How Anxiety Landed Me in the Hospital

For the past week and a half, I’ve been feeling truly sick– heart palpitations, leg numbness, shortness of breath, extreme thirst. I let it go for awhile because I assumed I was just dealing with a pesky cold. I didn’t want to make the trek to urgent care unless I was truly dying.

Yesterday I grew tired of feeling like death’s guinea pig, so I made the trip and forked over my ridiculous copay– only for them to tell me to go to the emergency room for blood work. My blood pressure was high and they began to worry because of my leg numbness.

Reluctantly, I made the trip.  The last thing I wanted to do was spend the next 10 hours in the ER, but I clearly lack strong decision making and any dignity, so I did it anyway. They ran a multitude of tests; from blood work to urine sampling to a CT scan. Despite my oddly above-normal heart rate, all tests came back normal.

The doctor’s suggestion?

  1. I should see an endocrinologist for further treatment.
  2. It is likely I just have severe anxiety which causes me to have physical symptoms.

How frustrating it was for them to come to that conclusion, seeing as though I already knew I had anxiety, yet it has never affected me like that before. I have had real panic attacks, debilitating ones that have stopped me in my tracks. I have hyperventilated.  I have gone through all of that before– but never something like this.

Do I really believe the doctor?

I mean, I guess I don’t have much choice. She’s obviously much more qualified than I. I suppose more than anything I am just frustrated, with myself and this feeling that has plagued me for most of my life.

What’s next?

I don’t know. I am too stubborn to give up on this fight for normalcy. I would sooner die than be put on medications again. It does feel unbeatable sometimes– especially nights like yesterday. It’s frustrating. I feel dumb. I feel misunderstood. I feel a billion things– none of them necessarily good. But I know deep within me that I am worth so much more than this, and I will get it.

Even if it takes fifty years, I will get it.

 

 

 

The Art of Pleasing Others– and Why it’s Bullshit

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Living is hard enough. Living for others? Bullshit.

Societal pressures, family, friends– they all tell us we need to be something other than ourselves.

If we don’t do this then we won’t amount to anything.

If we don’t lose weight we’ll never be attractive to the opposite sex.

If we don’t have kids, our futures are worthless.

If we follow our dreams, we’re irresponsible.

If we play it safe, we aren’t living. 

 

Quite frankly, it’s all bullshit.

I truly believe our early twenties are the roughest years in terms of trying to find ourselves. It’s painful to be pulled in fifteen different directions, silencing your inner voice for the sake of others’ happiness. We are afraid to branch out and see things for ourselves because we can’t handle the unknown. We are petrified of not being accepted. We are so consumed in other people’s (irrelevant) opinions that we often forget that our only duty is to keep ourselves happy and healthy.

When I first enrolled in college, someone told me I was “stupid” for studying anything other than computers or technology–words I remember being spoken like shards of glass in my back. It hurt to be let down, but it hurt even more coming from someone I thought I could trust.

Gradually, things began to change. I found something I was good at and ran with it. It’s hard to incorporate passion with career. It’s hard to keep your head above water when it seems like the whole universe is attempting to drown out your hopes.

Don’t let them steal your spark in life.

The day I enrolled in university, I knew I had to do it for me; regardless of what people thought or how crazy it seemed. They thought I was crazy for studying media and culture– but I thought they were crazy for not giving me a chance to prove myself.

The art of pleasing others digs much deeper than career choices or college majors. I’ve done a whole array of things that my family has deemed questionable; from relationships to my appearance to how I act or what I do. Its exhausting pretending to be someone I am not.

So I stopped.

I imagine it hasn’t or won’t be that easy for others in the same situation. I feel for them.

Truthfully speaking, I don’t owe anyone any explanation for why I do the things I do– and neither do you. It is not our job as humans to conform to what other people want. We need to do what’s right for us in order to grow and contribute as decent people. Being someone we are not gives the false idea that it’s okay to hold back.

It is not okay.

We aren’t doing the world any favors by keeping ourselves on a tight leash. The world desperately needs more authenticity.

At the end of the day, it is imperative to remember these three things–

  1. You don’t owe anybody shit
  2. You are you for good reason– don’t question your worth
  3. You don’t need anybody that doesn’t need you

When life seems to be getting too tough, too unbearable– keep going. We need you.

We really fucking need you.

Anxiety // How I “Cope”

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A few months ago I made a post regarding my use of CBD oil and how I had been using that to soften the everyday effects of anxiety I had been forced to reckon with.

It’s only been a few short months since I’ve posted that article– but a lot has changed. Although it helped greatly at the time, I no longer feel the need to take CBD in order to cope with my anxiety. I can’t say that the levels of my anxiety have changed after stopping CBD, because they haven’t. It is not a cure. It is not a magical drug. I still have panic attacks and sometimes even sleep paralysis. Some nights are complete hell. Some days are complete hell. Its how I choose to face it that is entirely up to me.

Some mornings I wake up with nothing but existential dread, which sounds fifty shades of dramatic, but its the truth. The reality is people with depression and anxiety don’t get to pick and choose which days are good or bad. We also don’t get to just stop living our daily lives because things seem to be snowballing downwards. Its a lifelong battle; one I am not sure people really grasp unless they or someone they know have gone through it.

So, how do I cope? That’s a loaded question, because I am not really sure I would consider it coping. Some days I am just trying to distract my mind, aka ignoring the problem at hand. But when I am doing the “coping,” I find myself doing things like:

  • reading
  • writing (such as this!)
  • getting knee deep in Netflix
  • listening to music
  • taking naps
  • drinking coffee
  • meditation

Now take a look at that list and breathe it in– because it is truly dumb. These are not coping mechanisms. These aren’t going to somehow cure my anxiety and rid me of my depression. These are just things. Nothing more than activities that bring me an inkling of joy. However, I don’t think there’s anything really wrong with that. We all have things we do to relax, but it is entirely up to us to decipher when a “coping” habit becomes a “bad” habit.

Honestly, I don’t have an answer for you because some days I can’t even help myself. I am always quick to say that things get better, and they do, but it is not helpful in the moment of a sweaty panic attack or an on-edge day.

I think we’re all human and none of us really know what exactly it is that we are doing– but maybe that isn’t such a bad thing.

It’s easy to take comfort in knowing that I am not alone, this isn’t the end, and tomorrow doesn’t have to be the same way.

Just remember we all have to get by in life, so be nice to those around you.

You never really know who needs it the most today.

 

 

 

Poetry Collection 9/2/18

Below you will find a few poems written over the past few weeks that I have decided to show you all.

Please Drive Home Safe

please drive home safe

i’ll miss the way your fingers latched with mine,

it took me to a faraway place

i did not recognize.

please drive home safe

the way you look into me, through me,

it makes me feel alive.

the spark i thought i lost in life,

was right there in your eyes.

please drive home safe

the best things in life come unexpectedly,

or so that’s what they say.

regardless,

the truth comes out some day.

please drive home safe

i don’t know what i’d do without you, baby,

please understand

i need you to drive home safe tonight

so next time i can hold your hand

i know life seems tough, doubtful and shallow

i’m here to make things better for you

and a little bit for me, too

i’m in love with you, a feeling i forgot i knew

thank you for showing me a love so kind

it could make the angels rage with jealousy

a feeling so pure, it can only exist for us two

please honey drive home safe tonight

i need you here to love you tonight

tomorrow

and

longer

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I drank four cups of coffee yesterday, three the day before

I thought it might help me keep busy, caffeine running through my veins like my system depends on it

I thought it would help

But my mind began racing, the piercing thoughts pinching me like little insects gnawing on me

I want to tell you what it means to have you by my side, but you already know

I want to tell you how easy it is to get lost in the thought of you, but I’ve said that before

Maybe I’ll mention the ease of your lips on mine and how it fills my being with the same warmth that coffee brings me, except

I would give up the caffeine addiction to become addicted to you

I don’t think you really understand, you don’t truly grasp what it means to me

when you look through me, into me

and you can relate because you’ve been there.

you don’t judge, nor mock

and if I could tell you a million times to make you understand

I would.

Fuck anybody that doesn’t understand what it means to feel raw,

like bones sawing against each other, like our skin is falling off and we can’t stop the sheer pain it brings,

but instead embrace it.

If I could tell you, sweetheart, just what it means to have you here, then maybe we’d both be better off,

but I can’t put into words what I feel when you’re next to me,

and how much I crave your existence next to mine,

I can’t say any of those things.

But I sure can fucking try.

a man

i once met a man

he said he’d understand

the pain and heartbreak and sorrow

i once met a man

he said he once had a plan

to change the world tomorrow

i once met a man

he said he’d felt hollow

in a society full of false hope and

big problems

i felt sorry for that man, a good guy

dealt the wrong hand

“I wish I could take all your pain away,” and he said “ma’am i would do the same”

for everyone in this world strives for happiness

but most of us leave with heartbreak

i’m sorry honey for the cards you were dealt

you know that i would and i would if i could if i could

take all of the heartbreak and insufferable pain, away and away forever

but that’s not life and that’s now how it works

i once met a man

he said he’d understand

the pain and the heartbreak and sorrow

he didn’t understand, though, no not at all

how his existence made the world a bit brighter

in the darkest of hours

his demeanor did not fool, not me at all

he doesn’t understand

his worth

to me

and to all

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