Stage Fright

Now, it’s like I walk from point A to point B all the while wondering what the point was from the beginning. I breathe because it’s the last thing I know how to do, and just do. I don’t have to think about it. But if I were on that stage that’s all you would hear. Breathing. One breathe after the other, until someone would finally make me out and realize, wow, she’s living in fear of even herself, and that’ s the last fear she has is of that last breathe. That it won’t be to a beat she danced to by herself or with the whole room, living the life she’d always wanted. Never to care if anyone was watching, and knowing that to breathe was to live, and that in itself was owning any stage

When I was a little girl we used to have a sailboat. My dad would blare oldies and I’d get up on the bow and swing with the best of them, I’d shake my little ass and boats that would pass by would laugh and start mimicking me, waving in delight. That was me. Nothing terrified me, and nothing could. I wanted to try it all, get into it all, and be all that I thought life would allow at the time. Fast forward twenty years and I can’t even attempt suicide it’d draw too much attention. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve almost tried it once, but the thought of people even looking in my direction makes me want to shy away now.  I constantly wonder what people are thinking when they look at me today. “What’s going on inside of you?” I’d think. “Are you in the same place I am, just looking for another person to fly solo with you?” Because if there are people out there that are going through this, I never met any. And the internet wasn’t as popular when I was nineteen, so isolation was doubled back then. All I was ever told was, “You should really go see someone.” And so I would. Another therapist just meant another basket case, I’d come to realize. It seemed like all the ones I was destined to see were almost worse off than myself. So then I decided to start writing, because nothing else was getting me anywhere. It felt like no one got it. Like no one understood how lonely loneliness was. And I realized, I wasn’t necessarily looking for someone to lend an ear. I just needed to vent. Vent to everything that things seemed to be bullshit. People aren’t as becoming anymore. The world is full of one disaster after the next. We all talk about the dramatic news vs the news of people doing great things, it seemed like. And no one was being real. Then I started reading blogs, and I liked that I could anonymously read as much or as little as I wanted and actually find some great advice. But still, all I had was me, me and the only thing that would never cease to be at my side, my depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD, PTSD. And every time I’d see a doctor, it wouldn’t work out. Either they were, like I said, a little more off than I could handle, or they’d retire shortly after me seeing them. Either way, I was always left to hunt another one down, and the new one would always argue my diagnosis, thinking it wasn’t possible to have so many at one time, then to see me some more and finally agree. It was like they didn’t trust each other, which made me trust them even less. Until I realized, no one was fighting. No one was fighting for me at least in those offices, and I couldn’t seem to fight for myself. The only one who was doing all of the fighting was the depression itself into all that I had left.

Depression carries the weight of its word into life right away. To be depressed is to have a compression somewhere or an indent strong enough for the eye to see there’s a concave “spoon” looking thing that is actually depressed. Maybe that’s why they say it’s happening to people. Our mouths go from a smile to something sad happening and our lips forced to go in a half circle downwards. Reminding the mind of a concave “depressed” shape. But that’s not the only physical repercussion of depression. There’s many more that doctor’s don’t talk about, and many that they say will go away with medication but I wish there were the ones that would tell me the truth. That there is a possibility that nothing can help. That time, is really your answer. Then there’s the inner part of depression. The part that starts off almost as an itch, grows into a full blown body rash that you can never scratch away. “Why am I feeling this all over?” I’d think. I could feel it everywhere inside my body. My brain suddenly wasn’t the only thing sucked dry. My legs weak, thighs much heavier and a head literally strained to keep it upright. All you can do is try to figure out what’s going on. I’d heard of depression and thought, “well, all I’ve heard about it is being sad all of the time and I am, but there’s so much more. They never talked about more.” What about doing absolutely anything to get through each day as it falls deeper into the shell of depression. This shell however, would only echo tears if you put it up to my ear.

My anxiety gets worse and hits strong. I suddenly always feel like I’m the one woman show on stage and I’m supposed to be funny but the only joke I can think of is one that I’d heard years before where a woman wants to start looking good so she tell her boyfriend she’s going to lose weight and start exercising, but her man says, “Yeah, but you can’t run your face off.” It still makes me laugh to this day. Probably the only thing I find remotely humorous anymore. That and when other people fall.

Now, my anxiety is at a whole new level. I’ve started blacking out when I have to get up in school and talk in front of people. I’d start off a sentence and then everything goes blank. It’s literally dark black in my head and I almost feel faint. People used to think I was really outgoing and I am…when I’m in my comfort zone. If you’re in my comfort zone, you can expect someone super goofy and out there. But for the most part, being out there is just sitting in the background, hoping not to be noticed now. If I just don’t talk maybe no one will talk to me. And for the most part it works. It’s weird how I used to be such a social butterfly. I was on the phone so much that when the internet came out my brother gave all of us screen names and mine was Onphn247. I never stopped being a chatterbox whether it was in school or out. But since I was 19, everything has slowed down to the point that my age surpassed long ago. You’d think I was ancient.  The thought of getting in front of people is almost worse than seeing a spider and I never thought I’d find anything worse than that. I miss my friends. I miss my parents. And I really miss my brother. I’ve isolated myself from everything I can think of. Hell, I actually miss who I was. I was a good person, once. I felt worth something. I’ve never been easy on myself but who is? I’m my own worst enemy and some of the critiques I give myself are a little brash. That’s my one woman show. How to beat yourself to a pulp, by Andrea. Exiting is my best feature. Man, do I know how to walk away or run from things. I’m just great at getting off of the stage. It’s the lack of hope inside of me that leads me on there in the first place. It’s like I’m frightened of people that look at me, frightened of people seeing the real me, hell, I’m frightened of getting on that stage and just reminding myself even, that I am here. I miss the days where dancing by yourself was ok. When you could dance like no one was watching because you weren’t taking everything so seriously. Now, it’s like I walk from point A to point B all the while wondering what the point was from the beginning. I breathe because it’s the last thing I know how to do, and just do. I don’t have to think about it. But if I were on that stage that’s all you would hear. Breathing. One breathe after the other, until someone would finally make me out and realize, wow, she’s living in fear of even herself, and that’ s the last fear she has is of that last breathe. That it won’t be to a beat she danced to by herself or with the whole room, living the life she’d always wanted. Never to care if anyone was watching, and knowing that to breathe was to live, and that in itself was owning any stage.

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Diagnosis

Among each disorder is the basis of Anxiety. First, you have the realization that the disorder is attacking at that moment so you put the pressure on yourself to not fall apart in it. I don’t know about other people but It’s unbearable how much pressure I put on myself. I feel like I’m chasing that train steaming ahead for the life I’m missing. Only to get hit by the train this time, putzing along behind to remind me I’ll never be good enough. Anxiety is when there’s too many people in a waiting room. Or at a fair, or a concert, or even driving on the road. Anxiety is the crowded elevator. Everyone’s eyes are on me right? I’m the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. Anxiety is bold and triumphant in all it does. The sweaty palms, hell, the hot flashes it feels like. The shortening of breath. The hand shakiness, dry mouth, mind racing, will do anything too be heard…anxiety.

My ADD is something you’d recognize when you really get to know me. But all in all, it’s the damn truth that I have it. With ADD you go from one subject to the next within a metaphorical minute. One minute I want to work out in the gym, then drop that just as fast, then I want a different job, then a different arraignment for my room. And let’s say that happens every day. Cleaning the house I’ll mush up all the cleaning chores instead of doing one, then the next and finishing each, I do some of one, then some of two and so on and so forth. ADD is about distracting the mind because it can only have a certain amount of time in an attention span’s mirth. I see it as a blessing and a curse. If I get down about something then I could be distracted so easily and quickly I’m off to the next subject. The curse however, is when it works backwards from being in a good mood switched to a bad one. Some days I’m in limbo all day long, I just hide at home. Moreover, I just try to sleep all day.


Now OCD is the leading disorder of all that practices it’s malpractice in me. It never sticks to the “rules” you read about, or moreover, the symptoms labeled in it’s diagnosis. It loves chaos in the fact that it will go beyond the borders of even Dr.’s opinions of how it’s depth can be, to let you know always, whose in control. OCD wants every strategic move planted in a physical sense within rituals throughout the day, throughout the night, throughout the worst of the worst times. And when you actually have better times, you think it’s because you ritualized correctly that day. As is when you have a bad day, you think it’s because you didn’t ritualize enough, or ritualize correctly. Even when someone in your life passes away, you might think it’s because you didn’t touch the light switch the day before enough times. Sound crazy? Crazy is in the eye of the beholders, thinking OCD isn’t true, because I assure you my friends, it sure the hell is.

With the insomnia I fight, nighttime is the perfect time to sit with music and write. I get called a night owl but let’s be real about it…in my situation, this owl is exhausted! It shouldn’t take at LEAST three hours to fall asleep each night, that is if I can fall asleep at all. I’ve been known to be up for a four night stint on more than one occasion. And it’s hard getting through the day seeing spots, let me tell you, it’s not cool. Medication helps so much with my sleep. I’d count sheep and buy the time I got to 800, I was too bored at imagining them I finally would quit. What wasn’t a good thing though? Realizing at too early of an age what helps you sleep….drinking too much. Even when I took my first sip of alcohol. I told myself, “That shouldn’t have felt that good.” And little did I realize, it really shouldn’t have. But the nights would be sleepless without it, becoming a never ending cycle of yet another bad decision.

Guest Post

Self Help Ideas To Ease Depression Symptoms

Depression can be very difficult to live with. It’s tiring to live with the ups and downs, going from feeling great to feeling down. Sometimes it strikes with no warning, and no reason. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help with the symptoms when they arise.

There are the obvious ways, of course. These include therapy and counseling, and possibly even medications that can help. I definitely recommend counseling, they can make a great support system, and it’s also important to have someone you’re able to talk to who can help you through those down times.

These are some ideas that I have tried that work well for me, and a few that I would like to try as well. Again, be sure to choose what is practical and feels right for you!

1. Practice Self awareness and mindfulness: These techniques are so important, and as you learn to master them, they will allow you to have more control over your thoughts and how your feeling. This is one of the most important, and I recommend working on these skills regularly.

2.  Learn to meditate: Meditation is another great skill, it promotes relaxation and peace, and it helps to calm both the mind and the body.

3. Keep a journal: Write down how your feeling, what’s going on in your life etc. Keeping a mental health journal can help you to identify triggers, and help you keep track of things that work for you, and those that don’t. It also helps to get your thoughts out of your mind, and onto the paper instead.

4. Supplements and essential oils: You’ll want to check with your doctor first, but taking vitamins and other supplements can help to boost your immune system, and your mood. Essential oils are well known mood enhancers, and you can use this aromatherapy in so many ways.

5. Stay active: Keeping yourself busy can help keep your mind from wandering into the negative thought zone. Go for a walk, exercise, find a hobby you love…whatever works for you to help keep you moving.

6. Eat healthy foods: Eating the right foods is essential to feeling good. When you load your body down with unhealthy foods full of sugars and carbs, it also affects your mind and your mood. Try to avoid sodas as much as possible, and be sure to drink plenty of water.

7. Practice self care: Treat yourself to some “you” time. Take time out to relax without the stress of chores, errands etc. Go have a spa day, buy yourself a new outfit, or plan a fun outing with friends. It’s so important to take time for yourself to do things that are fun and enjoyable. It’s no fun if you’re all work all of the time.

These are just a few of the many ideas and things you can do to help with your depression symptoms. You can use these as a preventative, or as needed when you feel your depression creeping back in.

You can even sit down and make a list of things you want to try. Practice them one by one, until you find what works best for you. Everyone is different, but these are some great basics to start with that will work for just about anyone.

If there’s something that works for your depression symptoms that I haven’t listed, I’d love for you to share! I think we’re all looking for new and different ideas and tips to try. I hope these will help you as they’ve helped me!

Guest post by: Jessica

Website: Jessisamess.com

Follow me: facebook.com/anxietygirljess

My Name Is…

My name is Andrea and this is my attempt at finding some solace in my life because therapy’s been, well, a joke to be quite honest. So, I’m trying to therapitize myself with writing it all out. In the hopes it won’t come back again, but if it does at least there’s more paper to write along with it. People say that words lose power, when you talk about things so here goes…my attempt at my OWN therapy. So, “HA,” bad therapists. If I ever get better I want my money back.

Eminem says to “Lose Yourself,” but when you’re lost all you can think of is how desperately you need to be found. I am lost within myself, outside of myself and everything in between. And I’ve walked the 8 mile up the road and don’t like what I have to see. Where did it all the time go? And how in a world where everyday is so long did I get through so many of the years? I still feel like a teenager. All of the sudden I begin questioning everything I learned in school wondering if there should’ve been life lessons taught as part of the curriculum. We learned addition but all that I use that for is to add up all of these bad days…..multiplied by my negative feelings equals out to be the probability of a girl in the danger zone all of the time. My brains on combustion mode in each of the thousands of thoughts that come through with death underlying in each. I don’t think I want to die but I sure as shit don’t want to live. Not like this. Not in the grips of a life I can’t seem to understand. It feels like everyone else knows the secret. Like there was a turn in the 8 mile that I missed when I went the other way. Then something distracts me enough to not focus on it too badly. At least for now.

It’s Personal

I don’t wish out loud anymore but I’m always silently pleading for my secret desires to come true. Please sweep me away wind. Take me wherever it is you go just not into the eye of the tornado. I put my hand up in the wind and let the gusts push it into a curve going up and down. Where is everyone? It feels like the story, It, without the storm and no scary clowns.

Ah, but maybe I am the storm. The walking disaster you shouldn’t come close to unless you know what is is you are dealing with. Keeping company with the echoes in the street at night…reminding you that you are alive. For the people that do come close, know that I warned you. I sounded the alarm and instead of hiding, some of you danced. Something I wish I could do again. Dance in the street while taking a walk around the neighborhood. Letting the insides of myself fly out as music notes fill the streets, and suddenly I am lost. Who cares? No need to ask for directions being I didn’t like the place I’d come from to begin with. The dark streets have no more echoes.

There are still no cars as I try to enjoy the peace surrounding me but can’t. I’m so lonely. Depression makes sure you’ll find out that it’s suffering is a one way ticket and a one person ride for a one way kill to my genocide. The lights go out. I wonder whats in the woods I come across. I’m terrified a spider will walk in front of me and I wont know. Yuck. Luckily I’m wearing a necklace that lights up. Ok, I can faintly can see my house. I wish the wind would act like an escalator and escort me back. I also wish I could stop wishing things were different. That maybe if I hadn’t done this or that, then maybe I could seize the damn day instead of waiting for it to be over with. I stand alone, still in the night and waiting for the crisp air to bite and wake me up. I always want to sleep and make time go by faster but its turned me into some pile of a nightmares with no safe house to run into, away from the tornado. And damnit it’s getting too close to home. It’s just getting too personal.

Oh Brother!

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When I was young my brother would come into my room before my school alarm needed to wake me up. I’d still have about a half hour left to sleep when my light would turn on, then off, on, then off, and on and off…again and again. “What are you doing?!” I’d scream. I still see him at my doorway with a big smirk on his face turning to laughter then to exclaim, “Reh! Time to wake up!” And he’d run off leaving my light on. Reh had been our inside joke as kids. A way to jab you and yelp out a, “Gotcha!” I’ve never been a morning person so he knew right where to hit my soft spot. There’s nothing better than growing up with a good sibling. Someone to make you laugh at your most down moments, someone to turn to at times and someone who can be your best friend and worst enemy all the same. I’ve always looked up to him. I needed him to be able to roll my eyes with at random things, I needed him when mom and dad fought and I needed him so badly when I found out I got pregnant. He’s my reality check in so much that I do because your sibling won’t sugar coat anything for you. If it’s bullshit, he’ll say it’s bullshit and if it’s funny he’ll usually be the one that told the joke. It’s amazing how your told to find your role model growing up but no one tells you you may one day realize it’s the one you grew up with. Some days I don’t need anything but a good dose of my sibling. We aren’t close right now because of the changes I’ve made, some of the decisions I’ve made and some of the selfishness depression can desire. All of the sudden I became the sick family member and a lot became about me. Maybe I’ve made it that way. I wish I could scream so loud he’d know this isn’t me. I wasn’t that girl with the bruises from the guy she’d married. I wasn’t the girl who changed from herself so much even she can’t recognize. I wasn’t the girl who pulled away, not even during the times he may have needed me. I wasn’t the one who’d made those bad decisions. I wasn’t that girl. But I was. I had to be. I have to face the person I became and confront the person I want to be everyday, always the withering tale of the sad sap taking over. I didn’t mean to scare him during my suicide attempts and I didn’t mean to sit idly by as he was out busting his ass off at life and winning with everyday because he’s the fighter I need to train to be like. I want him to meet his match in me and make him proud just like I’d like to do with everyone. But his match he did meet in his girlfriend. My brother found what is the end all be all of life in love, his soulmate. He doesn’t realize he has everything I’d always wanted because he worked and waited so long to get there. I remember his first love coming over for the first time. She sat in my seat next to him and I wanted to sit there still. “Bitch,” I childlessly thought. What if she takes him away from me? Her pretty black coat over her pretty white shirt with her pretty face and pretty personality. It was then that I realized I did have a jealous bone in my body. I remember thinking, what would happen if we grew farther apart? I didn’t see then that I was predicting my future. I should’ve gotten paid to be a fortune teller of bad things. If only I’d worked harder. Listened to him when he told me I needed to grow up. But I tried everyday to. I just kept sinking farther into my comfort zoned hell. So tumultuously afraid to come out. But now it feels like he’s dead. Like I need to mourn him the way I did three of my friends who passed after high school. Every year one would go. Do I mourn him? The way I had to mourn my old best friend who warned me she was going to pull away because I kept standing her up? I won’t. He’s just too worth it. I wish I could put the worth I see in others onto myself now. To be able to hold my head high knowing I’m the person I want to be. Knowing I am walking around with well worth. Knowing I can walk tall, just like my brother.

Breezy

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If I could feel the coolest breeze on the warmest days i’d be sitting in the shade wondering how the two intersect on a day like today. If we take all of the problems and hardships of life out of the equation all we are left with are the simple things…which is all we need anyway, to be quite honest. If we focus on the simplicity, we lose sight of all the complexities which is where most of the problems started. People may look at simple as being feeble minded but I think it’s the most thought provoking of all. Thinking basic thoughts and living simple ways leaves our minds more open to the necessary breathing room life has to offer. I wish someone could take out the complexities of my mind and throw it right back up like puke in an attempt to detoxify myself. My mind needs to breathe in a way that’s suffocating all in it’s own right. Please take me away. Take me to the never ending time when the simplest things can be relished in the simplest ways all so we can walk with no despair. I found the home of a certain simplicity once and like the wheel, went bankrupt all the same. Does simplicity occur in despair? Or is despair the simplest form of misery in hiding? I just want answers. Answers to the questions and the right questions for unforseen answers before hand. I feel the warmest of the coolest breezes. Now in the night, I look for warm gusts within the cold. Waiting for life to once again intersect.