobody seems to take it seriously.

So here are some things I would like you to know about struggling with anxiety.

It is not constant.

There are days when I can make it through without having to stop and breathe or pop a Xanax. I can smile and laugh. I can be productive and go to work, go out to dinner, go see a movie with my friends. And trust me, I know how difficult it is to understand how I can be fine one day and the next, not be able to get out of bed. That’s just how it is.

Which leads me to my next point:

It comes in waves.

Anxiety is a strange beast. It will let me have some fun for a couple of days and I think, hmm maybe it’s finally left me alone. Then a few days go by, and I wake up one morning unable to even think straight because for whatever reason, the beast has once again emerged and there is nothing I can do to stop it from coming because I have woken up to it sitting on my chest smiling as if I’m welcoming it home.

It can be completely paralyzing.

I don’t know if this one applies to everyone, but I know it is a very big piece of my anxiety disorder. When anxiety hits, I am frozen. I can get up and go through the motions of my day but my brain is elsewhere, held captive by whatever “demon” is inhabiting me this time. I cannot think about anything except my inability to think or breathe or feel. Let that one sink in. My brain feels like it is literally paralyzed, as if it is stuck in some kind of limbo with no doors or windows or exits of any kind.

The worst part? I’m completely alone in there.

It can ruin relationships.

Not just romantic relationships, but a relationship of any kind. Friendships and relationships alike can be destroyed by this condition. I have experienced both, and it is the most devastating kind of loss. Why? Because it is not our fault.

It is a disorder that, without the knowledge of how to care for it properly, can explode over time. Eventually, it can become too much for someone else to carry around with them. If they become close enough to you to experience firsthand the effects of your anxiety, it can become too much for them and they might sever the ties for their own mental health. And it hurts like hell.

But I can’t blame them because if I could choose to stay as far away from anxiety as they can, I would in a heartbeat.

It can make trust nearly impossible.

I know it sounds awful to blame trust issues on anxiety but in all honestly, it’s not placing blame, it’s placing responsibility. Anxiety almost never fails to make you think the worst of every situation.

If someone doesn’t answer my text, well then that’s it, they no longer like me. If someone doesn’t text me first, they don’t think about me. Someone is busy? Forget it. They just have better things to do with their time than spend it with me. I sound ridiculous, right? Welcome to the anxiety life. We do not have cookies, sorry, but can I interest you in crippling loneliness at a table for one? No? Didn’t think so.

I do not want this.

. . .

I will overcome it.

But it will take time. Fighting anxiety can be a never-ending battle with frequent slip ups and breakdowns along the way. I am still in the process personally, and it is not easy. At all. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my entire life. And I have been through a lot. Anxiety however, takes the cake.

Source: What I Mean When I Say ‘I Have Anxiety’

Note: I tried to keep it short, to not actually use all the article’s text, but I couldn’t bring myself to cut more out. Every word of it needs to be said, and read, by as many people as possible. Understanding is everything.

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I Don’t Hate You, I Have Social Anxiety – Role Reboot

Because social cues and verbal communication are so important in forming new friendships, my anxiety often makes me come off as being cold, disinterested, and even mean.

I’m rarely in the moment with other people because I’m in my head, over-thinking, worrying, and analyzing. Those same thoughts and worries also prevent me from initiating hangouts and following up on rescheduling plans. I always assume that if someone doesn’t contact me or has to cancel a plan we’ve made that they don’t like me. I take any kind of rejection, real or perceived, incredibly personally. I obsess about what people say and do, analyzing their words and actions for cues to help me figure out what they really think of me.

Of course, this is the same kind of thinking that they might be applying to me as a result of my quietness and failure to initiate or reschedule. I’m doing the exact same thing that I don’t want them to do to me. It’s too bad that anxiety doesn’t respond well to basic logic.

via I Don’t Hate You, I Have Social Anxiety – Role Reboot.

No One Spoke | Storyshucker

We turned to face the faint light. As if a few feet would make a difference in the millions of miles that separated us, we all drifted a bit closer to the water in the direction of the already brighter pink sky. In that first light I noticed we had not been alone.

via No One Spoke | Storyshucker.

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance

I’m a walking regret, a truth-teller, a liar, a survivor, a frowning ellipsis, a witness, a dreamer, a teacher, a student, a joker, a writer whose eyes stay red, and I’m a child of this nation.

via How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: A Remembrance.

Fisherman risks own life to save baby fox from being kicked to death

The tiny fox cub who is now being looked after by staff at Foxy Lodge

“You cannot look into the eyes of something like that and kick it to death.”

“A gang of vile thugs shot dead a vixen then set about killing her defenceless cub by kicking it as it lay cowering just inches from her dead mother.

The poor animal was only saved when a hero fisherman risked his own life to intervene and was assaulted himself.”

Read entire article: Fisherman risks own life to save baby fox from being kicked to death by thugs – Mirror Online.

Funny, I used to be an Architect

INFP – the Healer

You scored 36% I to E, 47% N to S, 33% F to T, and 53% J to P!

You are more introverted than extroverted. You are more intuitive than observant, you are more feeling based than thinking based, and you prefer to go with the flow rather than having a plan. Your type can best be summarized by the word “Healer”, which belongs to the larger group of idealists. You have a capacity for caring that is deeper than most. You strive for unity, are fascinated by the battles between good and evil, and can be something of an idealist. Only 1% of the population shares your type.

As a romantic partner, you are usually supprtive and nuturing, however, you have a high need for individuality. Harmony is extremely important to you as you are very affected by conflict and tension, which also makes you resist confronting your partner directly about problems. When you get angry, you usually blame yourself, rather than your partner. You can also be stubborn and unyielding when you feel you are being criticized or mistreated. You feel the most appreciated when your partner listens to you carefully. You need to be understood. You need to hear your partner express their feelings, the more often, the better. Your group summary: idealists (NF)

Your type summary: INFP

Results from The Quick and Dirty Personality Test (Read more about the Keirsey Temperament Theory here.

 

Funny, I used to be an Architect.

No link between prenatal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors found

No Link Between Prenatal Mercury Exposure and Autism-Like Behaviors Found

The potential impact of exposure to low levels of mercury on the developing brain — specifically by women consuming fish during pregnancy — has long been the source of concern and some have argued that the chemical may be responsible for behavioral disorders such as autism. However, a new study that draws upon more than 30 years of research in the Republic of Seychelles reports that there is no association between pre-natal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors. (Credit: © Yoram Astrakhan / Fotolia)

“This study shows no evidence of a correlation between low level mercury exposure and autism spectrum-like behaviors among children whose mothers ate, on average, up to 12 meals of fish each week during pregnancy,” said Edwin van Wijngaarden, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center‘s (URMC) Department of Public Health Sciences and lead author of the study which appears online today in the journal Epidemiology. “These findings contribute to the growing body of literature that suggest that exposure to the chemical does not play an important role in the onset of these behaviors.”

The debate over fish consumption has long created a dilemma for expecting mothers and physicians. Fish are high in beneficial nutrients such as, selenium, vitamin E, lean protein, and omega-3 fatty acids; the latter are essential to brain development. At the same time, exposure to high levels of mercury has been shown to lead to developmental problems, leading to the claim that mothers are exposing their unborn children to serious neurological impairment by eating fish during pregnancy. Despite the fact that the developmental consequences of low level exposure remain unknown, some organizations, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, have recommended that pregnant women limit their consumption of fish.

“The Seychelles study was designed to follow a population over a very long period of time and focus on relevant mercury exposure,” said Philip Davidson, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Seychelles Child Development Study and professor emeritus in Pediatrics at URMC. “While the amount of fish consumed in the Seychelles is significantly higher than other countries in the industrialized world, it is still considered low level exposure.”

… lends further evidence to an emerging belief that the “good” may outweigh the possible “bad” when it comes to fish consumption during pregnancy. Specifically, if mercury does adversely influence child development at these levels of exposure then the benefits of the nutrients found in the fish may counteract or perhaps even supersede the potential negative effects of the mercury.

“This study shows no consistent association in children with mothers with mercury level that were six to ten times higher than those found in the U.S. and Europe,” said Davidson. “This is a sentinel population and if it does not exist here than it probably does not exist.”

Read entire article at ScienceDaily.

Grammar Jedi

“If we had no speed limits or traffic laws, some people would drive like idiots, even more than they do now. If we had no age of consent, some people would have sex with children, even more than happens now. If there was no IRS, no taxes would be paid, and our country would collapse overnight into anarchy, a horror almost beyond imagining.

And if we had basically no gun restrictions…whoops. We don’t. And gun crime is rampant, and accidental shootings as well, and mass slaughters are becoming more and more common.

One political party in America wants to have meaningful regulations, regulations that would not infringe on the right to gun ownership any more than speed limits infringe on the ability to drive your car. The other party wants mayhem and murder, crime and terrorism, mass shootings, 5 year old boys shooting their 2 year old sisters, and they will fight to the death to keep as many of those things happening as possible.

Sometimes life is very simple: Democrats are good people, Republicans are evil. May the Force be with us, always.”

via Grammar Jedi

O’ Divine One

The Flying Spaghetti Monster

As has been proclaimed by the Pirates, Ahoy! for a New Age has come.

Let the printed idols fall before the Awesome might of the Noodle! Let there be singing in the streets and countrysides of the great divinity that is The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Let the Saviors of the past degenerate into the myths they are. Let Boyardee be raised up and with a mighty “Arrr” let the Holy Land be found. And once there let a great monument to the Midget, the Mountain, and the Tree be built and consecrated in the name of the image of the Skull and Crossbones.

The Swords are drawn. The flags are waving and the ships are coming to assault the port of Untruth! Pillaging, plundering, and wenching will commence and when that is done, a great cloud of saucey awesomeness will billow in the image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the highest and most powerful Noodle!

RAmen.

Now let us pray.

Our Pasta, who “Arghh” in heaven, Swallowed be thy shame. Thy Midgit come. Thy Sauce be yum, On top some grated Parmesan. Give us this day our garlic bread. And give us our cutlasses, As we swashbuckle, splice the main-brace and cuss. And lead us into temptation, But deliver us some Pizza. For thine are Meatballs, and the beer, and the strippers, for ever and ever. RAmen.

via Sexy Atheists.

she walks in beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Lord Byron

simple Ula

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