Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Friends in low places


I’m not gonna lie, part of me debated deleting any trace of the blog, and of my facebook this past weekend.  It seemed so much easier than actually dealing with things like a normal functioning adult.  But then my friend Jenny, the sole reader of my blog told me to get back to blogging because it used to entertain her when she was killing time at work.  So I am back for YOU, Jenny. 

So, I will start out with somber post about my absence, and then return to my snarky posts about Waffles, suburbia, bugs I have swallowed when running, martinis, and consistently sucking at life on every front.  Bear with me.
The reason I have been absent from basically all channels of social media is because I have crippling anxiety.  I have written posts about it before HERE, because honestly, running is a huge help.  My anxiety is in check like, 99% of the time, but every few years a major life event will occur and knock me completely off my axis.  In the past it’s been moving to Chicago at a young age, going to grad school, my dad dying.  This time it was a combination of my move to the suburbs, switching jobs, and turning 30.  And by too much I mean too much for me.  Any normal functioning human being would probably be a little stressed, but would pull through like a champ.

Sadly, I am not normal.  Having anxiety is the worst.  And I fully know it’s not really the worst, but it’s my blog and I say what I want.  What are the (my) symptoms of prolonged intense anxiety?  I can’t sleep.  I can’t eat.  Well, I can eat, but I feel so sick all the time that I am either not hungry, or my stomach just can’t handle food.  This makes me constantly dizzy and confused.  I cry randomly and constantly because I am so terrified of the world around me and I have nowhere to hide.  My heart constantly feels like its beating out of my chest, and somehow karate chopping my lungs making it difficult to breath. 

How do I cope?  Not well, obviously.  Mostly, I just don’t leave the house.  In fact, leaving the house terrifies me.  (except for the yard – the yard is awesome.)  Everyday is a legitimate struggle just to get in my car and drive to work (SO MUCH CAN GO WRONG!).  I don’t want to see my friends, or do any of the fun things I normally love, because I know that everyone in the world hates me, and is judging me, and out to get me (obviously, this is not true, but I FEEL this way).  The only reason I haven’t gone full scale Grey Gardens is because of Matt and Waffles.  Matt has been a real trooper.  Not only coercing me to leave the house, but he has been picking up the slack of all the errands I am too nervous to run, and helping out more around the house because my brain-dead zombie self can’t handle preparing a meal or folding a pair of jeans.  He has also been running with me.  Because obviously, if I ran alone terrible things would happen.  And when Matt can’t be there, Waffles picks up the slack.  For a tiny dog, she has been clocking some miles!  And for some reason I feel totally safe when she is with me, despite the fact that she is 17 lbs, would totally approach a serial killer in hopes of treats, and would leave my ass in a second if she saw a horse (She doesn’t like horses.  That was a fun one to learn)
Luckily, my close friends know the drill.  It’s a huge relief knowing that they are always there, even if I become a shut in.  I am so grateful to have people that will constantly come back to me and force me to remain a part of society despite my best efforts not to.  I really don’t make friends easily(obviously), so I am really glad I have the few that I do.
Now I am at the crossroads where I have to see if I can pull myself out of my anxiety cocoon holistically, or if I need to see professional help and medication.  I am exploring both options, but my leaning is towards dealing with this holistically as I hate, hate, hate medication.  It feels so unnatural.  I have a couple races on the horizon, but I literally can’t handle the thought of being around so many people right now – and its making me anxious (you see how this starts to spin out of control???)  So I really don’t know what to do.  It’s not like I’m injured, and pulling out of race for mental reasons seems ludacris.
So why am I spilling my guts to you all (all 3 of you!) I guess the worst part of all of this is that I just feel so incredibly alone, and I feel like maybe other people deal with extreme anxiety the way that I do, and they don’t know how to communicate it or ask for help (lord knows I don’t) so ideally, by reading this you:  1. Wont think I am an antisocial bitch, and 2. Will reach out to any one you know who might be struggling – trust me, no matter what, they really, really want you to.
So sorry to get all real there, it’s just been a huge part of my life the past couple months (All.  It’s been all of my life.) And it feels nice to get off my chest honestly.  That and I missed a bunch of birthdays on facebook because I was too scared to sign on, and that’s just lame.  I promise to return with a funny story about my mom.  And maybe some sassy comments about the suburbs. 


35 comments:

  1. A few things:
    1) Yay, you're posting again!
    2) Now that you have posted again, the pressure is on for me to get off my butt and post something. But what?
    3) You have at least two readers: Jenny and me.
    4) Sorry to hear about the anxiety. Those are a lot of life issues to handle at once. I know people that have been helped by drugs, but it sounds like you may have a more naturalistic path to getting better and that's cool. An occasional martini or Bloody Mary can't hurt either!
    5) 30 is so young it's not even funny.
    6) Glad to hear you are still running and that is the most important thing you are doing. I am jealous.
    7) Waffles is awesome!
    8) I am looking forward to your post where you write something sassy about the suburbs! In that sassy post, please include: the Olive Garden, TGI Friday's and P.F. Changs.

    Hope you feel better!

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    1. I would never snark on Olive Garden!! Aside from the diseased salad thing, they're the best

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  2. I thought maybe you created a new blog and I am missing your new feed.

    My wife suffers from anxiety and depression as well. I know much to well, at least from being very close to someone suffering from this, the trials you face and it is no small task. She has been going to therapy, and that has helped, and has medication as well to help the chemical imbalance.

    I know I'm a stranger, but you have my support for what it is worth. Have you tried keeping a journal of your feelings, good and bad? Try to also sit with Matt as well, and list all your positive attributes to have to look back to. There is always a little something to hold on to to help you through the harder periods of this, you are doing good being able to at least talk it out.

    Bests
    Declan

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    1. That's part of what is making me blog again- it's basically an online journal/ outlet for sass.

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  3. I was wondering what you have been up to. Glad to see that you are posting again. I hope that you can find some relief soon for your anxiety. Sounds like some professional help might lead you to some help, but I am no medical professional. Good luck.

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    1. There are definitely options out there, I just need to find the right one for me

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  4. I miss you! I hopped off fb because the drama makes me bonkers, and I've found it remarkably calming to NOT KNOW EVERYTHING. I've not felt anxiety like that in many years (since I left my first husband) but reading about how you are feeling brought me RIGHT back there :(

    If you want a running friend, let me know. bandthejs@yahoo.com since fb and I are not friends. Or text me (8475619176 - yes, I'm putting my number on the internet. Totes because I heart you.)

    I hope things are looking up soon. Holler if you need me...

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    1. Ok Bobbi is a great friend..I won't put my number on the internet..but am willing to give it out if you email me at mellie_73@hotmail.com..I will even give it to Bobbi :)

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    2. You are going to regret giving me your number :). I would love to run sometime soon

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  5. I have seriously missed you. I love your humor regarding all things. I am sorry you have been feeling this way. I have issues..too..I have debated on the medicated route, but haven't pursued it yet. Please let me know if you want us to come over and sit with you in your yard. :) We don't have a yard and we completely wish we did.

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    1. You are welcome any time - waffles would love the company, too!

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  6. Oh hon, you are NOT alone, and have many readers who embrace what you are going through. I deal with anxiety and depression daily, so much so that often times my "self talk" gets quite irritating and I just want to slap myself. Please, please please....let me know if I can help in anyway...xoxo

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    1. Thanks! it nice just to know i am not the only one

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  7. I have anxiety too, which explains why most of my friends are on the internet - so that I don't have to actually go out and meet them (I lean more towards the social anxiety type), so I understand completely what you are going through.

    I'm glad your blog is back, because I read it too!

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    1. I am also way better with Internet friends. I really should have named the blog "super-awkward in real life"

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  8. I have enjoyed reading your blog since I started following (and subsequently becoming) the running bloggers. So I am happy to see a new post. However, I am very sorry that you are going through such a rough time. Everyone deals with the life stresses differently. I went through a period of severe depression at one point in my life. I did not want to go on meds but I did seek help and I spoke with someone every week for about a year. It was a HUGE help and I am happy to say it has not been an issue since. So my advice would be to seek a counselor or therapist and try that route before medication.

    Hope everything gets better soon! Please feel free to reach out to me if you want/need to talk. I know we only met once very briefly but I know from experience that talking can help a lot.

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    1. I have worked with a professional in the past and she was great! Sadly, she is not in Chicago any more, so i will have to find someone new, which is terrifying

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  9. I hope you can work something out holistically, but try to stay open to the idea of counseling/therapy and maybe medication if you can't find a solution on your own. I've worked with actual therapists and found it pretty helpful, but I do also enjoy a nice therapy run (poor Kim usually has to hear me whine and complain!), so if you're up to it, take Bobbi up on her offer! Or me, I'm in the 'burbs most Sundays for dinner with my in-laws, I could come a little early for a run!

    I was against meds too, but when my doctor explained that my issues were likely just a small chemical imbalance, correcting that with medicine made sense to me. I ended up on the lowest possible dose of an antidepressant a few years back because I was having similar issues, and it really did help me to feel better. I didn't feel like I was drugged up at all, and my only side effect was that I was a little tired at first (but that wore off pretty quickly as I got used to it - and yay, no trouble sleeping!).

    Hope you start to feel better soon!

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    1. THanks Anne! Actually just kind of venting was a huge relief (and somewhat of a kick in the pants to start being more proactive)

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  10. See, more than 3 people read your blog :) I've had many experiences with patients coping with anxiety...it was great to see you post about it for people to understand! Hoping you start to come out of it with a smile on your face!

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    1. Sometimes i think i share way too much, but at very least, i am brutally honest?

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  11. Wow, that's a lot of changes at one time. Try to take a deep breath and stop beating yourself up. It's a genuine problem. Don't forget that in the "all natural, organic" world where we live, certain medications are actually NEEDED for some to be functioning humans. Don't feel guilty if you need to take something for a short time to get over the hump. Probably not what you wanted to hear but it might help (a lot).

    Hugs, girlie! We all love you!

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    1. It's definitely what i need to hear :)

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  12. While my anxiety isn't as bad as yours (wooo, let's have an anxiety face off! Or not, because that would require leaving the house) I have been there in the past. I remember bursting out into tears when Jason convinced me to go to a party where I wouldn't know anyone and there would be karaoke and small children and COMMENCE FREAK OUT IN THE DRIVEWAY. Yeah.

    ANYWAY, I was resistant to medication for years but finally went on a very low dose because it helped me get over the hurdle of getting other help. I mean, it's a catch-22, right? You're too full of anxiety to ask for help that would help with your anxiety. I finally had to have Jason come with me to a doctor's appointment and talk to the doctor for me.

    So just know that you're not alone.

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    1. my hope is that if i do go the medication route, i can eventually ween myself off of it. Mostly because i'm cheap, and not very good at remembering to take medicine daily....

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  13. Glad to see you are back blogging! Sorry you're dealing with such a crummy thing. That is a lot to deal with all at once!
    Sometimes when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed I just like to remind myself "This too shall pass". Maybe this won't help you at all but I thought I would pass it along! Hang in there!

    Can't wait to read snarky posts about the suburbs. One of my biggest complaint is there is always mom with strollers and children taking up the whole biking/running path. But hey, I live 5 minutes from like 3 different Targets so it's not so bad.

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    1. oh man, i have yet to experience the moms, but i am also running in really remote places...

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  14. My husband has anxiety so I understand the struggles. I tend to be a loner and hole up in the house alot too, but lately I have been trying to push my boundaries and open up to people, major trust issues here.

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    1. i hear that - it's harder than it looks!!

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  15. Robert suffers from depression, and while I've had my share of the blues (resulting in regular trips to a therapist), I know what he suffers from is so different from what I go through. It's been an education for sure. He's been medicated, hated it, went to therapists, hated that, and now ... now he's just on his own. Well, on his own plus me and Olive. There are days that I worry about him, and worry A LOT, and I've tried to learn how to be a good partner for him.

    I don't really know the point of my comment, other than to say even if you're not "normal" ... you're quite normal. Do whatever works for you and don't worry about what anyone else thinks.

    Also I made myself a martini tonight and thought of you.

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    1. i guess in a way there is no longer a normal. I am glad that people think of me when drinking :)

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  16. Thank you for feeling open to write this!

    I have missed you!!! It's so funny to me that you say you don't really make friends easily, because you are one of the most likable people I know irl :)

    I hope you find something that helps you, whether it's holistic, therapy, meds, whatever. Everyone has to figure out what works for them. I was anti meds until I took anxiety meds in college and it helped me survive. I sometimes think I'd like to go on them, again.

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    1. its nice hearing so many other people have had a good experience with meds, growing up, my only exposure to medication was super negative (although that was back in the stone age, and medicine has progressed since then....ha!)

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  17. You are loved! (hope that's not too creepy). I'm on meds as well (for depression, not anxiety), but I have to say it was a big turnaround. Wishing you the best and we miss you - in person & in the blog world!!

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  18. Oh girl so sorry to hear this. I am on meds for anxiety and panic attacks. I hate taking them which is weird because the only side affect is it makes me feel so much better. I actually just came from my therapist today and told her I don't want to be a "meds person" and we are going to keep things stable and then trickle off in about 6 months and see how I do. I hate it. I hate that I am just not normal. If anything go see a psychiatrist and learn some coping skills to deal with it. It doesn't have to rule your life. <3

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