Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Have Courage and Be Kind

(WARNING!: Grey's Anatomy current season spoiler alert below)

Right now my brain is racing, there's so much I want to share but my thoughts are so scrambled. They go from being coherent and flowing perfectly until I get to the conclusion and then it's chaos again. I finally said enough is enough I need to get back to writing. I'm having more conversations with people than ever before thanks to Whatsapp and it makes me miss out on the writing and saving part of my blogging process. My ideas however unique to me and my experience are still blog worthy because I think life is about change, growth and entering new phases, and while whatever I'm saying to you right now might be insignificant to you, one day, maybe years later you might remember me and think, I finally understand what that crazy chic was always babbling about in her random thoughts and strange indirect conflicts. For the record I'm a damaged person. I have a lot going on personally. The darkness seems to creep back in even when I thought I resolved a lot of issues years ago, so let me start from the beginning of last month.

I think there are moments in life that pass us all by and we turn out however the hell we do and we don't know why. We are who we are, characterized by a bunch of positive and negative adjectives. One day everything will be one giant puzzle that finally comes together if you're lucky and hopefully it will start to make sense and you can accept it, get over your fears from it, and face new challenges with a positive attitude.

Last month, I was going through some changes. Physically and mentally I was drained, nothing health concerning but my emotions were on overdrive because my husband recently got a promotion at work that caused him to have to travel abroad to England. Any time that he has to leave causes me stress because it's hard being apart. It's simple as that. You don't have to understand it, it's just how it is for us. We live apart from the world. It's like we're in our own world because we like it that way. It's a beautiful, calm, peaceful place, secluded from the pollution of the outside world... Not everybody experiences things the same and feels things as strongly as we do.  I was invited by a family member go spend some time down south. Staying home meant being miserable until he got back, and even though we were calling each-other and face-timing it was definitely hard knowing how far we were from each other as physically affectionate as we are and the five hour time difference made it that much harder. So I decided to go, because I needed to do this for me and the girls, it was a fun distraction the kids needed. All day they were moping around saying "I miss dad, why does he have to go to England?" Now before going forward, this was a big step for me because 1) I've never been on a 3 hr. road trip before without my husband, and driving alone with my kids. 2) I don't have a support system; people I can count on or call if I were in trouble. 3) My knowledge and understanding of vehicles is simply put gas and go. I don't know how to change a tire if required to. 4) Florida is a crazy ass state, we make national headlines, and have narrow unlighted roads for miles on end, surrounded by either water or bushes. 5) Anyone who knows me personally knows that I haven't taken many risks in life after marriage, the wild carefree girl I used to be is sleeping. She is dormant because stability, and logic is her calling. Anxiety steals her thunder. Doing this road trip is in fact risky, if you think about Grey's Anatomy and how Derek died.

So did I do the trip? Yes I went, I was scared when we left the house, I was scared when my tire pressure light came on, and I was vulnerable. Did a piece of me panic? Of course I did. I was a real damsel in distress because even though my husband checked the tires and vehicle out before he left days before, it was the test I needed to persevere. I started to wonder that maybe this was a sign I should go back home and that I was in over my head because what did I know about tires. Now is not the time to google. I was shaky, I wasn't sure if the tire was okay to go for a three hour drive, or if it could blow out on me on the road. There's no way to know so I went to a gas station and their air pump wasn't working, so I went to another one and I didn't know what the hell to do. I put the hose on the tire after taking out the cap but there was no indication that I was actually getting air inside. I was afraid most of all because people with criminal intent prey on women and I had two kids inside the SUV. A man walks up to me and asks me if I need help and I said "no thanks" but there wasn't anyone else around to ask so I said "actually yea, I don't know if I'm putting air in correctly", and he showed me how to put the air in and measure how much is needed. I was so thankful I offered him money for his help and he refused it. He assured me that I was safe to do a long drive on the tire and back. Still shaky I get back in, and praised God for his help. I prayed for about the first half-hour. The carefree me never prayed, I just did shit and didn't bother with what could happen, this experience taught me to have faith, face my fears, go out and truly live, I can still take risks, and know that God is there and I'm not alone as I think I am. Doing this built me, I was so happy when I arrived, I couldn't contain my excitement. It was a character building experience, we had a great time, the girls and I got to make some memories and when we all got back home it brought us closer as a family, because my husband being the tough guy that he is, started missing us terribly and feeling really homesick. He finally knew what it felt like to really worry about us as I do him.

I don't think we need anymore road trips or business trips for a long time, but sometimes it's when we're forced to step out of our comfort zone that we find our strength and faith really tested. Courage is necessary to build your strength. It takes courage to truly live and courage to trust people, and courage to have faith that someone up in the universe is actually watching out for you. I was afraid when the man approached me but you have to look for good in the world and be the good in the world. If you see a homeless person asking for money, give them what you can no matter what they'll use it for. One day you will see that kindness returned to you. Since last month we've been a little extra smitten on each other, and that's important to me because I can't say we ever took one another for granted before this experience or after. This is why I'm glad I wasn't caught up with Grey's episodes. Such a traumatic scene before my husband left to England would've had me questioning both of our trips. I cried so bad when Derek died and I identify with Meredith's character on so many levels. She asks the question in the beginning realizing how blessed she is before his death:"Are you where you wanted to be in life?" I have to say yes. I have the love of my life and we just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary last week, and we've been together for almost 15 years and we're still deeply in love and following our dreams, but like Meredith a lot of the past haunts me and I struggle against myself. It's always me versus myself because I know better than anyone, you can have everything today, and it's gone tomorrow. So...

Have Courage and Be Kind. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Topic of the Week: Anxiety Awareness

For the last two months  up until mid June I spent a lot of my free time doing hobbies, like reading, exercising, watching movies, and talking to my friends.  Usually something is being neglected if you're a mom of two with any free time. I neglected writing, a lot of minor cleaning, and laundry. I started having this almost internal battle inside feeling guilty for it. I take naps regularly but don't feel guilty about those because sleep is the only way I can function, but the other stuff just being at a stand still started to nag at me. I also got sick during that time and started having anxiety. 

In that short time, I find myself almost becoming a hypochondriac because every time something hurts, it's like "oh shit I'm dying again!". Then Google makes it worse! I found myself walking around with a black cloud over my head. I can't say I'm over it because anyone with anxiety knows that these things come in waves like life. One day you feel confident ready to take on the world, you live in the now, the next day, you want to disappear into an oblivion, or sleep your life away because you worry about all the scary things that might happen. I have like months of being positive and living in the moment, and the moment something hurts it's back to the worrying, the fear of all the things Google tells you that could change your life forever. Then you hear of someone you know, or read some sad  tragic story and you feel so down and sad, you start to worry again. 

I was watching Greys' Anatomy, and one of the characters said "Did I use up all my happy?" I will come back to this Grey's Anatomy scenario in another post soon, because I just got caught up from what happened in May and I'm so sad. There's so much I want to say but for right now I want to bring awareness to anxiety. For the most part when I'm not screaming at my kids, I'm happy. Like I cannot complain about life. I love my life, but there's a nagging in the back of my head that's afraid to be too happy because things might very well be "too good to be true".  The nagging fears are all kinds of atrocities that could happen. Basically, as a popular meme says: "I've got 99 problems and 86 of them are completely made up in my head." My friend told me that "my thoughts are going to be the end of me" which is so true. I started doing some digging. The more I learned about anxiety, the more I started to understand that this is all considered the new "normal". Normal keeps getting redefined.

Today 1 in 5 people have Anxiety. This fact actually alarmed me and made me breathe a sigh of relief because I'm not alone or the only one going crazy. Knowing something is "normal" makes you calm down a bit. Anxiety can be attributed to the changing times.

- People hustle 24/7, there's not a lot of time to stop and smell the roses anymore.
-Technology brings more awareness from media.
-Comparison is the thief of joy via social media.
-We're in a point in history where people are living in excess which means that our dreams are only getting bigger which causes more anxiety.
-Age of information-Information is at our fingertips, the media fear mongers with bad news and sad news, and we keep googling our symptoms.
-Younger and younger people are being afflicted with diseases seen in seniors way before our time.
-Consciousness has shifted a lot as there's more free time than ever before. We have automated services, machines that do most of our work compared to the earlier days before the Industrial Revolution.
- Anxiety is actually hurting you. See infographic >

If you go through anxiety, find natural ways to decrease it. Trace your thought process, journal, exercise, find things to do that make you happy. Evaluate the source of your anxiousness and deal with it headfirst. If you find that you just have anxiety that stops you from functioning, or feels crippling without cause, you need to seek help. Please speak to a medical professional before getting off medications prescribed as well. For me personally, I'm just a worry wort, and I can't help my fight and flight response when something is going on in my life. I want to manage it and not let it take over my life. If you have anxiety, but you don't take medication because it's not severe enough, or it's just something that happens from time to time when you worry like me, check out some of the links below. I've spent the last two months compiling a bunch of articles that talk about anxiety, each one unique, interesting, informative, or helpful.

Don't get caught up in the lie called perfection

How to Cope When You Feel Like Shit

Heartbreaking: Photos Show What Life With Anxiety REALLY Feels Like

10 Things Your Friend With Anxiety Wants You To Know

Mountain Magic Diving Into the Roots of My Anxiety

How to Overcome Anxiety in Your Relationship

31 Secrets of People Who Live with Anxiety

Anxiety and the Underlying Cause Everyone Should Know About

Worriers, Rejoice! Your Anxiety Actually Means You’re More Intelligent

How I Healed My Anxiety Without Drugs

Kill Anxiety and Radically Improve Your Life With Conscious Breathing