Sinners

I’ve kept this blog for seven years. Why? I dunno. I’ve always enjoyed the fact that I have a sort of map of where I’ve grown. My biggest fear in life is that I’ll stop evolving. So, I feel like blogging is my reference point, like “hey, I don’t do that stupid thing anymore! Go me!” But sometimes I like to talk about stuff to kind of remind others that they’re not alone in the world. Maybe they feel like I do sometimes. Or, I just like to hear myself talk. Maybe both.

Lately, my life has been constant stress. Work stress. Money stress. Life stress. I actually just want to go on vacation because I genuinely feel like my life would exponentially improve if I wasn’t part of it for two weeks.

This isn’t actually true. This is the anxiety. Anxiety is the elephant in the room of my life. I know it’s there, everyone around me knows it’s there, but I like to pretend if I ignore it, no one else will see it.

I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder five years ago. I can’t take medication, as anti depressants cause very dangerous side effects. But, I manage it through fitness and therapy. Fitness is a big part of how I cope, so when I can’t work out, I’m especially anxious. I used to have my core group of friends to help keep me grounded. Out here, I have maybe three friends, mostly because of my fear of getting close to people. It’s been so long, but that dark period of loneliness from when I knew no one except for someone who wouldn’t speak to me as a way to control me like a dog always sticks out. If I’m not close to anyone, they can’t hurt me. Or, I’m overly nice to everyone in the hopes that I’m a valuable person because anxiety tells me I’m not. Anxiety likes to tell me that I’m annoying and I talk too much & no one likes me, so I need to prove I have value. Anxiety tells me I’m too weird and everyone laughs at me, not with me.

Anxiety is the reason I both attempt to socialize at the gym while also trying to keep to myself. Anxiety is there to remind me that I stick out like a sore thumb. Slow. Fat. Too old. Too awkward. It doesn’t matter that I’m putting in the work and when I’m done, I’ve been able to shut anxiety up for a few hours, anxiety wants to remind me that I can’t do the bar muscle ups and double unders. I love fitness because that’s the time when I do feel most confident. Sure I’m sweaty and tired and I kind of wanna die; but that feeling of accomplishment when I’ve run a little further, lifted heavier, or finished a little faster is so gratifying. Anxiety is what keeps me at home on days when everything feels like too much. The desire to conquer it is what drives me to sign up for a 10k run.

Also, my team is dope. I work out with good peeps.

Anxiety is why all of my relationships stop before they start. I beat myself up about my “flaws” and end things before they get too serious. I talk too much. I eat too much. I’m too loud. I wear too much makeup. I’m ugly underneath the makeup. I’m a single mom. I work too much. I put my writing first. I’m a nerd that watches wrestling and plays Pok√©mon Go. I am not a catch. No one tells me these things, other than that nagging voice that reminds me I’m not good enough.

The big thing about anxiety, or any other thing that affects your self esteem, is that the only person who can shut up that voice is you. Only I can stop anxiety from ruining my life. It’s why I push myself to go running on days I don’t want to. It’s why I do yoga & meditate instead of getting drunk in the bathtub on days when I feel sad. It’s why I go to therapy, because we could all use lessons in self care. Sometimes we all need an outside, unbiased voice to help us find our way. But only I can love myself enough to feel good about myself. I have to teach my girls about self love. Not to mention, you can’t be happy with someone until you’re happy with yourself.

But, maybe most importantly, the only well to build a healthier life is to be a healthy person. That’s not just going to the gym or eating greens. That’s also keeping your mind healthy. It’s okay to admit there’s an elephant in the room that keeps you from being your best self. It’s okay to ask for help getting the elephant out of your head once and for all. It’s also okay if that elephant is in the room forever, as long as you aren’t listening to it when it talks shit.

If you are reading this, and you relate to this in any way; I hope you know that you are enough. You’re probably super bad ass. You deserve to be happy and you’re not the only person with anxiety trying to tell you that you’re not good enough. It’s okay to go to therapy. It’s okay to sometimes take space and put yourself first. It’s okay to admit you need help to navigate life. But most importantly, the right partner, the right friends, the people who will never see you as too much (or not enough) will find you once you love yourself enough to let them in.

Distance

I envy you chill people who never worry about anything. 

As someone who has long suffered from anxiety, I envy how you can just adapt to new situations. I wish I was that person more than you know, because I can’t. 

If I switch jobs, I panic because I’m back on probation & could end up unemployed & then what happens to my girls?

If I move, I worry about how I’ve ruined my life. 

When I’m in a relationship, I worry that if I’m anything less than the perfect, understanding girlfriend, he will leave. 

If I’m ever the unpleasant, bitchy friend that doesn’t want to hang out or isn’t completely understanding, I will have no support system. 

Welcome to my mind. 

Generally my mind is a happy world of unicorns & rainbows & everyone is happy. Kind of like the world of UniKitty in the Lego Movie. I revel in positivity.  I pride myself on my optimism. I just want to be happy & for everyone around me to be happy. 

my spirit animal

But then there is the other side that I control with fitness, nutrition & sleep (all of which I haven’t been keeping up with) that becomes terrified that everything will go wrong. The side that overthinks, over analyzes, reads too much into things & seemingly sabotages her own life. 

I remember on Saturday apologizing to my boyfriend for feeling overwhelmed & struggling to explain why all change freaks me out, and not being able to. I apologized for wanting time alone with him & even last night I was talking about why I shouldn’t ask for much from anyone because I can go through periods of anxiety & they can be taxing. Yes, they can. And I love my good friends & family so much because they’re there when I need them. And it works in reverse. I love that my boyfriend understands why I get this way & loves me enough to see that the person I am, that loves him so much & tries to be good to him means more than the fact that I struggle with trust. But I shouldn’t have to devalue myself or apologize for feeling a certain way. But I do. And I need to stop. 

I am not perfect. I am never going to be. But I’m pretty rad. I would like to think I’m a decent parent. I would like to think I’m a good friend. I think I’m a good partner & treat my boyfriend the way he deserves. I absolutely deserve to be happy. And yes, nothing about my life was what it was four months ago. And yes, that scares me. Sometimes it scares me a lot. But I would like to think all of the good that I offer far outweighs the times that I’m anxious & scared. And I’m tired of apologizing. 

Women are conditioned to apologize for EVERYTHING.  We apologize for wanting random flowers or to be told we’re loved (I pride myself on being the anti-girl, but sometimes I want those things). I actually apologized for being alive this week. We’re taught it’s to defer power, but I don’t want to defer mine anymore. I’m a little nuts. That’s okay. But I’m not sorry. It happens & the more I try to pretend it doesn’t, the more it happens & the more I write about trying to fix it, the less it gets fixed. So, I’m going to accept it while continuing to do the things I know that help; fitness, nutrition & proper sleep. Oh, and the power of positivity.  I’m not going to worry about what if, I’ll focus on what is. And that is what I tell myself when I feel this way, that I have three rad kids, awesome friends, an amazing boyfriend, a job, a roof & a skill I’m passionate about. And I’m not going to hide from anxiety anymore. I’m going to be friends with it. I’m going to hang out with it, let it have its voice, but also explain that the other emotions need to be in control, like Joy. But most importantly, I’m not going to apologize anymore. I’m MHC & I’m too damn nice. I talk too much & I care way too much about current events & pop culture & sometimes I worry about nothing. But I refuse to keep trying to stifle the thing that sucks to try & be perfect, because then I’m not giving the people I love a chance to love me for me. 

So, here’s your chance kids.