Anxiety

or, you should get to work half an hour before/ fashionably late, what the hell is that?/ always be on time, but earlier/ what if my house burns down?/ am i asking too many questions?/ i don’t want to draw attention to myself, so i will wait to get up to pee until the three hour movie is over. etc.

my Anxiety and i have been acquainted since i was six. i was in catholic school and some girls were telling a scary story at recess. i wanted to stop listening, bc i had a sinking feeling that i didn’t want to hear it. i didn’t move until she stopped. that story was playing itself over and over in my mind, and i remember wondering if i looked in the mirror, i fi would see a knife. if my doll would murder my family. if blood would drip out of the faucet. i am six and already i am having trouble getting to sleep. i remember waking up in the middle of the night, crying bc my stomach felt like it was exploding. the story kept coming in waves, all i could see was the knife, the doll, the blood. my parents came into my bed. i remember being unable to tell them about it, maybe that was part of the tale; if you told, you’d be next. they asked over and over if i was okay, what had happened, what hurts. my parents knew that my stomach hurt bad enough that i couldn’t stop my crying, so they took me to the emergency room. of course, nothing was found but i spent the night. i remember apple juice and the hospital bed.

after that, my relationship w my Anxiety is a blur of my parents coming to hold me, asking “what’s the worst that could happen?” (it was always my family dying. worried about homework due dates? my family will die if it isn’t in on time. tell me your best Anxiety logic), cold compresses, sips of shaking glasses of water, juice, anything. i remember finding a book called “helping your anxious child” and thinking that i was causing them problems.

i remember being about ten, staying up really late, just crying to myself, wondering where i would go, what would happen to me when i died. i didn’t trust heaven. i wanted to know if i would know anyone there, if anything i did would be remembered or if it even mattered, and then it hit me that my parents would probably die before me and how awful that would be. i laid in bed like that, those carousleing thoughts making me dizzy and sick, until i wore myself out. i didn’t tell me parents, didn’t want them to worry about me or try to make it better. how could they? i asked to be medicated a few years later, and my mum told me that we could beat it without medicine, mind over matter and all that. it was always “we”, like it was solely a team effort. they were confused and tried their best despite that but it was agony. i was bullied for it, and eventually, homeschooled for mostly unrelated reasons bc what if when i told my parents, they would tell the school and the bullying would get worse?

my panic attacks have slowed in their frequency. i used to get them many times, but i think, surprisingly, that my parents were right when they assured me i would outgrow them. they still happen. there was one so bad during a pastry class practical ( i can never ever look at a charlotte russe torte again) that i had to leave class after receiving my less-than-perfect grade. the room spun and i hid in the bathroom until i could drive. or, there was last week, when i had been finding ants in my bedroom and needed to shower and scrub off the itching, crawling feeling when i thought i saw ants all over the bathroom ceiling. i slid into the corner and started hyperventilating. glamorous! i’m an adult, now w a crippling fear of ants. hopefully, it will lessen but i have ant traps everywhere until then.

my Anxiety likes to point out that maybe all my friends are just pretending to like me. that when they don’t text back within fifteen minutes it’s bc they actually hate me and have finally decided to end our relationship. it makes me worry every! time! that the amount of time i take to reply to texts is either too desperate or too long, therefore losing the interest whoever i’m texting probably didn’t have to begin w. if i am in any kind of meeting or event that requires sitting, i cannot bring myself to be excused for any reason. it would cause everyone to stare, to reveal that i’m trying to be the center of attention. and then a tornado would hit and my second grade teacher would yell at me and my parents would die and the only thing they would leave me in their will would be that stupid-ass “helping your anxious child” book. then somehow my boss would be there and tell me i was a pity hire. it all makes sense in the moment, and it’s terrifying. even more terrifying is that i know. i know it’s completely irrational.  we could analyze it forever, write a thesis paper on how aliens are not a specific threat to me an yet, in the eye of the panic attack storm, i will obsess over nothing else. i will be so distressed over an alien abduction without knowing why. it’s like the dealers choice, the curse of the draw with my Anxiety. let’s become crippled w fear over the thought of a hurricane in Michigan, the first of its kind, just for you. date night for your mum and dad? yes, you’re fifteen, but sit by the window all night to make sure it’s their car you see coming home, not the police to tell you that they were killed in an accident.

when i can remember to, i like to practice “grounding” my anxiety attacks. i pick one of each senses; find something to see, smell, hear, touch, taste. i still play “what’s the worst” but with my own twist- the worst scenario after death/major health issue. slowing my breath is wonderful when i can manage to. sometimes, i will allow myself ten seconds if i can feel my stress getting high of letting my guard down to freak out; i feel my racing heart, and maybe sit and just let my mind flood while counting down. then i straighten, take a deep breath and carry on w getting my shit done. easy! these are little tips and tricks that tend to work out for me, let me know if you have any and if one of these weird things sound doable, give them a try! what’s the worst that could happen?

xo,

bee

 

 

currently

i like little updates like these. i also enjoy looking back at what i was up to, so, currently, i am:

watching: the office all the way through for the first time !! obsessed

listening to: werewolf by fiona apple. like on repeat, again and again. can’t stop. that, and regina spektor, endlessly.

reading: i am a huge book nerd. last year, i read seventy books. right now, it’s girl w the dragon tattoo. it’s only the first few chapters, so no definite thoughts on it have formed.

excited: to make a cake for my roommate/life coach’s engagement party later this weekend.

nervous about: the world.

wanting: to find 100$ i can spend w out thinking too hard. preferably at target.

happy that: …. will get back to you in that one. it has been a rough couple of days.

feel free to add yours!

here’s to the present

xo,

bee

an on-going list of fears

or, modern day monsters under my bed/ things i think about on a daily basis

let’s get the obvious one out of the way: i worry about death. old age. my family and friends dying.

my friends letting me know i was never liked by them.

my v questionable car finally kicking the bucket on my way to work. me getting fired as a result. blowing a tire. getting pulled over. on the freeway. the police.

i’m afraid that somehow my checks or card transactions aren’t working and suddenly i owe everyone money. taxes. my bank accounts being drained. having to move back into my parents house (obviously meaning i’ve failed at my adulthood). finding out my roommate is tired of me. burglary. fire. ants all over my walls. break-ins and squatters. being homeless. waking up in a hospital being told that my life was a hallucination. surgery. THE DENTIST.

my phone falling into the toilet. my coworkers hating me for not taking some of their shifts. getting fired. finding out i was just a pity hire. eating in front of other people. eating by myself. medication side effects. walking to my car alone at night. men. macing myself instead of the attacker.

i sometimes worry that people speaking in a foreign language around me are talking about me. i worry that this make me a narcissist. what i look like. if i even look good in lipstick. if i’m overdressed.  too early. too late. too boring by being on time. like, there’s that weird girl. she’s exactly on time for everything. how unoriginal and sad that she has nothing else going on.

how ridiculous i am for even making this list, having this blog, thinking people want to read it. i’m worried that noone reads this but also terrified that someone is. that i’m not doing anything worthwhile and i still haven’t found something i’m good at. what if my true passion is still out there and i haven’t explored it yet? what if i never do?

i’m terrified of space. of being underwater. the afterlife, basically the unknown.

i’m afraid of the man in my white house and the things he tries to do. of the people who drink in everything he says and live by their hatred of difference. i’m afraid for the people who are being targeted.

also clowns.

add yours! it’s fun to voice your fears and put them out into the open for everyone to judge.

xo,

bee

 

 

things i should get done today

or a to-do list that will intimidate me until my Anxiety forces me to complete it/ what i should be doing instead of netflix

i should get out of bed

i should get in the shower

i should get out of the shower

stop picking at my nails

get off of the bathroom floor

i should stop tearing my room apart looking for ants

stop thinking about ants

soothe my skin w lotion and not dwell on how much i hate my body

i should text my friend back

stop refreshing instagram

breathe deeply

i should gently let my coworker know that no, i cannot come in early to work his shift, bc i can hardly picture dragging myself in for my miniscule shift tonight, let alone getting myself dressed.

i should make some attempt at feeding myself something other than coffee

i should grade those tests

i should make my way to the store to buy basics

(i should realise that there’s no way in hell that’s happening today)

takeoutthegarbagedomylaundrycleanmyroommakemybedtextmymumcheckmyemailthinkabout-wherei’mgoingtolivethisfallseewhatbillsareduecallmylandladyaboutascarynoticeforaprevious-ownerishould-

i should do so many things but all i can do is sit in bed, covered in blankets and be overwhelmed. my Anxiety hates putting things off but my Depression is moaning “tomorrow” over and over in a steady monotone stream.

tomorrow it is bc holy shit you guys was today hard. still here. still breathing. 

xo,

bee

first date horror stories

or, why do i keep putting myself through this /​every first date i’ve been on has been an awkward one, but maybe i’m okay w that

 

​it never fails. i’m a serial first dater, and not many of my dates has led to a second one. maybe i set my standards too high, or i am too eager to go out; maybe my luck is nonexistent. whatever the case may be, these dates i manage to go on have not only made me laugh with my friends and family after, but some of them have made me full-on cringe. 

i went out, for instance, with a guy i met at culinary school (word of advice, take caution when it comes to uniforms. uniforms hide things). we agreed on coffee. he was twenty minutes late, bc he was selling old clothes at plato’s closet. i tried to look past his dragon ball z shirt and khaki cargo shorts (i was my usual ten to fifteen minutes early and in a usual black dress). things started out decently. he was pretty funny and we kept conversation light, until we touched on family. not only did i learn of his mother’s death but the day he agreed on going out happened to be the seven year anniversary of her passing. honestly, that left me uncomfortable, but i supposed he was coping well enough with it. we kept talking. i don’t recall the exact details, but i know there were some questionable comments he made that were rather racist. i squirmed and left shortly after. i wish that was the last time i saw him, but he still attends my culinary school and asks when the next time we’re getting coffee will be. please take a hint.

​one boy left me a sweet, shy message on my family’s home phone to my horror and parent’s amusement, inviting me to go ice skating. he picked me up in a minivan and we bonded over a shared love of death metal. we laced up our skates, hit the ice and that’s when i learned he didn’t know how to skate. st all. this could have been a sneaky tactic to hold my hand but it was clumsy and resulted in falling over every few feet. he then took me, after a couple of trips (literally) around the rink, to lunch at the italian place he served at, and it seems every employee working that day came up to our table, trying to casually get introduced to me. the manager even came out, like a protective father and expressed his excitement for our “next time”, shooting a distinct look at my date. the waitress beamed at the two of us and giggled.  i think even a cook came out to check in on this first  date. for some reason, i accepted his offer to go walk around an ice festival and see the latest disney movie downtown the next week, and that was the last time we went out. we strolled around, him in his knitted knight’s helmet hat (which i complimented then immediately wished otherwise) and me in my mittens. the movie theatre was jam packed with families and holding his hand made my arm fall asleep’ he couldn’t properly drape his arm across my shoulder. we both decided the seats were not meant for dates and tried to ignore the kids kicking our seats. i told him a few days later that i didn’t see this going anywhere.

​another memorable time was when i went to a hookah bar with someone from middle school, someone i’ve had a crush on since around that time. needless to say, my crush has since evaporated. smoking hookah was better than i thought, as was our (more likely, his, as he liked the sound of his voice) conversation about hemmingway and living in europe. we stayed out late, and he walked me to my car and proceeded to kiss me. we made out for awhile against my car; i swooned, my former high school self was on cloud nine. i managed to drive home, only to receive a text along the lines of: “i had fun tonight but i we need to slow down a little for next time. you move fast”. making the first move was something i was not into then, so his text left me confused.  a few days later, i left him confused when i discovered i only liked him when we weren’t talking and told him no. the best part is that he recently reached out, asking what’s up and i responded w a picture of simon cowell saying “it’s a no for me”. 

​even though i am currently (possibly forever)  not the luckiest on dating, i can’t help but look back on these mishaps with embarrassed fondness. maybe i’m much too cynical (thanks dad) when it comes to dates but i can honestly admit that i have enjoyed them on small levels. maybe it’s because i know now what i don’t want in a first date. it’s also because these dates just seem like something out of a weird sitcom, with details so strange they couldn’t be anything but fiction. but they came and went with their weird little lessons and i’m not mad they happened. like they say, the third time’s the charm (it wasn’t). or the fourth (is being drunk at a party a date? if so, nope). or the fifth (has potential). who knows how many more awkward dates are in my future. bring it. 

anyone else a serial first dater? good luck to us,

xo,

bee

(i was lucky enough to read modern romance, by aziz ansari. he was brilliant in his reflections and findings on how the expansion of social life today affects our love lives. if you get the chance, pick up a copy!)
 

tug of war 

i am Depressed.

not the tumblr kind of depressed, though; i don’t cry into the shoulder of a cute, sweater-wearing boy while he holds me, surprising me w flowers while the smiths are softly moaning in the background and suddenly i am better after a few minutes or so after he looks deep into my eyes and says, “cheer up!” or “just don’t think about it”. there is no snapping out of it, no way to switch it off. sometimes i can hardly  talk w my closest friends. i cannot get a date because the thought of someone putting up w me is so unbelievable. this is a gross kind of Depressed, a sick sort of Depressed. the one we should talk about more. i am just one person dealing w this Sadness out of millions. i am nobody but somebody w things to say about the feelings that eat me up. and it’s hard and messy but here i am anyway.

i am Depressed. there are days when i cannot get out of bed or even manage to shower, let alone properly feed myself. i’ve wished i could slip into a coma so i wouldn’t have to deal w myself or my thoughts more than once. i am also Anxious. i have to finish my assignments the moment i receive them. i question every move i make and every word i get out. i’m even Anxious that i’ve used the word “i” so many times that you think i’m self absorbed. i’m (there it is again) really the opposite. Sad. Anxious. i keep those two words capitalized bc, for now, they are bigger than me. i have been diagnosed; these are more than average, my abnormal feelings.  these emotions  wrap their poisonous words around me and won’t let go. they choke me with their false truths and i believe them. i know i’m not alone in my struggles but the fact that i can hardly put one foot in front of the other makes me think otherwise.

why are you reading this? why am i pretending it’s worth writing?

Anxious. Sad.

i’m writing so i can be louder than my Generalised Anxiety Disorder. so i can be louder than my Major Depressive Disorder. maybe you are stuck on the same see saw as i am. maybe someone you care for is. maybe they are but you don’t know. (we are good at hiding so we don’t have to bother you). suffering from these two monstrous illnesses is like they are playing tug of war with me. i’ve being thinking about it lately (lately aka twenty years).

what it’s like when Anxiety and Depression play tug of war w you:

it’s Depression begging you to do nothing while Anxiety lists off everything you need to get done.

it’s laying in bed before work, or anything you committed to as long as possible, unmotivated and borderline comatose while you scream at yourself that you will lose your job/friends unless you move. right.  now.

it’s never wanting to make plans but being scared that none of your friends will like you if you keep avoiding them like this.

it’s wanting to take a day off from your dream job(s), just one day so you can rest because every muscle is sleeping but convincing yourself your employer(s) will think you are a lazy, untrustworthy person. obviously, they will fire you. so, go to work. you’ll sleep when you’re dead.

it’s wanting to die. it’s choosing to live simply because funeral costs are too high (seriously though why). and if you fail at dying? hospital bills. don’t do that to your family.

what is it like?

it’s thinking “staying up all night wouldn’t be the worst” soon followed by panicking that you won’t be able to function the next day, and obviously fail at any attempted task. there have been countless nights of me staying up all night in order to avoid sleeping through my alarm. Anxiety logic !!!

it’s wanting to go to sleep at seven. it’s staying up well past midnight because what if the house burns down or someone breaks in or that radical  group was right about the rapture today or is my heartbeat supposed to be like that or what if i have an undiagnosed brain tumour that decides to burst any minute now. i can feel it if i lie very still oh and what if-

literally anything.

it’s not wanting to change out of your robe and into party clothes but somehow you manage. then, it’s waiting by the clock, trying to pinpoint the most practical, perfect time to leave. too early and you’re desperate. on time and you’re boring. late and you cannot be depended on. ever. kiss invitations goodbye, whatever time you arrive.

it’s not wanting to take your meds (“what’s the point?”) but fearing the side effects if you miss a dose.

it’s when you can’t even reply to a text but when someone doesn’t text you back, the thought that they died in the most gruesome way ever won’t leave your poor head.

it’s not caring what people think yet questioning your every move and the reactions they prompt from others.

it’s not being motivated to date but staying up late, crying at the fact you’ll most likely die alone.

it’s wanting to die one minute while having a panic attack over whether or not there is life after death the next.

it’s not caring about anything. it’s caring too much.

it’s not wanting to do anything, thinking what’s the use in getting help, but worrying that you’ll never get better and always be at war with yourself. so you bite the bullet and call the doctors from under your comforter.

asking for help is difficult and maybe one of the hardest things a person can do. i barely manage it. don’t see it as admitting defeat; Depression and Anxiety fight dirty. putting yourself first is such a simple notion, yet we rarely do it. we encourage those close to us to do so, but tend to save it for “later” when it comes to ourselves. why is that? why is someone caring about themselves seen as trailblazing ? let’s normalize self-care and start with the well-being of our minds. let’s normalize the fact that brains get sick just as frequently as bodies do and require the same amount of dedicated treatment (and get well soon cards, teddy bears, balloons and fresh bouquets).

sending you all lots of balloons,

xo,

bee

 

 

first impressions are the worst

and yet here we are. i don’t see a way out of this. it’s v late (or early, depending on how you see it) and i’ve just come home from work (one of three jobs; barista, baking sous chef at a culinary college and assistant to the master baker at said culinary college). this seemed like the reasonable thing to do. i am sending all these raw emotions out into the world, naked for you to see. and i don’t think i mind, i like hearing what people say, knowing their opinions on everything so maybe someone else does, too. writing comes naturally to me, and by that i mean i enjoy it until writer’s block hits and i want to never see the alphabet again. let’s clear the air. i suffer from Major Depression, Anxiety, and OCD tendencies. that is the list i will share, for now. i am still valid, even though my Depression tells me otherwise. i want to be able to coexist w these illnesses, acknowledge them but not let them control me. this is me writing about things i feel (how original!!) and whatever the hell i am doing w my life.

there is more to me besides my lovely bouquet of mental illnesses (this is worse than any first date i’ve been on, too, so bear w me. and i’ve been on some terrible ones), so have some more information that you never asked for: i don’t have blood in m veins! it’s all coffee! shhh. i’ve been writing poetry since the third grade. maybe if you’re lucky, i’ll feel especially like punishing myself and share a piece! i always wear lipstick, to distract people from the ugly f*cking words that come out of my mouth (lips of a flapper, mouth of a sailor). i bake when i am bored, so recipes may pop up (a lifestyle, recipe inclusive blog that talks about mental health? the future is now). i am a vegan (oh no, there goes the one reader i had), but by no means healthy (depression meals will be a common feature. bag of popcorn? personal favourite. nothing besides lattes for 36 hours followed by just oatmeal? check. feel free to send me yours!). i am the person who drinks coconut water after smoking a third of a box of cigarettes (oh no, she smokes? those are so bad for you. i know this, and that’s honestly an appealing aspect for me). you know, to take care of my body. i never grew out of the goth phase i went through when i was fourteen. i still wake up and outline my eyes in black, and dress in black (if i am feeling daring, i will shock everyone and don grey. maybe one piece of mustard yellow clothing but probably not). i am twenty. i do not care (my lipstick is the exception of my colour hatred, but don’t think i exclude black from my collection). . i have seven tattoos (that number will go up at least twice in the next few months. i say the word “like” too much. people watching is my passion. it always amazes me that every single person on earth is as complex and thorough and emotional as i am (maybe not the emotional part but you get it). crazy. life is weird. life is short (or long, bc usually i really don’t understand time). why spend it angry at other people (be angry at yourself! i do it!).

honestly, this feels like too much, my only consoling thought is that noone is reading this. maybe i want it to stay that way. all in all, nothing matters. i don’t 100% mean it in that dismal way, but, think about it. noone knows what they’re truly doing. don’t take things too seriously. do that thing that you love. love who you love. who knows how long we have.

if you’ve made it through all of my two a.m thoughts, good for you! you can probably stomach anything else i write. thank you for being here, and for my Depression survivors (that’s what we do, survive. we are living w something that wants to kill us. celebrate yourself), thank you for being, here and now. i mean it, that’s obviously why i used italics.

i am taking a leap, i am trying something new. i am holding my breath and sharing my thoughts. thank you.

xo,

bee