I Have Anxiety

I’ve come to realize that a lot of people don’t understand anxiety. They don’t really understand what it is or the people who deal with it on a daily basis. About 40 million people in the United States (18%) suffer from anxiety.

People with anxiety:

  • Often feel out of control of their health and life
  • Experience higher levels of overall stress
  • Often struggle with low self-esteem
  • Feel nervous in many social situations
  • Have difficulty managing pressure
  • Have higher expectations of themselves and others
  • Feel returned love is performance-based
  • Often have unhealthy boundaries
  • Are often workaholics
  • Are more often sick
  • Often have unhealthy relationships
  • Visit the doctor more often
  • Tax the medical system (with frequent trips to their doctor or emergency rooms)
  • Are more likely to take medications
  • Are more likely to have other health problems
  • Are overall more unhappy
  • Experience erratic emotional behaviors
  • Often quick to get angry
  • Regularly feel unsettled
  • Regularly feel overwhelmed
  • Feel disconnected or detached from reality and life
  • Often feel they are just on the edge of losing control
  • Often aren’t reliable (because their symptoms may prevent them from following through)
  • Become inward focused and dwell on their health condition and personal problems
  • May jump from relationship to relationship in search of perfection
  • May jump from job to job because of higher levels of stress
  • Live a restricted lifestyle (within their self-imposed “safe zones”)
  • Feel life is passing them by
  • Question their faith and God’s presence in their lives
  • Feel at a distance from God

For more on anxiety, visit here. It’s got a pretty good lot of information.

Recently I have had to really try and open up about it to my boyfriend. It began to get between us and cause unnecessary problems that he couldn’t understand. Small and unimportant things to him, yet big and detrimental to me. To avoid my problem with confutation, I left a paper that i had written exactly what was going on in my mind. Basically a paper of jumbled nonsense. But never the less, my mind at work. I think it really opened his eyes to how I really feel and the never ending process going on in my mind. I feel 14 from the above list on almost a daily basis plus many things not listed. Can you imagine the roller coaster of emotions? So, here is a  little note from my anxious mind to a conventional one.

I have Anxiety.

I fear situations that aren’t happening and may never happen. I stay up late at night just listening to sounds to make sure I don’t sleep through a tornado siren or an intruder. I stay up mapping out a plan of execution in the case of every possible situation. I may even get up a couple times a  night to make sure the doors are still locked and the everyone is still breathing.

When I don’t hear back from people in a “reasonable” amount of time I assume they’re dead. Andrew can contest to that. It drives him crazy. When I was little living with my parents, I always assumed the worse if my mom took too long at the store. I always fear that anyone who drives my kids is going to get into an accident and I’m not going to know because no one would know who’s kids they are. What if I never found them?

In crowds or large places I fear being lost or hurt. I start sweating and feel dizzy. My throat may begin to feel like its closing. Breathing becomes difficult. I’ve called a friend crying because I was scared i’d never find my car in a Wal-mart parking lot. I’ve nearly passed out in a mall, unable to find the store I entered. Family will warn me of the large amount of people that will be at certain events before I walk in. At events with a lot of people Andrew will tightly hold onto my hand or pull me close to remind me I’m not alone. Because I fear being alone, yet being around people at the same time. I fear places like Chuck E Cheese because I fear I’ll lose my child or someone will take him. At theme parks such as Stone Mountain I fear of massacres. Especially after all the racist bullshit everyone wants to fight about and shootings. I’m afraid to go on walks with the kids because if something happened to me, what would happen to them?

At work I have a manager who thinks I can’t handle my job because when we get crowed or busy I get a blank look on my face and walk at a fast pace, ignoring co-workers. What he doesn’t see is what I see. which is a lot of strangers. Ones that might be crazy and decide to shoot the store up. I start sweating, heart starts pounding, to avoid a freak out or over thinking a nonexistent problem I can only focus on the people I’m responsible for making happy.

After dark I absolutely hate making any stops. The walk from and to my car is the worse. Anything could happen and who would help me? Who would know? Someone could easily stuff me in their trunk.

Anyone who knocks at the door unannounced is assumed to be a danger. One time I almost tased a man delivering flowers to me…

If I have to call someone other than a friend or family member I may call and hang up several times before actually speaking. I get too nervous. They may think I’m stupid.

In a restaurant walking from my table to the restroom is a struggle. I have to really need to pee to make that walk. There are too many people to bump into. Or they might be looking at me. What if they’re laughing at ME?

I cry when disagreeing with authority. I like patterns and predictability. I enjoy sitting in silence with someone. It’s being alone without actually being alone.

Clutter stresses me out. Stress stresses me out. I over analyze everything. I don’t trust people because everyone will lie and hurt me at some point. I don’t like talking about my problems because they sound dumb and people wont understand them. Won’t understand me.

Anxiety is living in dark even though your life is full of light. It’s feeling alone, yet being surrounded by friends. It’s being loved, but feeling like a burden. Anxiety is having so much hope, but feeling hopeless with the inability to control your own mind and thoughts.

This is just a short insight into my daily life. As crazy as it all sounds, this is Anxiety. I know I have some friends who experience it as well. To loved ones of someone with anxiety, all i can say is continue to love them even if they reject it. Remind them of their beauty and worth even when they refuse it. Try to understand them, be patient. Never belittle their problems when they do open up!

Thank you Andrew, Mom, Hannah, Lennon, and Courtney for loving me when i’m unlovable!

What is your anxiety story?  

From Reality

Better late than never! On this sunny Wine-full Wednesday Kenny Chesney’s song Reality has been stuck on replay in my mind. For those who don’t know the song here are the lyrics.

For me it’s a beach bar
Or on a boat underneath the stars
Or with my band up on a stage
For a while everything’s okay

For some it’s a fast car
Moonshine in a mason jar
And everybody has their way
Somehow to escape

Reality, yeah, sometimes life
Ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be
So let’s take a chance and live this fantasy
‘Cause everybody needs to break free from reality

Yeah, some days it’s a bitch, it’s a bummer
We need a rock and roll show in the summer
To let the music take us away
Take our minds to a better place

Where we feel that sense of freedom
Leave our worries behind, we don’t need ’em
All we need is a sunny day and an old tailgate
And we’ll escape

Reality, yeah, sometimes life
Ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be
So let’s take a chance and live this fantasy
‘Cause everybody needs to break free from reality

Everybody raise your hands and voice tonight
Set your soul free, let’s take a carpet ride
We’ll leave it all behind

Reality, yeah, sometimes life
Ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be
So let’s take a chance and live this fantasy
‘Cause everybody needs to break free from reality

Come on everybody, break free
Come on everybody, break free

For me it is definitely on a white sandy beach, clear blue water hitting my toes. Margarita in one hand, a good book in the other. Hot sun beating down on my face… Ahh I can smell the salt now. Hear the waves… I can not WAIT for a beach trip this year!! I did love seeing my baby enjoy the sand for the first time last year, but a trip without the kids would be lovely. I’ll take them to a sandy beach at the lake. The sand is what mine enjoy anyway.

Whats your escape from reality?

Once Upon An Intruder

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentines Day! I have enjoyed seeing how my friends celebrated on Facebook. My love and I certainly enjoyed. We celebrated on Friday. Our Son stayed with his Mimi and our Daughter stayed with her Aunt. The house was all to ourselves! I sent Andrew on a scavenger hut to find clues to the romantic, private spa I set up in the comfort of our own home. The room was lit by the light of burning candles. We each gave and received massages using a special hot wax ( which was amazing and I definitely recommended). We finished by rinsing off in a large bubble bath for two and a sugar scrub. Needless to say we both were relieved of our day to day stress if only for a night and it was GREAT.

That’s until the moment we realized we were not actually alone.

While we soaked in the warm bubbles, sipping our wine, and taking in the silence, we heard a male voice call out “Someone up here?”. We quickly dismissed it when we figured it must have come from the outside. We had a window open to air out some of the heat. The dog was going crazy downstairs, but she always does when someone comes in hearing distance of the house. We brushed it off and finished our quiet time.

After we drained the water, wrapped ourselves up in towels, and walked into the hall of our upstairs we were hit by a very cold gust of wind.  A glance down the stairs revealed the outside, our front door wide open. I can’t speak much for Andrew but panic swiftly took over all feeling of relaxation I had just felt. We took a minute to listen and heard nothing. We quietly walked down the steps to shut the door and called for Ada (our dog). She was acting very strange,cowering. Not like her. she followed us room to room and cleared them for us, nose to ground. Nothing was missing or out of place. So we dismissed her and went back to our room to get dressed.

Not too long after we heard the same male voice AGAIN underneath us. Andrew rushes for the shotgun in the next room and I silently listen for anymore noises or movements. I hear nothing. which is almost scarier than hearing something, anything at this point would have been nice. My mind of course was going to worse case scenarios. I was so very thankful in those moments that the kids were else where.

I hear Andrew cock the shotgun, my eyes her wide, heart pounding outside of my chest, praying that the next sound I hear is not the gun firing off.  What I do hear is a car screaming down the road and coming to a halt in front of our house. I peek out the window to see Andrews dad running up to our door, I called down the steps to warn Andrew his dad was coming in. From there his dad, retired military, did a sweep through the entire house and found nothing.

To this moment we still have no idea what went on that night while we celebrated our Valentines Days together. We don’t know if our door somehow was opened by wind and a man walking by hollered up to see if anyone was home and was frightened by the dog. We don’t know if a man opened the door himself, planning on taking stuff but was frightened by the dog. Nor do we know if the voice we heard was just a neighbor talking outside.  But I do know I’m  sure losing sleep listening to sounds. Last night I even shot up out of a dead sleep and darted down to the front door to make sure it was locked. Needless to say our Valentines Day was certainly one we won’t soon forget.

What encounters or close calls have you had with an intruder? 

Killing Dogs One Bite at A Time

You saw my sweet baby last week, but here she is again!

Hi Ada!

Ada has been such a loving dog and it saddens us to know that we have not protected her as well as she has protected us. So many people are uneducated on the seriousness of heartworms in dogs so I wanted to share some insight on it today.

Heartworms are twelve inch worms that are transferred by mosquito’s. A mosquito bites an infected animal, sucking up larva along with blood. Once that mosquito bites another animal the larva is deposited where the worm will enter through the bite wound and make its way to the heart and lungs. Read more about its severity  here. Heartworms are PREVENTABLE by inexpensive monthly pills. However by not giving your pup the preventatives you are putting your pet at risk and at that point causes a very expensive treatment. Here you can read about the costs that I can personally vouch for.

Ada was diagnosed with heartworms about six months ago. We assumed something was up when she was rapidly loosing weight and became slightly less active. Our back yard was infested with mosquito’s but we didn’t understand just how easy it was for a dog to contract heartworms. Especially since she was only outside for walks or to go potty. A trip to the vet confirmed what we feared and we began treatment. Treatment for heartworms is very pricey so an alternative is to give your pup medication that enables the worms to further affect the dog. unfortunately it does not kill them.

She is still affected but we hope to soon get rid of these deathly worms once and for all in the next few years. Love your fur babies. Protect them from getting this awful disease. Stop these mosquito’s from killing!

Let Children Be Children

This weekend I was scrolling through my social media, cheating on my wine with a homemade margarita, when I came across a picture of a beautiful little girl. This young girl could not have been older than four years old and I couldn’t help but notice that her face was caked in make-up. A FOUR year old!!

I can’t help but think this is seriously what is wrong with society. It is bad enough that children are growing up with social media and internet constantly sexualizing girls, but I think parents guilty too.

Why are parents putting their daughters in pageants, allowing them to wear revealing clothing and caking their faces in make-up? Why are parents putting their five year old daughters in  provocative dance classes, dancing to explicit songs? It may be cute. It may be funny. But it is damaging to the child’s mental health. Kids need to be kids. They need to spend time playing outside with a ball. Not worrying if they are more beautiful than the girls competing in a contest. If they lose, they wonder what was wrong with them. Were my eyelashes not long enough? Did I need more make-up? Maybe I needed a different outfit? Are these questions a child hardly in elementary school need to be asking? I think not.

This is not okay.

Because of social media and the internet our daughters are inevitably going to learn the harsh realization that the vast majority of this world see women as a sexual object instead of a person. So why rush that? Social media and the internet has been the the largest contributor to women obtaining eating disorders, depression, and the need for plastic surgery. I read this article on the effects of this sexualized culture and this statement really spoke to me; “if we can change what girls see early on, we can change how they feel about themselves later in life.” It really gives you something to think about.

If children are raised to value beauty, how are they suppose to ever be comfortable in their own skin? I wasn’t raised that way. I wasn’t put into pageants and these grown up dance classes. Thankfully I was put into several different sports. I grew up playing rough and tough with the boys in dirt. Playing video games. That sorts of stuff. It wasn’t till middle school that I started realizing a change in what was normal to me. Suddenly it wasn’t “cool” to be getting dirty with a contact ball. The girls I were around started experimenting with make up and talking about the thong they stole from an older sibling and boys began flocking to them. Suddenly none of my friends that were boys were interested in me because I wasn’t pretty. That is when I became aware of the standards set by media. And it just gets worse from there.

Teen years in high school is when the sexualizing became a huge problem. This is when media really began to hit hard. Now everyone has been exposed  to what the media deems a perfect girl should look like. She needs big breast, big butt, tiny waist, long legs, make-up, and clothing that shows this all off. In high school I had a tiny waist and flat stomach, lacking in everything else. I had friends starving themselves, cutting themselves, and emotionally troubled because they couldn’t look like the girls on t.v. I have, and still do struggle with accepting that “perfect” girl will NEVER be me. I have worn make-up to make my face more “socially acceptable.” I have seriously considered getting major breast inductions and possibly butt implants. I’d like to inject my lips with botox, and have a perfect manicure at all times. It has really depressed me for years that unfortunately I can’t afford these things. However I have thought hard on why I feel the need to have these things and the answer I’ve found is honestly to just be what society says beauty is. It’s not for me. It’s so men will find me attractive. By men finding me attractive, I thought that I would actually feel good about myself.

Let me just say to all the possible young girls reading this, and to the ordinary girls like me, beauty does not define you! I have found a man (that I will marry some day) who has found me beautiful with a body previously marked up from having an other mans child. A body far from perfect. He has accepted my insecurities and has endlessly discovered new ways to make me see that I am beautiful the way that I am. My body may not be perfect but it’s perfect to him.

Mothers of daughters, shield her from these false expectations as long as possible. She will soon enough, feel the need to look like a Kardashian. But for now, let her be a kid. Don’t rush it.

Bullies Accountable

I know that some of my friends have already seen this video as it has been passed around on Facebook. If you have not seen it, I STRONGLY encourage you to watch all seven minutes of it.

This is Daniel Briggs. For nine years of his school career he was bullied and taunted for being different. By that I mean having different interest than most kids. He enjoyed hunting and trapping which was something kids at his school weren’t particularly in to. He was kind and always helped others when he could. But he truly suffered from the daily bullying and taunting from the other kids. When it first started he would tell his parents and they of course would take it straight to the school officials. From there a kid would get suspended or minor consequences here and there but it also gave the bullies more to play off of. From there he was called a baby for running to his parents. At that point what good is it to tell anyone? What good could come from asking for help?

On Daniels last day on earth, he received a text message from an other student that read

  “Why don’t you take one of your precious guns and do the world a favor and go kill yourself.”

Daniel responded with,  “You won’t have to worry about me anymore, I’m going to go home and kill myself.”

The bully replied,  “put up or shut up.”

Take a moment to let that sink in.

That day Daniel went around school and made comments to students, teachers, and even his bus driver that he was not going to be around any longer. His parents were at his brothers basketball game so he knew he’d be alone. He made one last call to his best friend. His friend kept him on the phone as long as possible and in the mean time had his parents in a desperate race to notify his parents to help him but in the end they were too late.

His death was an effect of bullying.

This mothers story is heart wrenching and no mother should have to grieve over something so preventable! Currently she has a lawsuit out on the school, Thousand Island Central, and many officials for the death of her son. Click Here to see how the officials have fought against the lawsuit. However, I think her blame is misplaced.

The child that sent that text message is 100% the reason why her son is no longer alive. I strongly believe that anyone that encourages another person to do harm to themselves should most definitely go to prison and be charged with some degree of murder. We need to hold the bullies accountable! If they cause a death by encouraging it they need to pay for it! Here you can read about a case where the girlfriend of an 18 year old boy researched and encouraged her boyfriend on how and when to kill himself. She is now facing murder charges, as she should!

If you are reading this please remember this and NEVER be the reason behind someones suffering. If you see or know of someone struggling from persistent bullying be their voice, friend, positive motivator. Anything to help them not feel like life is hopeless. If you are the parent of a child being aggressively bullied DO NOT be hesitant to remove your child from the school and enroll them in a new setting. It may seem silly to uproot your family but I’m talking about just trying a different district. I can assure you it is a much better alternative to losing your child. If you are the one contemplating suicide because of school bullying remember that this is only temporary. In a few short years you will graduate and never see those faces again. Also remember you can ALWAYS call the free suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 for nothing more than an open ear. People are available 24/7 for YOU.

 I personally have had friends that have killed themselves at young ages. I’ve seen the pain on their mothers face, and closest friends, for not seeing the pain their loved one was in. One of my biggest fears as a mother is that I will not see the hurt in my own children. And that one of them won’t know how loved they are and feel that ending their life is the answer. Logan, Amelia- If one of you ever see this, I love you my babies. Always.

Ada

Hello all!

For my first Tell a Tail Thursday I thought why not share a little about my own fur baby. This is our two year old German/retriever Ada. We got her a little over a year ago from an elderly lady that couldn’t take care of Ada and her brother any longer.

When I first met Ada I was a few month pregnant with my Daughter. I was nervous and so excited to meet her! I had always wanted a German Shepherd because they’re known for being loyal, protective, and oh so smart! As I approached her for the first time she barked and growled. At that moment I almost turned right around and passed on her. I had a three year old’s safety to think about. And a growing fetus! I paused a moment to recall a few nights prior to this moment when I laid in bed terrified because someone was banging on my front door at 3 am! I have awful anxiety problems and after that incident I decided a dog was the answer. A dog would let me know of any danger outside. A trained one would know what to do.

With that night in mind, I reach my hand out to allow her to smell me. She still gave me intimidating   warning signs to back off her territory and I wasn’t going to push her to accept me. All of a sudden my three year old son comes charging out of my car straight for this giant, aggressive dog! My heart stopped for a moment and I tried to grab him as he ran past me but I missed him.

He stood inches from her face and she immediately sat. The lady holding the leash told Logan it was okay to touch her and she licked his hand and seemed to LOVE the hug he gave her. After witnessing this I tried to approach her again. This time she got in front of Logan and gave me some warnings to back off which scared Logan and he came running into my arms.

I suppose Ada saw this and realized I was a safe person because she slowly approached me. I stood still and let her do her thing before reaching out to touch her again. She accepted my extended hand, allowing me to touch her for the first time. I was still a little uneasy about bringing her home but decided to give her a chance before her owner took her to the pound.

I brought her home and she fit right in! This was her first night home. 936085_10153080075052154_3456740180722264265_n

Ada and my son curled up on the couch. Those two became instant friends. Inseparable ones at that! Now getting her to accept my boyfriend was a nightmare! For WEEKS she would lose it if he got too close to me or Logan. Almost bit him twice! Of course she warmed up to him and has proved time and time again how loving and patient she really is. She stopped Logan from running into the street by knocking him over (gently of course). As I got bigger and acquired a sciatic nerve problem, she would pull me off the couch by allowing me to grasp her harness and slowly back up. And never has she ever let a stranger approach us without her/our approval.

I definitely got the perfect guard dog.  A dog that loves my family and has shown just how much she cares and appreciates us. We love you Ada!

Tell me about your furry best friend!

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