Fear and Anxiety

I’ve been wanting to do this blog for quite awhile. I don’t know what is stopping me because in the last 11 years this blog has been a witness to world class disfunction. I’ve spilled my guts over the years for two reasons. Quite frankly, I needed it for my own therapy….write it out, Dear Diary, and heal; and the second reason is I always hope that I will connect with someone who needs to know that they are not alone. I’ve heard you!

Just for the record, I’ve been off anti depressants for 1 year and 8 months…but who is counting. I didn’t just go off anti depressants without a labor intensive backup plan! I’ve continued some in depth self healing….reading and meditating and doing positive affirmations, learning about spirituality and immersing myself in the love and acceptance at Unity Village….and I’ve also been doing some therapy with a licensed therapist who uses EMDR. Using the EMDR protocol, I’ve been able to quiet my mind and relieve my intense fear based anxiety. This treatment is used for PTSD and other flight/fight loops that occur in the brain when you don’t deal with your significant negative, fear based ‘stuff’ in a timely manner.

This treatment was foreign to me when it was suggested…and after one especially painful session, I told my therapist that I have no idea how it works but it works. So there it is. tools that are working for me.

Until next time….

When the scar tissue is too thick

I remember the first time I felt bad enough to seek out therapy, I was a well functioning mess! That was many years ago. The nice face and laughing, loving personality was a facade. I should have been in Hollywood….pretty much everything people saw was an act. Therapy helped…I was able to dangle low and could reach the bottom to tie on the knot. I got better and was on anti depressants…I felt like I had seriously dealt with my demons.

A few years later after an anti depressant change, I was going under again so same place, different therapist (a woman this time), I blistered the walls with fire and hate. I unloaded. I discontinued therapy sooner this time because I felt like I had seriously dealt with my demons. But I remained on anti depressants.

If you have read previous blogs, you know that in February 2017 I stopped anti depressants. It was difficult. It was ugly. It was good. But I’ve had to learn to live unmedicated. Mild depression waves in and out….anxiety seems to be my most serious complication. I chose to change my behaviors…I started meditating, living more spiritual and learning to be more mindful. But I also realized that there is sill more crap I need to deal with which I will describe as needing to do plastic surgery on the scarring left behind. It’s different. The scars not the injury is the best way I can describe it. So, I’m back in therapy. I feel good about it. I’m probably not going to share a lot about it. I’m more vulnerable now and not full of hate. It’s called recovery!

Thanks to you who have been along on my journey so far.

Control vs victim mode

Are these the ends of the spectrum? Back when I was a young-youngish woman working a full time very demanding job, raising kids, trying to be everything to everybody I was strong. At least I had the illusion that I was strong and in control. I say illusion because really we don’t control anything in our lives…we make decisions and react to things which come our way. I look back and realize that I needed to always be and feel I was in control was out of fear of the unknown. What you don’t control will getcha! For the most part, I didn’t listen to my more rational inner voice…I heard it, but I seldom had a conversation with it. Fear of the unknown and protecting myself and my family was my rally cry. With that in mind, I also had a confidence that I could and would handle everything…..if I was on a deserted island, I would survive.

The day I retired, I began the soul searching and started tearing down my own personal brick wall. With each brick, I found some inner joy, peacefulness and the ability to act on my compassion for others. Awareness of vulnerability made me uncomfortable….but on the flip side I began accepting love and compassion from others. I actually starting depending on others…..and I’m not overly comfortable with this reality. Sometimes I find myself pulling back with no incentive to step out on my own and make a difference. Perhaps circling the victim mode…things happen to me instead of I happen to things.

It’s hard to find center which is my ultimate goal. A lot of understanding, bandaids and axes find their way to the inner me through meditation. I’ve also noticed that if I skip a few days, I start feeling vulnerable. Without listening and understanding my inner self, I cannot find the balance I need which is Finding my true self…not who I want to be, not who others think I am, but ME

Until next time….

Seriously….tomorrow

I’m not very patient….

I’ve often thought the microwave timer is just messed up….when I’m hungry, the minute it takes to nuke my food so it isn’t just refrigerator cold takes forever….much longer than a normal minute.

Getting a doctors appointment when I’m not sure I’ll be alive in the next hour and the soonest I can be seen is “we can work you In late afternoon”?!?!

My hair looked great yesterday but this morning it has grown to that ugly length and I can’t get in for a cut for two weeks 🤭.

The car is so cold that the window fog over just from my body heat but it finally warms up after a 20 minute drive.

But then ….. I finally talk myself into making a dental appointment…..and tomorrow at noon is open. WHAT?!!? Not a month from now? Tomorrow? 🤬

I seriously looked at the clock a few minutes ago and thought…damn, in 12 hours I’ll be in the dentist chair.

Until next time….I suppose it will be a short night too.

Releasing anger

Life lessons are just like peeling an onion, those of us who have finally grown up realize that …. to put it nicely….we just don’t have tolerance anymore. The drama and other people’s bad manners is just not appealing and crowds the emotions and patience inside our heads. I didn’t invent this theory, I’ve heard it over and over. “I just can’t deal with BS anymore”.

My childhood job was as referee for my parents relationship as one and then the other would come to me each bitching about the other. As a child, I realized my parents didn’t like each other very much and I didn’t think I could stand not having both of them living in the house so I spent copious amounts of childhood energy trying to make everything better. I am very good at it! I also learned that kindness was equivalent to a fireman’s hose on a house fire so I learned to be a good girl and shove my emotions down and not let them manifest in anger. I knew what anger felt like and sounded like.

I’m now 61 years old and I’m finally recognizing and peeling that onion of anger in my gut one layer at a time. I’ve learned coping skills for the depression and anxiety that fueled my life and now, now I’m taking on the anger. I’m finding that I have to work through each layer with internal questions…why does this make me angry, what actually is happening when I’m feeling angry, how do I appropriately deal with this anger and then take action to work through it….things past and present must be quieted either by speaking up or cutting off the offending hand.

….as soon as I worked through this plan of action, I felt lighter. My first challenge is to no longer consider myself a victim. I have choices.

Until next time….

I put one foot in front of the other

Made my way into my mind’s rational room where all the figurines are placed in their appropriate place….all in a week where the skies are gloomy and the temps below average.  Every morning, I tried to think of the day’s gloomy weather like wearing an oversized t shirt with my old Walmart sweatpants.  Comfortable, safe and familiar as opposed to having to push myself out the door into warmth and sunshine wearing jeans, boots and a noticeable red shirt!

I’m approaching 9 months of being medication free.  I’ve learned that I no longer have the option of pharm to put me in a stupor in order to not feel anything….I must recognize the signs that anxiety is creeping in day to day or actually just event to event.  Perhaps I’m a slow learner or more likely I just don’t have the discipline yet to work the skills I’ve learned to ease the symptoms when they first appear?

This night time irrational anxiety is a bitch!  but this week, I grabbed it with all of my strength and won again.  Practice makes perfect, right?

Until next time…..

When the anxiety horn blows

I’ve been trying to blog for several days…in fact right now I’m trying to figure out how to put words together.  I feel I need to get it out of my head so I can shut it down and reel in my anxiety.

Nothing bad has happened….life has happened….but the complication of being an empath has fueled the fires of hell in my mind. I know, intellectually, what I need to do to get a grip but I am going to have to handcuff the part of my brain that does not allow me to avoid so I can to actually accomplish it.

Without going into any detail…suffice to say that when all of a sudden those connected to you start having minor health and common mentally challenging events, I, as an empath, take on those emotions…I can’t explain it, I just feel it.  If you are an empath, you totally understand, if you are not an empath, just read along.

When several minor things happen to those around you, it can be completely overwhelming and if you just go with the flow and fail to arm yourself from these growing life events, eventually the nasty overwhelming feelings take over your peace of mind. For me, that is where destructive anxiety takes over.  Anxiety for me is the inability to have calm, inability to think rationally.  Many times when the sun goes down, my fear and morbid thoughts rage and I’m stuck with heart racing, irrational fear of anything that could possibly happen.

I know this.  I have experienced it too many times in my life not to understand it.  I get complacent, I don’t use the skills I’ve learned to deal with it in the beginning.  I must back away from everyone’s energy.  I must fine my peace in solitude

Until next time……

Not my first goat rope

Or not my first rodeo but today ….. put it in Perspective.

I have had a headache for a little over a month.  I’ve been on two rounds of antibiotics, 5 days of prednisone and now on steroidal eye drops.  I’m better today….it’s just a vague headache but I’m really out of sorts and it has thrown my entire peaceful agenda into disarray.  Okay….it isn’t really the headache….it is my REACTION to not feeling well.

  • He’s only a 23 pound 9 month old child who is a charmer who smiles all of the time and has a voracious appetite.. unless he is tired and needs a nap….then his screaming can peel paint from the walls.  He’s only a 23 pound baby….it’s just a thing until it isn’t a thing…he’s one of the loves of my life!
  • I killed at least 13 flies in the house yesterday and have already killed 5 this morning.  They have to be coming in from somewhere.  They are only flies…they aren’t snakes or dinosaurs.  They are only flies.
  • It is September 21st and there is a heat advisory out for this area.  Heat and humidity for crying out loud.  I can’t stand the humidity.  It’s just hot, princess….you can spend your time indoors in the air conditioning.
  • Trump is still President and the republicans are trying to take away healthcare and innocent souls are dying because of global warning,  okay…..you are on to something there….put it into Perspective….I CAN’T.

Until next time…..

Control is an illusion….

Free will to make decisions, yes…actually being in control….no, not really.

I am a recovering control freak!  I’ve spent many years making firm decisions, manipulating situations and other people so that things could or would be done “correctly”.  There are few people that I willingly allowed dominance over me and usually this was accomplished by fellow manipulators….or perhaps I should include those who held a superior roll in my life…like bosses or parents.  I usually figured it out eventually.  When I look back on it, I don’t really regret my weaknesses because I learned the lessons and eventually recognized the signs.

Back in the day when I would adjust the TV Guides and remotes on the coffee table several times a day, become angry when things were not done the way I thought they should be done, I started realizing that this wasn’t about the TV Guide, etc at all.  It was actually a power move to have control over things I thought I COULD control….and these were very insignificant things when viewing the big picture.

I now see control as an illusion in order to protect ourselves.  My Kidney cancer diagnosis was one of those face slaps that brought reality to the forefront.  Bad things happen, relationships cease to function and sometimes….it’s just a fact….life does not always work out they way we demand and/or plan.  We have our hopes and dreams but the bottom line we must just react on a daily basis to life.  I’m finding that life is so much easier and peaceful when I don’t have carved in stone expectations of others or situations.  We don’t really control anything, we make wrong and right decisions based on the facts we are given.  Control freaks are difficult people and speaking from experience, I don’t think they are generally happy people…we are afraid of the unknown and I think we cause ourselves more grief when we are unwilling to just “roll with it”!

Until next time….

Developing invisible armor

While on my meditative walk tonight, I realized that occasionally ….like tonight….I feel like I’m wearing some type of invisible armor.  It’s not like I physically don this armor or perhaps more like bubble wrap…it’s just there.  I feel safe, I like being with me.

I have 10 years of ninasusan blogs and many pages of less articulate screaming-in-my-head saved in my own personal diary…pages in spiral notebooks and on my computer….i was always attempting to find a reason why I felt like a victim all of the time …. why I was damaged…..why I couldn’t get my shit together and stop the angry voice!  Searching, searching!

I THINK that only a handful of people in my life knew of my angst and hatefulness.  I THINK I presented myself as confident, sane and loving.  We never, ever know what hardships and heartaches our friends may be going through.

But the fact of the matter is this:  if we are wallowing in our own self pity and not liking who we are deep down in our soul…our private stash of pain, it takes the DESIRE and self reflection to sort it out and seek the answers.  No one is going to be able to fix me other than me.  I heard so many times that you have to love yourself before you can love others…I always thought that sounded trite. I related it to loving the way I look…the societal view of outer physical beauty and I knew I would never get there.  What I believe it really means is loving what is deep down there inside…what others can’t see….or they do see from our actions and words…we just don’t know they can see it.

One step at a time…casting out the demons…the envious, judgemental thoughts that we feel about others which manifests by the way we treat people mentally and verbally.

It’s a process….always a work in progress…listening to those people closest to us that have the guts to tell us the truth then listening to the dialogue in our head and then one day at a time…rephrasing that dialogue.

My thoughts about me tonight.  I’m doing the work…the walk is uphill most of the time…but the occasional downhill peace of mind is love and inner peace.

Until next time….