Tag Archives: anxiety

A Brief Break Before All Hell Breaks Loose

Even though I can no longer work I am going on a little vacation. Yay!

A couple of dear friends that I have known for 39 years have invited me to their home in the hills of North Carolina. 

No internet, no cell service, just the woods and good friends.

Although it will only be for a few days I plan on recharging my batteries fully.

I got a notice of eviction today and have 14 days to replace the carpet in my apartment or I am out of here. Funny how the manager didn’t serve me with it until she knew that I had plans to be out of town for two weeks. She has changed her tune quite a few times. Even my psychologist and case worker were taken aback by the new developments. So, my plans have changed a bit and I will be back sooner than I had planned.

Hopefully a dear friend can help me with the costs. If not, well, I don’t know what. That bridge will have to be crossed when and if I come to it. I can’t reach him until tonight, so I just have to be more nervous until then.

Right this minute I am frozen with anxiety. I still have things to do to be ready to leave tomorrow morning, so I am trying to get up and get moving. I am trying to breathe. I am playing the movie “Hot Fuzz” off of my dvr. 

Sometimes I feel like, “What more does the world want from me? Why is this happening to me?” I am kind, I help people and animals whenever possible. I don’t cause trouble. I pay my rent on time every month. Because my poor old dog left some stains on this old, worn out, indoor-outdoor carpet I may be kicked out.

But – crying woe is me won’t solve or help anything. 

I will go visit my friends, who I haven’t seen in over ten years, and allow myself to be loved and have real conversations and drink in the mountain air. 

And when I get back I will deal with the situation and with that mean-spirited bully of a manager. That is what she is, pure and simple, a bully. As soon as I told her that I needed my case worker to be with me when she was telling me these things she slammed the phone down and decided to just evict me. Also, to bully a person with a severe mental illness takes a certain kind of shit for a soul.

I am taking pen and paper with me to note specifics during my time in the mountains to share them with you on my return.

Please wish me luck.


Happy Monday And Meditation

Even though today is Monday, I am having a pretty good day.

On Friday I got a call from the apartment manager who told me that I don’t have to worry about changing my carpet until after April first. So the heat is off about that, at least for a couple of weeks.

Last week I finally got to go and get my little dog’s ashes from the vet’s office, so he is home again, in a way. Just having the dark wooden box sitting on my shelf makes me feel better. Makes me feel that he is close to me.

This morning I started an awesome 21 day meditation experience with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. I don’t meditate often but this will give me an opportunity to have a guided meditation every morning. Today I felt more relaxed and confident after doing it. And my coffee has awakened me without the anxiety that most often comes with drinking it. The experience is free and I recommend doing it as an introduction to meditation or as a fun thing to do if you currently meditate.

The meditation got me interested in the greeting/farewell of Namaste. You can learn more about it here. I like the fact that it is acknowledging that in each of us there is the spiritually divine.

I have noticed that some Facebook friends end their posts and comments with “Peace and Love. Namaste.” Who can argue that peace and love is not a concept to strive for? Just the thought is calming.

I hope your Monday is going as well as mine. I can only hope to continue feeling good. Usually I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sometimes it does, but for today I am just trying not to think about it.

Do you practice meditation? Has it helped you deal with your anxiety or depression?


Hard Days And What To Do With Them

Well it has been a yucky couple of days.

My apartment is not spotless. I am a hoarder by nature and it is hard for me to let things go. My back and neck sometimes hurt me so much that I can barely move, so cleaning is an all day event with lots of rest breaks. My home is messy, but NOT dirty.

Yet when the exterminator, who comes once a month, came to my door yesterday he said it was too dirty. My kitchen was spotless, but it is so small that you can barely see the counter for my appliances – coffee maker, toaster, microwave and the like. My coffee table and dining table were cluttered. This is a small one bedroom apartment with one big room for the living/dining area and a tiny alcove kitchen so you see all this from the doorway.

When he left I called my wonderful case worker, R., and cried to him in a tizzy. He reassured me and said he would be here first thing today. Well, he came by this morning and said that all was okay, just do some decluttering, and he went to talk to the apartment manager for me. End result is she is coming this afternoon to see the apartment first hand. I am very nervous.

But what I am not is a wreck. I had my coffee this morning and it didn’t turn into a panic attack. My little meds must be in there working overtime. I am on edge, but not over the edge.

I began to wonder why I am not a basket case. I have come up with a few things that are helping me to keep a panic attack at bay..

  1. I can only worry so much. My mindset today is that I need to wait to see exactly what there is to worry about before I commit more time to it.
  2. If a panic attack starts I can do my best to squash it in it’s tracks by taking a few deep, controlled breaths. In through the nose and hold and out through the mouth. This often works to center my mind on something else besides the circles it wants to run.
  3. I accept that I cannot control everything, so I will do my best at the things that I can control, like making sure the apartment is cleaned and vacuumed and dusted.
  4. I was able to talk with a professional – my case worker. He is expert at allaying my fears, giving me something else to concentrate on besides impending doom. And his promise to help no matter what comes of it is one that I can rely on.
  5. There is TV. Yay! I chose The World’s End to watch. It is the last movie of the Cornetto Trilogy. And now I will have Shaun of the Dead, the first of the three, on while I compose this and wait for the manager to come. For one, there is the humorous nature of the movies – they make me laugh. Second, I have seen them so many times that they can be on in the background and I can still follow along. Humor is a great blessing all the time, but especially when you are stressed out.
  6. I am trying to see the positive in the situation. This will give me the boost I need to clear out some boxes I have been saving (for what, I don’t know) and get my closets cleaned out.
  7. I am writing this post to perhaps give someone else ideas on how to deal with their own struggle. In trying to help someone else, I am making myself feel better. So thank you for being there.

I found the quote by Andy Warhol to be helpful today. In the end, so what.

So what if I have to do a deep clean? So what if I have to pay to have the carpets cleaned? So what if I have to have people come in and help me?

I am not meaning it in a snooty way, just saying that in the end all these things are doable, so why worry about them until they have to happen.

If you are having a hard day I hope one of my suggestions will help you. Please let me know of something I might have left out that would be helpful. What do you do to deal with your hard days?

The Paper Situation

I struggle with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety. When I don’t sleep, my anxiety goes through the roof and it starts me on a downward spiral into depression.

I have new meds now, and I can fall asleep. But I have another problem.

I started getting the local newspaper. Since I live in an apartment building, the carrier leaves it propped against my door. There has never been a problem, until now.

One of my little pleasures is sitting down with the Sunday paper and a cup of coffee and spending a couple of hours reading it all, going through the sale circulars and everything.

Well, I noticed that my Sunday paper had been read already. The sections were folded and crinkled and the whole thing was just stacked up, not one inside the other like a new paper. My coupons weren’t in there.

Someone was stealing my paper then putting it back after having read it.

My psychiatrist told me to call and ask that the carrier knock when they dropped off my paper. I did that.

The very next Sunday I got up when the carrier knocked and opened my door to see my neighbor across the hall reaching for my paper.

I have repeatedly gone to her door to ask her not to steal my paper anymore, but she will not answer my knocks.

Today a friend suggested that I offer to let her read the paper when I am done with it. That way I could let go of this stressful situation and go back to sleeping through the night (hopefully). But when I knocked on her door to offer this solution, she didn’t answer. Of course, today she could have been at church. She goes to church every Sunday, dressed in her finest. After stealing my paper.

So for now I will continue to be awakened at 4:00 so that I can foil a thief. My stress level will remain high and my health will suffer.

I think, though, that I will take my social worker up on his offer to go to the office for me. There are cameras in all the halls, so the theft would be recorded. She will be given a written warning. I will see how I feel after one more week.

Sorry to be a downer today. I have just had enough.

What would you do in my situation?

A Gratitude Break

I am so very grateful that I can write. I can express what I am going through and, once it is out there, it allows me to examine my feelings more thoroughly. And I am even more grateful to you for reading what I have written and giving me feedback.

There is still a stupid social stigma associated with mental illness. I hope that by writing about what I go through you may realize that you are not alone. There are others out there who know exactly how you feel. Sometimes the difficulty is in finding those people.

I am grateful that I have access to health care when so many do not. While I don’t like the fact that I have to rely on pharmaceuticals to balance my brain chemistry, I am grateful to have them. And the wonderful doctors and other members of my care team are so quick to respond when anything changes.

Much of the time I feel anxious but otherwise okay. For those times when I don’t, I am thankful that help is only a phone call away.

Since I write about a myriad of subjects, I am always on the lookout for inspiration. Anything that can draw my attention is fair game. Did you know that today is National Men Make Dinner Day? No? Well, now you do. I found out myself only a couple of days ago.

But what I like to write about the most are the everyday occurrences that many people may pass by without noticing.

  1. When the cool autumn breeze lightly brushes your face just right and makes you notice the changing leaves for the first time this year.
  2. When the kitty has just given herself a bath and feels extra fluffy and soft.
  3. When that first sip of coffee is just exquisite.
  4. When your hands are warmed by the mug of hot chocolate someone fixed for you when you returned from a walk outdoors in the winter.
  5. When you have washed the last dirty dish and you turn and there are not dirty pots and pans on the stove.

What does your writing do for you that makes you grateful for the ability?

Do you want to suggest something that you wish I would write about?

No Sleep For Me

I am going on very little sleep for a week and a half now.

My meds are being adjusted. When I started having trouble falling and staying asleep, yet wanting to just stay in bed all day, I got myself right to my doctors.

I struggle with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety. From miles away I can feel differences in my depressed state and I have to act quickly. Otherwise I could end up spending a month in bed and that’s just no good.

Usually my Audible.com books on my iPod will do the trick. I will drift off listening to the soothing works of Stephen King or Robert R. McCammon. Weird choices for bedtime stories, I know, but I find them soothing.

When I am sleep-deprived like this, I tend to have a certain poem rattle around in my noggin. It is Antigonish by William Hughes Mearns. I first heard it in the movieIdentity when a portion of it was uttered by Pruitt Taylor Vince.

Here is the poem:

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away...

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door... (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away...

I suppose that the reason that I enjoy the poem so much is because in times of stress and fatigue I have been known to see things just in the corner of my eye. Fleeting images. Real, or not? Repeating the poem grounds me. Soothes me. I am grateful for it.
Do you have a poem or snippet of prose that you can turn to for comfort?
Well, here is to hoping that the soothing narration of King’s The Tommyknockers lulls me to sleep tonight.
And in the meantime, “Yesterday, upon the stair…”.


Time And Again

I am guessing that everyone that should have has already turned their clocks back one hour.

And that means that the clock in my kitchen and the clock in my car are now correct again.

Why don’t I just take the few minutes it would take to set those clocks correctly every six months? That is another thing that my depression and anxiety do, they fill my head with “laters”. I can always do it later, do it next time, do it tomorrow.

Then there are the times my brain tells me that if I DO do something, then something bad will happen. If I change the clock in the car, then the car will stop working. If I turn back the kitchen clock, it will break.

Such is the joy of depression and anxiety thrown together. Time and again I tell myself that I will push those “laters” and “ifs” out of my head and do what I really want to do. But they always pop back in.

The only time I can do exactly what is needed is when I am caring for my pets. They force me to be in the here and now. Time and again they ground me when I am anxious and give me a reason to get out of bed when I am depressed.

Do you have thoughts that keep you from doing the simplest of tasks?

Do you have pets that act as your therapy?