Archives for posts with tag: anxiety

Personal development is a tricky thing.

I’ve recently learned that my income is being cut by 40%. Trust me when I say that there’s nothing I can do. I’m still planning to take a year off after grad school, but I’m going to have virtually no emergency money between now and December of 2017. I’ll have about a hundred dollars a month more than my bills– and sometimes not even that.

We don’t spend much as it is, but there’s a big difference between not spending money because you don’t want to and not spending money because you can’t. The latter is much more frightening.

There’s no need to get into specifics, but suffice it to say that I’ve been in an exceptionally dark headspace this week. We have no friends in the area, I’ve gained twelve pounds in six weeks, we have no money, and there are moments when it feels like the world is falling down around our ears.

At the same time, our bills are paid, I’m officially halfway through grad school with a 4.0, and although we’ll be dead broke for the next two years, the upside is that it’s a choice. I’m making the choice to be broke for two years so that I can take a year off and work on my mental health. Granted, I’m not sure how good it is for my mental health that we’ll be so poor, but, hey– it’s better than tying a rope around my neck because I’m too stressed out.

And this week’s had positives, too. A friend spent time with me to help me sort out some of my sensory issues. I passed all of my finals so far. I read a new Star Wars book. And I’m getting a better handle on my health goals.

I need to move more. Not being physically active equates to a wicked downward spiral in my mental health. I don’t know how to make it a routine, but at this point, I want to exercise for the sake of exercising, not for any kind of fat-loss crap. Screw fat loss. It’ll be nice, but it’s way less important than my overall wellbeing.

What I don’t know is how to make it a habit. I’ve been so close, but I’m still so far away. I do great for about ten days and then I totally fall apart. I don’t overeat, I just never move. When I do even mild exercise, I shed fat, feel great, and have tons of energy. But then something comes up, I stop exercising, I actually feel my metabolism slowing down, I get depressed, and then I don’t prioritize myself at all.

Self-care. Not my strongsuit.

Even less-so when my income is drastically slashed and I make the possibly selfish choice to wait two years to do anything about it.

Wow, how those two years are weighing on me. They seem like an eternity.

Now I know what kind of body I want. I know what to do to get there. But there’s still something missing. And the dark cloud isn’t helping too much. The monks’ answer is, “Sit with it,” but sitting with depression doesn’t necessarily make you function any better. It just makes you acutely aware of why you’re depressed in the first place. Excellent, if you can do something about it. But what if you can’t? In theory, you get up and do what you need to do regardless of how you feel. Realize that sometimes you’ll have motivation, and sometimes you won’t, and too bad– do it anyway.

Ugh. I’m tied up in so many knots.

I know it’ll all be okay. I’m a wizard with money– I can and will make this all work out. But I’m scared that if one thing goes wrong, we’re screwed. And on top of everything else I have to deal with, I still want to prioritize my health and sanity.

I need clarity.

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This morning we deleted the text messaging functionality from our cell phones. He’s deleting his Facebook page on December 1st. We’re getting a landline telephone in April and we’re swapping our smart phones for strictly “in case of emergency” dinosaur phones in July.

The illusion of life isn’t life. No more unnecessary screens for us. No more encouraging people to believe their beliefs just because they believe them. If people have something to say, they can call. If it’s not important enough for a phone call, it’s not important enough for a text message or Facebook post.

I bet we’re about to lose 90% of our already small “friend” group. But if they don’t care enough to call, then they really weren’t friends in the first place. Which isn’t a complaint. It’s perfectly okay if our friendships have fallen away for some reason. But no more pretending for the sake of not hurting anybody’s feelings. Because we have things to do—like nap!

(Prepare yourself: This is pretty pathetic.)

Yesterday I woke up early, did several important projects back-to-back, and then literally lay in bed in a depressive funk for 10 hours being miserable and overwhelmed with how much I still had left to do.

Here’s the thing about depression (at least for me,) it doesn’t feel like sadness. It doesn’t feel like fear. Sadness or discomfort feel like an absolute, brain-numbing lack of energy. You can’t move, you can’t think, you can’t do anything but replay the same thoughts of utter fatigue, and you can’t shake the feeling like something’s not quite right, but you can’t place what it is.

Then, after ten hours of lying in bed staring at where my ceiling would be if I had eyeballs, it occurred to me: The solution to lying in bed is just, you know, to get out of bed.

I might still be miserable, but at least I wouldn’t be in bed anymore.

Low and behold, getting out of bed, opening a window, and changing my clothes was all it took to start feeling alive again.

Depression isn’t as easy as just thinking happy thoughts. It really isn’t. But maybe it’s only as hard as changing your relationship to your world. Who knows?

I ended up being happy, being productive, finishing every project for the semester three weeks before finals, acing an EXTREMELY difficult exam, and sleeping for a solid eight hours before doing even better today.

But that doesn’t take away from how hard it was to get there. Because for those ten hours, I felt like nothing. I felt like I was out of place in my own skin and that I didn’t have the energy to move, but there were so many things I needed to do, and why couldn’t I just do them, and I was so tired, but I couldn’t sleep, but I was so tired, and there were so many things I had to do, and why couldn’t I just do them?

I decided to stop taking my medicine close to a month ago. My psychiatrist was the one who suggested it. It’s hard sometimes, but so far, it’s worth it. And I’m learning.

I have no idea who I am anymore.

I’ve spent 22 years being a know-it-all, arrogant, power-hungry, problem-solving, only-happy-when-I’m-miserable, dark-clothes-and-a-scowl kind of person. Now… now I don’t know what the hell is going on with me.

I’m happy. I’m content. I’m a loving, caring, compassionate, awareness-applying Buddhist. I’m breaking away from dark colors. I’m even starting to smile! But worst of all, I’m losing the urge to swear, make crude jokes, and complain.

I have no idea who I am anymore.

I’m losing every ounce of myself that I ever found comfortable. I don’t gossip, I don’t overeat—And I’ve become the kind of person who not only enjoys exercise, but who feels worse without it.

I’m afraid. Very afraid. The only parts of myself I have left are my swearing and my crude humor, and I… I don’t know who I’d be without them. The people who’ve come into my life in the last two years would never know the difference. But Reven? Diana? My parents? I’m honestly afraid that they wouldn’t even talk to me anymore. I love them all so much, (Well, except my parents,) and I’m petrified to imagine a world without them. If I don’t make fun of Reven for being gay (which he’s not) will he even know how to be in the same room as me? Last weekend I almost broke down in tears because I was watching myself be awful to him and I didn’t know how to stop it. I didn’t know how to not push his buttons just because it was habit. I wanted to hug him, to hold him, to let him be anxious and to make everything all right, and instead I mocked him, made him laugh, and tried to make light of his discomfort.

I have two parts of myself left, and if I’m being honest, I know they’re not long for this world. The old me is dying. And I can’t keep pretending it isn’t.

I’m scared. I’m so indescribably scared. And there’s no one to help me.

Being lonely sucks.

Our wedding was Sunday afternoon. It was perfect. Just. Perfect. I don’t have words, so I won’t even try.

The sad part was that once it was all over, once we were set to go to the mystery B&B arranged for us as a wedding present by our friends, we were stuck in a deep, scary rut. One of fear and isolation. Because the sheer joy of being married was being weighed down by the absolute sorrow of going back to the city in which we live.

We know nobody here. We have no friends, no activities, and just daily life for a blind person in my city consumes everything. Getting to and from the grocery store that’s a mile away from our house takes 3 hours in the winter. Getting to and from the music shop three miles from our house takes 5 hours—and that’s in the summer! You can’t walk anywhere, taxis are $8 a mile, paratransit has to be scheduled a week in advance (and that’s if they have times available,) and you can’t get anywhere in less than an hour and a half by bus, then you still have to find the place you’re trying to find.

It’s horrible.

Revelation #4,667: Of course I’m anxious and depressed—my life is stressful and boring!

Let me be clear. My life is amazing. It’s quite possibly the best life I have ever or will ever have. But damn, it’s boring. A few times a year I go on these wild adventures all over God knows where. I’ve been on television, I’ve been in documentaries, I’ve worked with the largest film crews in the world, I’ve climbed mountains and trees and boulders and I’ve held a kid’s hand as he slid backward down a cliff but we slid together because DAMN IT, NOBODY DIES ALONE! And the good news was that nobody died, but the even better news is that we fell together. Not alone. Together.

Unlike so much of the rest of my life.

See, outside of those adventures taken a few times a year, my life is very much cleaning the house, going to grad school, and until Sunday, planning a wedding. We don’t own a television. We don’t listen to the radio. We don’t have Netflix. We don’t have friends in the area. We don’t go places or do things. And even just meeting our bare-bones obligations take up all of our time. It’s stressful, lonely, and boring.

Of course I’m anxious and depressed!

None of this is to say that life with Boy Romeo is unfulfilling. It’s very fulfilling. But something definitely needs to change.

How do I do this thing? How do I insert more fun and friendship into our world?

I think I’m going to write a list of things that make me anxious/depressed and start eliminating them from our space, then starting a wishlist of things that make me happy.

I’m DONE with this whole anxiety/depression thing. I’m all about feeling your emotions. I’m also all about changing things that bum you out. There’s no need to force yourself to experience unnecessary hardship.

This is me doing my own impossible. Let’s do this.

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