F O C U S E D

Another daily prompt. I actually like these a lot. It gives me something to write about on days like today when my mind is completely blank.

My mind hasn’t been blank in a very long time. It feels pretty damn good to not be thinking about anything (right now). I’m just hanging out at work, listening to a lot of music I haven’t heard in a while. I’m just enjoying myself.

Today’s word of the day is focused, something I feel like I haven’t been in a long time. My mind is always wandering, I’m always thinking about things. To actually have a day where I feel like I can focus on the tasks ahead of me is really amazing. Maybe today will actually be a productive day after work.

Until then, I am stuck in this chair, being unproductive. It’s relatively slow at my job right now because they just hired a shit ton of people for the open enrollment period, so now there are double the people working on the same stuff. Its getting done really quick, so we end up having nothing to do for the rest of the day. Open enrollment will change that, but is still over a month away.

I try to keep myself occupied at work but its hard because they have so many restrictions on what you can and cant do. Honestly, I probably shouldn’t even be on WordPress, but no one has said anything yet so I will keep doing it. It’ll keep me busy, keep me sane, and help the day move along a little faster.

I started reading a series of novels by Ursula K. Le Guin after reading an article about her blog. The person who wrote the article had described her series called the Hainish Cycle, and it completely drew me in. I had to go on Amazon and buy it immediately. I read what I believe to be the first book in the series, but I’m still not entirely sure. It’s ┬ácalled Rocannon’s World, and it was one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. If you like science fiction, or just reading in general, I would highly recommend it. It has helped me in my down time at work, and I’m really looking forward to reading the rest and more by Le Guin.

I don’t think there is really anything else I want to talk about right now. I guess I just hope I can start feeling better physically now that my mental state is a little bit more stable than it has been this past week or so. Let me focus on that.

 

via Daily Prompt: Focused

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Anxiety Always Wins – Not Anymore

My anxiety has been really bad so I wanted to write in the hopes that I find out why. I’ve been having really bad anxiety due to a few things going on in my life all at once.

My period. My sickness. My asthma.

I have really felt like shit for the past week because of all of these things, and on top of trying to feel physically better, I’m an emotional wreck. It’s lovely.

This morning I woke up feeling okay, but to a coughing fit. I slept in the basement which probably wasn’t the best idea for my lungs, since it’s always humid down there and I’m 99.9% sure there is mold somewhere down there. So I probably didn’t help my situation too much, but it was easier to sleep down in the basement rather than up in the bed. My coughing fit this morning woke up my boyfriend, who hadn’t slept well that night, so that made me feel kind of shitty too. I never thought I’d be the person in the relationship to be the one who always wakes up my significant other, but its been happening a lot lately.

I have been taking all sorts of different medicines, allergy medicine, OTC cold & flu medicines, teas, pills, etc. I’ve tried everything and my cough is FINALLY breaking up after taking Mucinex over the weekend. Mucinex is the only thing that actually seems to be helping so I stopped everything else and am only taking that.

I’ve had to use my inhaler so often during this sickness. The slightest bit of energy exertion completely destroys me when I’m sick because of asthma. A simple walk up stairs takes my breath away almost completely and I have to use my inhaler to keep breathing, or spend the next 10 minutes to an hour catching my breath depending on the severity. The issue with this cold is I am producing a ridiculous amount of mucus and its affecting my asthma way worse. I can’t cough up the mucus just yet so I’ve just been having an overall difficult time to breath, even when my lungs seem to be working properly.

It feels pretty similar to the issue I had last year, when I got sick and actually developed asthma. I haven’t had asthma attacks this bad since that time, so I’m assuming it’s just going to be kinda shitty any time I get sick for the rest of my life. At least with anything respiratory related. I need to go to the doctor to talk about it more and get a regular inhaler instead of the rescue inhaler I’ve been using. What I really need to do it get a new primary doctor so I can actually do all these things I always talk about doing.

It’s a little hard to take time off from work right now because I’m on a 90 day period where I can’t get time off approved, so any absences I have go against my attendance score. Maybe I can find a doctor who is open on Saturdays for regular appointments, but it just seems really unlikely.

Today on my lunch break at work I got a call from my boyfriend. He was really upset and I always feel so bad cause I can’t do anything to comfort him over the phone. All I can do is talk and I’m not really good at that in situations like today. I also don’t feel good myself so it was a little hard to focus on anything anyway, which made everything that much more difficult.

I have felt nauseous today, holding back throwing up several times. My bowels are screaming to me that I’m sick with some sort of stomach bug now. So I went from my period to a cold to a stomach bug, all while dealing with my anxiety and asthma. How am I not dead?

My overall mood has been surprisingly positive. I think it’s because all other aspects of my life right now are going really well. My relationships are all in good standing, my finances are under control, I’m working towards my future, I’m doing amazing at my new job and my supervisors are recognizing that. Life is pretty damn good right now. But I can’t help but get in moods of extreme depression and anxiety, to the point where I can’t stop shaking and I just want to curl up in a ball and cry then die. It keeps happening at random times, at any place. It’s gotten to the point now where I haven’t had an appetite in a few days and want to throw up anything I can choke down. These are always the worst times. I would deal with depression and anxiety every day for the rest of my life if I could just stop losing my appetite because of it. When I lose my appetite and stop eating, it causes a ridiculous amount of other problems for me. Particularly, I can’t poop, I feel like I’m developing a UTI, and I get really really weak to the point where I feel like I’ll pass out if I try to go make myself something to eat. It’s disgusting, its frustrating, and it affects my physical health and mental health.

But that’s whats going on today. I have no appetite, I tried choking down my lunch but only could manage a little less than half of it. I wanted to eat breakfast pizza this morning but I couldn’t bring myself to actually go through with it because every time I thought of it I wanted to throw up. So I had pretzels for breakfast this morning at work and a few spoonfuls of mac n cheese for lunch. I can honestly say I’m making progress when it comes to handling my anxiety, since I am forcing myself to eat today. Normally I would just starve until my appetite came back. I just don’t want to harm myself, I don’t want my anxiety to hurt me anymore, so I’m going to try to choke down dinner later too.

I need to try to keep myself occupied at work. When I have down time and I’m not doing anything I start to think, which leads to overthinking. Anxiety kicks in and all hell breaks loose. I want to stop that from happening.

I hope one day I can actually relax and just rest my brain without it leading to overthinking and anxiety attacks. One day.

Be Good

From a very young age we are told to set goals. These goals are usually on a timeline, and are pretty generalized from the beginning. They may develop into more specific goals as you get older and figure out what it is you really want from life, but I feel like people don’t always get to that point in there life. This one is for those people, including myself.

The goals people set for themselves are generally the same across the board. Get an education, get a career, fall in love, get married, have kids, live happily ever after. Riiiight.

These goals and this life that we are practically expected to live is just not realistic. We are human, we have individuality. We can’t be limited to one set of goals, but society likes to make it seem like we are. I promise, you’re not limited.

This blog was sparked by another blog I had just read that started making me think about my life, my goals, and whether or not I’ve reached them. It made me realize that at this time in my life I don’t have a single goal. I don’t know what I want from life, if anything. I don’t know where I want to be right now, and I don’t know where I want to be in the future. And that’s okay.

So, just like the blog linked above, I’m going to reflect on my goals from high school, 5 years ago. But I’m going to talk about my goals during high school first.

I remember in Freshman year my English teacher had us write our future selves a letter. In this letter we had to list our goals, and during our Senior year we would get these letters back and see what we have accomplished in our high school career. I was really excited about it, and honestly couldn’t wait for the next 4 years of my life to go by so I could see what I accomplished.

If I can recall correctly, my goal was simple. I wanted to graduate high school with a high GPA, and I wanted to make academic merit (I believe that was a 95% GPA or higher, could be wrong) at least for one quarter. I graduated high school (yay!), but I never made academic merit. How did I expect to when I spent my first quarter of high school failing English simply because I didn’t want to do homework? Pft, stupid little freshman.

There was one more goal in my letter that I think I did achieve. I wanted to “be good”.

Now, what does that really even mean? That was left up to me to interpret.

My middle school consisted of 2 grades, 7th and 8th. I know a lot of middle schools have 3 grades, usually including 6th, but mine only had 2. That is irrelevant to this story, but my middle school science teacher told us at the end of 8th grade, to “be good”.

He told us a story that I can’t really remember too much of, but it had to do with his father constantly telling him to be good. He didn’t really understand what that meant, because he felt he was good, and his brother was never told that, and was never good. He asked his father why he tells him to be good when he always is, and in all honestly I can’t remember why, but the moral of the story was to literally do what you were told, and be good.

Be good in everything you do. Put in 100% of your effort into the things that you do and that you want to accomplish. Be good to yourself, to your friends, family, strangers. Be good. Do what’s right. Do what you believe to be good.

This stuck with me this whole time, almost 10 years later. Whether or not it was a true story doesn’t matter. It stuck, I wanted to be good. And I truly believe I have reached that goal and will continue to do so throughout the rest of my life.

Everything that I have done in my life I have tried to do the right way. I am kind to everyone that I meet, and help anyone that I can. I obey the law, follow the unwritten rules. I show up to work on time, I do what I’m supposed to. I try my best to care for myself and my loved ones. I respect nature, I respect the life I’ve been given and try not to abuse any privileges I have. I try not to take anything for granted. Being good is hard, it really is, but I’m doing it.

When I was in my senior year, reading my letter to myself, I reflected on the things that had happened specifically that made me feel like I achieved that goal, my friend circle. In elementary school and middle school, I befriended a couple people that I would later find to be terrible people. Since 6th grade, the one friend was really rude to others all the time. She would always talk to me about another girls’ weight in class, and I never understood why. In middle school, it was her and another girl that I was close with. Both terribly judgmental and just all around negative people. When I got to high school and set that goal to “be good”, I dropped my friends like a hot pan and found another group of people who turned out to be amazing. There was definitely still typical friend drama, but they were all genuinely kind-hearted souls.

I’m proud to say I made friends with good people, and in turn I think they helped me reach my goal. I really believe that the people you associate yourself with affects your life directly. Some people can befriend all types of people and still remain the same humble person that they are. But most people’s personalities, likes, dislikes, etc, can be molded based on the kind of people that person hangs out with. At this point in my life I feel like I have a very accurate perception of people and can limit my contact with negative people and befriend good people. Whenever I get bad vibes about someone, some future event proves me to be right, so I’ve stuck by my gut.

Unfortunately, reaching my goal in high school did not mean that I would make viable goals and reach them after high school. Let’s talk about those.

My goals after high school were very standard. Go to college, become an Earth Science teacher, move out of the house and potentially the state, and somewhere within the chaos of life, fall in love and get married. I never wanted kids, so that was never a part of my goal (and still isn’t), but I know a lot of other people have that on their list.

So, what did I accomplish? Nothing. I’m technically moved out of my house, but my legal address is still my mom’s house, so I’m not counting it, especially since my rent has been non-existent for my whole life, up until October 2017 where I’ll start paying only $100/month. That reminds me, I only have 10 more days living rent free. Adulting sucks!

I almost achieved my goal of falling in love and getting married, but I cannot express enough how glad I am that I didn’t. We’ll leave the rest of that in the past, but I am happy to say that now I actually reached half of that goal by falling in love. I’m madly in love with my boyfriend, like it’s the real deal this time. It’s the nicest feeling in the world to be in real love. We can worry about the marriage thing when we’re ready for that chapter of our lives.

I didn’t go to college, I’m never going to be a teacher unless I get some job that doesn’t require a degree that is a training position. That’s okay though, because I don’t want to be a teacher anymore. I stopped wanting to be a teacher 5 years ago.

I am honestly glad I didn’t reach the goals that I set for myself after high school, because they were unrealistic for me from the beginning. I was never going to go to college, I fell out of love with teaching while I was coming to the end of my senior year. Without a steady income or a hefty savings account, you can’t (you can, but shouldn’t) move out, especially to a new state. And you can’t force yourself to fall in love, and shouldn’t get married for any reason other than love. Why I thought these were achievable goals for me was simple, society said that’s how it should be.

When we are all setting the same goals like that, something is wrong. We set these silly rules and expectations that we all must follow or we won’t be “normal”. We will be different and different is bad in society’s eyes. But normal is bad in my eyes. Why would I set goals for myself that I couldn’t possibly reach, or if I did reach them I would be unhappy, I wouldn’t be myself. Why would anyone want that for themselves? We don’t.

I challenge anyone who reads this to really think about the goals that you have set for yourself. Throw them away if you have to, completely start over. Set new goals for yourself, goals that actually pertain to you. Don’t generalize them, specify them. And if you don’t achieve your goal, extend the date! Or don’t set a date at all. Don’t give up! You have your whole life ahead of you to accomplish what you need to. Make sure it is truly what you want and need for yourself to be truly happy.

And remember, be good.

The Weight of Living

In a few short months it will have been one year since I’ve started this blog. My ultimate goal was to feel better, and I am happy to say that a few short months from my “goal” I am feeling genuinely happy. The thing is, happiness isn’t stopping certain thoughts. 

I think I have always felt emotions a little differently than the people I grew up around. My personality as a whole has been more “down” than most people’s, and its natural for me. I don’t know if anyone could ever understand what I mean by that, but as long as I know that is all that matters.

Growing up I remember very vividly moments where people have acknowledged my personality. They almost always assumed I was depressed or a bitch because I liked to keep to myself, and I still give off the same impressions today. The only difference today is, I am depressed. I might be a bitch, but I am definitely depressed.

Why? Why did I develop depression? Maybe it’s genetics. Maybe not. I don’t know, and I probably never will.

I’d like to believe that my depression and anxiety both stem from genetics, that way I have someone to blame, mom and dad! But putting the blame on someone else is never a way to solve your problems, so I won’t do that (even if it is one day proven that it is 100% genetics).

Most days I think that I am too smart for my own good. My brain knows about the bad in the world, and simply doesn’t think life is worth living in this world. Maybe I think too much about the things that might not even matter, but those things weigh heavy on my brain and my heart and give me those suicidal thoughts.

Now these things that I keep mentioning vary. I know that some of them are actual real life issues that are affecting the human race and this planet as a whole, and others are as simple as people not following the rules of the road when I’m driving home from work. Whether its big or small doesn’t matter, they all weigh the same on me. Heavy. As. Fuck.

So just imagine EVERY SINGLE ISSUE in the world, big and small. That is the weight on my shoulders. That is the weight I just can’t shake, no matter what I do. It holds me back in my day-to-day life and it is holding me back from a good future. I can’t stop thinking about these issues, about the actions of others, about the straight stupidity of others that is destroying this world. It pisses me off to no end. I wish I could vent about these things to someone, I wish I could vent about these things to the people who are doing them. I wish I could educate every single person on this planet who is doing something that is causing more harm than good, or is GOING to cause more harm than good. I wish I could say all of these things, but without sounding like I’m full of myself, or a know-it-all. I wish I could say these things without making people feel stupid, without sounding conceded or like I think I’m better than anyone else. Because I really don’t feel that way, I understand that I make mistakes all the time. I do bad things, I will own up to anything that I do. I just see people going about their daily lives in a fashion that I just see as so wrong, and I know that I can’t change people like that, but it would be so nice if I could. At least on the things that put my life and other’s at risk.

Maybe I will start a new blog strictly venting about these things that I think about. Maybe that will help me.

Anyway, I feel like I went off about the weight on my shoulders. Back to the rest of this blog…

When I was growing up people would assume I was depressed. My brother’s (now ex) girlfriend even asked my other siblings if I was depressed. All because I liked to keep to myself. So, I guess what I’m getting at is that depression doesn’t give a fuck what your personality is like. I don’t think that if I was a more “bubbly” person that I wouldn’t be depressed. I don’t think people should assume that a smile on the outside means a smile on the inside, because it really doesn’t. People may be able to “see” my depression (or so they think, because back then I actually wasn’t depressed), but they can’t see it all. I know tons of people who are the happiest people you’ll ever meet, and they suffer every day with this. Even when I feel happy, it’s still there. In the back of my head, I’m still thinking that I’d rather be dead.

So, I’d rather be dead. Let’s talk about that.

It’s never like a “I’m going to kill myself right now” type of deal. It is just a thought that stays on my mind until I start thinking of ways to actually do it. Luckily, depression hasn’t completely taken over, and I can usually get those feelings to subside for a little bit. But I think about it a lot, almost every day of my life. Yeah, almost every day of my life I think to myself that I’d rather be dead.

I could be at work. Rather be dead.

Visiting my mom. Rather be dead.

Playing with my nieces and nephews. Rather be dead.

Loving my boyfriend. Rather be dead.

Snuggling my cat. Rather be dead.

Playing video games. Rather be dead.

Stargazing. Rather be dead.

I truly would rather be dead. I have never just completely come to terms with that until now. Until writing this particular blog and actually typing that out over and over again, it put me in a position just now where I am okay with having those thoughts. I don’t know if they will ever go away, but for now they’re there. 

I am and will continue to do everything in my power to never act on this feeling. But it’s definitely there, and I don’t want to pretend like it isn’t. 

Anxiety

I feel like I’m on a never ending street called anxiety, but this street isn’t intersecting with anything, so I just have to keep going. 

I’ve felt this way for a while and it’s been really strong lately. For the past couple weeks I have had very little control over my anxiety. It’s affecting my sleeping habits and eating habits like it usually does when it gets this bad. I have no reason for it. There’s not really anything going on in my life that I’m anxious about. It’s just there. 

I really think that’s the worst. When I’m anxious or depressed with a reason, it’s fine because once that reason goes away I generally feel better. With this no reason at all nonsense I have NO idea why I’m feeling this way and NO idea when it’s going to go away. I don’t know how to turn it off. I even try to think of things that might be causing it but  I usually come up with nothing. 

Lately I’ve been thinking maybe it’s my vacation coming up, but when I think about all aspects of the vacation I don’t feel anxious at all. Maybe it’s finances, but I’m in a decent situation financially that I can only hope will continue to improve. My relationships are all good. I’m starting a new job that’s going to be a great opportunity for me again and that I’m actually going to enjoy. Nothing in my life is “bad” right now. That’s the worst part. 

I hope one day I don’t feel this kind of anxious anymore. It’s always the worst feeling kind and it seems to have the longest episodes. I think this is week 3. I’ve woken up every day with anxiety for 3 weeks. I’ve lost sleep throughout the night from nightmares, struggled getting to sleep at night because I can’t shut off my brain, for 3 weeks. 

I honestly just want a good night of sleep. Maybe I’ll feel better then. 

My favorite leggings…

There has been something I’ve wanted to get off my chest for a while now. I frequently think of things I want to write about, just to let it out, and I never do because of what this blog was originally intended for. The more I think about it though, the more I realize that this blog is actually my outlet and I need to use it for ANYTHING I need to get off my chest, not necessarily just my depression and anxiety. This recovery process is a part of my whole life, and my whole life has an affect on my depression and anxiety, so why not write about anything that comes to mind? With that said…


My favorite leggings. 

Something I’ve owned for years and years, but stopped wearing shortly after entering a relationship that I’d end up being in for 2 years. A relationship I thought at the time was perfect. A relationship that sometimes I feel destroyed me more than my physically abusive relationships. 

I have always wondered how people  stay in bad relationships. I always thought that if I was ever in a crappy relationship, whatever the reasoning may be, that I would leave immediately. I have been in physically and verbally abusive relationships. I grew up with an abusive father and a mother who gave too many second chances. As soon as the opportunity presented itself, I left those relationships, and broke off contact with my father. I always felt like I was strong enough to leave, and I always did. 

However, my last relationship before my current one was a little bit different. I didn’t realize how bad it was, how bad I was actually treated, how twisted that family was. I didn’t realize any of this until my current relationship, where I truly have a man who loves me, a man deserving of the title of “man”, and a man who’s family is like my own. 

My last boyfriend never hit me, he never yelled at me, he didn’t cheat on me or really even hurt me in any way except one. He allowed me to lose myself. He allowed me to forget who I am and what I love. Once you have lost yourself, it’s really really hard to find yourself again. I’ve been slowly putting the pieces back together but I feel like I’ve still got a long way to go. 

During this relationship I was constantly put down for the things I loved, for the things I believed in. I was disliked for the things that I liked, for the things that made me who I am. It was everything, from my hobbies to my clothes to my beliefs. I actually stopped wearing my favorite leggings because every time I put them on I was made fun of. I stopped doing the things I love, I couldn’t ever express my opinions or beliefs without backlash. I could no longer be myself. 

Unfortunately I didn’t realize what was happening until the damage was done. It was a slow process that took a long time. I can’t say I wasn’t happy, in the moment I absolutely was, but when I think back on it now, I wasn’t happy. This girl, that was no longer me, was happy. 

It’s little moments like just changing out of my work clothes and putting on my favorite leggings without a care in the world that make me realize how shitty my last relationship actually was. I know even reading this I want to tell myself to stop being a bitch about it because it wasn’t that bad, but that’s why the stigma is still there, because people think that because it wasn’t “that bad” that it is ok.

It. Is. Not. Ok.  

It’s not ok to, for lack of a better term, harass someone to the point where they stop being themselves. It’s not ok to be hateful towards people with different views, interests, preferences, etc. It’s not ok to do this to anyone, let alone your own girlfriend. 

You need people in your life who will support your interests, your beliefs, and you in general. To have someone knock everything you do will destroy you. 

I am so beyond lucky to have gotten out of that relationship and now into one where when I put on these leggings, I hear my boyfriend jokingly catcall me and tell me my ass is out of this world (so punny ­čśé). I am able to do the things that I love, express my opinions and beliefs and actually have conversations about them. I’m able to just be myself around this man.

After I broke off the relationship, I was talking to someone about the whole thing. They ended up breaking off their relationship after hearing about what I went through and realized myself. I was able to help someone else get out of a bad situation with my personal experiences. I really liked that and I think that’s another reason why I want to start writing about anything I think of. It might just help someone else.

Facebook was actually beneficial…

Today is my day off so I’m getting some stuff done. Applying for jobs, cleaning the house, and continuing to downsize to get ready for tiny house living. 

I love when I feel productive on my days off. Depression and anxiety are literally crippling, so to not have it affecting me for once is always nice. I’m trying hard to not let it control my life but damn it’s hard. 

I had a little moment last night where I feel like I understand why my anxiety and depression have gotten so bad over the last year or so. It’s because my life got good. Doesn’t make much sense, right? Wrong. 

Facebook was actually beneficial to me for once in my life. Social media is the devil of the internet. Social media causes us to view the world in a completely different way than we should be. It allows us to be jealous and hateful towards each other and glamorize our shitty little lives. I am 150% addicted to social media and won’t be leaving anytime soon, but I am fully aware that it puts me in a bad mood sometimes.

Once in a while someone will post something worth reading. Humans of New York is a Facebook page by Brandon Stanton. It’s a photo blog that tells the real life stories of people, not only in New York City, but all over the world. Recently Brandon posted a story of a man who has had his fair share of hardships in his life and he is currently struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, even though those hardships have left his life. He said he’s been dealing with them for so long now that he’s not sure how to handle the quiet. 

Holy. Fucking. Shit. 

I have NEVER related to something that HONY has posted, or anyone has posted really. I haven’t been able to understand what has been going on in my life. I haven’t been able to figure out why these things were happening when my life has gotten so good over the last year. I have an amazing boyfriend with an amazing family who loves and cares for me like their own. My own family has been through a lot but those problems have been long gone and we are all recovered/recovering. I have a job, I’m paying off my debt, I’m planning and preparing for my future. I can honestly say my life is good. My life is so good, so why am I so not…

The chaos that I’ve dealt with for a good chunk of my life is gone and I have been so occupied with it that now I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know how to just let my guard down and accept the fact that my life has gotten better, that I’m safe now. No ones going to hurt me anymore, no one is going to try to control my life anymore. I’m no longer fighting every day to defend myself from these demons that I have lived with for so long. 

Now that I feel like I’ve found out why this is all happening, I feel like I can have more control over it. I can acknowledge everything good in my life when I’m feeling down. I can keep the shitty memories at bay and hopefully slowly but surely forget them. I don’t have to let these demons continue tormenting me. They are gone, done with, out of my life for good. I don’t have to let them back in. I can’t. 

It’s a good feeling when I have these little revelations because it gives me some sort of sense of control in my life. It has been an absolute roller coaster ride and I just want to get off this damn thing. I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

I know I will still have my bad days, some way worse than others. I will still feel suicidal, I will still lose motivation to do anything at all. This isn’t going to get better overnight just because I realized what might be going on. It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of work to get better but I want to get better. I want to be myself again. 

I will be myself again.