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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.

Overwhelmed

“Writers seem to me to be people who need to retire from social life and do a lot of thinking about what’s happened–almost to calm themselves.”

–Helen Garner

Deli Swiss Cheese

The .63 price on top is for some boring Swiss cheese that I didn't purchase. Under that label is one for .63 which also shows the correct cheese, which I ordered and watched her slice on the spot. She obviously put the correct one on first, then covered it with this bogus one. If it was the other way around, I'd think she mislabeled it the first time, then corrected it. In THIS order, the only possible explanation is that it was intentional.

So I bought this pepper jack #cheese at the #Walmart #deli counter tonight. If you look close, you can see that there is a second label placed over the original.

The $7.63 price on top is for some boring Swiss cheese that I didn’t purchase. Under that label is one for $6.63 which also shows the correct cheese, which I ordered and watched her slice on the spot. She obviously put the correct one on first, then covered it with this bogus one. If it was the other way around, I’d think she mislabeled it the first time, then corrected it. In THIS order, the only possible explanation is that it was intentional.

This is where it starts to disturb me a bit more. Due to the fact I would be taking this to a random checker and paying the “Swiss price”, there’s no potential for profit to the deli girl in this scenario. She doesn’t take payments, nor could she have something going with anyone else to profit from this in any way. Further, there’s no way she’s doing this just to keep inventory in line when she sneaks Swiss out in her bra since she’d just have a similar inventory shortage of pepper jack!

That leaves only one of 2 possible recipients of this switcharoo: Either the deli or whole store is scamming the company for bonuses and so on due to reduced “shrink” from sneaking this kinda crap in repeatedly to make up for employee theft, shoplifting, damaged items, etc. that normally factor into this rather important retail statistic. If it’s not this individual location (Walmart #5462, Vancouver, WA), then the other possibility is that Walmart is pulling this scam company-wide. Assuming they manage to do this to 1 in 4 customers, the extra dollar per 4 customers would make a hefty sum when they apparently have 100 million customers a week. That’s a lot of thievery.

Either way, Walmart, whether locally or worldwide, is training its employees to do things like this, and fuck us if we don’t like donating dollars to Walmart. This isn’t the first crap like this they’ve pulled. Several years ago a bunch of employees verified some suspicions that stores were adjusting shrink numbers by sneakily spinning the bag turnstile in such a way to guarantee lots of people leaving a bag or 2 behind.

via Timeline Photos.

 

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

Anxiety - Just because you feel bad, doesn't mean things really are bad.

ANXIETY is the body’s way of responding to danger. It’s a survival mechanism designed to keep us alive.

But the danger we perceive doesn’t actually have to be there. We just have to think that it is.

Whether the danger is real or imagined, our automatic survival mechanisms will kick in and we will try to escape or avoid the danger.

We might avoid certain people or places. We might refuse to go out. Perhaps we’ll only go out with someone else present and then leave early.

If we choose to face the danger, we might use coping behaviours to get us through, like smoking more, fiddling with our clothes, avoiding eye contact or taking medication.

Whilst our coping behaviours get us through the perceived danger, they actually keep our anxiety going. As long as we depend on them to cope, we don’t give ourselves the opportunity for the anxiety to go away on its own.

Learning to confront our anxiety might be uncomfortable in the short term, but it helps us take control and feel better in the long term.

If you feel anxiety starting to overwhelm you, ask yourself if you have any proof that what you fear is actually going to happen. What is the worst that could happen and how would you cope with it if it did? Imagine it is six months from now. How important will this feel then?

Just because you feel bad, doesn’t mean things really are bad. Imagine yourself coping with this situation. If you can handle it in your imagination, you can handle it in reality.

via Inner Child Healing.

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.

Of Chocolate and Human Arrogance,The Modern Mocha

“Just the other day, I was in my neighborhood Starbucks, waiting for the post office to open. I was enjoying a chocolatey cafe mocha when it occurred to me that to drink a mocha is to gulp down the entire history of the New World. From the Spanish exportation of Aztec cacao, and the Dutch invention of the chemical process for making cocoa, on down to the capitalist empire of Hershey, PA, and the lifestyle marketing of Seattle’s Starbucks, the modern mocha is a bittersweet concoction of imperialism, genocide, invention, and consumerism served with whipped cream on top.”

 
― Sarah Vowell

 

 

 

P1030821

P1030821 (Photo credit: Ronald HN Tan)

 

Nanoparticles Made From Bee Venom Can Kill HIV

"For the experiment, Wickline's team prepared free melittin and melittin-loaded nanoparticles and set them against various strains of HIV..."

“For the experiment, Wickline’s team prepared free melittin and melittin-loaded nanoparticles and set them against various strains of HIV…”

“… researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that nanoparticles infused with a toxic bee venom can kill HIV. The researchers hope to take this new compound and develop a vaginal gel that can prevent the further spread of the disease.

The key to this discovery, which was made by Samuel A. Wickline and his team at Washington University, involves cytolyic melittin peptides. Melittin is found in bee venom, and it has the fortuitous trait of being able to degrade the protective envelope that surrounds HIV.”

via Nanoparticles Made From Bee Venom Can Kill HIV.

 

The Skin You’re In

BBW Wonder Woman

“To all the girls whose thighs touch, with stretchmarks laid like gold across their backside, with bellies too full for any inadequate hands, thank goddess for your abundance.”

~ Kim Crosby

via Unpacking the “F” Word

Hey Fiver and Not Writing, or Writing Update « Bonnie Sparks Writes

That would have been my first write-in, had I attended. I’m prone to panic attacks, have social phobia, high anxiety, and haven’t been coping with social isolation lately, so had two panic attacks in the morning. Needless to say, I didn’t get in the building! I did make it, at least to out front. After being exhausted and losing the ability to make decisions (it happens when I’m hit with anxiety and have a panic attack)

via Hey Fiver and Not Writing, or Writing Update « Bonnie Sparks Writes.

 

 

Me too. Except I didn’t even make out my front door. The library hosting write-in I wanted to attend isn’t that far away, but it’s also at night and I’m not doing well being out by myself at night these days. Just thinking about trying a nighttime walk makes me tremble. Plus I should have roughly upwards of 6,000+ words by now — I’ve got zero. Ugh. I can’t seem to focus on weaving my plot threads together into a coherent story, let alone start writing it out.  The more I try to get into the storytelling frame of mind, the more distracted I get.

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