Tag: anxiety

The Writer’s Curse

Maybe it’s just me (although I highly doubt it), but being a writer certainly has its downfalls.  My mind is constantly racing with outlandish scenarios, that are most definitely a cause and/or effect of my anxiety.  (Honestly, that’s like the chicken or the egg- which came first?)

Sure, this trait has always kept me fairly entertained in boring classrooms (and sometimes boardrooms) BUT it can lead to disaster upon disaster.  Allow me to set the scene:

You’re about 15.  You’re the good kid in class, super quiet, super nice, always getting good grades.  The kind of kid the teacher thinks of highly.  Unfortunately, this teacher has the public speaking ability of a broken radiator and you start to distract yourself.  You think up a brilliant story about a fallen soldier in ‘Nam and the platoon that must set out to find him- – wait, that’s “Saving Private Ryan”.  You start over… you begin outlining an epic love story in your History notebook (the NSFW kind) and then…

“Miss ____, did you hear me?  Can you please tell us the date on which the Boston Tea Party took place?”

Shit.  Why do I care about the Boston Tea Party when I am clearly in the middle of a lover’s quarrel with Joaquin and Lissette?

“I…I don’t know.”

“I’m very disappointed in you, Miss ____.”

Ah, I’m very disappointed in you.  That shit cuts a good kid in the heart deeper than any bayonet ever could.  And that’s how it all starts- the never ending cyle of story after story.  Sometimes they are as brilliant as epic lovers Joaquin and Lissette (stay tuned for my novel…) and sometimes you just imagine your own shortcomings.  Not sure what I mean?  Stick with me here…

I, almost always, picture myself tripping up a flight of steps before taking the first step.  I envision the embarrassing and most public tumble that leaves me with a split lip and scraped elbows and knees.  I can hear and see the stifled giggles and snide looks of my co-workers and of strangers.  ALL OF THIS BEFORE I MOVE A MUSCLE.

Still not getting the picture?

My poor, poor boyfriends have suffered most from my anxious, story driven mind.  (I’m just kidding- I suffer most from my anxious, story driven mind).

However, since the chances of them reading this blog are slim to none, I am safe to apologize publicly- My apologies to all of my exes for my crazy but brilliant* mind.  Allow me to set the scene again:

The phone rings.

Him: “Babe, we have to talk.  It’s nothing to worry about but I want to say it in person.”

Oh god.  He’s cheating on me.  Her name is probably Amber.  She’s probably a blonde, size 0 with double D’s.  I hate Amber.  I hate him.

Oh god. He’s breaking up with me.  He’s running away to Rio with Joaquin.  God, I can’t believe he’s gay.  How didn’t I see this before?  Why??

Oh god.  He’s on drugs.  He has an addiction problem.  It’s ok.  I’ll get him help.  We can go to counseling.  We’ll get through this.

Oh god. He’s dying.  He just went to the doctor a few days ago.  He has cancer.  Oh my god.  WHY CAN’T YOU JUST TELL ME NOW??  WHO CARES IF IT’S OVER THE PHONE??

Reality- We meet up and he gives me a beautiful necklace and tells me that he loves me.

Aw, I’m so glad he didn’t tell me over the phone.

Or worse yet, I tend to write romantic comedies- it’s kind of my thing, SO that being said, I tend to have high expectations.  When they aren’t met, I get very disappointed even though those poor boys tried so hard.  (To the future boyfriends who may be reading this, I PROMISE that I am working on it.  Kinda.  Sorta.  Maybe. Bear with me).

Him: “Babe, I’m really excited for Valentine’s Day.  I promise it’s going to be awesome.”

Oh my god.  Maybe he rented a hotel suite.  There will be rose petals everywhere and a bubble bath and room service.  He knows that I love stuffed animals so I’m sure that he bought one just to be sweet.  Maybe I’ll get a nice massage too….  He’s so good to me.

Reality: We go to a fancy restaurant for dinner.  I get a very sweet card and a box of chocolates.

That’s it?!

(THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS SCENARIO, but because it’s not what I’ve built up in my mind, I get upset).

Sometimes these stories provide simple entertainment, sometimes they provide all-consuming anxiety, and sometimes they end up in a blog online or a script in pre-production (stay tuned for my next short film…).

Some days, being a writer is great!  It’s such a fulfilling feeling to know that you have completed something.  You have put your thoughts to paper.

Some days, being a writer is hell on earth.  It’s a terrible feeling to think that none of what you’ve written is half as good as it sounded in your head.

Some days, it’s both.  But most days…

It’s hell on earth.

*I am the antithesis of conceited, so just assume that whenever I compliment myself that it is pure, unadulterated sarcasm.

Who Invited You? (A Note About Unwanted Depression/Anxiety)

I am not having the best night due to reasons I’d rather not discuss.  (Ya know, cause I like to stay relatively elusive when posting personal struggles publicly on the internet).

As I’ve written before, depression isn’t always present but it is persistent.  I have my good days, (sometimes lots of them in a row!) but the bad days somehow always show up.  Depression is like that one relative whose invite to the party you always “lose” but they manage to show up anyway with a sidekick you like even less (AKA Anxiety).

Recently, a friend and fellow blogger posted a Buzzfeed Article about what it is to suffer from both anxiety and depression (Hey, that sounds familiar!).  She then followed up with her own piece about what it is to have a panic disorder.  She encouraged fellow sufferers to discuss and share in the comments (and while I will also post this there), I wanted to write a blog in response to both of these posts and remind her, and others like us, that we are not alone.

If you would like to read Kacey’s original blog- please click here.

The Buzzfeed article that I mentioned earlier, entitled Here’s What No One Tells You About Having Both Depression And Anxiety, is in essence just a list of symptoms to which all sufferers can immediately relate.  It always makes me wonder if there are people out there who DON’T feel these things.  If so, I envy them…just a tad (tad means a lot, right?).

In seriousness though, I wonder if this list is relatable.  If you’ve never been in the throes of depression and anxiety, can you understand?  Can you empathize?

In the event that you didn’t read through either of the aforementioned links (because I probably wouldn’t have either), I’ve included a few points that most resonated with me.  Depression & Anxiety Are:

“3. It’s feeling more tired the less you move, but your heart racing at the thought of taking the first step.”

This is one of the hardest things to combat when I am in a period of depression.  The desire to sleep and the need to get work done are in a state of constant battle.  I hate to say it but, sleep wins most of the time. Sleep means escaping emotions and the pain that comes with them if only for a little while.

“8.  It’s fearing every day that your partner will get fed up and leave, but your anxiety whispering in your ear that they deserve better and should.”

SO MUCH YES HERE.  My inner monologue when in a relationship is almost always “Please leave me and save yourself the trouble.” Actually, I’ve probably said that out loud before on numerous occasions.  

“17. It’s coping mechanisms and escapism, because when you’re not trying to hide from one part of your brain, you’re hiding from the other.”

Escapism- YES.  I need to avoid triggers that will upset me and often times that means avoiding (escaping) people and/or situations that will cause me pain.  

*Masochism and anxiety do not go hand in hand.

My anxiety manifests itself in rather obnoxious ways.  During a panic attack:

  1. My body will start to overheat (think hot flash x 10).
  2. I start to shake (so severely that my muscles begin to tense and I will be more sore than if I had spent 8 hours at the gym).
  3. I get nauseous, (which makes me even more anxious and so I cry).
  4. I cry a lot.

It’s not the end of the world but in that moment (and sometimes that moment can last hours), it sure as hell feels like it.

And my depression?  Well, like I mentioned before- it’s a lot of wanting to sleep.  It is fixating on how worthless I am and fearing that I will never amount to anything.

Sometimes, the depression and anxiety overlap.  Sometimes, they don’t.

But guys, guess what!  There is a light at the end of the tunnel!  I am NOT worthless.  I have already amounted to a lot and will continue to do so.  These annoying, unwanted house guests never stay forever.  They most certainly overstay their welcome, but eventually, I get to kick them to the curb and it is always a glorious moment of triumph.  So if I look at it that way, I get to have lots of extra triumphs in my life in addition to all of my non-depression related successes (because when I lay them all out there, I am pretty successful).

I AM FULL OF ALL THE TRIUMPHZ.

AND SO ARE YOU!

You will have bad days.  We all do (even those who don’t suffer from depression), but they won’t last forever.  Cliche as it may be, the sun WILL come up tomorrow (you can bet your bottom dollar).  I am not telling you that it will be easy.  It won’t be.  I am telling you that it is possible and I implore you to seek help if you need it.  There is NO shame in asking for help.  (A lot of people see it as a sign of strength and bravery.)

Talking about mental illness helps us shed the stigma.  So talk about it.  Surround yourself with people who support you and if you feel like you don’t have anyone- feel free to reach out.  Comment on my blog, comment on my Facebook- message me, whatever it is.  We can have a nice talk about it. 🙂

* * * * * *

Borrowed From the Aforementioned Article:

To learn more about depression and anxiety, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here and here.

If you are dealing with thoughts of suicide, you can speak to someone immediately here or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which you can reach at 1-800-273-8255.

If you want to speak with someone anonymously, go here for additional help.