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Anxiety Tries to Sabotage Relationships

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I think everyone carries anxieties from past relationships into future relationships. It’s how we evolve and grow. But at some point, we have to figure out the line between protecting ourselves from getting hurt and preventing ourselves from being happy.
Some people are afraid of letting down their guard and entering in to new relationships, out of fear of being hurt again. I’m not one of those people, though I do see where they are coming from. I have no problem entering new relationships – my problem is staying.
I’ve often jokingly referred to myself as The Girl Who Ran. At the first sign of problems, I flee. I grew up with my parents fighting often, and I swore I wouldn’t live that way again.
Okay, so it’s not instant fleeing – but it doesn’t take long before I decide the fighting will probably never end, and I need to get the heck out of dodge. Unfortunately there have been times I didn’t flee fast enough and things got much, much worse. Those were the times I so desperately w…

I'm a Mess

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Anxiety is, once again, kicking my ass. I have a crazy busy week, and all I want is to hide in bed.
I work every day this week and have plans in the evening every day. Two of those evenings are Cub Scout events for my son, and every time I think about it I start crying. He is loving the Cub Scouts. I am dreading every moment.
The meetings are absolute hell. There are kids running around screaming in a church gym, and it’s sensory overload. They discuss upcoming events, and I want to cry because I desperately don’t want to go to any of them because I’m terrified of all the human interaction. They’re doing popcorn sales and I don’t want to go to any of the sale events because THERE ARE PEOPLE THERE, but not going means my son misses out on earning a badge. Thursday is the homecoming parade that the Scouts are riding in, and I typically avoid parades because they’re loud and there are so many people and so much traffic when you leave and what if I pick a place to sit where I can’t see…

Guest Post: When You're "Too Productive" to be Sick

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Today's guest post was written by someone I had the pleasure of meeting very recently. I love the way he describes invisible anxiety - it's not always shaking and hyperventilating. So often we look perfectly calm, but inside we're falling apart. Enjoy! 
When you have high-functioning anxiety, the world is a battlefield that only you can see. You’re at war with yourself and the world around you, yet no one else notices. As someone with high-functioning anxiety, I’m constantly told that I can’t possibly be sick because I still function perfectly fine in the world. I have a job, I go to school, I even do some extracurricular activities. Sounds like a person who’s perfectly fine, right? Wrong. Think of my outside appearance as a mask that I put on to hide what’s underneath - what’s inside. The thoughts inside my head; constantly telling me that I’m a failure, that I’m not good enough. On the inside, I’m screaming. On the inside, I’m trying my absolute hardest to keep my head ab…

Maybe I’m a Hypochondriac

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Before my mid-twenties, I was a fairly healthy person. Sure, I have a chronic stomach problem that I’ve had since I was a toddler, but aside from that, I rarely got sick. There were a bunch of little annoying things, but I ignored them - since a doctor didn't know, that meant they weren't a problem, right?! 
Then I went from 112 pounds to 187 in about a year. I was one of those people who never went to the doctor. When I had trouble getting pregnant, that changed. My gynecologist questioned my weight gain. I assumed it was genetics - my mom had also gone from skinny to not-so-skinny in her twenties. Come to find out, I have hypothyroidism and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – both make you gain weight, both make it very difficult to conceive.
Suddenly all the little annoying health problems I’d ignored and written off as bad luck or being paranoid made sense. Depression, abdominal pains, sporadic menstrual cycles, brain fog, and quite a few more. All things I’d ignored fo…

Comfort Zones are Meant to be Broken

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I’ve had to speak to a lot of people today. If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I have a hard time dealing with people in general – my social anxiety is pretty severe. Well, I work at a college, and today is the first day of the fall semester. So whenever I leave the safety of my basement office, there are students everywhere trying to figure out where to go.
I have absolutely no problem helping people. I love to help people. But every time they ask me where something is, I have a moment of panic because I honestly don’t get out of my office a lot, and I don’t know where a lot of stuff is around campus.
So far I’m pretty sure I haven’t gotten anyone lost.
Okay, mostly sure.
There was one woman who I helped more than I intended. I was walking outside to take a break. There’s a little area at the far end of the building where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic and there are pretty flowers – a nice spot to hide for a few minutes when you need to get away from your desk. This w…

Open House: Another Personal Hell

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My children started the new school year today. Yesterday I took the day off from work to stay home with them, not only to save on insane childcare costs, but also to have one last day of fun with them before they go back to school.
We had a great day. We went swimming and had a great time. Then in the evening, we went to the open house at their school so they could meet their teachers.
The kids’ father pointed out that he doesn’t know why I put myself through these things. He doesn’t think it’s necessary to go to the open house. They’ll find out who their teachers are on their first day, it’s a waste of time and energy.
Part of my anxiety is over-preparing for EVERYTHING. I’m that person who obsessively researches every single aspect when buying a new car; who makes lists and starts preparing months in advance when planning a vacation.
So when it comes time for the kids to start school each year, I buy all the school supplies, I sort it out into items that go into each of their b…

My Fear of the Cub Scouts

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I am terrified of my children’s extracurricular activities. I’m torn because on one hand, I want them to socialize more than I did when I was in school. I want them to participate and build friendships and learn skills. Unfortunately, that involves me socializing, and that has kept me from signing them up for quite a bit.
When my 6-year-old son said he wanted to join Cub Scouts, there was no question in my mind that I would let him. Yes, I was filled with every possible “what-if” scenario, but I knew this was something I had to let him do.
My son is a smaller version of me. He’s incredibly shy and has many of my anxieties. I know Cub Scouts teaches so many good life skills and this would be a wonderful opportunity for him to form friendships. So, I sucked up my anxieties and signed him up.
I’ve been fortunate that his father or my boyfriend have been able to take him to most of the events. Last weekend, I failed him. It was the family campout weekend, and I just couldn’t bring mys…