Ugly Cry

Real talk this week has been an emotional storm. Trickling off of what I posted about last week, I am having a lot of mental walls come up with anxiety triggers.

Positive news boom anxiety attack
Bad news boom anxiety attack
Standing up for myself, boom…
Any slight whisper of conflict, boom…

It has not been easy for me in the slightest. However, I have been able to make some mental cliff notes along the way.

Note #1: Anxiety can’t break me no matter how much my brain tells me otherwise.

As I sat in bed ugly crying for about 5 hours feeling like the world was going to end because I sent an email, I realized it wasn’t breaking…yes I felt like shit…yes I had a sore face from power crying but the world itself, including the things I was interacting with, remained the same. I will note that it is not that I thought with my logical brain that things would explode but the part of my mind that thought jumping out of a window was a better alternative to just waiting it out and seeing what developed took note.

Note #2: My flaws do NOT make me less powerful.

It is easy to feel like less than when you are in a constant fear state. It is easy to think everyone’s thoughts on you match your inner dialog, and even though my brain does not want to accept it, neither of those things are true. Just because my anxiety can be a giant douche telling me I suck at most things daily, I am slowly becoming more comfortable embracing that I am badass. It is also good to mention IMO that even though I am engaging in regular power cry sessions, I am pretty fricken productive during that storm.

Note #3 Keep on considering support options.

Sometimes I know I can feel annoying telling loved ones about my anxiety or depression. I think oh man I must be a broken record to them, but I am always surprised and grateful at the fact that this is not the case. With that being said, I am being real and considering if talking to a therapist or an outside support aide as a way to find, even more, more effective coping skills. If there is one thing I hope people take from this blog, it is that no one is across the board perfect, and everything you are is okay, and you should never be ashamed to talk to people, and/or ask for help if you need it. Mental health care should not be shameful or hidden, and if you need support, the resources are out there! (Feel free to drop me a message at any point if you need help finding some resources on where to find help as well). Here is a quick list to save just in case:

This week has been hard, beautiful, and long. I want to send a special shout out to my amazing boyfriend who gives me a supportive ear, a shoulder to cry on, a blanket burrito to lay in and pretty sensational backrubs on the regular. He has made this week way less intense than it could have been.

To all my readers, we are all on our journey, we are all flawed in one beautiful way or another, and we are not alone. As Machine Gun Kelly put it

“Hold your head high, muthafucker
Don’t ever look down because of who you are
Our flaws are what makes us perfect.”

I am going to try practice some hardcore self-care over the weekend. I think you all should as well. Let me know in the comments how you are treating yourself to some love today or over the weekend, please! Love you all, and I will talk with you next week ❤

Smoke and Mirrors

First of all, let me say I am sorry I have been MIA for the last two weeks. The past month has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs for me, and I needed to practice what I preached with some good old fashioned self-care.

Now that I am back, there is so much I want to catch up on. While I have been away, I have aged up a year to 33 (which feels pretty neat). I spent a restorative unplugged birthday with my boyfriend camping on an Island with the wolves singing us to sleep. When the time came for us to return to the city (and real-life), I had to mentally prepare to face quite a few things that have been scary for me.

Number one is facing changes. Without going into detail, there is a ton of massive life change going on right now. Now much of this is still in flux, and outwardly much of it is positive, but I am going to be real AF and say I am freaking out. It is incredibly frustrating to have news that seems great throw me into panic attacks and tears on the regular. I am very aware that letting fear prevent us from growing as humans is a nono, but the perfect storm of imposter syndrome, general and social anxiety, bouts of low confidence and fear of instability are making me feel like I am on the edge of a tipping point over a black abyss.

I have always been a bit of an overachiever, due to my anxiety, (I am still not sure if that is a pro or a con). Part of what comes with that is positive reinforcement and trust. It is very confusing to my brain when people trust me in ways that I do not trust myself, and it is something that I walk a tightrope line on almost daily currently.

I think overall the rollercoaster of up’s and down’s along with pushing myself outside of my comfort zone has put me into a mentally, emotionally, and creatively exhausted state. I feel like I have been spewing out every part of me and I am left with fumes and a long way to go (hence this weeks doodle).

There are so many things that I hope I can share with my readers in more detail soon, but all in good time.

I would love to know how do you guys deal with imposter syndrome? How do you learn how to trust yourself in places you don’t feel confident in? How do you work on building confidence, and has it been useful?

Thank you for your patience with me, and for supporting me by following and dropping messages! If anyone is stuck in their own emotional storm right now please know you are not alone, and if at the bare minimum you can always reach out here to talk things out in a safe space.

Love you all as always, and I will chat with you next Thursday (If I don’t implode) ❤

You-phoric (or phobic)?

This week I wanted to write about something a bit different than usual. A week or so ago I finished binging HBO’s Euphoria. This how describes itself as “An American adaptation of the Israeli show of the same name, “Euphoria” follows the troubled life of 17-year-old Rue, a drug addict fresh from rehab with no plans to stay clean.” The primary character deals with addiction, depression, and manic episodes. I will start this off by shouting in all caps THIS SHOW CAN BE VERY TRIGGERING, so proceed with caution if you are planning to watch.

What I was surprised to find is how much I related to on several layers with this character. While I am not addicted to drugs, I use different variables to control when I am feeling less in control of what is around me. This has bubbled up as anorexia and bulimia historically (which I am incredibly thankful to be 6+ years into remission for), drinking (in the past), and more presently list-making and organization. I still find myself attempting to unplug my brain in a multitude of ways when I get into depressive states. I also experience a wave of high highs and low lows regularly.

What this show also triggered for me is a glamorization at times of these mental health issues. This has been something I have seen for some time from Girl Interrupted when I was in high school to 13 Reasons Why today. It can be confusing to try to find the answer to what is the right balance here. As my readers know, I am a big believer in normalizing the conversation about mental health issues in general. I believe this extends to all ages, genders, and humans in general. However, I also feel uncomfortable with trying to make any of these issues “sexy.” As someone that actively struggles with depression and anxiety, I can confirm it is not sexy or cool at all. It is hard, exhausting and often downright ugly. I also find that it is easy to be “seduced” into old habits when viewing particular material if I am not careful. I don’t have the answers here, and I am not suggesting these shows should not be made by any means (I am a high key huge fan of Euphoria and think it is a beautifully made and essential in many ways to shine a light on addiction and mental illness). I do believe we need to be cautious and aware of a ripple effect content can have in general.

I am curious if any of you find shows that touch on mental health or triggering subjects more helpful or harmful? What do you think the right balance is?

As a side note, lots of interesting changing variables are coming up in life, and I am nervous but hopeful. I am looking forward to chatting about this in the upcoming weeks. Thanks for checking in, and I will talk with you next Thursday ❤

Two-Faced

I wanted to talk about what I like to call “game face” with you all this week. To be absolutely honest, I have been struggling with both anxiety and depression for the past couple of weeks.

I have been in hiding under the covers mode almost 24/7, but I still needed to get shit done (work, appointments, etc.). A game face can so many things: it can mean smiling in a public-facing situation when you are really in a full-blown panic mode internally, putting on a brave face in front of people who need you to be strong for, or really any other flavor of having to act in a way that is entirely the opposite of what you are feeling.

Game face is something that is not easy for me to achieve at all times. At times it can be downright impossible. I have spent mornings crying for a few hours, and I have to ice down my face to look like a “normal” functioning human for an event or to-do task. It is not only not intuitive, but it can be confusing and lead to dissociation and mood fluctuations.

Smiling depression, defined by Healthline as , “a term for someone living with depression on the inside while appearing perfectly happy or content on the outside. Their public life is usually one that’s “put together,” maybe even what some would call normal or perfect.”, is not uncommon, and can be a characteristic of many people struggling with intense depression.

I wanted to discuss this for a few reasons. The first reason being that if you are suffering from this, I want you to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Secondly, I think it is important to remind ourselves that it is ok to feel what we are feeling and be where we are every day. I do believe it is essential to try to break out of pre-loading our daily outlook as unfavorable. It’s not always easy to wake up in a cheery mindset, I wake up in full-blown panic more frequently than I care to admit, but we should try to practice gratitude and mindfulness each morning to start on the right foot whenever possible.

I would love to hear any advice about best handling having to show up to required/unavoidable events when you are in an emotional shitstorm (for lack of a better word). I would also like to know if any of you are regularly experiencing smiling depression, and what triggers you to have to go into game face mode.

Have a wonderful Thursday, and I will chat with you all next week ❤

Somewhere Out There Is…

Hello, Fellow Adults!

This week has been an exciting week, I have been looking into possible networking events, and social events to try to expand my career and social connections, and so far it is pretty freaking scary.

Trying to make friends, or other types of connections organically as an adult is one of the trickiest things for me personally. It wasn’t like the good old days of elementary school where you are planted in front of people with a juice box and forced to find connections (such as your love for goldfish crackers or drawing).

I have signed up to attend meetups, book clubs, entrepreneurial woman’s groups and beyond, and what I have found is, first of all, it is tough to motivate me to do unrequired tasks outside of my home. Most of the time, I am already tired, and it is very tempting to stay in my pajamas and watch another episode of Big Little Lies. Secondly, when I do get out, I am very much in my head and when I do talk to people at these events it is in a sort of head voice personality…overly polite…overly loud…and frequently excessively sweaty.

I am very aware that these types of interactions are healthy, and really one of the only ways to make these connections as an adult, but it is a real struggle trying to keep proactively putting myself out there.

I want to stress to myself (and others going through similar troubles) that this is not a hopeless situation, and this is not a reflection on anything wrong with us. This world can be overstimulating to anyone, let alone someone with anxiety, and it is perfectly normal to be drawn to the comforts of home.

With that said, I am going to challenge myself to find one event or gathering on a bi-monthly basis where I can start putting my networking feelers out there and test the waters. I would love if anyone reading, who is up to it, would be down to challenge themselves to this same task.

If you are going to challenge yourself to put yourself in more social situations, please let me know how it goes! And, if you have found any tips and tricks to make the process more comfortable, I would be very appreciative if you share them because lord knows I can use some help in that department.

Have a wonderful weekend, and I will chat with you next Thursday ❤

Bad Vibes Get Off Of Me

Happy Thursday All! I will start by saying today was incredibly stressful…but productive!

I started this Thursday as I do with most, very anxious and tired because Thursday tends to be a big work meeting day. This specific Thursday was even more critical than others, so it was filled with initially more dread on my end. I was thinking about how I could represent this day with a doodle and thunderstorms, tornados, and all types of chaos entered my mind. Then when the end of the day rolled around the same thing that happens most Thursdays dawned on me. Today was productive, and today was not as bad as I feared it would be, and today…I kind of kicked ass. I had this realization that I tend to associate the unknown and the challenging as fear when it can truly be an opportunity to grow.

I know that can all sound a bit stop and smell the flower-esque, and trust me…I know it is not easy to remove that instant fear trigger day to day. I had a 60-minute mini panic attack when thinking about the possibility of having a typo in my email that I knew did not have a typo…and I was terrified.

Life can be scary, life can be full of questions with answers you don’t have, and you might never have, or might not have for a while…and that’s facts, but life is also something that we can decide how to approach. I am going to be working on reprograming my fear triggers to excitement triggers (wish me luck), and I think it is worth a try for anyone struggling with daily anxiety (or anxiety in general).

I look forward to hearing about what some things that you have been scared of that might be exciting opportunities. Along with, some tips for trying to reprogram deep seeded anxieties? Also please let me know What is something you are proud of yourself for doing recently (great work ahead of time!)?

Have a beautiful weekend, and I will see you all next Thursday!

It’s You Not Me

Let me just tell you all., I am having one of those days that just won’t quit being stressful!!! I ran into a situation today that made me think about something I have trouble with at times. As a socially anxious introvert, I tend to internalize things (all things)…from the typo I made in a work email five years ago to sweating out my hair at the salon when I am trying to think what to say during a blowout. I realize most of this isn’t worth internalizing, it’s probably, in fact, detrimental to do so, but you know me.

That said, I have started to work on not internalizing when other people are assholes. I used to eat all of the toxicity said people would spew and spiral into a thought tornado (what did I do wrong…why did I do this…obviously everyone hates me), and I still do get worked up about dealing with confrontations like this. However, what I am learning to appreciate is there is no reason to be an asshole, except for the plain Ol fact that you are an asshole.

We can choose how to carry ourselves; we can decide if we want to deliver stressful or tense news in a pleasant and understanding way and if we want to barrel roll through with no empathy that is also a choice.

BUT GUESS WHAT! We can also decide to realize that that does not give said A-hole power over us. We can envision ourselves as a badass duck whos beautiful feathers refuse to absorb a-hole water (aka haterade). All joking aside, it can be hard, and it is something I still struggle with, but I feel pretty empowered knowing that it is a choice on my end how much of myself I allow to be affected by others (and I hope you feel the same).

How do you prefer to deal with the a-holes of your day to day life? I would love tips and tricks that I can try in real time. Have a wonderful week ya’ll and remember you have the power to choose! ❤