Tag Archives: fear

Hurricane Shutters


There are times in our lives where we have a million options in front of us. We have all of the windows and doors of our lives open to see the possibilities. Then slowly things get tough and we start to close windows and doors. Then we take the next step and nail the wood on the outside of the windows in order to easily weather the storm. The problem comes when we forget to take down the shutters once the storm has passed, and if we do another one comes along and we have to board up again.

That’s where I am at. I have been living in a box of my own creation for so long that I didn’t think I would ever be able to see through to the light of day again. Then I got one job that started to open some windows. After that I got sick and the shutters were closed again. Then again I got a new job, and for the first time since I start college many years ago, that ii saw all the possibilities that life had for me.

Now, again my shutters are going up. Problems with work, not my students even when they are crazy I still love teaching, but other problems have begun to have me closing windows. The shutters started closing this weekend when I realized that while I want to get my MFA more than anything, I am terrified of the GRE and there is no way my job will let me take 10 days off at a time for a low residency program.

I am feeling like even though I can see options, I can’t get to them. The windows are closed letting me see all the things in my life that I could do, but I am too scared to. I am pretty sure that it is only a short time before I put back up my storm shutters and hide away from the world. I don’t want this to happen, but this is the path that I have started walking down.

I tell my students all the time that they have to be positive and that attitude is everything. I know this because I know that my own attitude and self-confidence is too low to go the distance that I want to take my life to. I don’t know if I am afraid to succeed or afraid to fail. I just know I’m terrified of everything most of the time, and that I have still not found a way to get past that.

I want to write, and refuse to sit down and do it. I want to date, but I refuse to take a chance with anyone who actually likes me. I self-sabotage all the time, and it is time for me to break that pattern. I just need to find a place to start. I need someone to help me take down the shutters, because I can’t do that alone (I am truly afraid of hammers). I just want to live a day without fear, full of options. Full of hope. Full of anything positive.

So while I am willing to embrace my crazy, I need to refocus it.

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Where Do We Start… and End?


It has been a long time since I felt comfortable to be myself around someone new. I finally found that person, but things got strained and difficult really quickly. I will not lay the blame on him, I believe that this is mostly my fault, however I will say that it usually takes more than one person for conflict to arise.

He was super sweet and waited almost a month to finally meet me in person because I have been sick, and well I still am. That is one of the problems. I was having a good week when we met and our first date was fun and our second date lasted 40 hours. Then it was back to work, stress, and then my stomach problems came back.

Now I haven’t been talking much about my recent sickness. That is maybe because it isn’t a recent illness, just the most recent flare up. I am in the process of getting a confirmed diagnosis for gastro-paresis. If you don’t know what it is, it sucks. I am sick to my stomach all of the time, I can hardly eat and all kinds of social and environmental factors play a part. Basically to not have a flare up I have to never be under any stress, ever, at all. Now having my diagnosis currently of and anxiety disorder with OCD personality traits, this is a flat out impossibility. I can’t go through a day without something stressing me out, and it is usually little things. Like my computer not working right, or traffic being bad. Normal everyday stress that for a normal person is a minor irritation, takes medication to control not just for my brain, but also for my stomach.

When I get stressed, I get sick. This causes more anxiety, which causes more sick, and the cycle continues. The only way out is to get away from my stressors. Sometimes that means I can’t drive. Other times, well it is impossible. People have to work, but for someone like me the simple act of walking into a job where I might get stressed, so I might get sick puts me on guard, makes me nervous, and eventually leads to where I am now. Trying desperately to prove to my employers that I realy have a disease, and that I’m not making it up.

Now where does the boy come into all this, well we had so much fun the first two weeks we hung out that y stress went down and I started to get better. Then I got stressed out at work, and I vented to him, and we had a couple bad nights and things got awkward, and now we don’t know how to talk to one another, and he wants to be just friends. While there is much more to this, and will get its own post, I will say that it was bad timing. Today I needed desperately to distress after being confronted with the very real possibility that I may soon be unemployed, and I thought he would be the perfect fun relaxed person to distress with. Instead he tried to help me in another way. Which caused me to get upset again and I was ultimately unable to explain things the way I wanted, which again leads me here.

I truly appreciate it when people try to give me advice about things I struggle with. However, let me get through the emotional moment first. Now this could be a moment or a few hours, depending on my percentage of bad brains that day. And this is changing too. I never thought that someone could recover from mental illness, just learn how to live with it. Now I believe that for someone us it changes over time. Which makes sense why my greatest shrink refused to give me a diagnosis. But I got one anyway, and it has changed. I have gotten both better in some things and worse in others. Which equals a whole new diagnosis, and while I know it’s not bi-polar, I’m pretty sure I know what it is, and it isn’t one that I want to fully embrace yet.

I do know that I have been sick, and alone and this makes me depressed. I stress out to the point where I have dissociative anxiety attacks, something I haven’t done in years, and this scares me too. It is scary to know that you live with something that can only be controlled to a point. Something within you that you fight every day, just to make the rational choice and not the impulse that will just make things worse. I don’t always win, but I feel that on the ones I used to lose I’m gaining decent control. Others I am still working on.

I don’t know if I can save my job. I’m going to go to the doctor and try to get into a specialist ASAP for my tummy problems. I am going to consider increasing my anxiety medication for a short time to help with the stomach problem as well. It is very convenient that I’m prescribed something which is given for both disorders. And I’m going to talk to my crazy doctor about my depression problems and the disassociation and see if there is anything that can be done there. I’m not keeping my hopes up that the boy will come around, but I hope he keeps reading this, and will see that I am taking his advice to heart, that I’m reaching for the bootstraps, and I’m doing the best I can. I hope everyone else sees that too.

I don’t want to go through this alone, and I know there are a few of you out there who are there for me both in my personal life and in your comments, and I thank you. This is another long journey, and I can’t do it without support.

So embrace the crazy you have today, even if it is different than it was yesterday, and especially if it rambles along as much as this post.

Vacuum


I feel like my living room is closing in around me. My chest feels like someone is sitting on top of me and I can feel the weight of the walls and the room above me closing in, yet I can see that the walls are stable.

I can rationally tell myself that these are just the bad brain thoughts, or feelings, but that is as far as I have ever been able to figure out how to control these moments. I don’t know what exactly causes them, but I do know that before they start I often feel as if my life is in a vacuum, with no air and no motion. Just stuck in nothingness. There is not an option for getting out because there is no way to move. I feel more than trapped. I feel immobile in both my life and in my actions. No right choice to make, because in these moments there are no choices, except the one I am making right now, and that is to write about how it feels.

I’m not sure how this feeling would be diagnosed, but it is probably treated with either anti-psychotic medication or anti-depressants, either way those meds don’t work for me. They make my heart race, increase my anxiety, make me manic, or completely suicidal. I don’t know how to properly explain this feeling to anyone. I have tried before, and people always give me a look that is supposed to be comforting, but shows in its depths that they don’t understand and that I am probably deeply disturbed.

I might be deeply disturbed, I mean, how could I not when I am sitting here, typing on my laptop, and I feel as if I’m in a pile of rubble, and I’m trapped and unable to move away to get a breath of fresh air. Yet I can see that the walls are still standing, and I can hear that regular life goes on regardless of how I feel right now.

This makes me then feel as if what happens to me is in a bubble and doesn’t affect anyone else. I feel as if what I do affect is negative and then I wonder why I bother to force the air in and out of my lungs. This is not a feeling that I interpret as a desire for death, but as a desire for change. The problem is that every time I try to make changes in my life, old pieces come in to drag me back to the place that I don’t want to be.

I don’t want to feel useless or unwanted, but I often do. I feel like an unimportant piece in a machine. The part that you can take out and it still works. A program on a computer that when removed, causes the machine to run faster, and with great accuracy.

I’m sure this is all part of some depression, but it is how I feel right this moment. It may pass, and it may not. I will continue though because I haven’t got a choice in that. I just keep breathing, and hoping eventually it becomes easier. But if it doesn’t then, I will pretend because nobody ever wants to know when you feel like this. It’s too much to handle, because they don’t have the answers either. Then my mental health become a burden for others, and I never want that. I just want to feel better.

This is the crazy I don’t want to embrace, because it scares me.

Sometimes I wonder


There are some days I wonder why I continue to write. It often feels like a struggle. Then out of nowhere the words come easily. They come from me and onto my computer screen faster than the computer can keep up with the flow. Those are the days that I think we all long for as writers.

It isn’t much different than living with another mental health problem. As a writers we test the definition of insanity as a daily ritual. We do the same thing every day and expect different results. However, sometimes we get them. I know for me it is the difference between a life lived and a life imagined. Now you might wonder how a life of writing is one lived and not imagined. For me writing is life. I give life to my thoughts, fears, passions, pains, and dreams. If I don’t write them then they become stagnant. That isn’t living.

Now a fear isn’t something that we normally want to breathe life into, but I believe that without fear we have nothing to aim to. No goals without the fear of failure. No dreams if we aren’t afraid of living in the same existence we already struggle with each day. My words give me a chance to figure out everything I want from life, and the ability to chase those things or turn away from what I can no longer hold on to.

It doesn’t matter what you write, or if you are writing for anyone else to read or just for yourself. I believe that everyone can benefit from a journal, at the least. It is a place to get out of our heads, or get our heads out of us. If we keep our thoughts bottled up then we build rage and resentment that comes out in unhealthy ways. I am determined to live a more healthy life.

After two days at home sick, missing work that I can’t afford to miss, I have begun to write again. It makes me feel better, even if just for a little while. Otherwise I am just complaining to my friends about how I want to do more with my life and I am leaving my dreams in the corner to take care of themselves, forgetting that to achieve any dream we have to nurture it the same way we do our children.

I have rediscovered my music, my art, and my writing, and through these discoveries I am rediscovering myself. Who I am and where I want to go. I can say how I feel and it doesn’t matter if one day I hate everything, because these words are just a reflection of a moment in my life. My words don’t define me, I define my words, and if my definition changes from one day to the next that is okay.

Now if none of this make sense, that’s fine, I am self admittedly crazy. So this is how I choose to embrace that crazy today. I will write what I feel and I will listen to music that reflects that and I will heal through these actions. Embrace your crazy and grow from it.