Archive for the ‘anxiety’ Tag

i’m not in kansas, that’s the one thing I know for sure.   4 comments

dorothy in ozFor the past two weeks, I’ve been telling myself to Just blog it out.  That used to always make you feel better.  But the truth is, I’ve stared at this screen many nights trying to do just that and absolutely nothing comes out.  There’s no image of motivation, or song lyric for inspiration.  No title to begin, and no Answer to Life to end on.  So instead I’ve tossed and turned nearly every night trying to figure out what’s going on with me.  Where is my head at?  What’s causing my sleepless nights?  Why can’t I just seem to shake the old Something’s Wrong funk off?

This image of a cartoon Dorothy and the whole Wizard of Oz theme really seem to be the only things that seem to hit the spot with how I’m feeling right now.  To put it best, for the past few hours I’ve been finding myself thinking, Where I am?, What am I doing here?, and How did I get here?.

Between you and me, I haven’t felt this lost & confused in a while… which is evident from the lack of blog posts from yours truly.  While life has been busy this past year, especially with grad school, internship, and boyfriend, it really hasn’t been that bad.  But now, with the end of internship and grad school drawing near, not to mention the lease on the apartment that I’ve lived since moving to Chicago over four years ago, I’m really starting to wonder What’s Next?

As exciting as it is, I’m starting to feel the pressures of my old frenemy, The Unknown.

In my strong moments, I have all the confidence in the world in knowing that after proving to myself that I can make it here, I can make it anywhere.  I dream about the possibilities of living in a warmer climate and falling in love with a new city and new job.  But when I’m hindered by anxiety and uncertainty, the questions begin swirling around in my head.  What about your relationship?  What about all your friends and networks here?  How can you afford to move somewhere else?  Can you really move further away from your family?  What if no one will hire you?

There’s just a lot of questions right now, and unfortunately I’m not verykeep calm and follow the yellow brick road close to any answers.  But despite all that, I’m far from giving up.  If anything, this is really that Time before something Amazing happens and then you find yourself wondering why you were worried in the first place.

I’m waiting for my Something Amazing to happen.  I’m ready for all the pieces to come together and I can finally understand what all these blog days (and, essentially, the big move to Chicago) were all about.

More than anything, I’m ready to put aside the books and student loans and find my passion again.  It’s visited in bits and pieces over the past two years, but I’m really missing it.  I need it back again.

all of these lines across my face, tell you the story of who i am.   3 comments

When you’re twenty-nine years old and only beginning your first relationship, people tend to ask, “Why?” to defend that there is nothing wrong with you.  But they might as well save their breath, because there actually is something wrong with you.  I mean how is it that you can be mere months away from a milestone decade with only one notch on your girlfriend chart?  Come on!  That’s not normal! 

This twenty-nine year old with “something wrong” is obviously me. 

Two weeks ago I finally dropped my walls and faced up to the “something wrong” that has held me back for nearly half of my life.  It hasn’t been easy, in fact it’s been quite scary, but so far it has been worth it.  So much weight has dropped off my shoulders; however, while I’ve felt some sense of relief, life has been far from easy.  In fact, it’s been pretty difficult. 

As I sit here tonight, with a few tears in my eyes, I can only wish that I would have faced up to my struggle sooner.  When I think about it, I believe that my struggles began when I was in eighth grade, which would have been fifteen years ago.  Fifteen years of depression is just too long, and what makes it worse is thinking about much I’ve held myself back from.  

Without a doubt, love is the biggest sacrifice that my depression has forced me to make.  In a way, I guess you can say that it’s also my biggest regret for not conquering these demons of mine way back when.  I’ve already let it hold me back from potentially being with who I believe was the love of my life (which unfortunately I still regret more than anything in my life), but now I’m a bit fearful that it’s always going to hold me back.  I could say more about that, but today really isn’t the night to do so.  Sorry.

While I intended to include more in this post, unfortunately I’m not feeling like much of a blogger tonight.  After a great day of babysitting, tonight has proven to be a little bit rough.  But if I can leave you with one last thing, it’s this: Please don’t let anything, hold you back from love or happiness, as I have.  In talking to one of my best friends today, she said, “Kris,  I just want you to be happy.  You deserve to be so happy.” 

We all deserve to be happy.  Unfortunately, those of us who struggle with this depression don’t believe that we do, which is why we don’t seek treatment right away.  But I’m here to tell you that we do, indeed, deserve to be happy.  We really do.  And from what I’ve been told, you can find that happiness when you drop down your walls and let yourself be helped.

The Story- Brandi Carlile

love & anxiety: two things that i know a little and a lot about, respectively.   4 comments

The following post was written for the blog, Peace & Penguins,and tackles the topic of Love & Anxiety- which are two things that I know little and a lot about, respectively.

When Alisha asked me to write a guest blog post on Love & Anxiety for Peace & Penguins, I thought that it would be an easy hour therapy session of rehashing my life stories of insecurity, doubts, and regrets.  But unfortunately, for the past week, I’ve struggled to get anything down on paper.  So here I am, over a week after telling her that she’d have my piece in no time, trying to figure out exactly what I can say about love & anxiety…which are ultimately the two words that have haunted me during my 28-year old life. 

While I’ve questioned how to begin this post, I feel that it is important to start off with the following statement: I’m twenty-eight years old and I’ve never been in a serious relationship.  However, and it’s an incredibly big HOWEVER, I’m actually (finally) on the verge of entering one…but more on that later. 

Today I came across the following lines in the novel, 50 Shades of Grey, which really struck a chord with me.  Here are the lines, and I’ll explain later:

Katherine often teases me that I’m missing the need-a-boyfriend gene, but the truth is I just haven’t met anyone who… well, whom I’m attracted to, even though part of me longs for the fabled trembling knees, heart-in-my-mouth, butterflies-in-my-belly moments.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me.  Perhaps, I’ve spent too long in the company of my literary romantic heroes, and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high.  But in reality, nobody’s ever made me feel like that.

Anastasia Steele (50 Shades of Grey)

For the majority of my young adult life, I have relied on excuses and sarcasm to answer the question, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”  And when stating my boyfriend-free background and getting stuck responding to the inevitable question, “What do you mean you’ve never been in a relationship?  How is that possible?”, I find the anxiety tingles kicking in as I do my best to change the subject.  But here and now, I’ll put those insecurities aside and tell you that Anxiety is the answer to both of those questions.

Unfortunately I’ve been plagued by anxiety for a while now, and it’s held me back from many things over the years.  But above all, it’s prevented me from experiencing the love that I always dreamed of; from finding the love I always deserved.  For years I’ve thought that there was something wrong with me.  I thought I wasn’t good enough to be loved.  I thought I wasn’t pretty enough to attract the attention of a man.  I thought I would always be alone, because frankly being single is all I’ve really ever known. 

Sure, there were those “boyfriends” during my early teen years that typically lasted a few weeks, and then a few guys in my twenties that stayed around for a couple uncommitted hook-ups.  However, for the most part, I’ve been that girl who finds herself attending weddings without a plus-one and heading home after last call alone in a cab while the other girls leave on the arm of their significant others. 

Now, every once in a while, maybe on the night of a full moon or during a road trip back to Ohio, I’d find myself flirting with a seemingly eligible bachelor and hoping that something more than a one-night stand would come out of it.  But unfortunately, my anxiety almost got the best of me as daylight hit and my internal enemy asserted, “Are you crazy?  He’s doesn’t really like you.  He’s going to leave just like all of the other ones.” 

But something changed this past year; something that I really can’t quite explain myself.  In essence, I’ve lived this year under the motto: I don’t care anymore.  See, instead of letting anxiety hold me back, I’ve fought off the doubts and insecurities and strived to live fearlessly.  (Note: A little liquid courage usually helped too.)  I took some chances…including using a few daring moves and brave one-liners every once in a while.  And with each one of those incidences, I noticed my anxiety towards potential love decreasing. 

So that leads me to “The Now”.  As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I am on the verge of a relationship.  Actually…  I’m in one.  Yes, the girl who thought she’d always be single is in a relationship.  (With a wonderful guy, might I add.)  I’m pretty much living in disbelief, as are my friends and family who have heard my “No, I don’t have a boyfriend.” and “I’ll always be a single” lines, but it really is the truth.  Even though it hasn’t yet been discussed, I am practically someone’s girlfriend… which means that I kinda-sorta have a boyfriend. Me?  Really?  Wow.

To be honest, I’m still processing all of this.  I’m trying to convince myself that this is really, while also trying to understand why it’s taken me so long to let myself be in a relationship.  Why did I let my anxiety hinder my happiness?  Why did I let my insecurities get in the way of being someone’s girlfriend?  Why did I let my fears prohibit some amazing guy from being mine?  While I can ask these questions again and again, I’ll never fully be able to uncover the answers.  But I will remember the anxiety I’ve lived with that held me back from being happy all of those years. 

Unfortunately my anxiety is something that I continue to live with.  It’s something that I think I’ll always live with.  But when it comes to love, I’m learning more and more how important it is for me to combat all of my fears and doubts.  For starters, I don’t want to miss out on a chance with a good guy like the one I have right now.  I’ve held myself back many times before and simply, I don’t want to live with regrets anymore.  Sure it’s scary to let yourself be vulnerable and open your heart up, but the risk is worth it.  And honestly, I’m at the point in my life where I’d rather know that I took a chance than regret not taking one. 

Let me stress that I’m no expert when it comes to love, and in some ways I’m still not convinced that I’ll ever fully understand it.  But between you and me, I’m much more open to learning more about it.  And that being said, I think I’ll have to start with exploring the whole relationship thing, and maybe officially being someone’s girlfriend. 

Sure, it’s not easy and frankly I’m a bit scared, but I’m going to take these chances…starting with this great guy who has seen past my anxieties and boyfriendless past and see what life has in store for me.  And hopefully, one day, I’ll be writing a post about love without a mention of anxiety.  But for the meantime, I’m just going to take it day-by-day and see what this whole relationship thing is all about. 

XOXO

K

don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars; seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing, it’s okay not to be okay. sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart; but tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising, there’s nothing wrong with who you are.   Leave a comment

The last few days must have been the calm before the storm.  Then again, nothing was calm about this week besides the moments with Max and/or a glass of wine.  But even with Max by my side last night, with his adorable smile and innocent laugh, my head started spinning.  Soon pounding.  And when I stood up to find something for my headache, that’s when the nausea took over.  I looked over at Max and knew that my only hope was sitting my his side.

Unfortunately the worse happened after I left.  Feeling pale and frazzled, I made it past the doorman into a cab.  Twice I held back the urge to have him pull over, but wanted to prove that I could calm down enough to make it home.

Without sharing the details, I’ll admit that what I thought was a migraine may have actually been a panic attack.  It’s been so long since my last, that I could have sworn they were a thing of the past.  But knowing how off I’ve been lately, I shouldn’t be too surprised.  I’ve been struggling to express myself and forgot what that’s bound to do to a person on the inside.  I guess it’s safe to say that now I know.

I’ve been telling everyone that I’m okay, because honestly part of me believes I am.  Sure, I’m in a funk/possible Quarterlife Crisis; however, I’ve been through stuff like this before and obviously survived.  But last night, amidst everything, I called my mom because sometimes a girl just needs her mom.  Not only did she help me through my weak moment, but sometimes a girl also needs her mom to say a line like this:“Kristen, it’s okay not to be okay.”

Besides dealing with the hangover of an anxiety attack today, I’m hanging in there.  Even though I feel the sting in my heart, I truly believe that it needed to happen.  And I need to keep remembering that it’s okay not to be okay.

I’m going to try to take a break from the blog for a while.  This may mean a few days or a few weeks.  With grad school starting in 10 days (gasp!) and everything else that boggles my mind these days, I just need to cut back on some things and I think this is going to have to be one of them.  So until next time…

and breathe, just breathe.   4 comments

…the fortune teller who read my tarot cards on New Year’s Eve also told me, “… you don’t sleep well.”  Oddly enough, on that night I found myself thinking, No, I sleep fine.  Last night, as I tossed and turned with anxiety and a multitude of thoughts, I realized that she was right.  I don’t sleep well.  At that time I may have been sleeping fairly well- due to both exhaustion and a bout of happiness- around New Year’s Eve, but generally speaking I’ve never been a solid sleeper.  And all photos with bags & dark circles under my eyes are proof. 

It really shouldn’t take a tarot card reading to inform me that I don’t sleep too well.  After all, I think I know whether or not I sleep at night.  But then again, I guess I never realized it?  I guess I always thought that it was normal to take 30-60 minutes to fall asleep at night; and that it was normal to wake up at least 2-3 during the night.  It’s not, is it?  Another round of Oi Vey, please?

I’m learning to embrace nights like these and see them as part of life’s little lessons.  My friend, as well as fellow adventurer and student of life, Kate, just wrote, “You can’t teach these things, you can only learn from them.”  So what did I learn from last night?  I’m not exactly sure yet, but I did wake up with this notion:

Let yourself be sad.  Let yourself cry if you need to.  Ask God, “What do you want from me?”  Ask yourself, “Why am I letting this bother me so much?”  Put on that comfy sweatshirt that makes you feel better.  Throw your hair in pigtail braids.  Watch sappy movies.  Listen to ‘sad white people music’.  Write it all out if that works best for you.  Spend the day with your emotions.  Allow yourself to get to know you better.  Find out what makes you happy when you’re feeling blue.  Be your own best friend for the day.  And don’t forget to keep breathing and telling yourself, “It’s all going to be okay.  You’ll feel better tomorrow.”  And you will.  I will.

My senior year at OU consisted of several sleepless nights;and if I did sleep, it was more of a passing out after a night filled of drinking situation.  During those restlessness nights of anxiety, I found comfort by being my own best friend.  No one else understood what I was going through.  No one else knew about neither the anxiety that kept me awake at night nor the panic attacks that woke me up every so often.  No one else seemed to understand, not even my own mother, and so I stopped talking about my problems altogether.  Instead I tossed and turned every night attempting to fall asleep as I hit repeat on my playlist to find comfort in Anna Nalick’s 2 am and she instructed me,  “And breathe. Just breathe.” 

This week has reminded me of those nights for more reasons than I’d like to admit.  Nights that occurred five years ago have seemed as though they were only yesterday; and the pain, somehow I can feel it again.  But this isn’t five years ago.  I’ve come such a long way since then.  I’ve grown so much since those days.  I just need to shake this off once and for all.  So here it goes….

Breathe.

Just Breathe.

 

** Kate is a Season 4 Blogger for Stratejoy.  Read her first post, Life is Messy

wherever i go, whatever i do. i wonder where i am in my relationship to you. wherever you go, wherever you are. i watch that pretty life play out in pictures from afar.   Leave a comment

I’ve been trying to write a post- something short & simple- all day.  But as you can see, no such post has yet to be written.  Here’s to hoping this turns out to be something…anything… that takes away this huge lump of anxiety from my stomach, heart, and mind. 

I’m just going to say it: Today is one of those days where I really believe that life enjoys f’ing with me.  It all started last night, with perhaps a foreshadowing moment yesterday afternoon- but I didn’t even think too much of it.  But last night, that’s when life started slapping me around and saying, What do you think of this?  And now this?  How about this too?  One thing after another. 

I feel so much and then nothing at all, and the nothingness is the worse part.  Last night as this little situation began to unfold, I took the I just don’t care anymore route and did a little something about it.  Nothing huge, but at least something.  Something more than all of the things I neither said nor did many years ago when the opportunities played our right in front of me.

I woke up this morning to my Morning Show DJs talking about fortune teller’s predictions coming true.  Even in my groggy state, I found that to be the last thing I needed to hear after last night’s discovery.  Could my tarot card reading really come true?  I guess only time will tell, but don’t worry I’m not holding my breath waiting to see. 

I don’t even know what to say about it all right now, but thankfully a few friends permitted me to write them emails and one note in the infamous Pen Pal Book to get a few Seriously??!!!  and Are you kidding me? thoughts out.  I also remember say those both out loud a few times these last 20 hours.  Sorry, neighbors.  Trust me I could have said a lot more, but I really just don’t know what to say.

I know this is vague and if anyone is actually reading this, I apologize.  But this is one of those times when this blog really is a therapy appointment for me.  So is Yoga, which I plan to do now.  And then it’s off for Baby Therapy at the hospital.  Hopefully I can feel something, and not just freezing cold, but the time I get back home tonight.

The title of this post is lyrics from In Your Atmosphere by John Mayer.  This song played last night and this part of the song just reminds me of, well, something that last night encompassed.

begging for the truth, so i’m saying this to you.   1 comment

When people show you who they are, believe them.
Maya Angelou

If you want the truth, I have no idea what to say but I know I have to say something.  I’ve been distracted all morning and Selena just asked me what was on my mind and, like I told her, “I have no idea.”  Maybe I need to attempt to get this little bug out of my system the best way I know how: Write it out.  Let’s call it my really late lunch break, okay?

With another long weekend behind me and 3-hours of sleep the night before, I opted to call it an early night.  After adoring Aidan Shaw for a few episodes and writing my post, I turned off the lights around 7 pm and looked forward to a full 10-hour nap.  Unfortunately my body had other plans for me.  I don’t believe I fell asleep.  And I’m pretty sure I laid there, tossing-and-turning as my tired mind did the same.  As its known to do, my mind began doing that over-thinking thing; however, it didn’t end there.  Soon I found myself in tears…then shaking.  I told myself that I was just tired, which was certainly true, but I couldn’t calm down.  Even thinking of little Hazel, which I’ve begun to do when I find myself rattled up, didn’t put an end to my emotional mess. 

So what were these worries of mine?  And what was the catalyst that started it all?  Was I whiny with exhaustion or was there much more to it? 

Here I am, many hours later still trying to make sense of it all…trying to figure out the truth, with hopes that it will break me out of this mini-funk. I’m doing it for myself, but I guess I’ll also be doing this for whoever is reading this.  See, after reading an email last night I’ve been thinking about why I blog and what I blog about.  I started this blog after my friend, Adriana, explained that “it’s free therapy”, which it really is and the reason I continue to write on here.

But over time it turned into something more.  Upon discovering that 1) people actually read this; and 2) people like it – and (gasp) even find themselves inspired at times by my words- I began seeing my blog in a different light.  I realized that by opening up about my experiences, mistakes, ‘issues’, lessons learned, and bad days, I can comfort another by allowing them to see that they aren’t the only one. 

Yesterday still has me a bit shaken up, but once I figured out the truth behind the occurrence then I’m sure I’ll be categorizing it as another learned lesson.  But for now, I’m going to believe that by me experiencing that moment… and writing about it on here… I was able to comfort another by knowing that someone else has been there too.