Thursday, March 31, 2016


Accurate meme is accurate.

Sometimes I cannot tell if I am full of Anxiety or on the cusp of Depression.  It's a thin line to toe.  And as someone who suffers from Anxiety, that one thought starts the hamster wheel. Am I depressed or am I not depressed? Is it Anxiety or is not Anxiety? Am I crazy? Well duh. Of course I am. I'm crazy.  I need to be hospitalized. Why won't anyone see how crazy I am and put me in the hospital?

From Monkey Mind, pg. 174.  "No one with panic attacks and Anxiety has ever gone crazy. In fact, because you realized that you have panic attacks, this is just another indication that you are not going crazy. People that "go crazy" lose contact with reality.  Anxious people are too much in contact with reality.  Thus people with anxiety never go crazy." 

How unfair is that shit? It's like saying, "Well, I know that you are on the edge and you feel like you are on the edge and about to plummet to your death, but you are aware you are on the edge and don't want to jump so you won't jump.  You are safe. You just have to continue standing there with the fear in your heart like you are about to jump. Enjoy that weak feeling in your private area as you look down. Have fun with that." 

There are highs and lows with Anxiety. Sometimes I feel cured, and then I get slammed in the face. Like Anxiety is a Mack truck hitting me head on. I am in a big slump right now, hence the new blog and the consistent journal entries.  Artists are always more productive when manic. 

Anxiety inducing topics for the day:

1. Forgot to eat lunch with my mentor yesterday, going to make it up to her today which should decrease my anxiety bc a plan is in place, but I am still beating myself up for forgetting in the first place.

2. Double booked myself for a weekend in April with 2 things I really want to do. Hamster-wheeling between which to choose.

3. My job.
4. Boredom.
5. My weight.
6. Money.
7. They hate me. They don't like me. I am unlikable. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What should I do with myself?

So I've been in the same job for almost 12 years. It stole the last of my 20's and my entire 30's. I'll be 40 in about 27 days.  I can't believe it. What I took as a foot-in-the-door job is still my job. I have various reasons I am still here.  1. It allowed me time to have 2 kids and the freedom to not take a job home with me. 2. It is safe. 3. I have good people here. 4. My parents taught me to be loyal to an employer and it will pay off, you will climb the ladder because people will see you as dependable with a good work ethic.  5. I didn't want to be seen as a job hopper.

I have to try and remember that although in hindsight these reasons look shoddy if you want to have a flourishing career and climb the professional ladder, I did what I thought was best for myself at the time.  However, that doesn't help me today when I am completely disenchanted with my day-to-day work life, and I have ample time to sit and contemplate all of the things I have done wrong career-wise, and how other will see this "career" path I have been on. Because it hasn't really been a path. It has been a holding pattern with pay and insurance.

Monkey Mind, pg. 152: "Idleness is as much Anxiety's plaything as the devil'.s" #truth.

As my years in my current position have increased, so has my down time. Am I just too efficient at what I do? Have I streamlined everything to the point that I made this idle time myself? Doesn't matter, really.  I am where I am. I am on the internet daily combing websites for job postings. Today I looked up "Best jobs for people with anxiety." Hey, it told me to become a writer and start with a blog.  I'm on it.

I really want to look into being a teacher because I love kids, and it might could happen through a program in my state that allows those with higher ed degrees to step into a classroom without a teaching certificate. I passed the middle school social science test required and have the appropriate degrees.  However, they have to be willing to take a risk on someone who has never been in a classroom.  I am praying someone will.

Idleness is killing me slowly but surely. I sit and think about all I have done wrong. What has led me to sit in this room with the walls closing in. I even hung a picture of Jigsaw from the Saw movies on my bulletin board in my office. Because that is how I feel. That I am going to have to cut off an arm or a leg to get out of this place.  Someone help me get out of this place. I NEED to keep my brain busy. I NEED some problems to solve or people to direct. I NEED to quit cycling in my mind all that I have done wrong and how I will never get out of this hole. I NEED emotional comforting, but somehow that never comes. It's like my brain NEEDS a hug, but that isn't physically possible.

For as many past appointments as I can remember, my therapists asks me, "So, how are you?" And my response is always, "Tired." Because I am so very, very tired of thinking and fighting with myself internally.  I want to quit work. I want to stay at home and clean my house, and enjoy each day by going outside and moving in life. I want to get out from behind a desk and LIVE.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

That quote haunts me day after day. I don't want to lie on my death bed thinking I have not lived. And yet, that is what I feel here every day. Sitting at this desk. Within these walls. Missing the days. The seasons. The life. A life. MY LIFE.

This is how it starts...

I recently read a book called Monkey Mind by Daniel Smith. My therapist gave it to me. You know, my anxiety therapist, who is supposed to help me learn to control my brain and slow it down from the hamster wheel that it is on. I'm a work in progress.  Anyway, MM inspired me to write about my own experiences with anxiety because as it turns out, I am not alone. My crazy thoughts are not even considered "crazy" and others share them. Wait. What? My abnormality is normal for an entire group of people?! You have got to be shitting me. I am not special, or rare in my insanity? Wait, you are telling me I am not even insane.  Unbelievable.

My name is Heather and I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, diagnosed in 2003. I'm greatful to have been suffering from something with an actual name for the past 13 years. It was sweet relief to give it a name all those years ago because that gave credibility to my sickness.  I was not making it up. I was really sick.  !!!!  It is real, and doctors now recognize it pretty frequently. In fact, as of the past few years I have actually gotten pissy because so many people claim to have anxiety. WTF?! THAT IS MY DISEASE. I REALLY HAVE IT. QUIT FAKING IT PEOPLE.  THEY ARE STEALING MY SICKNESS AND THEY DON'T REALLY HAVE IT NOW NOONE WILL BELIEVE I HAVE IT!  Another irrational thought brought on by emotional thinking.

See, that is what my therapist is teaching me, that people with anxiety are emotional thinkers. No one is 100% rational or emotional, but anxiety sufferers lie heavily on that emotional side. I mean, I feel like I am 95-99% emotional thinking perpetually. And it it's hard, you know. On the outside, I look normal. I look in the mirror and I see someone who looks like she has it all together, but on the inside, I am all disarray. And no one can see that, but I feel it, and then I start to think I am projecting it. Then everyone knows. They all know I am freaking out.  They KNOW.

So I am working on things. Learning to write things down. To try and drain my brain of all that it holds and make checklists and put things on paper or my iCalendar. Anything to take things out instead of holding them in. And a lot of times I have to take things out and analyze them.  Like my core beliefs about myself. They are all negative. So I have homework assignments like, answer these questions: where did this belief come from, what level of all or nothing thinking is it, and how is it conducive to anxiety's thought cycle and your own.

We- me and my therapist- talk about Anxiety like it is a person. A devil within my mind stirring up ugly and tumultuous thoughts and spinning them around in my brain like a category 5 tornado. An enemy that lives within your own mind that you have to learn to disarm. In essence: Brain v. Brain. It's tiring. It's exhausting. It's my life.

"This is how it starts…"
-Matty Healy, The 1975