Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Anxiety.. My drug of choice.

Ok, it's confession time. For as long as I can remember I have suffered from crippling anxiety disorder. What that means is that 85-90% of my day is spent worrying, freaking out and feeling paranoid. Over the years I have endured many hours of therapy and butt loads of medication. Sadly, nothing has ever really worked. So while my body continues to run in a constant state of fight or flight, my brain is busy dissecting every part of my day regardless of how minuscule and unimportant it is. The constant anxiety is exhausting and besides making me bat-shit crazy it has also made it increasingly difficult for anyone to spend prolonged periods of time with me.

I think it's funny how drug companies put so much emphasis on depression and not anxiety. Nothing irks me more than that fucking Cymbalta commercial with the little wind up woman. Her depression has got her down. She needs Cymbalta to wind her up and get her out of her funk and back to gliding aimlessly through life. What they should be showing is that metal woman wound so tightly that shes running into furniture screaming "the sky is falling" while pulling out small sections of her eyebrows. Then after the Cymbalta they cut to her sitting on the couch in three day old pajamas, trying to figure out how to give a shiny metal fuck about anything. That's the problem with being an anxious person. It's either one extreme or the next. I've yet to find a medication that will make me "normal" and I'm guessing the drug companies realize this and that's why the stick so heavily to their "fight the depression" guns. Simply stated, it's just easier.

Recently, I decided it was time to- once again- seek help in the task of conquering my crazy. I've started therapy again and  am taking some anti anxiety medication. The truth is that after 3 weeks they both  make me feel like shit. Having to relive all the chaos that has molded me into the stress monster I am today is exhausting and the side affects from the drugs make me feel as though my brain is being impacted by some sort of natural disaster, like a giant cyclone of "fuck it" mixed in with a blizzard of  "Nope! We all gonna die!!!!!" I keep telling myself that this will pass as the medication starts doing it's job over time, but its hard to explain to the people around me that for right now, I am just as big a mess as ever.

This week has been a tough one for me. I feel as though the medication is trying it's hardest to make me better, but that my brain is fighting to keep me cracked. I have periods of numbness, followed by burst of anxiety and paranoia. Then there's the part of me that is so used to feeling like I need to run-run-run-fight-fight-fight, that it's having withdrawals. I feel like the anxiety has become a drug to me. Like out of all the things about me, it's the one thing that defines who I am as a person. I feel like it's what makes me creative and funny and motivated. I also realize it's the same thing that makes me scared and weak and difficult. Doesn't that sound more like a person fighting a drug problem than an anxiety disorder? Weird, right?

I'm not really sure what the future holds for me or if I'm ever going to be able to fully kick the habit of feeling anxious and completely overwhelmed. Maybe the drugs will work. Maybe they wont. Maybe I'll find peace one day on a therapist couch or maybe I wont. What ever the case maybe, I'm sure that I will find a way to make it work. Even if all I'm able to do is expose myself in a blog post, in the hopes that one less anxious person may not feel so alone today. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Baby Psychology

I normally don't get up here and actually mommy blog, but last night my five-year-old said something to me that really got me thinking and I just had to share it. I really think that sometimes we don't give kids enough credit and if we take a moment and listen they can teach us things about ourselves and life that we never expected. I could also be completely full of shit. Either way, you decide.

I was the kind of child who was petrified of most things. The dark was always a big issue (still is) and I always feared there was something in the closet (besides a giant mess). I realize that a lot of children have these fears. In fact, most kids when they crawl into bed at night will ask you to close the closet doors so that the "monsters" wont try to get them. Last night as I put my five year old to bed he calmly asked if I would open the closet doors. When I asked him why, he said that if the doors were closed he wouldn't be able to tell if there were monsters inside. He likes them open so that he can keep an eye on the thing that scares him. A thing that at times he is certain does not exist. I couldn't help but think of what a great metaphor this is for so many of us. Wouldn't most of us choose to have those doors shut in order to keep that "monster" locked away and hidden? After all, monsters are scary. Who really wants to face it?

As I walked to my room later that night, I thought hard about all the closet doors I leave shut so that I don't have to deal with the "monster" inside. As someone whose idea of coping involves avoidance and denial, it never occurred to me to actually keep an eye on the space where the scary stuff can hide.  But I realize now that my kid is 100% right. When you can keep an eye on the thing that scares you the most, it make it a hell of a lot easier to decided weather to run or face it. Or maybe I'll find out I'm being completely ridiculous and there was nothing in that closet to be scared of to begin with.

Hmm... Who knew that bed time could be so eye opening?

I know it's not like me to get all mushy and brag about my kid, but I have to admit that I am in complete awe of my son and thankful for the perspective he was able to give me at 8:30 on a random Wednesday night. That said, he didn't work alone...If you're wondering, I'm also thankful for the Prozac. 

Monday, June 18, 2012



The ability to do something that frightens one.

Strength in the face of pain or grief.

Every day we wake up, take a deep breath and greet the morning. Sometimes it's easy and other times we'd all rather pull the covers up a little higher and ignore the world right outside the bedroom door.  With each new day, new obstacles in life arise and often they try to bring us down. It may be friends or family. Perhaps your boss is a dick and there's a deadline to be met that seems impossible. Or maybe it just seems as though, today, life itself, is out to get you.

 Whatever the case, it's what we do in these challenging times that makes the difference. Sure, you could give up, pull the covers over your chin and hope your challenges get bored with you and move on to terrorized someone new. Some of us might even embrace the negativity, feed into it and allow it to grow and consume us. But, there are a few who face their troubles head on, fight the good fight, and walk away, a little scarred, but educated and better for the experience.

It can be a tough choice, trying to decide what path to take. Especially when it's so easy to give in to our problems and fears. Realistically, we know that the things that are troubling us are not going to magically go away. Contrary to popular belief, "things" do not just work themselves out. No, people work them out. Whether you're lucky enough to have someone who will do it for you is a completely different story, but trust me someones got to do it. So why not it be you? Are you scared? Good! Are you worried? You should be! Can you without a doubt find a way through it? Well that my friends, depends on who you are...

In this world there are two kinds of people- Victims and Survivors. You see, it's very easy to allow yourself to be a victim of your circumstances. To take a beating and never fight back. Absorbing blow after blow, while that little voice inside your head screams that you don't have what it takes to change a thing. And when it all seem too much, the victim gives in, allowing the negativity to turn into a haunting monster. Unwilling to run or change, the victim is left to be tortured. They wake up every morning, pull the covers up as high as they can go, and listen to the monster fill them with feelings of worthlessness, unwantedness, and dread. They do absolutely nothing to help themselves. They wait. They want. They suffer. And in the end, nothing ever changes.

Now, the Survivor on the other hand, has suffered his fair share too. Like the victim, he's been beaten down and tormented. He's been made to fell worthless, unwanted, unloved and disregarded. The Survivor's been to hell and back with that same monster of negativity, yet managed to change the game at some point, by finding the courage to fight back. They silenced that voice that said they were not good enough, by believing there was more to life than being miserable. It may not have happened over night, but the Survivor found a way to rebound, to start fresh and grab a new outlook on life and themselves. They saw the life they wanted and clawed through the bullshit, at all cost, to get there. Survivors were once Victims who decided life was too short to spend another miserable day hiding in fear while waiting for a savior. Instead the Survivor found courage and by doing so, became their own Hero. They created the change they so desperately needed and deserved.

So, the next time you're faced with a struggle- what's it going to be? Are you going to fight against the current or let it drag you under? I can't promise the fight wont be long, but I can tell you it's worth it and so are you. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Welcome to the pit...Every flavor here is vanilla!

It's not very often that I am able to muster up the creativity to write these days. I often blame my job but, the reality is that I am only creative when I'm despairing. I like to think of it as being in the pit. Though it sounds very depressing when I read it in black and white, it's not really that awful. In fact, I find it's when I'm at my best. Creatively anyway.

I find that I fall into the pit seasonally. It's like a bad case of allergies that rolls around every spring and instead of sneezing and sniffling, I'm up late nights thinking about life and where I find myself these days. I do a lot of reading and soul searching in the pit and it's there that my inspiration is born.

This year I will turn 29. This month, to be exact and it's got me thinking a lot about where I am in life and what exactly it is that I want out of it. I have a job, a family and a decent sense of humor about it all. So why do I feel so empty? Well, I am aware that time spent in the pit makes me feel this way but, it's what got me here that I find interesting...

A friend of mine recently told me about an affair she was having. Her husband's a shit so I couldn't really blame her but, it was the way she told me that threw me for a loop. It was as if she said, "The sky is blue today." Very matter of fact. Not guilt laced, not wary. Just a statement. It is what it is. Now, I very much love my husband and would never in a million years dream of turning to another man yet, the idea of this intrigued me on some level. Not because I was interested in adultery but, because I was curious as to how these things happen... Do you just show up at your neighbors house one morning naked and ask for a cup of sugar and a fuck? Certainly that can't be right. Or maybe you go to ? (Please don't try to visit the aforementioned website, it is fake. Trust me, I Googled it.) Whatever way it happens, it's baffling to me. And this is because I am and have always been a creature of habit. I enjoy monotony on some level. I fear change and rarely ever deviate from my norm. Though occasionally, when I am in the pit, I wonder what different would be like. To not always be so structured, routined and in control.

My favorite analogy of this is that for 25 years I ate only Vanilla ice cream. Sure I would slap some sprinkles on from time to time. Maybe add a little Carmel sauce but, my norm was vanilla. It was safe. I knew I liked it and it never disappointed. Then one day I was at a girlfriends house for a play date and she offered up the only frozen treat she had...Chocolate. Not wanting to be rude I accepted her offer and ate a tiny scoop. The first bite felt wrong. Foreign, not something I was use to. But, bite after bite I found myself enjoying it more and more. When I was finished I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed the chocolate ice cream and thought "Holy, Shit! How could I just assume I didn't like this?" And today I wonder a lot about the opportunities I deprive myself of because it's not my normal and I just assume it's not for me.

I feel it's safe to conclude that we have all felt this way at one time or another. Whether it's someone like my friend who has chosen to take a giant radical bite of Rocky Road in her relationship or someone like myself who chooses a bit more plainly to wash her face before shaving her legs this time in the shower. Occasionally it's fun to deviate from the norm. Take a risk and see where it leads us. Taking chances doesn't happen for me often. I spend most of my time on the precipice where every day is basically the same and when I'm there I love the safety it allows me. But it's times like right now when I'm despairing in the pit, a place where I too am most always served vanilla, that I'm able to sort out that a little chocolate never hurt anyone. I urge you all to do one thing today that isn't your normal. And when you do, remember- "The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions." ~Ellen Glasgow