Showing posts from January, 2018

Guest Post: I'm overeating right now - and that's a good thing

Today I have another guest post for you. Don't worry, Loyal Reader, I'll get back at it soon, but my mind has been elsewhere the past week. Today's guest blogger is Steven Saus.
Steven Saus injects people with radioactivity as his day job, but only to serve the forces of good. You can find him at and he blogs at

I am fat.
My love, who is sitting next to me as I write this, glanced over and looked at me incredulously, but it’s true.
It shouldn’t be a surprise: after I ate my dinner at the fast food joint we just left, I ate the half-eaten leftover sandwich she had in front of her.  I can make excuses - like that I’ve only been able to eat one other time today - but really, I ate it because I was - and am - stressed.  It’s been a really rough week for me and mine.
And that I’m overeating is good. Sort of.
I’ve had a hard time with diets or pills that are based on appetite suppression, because…

Guest Post: Depression is a Motherfucker

Photo of: Leslie Hamilton | Photo by: Leslie Hamilton
Today I give you a guest post written by one of my dearest friends in the world - Leslie Hamilton. 
I have only really become aware of my depression in the past year, though I was put on an anti-depressant about eight years ago when I expressed to my primary care doctor that I cried at the drop of a hat. There was no talking about what may be causing it or any other suggestions offered to help cope with it. I was simply written a prescription for a drug.
He folded the paper and handed it to me. I was terrified. Had I become one of those people? Someone who was going to need a drug to manage getting through the day?
Then the what-ifs rolled in - What if I never cry again? What if I’m numb all the time? What if I become a completely different person? Naturally I cried as soon as I got in my car, since that’s my immediate response whenever I am overwhelmed.
I texted my best friends and shared the experience. I received so many boosts…

Customer Service Betina and Sniveling, Crying Mess Betina; Anxiety and Work

Photo: Axel Bueckert / EyeEm, Getty Images

I’ve been in customer service since the age of 16. My first job was at a donut shop. I still have a special place in my heart (and my thighs) for donuts. I made the donuts and ran the cash register, so I learned how to speak to customers at an early age. I’ve always been terrified of people, so I was incredibly nervous about dealing with the customers at first.
I quickly learned to transform into Customer Service Betina when working at the front of the shop. Gone was the Betina who wanted to run and hide. She was replaced with the Betina who came out grinning, asked how the customer was doing today, answered all their donut-related questions confidently, and told them to enjoy their delicious fried doughy treat. What’s that? You need a donut we don’t have in the case? Well let me pop on back and whip one up for you! Why yes, I am incredibly helpful, aren’t I?!
For an introvert with generalized anxiety disorder, dealing with people is exhausting.…

Losing my Spoons or Burning my Matches; Anxiety and Depression

Photo by Yaoqi LAI on Unsplash

Before I even knew anxiety was a thing, I suffered from depression. As it turns out, one can be a side effect of the other. I’m not sure if the chicken or the egg came first with me, but now that I know what to look for, I think anxiety has been a bigger factor in my mental health than I ever realized.
For example: In the past year I’ve had two distinct episodes in which I slept for over 14 hours and wasn’t physically ill. Sleep is my body’s response to severe depression.
I can handle mild depression. I’ve been in a state of mild depression, with the occasional reprieve, since I was a teenager. When mildly depressed I can typically function like normal, though I feel very drained and don’t want to be around people. So, that’s basically me most days!
When I’m severely depressed, the first thing that happens is that my brain shuts down. I literally cannot handle anything else, so I go to sleep. When I wake up I’m usually able to function and actually think ra…

Everything is Wrong With Me -or- Maybe I'm a Hypochondriac

Photo by Alex Boyd on Unsplash

A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook:
              Doctors in medical dramas when a patient has a mystery                illness: I must examine every symptom and run every test!                I won’t rest until I’ve cracked this case!              Doctors in real life when a patient has a mystery illness:               Hmmm have you considered that you’re faking it?
I’ve never had a doctor tell me I’m faking it, but I have had them tell me in some way or another that they can’t find anything wrong with me... so it could be in my head, or it could be related to one of my existing illnesses.
Then they don’t give me any advice on how to get better.
One great example is that I’m exhausted. All the time. 24/7. I typically sleep like the dead. I’m asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. I could sleep through a tornado – and yet I’m always so damn tired. Not just “sort of” tired. Not “I need an extra cup of coffee” tired. It’s nodding off at the whee…

Hiding Under a Rock Forever; Anxiety and hanging out with friends

Photo by brother's photo from Pexels

Anxiety makes me think that no one likes me and everyone has better things to do than spend time with me in person. So I’m terrified of asking anyone to hang out.
When I was in the third or fourth grade, the mother of a girl in my class babysat me. I was never really friends with this girl, but we both had the same best friend. At recess, this girl would tell our best friend that she didn’t want to play with me. I was at her house every day after school, and she was tired of me being around. So, my best friend would apologize to me and say she’d play with me another day.  That “other day” rarely came.
In the seventh grade, I went to my first slumber party at my new best friend’s house. I didn’t know any of the other girls there, so I was very nervous. I tried not to be her shadow, but it was hard. She went back and forth from the living room - where our sleeping bags were - to her bedroom where some of the girls were hanging out. At one point I wa…

The Public Is My Scary Place

Photo by Mike Wilson on Unsplash
I have never fit in. When I was in high school I wasn’t popular... but I wasn’t a nerd or a freak, either. I was just invisible. Even when I did get up the nerve to join groups (proud Special Mixed Choir member!) I didn’t fit in there either.
In the last few years as I’ve allowed myself to truly be me and I’ve figured out exactly who I am, I’ve found other people who are like me. It’s amazing. I’ve joined groups where like-minded people get together online or in person to talk and share experiences. I’ve never in my life felt like I belonged... until now.
It took me a while to get up the courage to actually go to these events. My ex didn’t like joining these groups with me. He said he just didn’t feel the need. The thing is, he was a geek. He had groups of friends he would get together with weekly to play tabletop games. He had online forums where he could discuss gaming and various fandoms. He was used to being part of something. He didn’t need these new…

Lesbians and Big Dicks Wanted; Bullies and Anxiety

We don’t know if anxiety is genetic, a learned behavior, or both. Either way, looking back at my life, I realize that my anxious tendencies started at a very young age.
I didn’t speak at school when I was little– at all. Anxiety would not let me raise my hand to answer or ask a question in class and it absolutely did not let me have friends. In kindergarten and first grade I sat on the same duck spring rider on the playground at recess and didn’t talk to anyone...every single day.
That behavior earned me my first bullies in the first grade. There were two of them – BJ and Jessica. They teased me because I never spoke. They’d corner me in the classroom, calling me names, demanding to know what was wrong with me.
That just made it worse; my anxiety wouldn’t let me tell them.
One day at recess, completely out of the blue, BJ punched me in the stomach. I’d never done a thing to this kid. I’d literally never even spoken to him, and he punched me for it. The teacher, of course, didn’t see it ha…

No New Year's Resolution This Year - Only Anxiety and Depression

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash
2017 was an especially rough year for me. I’m going through my third divorce, moved twice and finally got my own place, and am getting used to raising my children alone.
Some days I feel like I’m kicking ass. Those are the days the children are bathed, their homework is done, I’ve made something resembling a healthy meal, and we’re all happy.
Those days are not the norm. They come more frequently as time goes on, but most days I feel like I’ll be lucky just to survive the day.
The weeks leading up to Christmas this year were worse than usual. Not only have I been having panic attacks brought on by my worry that the children would be disappointed by the lighter-than-usual Christmas, but I’ve also panicking over what the new year would bring.
In 2018 I will get divorced for the third time. I will have to start paying back student loans for the degree that didn’t get me a higher paying job. I will struggle to make ends meet while trying to maintain the …