Sunday, April 15, 2012

All for for all

It's 2 am and I don't want to go to sleep. I don't want to stay awake either. I'm just sorta stuck in limbo.

I'm lonely. Really. I feel so detached from everyone and everything around me lately. I see those people as just leaving. Like every time we hang out it's that phase of hanging out where it's late; everyone is tired and wants to go home; the conversation and festivities have died down and everyone wants to leave but no one really wants to be the person to spark the exodus that follows. It's the moment where you sit there half hunched over on the couch with your hands on your knees waiting for the moment to stand, stretch, and say it's getting late. Really. That's how I feel. Like everyone is just getting ready to embark on their lives and leave me sitting by myself in my car; hands resting on the cold steering wheel but not ready to drive away.

Really I just feel like I'm clinging. I try to be happy for those who are leaving, who have their dreams and lives to chase. Deep down though I just feel a jealous insensitive hurt. I can't do anything about it but I feel abandoned by the people who I care about most.

My sister says she's about to move out. My sister who's five years younger than me is ready to leave the nest and I'm doing everything I can to try and convince her to stay because I'm not ready to leave. I'm not ready for her to leave either. At that moment our childhood together will have ended as we know it. We'll both be adults and our relationship will never be the same. My family's relationship will never be the same. I dunno how to handle it. I'ms tuck between seeing my parents as parents and real people. They are getting older and I hate it. I'm stuck wanting to be 10 and have them take care of me. To have my dad be superman again instead of frail bodied.

We can't ever get that back. So I'm stuck watching everyone in my life getting ready to leave my party. I can't keep the conversation going any longer no matter how hard I try. They are all leaving and I have no one.

Obviously I still have them, they will always be friends and family, but it'll never be the same. They are married or they'll have careers, hell, they'll have kids. They'll live too far away to see as often as we have been able to thus far. even if they only live 15 miles away or 1000. They still feel the same.

Normal people would try to find a companion. Someone to love and spend their life with. That's the smart thing to do. Get attached to someone who wants to stay around for the long haul. I want that. I'm lonely. I'm 24 years old and I don't think I've ever had anything you could consider a real committed relationship. Pathetic.

I'd like to have one but I can barely handle myself. My anxiety, my stress, my self deprication. It's hard to even be committed to myself. I don't even have the confidence to go on vacation with my boys. Too much anxiety. I don't even know what I want to do with myself. My dreams have all been dashed. No more law school, dunno about teaching, wtf can I do. I don't live in a day and age where being a recluse pays bills.

I"m just detached. Lonely. Grasping at straws. Trying to keep everyone at a party that no one wants to be at anymore.

So what, find a girl? I can't even do that. The ones I like don't like me. So I should change my priorities right? I can't. I wish I could because it would be so much easier but I can't. No matter how many people tell you it's not settling, it's just growing up. It feels like settling. Yet, I can't help but feel like I'd be begging anyone I was with to settle for me. Little old anxiety ridden, pathetic, self pitying, no confidence, egotistical, opinionated, jackass me.

Shit. I don't even wanna be at this party anymore but I can't get away. So I sit here, stare at the clock on the wall and pray to God that the seconds slow down, keeping everyone here longer, so ultimately, I don't have to be alone with myself. I don't want to be alone with myself.

So please, stay..... just a little longer. I can't ask any of you to stay.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Anxiety & Hemlock, a parallel.

Hemlock. Most will know this plant for it's famous role in the life of the great Socrates. It is said that Socrates was put to death for crimes against the state and corrupting the youth in ancient Greece by hemlock. The opportunity was offered that he escape and live in exile but the ever noble Socrates chose to take his punishment. To make the story that much legendary, it is said that Socrates had to drink a lot more than normal in order for the poison to do its work. RIP Socrates.

What most don't know is that in small doses Hemlock was actually used for medicinal purposes. It actually could HELP your body. Which only fuels the old adage that too much of a good thing is bad. Really bad in this case.

I've noticed throughout my life that I have this tendency to focus on the former type knowledge about something. I view things as a negative, something to overcome, something to get through. I addressed my anxiety in such a way. It was something I had to fight. It was a negative. Something to overcome.

My recent struggles with the disorder have caused me to come out of it looking at it in a different light. It falls into the latter of the examples. Anxiety can actually be a positive in life. When kept under control and in moderation. This does not mean that I think those of us suffering through the disease should just embrace it and let it go nuts. Rather, that with the help of medication, meditation, therapy, and positive thinking, a little anxiety isn't such a bad thing.

As an explanation for this I can only state my own outlook on my life. Anxiety has been a bitch in my life. It's caused situations that shouldn't have been difficult to be a fight for survival. I've had to wake up some mornings only to feel that the next 24 hours were just me treading water, trying to keep my head above the waves. I was drowning. I hated it. It hated me. All i wanted to do was quit and let myself sink, but the thought of that scared me more than my desire to give in.

So I continued to tread. I continued to swim. I continued to fight. I got help. I got medicated. I started going to therapy. I started opening up about the things that were causing it. I've gotten to the point where I feel like I can deal with it. I'm no longer in the deep end of the pool, kicking, struggling, trying to survive. I'm in the shallow end. The water is at my waist. It's not gone but I'm able to deal. I thought that I was content with that.

Then I looked down at the water and noticed something. My metaphorical leg muscles were huge. All that kicking had made them sinewy and ripped. I was stronger than when I started. I could wade out into the pool and I could handle being in the deep in for extended periods of time without stress. Without tiring, without feeling like I was gonna drown.

That is how my battle with anxiety has changed. I feel now I can handle situations that I avoided. I feel stronger. that doesn't mean I want to jump into those stressful situations, but rather, I have a knowledge that I can handle them should they arise and I don't have to go out of my way to avoid them.

My perspective had changed. I had been drinking a little hemlock everyday and my immunity to it grew. I even benefited from it.

Anxiety is a terrible terrible thing and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I couldn't understand why God had put me in such a situation. To make me suffer through it. To make anyone suffer through it. But now, now I think I know what his purpose was. It was to show me that there was a greatness inside of me that I would have never been able to find otherwise. It was to show me that even dealing with something so extremely difficult. I had enough power and strength that I could hold on and come out of it better. That every time it flares up. It's just a motivator.

I am stronger for having anxiety as crazy as that may seem. There are days that I'll hate it and it'll be the worse thing in the world. I know I can get through those days.

There was a philosopher, I can't remember who though, said something along the lines of: That we can't possible know how big a rectangle is until we find it's limits, it's borders. We are limited by infinity because we don't know where those lines are. That's how life is. We like to think that we can do ANYTHING but the truth is. We can't do Anything until we know what we can't do. Once we know what we can't do, then we can try to move beyond it.

Anxiety helps draw those lines and it can help us move beyond them as well.

Hang in there my friends. You will be stronger for having to deal with this. You will reveal a greatness in you that you never would have been able to find without it. Keep treading.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My mission statement.

My therapist posed this question to me last thursday. He asked me what my life mission or motto would be. Knowing what my desires or life motto is would maybe help me swim the currents of life a little better. Give me something to turn to or at least knowing in the back of my mind how I wanted to handle what life throws at me. I thought this was a very interesting idea so I decided I would sit down and hash out what kind of person I want to be/how I would look at life.

Mood Music- Bach playlist

As I was thinking about this in the shower after a few hours of playing ball with my boys, there was one thing I seemed to keep relating too. That was a tree.

I'd like to think that my life began was I was carefully placed in a specific situation by a loving hand (God). I was laid carefully in fertile ground and which insured that I would receive both the loving support I needed for my roots but also the freedom to spread my wings. I am still a young tree, not a sapling a bit older but far from being the strong oak or giant redwood that I would like to be.

I want to be an individual who has strongly laid roots. I want to settle in a location that is home. I want my roots to spread wide and grow strong. I want to have firm ideals, morals, and beliefs. I want to be strong enough that I can defend or declare these beliefs and opinions with enough vigor as to get my point across but not have them forced on others. I also would like to be a tree that can yield. I want to be able to open to new ideas and beliefs. I want to be able to bend but not break. I want to be open minded and compassionate enough that I may recognize others have just as valid beliefs as myself, even if they are complete opposites.

Eventually I would like my lone tree to turn into a small copse of trees. I would like to be able to provide them protection from the elements of life but also be able to allow them enough room and space to grow strong on their own. That they too may grow strong roots and be healthy.

I want to be a tree that provides protection for those who need it. One that provides relief for the weary. Fruit for the hungry and provides shade for the burdened.

I want to be a tree that is known, a tree that is admired, a tree that is beautiful and a tree that is practical.

Oh and I wouldn't mind being a handsome tree =)

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I need to write. I don't know about what but I need to write. I feel like I'm on the verge of a Panic Attack or Anxiety Attack. It kinda feels like the calm right before the storm. I'm tense, I feel hopeless, and my meditation/breathing techniques feel like they are trying to bail out a sinking ship with a teaspoon.

I don't know why I'm stressed. I should be relatively happy. A lot of things are going right. I have an easy enough Job at the school which is giving me something to do for a few hours a day. It lets be get to be around the students who really brighten my day. It also gives me at least a little income to save up and pay off my bills with. It's not much but it's better than nothing. Especially with my anxiety.

I have some direction with schooling now. I've got my study helps for the GRE and have been trying to study a little every day. I know when deadlines and stuff are for applying to grad school and I have goals set. I'm pretty rusty at math because I haven't done any in 5 years and my verbal skills aren't where I want them to be, but I think I can get there.

Things are good at home. Things are good with my friends. Although I miss Jeremy and his family a lot. It's been hard having them gone especially when I've spent so much time with them over the years. Heck, things are even good with Kelly. We've talked everyday this week. No drama. I really opened up to her about how I felt towards her and I think it might have helped strengthen our relationship.

So why am I freaking out right now? Why do I feel like everything is hopeless. I'm going to fail at everything. I'm not gonna get into BYU or I will and the program won't be what I want to do with my life. I'm not going to find a career and I'm always going to be strapped for cash. Hell, even all my friends are getting married and are moving on. They are going to leave me alone. This is how I feel. I have no reason to feel that way and I keep reminding myself that everything is alright. Even if all that happens I'll still be okay. I'll survive.

I'm terrified right now that I'm never going to beat this anxiety. That the knot in my tummy isn't ever gonna go away completely. That it's going to keep me from having a lasting relationship with a spouse and children. That I'll be too worried about things to ever really enjoy anything again. It's scary and I'm scared.

I talked to my therapist today and kinda told him what I've been feeling the last week or two. That my progress has leveled off and I'm not going forward anymore. I told him that I'm planning on upping my meds. Which I found out are only anxiety meds and not anti depressants as well. Hopefully upping the dosage with help me get rid of the stress and that will have an affect on my depression. I hope it helps.

I'll be okay. I think. I just wish Kelly would call so I could take my mind off things for a while.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I'm feeling pretty good today. Yesterday was kind of "blah" but I feel re-energized right now. At least as of 2:30 in the afternoon. I thought maybe I would try to change the tone of today's post to something happier. An expression of gratitude if you will.

Perhaps the one good thing that has come out of my anxiety is the incredible people that I've had in my life which have helped me deal with it. There are way too many people to thank, friends, family, mission buddies, doctors, etc. So I'll just do one big shout out to everyone and say Thank you.

I hate Anxiety and depression. Hate it. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. However, I am grateful for the relationships that have come out of it and the feelings of kinship I have with others who have gone through similar situations. It's a bonding experience that comes from something horrible. It's a constant reminder that there are others around you who are going through the same things you are or who have already dealt with it and are willing to extend a hand down into your darkness.

If there is one thing I've learned from my experiences thus far, it's that being quiet and trying to deal with it on your own is not the answer. I was able to beat down my anxiety upon arriving home from my mission and ignored it. I didn't really talk about it and I thought if I just didn't worry about it, it wouldn't keep happening. I thought I had removed myself from the problem and that the illness would go away. I didn't know that the problem was inside of me and was just waiting to bubble over again. Now I know that was the wrong thing to do. It's certainly something we don't have to go through alone.

So today I am grateful. Grateful for my family and friends who've supported me. Those who've reached out to me. Those who've listened to my crazed worry-filled exclamations day in and day out. Today is a good day and I'm going to enjoy it for what it is, while it lasts. It's these moments that are stress free that I've come to appreciate most.

This made me smile:

Monday, August 29, 2011


There is something to be said about having a ritual or habit. It's one of those things in life that make us feel comfortable. It's reliable. Whether it's that we have pizza every friday night, we tune into our favorite TV show every Tuesday, or even that at midnight every day you take your meds. I have many of these kind of rituals and habits. I usually wake up and pee at a certain time then go back to sleep for a bit. My family eats dinner around 6 pm every evening. There is football during the fall and winter every Sunday and Monday night. These are things that I love. Things I rely on. Things that I find comfort in.

One of these newer things lately has been talking to Kelly before we fall asleep at night. It's been going on since we first met. The timing has varied but after 9 I start expecting that call from her when she gets in bed. I love it. I love knowing that I'm the last person she talks to before falling asleep is me. I love knowing when she's about to fall asleep because of how quiet her voice gets. I love hearing her fan whirring in the background and the soft meows coming from her cat. It's just nice. Nice to have something like that to close the day with.

Now you may read this and go, "wow, what a chick!" or "That's kinda cute." It's gotten beyond that though. It's something that I've started to rely on. There are days when I'm busy or Kelly is busy and we don't get to talk. No big deal right? For whatever reason, it's a big deal to my anxiety. It's become a double edged sword and I really don't know what to do about it. If 11 rolls around and I haven't gotten a call yet, I start to get a little stressed. A little nervous. I'm not even sure why.

It's ridiculous really. It's unrealistic to have expectations like that. Especially when you're not dating someone or married. You don't always get to talk to people. The thing is. I have friends that I talk to daily. If I don't get to talk to them one day, it's usually not a big deal. No stress. No worry. No anxiety. With Kelly though. It can get to the point where I am not able to sleep the next night or that I feel tense until the next time we get to talk. Which really isn't fair. It's not fair to her to have that kind of pressure put on her and it's not fair to me to feel that way or to feel like an idiot about feeling that way.

The thing is. I really don't know how to stop it. My mind can constantly reassure myself that everything is ok. I mean I KNOW it'll be okay the next day. I know that most likely I'll talk to her the following day. So why does my body react this way? Why do I get this pit in my stomach?

This is the thing that makes anxiety so frustrating for me. It's that I can know for a fact that I'll be ok or things will work out but I will still get anxious and stressed. I don't know how to explain it. It's like having the flu without being sick. You can be in a completely healthy state but still throw up over and over and over. This is what this anxiety has become in a lot of ways.

So i ask myself: Why is this happening?

1. It could just because it's a habit and when it doesn't happen it feels like something's amiss. (I don't know if this is the case though. If I miss dinner with the family, or if I don't get to watch football, there is no stress. No problem.)

2. Is it because I'm nervous she's forgetting me or leaving me? (I think at some level it might be an abandonment issue. It's that I have no control over the situation. I know I really like this girl and I'm pretty sure she likes me too. I know that it would suck if she left me for someone else. I'd probably feel pretty shitty for a long while, but I know as much as it would hurt. I would survive.

Plus, there is the fact that it's not fair to her. I don't want to be clingy or come off clingy. No one likes that. I don't want her to feel like she HAS to talk to me either. I know she has a life and that's good. Any relationship I have with anyone on any level is going to be like this. I have no control over them or the situation and I can't have unrealistic expectations about it. This is something I need to work on, but I don't know if this is what's causing me to get nervous at night when we don't talk.)

3. Maybe it's a combination of 1&2.

So how do I fix it?

1. Stop talking everyday. (I don't want to do this. Why? I like the girl alot. I like everything about talking to her before we fall asleep. It's awesome and it makes me feel good about myself. Not only that, if we stopped talking everyday, that would probably mean we'd never have a shot at a relationship. Right now all we have is talking on the phone and I really want it to go further than that. I wanna date her.)

2. Get over it. (This is what I want to happen and have been trying to work on. I know such expectations of talking everyday are unrealistic. Rationally and emotionally I feel like I should be fine with not talking to her once in a while. I realize things come up. I mean I'll continue to WANT to talk to her everynight but if it doesn't happen, I should be able to understand that and go on with life till we get to talk again. So why isn't this happening?)

3. I do my meditation and take my medication. (I've been doing both of these but it still seems to occur. It's not nearly as bad as it used to be a few weeks ago but it still happens and I would like it to be gone completely.)

4. Talk to her about it. (I don't know if I want to go down this road or not. It's not fair for me to put that kind of pressure on her. We aren't boyfriend and girlfriend. It's not fair to expect her to do something everyday. It's not fair to stress her out because I'm stressing out over something stupid. This is something I need to deal with. It's something that I'm going to have to get used to if I want to have any type of relationship. I need to be able to give people space and have the strength of character to just let things be. I can't control everything or change everything or expect others to do everything for me.)

So for right now I'm stuck trying to cope with it and even as I write this I feel a little nervous because it's 11:30 and I haven't gotten a call from her yet. I know things are ok because we texted earlier. So why am I stressing? I want to work on this. If she doesn't call tonight. I'm going to be ok.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anxiety journal

I haven't written here for a while. I don't think anyone really noticed anyways. I think I'm going to try and use this here as an outlet for my anxiety. A way of expressing myself. The thoughts and feelings I'm having that are irrational and eccentric. Maybe it'll help, maybe it won't but it's worth a try.

This past summer has probably been the worst anxiety filled 3-4 months since my mission. Which is worrisome for a few reasons. 1. While it hasn't been as severe as it was on my mission or as intense it's been happening longer now then when I was in Iowa. 2. There doesn't seem to be a place for me to retreat to in order to overcome it. In Iowa my thought was always "If I can get home, than I can deal with this and i'll be safe." Now it just feels like the pit in my stomach follows me everywhere I go most days. There are moments of relief. There are days when I feel fine and then there are days like today where I just feel like I'm not getting any better. All the progress i had been making with the meds and therapist visits are slowing down. That troubles me.

I guess I always knew that I wouldn't ever be able to beat this completely. It would always lurk there in the back of my mind but I thought I'd be able to lock it up. That I would have enough weapons against it that it would rarely, if ever, get out of control. As I started the meds and therapy, there was hope that this would happen. I started going to church, taking meds, doing meditation, thinking happy thoughts, and visiting my doctor once a week. I felt I could beat this. I'm over a month into it now and I am already starting to wear out.

The stress is better now. The meditation helps slow down any attacks and the meds really take a bite out of them. I still have to fight thought. I'm just tired of it.

When I'm out camping with my friends for 2 days I shouldn't be stressing out. I should be enjoying myself. For the most part that's what happened, but the second night out there I had an attack. I'm not sure what triggered it. Not sure if it was the pitch black room I was sleeping in, if it was because I couldn't just go home, or if it was because I was missing Kelly. It happened though and that's frustrating. My mother says I should be proud that I was even able to go and handle it, that it was a big step. I just find it annoying. My friends aren't stressed out about this kinda crap while we are together, why am I?

The same can be said of my relationship with the gorgeous blonde girl I've been trying to date all summer. Honestly, a year ago I would just have been happy that someone that goodlooking liked me and was talking to me every night. This summer its a completely different story. I like her and I like talking to her and I even want to date her. She says she wants all those things too. Which should make me completely happy. Yet, for some reason I can't get over little things. She's busy and doesn't text back often and instead of being happy when she does, I worry I've done something wrong when she doesn't. It's not healthy to have that kind of expectations for someone else. Especially when you're not in a relationship. I shouldn't be expecting a phone call or a text everyday. I blow it out of proportion though. My tummy is in knots because I didn't get a phone call from her lastnight. She was with her brothers and then her roommates at a party, enjoying her last weekend before school starts. I want her to have those experiences, to enjoy herself, to not feel obligated. My body acts differently though. It gets stressed and tense. I wake up at 4:30 in the morning and am up till 6 because I can't fall asleep for more than 10 minutes at a time. My mind keeps telling it everything is fine but it seems to think differently.

It's not healthy. Yea, the relationship we have is a little weird and somewhat stressful. Anyone else I know would just be happy with it. Not stress over it. I over analyze it and make myself sick. I hate that. I want to be care free and anxious free.

So that brings me to right now. I'm terrified of everything and nothing at the same time. I feel stuck and I'm really not. I feel like every choice I make has to be perfect and it doesn't. I can't seem to give myself a break. Anxiety is a bitch. So when my parents ask me if I'm feeling suicidal. I'm not. (really I'm not). That doesn't mean that 3 hours ago while sitting in church feeling stressed out over nothing that I was contemplating it. Not in the "oh i'm going to do this way" but in the daydreamy "what if" sort of way. i wouldn't have to deal with the anxiety anymore. I could never do it though. I want too much out of life. I want to experience love, and children, and a profession. I could never hurt my friends and family by ending myself. It makes me feel gut wrenchingly guilty just thinking about it. I love them too much and i want to be around them too much. I just don't want the anxiety anymore. Any of it. I want to be 10 again and doing everything without a care in the world. The problem with being an adult is that we are so worried about the consquences of everything. As a child, we are just in it for the moment. I want to get back to that attitude sometime in my life. For now though, I'd be content with just being able to concentrate on what's on TV without being paranoid over when Kelly is going to call, or if I'm going to pass the GRE, or if the MPA program is really what I want to do with my life.

So yea. Anxiety is a bitch. I miss Jeremy. I dunno what I'm doing with my life. Oh, and I really like Kelly. Peachy. Somehow I'll hold on. Somehow.

If anyone out there is also dealing with Anxiety, panic disorders, or unusual levels of stress. I would love to hear how you're coping with it.