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 […]
Tag: mental health
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)
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 do
Wake, I cry for reasons I don’t
Fully recognize. Other than pain.
I know pain well. It’s unbearable,
Weird, awkwardly terrible. My
Pain’s embarrassing. I’m not
Embarrassed that I’m suffering
The wrath of Frank in my loans.
I’m embarrassed that other
People get uncomfortable
When I try to communicate
My agony. Frank’s this real
Monster living inside of me.
Frank the fire flaring IC man,
Starting fires and causing
Inflammation. I’m riddled with
Deceitful urgency dragging
Me out of sleep, meetings,
Social engagements. My
Intimate cavern expands then
Clenches in time with my heart
beat but a step ahead. I dare
Not breathe a deeper breath
As to not upset the balance.
Frank will not let me rest easy.
My Doctor seems uninterested in the
Journey I’m taking. Her phrasing
Leaves me hollow, plagued with inner
Doubt and inquisition. She’s said,
“Psychosomatic, psychologist, stress.
You’re anxiety’s getting the best of
You. You’ll do better with more rest.”
I have real visible symptoms. My suffering
Exists. Lesions line my bladder while
Hives my ribs. Psychosomatic. Like
I made the whole thing up? There’s
Nothing like being called crazy to make
You feel like you’re crazy. I know my
Sufferings real. I physically see signs
Swelling irritation I feel the urgency,
Burning, stabbing pain all the time
I'm stressed, yes, but she won't tell me
What to do with the the anxiety or how
To manage she just gave me more -
In telling me my issues may be.
Yes I experience negative self talk,
But that doesn’t make me crazy. I may
Spend hours arguing with myself over
Why I'm stupid only I don't know who
To believe because both arguments
seem valid. Does that make me
Frank’s no longer just creating fires
In my loans, he’s in my head. I believe
She believes I'm psychosomatic, my PCP
That is - how do you not have anxiety in
Today’s age where so much is asked of
Each individual. Everything I do makes
Me nervous. Everything I do makes me
Question everything I do. I can't breathe.
Ever. I never take a real breath. Air is never
Satisfying. I don’t always know what’s real.
Does my mind do this to my body or my
Body do this to my mind? I refuse to believe
This is all in my head. I’ll keep seeking answers
And fight the negative self talk telling me,
“I’m better off dead.”
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 […]
I know I am not the only one that wakes up at two in the morning, and starts thinking about old relationships or people I once knew. The ever racing anxiety I live with that wakes me up, creates this need to relive the end of every previous encounter with another person in my short twenty nine years of life. Maybe these thoughts don’t stir you from sleep, but aren’t there moments when you start to wonder about the friend you had, the person you knew, the relationship you lost; maybe sometimes you can’t seem to shake the memory?
Recently my thoughts revolve around if I need to be invested in maintaining relationships I don’t feel are two way streets.The relationships where I am constantly giving of myself to help that person and not having it reciprocated. The relationships that are mentally draining and borderline abusive. I am in a never ending battle of do I really need these people in my life, asking myself:
- When is the last time I really felt like they valued me?
- Who seems to put more work into supporting the mental health of the other person?
- Am I the one always there to be supportive in a crisis, however, when I need support they aren’t available?
Really, it’s hard to say who I do need in my life or not. From my own work with a counselor and talking through the way anyone who makes me feel uncertain, insecure or question my worth - and causes my anxiety to skyrocket, I believe it’s time to let those people go.
This is where the process is hard for me because while I am good at handling daily confrontation at work or home - when it comes to people - those I have grown to care for like family - I struggle at the idea of a permanent goodbye. I have always wrestled with myself about saying the right things in a break up, and I am a little awkward when it comes to the moment of ending a relationship.
Think about watching a middle school dance and witnessing the awkwardness of a dance ending. The two students stand there for a moment thanking each other, then the next song starts and they weirdly sway to the music unsure if they are going to keep dancing together or not. Then all of the sudden the girl walks off, leaving the boy there wearing a shocked look. Yep… that’s what I do.
After the break up - the hard part is when I have cared so deeply for someone, I can’t help but wonder if they are ok? Are the happy? Did they finally find peace in their life? Regardless of why I decided they no longer fit into my world, I still care about them and wish them well (majority of the time).
I speak with my counselor about this a lot because I have had to do a lot of breaking up with family members, friends, and jobs. The conversations revolve a lot around my mom, and whether or not I should include her in my life after all of the pain she has caused me. This is by far the hardest thing for me to talk about with my counselor because I truly miss my mother and her love. I miss her so much my heart wants to literally shatter from the pain and suffering she has caused me, and even though I am a grown woman with my own family I simply need my mom. I want her to help kiss away the pain I suffer from on a day to day basis of seeing other mother/daughter relationships I will never get to experience. So when I am feeling this way and wanting to reach out to talk to my mom, my counselor reminds me about this break up process I am in the middle of and I can’t really go back now because it wouldn’t really solve the pain she caused me or prevent further suffering. My counselor explains to me often, I need to keep pushing forward through the break up because if I just let my mother back in my mother won’t truly understand the effect of her actions on me or my family. She also asks me to think about if I would want to allow my mother back in to cause me more pain when I have been making progress in not letting her hurt me.
Even though I know my counselor is right about all of these things, sometimes I want to just talk with my mom like I used to. I can’t though. Our relationship is so strained, I know we will never have the mother/daughter relationship I crave so deeply. It’s time to let it go.
I was speaking with an old friend the other day and she said I was her hero for taking on so much in my life and still maintaining my cool. I simply shrugged and and just said thanks, but in my head I was thinking, “I am nobody’s hero”. Why would I say this to myself? It was not to bring myself down. It was simply me looking at my reality and the perceived reality seen by everyone else.
I recently became a Ph.D. student with a graduate assistant position to help pay for school. I workout 3-5 days a week. I have a full time job as a Gifted and Talented Coordinator. I am wife to an amazing man who supports me more than I realize. I am a mother to an almost three year old sassy little girl. I have another part time job at the local mall. I have two pups that keep me grounded. Then all the added responsibilities of just day to day life- cooking, cleaning, washing, drying, etc.
This life sounds chaotic right? It sounds like I should probably look at dropping a few things off my plate? Are you thinking: is this woman nuts? Well yes…I feel this way most days.
I suffer from anxiety. My anxiety comes out in very different ways depending on the situation. Social situations where there are a lot of people and it’s noisy- I lose my ability to hear well. It sounds like everyone is in a tunnel. When I am called out in front of a group of my peers at work without notice- I lose feeling in my hands and I start to sweat. When I am presenting in front of people I don’t know well- my voice shakes and noticeably. Plus I blackout, not pass out, I don’t remember anything I said or did during the presentation.
However, my anxiety also causes me to be very “type a” in all areas of my life. I make everything on the outside of my world look perfect because my inside world is full of chaos and darkness. It’s a lot of work but my anxiety tells me it has to be done this way. I have to make my life look perfect to the outside world, it’s not a choice. My house is clean- always. My daughter’s toys are put away and organized. My meals are prepped for the week. My daughter and I have our outfits picked out for the week. I have a set schedule for naps and bedtimes. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the things I make sure are in order to satisfy my anxiety.
Those of you that have anxiety like me you may understand the weight of that last statement- “satisfy my anxiety.” I cannot turn it off. Once my anxiety wants to focus and obsess over something I have to stay there until it’s done. For example: I woke up at two in the morning and stayed awake thinking about all the things that could go wrong with work, school, my daughter and all the things from my past that I messed up until my alarm told me I needed to get ready for work. Anxiety is not convenient. All I can do is find ways to persevere, when anxiety decides to show up.
So how do I cope? Well I have to exercise 3-5 days a week. I run, I lift weights, I do yoga. Yes it helps me stay fit and in shape, but I do it because if I don’t I would be paralyzed by my anxiety. I speak with a counselor twice a month. She helps me see how my anxiety is affecting me and my relationships. There is a stigma around seeing a counselor still, but I promise you if you haven’t tried it you need to. I write as much as I can. I have produced many a poem, story, or quick observation due to my anxiety. It is sometimes the most therapeutic tool I can use in the moment. I also crochet. The movement of the needle in each stitch is another moment of my anxiety disappearing.
While I may look like I am super woman, and there are days that I do feel like I conquered the world, I am nobody’s hero. In a way I am my own demons, my own arch nemesis as every hero has one. I have my own demons just like any hero has theirs.