Why The MIA

So I realize I have been entirely MIA (missing in action) lately and that’s not what I set out to do. I set out for this to be something to prove to myself I could do a thing and I really haven’t. In fact I feel like I have proven the opposite, that I cannot keep the promises I make or do the things I set out to do. Its a failing on my part and one that seems to be systemic of the rest of my life at the moment. I keep making promises to myself and not keeping them for one reason or another. None of these reasons are particularly valid except for one.

I have been suffering from a lot of strange and seemingly separate symptoms. I had written these off due to different things like stress or not sleeping or even just general lack of having reasons to leave my house. I had accepted that it was simply my life to be exhausted nearly constantly, have achy and stiff joints, and a myriad of other problems including brain fog that made it hard to think. I figured I would just have to live the rest of my life function at bellow normal levels and learn to cope and work around that, though so far I really haven’t been able to do that.

I recently started talking to a family friend who said my symptoms matched up with what she’d been going through with Lyme Disease. For those who don’t know that’s a tick born illness caused by a bacteria that invades nearly every part of the body and frequently suppresses the immune system making a lot of the body function bellow acceptable levels along with a host of other problems. While there are some areas of the country that tend to have more Lyme then others its quickly becoming more common everywhere. Colorado has never been a place with a particularly high count (though that is changing now) but my mother’s family is from Massachusetts where it is very common and I’ve spent most of the summers of my life there.

So I figured it was worth going in to talk to this doctor that our family friend had been to and see what she had to say. After taking a urine sample test and going in for a consultation about the problems I’ve been having the doctor wanted a few more tests but is fairly sure that it is Lyme disease. With a diagnosis in hand I can now start on medication that is hopefully going to help my body fight off this and return to some normal way of life. The road to that isn’t the easiest as the way to do it is kill off the bacteria within the body thus causing a die off which results in the body over reacting and often the symptoms can get worse before things start getting better. Also since the bacteria is very good at hiding itself in the body it isn’t a quick and simple process either.

That being said for me even just having some idea and being able to start some treatment is really helpful. It just feels really good to know that what I’m going through as a reason and is valid rather then just me making it up or exaggerating my symptoms. It just feels good to know that a doctor actually thinks something is wrong and isn’t just telling me its stress or me not sleeping or what have you.

I feel like this is all a step in the right direction to getting my life back under my control. Having my life heading in a direction towards not being tired all the time and feeling like I can focus and keep a train of thought is really amazing. I really look forward to figuring this all out and getting my life back.

Why Jobs? Why?

So I’m currently unemployed and looking for work! (Yay?) Anyway, its been a fun roller coaster ride of trying to figure out what I can do that won’t leave me a sniffling anxiety ridden mess at the end of the day. Obviously some things are easier then others and all that (not to mention everyone’s anxiety is different).

For me I’ve found that certain jobs are just way to stress inducing. This includes things like cashiering and receptionist work. I think part of it tends to be the high costumer interaction coupled with the high load of different things I have to do at the same time. Receptionists answer phones, make appointments, sort mail, greet people coming in, and general like a billion other things that require high amounts of social interaction which drains me like nothing else and also makes my anxiety go through the roof. And cashiering is pretty similar to that if at least involving a few less things but often more people.

That being said there are some situations I think I could make it work in but those generally have to do with a company or product I’m highly invested in. Say if I was selling books at the very least I adore books and reading so I feel like I could possibly handle that better. Or maybe things with animals because, again, that’s something I enjoy and can talk to people about without feeling entirely like an idiot in the deep end.

Over the last two days I was supposed to get a call from a job that I was excited for and really hoping to get but I didn’t get that call. Now, whether that was an oversight or what I don’t yet know, but I do know it was a killer blow to my self esteem and an additional stress point. I’m still sorta hoping they’ll call me tomorrow and say the job is mine but we’ll see.

Either way I have some good people around me who mean well but at times aren’t entirely helpful. For one my parents (who I adore and who support me no matter what) have certainly been pushing me to get a job and I understand where they are coming from. But at times this additional exterior stress is only harmful. In the end it makes me feel like even more of a failure when I can’t get a job or manage to deal with the job I did get (it was cashiering and even training made me come home and cry).

Others are friends who, again, mean well and want to help me. They keep suggesting a receptionist job at an optometrists that they have an in with and look at me weirdly when I decline but apply for other things. I know they mean well and just want to help me, to make things easier for me in getting a job, but its one that I know I couldn’t do for long before it would wear me down to a bare thread and leave me with no energy or motivation. I’m just not good at getting up every day and going in to a job that requires me to talk constantly to costumers while inputting information and keeping track of a million other tiny things. The very idea of it makes my hands shake and fills my stomach with dread. It makes my chest hurt and my brain whirl with too many thoughts of all the things that could go wrong.

It all comes back to anxiety and how it influences my day to day living. It creeps up when I least expect or want it, consuming my thoughts and making me second guess everything. Its frequently the reason I cannot leave my house some days or why I break down crying over seemingly inconsequential things. Its a constant force in the back of my brain that drains my energy and makes me view everything as a matter of utmost importance… and thus even the tiniest failure become overwhelming matters in which I’ve obviously ruined everything and thus I’m a horrible person and unlovable.

There are times when I know this comes between me and not only healthy living for me but all my healthy relationships. There are times when I wish that I could transfer the way I feel to other people in my life so they could understand for just a day or even just an hour but I’d never really wish this on anyone else. Still, I find it nearly impossible to fully explain why some things are okay and others are not okay. There just aren’t the right words to explain exactly what I go through on a daily basis and certainly not when I’m having a larger anxiety attack. Of course its probably also that everyone who deals with this goes through things differently and experiences things differently. No one can really say what another feels and that’s something I try to keep in mind every day of my life.

Again I’ve gone a lot deeper into this then I really meant to. I’d honestly just meant to post a light lighthearted thing about how annoy and terrible the job market can be and it devolved into me talking about anxiety and trying to make others understand it. I think I’m done for the night though because now I’m second guessing posting this which isn’t helpful or good. So now I’m going to post this before I can stop myself and just get it out there.

Too Much Stress

Hey guys. So I know I haven’t been as active as I said I would or as I should be but I promise there is a reason (even if I think its a pretty shit reason despite the fact others have told me otherwise).

If you’ve even looked at the title I am sure that you have some idea of what I am talking about. My life has become quite stressful over the last month. Or really its just come to an unbearable point in the last month since its always been stressful. As you’ve probably guessed I’ve got some bad social anxiety issues I’m dealing with but at the same time I’m trying to make a stable life for myself so I can afford things I need and want. This means I’m trying to get a job while also trying to figure out how best to handle my anxiety.

Anyway, that has basically forced me into a situation where I have a lot of anxiety going out trying to talk to people and then come home and have a lot of anxiety over the fact I have no job. This amount of anxiety is really only something one can deal with for so long before it breaks you a bit. And, well, I’ve reached that breaking point. I spent most of my weekend crying my eyes out and being overwhelmed with the fact that I, currently, can’t afford to even buy myself food with money that I can honestly say is mine but also that I can’t go to a job interview with nearly having a panic attack and coming home to curl up and hide. Not to mention there is also the worry over if I get the job and then fail miserably at it or wind up with no time to write or other things. Basically its a shit storm of proportions that I do not wish to fully consider.

So far I’ve managed to avoid thinking about it in entirety until this weekend when it really all came crashing down on my head. I’ve recently gone to an interview for a job I really would love to get but of course my own anxiety told me repeatedly this weekend that I wasn’t going to get it. I just couldn’t take it any more and spent a lot of time crying and being comforted by my boyfriend. Honestly he’s been a rock for me these last few days and I don’t know what I would have done without him. All this has combined to basically make me hide in my room most days or do things that aren’t writing. I have done some doodling and stuff so maybe I’ll add that to all this fun stuff but, yeah, sorry I haven’t been posting.

On top of that my therapist was very clear on the fact that I need to do some self care stuff. I need to focus on making me feel better and doing things like going to a chiropractor or a message therapist so that I can deal with my back pain. Or other things like getting out for walks more often and such all to better take care of myself. Over all I’m basically trying to focus on making sure I don’t drive myself to the breaking point under all this stress and wind up in the hospital for exhaustion.

So this is sort of an apology and sort of not because I keep apologizing for things I shouldn’t apologize for. And, well, taking care of myself first isn’t something I should apologize for but I should apologize for just ditching my duty to post here because I wanted to avoid all my responsibilities. So here is my half apology and hopefully I can win back some favor while I work on making sure I’m taking care of myself properly.

Anxiety Storm

Lately my anxiety has been really bad. Its been bad enough that its taking a serious toll on my energy and my mood. I feel so much stress over finding a job, doing my writing, and making it all balance out. Its so many things at once that I often feel like there is no way out of it all and that just makes it ten times worse. When I feel like I can’t see a way out of everything and that everything I do or touch is only going to have a negative outcome it becomes such a bigger problem then it really should be.

Its interesting how anxiety morphs like that. It can start from something so small like an offhand comment by someone or being late in responding to a call but it builds and builds on itself until its such a big dark storm of fear and panic that you feel like there can’t possibly be an escape. It becomes a prison of my own design and creation. And its a prison that I often can’t find my own way out of.

I’ve talked to others about it before and I get a lot of advice to just force myself to do the things that make me anxious or just deal with it because everyone gets a little anxious about things, right? But that’s not what this is. I’m not just a little nervous about a job interview or a phone call. I’m irrationally fearful of it and my brain explains every step of how its going to go wrong and how that’s going to lead me down a path where I wind up alone with nothing. Its a paralyzing fear that makes me short of breath, sweaty, and blanks out my brain.

I sometimes wish I could impose those feelings on the people I talk to for just a moment so they understand what I go through over and over again in a single day. If I could just show them then maybe they’d fully understand and not say the things that make matters worse. I am well aware that my anxiety is not rational but I can’t just step out of it and or flip a switch and make it stop. Its a long process that drains my energy because I fight it every day and often I lose to it. Lately I think I’ve lost to it a lot more then I’ve won against it and that’s a bit disheartening. I’m hoping its just a phase I’m going through and that in the long run it’ll turn around for me again but I suppose the only thing I can do for now is wait and see… and keep telling those I talk to what its like until they understand.

Being An Introvert In An Extroverts World

So I have been doing the responsible adult thing of looking for a job to support myself. I don’t want to be dependent on other people my entire life to support me, though I don’t mind a little help here and there when I really need it. Everyone wants to be able to make enough to live off, right? Well I’m mostly no different in that I do want that but, like so many of you, I am extremely introverted.

I’m comfortable in my own little circle of friends and I am happy to go out and do things with them but put me in any situation where I have to interact with loads of unknown strangers (many of whom are impatient or just downright rude) and I break down. I’ve managed to put on a good face most of the time but it is so draining that even the thought of it makes me cringe and want nothing more then to crawl under some blankets and cry myself to sleep. Even just typing this is hard because my eyes keep tearing up and making it really hard to read the words I’ve put down. Its more then just being inclined to less socialization and more personal time. Its a constant fear and anxiety that is so deeply rooted that it freezes my insides and makes it hard to swallow. Holding back the tears just makes my head hurt and that just makes me want to cry more. But I’m stupidly stubborn and refuse to give in to that particular inclination when I’m not alone.

All of this basically happens on a constant basis while I’m trying to go out into the world and socialize in a way that seems to come so naturally to anyone luckily enough to be an extrovert. This world really was built for them with its pressure on outstanding costumer service and socialization in any public location. I’m constantly bombarded with articles about how amazing some guy is for talking to one stranger a day and making friends and how we all need to be more like that. Or how its entirely unacceptable to be on your phone in public and how we need to be more social with the people around us. Even when I’m on that phone talking to some of my best friends in the world who just so happen to not live anywhere near me. And now even Oxford University is telling me that my inability to make good eye contact because of my own nearly crippling anxiety and social awkwardness is a sign of “racial micro-aggression”. (Here’s a link to a BBC article on it: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-39692673). And yes I know they have since apologized and everyone pretty much laughed their asses off at this but its still such a big blow to me because I don’t want anyone to think I don’t like them or hate them for any reason… I literally just cannot comfortably make eye contact in new social situations.

All of this general attitude that the only right way to act or be is social and outgoing is so exhausting for introverts and others who can’t tow the line and I am so tired of it. I’m thinking about doing a mini comic doodle thing about this only a daily basis to better illustrate my feelings here. If anyone wants to help me with that I’m open to it because I might be decent with words but I’m really not so great with art.

Anyway, now that I’ve pored out my emotions I think I’ll leave it there for the night.

Thoughts Of The Day

So today was an interesting day for random thoughts, which is somewhat fitting because it was a very rainy day so I spent a lot of the day inside. Not that I mind being out in the rain but generally speaking I don’t much care to be out in the rain all that much. It did make for a very pretty view with the mountains shrouded in clouds to the point where you couldn’t see their peaks. Either way I enjoyed the rain quite nicely from inside where I was warm and cozy on the couch with the dogs.

One of the biggest things I wound up thinking about actually wound up giving my friend an idea for thesis (which would be her fourth idea!). Anyway, the basic idea behind it came out of a little realization I had. I realized that most people my age (in their twenties) that I know really enjoy many of the TV shows that are currently meant for children. Shows like Steven Universe and Adventure Time. These shows are really enjoyable and part of that is because they have such meaning and character growth. Over the seasons we get to slowly know these characters and see them develop more. They’re also generally talking about good life lessons and tackling serious issues. The characters seem really interesting and they all seem to grow quite a lot throughout the show with episodes focusing on them and whatnot.

I look back on a lot of the cartoons that I remember from my childhood and I don’t really remember seeing that all that much. Sure there were small moments here and there when cartoons from our childhood tackled something major or whatnot but its not nearly so consistent or long term as it is now. Maybe that’s just me not remembering those moments as much and being more focused on the current ones that I click with better but it just seems like current cartoons are so much more focused on talking about and tackling the larger issues in life. (Apparently my boyfriend doesn’t agree with this but, hey, that’s life cause not everyone always agrees.)

I also wound up having a long discussion with the roommate about where in the kitchen certain things should be kept. With a house full of people who are allergic to food in general (I may be exaggerating there a little bit) its sometimes nice to have things sorted so we don’t have to check ingredients before we grab something to eat. Either way we wound up putting a lot of things in different places and reorganizing. Now we just have to wait for my boyfriend to get home and freak out over trying to find things.

And now I’m rounding out my evening by watching New Girl and basically hiding under a blanket the whole time. I’m really bad with shows that are heavy on the embarrassment aspect of things so this show is basically my kryptonite… But there was one line in a recent episode that sorta struck me as amazing. The line was “I’m not convinced I know how to read, I’ve just memorized a lot of words”. There was something about it that just made me and my boyfriend look at each other and laugh for probably five minutes straight.

I kept thinking about it as we were watching other episodes (ones that were making me hide under blankets again because god I really can’t handle embarrassment even on a TV screen) and I finally realized why it struck me… as someone who is dyslexic I sometimes feel exactly like that. The words only come because I’ve memorized them and how they should be not because I really know them or how they’re formed. Maybe that’s why I love words so much but generally hate learning languages. Once I’ve memorized them I can do so much with them but the memorizing part was terribly difficult to begin with and trying to do it with any other language is more then my poor brain can handle.

Anyway I should sign off for the night before my fuddled brain also becomes muddled.