Tag: mental health

Stress: What It Does To You

Stress: What It Does To You

I thought I had it under control. I didn’t think I was letting it take over my body or my life. Turns out I was stifling and stuffing all along. Stress will kill you much faster than you’d choose to die. I see it in […]

Psychosomatic

Psychosomatic

My Mom always told me, “Normal is just a setting on a washing machine.” I’m not crazy, though at times I feel out of my mind.   That doesn’t mean the experiences I’m having aren’t common in other people too. I have spent the past year […]

Facing Fears Seeking Solutions

Facing Fears Seeking Solutions

Right now, in this moment, I’m alive. 

I know that much to be true. The problem is, I’m afraid and stuck. Stagnant in my fear of what does this mean as I analyze each human body experience I am having and question what’s “normal” and what’s “healthy” and what’s “best for my unique body.”

The “what if” question always nags at me, and the fear of death and dying are always looming. Anxiety takes me to the place of a stubbed toe, resulting in a skin eating virus or bacteria that ultimately kills me. (That hasn’t happened, but the fear of it is real, all the while the toe throbs). I know each of us inevitably meets an end in this short span of human existence, but I’m afraid to face my own mortality. Isn’t everyone?

If I force myself to face what ails me - own all of my experiences and seek solutions to them, I’m left asking what if it really is permanent? What if I’m wrong and all my journey is for nothing, because I really am just broken and doomed to live life at the cost of quality? What if my life is left with mitigation of symptoms instead of a future I desire? What if we really only struggle and then die?

I’m in a dark place. Experiencing suffering, the likes of which make me hateful. Existing is already exhausting and adding layers to the misery with labels or potentials is frightening. 

I want answers. I want to believe there’s more to life than surviving; I repeat this desire to myself over and over again, but still don’t believe my own lie.

I feel like I should be able to thrive. I want to feel happy without the always present awareness of some symptom, issue, problem with my own body. I don’t care what other people SEE, what I feel is miserable more often than not.

How can some people not have as much pain, discomfort, complaints? Is it the genetic mutations? The code within my DNA? Or are we ignorant to how we should feel? Are we all buying into the “normal” setting as something achievable? Maintainable?

Is it truly my inability to manage stress? 

Money = STRESS

Health = STRESS

Existing = STRESS

Normal” doesn’t mean healthy just because it’s often experienced by a wide variety of people.

Then there’s money and finances; How can any one person pursue their healing - especially on a natural path while maintaining a full time job, high cost of living, and a consumerist culture? I’m struggling with it every fucking day.  So what’s next?

How can I be over this life and fear living it at the same time? 

How can I be so trapped in my own head by both symptoms and thoughts?

I’ve lost touch with reality and closed doors on friends because I don’t know how to communicate with anyone. You ask me how I’m doing and I lie. I’m not okay most days. 

All I see is gray. Wishing this fleeting moment would end, because I feel stuck in a loop.

Though my intentions are not to stay stuck in my own cycle; some days are harder than others to drag myself out of bed and move through the motions. I do it anyway; though I have fears I face them daily on my journey towards naturally healing and I only ever want the same for anybody else.

 

Apple out, 

K. Sullivan

It’s OKAY to say NO!

It’s OKAY to say NO!

I used excuses because I couldn’t bare the truth of “I really needed a night to focus on me, my home, my goals and my health.” I knew I needed self care and a break – from people, from work, from endless to-do lists. I […]

Panic Spills Over The Brim

Panic Spills Over The Brim

The feeling is not satiating. I know I have tasks I must complete, but I’m drained of all ability to fully function. Dragging myself through my day is a must. I’m not positive what came first, the anxiety or the IC. Sheer panic engulfs me […]

Going Unseen

Going Unseen

This week has been tough as an educator. It doesn’t matter if you teach public or private school, it’s been a tough start to 2018 for schools across the nation. Personally, after Wednesday’s school shooting, as I left school for the next day knowing I wouldn’t see my students until Tuesday I cried. All I wanted to say to them was be safe over the weekend, and that I do care for your safety and well being. Instead this is what came out on paper as I processed what I truly wanted to say to my students:

 

Going Unseen

I see you

Standing there, downcast, low

I hear you

Silent screams shout for help

 

I see you

Withdrawing, gently closing doors

I hear you

Desperation for change

 

I see you

Creating a wall, silently

I hear you

Weighted unspoken words

 

I see you

Quietly screaming - Notice me

I hear you

Acknowledgement pleading behind your eyes

 

I see you

Tear stained cheeks, puffy eyes

I hear you

Sadness, dark as the absence of sound

 

I see you

Wondering about existence

I hear you

Questions about life, meaning

 

I see you

Contemplating further effort

I hear you

Defeat consuming your hope

 

I see you

Struggling to find purpose

I hear you

Disillusioned doubt

 

I see you

I hear you

Be safe apples, 

L. Bohlinger

Think Before You Speak

Think Before You Speak

A lesson we’ve heard since we were little: Think before you speak. It’s pretty common knowledge, but it is never really followed much these days. With the ability to hide behind social media, everyone seems to be saying what they want however unkind and untrue […]

Psychosomatic (A Poem)

Psychosomatic (A Poem)

Whenever I see my Physician for Diagnostic maintenance I remind her, Steadfast, I’m not interested in drugs. I only want to feel differently, better Than I presently do. Some nights I Go to bed terrified, anxious I won’t Rise for the next day. When I […]

Quitting Toxic Influences

Quitting Toxic Influences

As of late, my counselor and I have been speaking about friends and coworkers who seem to be causing me some anxiety when I think about interacting with them. I have to try and explain the anxiety they cause me and why I feel anxious around them which isn’t always easy.

When I anticipate the interactions I have to have with certain people (friends and co-workers), my chest tightens, my imagination plays out the potential conversation we will have and I am instantly spending the rest of the day, sometimes the week feeling stuck with pins and needles all over my body at the idea of having any of the idealized conversations with them. I turn into a stressed out mess of a woman and I shut down. I can’t focus on my own work because I am living in a conversation that hasn’t even happened yet. The worst part of this is I replay the imagined situation again and again and again, so by the time I actually have the conversation I have no idea what I want to say to this person and all I see is the negative outcomes I’ve dreamed up.

Per my counselor’s help I have worked on  writing down agendas or thoughts before the interaction in order to stick with the point I want to get across. This helps my brain say, “Hey, this is the stuff you want to talk about. Stick to this and you will be ok.” Does my anxiety tell me to think of the reaction of the conversation and turn it into the worst conversation ever? Yes it does. My anxiety will always put the worst possible outcome in my face, but I can combat it. I do what I can to make sure it doesn’t paralyze me before a meeting. The agenda is one way.

Another way I have found to combat anxiety’s voice is to visualize a positive conversation and interaction with others. If my anxiety decides to put a negative image in my head then I replace it immediately with a positive image. This is not easy. I fight daily to keep positive images and thoughts at the forefront of my mind, but there are days where anxiety sits on my chest and forces me to inhale the worst possible outcome for the entire day. Those are the days where I cannot fight anxiety off and I have to force myself to stand up while anxiety clings to me and go for a run or a walk and force fresh calming air into my lungs and my mind as I pound pavement.

When it comes to my friends that cause me massive amounts of anxiety, I tend to do the same things just a little differently. I will journal about the scenario we might be in and try to focus on the positives. I try to play out a positive conversation in my mind and visualize where we will be, topics we can cover safely, and actions I can take if I am starting to feel in a panic.

The other thing my counselor suggested I do is maintain a distance from friends that make me feel super anxious and don’t really understand why they make me anxious. Part of the reason she suggested this is because I expressed to her how I don’t feel like I could have a conversation with these friends and feel like I have been heard. These are the types of friends that I value from afar, and the reason for this is because I don’t always feel like things are reciprocated in the friendship and/or I feel like we have just gotten into different paths of life. The first one hurts the most because anxiety kicks in and says I must not have done enough for them in there time of need or it tells me I am of no value to them unless they need me. Anxiety forces these thoughts the most into my mind and imagination because as soon as it sees an opening for more pain, anxiety pounces on it like a cat on a mouse. I distance myself from them. It’s hard. I have found though that I am happier without their constant presence in my world, and I do maintain a healthy level of conversation with them but not as often as it once was. There are times where our conversations are a little more frequent, but more often than not they are very casual with a meetup on occasion. My counselor told me this is the best way to handle sometimes toxic friends that spur anxiety in me because then you aren’t cutting them out completely since that can cause more harm than good for both parties. For me it’s not that I don’t want them in my life, but it is that I want some distance since I do pick up on every little thing said, action done, or even side remark made and let it take over my thoughts for days on end and I need to have space from them in order to feel positive about myself and the progress I have made.

It’s never an easy thing to do when you want to let someone go out of your life either completely or partially. Sometimes it is necessary for your own well being though, and I wish I could say I have it all figured out… I don’t. Even writing this post anxiety is telling me all of the negative reactions and things that people will say about me. I write this more for hope that some people might understand more about why I have a hard time reaching out in work and in life, not to hurt anyone or make them mad. Trust me. That is the last thing I want is to be on the other end of someone’s anger for sharing my feelings on letting go.

Later apples,

L. Bohlinger  

Becoming a Mother, Without my Mother

Becoming a Mother, Without my Mother

Becoming a mother, without my mother was something I thought would never happen to me or any of my younger sisters. It’s something I never imagined I would experience given the relationship my mom and I had. My mom and I were best friends. I […]