What Really Matters

Sometimes life has a way of showing you what really matters.  Over the weekend, I had my long awaited move.  What should have been an exciting day turned into a stressful, anxiety ridden event.  It wasn’t the move that brought on my anxiety.  It was my car.

I hate to say it, but it feels like whenever something good happens in my life, something bad is sure to follow.  The evening of my move, I got in my car to go pick up some groceries.  When I turned the keys in the ignition, I was greeted with the sound of the devil.  Dramatic? Maybe, but the sound coming from my engine was not of this earth.  This was enough to cause a panic attack.  The first one in over a month, and it was a gooder.  Once in panic mode, nothing went right.  I tried having a bath, but there was no hot water.  I tried to put on some Netflix, but the TV my brother loaned me had no volume.  I was cold, tired, stressed out, and scared I had made a terrible mistake buying a new house.  With tears and help from my brother, I was able to sort the hot water and TV.  The car had to wait until morning.

The next day, I got up to make some coffee, but realized I had forgotten to buy Almond Milk to make my latte.  I decided to chance the car and drive up the street to buy a coffee.  When I started the car the noise was there, but after driving a bit it started to go away.  I did some more driving that morning and when my brother came to look at the car just after 11am, the sound was gone.  I’d be happy, but I have no explanation for what caused the sound.  Will it come back?  Is my engine dying?  I have no fucking idea.  I’m completely stressed out.  I just bought a condo, and I had to budget myself carefully to make that happen.  A new car was not part of that budget.

I hate anxiety.  I get so wrapped up in non-important crap, and when something really bad comes along, I’m reminded of just how stupid my worries are.  30 minutes ago, I received a text message from my mom.  My step-dad had knee surgery last Thursday, and he was sent home from the hospital yesterday.  Everything was looking good until this afternoon.  My mom couldn’t get him out of bed, and he was non-coherent.  She was texting to let me know the ambulance was on it’s way, and my step-dad needed to go back to the hospital.  Knee surgery itself doesn’t seem like a serious operation, but that’s if we’re talking about a healthy adult.  My step-dad is in his late 70s, he’s extremely overweight, and he drinks “a lot”.  All that combined puts him at risk for complications.  So here I am stressed out about a car, all-the-while, my step-dad could be having serious complications from his surgery.

If there is a GOD listening, please take care of my step-dad, my car, and if it isn’t too much to ask, can you please rid me of anxiety.  AMEN.

 

A Ship at Sea

“The waves of the anxious sea make it difficult to sit still without getting sick to my stomach.  I get up and pace the deck; I try clinging to the railing for support, but nothing calms the sea, at least not for long.  My medication took away my sea sickness, but it also made the trip dull and boring.  So what way is better?  A crazy storm, or a nothingness sail.”

backlit, beach, dawn

 

This little piece of gold was sitting in my drafts.  I have no recollection of writing it, but I can tell it was written in the days after stopping my anxiety medication.  It feels like a life time ago, but in reality it was only seven months ago — less than a year. What a mess I was during that time.  Detoxing from a 10 year stint on medication was brutal.  I had vertigo, extreme anxiety, depression, confusion, and I felt extremely vulnerable.  I cried most days, and I almost gave up several times.  I feared I wouldn’t be able to live without my daily mood altering pill.   It turns out I could.

My life was a big pile of shit when I was first put on medication.  My life’s coping mechanisms were made up of an eating disorder, drugs, alcohol, and lots of sex.  Damn was I ever a mess.  My divorce is what pushed me over the edge.  With my world in shambles, I made the first step to recovery and went to my doctor.  After consultations with doctors, therapists, and phychologists, it was determined that I had severe anxiety and depression.  My childhood trauma was likely responsible for my diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression.  I’m sure if I could have afforded all the tests, they would have found a few more labels to slap on me.  Lucky for me, I was on a limited budget.

Because my dollar only went so far to cover therapy, medicating me was probably a good call.  I was all sorts of messed up crazy back then.  The meds didn’t take away my pain, but they calmed me down a bit.  Unfotunately, I had to make a lot of mistake before I learned how to navigate my life in a more positive way.  I’m not saying I have it all figured out, but I’m a far cry from where I once was.  I’m medication free now, and I hope it’s for good.

The crazy storm has past, and the ship that is me has survived.  I still have moments of anxiety, stress, worry, and fear.  However, I feel strong enough to handle my emotions all on my own.  I sold my home of 10 years in December, and I’m now about to move into my new condo.  I have no intentions of bring my past with me — it’s time for a fresh start.  A BRAND NEW ME.

Cheers to new beginnings.

 

 

 

The Wall

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If any of you have ever run a marathon before, you probably will understand how I’m feeling today.  I’m doing my best to dodge the wall, but I’m worried I ‘m going to run right into it.  I’m tired and my head feels dazed and confused.

My energy levels have been extremely high up until today.  So much so, I’ve been pushing my body to it’s physical limits.  It’s possible with all that is going on at work and with my move, I’ve been on some kind of natural high.  At work I’ve dealt with a death, 2 terminations, a demotion, and several new hires.  I didn’t realize how much it was affecting me until last night.  Every evening I go to the gym to either work out or teach a class.  The last few weeks, I’ve been able to pretty much sprint for 30 – 60 minutes straight.  Last night, I did a 45 minute full out sprint before I drove myself home to cook dinner.

While I was cooking dinner, I was packing up a few of the items I allowed myself to live with this last month.  At the same time, I was cleaning floors and making lists of stuff that needed to get done before the move on Saturday.  I went through the motions of my evening and basically passed out in bed by 9:30pm.  That, however, did not last long.  I woke up less than an hour after falling asleep reliving the meeting I had with an employee yesterday.  For privacy reasons, I cannot mention what the meeting was about, but I can say it was a difficult meeting.  I couldn’t for the life of me shut my brain down.  From that point on, I tossed and turned until I got up at 5:45am to start my day.

Exhaustion has taken over me today.  I have so much to do after work, but all I want to do is have a glass of wine and pass out.  NOT going to happen.  I need to meet one of the contractors right after work, then go to the gym, hit the grocery store, pick up dog food, and finally make dinner.

I’m nearing the finish line, and I’m willing myself to keep going.  Every part of me wants to drop to my knees and give up.  I’m sure part of this has to do with the monthly timing, but damn I’m tired.

THREE more days.  Please body — all I need is three more day.

Piece Of Cake

 

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If I close my eyes and wish really, really hard, do you think it’s possible to turn this Monday into Friday?  I’d even be happy with Thursday if Friday is too much to ask for.

My head is swimming with everything that needs to happen before my big move on Saturday.  On top of that, I have an extremely busy week at work.  I’m both excited and overwhelmed — I feel like I’m all over the place but nowhere at all.

This is it: The final week of waiting.  In 5 days, I will be moving all my belongings to their new home, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  Besides a few hiccups with contractors, lawyers, and mortgage brokers, this has been a fun ride.  My anxiety has been in the normal range, and I haven’t had to return to my medication.  I think the whole ordeal of upheaval has taught me how to rethink things.   My brain has been altered for the better. Even though I have a lot going on, I feel pretty calm — It’s pretty incredible to me.

It’s been seven months since I came off my anxiety medication.   The first five were terrible, but over the last two months I have found stable ground.  I’ve faced my fears, and I won.  VICTORY.

Now all I need is a good man, a million dollars, and a great bottle of wine.  PIECE of cake.

YUMMY

Putting on My Tool Belt

For me, there is nothing more satisfying than my first cup of coffee.  More accurately, my first and only cup of coffee.  Only on rare occasions do I indulge in a second cup.  My posion is an espresso shot with steamed almond milk — perfect!  I’m taking five this morning to just sit and enjoy.

When I’ve successfully caffinated my body, I will be heading over to my new place to install all new receptacles.  The outlets and switches are original to the condo (35 years).  The old gas fireplace is out and my floors are in.  This upcoming week the contractor will install the counter tops, baseboards, faucets, hood vent, and update some plumbing.  I have a new stove on order which I won’t get until a week after move in, and I am personally doing wall patch ups, receptacle installs, new lighting figures, paint, new bathroom shower curtain rod, new bathroom towel holders, and I will be installing cabinet pulls.

.Needless to say, I have a lot of work ahead of me.  Work, however, that I’m more than excited to get started on.

I’m going gulp down the last of my coffee, and pack up the tools.  One more week until the big move.

The Cost of My Job

It’s days like today I feel both blessed and cursed to have the job I do.  An hour ago, the wife of the coworker who passed last week came in to see me.  She cried when we walked passed her husbands office: my heart broke.  She was here to fill out the death insurance claim form.  I had also arranged to have the owners of the company come to speak to her — they have offered to pay for all the funeral costs.  No words can explain the grief I felt in her.  I could feel her pain in the pit of my stomach, and all I could do was let her know how sorry I was.

This is my job, and unfortunately, I’ve been in this position too many times.  I’ve held the hands of the mothers, sons, daughters, fathers, wives and husbands of past employees.  It never gets easier, but I realize my job is an important one.  My empathy is what makes me good at my job, but it also drains me completely.  When the grieving loved one leaves my office, I’m sink into my chair with feelings of sadness.  The only way to do this job is to allow myself to feel, so I can move on.

Luckily, tonight I have plans to meet a good girlfriend of mine at my new condo.  I have no furniture there yet, but most of the new floor has gone in.  We are bringing our dogs and a couple bottles of wine.  She is picking up some plastic wine glasses at the dollar store, and we plan break in my new place with some cheer.  CLASSY Girls.

Image result for Sitting on the floor drinking wine

Happy Friday Friends.  I wish you all happiness.