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Chicken Soup For the Anxiety-Ridden Soul

Well hello blog, it’s been a while.

Have you ever had a moment where you are laying on your bed, staring at the ceiling, and suddenly it feels as if the walls are caving in on you? You feel a tightness in your chest and your breathing becomes difficult. In other words, they are my precursors to a full blown panic attack (which I have not had in nearly a year).

When I visited my doctor last Wednesday, he was proud of the progress I have made. He says I am cognitively aware of what is making me anxious lately and that is important.

Us anxiety-ridden folk are wired differently than the average human. Here are a few things I have had on my mind:

  1. I hate myself.
  2. Well, I’m proud of the person I am, but I hate the way I look.
  3. Maybe I’ll never find someone who will understand me like I will need them to.
  4. Grownup dating sucks.
  5. I hate dating.
  6. Maybe I’ll give up dating for a while.
  7. Maybe I’ll be alone forever.
  8. I need to exercise
  9. I don’t have time to exercise
  10. Does running away from my feelings count as exercise?
  11. Or running away from my thoughts?
  12. Why can’t I sleep at night
  13. I need sleep.
  14. Work is exhausting
  15. I love my job though
  16. But I need to go back to school
  17. School is going to cost money
  18. I don’t have money
  19. My car has problems
  20. I have to pay for bills and insurance
  21. And my credit card bill makes me want to cry.
  22. Maybe I’ll be broke forever between bills, school, and student loans.
  23. Maybe I’ll volunteer to take my mind off school
  24. Volunteering is taking up all of my spare time
  25. What is spare time?
  26. I don’t have enough time to spend with my mom
  27. What if something happens to my mom just months after my dad passed away?
  28. I’m not ready to face that.
  29. I miss my dad and wish he was here for me to talk to
  30. Especially about things like my check engine light
  31. Or just here to give me a hug when I feel like my world is breaking down.
  32. I can’t breathe.
  33. I have so many things to do and I am behind in all of them
  34. And it’s the summer. Aren’t I supposed to enjoy my summer?
  35. I still can’t breathe.
  36. Okay, maybe I’ll smoke a cigarello to make me feel better.
  37. My doctor says that’s avoidance so it probably won’t help with anything
  38. I shouldn’t start smoking.
  39. I’m crying.
  40. I feel alone.
  41. I don’t know what to do with my life
  42. Or with myself
  43. Maybe laying on the floor will help
  44. My heart is racing
  45. Breathe in… breathe out.
  46. I have emails to check.
  47. I should make a to-do list.
  48. And check my agenda.
  49. I forgot to breathe.
  50. Breathe in…breathe out.

And this is only to name a few. Writing out my thoughts often help and I hate that I have stopped to take the time to do so either here or in my journal. Life isn’t easy. Growing up isn’t easy. And I am in one of the biggest transitional periods of my life. It is okay to stop and take a day or a moment just for me. It’s okay to say no to certain situations. It’s okay to feel anxious. This feeling won’t last forever.


My Worries, My Stresses

They say (and by they, I mean UberFacts) that if you write down your worries before a test, statistically, you perform better.

My first midterm of my last undergraduate year is tonight. Since it is in 38 minutes (but who’s counting?), I thought I would take a few minutes (and take a few deep breaths) to write some down.

In no particular order,

1. I worry my grades won’t be good enough for grad school.

2. I worry this test will set the tone for the rest of the semester.

3. I worry about my friends and their demons. I will write about this later.

4. I worry about being confronted in tonight’s night class about things I would rather not think about tonight.

5. I worry I won’t be able to go home as often as I would like to.

6. I worry about the health and well-being of both my parents. I wish I was home to take care of them. I wish being home to take care of them wouldn’t be an anxiety trigger.

7. I worry about my anxiety. It has been getting better just as fast as it has been getting worse.

8. I worry I will succomb to the darkness.

9. I worry that I will forget something on the test and it will completely “cascade” my mood.

^ note, cascade is in quotations as I have to know that a developmental cascade means that improvement in one area, such as processing speed, creates a waterfall effect that also improves working memory and fluid intelligence.

With that positive note, here are some positive facts about this test:

1. I know what developmental cascade is.

2. I made colourful cue cards for key terms and key concepts.

3. I made my own practice questions and am able to answer them all.

4. My breathing has slowed down.

5. I have half an hour until the test starts.

6. There are only 50 questions. I know I just have to take my time and read each question, but also get it finished in 60 minutes.

7. I can get 10 questions wrong and still get 80%.

8. I know that I tried my best so that’s all I can do. The rest is out of my control.

I will probably write a post like this for every test. It helps, surprisingly. I am already starting to feel better.

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Learning to cope with anxiety, grief, & dating in my 20s.