Metaphors

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Anxiety is a lot like having an orgasm. It takes the right set of circumstances to reach the climax. And I would much rather be reaching an orgasm than an anxiety attack. I have in the past used sex as a way to soothe anxiety- sometimes without my partner being aware of that even. All the good feelings from sex can take away the bad feelings of anxiety. Or at least balance them. Here’s the bit where the metaphor gets rough: disease, bruises, pregnant, in relation to anxiety a panic, depression, or crippling fear is just as bad and also can last nine months.

In Case

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Thanks to anxiety I often go to bed afraid that it is my last day. That I won’t wake up in the morning. Insomnia wins. But I the rare occasions that I actually get to sleep I will wake up to wonder: what if I had died? Would the ones I love know I love them? Would my body and possessions be respected? Would I find out I did a shitty job and have to start all over? Would I find the peace I seek so desperately at times here? So. My newest habit is to write down a letter in my journal every night addressed to the universe telling everyone I love how and why I love them. And as well as listing what I plan to do and hope happens should I pass. I have been lucky enough to wake up each day so far. To find my happiness where I can. And to realize that it is all ok however it turns out. Even if I don’t feel that way right now. It will be a wonderful adventure to wake up every morning and grow old. It will not be wasted on me. Not anymore.

Gone Fishing

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Obsession is a sneaky bitch. Sometimes I become obsessed with something and didnt even realize I was until I am so far down the rabbit hole I may as well call it addiction now. But sometimes. Maybe sometimes. You can force your brain to love the things that are good for you. Even the
Things you sometimes fear. Or still do fear. I go alone. As far up as possible. No cell reception. No person in sight besides me and my dog. And sometimes I don’t catch anything. But most days at least what I know I can find are the tiny minutes of hope. And these brief still seconds are so tiny that I often do not hear them until they have passed. This is not distraction. This is not escape. This is what I was meant to be doing- living. Breathing. My only fear returning to the noise and heavy of real life. Where I miss things and hate things and worry too much. We cannot live forever in the peace, the same as we were not made to live so long in fear.

Heartache

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I have been really struggling with loss. I never learned how to cope with loss so now that I am accepting the great losses of my life it is very hard to not let my anxiety and depression rule my life. Of course I have to afford myself leeway to stumble and be lazy occasionally. I have goals and so long as I take action to fulfill those goals even in small ways then I can be ok with myself and my current situations. Unfortunately. On rope of all my current failures and losses here I am also dealing with heartache. I left my last relationship because I didn’t feel safe. The profound and beautiful love I experienced fell by the wayside when my anxiety and fear and insecurities bubbled up and were met without compassion and kindness. So since I now have to be away from the person I love, even knowing it is for the best, I feel a little more discombobulated when trying to deal with the loss. I know everything will be ok. But I found this picture and wrote a poem about it. Enjoy :)

Do not let me be still
Ache is the only
Memory I have of you
So let me shake
Let me rattle with your hand
Snap these fragile
Filaments and see
The spaces beneath my skin
Are full of liquid, plush, and you

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Ice Cream Fun-Day

Speaking of perfect people. I did go to Dairy Queen today. And I got ordered an ice cream cone and fries. And then I paid and noticed the girl as she gave me my change back had all these red splotches on her arm and hands like blood or a rash or something! And then she make my ice cream cone! But it was ok she only touched the cone so I wrapped it in a napkin and tried not to panic about what kind of disease she was spreading! Waited for my fries. And then the girl walks over and starts cleaning out a tub. The rag turned all red too. Cuz someone had spilled strawberry sauce. She just had strawberry sauce On her! ha. i panicked for nothing. Phew. No hepatitis in my ice cream!

Ice Cream Fun-Day

Speaking of perfect people. I did go to Dairy Queen today. And I got ordered an ice cream cone and fries. And then I paid and noticed the girl as she gave me my change back had all these red splotches on her arm and hands like blood or a rash or something! And then she make my ice cream cone! But it was ok she only touched the cone so I wrapped it in a napkin and tried not to panic about what kind of disease she was spreading! Waited for my fries. And then the girl walks over and starts cleaning out a tub. The rag turned all red too. Cuz someone had spilled strawberry sauce. She just had strawberry sauce On her! ha. i panicked for nothing. Phew. No hepatitis in my ice cream!

Lists

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Today I made lists. This has proved to be a very useful exercise. With each list I started from birth right up to present day listing everything. It has taken hours. But was an amazing, albeit exhausting, mental and emotional purging. There was crying, shaking, panic, and quiet resolve. I feel better if not a little worse for wear. And of course am seeing now my own self as a flawed human being deserving of my own love. I hope this could be a useful step for other people as well. It sure will at least give me a lot to talk about in therapy tonight!

Here’s a list of what I made lists of:

Things I am sorry for
Things I forgive other people for
Things I am proud of
Things that were not my fault
Things that were my fault
Things I am grateful for

I always like to make grateful lists. This one was amazing tho because it didnt just encompass present day. And. It was the longest list of all!

Hard Advice

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I hate having to give people advice that I know will hurt their feelings. Things like:

“Don’t move there.”
“Don’t marry him.”
“Don’t get that tattoo.”

And it’s only because I gain no smug self satisfaction in saying later “I told you so.”

I wish I had listened to the friends and advice that had told me not to hang out with/date/certain people. Not to move to the city. Not to quit school. I am wallowing in regrets. And have a lot of healing to do over the mistakes I made not following that advice.

But giving that kind of advice is an even bigger, deeper, different kind of story. The ways I give advice are the true ways I measure my character. Have I been transparent? Honest? Forthright? Sensitive? If I hold back out of fear, that’s no way to be a good friend or family member.

Someone I care about needs advice like this right now. I gave it. But told them to ask other people as well. I hate seeing my loved ones sad, or failed, I want everyone to know that it’s ok to be weak. It’s ok to screw up. It’s ok to not have answers, to not be the best, to feel scared.

I promise to never think less of anyone for their emotions. Everyone is entitled to their feelings. Be brave and be kind. That would be my greatest legacy.

I hope that I was good enough in delivering my advice today. And I hope it was received well. Most of all I hope that everyone I love knows that if they fall, screw up, need a hand or an ear or anything at all ever- I am here and always will be.

“Blessed be those who know what’s best for us.” -Liz Hart

Triggers

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Yesterday was the Super Bowl. And since I don’t live alone- I was subject to the noise, food, people, visitors, etc that I don’t usually have to see on a quiet Sunday.

It’s hard to know when exactly a trigger will pop up. Sometimes it’s totally predictable: people yelling, slick roads, large crowds, etc… But sometimes you can get surprised and triggered by the strangest things: a new person offering you food, the smell of coffee, a brand new bar of soap.

Anxiety is a tricky thing to navigate. I am definitely not an expert on how to manage anxiety. But I do know a few things.

One) know your limits. Don’t stay in situations where your anxiety is steadily rising.

Two) Notice your triggers. Mention them to people if you aren’t embarrassed and need them to stop doing something.

Three) be brave. Even if you are running for the door be brave.

Super Bowl is a great time to bond with people- a thing not a lot of us with anxiety get to do on a regular basis. But parties in general can be a great source of discomfort for people with anxiety. When I find myself start to get panicky. I have to remember all those things I am grateful for. Like a mantra. Sometimes the world can be a very scary place. But there is a lot I love about being alive!

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Driving

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I am not that good of a driver. I space out. Look at texts. Listen to music too loudly. Have anxiety.

But there is some debilitating fear of other people driving where I feel unsafe and stuck. I’m not sure what that’s about.

Some of my anxieties are so bad that I dream about them:

Trapped in a room with someone bad
Smoking or drinking or using
Thrown into water
War
Aliens
Heights

I just wish there was a way to know when the fighting would be over. When I wouldn’t have to wrestle with unpleasant concepts. But the truth is I don’t think it’s ever over. I am not at liberty to choose what happens to me in life but I do get to choose what my attitude is.

Sometimes we hit a brick wall. We want to change. We decide on a better life. With PTSD and anxiety disorders that sometimes is an amazingly foreign concept that may never ever get realized.

It’s easy to say that I’m done. That I make the choice. That I want to life fully. But fear is a powerful motivator. Not just fear but fear plus worry. Anxiety and panic are parts of my life as they are parts of everybody’s life. They just happen to affect my life a little more than average maybe.

I’m not sure what to do anymore besides not care. Not judge. Not apologize.

So I will make an effort to stop caring how others will react to my anxiety.

I will make an effort to stop judging myself for when I have anxiety.

And I will not apologize for these ways that my brain and body react due to past circumstances I lived thru and couldn’t control.

I think it will be ok.

I pray that if it isn’t, I live thru that as well.

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