Drawing a blank…

It’s the anxiety again, I know it is. I have too much to do and not enough whatever i’m missing to do it. I can only handle a couple things today, meaning only a couple things CAN be handled on any given weekday morning. I, however, also have running in my head all of the things I can’t do anything about until the day they happen.

I need to make phone calls, I need to make appointments. I also have a road trip coming up to handle some things this weekend but I can do anything about that til this weekend. I also have an appointment September 7th that I can’t do anything about really until then.

These extra things weighing on my mind are making it feel impossible to do the phone call things. I stop everything I’m doing. I look at the phone. I stare blankly at it and either go back to the computer or open a game because I start to get so anxious I can’t think at all. “Do you need help making these phone calls?” Yes, yes I do… but I don’t think it’s help that anyone can give me from afar.

So I figured I’d write a blog post, and maybe getting some of this out of my head would make me more capable of handling it. I opened the page and my first thought was “Oh god, I have nothing to write about.” Hence the title.

The reality is that the thoughts come so fast that they’re gone before I can get them all out and I’m typing as fast as I can but I still can’t catch them. “Do I have to make those calls today?” “Can it wait til tomorrow?” “What am I going to do for hours in the car?” “Why do I have to keep switching doctors?” “Why do I have so many doctors?” “When did I finish my coffee?” These are random ones I tried to pull out of the mess up there, they took so long to type, I skipped over the thirty others that came and went…

I just stopped. Stared at my hands. Wondered what to finish this with. Again… Drawing a blank.

Be kind to yourself. Let whatever you do today be enough. Enjoy the eclipse if that’s in your itinerary today… Tomorrow’s another day. We can try again.

~Brutally honest Eccentric~

#PunchaNazi – non-violently

It is hard to keep handling my own mental and physical health issues with the country/worldwide issues that are taking place right now. Some of these things I am addressing – not to be political, but to take care of my own mental health. I can not sit idly by and say nothing because my blood boils and my anger comes out and my anxiety comes at me full force. I stop being able to handle anyone or anything.

#punchanazi is a thing right now, and I will say I wholeheartedly agree with it, especially after #charlottesville (though I’d have agreed before). You do not have to use your fists. You do not have to use violence. You can punch through an idea with words and non-violent actions.

This is a post from my friend Mona (she is my adultiest adult friend) and I hope her words echo with some part of your heart through these times:

Here’s the thing.
This is my voice.
This is how I punch a nazi. 
I am not going to take up arms.
I am not going to be silent.
I am dismayed and terrified of what is going on in our country by a man so desperate to deflect from his own illegal doings he would rather ignite a civil war in his own country.

Make no mistake. This is a distraction. But it’s a dangerous one and one that I cannot and will not ignore.

Where there are two sides, and one of those sides contains NAZIS, then that is the wrong side.

I am first generation American. My grandparents were Holocaust survivors.

I will not be silent.

Never. Again. Is. Now.

I have seen posts that say to drown out their chants with annoying instruments and cover them in glitter to identify them… to use their marches against them by raising money for equality pledged for how far they march. You do not have to be violent to punch a Nazi / neo-nazi / white supremacist (to me these are all the same but apparently some people bother distinguishing between them).

However, should I ever come across one and they lash out in violence at me, or anyone near me, I assure you, I will use my fists. Not out of vengeance. Not even out of rage… but in defense of those that stand for true equality in our world.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

#Charlottesville …and things that don’t.

There are many ways people seem to judge themselves as superior or inferior to others. Below is a list of things that do not make me either. Below that is what I feel truly makes the difference between great and small.

Things that do not make me inferior or superior:

  • The color of my skin
  • My (lack of, abundance of) religion
  • The gender(s) of people I have slept with
  • The number of people I have slept with
  • Who I date
  • Who I marry
  • Whether or not I graduated college
  • Whether or not I’ve had an abortion
  • Choosing not to have my own biological children
  • Having worked 70 hour work weeks
  • Having become disabled
  • Being on disability
  • To me, “Greek Life” is Baklava and Ouzo
  • How much I weigh
  • What size my clothes are
  • Stretch marks
  • Hair color/style
  • Makeup
  • Being bipolar
  • Having anxiety
  • Hearing
  • Sight
  • Being (completely not) able to cook

There are some that believe these things matter. I’m not one of them. Even that is not something that in and of itself makes us superior… but things I think do:

  • Empathy
  • Loving those that are different from you
  • Loving those that are the same as well
  • Caring about issues that don’t affect you personally… but affect others.
  • Listening
  • Wanting to better myself

It’s not what we do for ourselves that helps to make us a superior person, it is what we do for others. It is seeing that there are people that are like us and unlike us and knowing that both sets of people deserve empathy and love.

If you don’t want to be judged for your mental illnesses, please consider what other prejudices you hold in your heart, and try to stop judging others for things they do not control either. We can always do better.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

I am trying.

How many times do you say this? How many times do you tell your doctor, your best friend, your family… “I am trying.” Only they can’t see it. “Are you?” … Yes, really, I am. It’s just there’s this constant fighting going on in my head, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry you can’t see it. I’m sorry you keep asking. I am sorry you don’t believe me. I am sorry it’s been years and I am still fighting.

For some people, depression is linked to an event, such as loss of a job or a relationship. Sometimes just moving forward can help these people out of their depression. This seems to make them think that it is that simple for everyone. “Chin up, this will pass.” It will pass, but for many of us, it comes back.

If you’ve had a depressive episode and managed to come out of it and not return, please don’t assume that everyone has that ability. For some, there is trauma, from war, from abuse… This does not just go away by “getting over it.” You don’t just “move on.” For some, there are chemical imbalances in the brain. Please don’t tell me that you did it without meds, so can I. I can’t. I’ve tried.

I can’t always just ‘cheer up’ – I have learned to pretend to but even that has become so exhausting, I can’t do it often. I can’t always ‘just relax’ because my brain doesn’t understand how to stop throwing thoughts at me sometimes. I’m sorry you don’t understand this.

Someone’s going to read this and think I was talking about them in particular. I’m not. Please know that. This is something that those of us with mental health issues deal with on a regular basis just by interacting with people. Sometimes this is why we don’t want to interact with people.

If we tell you we are trying, please try to understand that the processes we’re going through aren’t visible to you but they are very real. We haven’t given up. We fight every day. We are trying.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

My anxiety is loud.

In a group I belong to someone shared a picture saying “My anxiety is quiet” – it went on to say that others wouldn’t see an outward change. That they are not lazy, just overwhelmed. I understand this. Sometimes, my anxiety is quiet…

However, most times – my anxiety is SCREAMING loud.

My initial reply was, “my anxiety is loud… sometimes in volume and sometimes in action – i cry sometimes. i say ‘i can do this’ repeatedly under my breath until i can really do it, i get overwhelmed and pass out, i get about two minutes warning on that, my eyes start closing, nothing i can do will stop it. i stare off into space… stop talking… words trail off… when i shake my head and see again, it starts over… i organize ideas and shift them, i talk about what i’m going to do and how terrifying it is in hopes that someone else knowing will make it less scary… i have other people dial the phone or even just hit the call button…. i can’t even make myself make coffee some mornings… not because i’m lazy but because i’m afraid i’ll screw it up… my anxiety is so loud.”

But there’s more, isn’t there…

Sometimes i’m doubled over in pain from my chest. Sometimes I overheat until I get nauseous. My anxiety clouds my judgment. It forces me to forget things I am afraid of trying to protect myself instinctively. I lay awake for hours trying to quiet the fear that something horrible is about to happen.

My anxiety is deafening. So much so that I cannot always even hear people speaking to me. I become oblivious to what is around me because I’m so focused I can’t see it… or because I’m so hyper-vigilant in my fear that I see all of it. I fidget endlessly, or I’m stuck unable to move.

I see so many things that say “anxiety is… ” or “depression is” or “having anxiety and depression is…” but let me be really clear a moment. The only completion to any of those is “personal”. They affect us all differently. Knowing one person’s symptoms does not mean you understand everyone’s.

My anxiety is loud. What is yours?

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Forced interaction…

Actually this is a topic I could go on for hours about except that right now all interaction is forced. I have been sick again, I don’t know why. I don’t know what to do about any of it and I’ve been neglecting you all and I would apologize if I felt I could control it or change the behavior. Empty apologies won’t help either of us.

I have handled a weekend with my family with relatively no incident, except perhaps how much I drank… I have handled going to therapy. I have not handled making those phone calls. I start trying again in the morning.

If anyone has advice on how to make yourself call places with a level of phone phobic issues, please feel free to offer thoughts and ideas. I’m tired from being ill again and I just have no ideas left.

Hopefully I’ll be posting again soon. Much love.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

So scared it hurts.

Sometimes people use the term ‘panic attack’ when they experience any type of anxiety, even mild anxiety. As someone that gets painful panic attacks, like physically painful, chest hurts, nauseous, having trouble breathing, not sure what to do, feel like hiding under a blanket and never coming out panic attacks… like the one I’m experiencing right now… I just want to say, this is extremely annoying. It’s frustrating. It minimizes what some of us go through.

If you suffer from anxiety but it’s not as severe, even if it is intrusive, please know “anxiety attacks” are a thing and they’re not the same thing. I am writing this to distract myself from the things I believe are causing it because I can’t do anything about them right now. I started all those phone calls last week but I’m a third of the way done, and I can’t do any of them on a Sunday.

The pain makes it hard to write, it makes it hard to remember to take deep breaths because the breaths have to be forced… If not, they’re fast and shallow and could lead to hyperventilation. However, for me, distraction is still my best coping skill, or rather most effective. I took my medication, and now I am sitting here trying to breathe and let my fingers go rather than think, so I’ll apologize now for any grammar and spelling issues. They’re not my main concern today.

Most people that don’t have anxiety don’t even realize how physical it can be. They think fidgeting is the end of it. With all the boxes and spinners in the world, my chest would still hurt. I usually fidget with my bracelet and necklace.

I forgot where I was going with that. Honestly, I’m having a hard time remembering my initial point which, looking back, was simply the difference between ‘anxiety’ and ‘panic’ but no matter which of these cards you’re dealt, remember it sucks, but it passes. My chest hurts a little less than when I started this. My breathing isn’t necessary to force to keep from hyperventilating but I am still focusing on deep breaths.

This too shall pass. Like a kidney stone. But it’ll pass.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~