There are these times when the anxiety monster in my head won’t shut up. No matter how loudly I talk over it, no matter how loudly I scream at it to shut the fuck up, it is still louder. Today has been one of those days. So, I decided to be quiet and listen to it. Not so that it could influence me, but rather so that I could figure out what was driving it. What is really at the core of this incessant ball of anxiety. And boy it’s a doozie. Get this…
Yep, you read that right. I’m happy and that is scary. You see I have started seeing someone, who is so fantastic of a person, I find myself feeling special that he likes to spend time with me. Beyond that, I’ve been meeting a LOT of new people through him. Here’s the really weird thing…they all like me. I’ve been so conditioned to expect the friends of the person I’m involved with to find problems with me and reasons to dislike me, that it is absolutely foreign that they like me. It all feels a bit surreal.
So I asked myself, why is this scary? Simple, happiness for me, over the last few years, has a tendency to suddenly get ripped away, like a rug being pulled out from under me. Then I had a thought that hit me like one of those “duh” moments.
“But you were happy before this started.”
It was then I realized that I am reducing my own happiness by allowing myself to be afraid that it is going to go away. I reminded myself to be present in the now and not allow the what if of fear to have a place in me. Shit happens, and if this slice of happiness comes to an end, it will hurt, and I will get over it. I always do.
So basically, don’t worry, be happy now.
There are things that happen sometimes for people with depression/anxiety/PTSD, that cause a reaction that is intense. These are generally called triggers. Sometimes I know what they are, sometimes I do not. When I know a trigger has happened, I typically have the ability to step away from that situation. When I do not know, then all I know is that I feel something extremely intensely and it is very important to me. This usually creates drama. If there is alcohol involved, it creates drama that I can’t even pull myself back from. Afterwards, however, I like to ask myself a few questions about what happened.
- What was at the core of that reaction?
- How do I address the core reason? and
- What does this tell me about myself, and my relationships?
Sometimes the answers are obvious, sometimes, not so much. However, the last year of living without a partner and dating people, has made it easier for me to see what my reactions mean about me, and what I need out of relationships. This has not come without growing pains. Or just pain in general. All who know me, know I love fast, fiercely, and almost always forever. I do not believe that love is finite nor do I have some weird set of time rules of when you are allowed to love someone. I connect, I feel love, and I give it freely. This is something about myself that I refuse to feel ashamed about or to quash. It does however leave me very vulnerable.
I am currently experience a weird reaction, for me. I am in a situation that historically would have made me implode. I would be belittling myself, worrying, obsessing, and in general completely freaking out. I do not however find myself doing that. I feel either confident that my emotions will be understood and forgiven, or that if they aren’t, it is ok, because I will be ok. I am not exactly sure what it is, but I hope this is a trend I can hold onto.
There are cracks in everything.
That is how the light gets in.
I live my life in shades of grey.Very rarely have I experienced anything that was black or white. I try to carry the knowledge that there is more to any situation than I can see. It helps me empathize. Recently I have been feeling some extremes. “I am going to die alone.” “No one will ever love me again.” Things like that. I have been talking with friends about it to help work through this dark space. Everyone is super nice and says that of course I will find someone. That tends to leave me going, “How can you possibly know that?” Last night I had a friend say something a bit different to me…
I hear you. I don’t know what the future holds, but I have confidence in your ability to grow in your capacity to bend it to your liking.
This might be the most supportive, kind thing someone has said to me.
As I have been feeling these extreme things, I have been trying to figure out how to find peace with them. The conclusion I have come to is that if I am going to be just me and need to have fun with myself. So, here are somethings I am doing for me.
- Eating better
- Going to the gym
- Doing more art
- Drinking less alcohol
- Getting out of my apartment
- Going on adventures
- Spending time with friends I don’t see nearly enough
I finally feel ready to focus on me again.
…seeking…well I’m not quite sure. I woke up thinking about how I have lots of Facebook friends that I really like, but get to see very little. And in a weird swing of complete lack of anxiety about it I really want to get out and do things with a variety of people. I feel ready to step outside my comfort zone. However, I don’t know how.
I am going to be speaking bluntly about some issues that involve the digestive system.
I love water. I drink a lot of water. Room temperature. Sometimes with a hint of flavor. I feel picky and uncomfortable when I ask for water without ice and with lemon when I am out at a restaurant, so I don’t always do it; and when I don’t it’s truly a gamble. There are days when I just know it is going to be bad. Like today. I get up like normal; get out of bed, take a drink of water, walk the dog, come back, go to the bathroom. Except on days like today, I can feel my body rejecting the water. It hits my stomach and I know that I have anywhere from 10-30 minutes until I am in the bathroom, in pain, wishing it would just go through my system already. This morning, in a time span of 90 minutes, I had to go through that 6 times. Each time painful, each time getting a little less successful in moving anything out. Once you’re empty, you’re empty; however my body still thinks it needs to empty more.
As I am sure anyone reading this knows, diarrhea dehydrates you. That means that I have to put more water in to make up for the water that is just going through my system. Which means more water painfully pushing through my system. Rinse, lather, repeat.
On top of all of that, I have an anal fissure from years of medication for pain management. If you do not know what an anal fissure is, thank your gods. I have been through some pain; from child birth, to bone grafts, to organ removal, and I can tell you without hesitation that an anal fissure is the worst pain I have ever experienced.
Did I mention the blood? It comes with lots of blood.
So there is pain, blood, dehydration, and constant urgent trips to the bathroom. But why I am sharing this? For the same reason I talk about my depression so openly. I find myself feeling ashamed that my body goes through all of this. So for a long time I didn’t seek medical attention for it. The same thing goes with depression. People feel ashamed and don’t seek help. So I am talking about it so other people might know they are not alone and it’s ok to ask for help.
Peace and Pain
By Cecily Michelle
Shades of grey in her eyes
Lips curled up, her smile lies
Drops of blue on her shirt
Nothing shows, so nothing’s hurt
Hidden shades of yellow and green
Under her skin, barely seen
Ink of black on her wrist
Nothing changed, by the fist
Hope so pure it shines so white
No, she does not want to fight
Razor’s cut leaves her red
But not as much, as the thorn in bed
A friend came over last night to help me through a difficult situation. He reminded me that I have the keenest, most accurate gut he has ever known. He listened to my fears about trusting it and reassured me that I do not have to settle for someone. And I certainly do not have to settle for someone that is going to lash out at me when they are in the wrong.
I’ll Be In The Corner
By Cecily Michelle
Fear is a powerful monster
He feeds on your insecurities
Whispers in your ear when your instincts kick in
“But what if you’re wrong…if you screw this up now, you’ll have nothing.”
Instinct is the introvert in the corner
She has knowledge and wisdom
But is easily talked over…beaten down.
“Excuse me, if you could just hear what I have to say…”
Their battle ground is you
And the more Fear wins
The easier it is for him to win again
“You’ll get hurt if you trust her. Listen to me.”
It’s time go sit in the corner with your wounded gut
Hold her tight and tell her that you trust her
Ask her to speak louder and clearer
“I’m sorry I didn’t listen. I can hear you now.”