Sunday, September 02, 2012

Nervous, Revisited

It's been a long time since we last left off, and I can't say I have a great reason for that. I'm still nervous and awkward, and I still want to write about that and other things in my little world. Unfortunately, I think I have this tendency to retreat into my own... silent self-crapulence when I most need to communicate.

Well, then. What's the haps with the craps?

I woke up early this morning with a panic attack. I seem to have two kinds of panic attacks: one is brought on by an acutely distressing situation and/or spiraling thoughts that lead to a physical response, the other seems to happen more like an aftershock - I get a more unexpected onset of the physical panic symptoms that I don't seem to have consciously triggered. But usually there is a lurking issue that's weighing on me and it seems to be my body's way of saying "hey, there's something you need to address!" The one this morning seemed to be more of the latter. (Which, side note: perhaps I'm a bit slow but I find myself always having to pause and re-read when writers use the former/latter bit and tend to get annoyed if it's used too much. Umm derr... the latter is the later choice right? Shit, what were those options again?) Anyway. Panic! It's a bad way to wake up! Was this a roundabout way of saying that something is troubling me? Well yes, yes it was. But I'll get to that in a minute.

I have to take a moment to give a shout-out to Xanax. I know it seems practically cliche, and I'm sure it can be overused and some people tut-tut it the same way they do with Prozac, etc. But let me tell you. While I've been addressing my depression with medication for years, it took the impending trip to Spain last year to ask my doctor if there was anything I could do in case I had one of my panic attacks. I don't know why I felt like I had to have a big enough reason - flying, leaving the country for the first time - to ask for help with the panic attacks that I've had going back to my pre-teen years. (Not constantly though, which is I guess part of why I didn't address it sooner.) And the Xanax does make a big difference. The thing is, almost a year later I still have the same one-time prescription bottle and while I have had to take them on a few occasions, it's mostly having them that has helped a lot. Just knowing that there is SOMETHING I can take that will help slow things down, that will help me to not feel like my heart will pound right out of my chest and that death is imminent (which, when your mind is already looping with thoughts of death/helplessness and then you physically start to feel like you are maybe going to actually die RIGHT NOW is just a cruel awful experience.) So, Xanax - it can help.

The nagging issue that's been troubling me is of the what-the-hell-do-I-do-with-my-life? variety. And the why-didn't-I-figure-something-ANYTHING-out-years-ago variety. There have been issues at work that are not sitting well with me, and while that's not exactly new, it's been feeling more soul-sucking than ever. And a recent unfortunate inappropriate incident has me all fight-or-flighty. BUT. With the amount of jobs there aren't and with the amount of skills/prerequisites I don't have... it seems like a luxury to say "wah wah, I don't want to bide my time working for a company that I don't believe in and at times makes my stomach turn while I wait half-hoping that the company will implode and/or people will get a taste of their own douchebaggery." But maybe that's just how most people feel about their jobs from time to time. Not that it should be. Ugh.

For some reason, one of the things that cheers/calms me these days is watching The Bob Newhart Show or The Mary Tyler Moore Show on hulu. Sometimes there's an odd comfort in older comedy shows that have a live studio audience, especially if one is feeling lonely/distraught at night. It's the little things, you know?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So I went to Spain...

and made it back! It was overall fantastico. We just got in the night before last, so I'm still feeling a little off but not too bad. Glad to be home to see family and the kitties (they've had a lot to say since we got back - mostly talking to us during the wee hours of the morning), but feeling a little bit of the letdown/back to regular boring work and stuff blah blah.

You guys, I had never seen mountains in person before. Never been able to dip my toes in an actual sea and not just a lake. Hadn't been in another country. So much new stuff! It was a bit daunting at times, but mostly I think I did alright and had minimal freak-outs. J was a wonderful travel companion, encouraging me and just being great. I'm glad he had been there before so at least one of us knew what to expect and where to go.

This is the rooftop view from the first hotel we stayed in (would've stayed more than 2 nights if it had been available!) It wasn't like a traditional hotel but several different buildings, each with rooftop terraces where they serve you breakfast in the morning. We had jamón sandwiches, fresh fruit and yogurt, muffins, and nice strong coffee. All of it was very good, but even if the food hadn't been great, the service and the view are excellent. (Hmm, this is sort of sounding like a review. Maybe I should hop over to TripAdvisor to share my comments, as that's where I did a lot of reading up on things before this trip.)

So I'm posting this a little later than planned and will put more pictures and stuff in the next post. Still getting back on track. Today is what? Friday?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Holy frijoles

Oh man, if I actually wrote as much as I thought about writing... well, I would've written some damn things by now, wouldn't I?

There certainly has been no shortage in the nervousness department or the uh, thinking department. The doing? Well, not so much. But I'm working on it.

The really good news is that J and I are going to Spain. We'll be in a lovely little town in the Costa del Sol for a little over a week, and then in Madrid for a couple of days before we fly back home. The bad... well, not really bad but the extreme worries are:
  • Holy shit, we leave in a week! Not ready! 
  • I have only flown once in my life, and that was just under 20 years ago.
  • I'm trying to refresh myself on as much Spanish as I can, which I think will be helpful even though there will most likely be a lot of English-speaking people there. But still, I'm worried that I will make an ass out of myself, get lost, accidentally order us 100 euros worth of pig ears, reinforce the "typical American" stereotype? I don't know, etc. 
  • What frickin shoes do I bring? And my clothes? I hate almost everything I own. 
  • Will our cats be okay? (Well, I mean - we're not leaving them to fend for themselves, but they will have a lot more alone time between check-ins.)
  •  What if we miss a flight? What if TSA takes my nervous/awkwardness as trying to hide something? What if, what if, what if? 
Then again, what if... this ends up being a big ol' facing of a whole bunch of fears that in the end, gives me a boost in confidence? I'm certainly not saying this isn't an awesome opportunity - the odds are stacked towards having a great time. I'm just a mix of excited and terrified! Iieeeee!

      Friday, March 18, 2011


      Had another one of those dreams last night that I realize I've had over and over, just with slight variations. Sort of along the lines of those dreams where you need to run but can't. This is the one where the bad guys are getting closer and closer, and there's no time to escape but you still try to hide - with varied results. Usually the only place to hide in is a laughably weak hideout, like behind a curtain but the outline of a body is obvious or your feet are sticking out. But you just stay still and hold your breath and hope that if you keep thinking "I'm invisible, I'm invisible" that maybe you somehow will be. But at the same time, you're just bracing yourself for getting shot or worse. I assume that's fueled by a combo of feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and replaying something that happens in movies all the time.

      Then again, I also had some dream last night where I asked Gwyneth Paltrow if she knew all the words to all the Coldplay songs. (Of course she does.) I think my mind likes to throw me a freebie sometimes to lighten things up.

      So, I'm feeling grumbly about family visits. In theory it sounds like a good happy time, and I do care about my family - but the closer it gets the more I feel my guts clench up and find myself wanting to toss the phone across the room whenever it rings. My dad has a tendency to be somewhat spontaneous with his visits, which drives me up the wall. But this time, I've had the whole week to plan on him visiting this weekend. I've been in a pretty foul mood this last week too, which means I've prepared for his visit in the worst way possible - by replaying everything that made me irritated and uncomfortable from the last visit. (I'm sorry, I have to get this off my chest here: He had said around noon that he and my brother would come over after lunch and that maybe we could watch a movie and have dinner, which was fine. Except that it was like 6 or 7 hours later (that we're waiting around not eating dinner and wondering what's going on) that he finally called and said "yeah, we decided to just go see a movie and I shut my phone off. I think we'll just call it a night and see you tomorrow." The next day we were all getting together at my mom's, and I called and let her know I was running late, but still he greeted me at the door with this miffed expression and "What, did you get lost?" and then since my almosthusband hadn't come along, he wouldn't let that drop and said "So is he intimidated by us?" Which, the nerve! Also not winning any points was that at some point I was standing in the kitchen talking to my mom, and he came up and just kept squeezing my sides/love handles. Cringe. I know, these are all things that perhaps a typical family does. But we are not that type of family. I feel sad from an objective point of view: this dad that wishes his family was a certain way and so he just pretends it is, while not seeing the reality. But we don't have the type of relationship where it's cool with me if he just shows up whenever, and we may hug but we're not like, affectionate. The way a typical dad would tease his daughter or give dadly advice is for people that are/were a lot closer. I feel bad that we aren't closer, but in this situation it just feels like boundaries are being crossed, and it has the effect of me wanting to create more distance. And I don't help either. When I'm with him, I'm thinking "I forgive you for acting that way, you must not realize how it comes across" but then obviously from all that I've just written - I stew on it and am angry about it afterward.)

      It will probably be fine and I'm just dwelling on the bad stuff like I usually do. But still, part of me wants to quick make other plans. Or run away.

      Thursday, March 03, 2011

      Just write

      I still haven't figured out what you're supposed to do when all the feelings feel like too much. When none of the quiet music or deep breaths feel particularly soothing and the blood pressure headache starts to build up behind the eyes. When part of me wants to crumble into tears, and part of me is too full of rage to sit still. I am not one to purposely break things, but in my head there's a build-up that shattering all our dinner plates could only start to release. Trying to explain what's going on feels like a bad dream - you're trying to convey something serious, but people only respond as if you're saying something both ridiculous and hilarious. I hate that even to me, it feels so serious at the time until the feeling just runs it's course. The only way I feel I can explain to most people is that I'm not well. Notice: I am not well and as such will be unable to take visitors or be in the vicinity of the general public until further notice. So, carry on, then. I'm sick, but not in a way that's really acceptable or has a simple explanation. Oh shit, it's probably just a chemical imbalance, the stupid change in hormones. Well, I guess that is a simple explanation, but not one I can give to everyone and expect to be met with understanding and acceptance.

      Tuesday, December 21, 2010

      It just is what it is, isn't it

      I realize I may be stating the obvious here, but doesn't it kind of seem like the pressure of Must!Be!Joyful! this time of year is what makes people unhappy? I know it's different for everyone, and I certainly don't mean to say that anyone who does feel the joy should cram it or anything like that. It just seems like anything that can involve such high expectations of happiness and togetherness inherently has a big risk of sadness and disappointment built in.

      I'm realizing that as much as I can come off as "bah, screw the holidays", I have this internal struggle going on with not wanting to care while also building up unrealistic expectations of myself and others. I do want things to be special, but feel like I can't make that happen. I feel like things are expected from me that are not. No one is telling me that I have to do it all, or any of it, but I have a guilty nagging feeling that I should. I feel like less of a person for not having or making some brilliant decorations, for not doing even a quarter of what my mom would do and still being overwhelmed by it all. It would be easier to care less. Maybe I am just as caught up in the whole "Oh, that's what the holidays SHOULD be" as the people that I find annoying. But like most things that matter, I have a hard time balancing importance with just setting it up to be a big old display of failure.

      On another note, I know it's generally not recommended to put your expectations on other people, but at the very least couldn't people just try to be more considerate and a little less shitty towards each other, for a little while?

      And another note, I really wish I had some paid vacation time.

      Monday, December 13, 2010


      Found this picture from one of this past summer's zoo trips. My AlmostHusband calls this one "Bear Court is now in session" which is probably a better caption than mine: "Anyone else smell bear crap?"

      Or: "Hey look, I'm bearly in focus!"