Archives for the month of: August, 2012

Wow, it’s been forever since I’ve written on here. School started and it’s been craziness ever since. This semester entails graduating (!), applying to graduate programs for counseling, assisting in research for a sociology professor, be president of our campus’ pro-choice club, and work at the domestic violence and sexual assault center. Now that I wrote that down it seems like a lot.

But I can handle it.

I think.

The thing that is rocking my world right now is graduate school applications. No one ever tells you as an undergrad how incredibly difficult and complex it is. So many parts, so many applications. I am just diving into it so at this point it seems so overwhelming and it’s hard not to let my anxiety take control. I go between thinking I can do it, to thinking there’s no effing way.

I really want to just be at the point where I can be contempt with taking it one step at a time. And realistically I know I will get all of this done by the due dates if I do that, but my anxiety is a bitch and she tells me that isn’t possible.
I also want to be at the point where I am not taking this whole process for granted. I am lucky I even have the opportunity to be applying to graduate school. There are glimmers of it when I get excited about a professor emailing me back or finding a school that really seems to fit me. But then I get caught up again in the overwhelmingness of it all.

I really just need a drink.

Here’s to the first two weeks of school being over, taking things one step at a time, and not taking it for granted. Cheers!

And cheers to this:

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Last night I woke up in the middle of the night. Couldn’t sleep. Then after about 5 minutes of that I went into a full on panic attack. Wowzers.
I haven’t had any axiety in over a week and then all of a sudden…
It’s making me realize that as much as I do to help control my anxiety, it still is sometimes out of my control. Because if I am dead asleep, then wake up, then BAM, obviously something is going on up in my brain.

I think my anxiety is coming back because I know school is starting in less than a week. Though I have nothing truly to worry about right at this moment I am living in fear of what’s to come. Fear of the stress, studying, things I need to accomplish this semester etc. So cue my anxiety.

Right now I am scared. I am scared of how this semester is going to be. I am scared that I am going to have break down after break down. I hope I have the strength.

Next thing:
Self-care. I am a huge believer in it, and preach it to my clients. I think for the most part I am good about self-care, but I need to get back in tune with my body. Lately, I have been sleeping like shit, have gotten numerous stomachaches and just generally feel less alive. I think I need to go back to my nightly relaxation cd, turn off the episode I am watching and read, drink some tea, or whatever. My task for the upcoming days before school starts is to really listen to my body and make some changes. Because somethings gotta give.

So this post seems completely random to me, but yet completely describes me at this point in my life. Now I don’t mean to offend anyone. I have my views and you have yours. I don’t think the way you live your life is better or worse than mine. I just think that how I am living currently is the best for me.

So let’s jump in.

I’ll admit it, I’m a college student that hates dating. Maybe society has created this, but I feel like college is all about dating and experimenting. But I hate it.

I’ve had one serious boyfriend in my life. The relationship lasted for 2 years in high school. Within that relationship I learned a lot, had a lot of self-hate, spent a lot of time waiting, and grew up true-mendously. (That’s how I like to spell the word, haters gon hate.) 4 years later I now know I should’ve ended that relationship 6 months after it started. Hindsight, isn’t it great?

So then I went to college and thought okay, let’s try this dating thing. I am 19 years old, this is what I am supposed to be doing. Plus I thought it would be fun and help me move forward. And let me tell you, it was awful. I was meandering around something I had no clue how to meander around. It was foreign. I went on dates with 4 or 5 different guys and then BAM! It hit me, I didn’t want to do it anymore. It was not fun like it was supposed to be. I mean I never got hurt, sad, or anything like that, but I just felt like I was wasting my time. And wasting time is one of the things I hate most in this world.
My friends and peers would always say, what’s the worst that can happen? You get a free dinner. You have new experiences. You’ll have a story to tell. Yes, I have those stories now, but dating wasn’t on my terms. I was just doing it because I thought that’s what I was supposed to be doing.

I haven’t been on a date in 2 years. And you know what? It’s amazing. Now some of you may think that I am just saying that because I am single, lonely, and I have to say that. But actually, that statement is 110% true. Yes I am single, but I am far from lonely. I have declined dates because I was so not interested in them. I have declined dates because I had better plans with girlfriends. I have declined dates, because hell, I could. Now that’s dating on my terms.

Besides not dating, I sometimes think I can’t imagine having a boyfriend right now. I love being able to be completely selfish. I am 21 years old, I think I am way too young to get married etc. I believe that this is the time in my life where I can be selfish. I love not having to text someone where I’m at or what I’m doing. I love being able to do whatever I want whenever I want. I like spending money on myself, not someone else. My life isn’t that exciting but I am a free bird. I love my job, my friends, school, and how my future is falling into place right now. I just can’t see a boyfriend fitting into that equation.

Also, I am planning on going to graduate school hundreds maybe thousands of miles away from where I am currently going to school. I want nothing holding me back. I live with someone who has turned away amazing opportunities so she could be near her boyfriend. I don’t think that would ever be me, but I know I don’t want it to ever be me. Because in the end, if you sacrificed your schooling or career for a man and then you break up, what will you have? No boyfriend, and no career. My school, then job is more important to me than a man could be at this time.

Someday I would like to have someone special in my life. Someone who supports me, loves me, and gives me their all.

But now isn’t the time.

Today is the first time in a very long time that I have been able to live in the present. Today my inner critic is non-existent, I am not focused on things in the future. I am present in this moment, in this day. I was able to enjoy my bike ride through campus on a beautiful sunny day. I relished my homemade frappuccino. I laughed at my cat’s awkward sleeping pose. And most importantly, my anxiety is practically non-existent. Today is a good day.

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I met with my therapist today and it was a great session. I was able to sit back and realize all the things I have going for me and notice that those things are also things I love doing. I have a great job helping those who really need help, I am president of a club whose cause is so very important to me, I graduate in one semester, I am done with my GRE, I am applying to graduate school for counseling in a few short months, I have wonderful friends and family, my cat is the best (I really do like cats 😉 ), and overall I am lucky. I am glad I was able to get out of my head today and really take in all those things.

There was something else that made the session great. I talked about this new-found online community. It started out with my therapist talking about a presentation he was going to be making to my campus’ resident hall assistants. We then moved on to talking about the freshmen experience. (I personally would never want to relive my freshmen year, but that’s another story) Basically, how for many people, freshmen year is such a huge transition and it can be really hard and lonely. I then brought up Kaleigh’s hugstronger.org. We looked at the site in session and my therapist thought it was amazing. He is now going to show it to the 100 RA’s at his presentation. From there I talked about the community I have found through blogging. Though I am more of a reader of blogs than a writer I have found this amazing network online of people who are struggling, overcoming, and moving forward. I have read things that I can completely relate to or have been through. It’s scary how similar some of these posts are to my life.

But this has made me realize this: a majority of us struggle with something, but society says mental illness and mental health is something that we shouldn’t talk about. It’s something we should be ashamed of. We shouldn’t need help getting through something; we should be able to do it on our own. These societal expectations make those of us struggling feel completely alone. We feel like we are the only one experiencing something and it’s terrifying.

Through blogging I have become inspired. I feel less alone. I feel like what I am going through is normal and it’s okay to ask for help.

So this is a thank you to anyone who has been able to talk about their anxiety, depression, eating disorder or whatever it is you struggle with. Because I truly believe the more people are talking about this, the less loneliness there will be.

Today is a good day 🙂

 

I take my GRE tomorrow. I have been having anxiety about this for days. Because basically my inner critic says to me, “you aren’t going to do well because your anxiety will take over, then you won’t get into a good grad school or none at all.” “Then what are you going to do?” “Those admissions people are going to laugh at you.”
I am getting anxiety just writing about this.
I am so nervous as to how to control this. I am so scared that I am going to wake up tomorrow a nervous and anxious wreck.

What I struggle with, is this is so illogical. I have studied all summer. Taken 4 or 5 practice tests. I have a almost perfect GPA. I know logically that I can only do the best I can.

But my inner critic is a bitch. She laughs at those things. Says to me “you’ve got to be kidding yourself, those things aren’t enough, you should’ve done way more.”

I am the type of person who tells others and tries to tell myself that “you try your best and forget the rest.” I am a big believer in that. So right now I am caught in between that and my inner critic.

When I have anxiety my inner critic is the boss, but when I am calm I am going to try my best.

What do you do when you feel your mind has let you down?

My inner critic is a bitch. When everything seems to be going right she’s right up there telling me I am screwing up, am going to screw up, or actually, everything you think you know is false.
But what’s even more messed up is that I listen to my inner critic. In fact, when during a recent therapy session my therapist suggested different ways of getting rid of “her,” I felt anxiety.

That is so screwed up. I get hurt by her, but yet I’m unsure if I want her gone.

Is it because I’ve lived my whole life with her up there beating me down at various points along the way. She was there when I should’ve broke up with my high school boyfriend, but she was telling me you won’t get someone better, you aren’t good enough. She was there during my depression telling me that you shouldn’t have this depression, it’s all in your mind, get your butt out of bed, which in all reality made my depression worse. She was there when I had to turn away an old friend in a time of need because they were hurting me too much, she told me that I am a horrible person for tossing this person out onto the street. She is still here telling me that I should be able to control my anxiety. I am not supposed to be having it because I am the helpee, the future counselor.

I have to call my inner critic “her” instead of “me.” Because I don’t think I would sanely tell myself these things. Logically I know what she is telling me is fucked up, but outside of the logic I believe her. I let her run my mind. I let her start my catastrophizing. (And yes that is a word to me. It means you start with one negative event and you end up with the worst possible thing that could ever happen in your life.) I let her rev the engine of my anxiety.

My inner critic is a bitch, but I am still unsure if I want her out of my life.