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This may be short and sweet. But it needs to be said…

I want to love myself more.

I am feeling a little better. A little less anxiety and a little less depression. Less than three weeks until I will be a college graduate. Right now I am just basically putting my head down and barreling through. Every once and awhile I get sucked in to the (what seems like) million little things I have left to do in terms of school and applying to grad school, but most of the time I’m good. Not getting too stressed out. I am realizing that I am having enough time to get things done. For once. I can do this.

But what I’ve noticed is I am losing myself. It’s great that my anxiety has gone down. Actually, it’s wonderful. But I’m forgetting about me. What makes me happy. What I am striving for. Where I am going. Like I said I just have my head down and am pushing through. The thing is I can’t figure out how to love myself more. I can’t figure out how to get back in touch with myself. I’ve spent most of this semester just dealing with anxiety that I haven’t really had a chance to recapture me.

So for now I want to figure out ways I can love myself more.

I’ll get back to you on that one.

This is about my journey through anxiety, depression, and loneliness. To me it sounds extreme, but really it might just be me covering up (again) what I am really feeling. The last 2 months have been hell. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster that I can’t seem to step off of. Dealing with anxiety is the cherry on top. But also the stress of my last semester of school, and applying to graduate school. Adjusting to the changing relationship between me and my best friend. Some days I feel fine, but most days, I can’t even describe it… I have a break down maybe every other day. I feel lonely almost every day. Some days I feel the depression. Some days its the anxiety pulsing through my veins. It’s like something else has taken control of the reins of my life.
“I’m not happy,” I say in a whisper. I so badly want to reach out to you. So badly want to tell you how much I’m hurting. But for some reason I have this notion that I shouldn’t bother you with my problems. We are all stressed and you can’t take this on. But then I spiral down further because you should care, you should understand, you should be there for me.
These statements are going to be overgeneralized and may not have a hint of truth to them. They also may be partly my fault. But it helps for me to write them down. I’m mad that no one cares. I want someone to worry about me and hope that I will get better besides myself. I’m mad that I have to struggle with this. No one could ever someone who has this. I’m mad that I will most likely have to deal with this for the rest of my life. Why me.
I’m so tired of picking myself up every day and beating down my inner critic. She’s so mean. I think I tell myself every day that I’m not good enough and that I will never be good enough for anyone.
It seems that even when I think I’m feeling better or okay I’m just hiding or pretending. I don’t know. It’s so much easier for me to be sarcastic, make jokes, be happy. I wonder if anyone would be surprised at how much I struggle every damn day.

This was all just a jumbled mess, just like what is going on inside. I am so worried about how long this is going to go on. Because I’m so tired.

If I could tell you, I would tell you this.
I would tell you that I’m not happy. I put on a brave face because I’m supposed to. I get through and do what’s expected of me because I’m supposed to. But underneath I’m holding on by a thread.
I would tell you I’m scared. Scared of the future and what that holds for us.
I would tell you I feel lost. I feel lonely.
I would tell you I don’t know what’s going on in your life, who your friends are.
I would tell you that I hate how you keep your lives so separate.
I would tell you that I don’t feel good enough for you or your new life. Not smart enough or something else.
I would tell you that I don’t think you are being as good of a friend as I am.
I would tell you that every day I struggle with anxiety and I feel the depression sinking back in.
I would tell you that I feel like I am losing you.
I would tell you that I don’t feel this friendship reciprocated. Something’s missing.
I would tell you I’m worried.
I would tell you to try a little harder.
I would tell you that I love you and don’t want to lose you.

So lost right now. And don’t know which way is up and not sure of what to do. I wish I could talk to you but I am not sure if that is a good idea. And that scares me even more, because I have NEVER been scared to talk to you. Where is our friendship going?

So you know the days (or week) when you feel like you are 5 seconds away from a breakdown? Where if something just hits your heart in the right spot you will start crying and collapse to the floor. Well that’s where I’m at.

I think the only thing that got me through this week was my dad’s chocolate chip cookies.

I am beginning to feel like I have taken on too much. I have been sick for 2 weeks and I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. I am constantly running. My emotional state is up and down.

Honestly, I don’t know how the fuck I am writing this right now. Surprisingly I have just been able to take things as they come. I have been holding onto “Sometimes all you can really do is just try your best.” Because I know in my heart that I am giving it my best.

My anxiety has mostly been at a baseline. So not too high but always there. So that’s fun.

All in all I feel like my mind is too full with things I have to do, should be doing, or want to do. The dos are running out of places to hide.

Part of me wants to reach something that will push me over the edge into that breakdown territory, because then I can pick myself up, brush myself off, and plow forward. Because really, at this point there is not a whole lot else I can do.

I’ve been hitting new emotional lows lately. I just can’t seem to find the motivation for school. I truly can’t wait till December 14th. I am tired of classes that contribute nothing to my life. I want to work directly with clients. It is so hard to go to class, pay attention, do homework and study for them when my heart is just not in it. I have a taste of real life at my job and I love it. I would rather work 40 hours a week there than go to 4 classes.

So needless to say, this hasn’t been very good for my anxiety. I can’t find motivation so I blow things off, then I beat myself up for it. That’s when my anxiety kicks in. Telling me anything and everything about how I am going to fail. But then I also tell myself “tomorrow” or “this weekend,” when really when those times comes I have lots of other things to do or I just keep blowing things off.

I am just not loving myself right now. I don’t like how I am behaving when it comes to school. I have a negative attitude and that’s just not me. I used to put my all into school. I also have never procrastinated. I want to get back to my normal self. But I am struggling with how to get there.

So I’m going to start with this. A list. Because organization is how I can control my life and it’s what I know best. I am going to try to stick to this list, focus on it. Because then maybe I’ll get myself back on track.

1. Get to sleep earlier. Have a routine. Watch tv or read, but no tv right before sleep. Light a candle. Drink sleepytime tea or listen to my guided imagery. I need to remember that sleep is very important to me and my anxiety and stress are usually very high at that time. I need to take this time for myself for a mental break.

2.Try and wake up with a positive attitude. Don’t start my day thinking of all the crappy things I have to do. Focus on at least one positive thing that is coming that day.

3. Make a list of things that need to get done and stick to it. STICK TO IT.

That’s all I can think of right now, but this is a start. I have always had to overcome my inner critic, but I especially am hating myself right now. And I want to get away from that. I want to at least like myself.

So I’ll leave you with this picture. And this I need to remember. It is fall now, and I can move forward and get back on track.

So about a month ago I wrote about how dating right now isn’t right for me. How ironic that I met a boy a few weeks later. Now, when I meet guys I don’t waste my time on people I don’t think I’m going to have a connection with. Well I felt the connection. I was drawn to him because he’s older, in grad school, and we seem to be at the same point in life. That’s what I’ve been struggling the most with in undergrad guys: they don’t seem to have the same priorities as me.

What I’m struggling with is just letting go and having fun. Because my last and only serious relationship was not a good one. I lost my independence and was generally unhappy. I don’t see myself ever getting back to that point, but my inner critic likes to tell me that I will. So I’ve been reverting back to the thinking that it is sometimes easier to be alone and do my own thing. Less anxiety, less sadness, less over-thinking.

But I am stuck in the middle.

Because I like this kid, but yet I am so used to being alone and the unknown is scary. Am I going to waste my time? Am I going to hurt? Maybe for so long I’ve just been avoiding relationships so I don’t have to run into that hurt. I don’t know. Now it just feels like I’m over-thinking 🙂 Story of my life.

I also have another thing running on the fast track in my mind. I do enjoy spending time with him and I feel as though that is reciprocated. But even though it seems he’s into me (cheesy term 🙂 ) I just don’t think he’s ready to commit the time I am wanting. I am the last person to jump head over heels into a relationship, but I’m gonna need a little more from you dude.

So right now I am just giving him the benefit of the doubt and kind of letting him take the reins, because that will show me what he is willing to give. Because again, I am not going to waste my time. School has always been and will continue to be a priority to me, but if I am willing to give him a little rope I expect the same thing. If he’s not ready or willing, that’s fine, no judgement. But I would rather just know, because I don’t have time for that shit.

I feel as though this blog didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I just really needed to get it out 🙂

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:

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 🙂