about me

Anxiety? What Anxiety?


It's on a day like today when I realize I've successfully completed another semester of college that I wonder how I've struggled so much in the past. Things since August have been wonderful. So wonderful that sometimes, I forget that I have an anxiety disorder.

I have never felt this good.
Ever.

-Three years, most of it spent being miserable.
-Therapy every two weeks for almost three years.
-Finishing high school through the county's homeschooling program.
-Five different medications.
-A week in the psychiatric ward.
-Three psychiatrists.
-Having to take a semester off from college.

^^^ That's what it took for me to get to this point. A lot of that was not enjoyable in the least. Switching medications and then having to adjust to a new one is terrible sometimes. Not to mention the side effects. (Hello, week-long stay in the psychiatric ward.)

But that's not the point of this post. I'm writing this because I had to go through all of that to get to this point. Today. A time in my life where I've never been happier. I'm on a medication that (in combination with therapy) makes me forget I even have anxiety. That is one of the best feelings in the world.

Since August, I can count all of my panic attacks on one hand and the number of minutes they lasted on one hand as well. If that isn't an accomplishment, I don't know what is. Especially considering my attacks used to last all day long, every day to the week.

So today, I'm celebrating.

I'm celebrating every day this year without a panic attack. I'm doing a happy dance for not missing a single day this semester due to anxiety. I'm singing as loud as I can to my favorite tunes because every day I don't think about anxiety is considered success. I'm celebrating that I easily survived a semester of school and I'm looking forward to the next one. I'm screaming, jumping, and looking a little crazy because I'm in control of my life now. Anxiety doesn't hold me back anymore.

Is my fight over?
No.

Is there a chance that I'll lose control again?
Of course.

Am I worried?
Not in the least.

I can finish school.

I can sit in a quiet classroom with little anxiety.

I can do all those things that produce my anxiety with a little effort instead of a lot of extra effort.

I can do whatever I dream of.

Because I can control my anxiety.

If these past few months have taught me anything, it's that. If I can make it through a semester as I did with this one, then my anxiety is no match for me. I'm prepared to fight, if need be. I have a Plan B and a Plan C. So, no, I'm not worried about it returning later because I know that I can control it.

My Top Ten Favorite Songs of All Time

Today, I was singing (badly) at the top of my lungs to some of my favorite songs and it got me thinking about my top ten favorites of all time. So I made a list and I figured I would share that with y'all. These are the songs that I would choose if I had to listen to only ten songs for the rest of my life. These are the songs that always make me feel better and these are the songs that I am always in the mood to listen to. (All the links will take you to YouTube to a music video.)

In no particular order:

  • When a Man Loves a Woman - Michael Bolton. I have this one and the Percy Sledge version on my iTunes. While I listen to them both, Michael Bolton's is my favorite. To get my fix when I'm driving, sometimes I'll put it on repeat for the entire trip.
  • Simple Man - Shinedown. I know there is the Lynyrd Skynrd version, but I love Shinedown's so much more. Usually when I listen to this song, the volume is up as loud as it will go and it plays about three times before I'll move on to the next song.
  • (God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You - *NSYNC. I grew up listening to these boys and this is the main song that stuck around all these years later. I love, love, love this song.
  • Lean on Me - Bill Withers. I mean, really. Who doesn't love this song? 
  • Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson. I feel bad for whoever is near me when this song comes on. I sing so terribly loud and I can't sing. At all. This is one of my top lifts-my-mood songs too.
  • Let's Stay Together - Al Green. This is close second behind the Michael Bolton song in terms of old songs. I have to play this one at least twice before moving on.
  • Back to One - Mark Wills. Close your eyes and listen to it. *happy sigh*
  • I'll Follow You - Shinedown. Another Shinedown song made the list. This isn't a surprise because they are my favorite band. I turn the volume up and belt out all the words. 
  • I'll Be There - Jackson 5. I always liked this song, but in the 7th grade, I had a teacher who would play music similar to this every day before he started his lecture. Every time I heard it, I fell more and more in love with it and now it's on my top ten of all time!
  • Lips of an Angel - Hinder. Thanks to my sister, this song has made the list. It makes me want to sing, sing loud, and it doesn't matter who hears me. This has been a favorite of mine since the first time I heard it.
There you go! Those are my top ten favorite songs of all time. Are any of these on your list too? What songs would make your list?

An Anxiety-Related Update (Warning: Long Post Ahead)

It's been a while since I've posted an update on myself and my anxiety. That's mostly because I'm in one of those good periods where my anxiety is low. I've been doing well. It's been a good few months with this period and when I realized this, my anxiety flared a little. It's like when you realize things have been going well and it seems a little too good to be true so you start waiting for the pen to drop.

That's where I'm at right now. One sign of my anxiety rising is having trouble sleeping. None of that, thank goodness. However, another sign is that I have a reading/writing slump. The last time I read a book was July 12th, which was a little over two weeks ago. Writing has been a bit of a struggle as well. Some scenes that shouldn't take long to write are taking forever. Why? Because most of the time, my mind goes blank and I stare at the screen until I can get my thoughts together long enough to write another paragraph. Then my mind blanks again. Sometimes, I even stop mid-sentence.

Talk about frustrating. Especially when I have a goal that I would like to meet this year. Part of me is pretty sure that these little signs are due to the never-failing reason behind 96% of my anxiety.

School.

It's almost August and I register on the 13th and start on the 19th. I'm still pretty excited to be going back. I'm ready for the work, the routine, the stability of knowing what I will be doing two days of every week while doing the rest online. I am a little worried about how taking 7 classes (3 face-to-face, 4 online) will interfere with my writing time. Like I said, I have goals I want to meet.

That's my biggest worry at the moment. I'm feeling good about the classes at campus because my BFF will be in those classes too. I'm not the least bit concerned about the online classes. Nevertheless, the process has started once more. I'm not reading and my writing is a constant struggle lately.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before, but those two things are crucial to my everyday life. Both are therapeutic escapes that I need, especially in regards to my anxiety. If I'm not doing either, then my anxiety is not in a good place and there is a good chance that I'm on the train to Crazy Town.

For now, I'm happy that I'm aware of the little changes that I need to keep an eye on and I'm going to push myself to read a little and keep writing. Once I really get going, then it won't be such a struggle and I'll be happier.

These posts are always so long, but I wanted to write an update, especially since it's been a while since my last one. Until next time, happy reading y'all!

I Use "Um" Instead of Names

I don't know why or how I came to realize this, but here's a post where you can learn something about me that you didn't know. When I'm around people that I've just met or that I'm not around all the time, I avoid saying their name. I will start my sentence with "um" to keep from saying their name. Why? Well, I have this irrational fear that I may either say the wrong name or mispronounce the name. It's crazy, I know, but it doesn't stop me from doing it.

For example, my BFF has been my BFF for almost 11 years. I've never said her grandparents name in front of her grandparents or to her grandparents. Being friends for 11 years means that I've been around her family quite a bit, especially with how I almost always go with her to visit them. It never fails though. I'll say their name or her and the rest of her family, but if I have to ask them a question or anything, I'll say, "Um, can I...?"

Yes, I know what their name is. Yes, I can easily pronounce it. No, I won't say their name out loud around them. I even do this for a period of time when I get new teachers. It's weird, right? I worry about the oddest things, I swear. There are a couple of other stuff that I have weird reactions too, but I won't get into that today. One admission is good for now, don't you think?

That's my story on how I use "um" instead of names. Do you have irrational, seemingly silly fears? Do you have a way of getting around it? Let's hear it!

When I Need Inspiration I...

Inspiration is hard to come by sometimes. I have a couple of different techniques to help me become inspired. Today, I'm going to share those with you.

  • Listen to music. Pretty much any kind of music. My favorites range from country to R&B to rap to rock to the oldies.
  • My family. Sometimes, I get inspired by what is happening in our lives.
  • Reading. This should be first. Reading is the best way to get inspired. When I read a wonderful book, motivation sets in and I'm off to my laptop.
  • Quotes. Quotes are a fantastic source of inspiration. They really get my mind going.
  • Pictures. What a great way to wonder what the story is behind a picture and then creating it.
These are my top five resources for inspiration. What inspires you?

Bad Habits-Everybody has some.

Today, I'm talking about bad habits. Everybody has at least one bad habit. Emily, Jake, Drake, Mike, and myself are here today to share our bad habits. Feel free to share your bad habits too!

Lindsay
  • Procrastination. -When it comes to school, I put the pro in procrastination.
  • Impulsive. -Sometimes, I have these impulsive sprees. It's like a shopping spree, but worse. Thinking things through can be a tough task sometimes!
  • What my Dad said: Not keeping my clothes put up. (Lame!)
  • What My Momma said: "I don't know where to start!" Haha, thanks Momma.
Emily
Hi everyone! When someone asks about your bad habits, it's hard to come up with some. Here are the ones I have (and a couple of Jake's too!)
  • One of my bad habits is that sometimes, I care too much about what others think.
  • I'm scared to speak my mind when it matters most.
  • I try to handle things on my own instead of asking for help when I need it.
Enough about me. Let's talk about some of Jake's bad habits that really irritate me sometimes.
  • He can be hard to talk to sometimes.
  • The littlest things can make him jealous. Who knew he was the jealous type?
  • Oh, who am I kidding? I love all of his habits- good or bad.
Jake
Such kind words, Sweetness. Thanks. :) I'll work on those habits. I, on the other hand, will not list any of Emily's habits. I'm just that nice. (That probably made Sweetness smile.) Let's see...my bad habits?
  • Occasionally, I get my priorities mixed up.
  • I take Sweetness for granted too much. (Thanks for all you do Sweetness!)
  • I have to agree with Emily. Sometimes, I talk when I should keep my mouth shut and listen.
  • I don't always handle things as I should.
Drake
Someone thinks I have bad habits? What?! I don't think I have any bad habits.

Jake
I can list some for you.
  • Talks too much.
  • Way too hyper early in the morning.
Shall I continue?

Drake
Those aren't bad habits. Those are just things that make me Drake. :p

Mike
  • Emily is my baby girl. I have to admit that pretty much let her do whatever she wants. I have a hard time saying no to my little girl. That's my biggest bad habit.
Lindsay
Well, I hope you enjoyed everyone sharing their bad habits. Except for Drake that is. :) What are some of your bad habits? Do you share any with us? Please share!

Emily and Lindsay Comparisons

Some writers will tell you that there is always a little bit of themselves in their characters. I have to agree with that. Some writers will also tell you to write what you know. That is something I can't argue with. Therefore, I thought this would make an interesting post. Below, I'm going to list the characteristics that are common between myself and Emily.

-Anxiety. Emily suffers from just a little bit of anxiety from the abuse she suffered from her mother. I also have anxiety, but mine is more severe than Emily's. There will be a book with a character like myself this coming year hopefully.

-Our love of hockey and Sidney Crosby. I love going to hockey games and I love Sidney Crosby. A lot of Emily's opinions of Crosby are my own. Emily seems more of a fanatic though.

-Looks. Emily looks a bit like myself in terms of eye color and hair color. Hence, why I am on the cover of my book.

-Ice Cream- In Sweetness, Emily goes to Dairy Queen and orders a banana split. It is Emily's favorite as well as my own. However, I'm not as big of a fan of Cold Stone as Emily. Why? Because their servings are too big for me! Emily's favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry's (Chunky Monkey) is also my favorite.

Those are a few things that Emily and myself have in common. What do you have in common with Emily?

10 Random Facts about me

Today, I'm sharing 10 very random facts about myself. Enjoy!

1. When my future husband proposes, I hope he buys the ring from Jared's because thanks to those commercials, I've always wanted to hold my hand up and say, "He went to Jared's!!!"

2. I love riding in the car alone. Most people (that I know) rather have a riding buddy. Me? I rather be alone because when my favorite song comes on, I don't have someone turning it down so they can tell me something. They never wait until the song is over. That's the main reason why I like driving alone.

3. I am homebound due to my anxiety issues.

4. If you look at my room, you may see chaos. I see an organized mess.

5. I love quotes. It's always a good day when I find a quote to add to my list on Goodreads.

6. Sometimes when I'm tweeting, I feel as if it's only because it's my way of talking to myself without appearing weird.

7. I've been an aunt since I was five years old.

8. I've been on a 9 day trip to Costa Rica.

9. While shots/drawing blood doesn't bother me mentally, I'll faint anyway.

10. I really, really, really want to go to England.