anxiety · anxiety medication · boundaries · cancer · music · self-care

Anxiety

I’ve always been an anxious person, not going to lie. But it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t function properly. Exercise (good) and lots of wine (bad) were (are?) my favorite ways to diffuse it.

This shit is something else. I’ve been experiencing some heightened levels of anxiety since I started noticing my symptom in August. It was manageable since I really had no idea what I was dealing with, but the closer my colonoscopy creeped up, the worse it got.

Still, I managed to put one foot in front of the other.

Now, since the end of that screening, the anxiety really took over. And it has been bad. Finding out 2 days before a major holiday—one that all my life I’ve always just was able to blissfully enjoy—threw me into involuntary waves of freak out.

What’s fun is as I struggled to put on a holiday somewhat normal, my body was like—um, no. I shook constantly, sweat poured off me when I wasn’t even doing anything. I reached out like a mad woman to professional mental health hotlines just to reach a trained ear—and they were all CLOSED.

I get people needing or wanting breaks from their work for holidays, but honestly, if you’re in the mental health field, holidays seem obvious to me to be one of the most important times to be available.

I felt completely unglued Xmas Eve. It sucked. Somehow I got through it, and luckily even managed to have fun when our kids came to visit.

I realized once I got through that experience—dude, if I can live through that without dying, I’m pretty damn strong.

So now I’m starting down this road and it’s not very fun. In fact, it’s scary as hell. My phone rings and I jump.

If you could’ve seen when I was waiting to hear about the results of my initial imaging tests, you would’ve been like—how the hell is she doing it?

The phone call finally came and I was informed I’m not stage 4. The release of anxiety was so huge, I shook like a leaf, went into the bathroom and threw up.

Upon exiting the latrine, I had to give myself props again–I didn’t die of fear!

So now I’ve been through a few appointments I never saw coming as part of my future. I hate it. But I’m doing it.

I shake a lot. I can’t eat. Sleep is rough. Sometimes the best I can do is sit in the corner of my couch and chill. Go to the grocery store because we need food? A simple task I used to do every week without a second thought? Yeah. How about no.

Kelly Clarkson blabbing away on her talk show on my tv? Makes me wish I could smack her, even though I know she’s probably a nice person.

When all this shit really began hitting the fan, I talked to my general practitioner. She is a true gift from the gods—hilarious, compassionate, in my corner, and she cusses like a sailor. I love her. She hooked me up, no hesitation, with anxiety meds.

In my former life, I didn’t need and was kind of afraid of medication.

Well, this is no longer a thing.

Honestly, what freaking better time would there be besides right now, ya know?!

It’s not shameful to need medication to calm myself right down. I need to eat, I need to sleep, I need to be able to do stuff again, and dare I say, a real laugh now and then might be nice.

I deserve laughs. I deserve relief. What I’m going through, I’m finding, is something a whole lot of people can’t understand. I’m envious they don’t. But really, that makes no real difference to me.

What matters is my health-especially physically. I can’t concentrate on it at all without addressing my mental health. I’m so glad I’ve figured that out.

So I’m taking steps to get the anxiety under control. I’m not berating myself for taking the medication (that stuff is the shit!). I’ve also started turning my phone off when I lie down in bed at night. My kids can call their dad (he’s not as popular as me. Well, that’s not true. His clients love him, but those people don’t text him for funsies all hours) and if they need me, he’ll tell me. I’ll also answer my sisters. Everyone else? They’re negotiable til morning. Or maybe afternoon. Or evening. Or maybe not at all.

I’ve always been a people pleaser. Like to lift people up. That’s on hiatus for now, unless I have the desire to be entertaining.

Anyway. I just wanted to write about my illness-induced anxiety. It’s a bitch. Wish it wasn’t happening. But as one of my favorite bands Blackberry Smoke sings—Wish in one hand, Shit in the Other.

For now, thank science for anxiety medication. It’s going to help me get on with what’s coming. And I’m going to embrace all of it, no matter what I have to do to do it.

One final thought:

Why the hell is Kelly Clarkson so spastic. She could use a meditation getaway or a cup of catnip tea. Why do I even care? I don’t, really. Maybe she’s just really fun and carefree.

Maybe someday soon, that can be me again.

Parting gift for this post—please enjoy. This band gives me life.

empty-nesters · grown children · home redecorating · homeschooling · music · owning a business · pets · summer of love · tattoos · turning 50 · writing

light my fire

Hi there. And welcome.

You’ve gone and stumbled upon what I like to call “my new blog”.

I used to have a blog I loved writing not too long ago. I had to give it up, though, because we got a new puppy last February, and let me tell you–my life turned upside down when we brought her home. After having our old dog (she passed away) for so long, who was a complete gem and totally easy to care for, having a puppy in the house again was rather overwhelming. I was frustrated a lot by all of my free time things I liked to do–blogging being one of them–having to go by the wayside in exchange for puppyhood antics and basic training.

But give my hobbies up I did. I’m happy to report that puppy has turned 1 and life in our home has settled considerably and things have kinda gone back to normal.

So now I’m back and ready to write stuff I have no idea anybody besides me will care too much about.

But let’s give it another whirl, shall we?

Here’s a fun twist. Along with my new calmer life and fresh start to my blogging career, I am adding the fun-filled event of turning 50 years old to my line up of things to do this year.

You heard me right–50.

In July.

I am a Summer of Love baby (hence the blog name). I dig that about myself. But now here I am, getting ready to click over to an age that kinda freaks me out. I’ve never been freaked out by aging before now. In fact, I love my birthday. I love all birthdays. After we meet, I will remember your birthday way before I remember your name. I like to make big whoop-dee-doos over birthdays.

This one I find myself dreaded months way ahead.

Friends and family I’ve discussed this with blow off my apprehension and tell me–Oh, you’re young!! Well, okay…I know I’m not like 90 or anything, but I still feel like 50 is a number to be reckoned with. You can’t really claim being “young” anymore after you’ve hit the big 5-0. And, truth be told, my body is starting to pull shit on me. Painful heel, knee twinges, backaches. That kind of stuff.

Let me tell you a story real quick:

This past Saturday I went shopping and as I made my way into Macy’s, my shoelaces weren’t tied very tight and my (painful) heels were slipping around in my shoes. I found myself thinking–I hope when I get in this place there’s somewhere I can sit so I can retie my shoes.

I’ve never had to consider pre-planned sitting before. I mean, not for myself at least. And don’t you know, there was nowhere to sit inside the store doors. So I thought-screw it…I’m going to bend down and tie these shoes. I can do it!

There was an older lady standing there putting on her coat and gloves and scarf. I thought, okay–if I get stuck on the floor she can help me. So I crouched and started untying and retying. It took some effort on my part, but I did it. Then I was off and shopping and it all worked out okay.

But what the hell was that?!

I’ll tell you what that was.

That was me…hot on the heels of 50.

So yeh. These are the kinds of stories I plan on telling here.

Admit it.. you’re hooked, aren’t you.

If you’re not totally convinced yet, here’s a little more insight about me and the kind of stuff you might find me discussing here…

I made my career out of being a stay-at-home mom with our 2 kids. We homeschooled with the exception of the one year our son attended kindergarten. After that, we took off on our own. Those were some great-ass years. I was a really good mom. I still am, I guess, but the kids are grown now. They only need me here and there, and that’s good–the way it should be, you know? Hubby of 100 years and I are now empty-nesters. We own a small business we started on a shoestring. My husband runs that operation with some help from me. It’s just the two of us and has been for the past 14 years. We’ve lived in our house, which is tiny and adorable and really fun to redecorate and keep uncommonly immaculate now that there are no children around, for the past 24 years. We have pets I will more than likely mention way more than most people might enjoy. But what can I say, we think those furballs are the shit. My husband is a guitar player. I like to think someday I’ll write something good enough to make it on to a bookstore shelf. I’m covered in tattoos, love clothes and music and books and am hellbent on feeling as young as I can for as long as I can.

Which brings us back to that whole turning 50 thing. Remember?

I definitely remember.

All right. If you’ve read this whole thing I’d like to say thank you. Come back again if you want. Say hi.

I’m going to go fill up my coffee cup again and take a cruise around to see if I can find some interesting other blogs to read.

It feels good to be back. 🙂

Til next time, please enjoy this rockin’ tune–the Doors’ mega-hit that was #1 song on the charts the day I was born.

Pretty appropriate for a Summer of Love baby, don’t you think?