Heya, Monster.

A SoberBlog by a TallWoman.

Archive for the tag “Anxiety”

Drink Dream

Hello, my Friends. In my long absence, I would like to wish you a Happy Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New-Year. *smile*

Things here are going pretty well. Much better than I’d been feeling in the past year.

Biggest item – I appealed to my psychiatrist to put me back on the medication that made me feel good. Her hesitation was the complication of my heart arrhythmia, but I had felt horrible, sad, depressed, and hopeless for at least a year. I wanted to take the risk. At the beginning, when I first started the meds, I found I had 5 out of 10 days when I felt more like myself. Happier, optimistic, laughing. As cliches go, it felt as though a HUGE weight had been lifted off me. I had had no idea I had been struggling so much, nor for so long. I am still chugging along on my meds and feeling good/happy/ME. Phew.

…. I was inspired/compelled/thought it best if I popped on here today, because as the title above says, I had a drink-dream last night. I don’t think I’ve had one for over a year, so its showing up really surprised me. The drink itself surprised me, but the main theme of the dream keeps my head turning over what it might be about. Here’s the dream –

I walked into a bar (classic joke set-up), went up to the counter and sat on a stool next to a man on my right. I thought for awhile and wasn’t sure whether I should or shouldn’t – knowing full-well I was sober – and then finally thought, “It will be fine,” and ordered a Summit. I actually had the thought in my dream to be proud I was from Minnesota. Silly.

The beer was delivered and I started talking to the man on my right. Meanwhile, another man to my left was trying to tell him not to talk to me because of what had happened when he brought me home one night. He claimed I had walked into the apartment and got sick all over my parents’ bed, which was right inside the door. (What? So weird. Especially weird because I was remembering it as he spoke.). I was embarrassed by my past drinking behavior, but shrugged it off and took a sip of my beer.

Sitting at the bottom of the pint glass were 3 long sewing pins and a needle. (I’ve been doing a lot of sewing lately.) I had the thought that if I’d drank them, my intestine would be perforated and I would die. As I fished out 2 of the pins, I said to the man on my right, “People can be horribly cruel.” I figured the man on my left had slipped the pins and needle in when I wasn’t looking. The man on my right seemed to be somewhat okay with me still being there, so I turned to the room and asked to bum a cigarette.

A woman handed me one just as she was about to light it herself (clearly smoking was allowed indoors in this dream world). I lit the cig, and smoked it in about 3 puffs. I had the thought that I was being ‘bad,’ because of the beer and the cig.

And then I woke-up.

Not epic. Not even zany. The subject matter of cruelty is what really sticks with me upon waking. Curious about it and why it showed up the way it did.

Hm.

At any rate, I’m not really disturbed the drinking bit. It was a dream. The needle and pins were a little creepy. The man to my left was a little scary. The quick passing of time with the cigarette was disconcerting. It almost felt like the beer was my subconscious reminder that it was a dream, because I just don’t drink any longer.

So? That’s good. I’ll have to ponder on the other elements for awhile longer. Again, hm.

Alright, well, that is all for now. The babies are good. The hubs is good. I’m good. Starting a new show. Still teaching, and now with the med fix, remembering how much I like teaching on a mostly daily basis. *smile*

I hope you’re all well and wonderful. I will see you again in 6 to 9 months. Maybe a year.  *smile*

Day 1,341. Heya. *smile*

p.s. Here’s a cute little pic with cute sewing notions to try and cancel out the sinister image from my dream.

b7acc0ec2271571e4c8bd6eaf834413f--pincushions-sewing-projects.jpg

p.p.s. I’ve been trying to turn my mind back to my original Word o’ the Year from long ago (4 years ago), because I really was good to myself for that year in ways I haven’t been and am usually not. So I am re-embracing the word ‘Kindness,’ and just trying to remember to be kind to myself. It’s a good little goal, I think. I hope you’re all being good to yourselves.

p.p.p.s. Love. *smile*

Advertisements

Eyes Open.

My eyes are opening about a bunch of different things lately. First, I had a huge realization at work, in which my privilege – both being white and from a Christian background in the United States – had been clouding my vision about a certain matter. Things are moving there, and I’m glad I had the ‘aha’ moment, even if it felt embarrassingly (to me) late in the game.

And I have moments – moments which feel like eons/swathes of Time/months/years even – in my Life, in which I am walking around with my eyes closed to Myself. How and why do my body and brain do this to me? How can it happen every single time? It’s sort of funny, like, ‘Oh, body, you got me again!’ Cue studio audience laugh. And at the same time, so frustrating because I can’t see it sooner. Hrm. Does anyone else experience this kind of muckety-muck in this way?

First, the lesser realization, though still quite major, is that I am and have been Depressed….. Significantly Depressed since about November of last year. All of the crapola at work and my health just struck me down. I have been chugging along, and doing my Life, but nothing has felt good or right. Nothing makes me happy, which is awful to say…. And maybe not entirely true. There are definitely moments of happiness – like holding my niece for the first time, and getting to know her and her sweet nature and her awesome communication skills. Seriously. Brilliant baby. (Good job on that one, Sister.) But other things which are supposed to make me happy – time with my kids and family, sewing, theatre, baking, Summer Vacation for crying out loud!!! (I’m a teacher) – Nothing really filled my void. Lifted me up. Not all the way.

I feel like I am forever searching and searching for that thing to fill me up and make me feel good. …. Which tells me I am prone to looooonnnnnnnnnggggggg periods of Depression. Because when I’m good, I’m great. But those times feel rather like wee little windows of time. And especially in the perspective of this past year, the windows have all been shut. (How many metaphors can I use in one blog post, do you think? *smile*)

So, yep. Depression. Solid, sun-blocking Depression.

But? I’m not a quitter. Fuck that.

One good thing about a new med I am trying (to help me with the bi-polar, while also not making my heart condition worse), is that it doesn’t knock me out for days at a time. I have been getting up on the reg and exercising. In the past 3.5 weeks, I have exercised 22 times. Holy shit, who am I? *smile* That feels good, even when it doesn’t. And even though it doesn’t change my whole day necessarily, I feel good when I’m doing it, so good. I like that.

I’m also moving along at work and doing good things, even with my first above-mentioned realization. Administration feels supportive. I’m confident in my job. I Love my classroom time. I feel like a Good Teacher, which is one of the best feelings.

I gave up coffee in early July, which was necessary for my ol’ ticker. Going to see how things improve at my upcoming appointment this month. Fingers crossed, but not feeling Certain things will be better. TBD. … But that to say, it’s another thing I tackled despite the Depression.

I’m trying out my mantra on occasion, when I remember. “I’m okay.” It just popped into my head shortly after my last session with my therapist. She said I need something to combat the self-talk which is just knocking me backwards and down repeatedly, and it just popped up. It’s not like the ‘I’m fine’ thing we’ve almost all been programmed to say when someone asks us in the hallway or on the sidewalk, ‘How are you?’ Nope. It’s like I’m okay because I’m like other people. I’m okay and I don’t need to be Wonder Woman right now (even though I am enjoying herbal tea from my WW coffee mug at this mo). I’m okay and this work can wait a day. I’m okay and what I got done, I got done, what I didn’t, I didn’t. I’m okay to not have energy right now and just be with my babes and husband. …. There is this magical version of Me which calls out to me to be the best and be amazing and be incredible all of the time, which usually makes me shut down, call myself names, worry about all the other amazing women doing amazing things in their amazing lives, and just stop and not do anything – all while hating myself because I’m not doing anything right. Saying ‘I’m okay’ helps me remember there is probably someone else in the world with some piles of papers needing to go through, or dishes to be done. I’m okay. Seriously. I am. Right now. I’m okay. …. And that is so healing when I remember to use it. It’s a lovely pivot point to move from.

Last eyes-suddenly-open realization hit me last night around dinner time. Not sure why it took me a few years to see it. I was getting dinner ready and kind of kicking myself and reaching for that magical-wish-I-was version of myself (i.e. thin, in this particular instance) in my head, because of all the exercise I’ve been doing, but still am so Fluffy. Like a marshmallow. Just fluffy. And I can’t shed it. And as I was wishing and reaching for my 10th pre-meal bite of whatever it was I was making, it dawned on me that it was dinner time. Witching hour. My old drinking/stomping grounds. Familiar territory, in other words. All too familiar.

I saw myself reach for the food. I heard myself use the words ‘Treat’ and ‘I deserve.’ …. All in hopes of filling a hole.

What the fuck does that Hole want anyway, and why can’t I fill it up?

I do the work, or at least remind myself to get going and do the work. I chug along.

But now, I find I have a food addiction. Probably a minor one in comparison, but the same exact pattern and mindset. And it’s not even an addiction to a certain type of food. Nope. It’s just any and all food. And it’s all about deserving. And treating. And trying to make myself feel better.

Which is probably all wrapped up into this gigantic Depression-monster I have hovering around me. And perhaps as I work to lift that, the hole will feel smaller? Maybe? Question mark? Hopeful eyebrow-raise.

I have a feeling it all has to do with balance and decreasing the pressure and hate for myself. ….. That felt awful to write. ….. I don’t know why the hate-voice is there, but I think it must have to do with all of the perfect, magical lives I imagine everyone else is leading. And I used to feel magical, or at least, I thought I was being magical when I led a life that emulated what I saw on TV. I’m so prone to suggestion, it’s ridiculous. Now when I think of leading those magical lives – and I want to – I just feel old and tired and resentful that it’s too hard to lead lives like those, and how the hell is everyone else even doing it?

Cue mantra.

I’m okay.

Other people aren’t leading those lives. They’re leading normal, regular lives that aren’t perfect, nor do they look nor feel perfect. They’re messy and not great at everything. They’re good at some things, but not everything. They’re okay.

Just like me. I’m okay.

Maybe the hole I’m trying to fill has actually swallowed me up. I’ve got work to do – depression, balance, food, exercise. And I know, eventually, I will be able to pull myself out of here. I’ve done it before.

Day 1,181. Looking up from the bottom.

IMG_0452-1024x768.jpg

 

 

Reality Check

And I’ve got egg on my face to boot.

Update: I sent an email to admin (not a frazzled one like my post) asking for a meeting so that we could talk about my concerns with my schedule. I then itemized those concerns. They got back to me pretty quickly and clarified things. Turns out? The online program I rely on for my schedule was incorrect. Things got ironed out over email and we are moving forward. Good.

And? I’m embarrassed. Not in front of admin, but in front of all of you.

I feel, I react. I charge forward. I am the bull in the adage.

Anne was right – I’ve got lots of anxiety, and it’s all ready to boil up and over at the drop of a hat.

Wendy is right, too – I need to prioritize my health for mine and my family’s well-beings.

How do I walk in when I know the slate isn’t exactly clean? That’s the issue right now. I am the problem. My hackles are up and I’m ready for a fight – because I’ve been conditioned to fight at this point.

I’m working on the anxiety. First, I’ve been exercising more, which feels good. I start tomorrow with back to work and am going to work my exercises into my early mornings. That’s the plan as of this mo. Second, when I see my therapist tomorrow, I am going to propose to her that my anxiety is its own issue. There is still the possibility it’s an off-shoot of my new meds, but even so, anxiety is my middle name and I would love a life with far less of it. I’ll bring it up to her, and then I will call my shrink and see what she says. Meds are my concern now, because they could be exacerbating some of my heart issues, which stinks, because I think I do better on meds and have done better these past few years. It would stink if I had to cut them out. That, however, can be figured out as we go. Get back, Anxiety! Down, boy.

Okay, so that’s it. I just felt like I should come clean. I go back tomorrow and all of this pent-up anticipation/anxiety crapola should die down once I get back into it.

Day 1,163. It’s not you, it’s me.

2389407045_acb5f498a0_b.jpg

Climb Ev’ry….

There must be a step I am skipping.

I can see my goal – happy, carefree, no-stress, low-cortisol levels, did I mention happy? Easy, breezy (beautiful CoverGirl)….. Enjoying my work (my dream job) and being happy to be at my school, teaching what I love, and having both my babes with me at the same school. No more self-pity! (Gah. I am so bored of hearing myself talk about it over and over.) No more ‘Woe is me.’ No more crying. No more anticipatory stress. No more feeling sorry for myself. I’m really sick and tired of it.

That, and it feels like the Universe is sending me all these messages the past few weeks with others’ stories to put mine better into perspective. I know our hurts and our pains and challenges are not comparable, but I when I am listening to others’ stories (and comparing), I can’t help but think, ‘Why the hell can’t I get over my stuff/myself?’ Seriously. So many stories of people being amazing in the face of adversity and challenge and heartache and loss and life changes….. And then there’s the poor-old-boob-Me who can’t get over the fact her job is hard and her bosses aren’t great. (A bit of a generalization, but really, when it comes down to it, that’s what it is.)

I feel like a whiny schmuck who can’t get over it already.

And then the worry and anxiety comes in and that’s unsettling, because it doesn’t just unsettle me about the job, nope. It unsettles me about everything else, too, so that everything is bad or scary or insurmountable.

I am not that person.

I am a doer and a get-shit-done-kind-of-person. This continued anxiety is making me feel

  1. Not like myself
  2. Weak
  3. Alone
  4. Like a cry-baby
  5. Fragile and frail

And then, as I continue to bubble up with worries here and there, I also feel like I keep spilling it out on those I love, which makes me feel even more frustrated with myself.

I can see the oasis that is calm and serenity ahead of me. I can even get to it for a few brief moments at a time. A blogger used the image of an open hand the other week, and I love that idea in regards to my situation. Yes, the crap is here, but if I keep my hand open, it will pass. Right now, it feels like I am clutching onto all the crapola and I’m the one not letting things go.

And yet.

There is incompetence and disregard for my job as an arts teacher. I just checked my schedule and found I am given 10 preps (fine), but four of the classes are scheduled to be quarter-long instead of semester-long. What about content/curriculum? What about students getting adequate instruction time? Will students receive half the credit, or am I expected to cram a semester’s worth of content in for the students’ sakes? Why was none of this communicated to me ahead of time? Why was I not asked? Would you ask an English teacher to run their classes like this? Why am I? …… My heart just picks up right where it left off and runs like gangbusters for the hills. I’m worried returning to work is going to set my health back again and I’m going to have to have a more serious procedure to fix my heart problem (caused by my job), which further compounds the stress and the damage. …. Anyway, I’ve asked for a meeting, but seriously. Why am I my only advocate? Why does no one else see how their choices affect me, a teacher in their school? Plus, when I send off that old email, I further compound their perceptions of me as well. I’m the woman who can’t be happy or satisfied or content with her job. The woman who doesn’t know her place. The woman who is loud. The woman who dredges up problems, who sees trouble where there isn’t any. Etc. I want to quit, but I also want to push through and get through to the other side and be happy doing what I love to do.

I was bucking myself up the past few days because I go back to workshops on Thursday. I’ve been telling myself everything will be okay (Thanks, PapaBear), and that I can do this *flex* (Thanks, Rosie the Riveter), and that this year can and will be different because the past is in the past (Thanks, Elsa).

I’ve been to therapy a few times and am going again this week. I’ve been checking in here and reading and connecting. I’ve seen girlfriends and spent lots of time doing things to engage with others. I’ve started that new drug (which I’m not loving, but going to give it a month). I’ve exercised 4 times in the past 8 days. I’ve eaten (a lot). I’ve spent time with my babies and with the rest of my wonderful fam (Hi, Sister & NewBabyNiece). I got the heck out of dodge.

I’ve been doing the work and I still feel like Shit, and I’d like to know why.

Am I on the verge of a breakthrough? Or a breakdown? At this point, both seem probable.

I feel better as a person, but the Job is looming and this scheduling thing does not bode well, nor sit right, nor feel good as I begin another year. I just keep thinking that this year cannot be the same as last year. I cannot go through and lose myself, my health, and my family time the way I did last year. I’m clutching to that idea/goal, and then my heart begins to race and I feel sad and defeated.

I’m going to keep taking the steps, Folks. And I’m going to keep doing what needs to be done for me. I’m going to set boundaries and take things back a notch where I can. I’m going to prioritize my physical and mental health, my family, and my Time. I’m going to stand up for myself when and where I need to, even if I continue to be the Problem Person.

Day 1,161. Are we there yet?

d8b27ffcbb677e65775809c20f581725.jpg

A Majestic Woman Climbing a Small Mountain by Caitlin Connolly

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: