Thursday, December 27, 2012

sometimes ...

... when i see other people's lives ... they look perfect... and it's hard for me. everyone is happy and smiling. they are doing unique and adventurous things. they post these pictures on facebook and twitter and google plus and other online social places. and that's the view i have of them.

i have talked before about the word perfect and how truly horrific it is. my mom said something cool today "it's not perfect, but i just don't have perfect in me." and even though she was relating it to the cleanliness of our house ... i want to use it in a personal way. i literally don't have perfect in me. not at this stage of my existence. one day when i return home to god i think i'll be made perfect. but until them i'm flaw-full.

but perfect. that word. for so many years that's the standard i held myself up to. it was irrational but i lived in irrational-ville and it was my reality. for years i didn't know any better. and perfect creeps up on me and snatches me like a thief in the night sometimes. and i find myself only able to say "their life is perfect. and mine isn't. look at what they have. and what i don't. look at their best. compare it to my worst."

*sigh*

so in an effort to confront and work through these feelings i made a list tonight. and i want to share that list here.

What is perfect about my life that other’s would look at and want?
I can spend my money on what I want.
I’m employed.
I get to live on my own.
I have my own place and have found my own style.
I don’t have to check in with anyone.
I only have to take care of myself.
If I want to sleep all day I can. If I want to go somewhere I can.
I’m not in debt for anything – car credit school.
I have an education that gives me a good job.
What’s perfect about other’s lives that I look at and want?
They are married.
They have companionship.
They have a husband.
They have a baby to love and hold.
They have a home.
They have financial security.
They aren’t sick physically.
They smile and look so happy.
i showed this list to b and she made the following list for me.
What’s so perfect about my life that other’s want?I seem to achieve great things.
I am successful.
I am financially stable.
I love my job.
I have my own home.
I have sisters.
I am driven and can do anything I put my mind to.
I am independent.
I am kind.
I am loving.
I am friendly and have many many friends.
What do others have that I want?Companionship
Success
Stability
so i'll breathe through this.
and take a shower.
and ask, how do you combat "self-hating" thoughts?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

wise men still seek him

what a blessing today has been.
 
presents were un-wrapped.
tummies were filled.
joy was felt.

and now as i sit in my parents' home listening to mom play christmas songs on the piano, i can't help but be amazingly grateful for the Savior of the world who came as a tiny baby into the world so many years ago.



i love the christmas story in luke 2 : 1 - 20. it's beautiful. angels, shepherds, parents, wise men, animals - so many were involved on that day. what a gift god gave us in sending his son, Jesus.



every christmas season i read the book 'the christmas box' by richard paul evans. it is my favorite christmas book - my second favorite christmas story. it tells that the first gift of christmas was love. and i truly believe that.

love from god to his children.
love from mary to her baby.
love from joseph to his wife.
love from wise me to their king.
love from angels to their Savior.
love from Christ to us.

i have felt love today. love as i've been with family. love in giving and receiving gifts. love in time and laughing. so much has been shared today. there is no better word to describe it than beautiful.



i am grateful beyond words for my Savior, Jesus Christ. that he came. that he lives.

his birth makes this season the most wonderful time of the year!



Monday, December 24, 2012

pain

tomorrow, i'm going to write a lovely post about this beautiful christmas season and the joy of christ's birth.

today, i'm going to write about pain.

pain: definition: physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury.

burning.
itching.
aching.
cramping.
stabbing.
light.
pressure.
heavy.
searing.
nausea.
raw.
sharp.
sore.
stiff.
stinging.
tender.
dull.
excruciating.
gnawing.
throbbing.

this is only a partial list of adjectives describing pain.

both of my sisters are in great physical pain today. and it is very hard for me to see them hurting, unable to offer them relief.

how can god bear to see his children in pain?
how do parents watch their children suffer?
how does the body knows it's in pain?

pain is unnatural. foreign. different than the normal feelings. because it is novel it alerts the mind to its presence.

it hurts. that's what we say. that's how we describe how much pain we are in. i don't feel good. another phrase used. sometimes we use the scale 1 - 10. but it's nothing compared to actually going through it.

and pain for each person is different. some people have a high pain tolerance, others low. what hurts me may not hurt you. and how i feel and process pain is different than how you would feel and process the same pain.
i see friends in pain. children i work with in pain. sometimes i'm in pain.

i don't have a great way to end this post. i'm sad my sisters are hurting. especially on christmas eve. i love them. and would take their pain if i could.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

i'm.not.ok.

broken
inadequate
unsafe
unhappy
isolated
alone
unsure
unstable
unpredictable
sad
tired
weary
teary
overwhelmed
stressed

just a few of the words that come to mind in this moment. in this moment of not being ok. not ok. i'm not ok.

throwing in the towel. to real to be funny. to real to be ironic. to real to be real.

ready to give in, give up, quit.

tired - stressed - sad

a dungeon. a doomy, gloomy, dreary, drafty dungeon. that's where i am emotionally.

too much stress . too much commotion .. too much ... at the end of this year. it's all too much. and i can't do it anymore.

over and over the chant of the little engine that could becomes the little engine that couldn't - the little engine that isn't ok - i'm not ok i'm not ok i'm not ok

do you hear me? am i making any sense? do you understand?

and all because of a situation. a small ??? situation. one that is blown out of proportion by my anxious mind, weary body, blood shot eyes.

broken
inadequate
unsafe
unhappy
isolated
alone
unsure
unstable
unpredictable
sad
tired
weary
teary
overwhelmed
stressed

this is what it is to live with an anxiety disorder. (today.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

throwing in the towel

.... i'm not there tonight. mostly because of my three hour saving grace nap after work. hence i'm up and blogging at 11:45 on a work night.

and maybe it's because i'm in this calmer, relaxed - er mood that i want to write about my feelings on something that someday - maybe soon maybe not - i could feel really strongly about.

throwing in the towel.

i heard a question tonight and it started a train of thoughts. "what would your towel look like if you were ready to 'throw in the towel'?"

excellent. question. my mind immediately goes to my bathroom towels. they are a soft lavender. over sized. called bath sheets. and i love them. they are not too soft, because you see, towels that are too soft don't actually get the water off - and that is after all what towels are for, are they not?

one of my towels in particular has been showing it's age. somehow the binding got ripped and so it is fraying. i have a nightly battle with strings who are just not invited to help me dry off. i've gotten frustrated and pulled and yanked and ripped, more than i probably should. but it's my towel. and scissors were a whole 10 feet away.
if i ever got to the point where i was truly ready to be done, where i was giving up and giving in, where all of my options had been sifted and sorted through, and nothing would fix where i was, then this is what my towel would look like ....

soft lavender. i'm a soft gentle person at heart.

holes. ripes. shreds. hanging from the sides. searing the middle. a gaping hole. all to reflect the hardness and harshness of life.

blood. stains. on the corners.

moisture. to show the shower of tears cried as i battled.

large and over sized. it would be a bath sheet. because i would use my grandest resources first -- i wouldn't throw in a dinky little towel. i would throw in a bath sheet to prove i tried. to show i fought.

and each fiber of that towel would hold feelings of love and hate - anger and peace - rage and calm - revenge and acceptance - all of the ups and downs of my time here.
throwing in the towel. it's an interesting thought.
what would your towel be?
what would it say?

Monday, December 17, 2012

tonight a came over ...


with a plaque as my prize.

and it touched me.

because my counselor has been working with me to visualize the healthiest, happiest, most positive me i can imagine.

the power of thought.

our last session focused a lot on this. and i really dug deep and imagined my best self.

i created a safe place for that best self to be.

and i lived my best self.

now i am trying to transition this into my every day life.

which is challenging. especially this week with work as i am desperately trying to keep my head above water.

left foot right foot.

but 2013 is coming.

and as s has said many times to me, '2013 is going to be a great year for you. i can feel it.'

and you know what, i can feel it too :)

i'll leave you with the ending of a letter from s this week

:::

YOU ARE LEARNING.
YOU ARE GROWING.
YOU ARE GLOWING.
YOU ARE WISE.
YOU ARE NEEDED.
YOU ARE RACHEL, ROCKING AND ROLLING RACHEL!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

there are many right ways

to do one thing.

i am learning this.

i have explained the physical side of anxiety in previous posts and how the racing thoughts of anxiety affect me physically - pounding heart, short breath, dizziness.

some of my anxiety can be attributed to lack of control. lack of control in my life, in others' lives, in work, in my car working as it should, in depending on the mail man to come at a certain time every day, in a person taking a different route to a destination then i would've picked, and on and on it can go. from seemingly small things to huge things, anxiety claims them all as 'uncontrollable.'

so when i see someone doing something i've done a million times before i often find myself voicing my opinion on 'how you should do it.' welllllll guess what self .... there are plenty of right ways to do things. so let it go.

that's what i'm working on. breathing. and letting each person choose how he/she will respond and act in a situation. i don't need to tell my little sister how to drive to wal-mart. there are literally 5 different ways you can go and they all end at wal-mart. just because i have a preference doesn't mean i need to voice that preference. i can just keep it to myself, enjoy the ride, and let it go.

this is really hard for me, but i'm trying. i hope others will be patient with me as i try.


as a balloon in the wind, i'm letting it go.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

i think therefore i am

i feel like i finally have a grasp on this old saying. i have heard it many times before but have not always liked it or clicked with it the way i did this afternoon.

i am in survival mode. which means lots of prayers and self-care. in fact anytime a friend asks me if she/he can do anything for me i say, 'prayers please.' because that's really what i need.

if i stood back and really looked at this week from a realistic perspective, it's nothing i haven't done before. but it feels new therefore it is new.

it feels stressful = it is stressful. it feels different = it is different.

thoughts and feelings are closely connected. when i think angry i feel angry. when i think sad i feel sad. when i think something i am something.

i had an hour break during one of my kids today so i took a walk. and i had four burners of thoughts (like on a stove) going on in my brain. on the two back burners were listening to one direction's cd and musing about how many dumb dogs there were barking (and how annoying it was that i could still hear them through my music).


onto one of the front burners came the thought 'i think therefore i am.' and while it sat and stewed in a pot the other burner caught fire and began thinking about how true this was.

if i think i am ugly, then it really doesn't matter who says i'm beautiful (from my mom to channing tatum) i won't believe them. if i think i will fail, chances are i will find myself failing often because that is what i'm looking for. if on the flip side i think i am lovely the way i am - growing and progressing - then comments from people who really don't matter (consider the source always) won't affect me. if i think i will succeed in life, chances are i will see success despite the natural setbacks of life.

i think therefore i am.

this week i think (and know) i am in a fragile place mentally. my mental-ness feels delicate. and any slip, trip, or fall will find me completely melting down, probably throwing up and having seizures. i feel like i'm existing on eggshells. i feel fragile.

W O R K is the driving force of these feelings. it is all tooooo much for my mental-ness to handle, making up a week's worth of speech visits in two weeks. i want time off for christmas but i also don't want to be mega-stressed during this beautiful holiday time.

i told god about all of my concerns. i told him that i just simply can't do it on my own. i often feel weak but my weakness has really been exposed during this chaotic time. and my dear reader, miracles have happened. simple prayers, such as 'please help me to find time to eat and use the restroom today' are answered with extra time from somewhere. pleadings for 'peace and confidence with each child' are answered with a unique ability to focus on the one during each session.

my specific prayers have been answered with specific miracles.

un-voiced prayers have also been answered as god has given me thoughts as reminders to take self-care seriously. take meds regularly. eat when you stop to use the restroom. breathe deeply. take a walk if time/energy permits. simplify your social life. focus on the now. let tomorrow take care of itself. give yourself extra time to sleep. listen to one direction's cd as much as possible. :)


there is power in a thought.
i think therefore i am.

Monday, December 10, 2012

minutes ....

.... is all i have until i fall over in a sleepy stupor.

and that is fine with me. because i have not been fine since thursday.

not every day is great. not every moment is fun. not every thing is ok in every way all the time.

and so i want to share a letter i wrote to s last night.


***

... cried on and off since thursday over the stress i feel coming from work. too many tears

.... i have taken seroquel tonight per psychiatrist on especially hard nights ... i have taken it 3 times in the past week

.... i went to all three hours of church today and deserve a HUGE prize for that. i haven't been able to do that since january ... i haven't felt wanted or needed ... and today i felt both ... huge victory.

.... i talked to new people at church per therapist and deserve a standing O for that.

.... i was crying on my drive to church and talking to god and he said to me : "love will find you." i believe that with all my heart.

.... god answered my prayers today and heard me crying. he knows me and wants me close to him. i am his child. i feel that tonight.

..... i talked with my mom late late late tonight and feel blessed that it did not go into bad territory but stayed in a loving, nurturing path .... she supported me and was there for me.

..... my eyes are puffy. and sting from the salt. i left all meds at home so threw up today. i liked the feeling and control of throwing up. but i will not let that over power me. i just wanted to state that i liked it. i did not cut or do anything self destructive today, tho if i had i would've had a good 'excuse.'

.... periods are from the devil as are hormones.

... i am wrapped tight and warm under three blankets, including the angel blanket given to my dad from his sister (my aunt) after my grandma's passing. i asked dad for it. he gave it to me. and so i am wrapped in the arms of mamaw tonight. and i have my sensory blanket on top of it all and will lay it over my chest as i breathe and give my fears and insecurities and worries to god tonight to hold for me.

.... i am breathing, and will soon fall asleep listening to the wonderful christmas movie, aurthur christmas.

....all the talks in church today were about prayer. i felt close to god.


***

and that is how i am.

Monday, December 3, 2012

i switched my title back

. because . of a great counseling session with my therapist. where in it he said something brilliant which i will paraphrase into moderate brilliance. "you have gone through something life altering and it would make sense that it consumes your world for a time while you're going through it."

no to the DUH!!!

and so i made the excellent decision tonight *in the shower i must add which is in my opinion the smartest place to make decisions* to change my title back. i am not saying that anxiety is all there is to me. anyone who has thought that is just wrong. but this is my blog. my blog about anxiety. and so how i deal with anxiety is going to be a main topic. there are so many other sides to me : work, play, friends, church, humor, sleep, meds, car, irritations, likes, loves, wants, wishes, dreams, feelings, needs, thoughts, etc etc ... and i could make a blog about each of those. but at this point in time i'm not. i am writing about something that changed my life and how i have dealth with that change.

i felt that i had left a friend behind when i changed the title. what i didn't realize was that i was not advertising 'this is all there is to me' ::: my blog is 'this is part of me.'

and now with my title back i feel at peace.
this decesion deserves a standing ovation!

#feelfreetoclap
#rockonrachel
#yougogirl!

~~~ water ~~~

i am not a fan of water. i like to drink it. and shower in it once a day. but i do not find fun in water activities.

i *do.not* like the beach. sun, sand, water. three things i really, really don't like. the last time i was at a beach was may 2011 ... hawaii ... and i only allowed my toes and knees in then spent 30 minutes de-sanding.



i cannot stand swimming pools. all of that water. the thought of it seriously makes my lungs shrink and i feel my chest hollow out. the last time i swam in a pool was mmmmm 3 years ago?? sounds about right. 

even when i was younger i had to shower after swimming. some say the chlorine counts as killing germs. i vote N O . i had to get the chlorine germs, the smell, and the feel of the water off through a shower.


why am i talking about water?? and how much i dislike it?? because while i'm awake i choose to not be in or around water. but at night my dreams overflow with water. and it's upsetting. and makes it difficult for me to sleep.

i have done some research about what water symbolizes in dreams. water is emotions. it would then make sense that going through my journey and the many emotions which accompany it, i would have water in my dreams.

 
the dreams that stand out in my mind are :: one i had where i was in a pool and the water kept coming up and over me - like a lazy river, minus the lazy, plus waves. i was continually pulled under trying to catch my breathe - for what felt like all night. this happened months ago. i remember waking up feeling alone, burdened, and crushed.

from research :
"If the person is pouring out water to others, it may represent offering new life, new changes or even purification. If the dreamer is being swallowed up by a typhoon, it could mean he is overwhelmed by change and transition to the point of great anxiety and dread. Always, in all dream analysis, it is essential to determine the emotional state one has during and after the dream." more here

another one i have which is a little on the funny side is i'll dream of bathrooms like at the ymca but each stall is either occupied or the water is dirty and the toilet is overflowing! i have not dove deeper into the meaning of these dreams because usually a while later i'll wake up and realize i have to use the restroom :) to me, that's my body's way of say, "time to go!"

from research :
 i found this really neat website that talks a lot about water in dreams. i really like it and recommend it. the dream tree

though i do not like dreams with water in them, i have come to accept the possibility of them in my nightly dreams.

~ wet water moving flowing consuming carrying drowning ~

what i wasn't prepared for the other night was this dream which had water in a different form *snow, ice, sleet* :: the dream took place at church. someone in the room made a rude comment about my brother not going to church ... my brother had his feet up on another chair ... i was sitting with a class filled with young children ... my brother got offended and stormed out of the room slamming the door ... it shook the room. i started swearing in front of the young kids but caught myself ... i ran out to go get him ... screaming his name through the halls at church and i found him outside ... i told him he better f'ing as hell come back and close the door the right way ... lots of swearing and anger on my part ... he said no ... i went to go get my aunt and uncle ... they wouldn't talk to my brother ... i went and got someone else to help my brother understand ... then my family was there and we all got into three different cars ...  it was snowing - ice - sleet - on the roads ... we all got into wrecks ... yelling angry ... i remember feeling cold, angry, distant ... i could almost feel the sensory input of the snow on my arms ...

from research :
 "Snow is water and water typically represents the emotions and/or the unconscious and/or the intuition. Since snow is frozen one might conclude that snow therefore represents an emotional coldness or a kind of emotional paralysis. Or one might believe that snow might mean that the intuition is somehow blocked--information may be received but the ability to trust it or act upon it is missing. Something else to consider when you are interpreting your snow dream is the condition of the snow. Is it white? Is it a nice snow or is it a driving blizzard or a serious snowstorm? Is the snow falling at an odd time of year? Snow that is brown or off color may indicate feelings of innocence lost. Snowstorms or blizzards may indicate feeling emotionally overwhelmed or unable to see one's way through a situation such as the way one might feel if caught in a 'blinding snowstorm.'" 

this dream left me shaken and nights later i still think about it. the cold snow was almost unbearable. i usually look forward to sleep. not tonight.

what do you dream about?