Starting.

I have been feeling much better lately, and I am finally going to start seeing a new therapist in about a month! I feel that now I have a much clearer mindset which will hopefully make this process a bit easier. I literally had a second where I thought that maybe I don’t need therapy or help because now my medication has made a world of a difference for me, but my boyfriend kindly reminded me that the problems are within, and the Prozac is simply a band-aid. That is as true as it gets, and I don’t want to rely on medications anyways.

This morning I went to the gym before work, which is the first time I’ve done this being 9-5pm! I will say, I felt GREAT all day (especially for a Monday). I plan to go again tomorrow and I am really wanting to make this a habit for me. Habits are something you do not have to think about, you just do it, so if I can do it enough where it becomes second nature I think it would benefit me a lot. I know in general doctors tell you that exercising helps with depression/anxiety, and I have always known that to be true from experience, I just always fall out of my routines. The important thing though is that I start again, and that is exactly what I plan to do.

I have had a recent good idea which will bring me back into my poetry, which I am very excited about, but also I do not feel just ready to start. My “poetry” and writings I’ve done (which are not all on here as most were handwritten and I will need to type them out to put on here) are depressing. I have a few happy ones as well, but I feel so much more connected to the sad ones, likely because I have had this darkness lingering inside of me for so long that it was always easy to feed off of. Now I can channel these thoughts into something beautiful. My goal is to write enough poetry to be able to publish at least one book of just poems. My grandmother has published a couple of books of her poems, and I am unsure if she makes any money but honestly it wouldn’t even matter to me. Just being able to write enough poems and have that inspiration to keep going would be enough for me.

Nice weather often makes me feel more inspired and motivated, so this upcoming summer I am planning to go out of my comfort zone and go write outside of my house, and would like to try get back into photography as well. Maybe I can incorporate my photos with my poetry, but we will see! ♡

Self.

I have been in a better state of mind recently. A couple of weeks ago I went to visit my best friend in Florida, and although my skin did not handle the sun very well, I feel that vacation was exactly what I needed. I have done a decent amount of traveling, but this time felt a lot different. I felt more independent, and in control of my thoughts and emotions. I felt like I was patient, and able to go with the flow of things a lot better than I normally would have. It could be the medication, or just being so close to the ocean and sunshine… but whatever it is I am so very thankful that I had the opportunity to take that time away.

I have been doing a lot of self-reflecting, but this time around I am feeling much more productive when looking inside. Normally I am so hard on myself and tell myself that I am the reason I’m upset, while that may be true, there are other ways I can communicate that within myself. Instead of hating myself for being depressed or angry, I can make sure I do something to help lift my mood, or at least try to remind myself of my better qualities. There is no point in sitting around and sulking; if anything it makes depression much worse. If you are constantly focusing on the negative things happening in life, how often are you letting the good things pass by?

I always have felt like I am racing the clock. I always feel like I am running out of time, no matter what I do. I recognize this about myself, and I would like to change it. Lately I have been enjoying the moments, and living in them. I am trying to be off of social media more, and actually enjoying the real life that is right in front of me. I think a lot of people get lost in the trance of seeking validation from others, while simultaneously judging and comparing themselves to everyone else. Not only that, but it seems people are so focused on making their lives look like they are great and happy, instead of actually trying to enjoy the moments they have.

One of the hardest things for me is that I have a hard time dissociating myself from other people’s emotions and situations. I have a good group of friends, and many of them are going through some hard shit right now, which is very hard for me to watch and deal with because I tend to feel what they are feeling. I have been reading a bit more into being an empath and plan to get some books on the subject, as I want to be able to help my friends, but also need to be able to keep my mind/body separate from their emotions. A terrible thing happened near my home recently that had made international news, which what that an innocent, young boy named AJ was murdered by his parents. I become physically sick when I think about this, which has made it hard for me to read about the case or participate in the memorial services in the town… but I know what is best for my health at this time is to stay away from it. Until I can learn to separate myself from the emotions, I have to just stay away.

I am sure some of my friends may feel like I am more distant, but right now this is what I have to do. I want to be able to help my friends in the best way I can, but when I am unable to separate myself from the situation it makes it very hard. I am the only person who is guaranteed to be with me until my dying day, and I need to learn more about myself and how to control my emotions. Self love is not selfish, it is important. ♡

Planning.

I’ve been on my new medication for almost 2 weeks and have been feeling pretty good! It’s hard to tell if the medication is actually working yet, or if I have just had less anxiety in general since making the decision to stay in my current position at work. Regardless, I’m feeling good at this time and am happy about it!

My boyfriend and I just booked a cruise for October which we’re very excited about! I’m also taking a mini-trip in April to visit my best friend and her son in Florida! I feel that planning future vacations/events/concerts is something that really helps me get out of my depression funk, because I know there’s something to look forward to. However, I’m also very cheap (or as my aunt would say: “financially responsible”). I’m not the person to go out and buy new clothes or get my nails done when I’m depressed, because even though I know it’ll help in the short-term to make me happy, I end up stressing over the money in the future.

That being said, for the next several months I will be super stingy with my money so that I can pay off the cruise in a few months, and to make sure this time I’m not hurting for several weeks after the cruise (that casino can really get you lol). Planning ahead is something that keeps me sane, but also I am constantly thinking/planning ahead that I find myself struggling to live in the moment.

I’m always trying hard to make things easier for future me, that often times I don’t slow down to think/care about my present self. People look at me and think I’m very smart and responsible, which I do appreciate, but they can’t see everything that’s happening underneath. I’m obsessed with being financially stable. I’m constantly worrying about money, even when I don’t need to, and I almost always feel guilty when I buy something for myself because I know at some point in the future I may want/need that money.

I’m not exactly sure why I am this way, but I know it started at a young age. I’ve always saved my allowance and birthday money, and I remember I went out and spent all of the $170 I had on a black and pink Stingray bicycle. I thought it was so cool because it looked like a motorcycle, but once I was home and riding it I just kept thinking about how all of that money I saved was gone. The bike started making a ticking noise that same day I got it, and the next day I brought it back and got all of my money back and never spent it all again.

I have a couple of obsessive habits, mainly the money and cleaning. I’m always cleaning or “straightening up” the house, because I can’t stand when things are on the table or on the floor. If something is on a table it must be placed in a good spot and be organized. I have friends who are like “I wish I was like you,” or “I wish my anxiety worked like that,” which I definitely understand, but at the same time is this any way to live? What does it matter if the table is a little cluttered for a few days? It’s not like we have people over very often anyways! I feel that I obsess/care about things that aren’t that important, but I place a importance on these tasks.

I think the reason that I place such a high priority on cleaning because I’m always trying to plan ahead so future me can relax or do something fun, but that time never seems to come. It’s hard too because I also have some moderate depression, and there are days where getting out of bed or brushing my hair seems like a daunting task, but my anxiety always wins. I’ll get anxious if I am sitting in bed for too long, because how will I ever catch up if I’m not keeping up?

I annoy myself often, and I also get angry with myself for having these thoughts/tendencies, but what I need to learn to do is embrace them and use them to my advantage. I’m hoping that staying on this medication will help me to keep a calmer headspace so I can learn to love myself and not hate these aspects of myself. ♡

Everything Happens for a Reason

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason; so much so, that I have it in permanent ink on my arm. These past few days have been really rough and have been full of tough decisions. Yesterday, I ended up turning down my job offer for AOM (assistant office manager).

I don’t want to go too much into detail about all of it, but basically I’ve been waiting to be moved into this position since August of last year. Up until recently I was actually excited to move into that position, but I am so happy that I decided to turn it down.

I turned it down for many reasons: not enough money, having to drive to offices that were 45min-1hr away from me, shitty hours, etc. The best part was they only offered me $1 more. I even countered the offer and they told me it was “non-negotiable.” I decided to take the a couple of days to think about it, even though I already knew I was almost certain I was turning it down.

On Monday I replied to the email that they sent me with the offer letter and I politely declined the position. They took it well and still will consider me in the future for the AOM/OM positions. I will stay in my current position, but now I will have better hours (switching from 11-7 to 9-5), we are getting another person on our team which will help with the work load, and I get to stay close to home.

I feel relieved. I was anxious all weekend thinking about turning down the position. I kept talking to different friends/family about it and listening to the different feedback was good and bad. I overthink so having too much feedback isn’t great because then I circle around in my brain and it makes it hard to stick with one decision. At one point I was thinking I was going to get fired if I turned down the position! But I’m glad I stuck with my gut and turned it down.

I was going to sign that paper if they had offered me $2, and now I’m so happy that I was only offered the $1. At this point in time, if they would have offered me what I countered, I would still decline. I feel that I would have been so unhappy traveling from place to place and never being certain of where I’d be working or how far from home I’d be. I am the type of person who likes and needs a set routine. I like to be able to have a decent idea of how my day is going to go, and I decided that my sanity was worth more than the money. ♡

Acceptance

After much thought, I am back on an anxiety medication. It’s new, and I’ve only been on it for a few days at this point, but it’s not making me nauseous so that’s what I’m happy about! Over the past couple of months, my anxiety has been through the roof. I knew it was getting bad when my cats were sick, but I sat down and thought about the panic attacks I had in January and in December. I’ve always been anxious, but I’ve never really had more than 3-4 panic attacks a year, and the fact that I had 5 in the span of 3 months was kind of a wake up call.

What really prompted me to finally go to my primary care doctor was the chest pain that I was having. The pain only came when I was stressed/scared and it was happening for about 3 weeks before I finally decided to go to the doctor. I’ve always been a stressed person, and on top of that I’m anxious all the time, so naturally I’m convinced that I’m going to have a heart attack by the time I’m 30 (only 6.5 years to go). Luckily my doctor reassured me that the chest pain was just from the anxiety and she had discussed counseling with me, which I plan to do, and also discussed medications.

When talking to her, I let her know about my past experience with Zoloft and how my doctor at that time told me to stay on the pills, even when I told her I was not liking them. She let me know right away that she will always listen to me and not keep me on anything that I don’t like, and she gave me some options. She had offered Xanax, but with my family history of alcoholism/addiction that scares me, so I told her that and she understood. She also said that with the amount of panic attacks I was having that a daily medication would probably be best, which I agreed with.

After discussing my zombie feeling I had on Zoloft, we agreed on Lexapro, but shortly after starting this I was very nauseous and I actually had thrown up a few times. I called her and they said to stop the medication, so I did, and they sent through Prozac instead for me to try. In the midst of all of that I also had developed a fever in the evening of the night she told me to stop, so I am not sure if it was the medication or possible flu that made me sick, but regardless I am now on Prozac. It has only been a few days, and if anything I just feel tired, but I’m not nauseous!

I’m obviously going to give this more time and also get into counseling/therapy, but I’m really hoping this one goes well. I’m only on 20mg a day right now, but I’ve had friends and family who have had good results with prozac. I’m just hoping for the best and trying to remind myself that taking a medication doesn’t mean I’ve failed myself (since I told myself I’d never go back on meds), if anything I think it means that I have learned to accept help when needed.

Fires.

When I was a kid I was scared of fires.

This doesn’t sound that strange, except for the fact that I would lose sleep over this unrealistic fear of the apartment starting on fire and me being trapped inside my room, forced to jump off of the balcony. I often thought about escape routes, although there weren’t many. I would think about if I could reach the bush that my mom once climbed up to let us back into the apartment when my dad accidentally locked us out. Every year in elementary school they go over fire safety with the classes, and that shit gave me anxiety.  The firefighters and instructor had my full and undivided attention, as well as every other kids’ attention in the room, but did those kids feel what I felt? Did they go home and map out their houses/apartments and think about every possible place a fire could start? Did they think about how far of a jump it would be from the second floor to the grass outside? Did they wake up out of a dead sleep and immediately fear that they’d see smoke in their room? I remember wanting to get one of those rope ladders that you just throw over the balcony in case of an emergency. My dad assumed that I wanted it so I could sneak out at night and hang out with the neighbors, because at 9 years old that is exactly what I was thinking about.

That last line was sarcasm, but I guess some 9-year-olds probably did think about sneaking out already. All I was thinking about was how to escape a non-existent fire. 14 years later I still haven’t been in a fire, and I no longer lose sleep over the thought of fires. Now I lose sleep over everything else.

Running.

I know I haven’t posted in a while (shocker), but it’s been a bit rough. The past week has consisted of vet visits for 2 of my 3 cats, racking up a bill of $900 and hopefully we do not need to go back. I’ve been so anxious about my cats not feeling well and am constantly paranoid that I’m going to come home to a dead cat, despite the vets not being very concerned.

Sometimes I really hate my brain. I hate that I worry even when thing are out of my control, and I worry even when I’m told things are okay. Over the last weekend I had maybe 5 hours of sleep, as I’d wake up every hour sweating and my heart would be racing. My stomach pain was terrible and for 2 days in a row I threw up foam/bile in the morning. I even ended up calling off of work, which I almost never do, but the pain was so bad and I felt so sick and fatigued.

It’s just crazy to me that I am literally making myself physically ill, and feel as though I have no way to control it sometimes. Even when I lay down and breathe deeply, counting my breaths in and out, my heart never seems to calm down. Not to mention for the last couple of weeks I’ve had on and off chest pain, so I’m half convinced I’m going to have a heart attack or maybe a pulmonary embolism due to my stress/anxiety.

I need to go back to therapy, I know I do. Of course money is a bit tight right now due to my fur babies, but I need to learn ways to control my anxiety. I have been on Zoloft before, and I will never do that again. I will definitely try to avoid medications as much as possible, because my experience on Zoloft was not great. I know everyone is different, and I am happy that there are people who can benefit from that prescription, but for me it was too much.

When I took Zoloft, I was completely flat. I really didn’t care about much, which I guess is what I thought I wanted, but it was different. I never cried, not even at Grey’s Anatomy and I am always a baby when it comes to that show. The point when I really realized it was bad was when my boyfriend and I had watched Captain Phillips, a movie that makes my boyfriend who literally never cries tear up, and I didn’t feel the need to cry at all. None. Nothing upset me, nothing made me that happy; I literally just felt nothing. I stopped going to my psychiatrist, because when I told her I wanted to come off of the medication, she told me to stay on for a few more months. So, I ended up quitting cold turkey (bad idea, do not recommend) and never went back on another prescription.

I will likely not see a psychiatrist again, unless a therapist/psychologist is very persistent about it, but I’d rather learn to do this on my own if I can. It’s definitely a struggle, especially when my anxiety is making me physically ill, but I’m just gonna keep moving forward and shop around for therapists. ♡