At present, my inability to do the job I love to do, has me feeling like someone robbed me of who I am at my core. There’s a mental/emotional roller coaster to grief. To change. To face yourself everyday in the same situation, one […]
I’m not normal.
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 honing in on my mental health. I want to love myself whether or not I’m fully healed physically, and I know there’s a mental component. I’m tired. Exhausted really, and overwhelmed every time I am told my autoimmune issues are psychosomatic. They really do cause havoc in my body and my life.
I’m admitting I’m depressed.
I’m admitting I’m anxious.
I’m admitting I’m afraid.
The problem is, everything’s connected. One system isn’t responsible for an entire human experience. Each system needs to be working synergistic with every other system.
We even share a symbiotic relationship with our individual microbiomes, the bugs that live within us and on our skin. Which means yes, my problem is in my head, but it’s also in the rest of me. I feel trapped in this dance of which came first, the complicated wiring in my head or the unraveling of my physical self.
Whether it’s in my head or body, I have to deal with both areas in order to truly heal. I’m working on my body and have been for several years, maybe you - reading this - have joined me along the journey. I’m finally making my head and mental state more of a priority.
I believe and have discovered, in research, that each of us can rewire the circuitry in our brains. We choose how we are wired. If we let our thoughts control us, we pull ourselves deeper into a victim state. The more you think about a thought, ruminate in it and let it run rampant, the stronger the cognitive pattern within us becomes.
The result of this insight? I actively engage more with my cognitive self. I don’t buy into what I think, but I question it’s validity. Would it be easier to believe the lies I spoon feed myself? Yes. Would I heal fully if I let my thoughts drive my beliefs? No.
This year, I finished “Rewire The Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry.” by Catherine Pittman PhD, and Elizabeth Karle MLIS, and I discovered new concepts into the how and why we trigger ourselves with anxiety. Though I don’t necessarily see changes in myself, I do feel I’ve opened a door into understanding, of what I’m going through mentally. I also hear from close friends and family that I do seem less anxious, and though my own personal feelings don’t emit the same sensation, it is encouraging.
I’m facing the shame, the trauma, the self loathing and all the other uncomfortable feelings and sensations inside me, head on.
With the help of several books by Brene Brown, and others like Rachel Hollis, I find along the way, I’ll continue to understand the emotions I spend most of my life avoiding. I'm learning to enjoy the journey as I seek healing. There's no destination - only the now and the steps I am taking to grow.
Find your own way apples, I believe in you.
Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry Paperback
by Pittman PhD, Catherine M (Author), Karle MLIS, Elizabeth M (Author)
I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough"
by Brené Brown
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be (Girl, Wash Your Face Series Book 1)
by Rachel Hollis
It’s looming and crawling beneath.
It’s the reason I can feel my arm hairs raise with the goosebumps as they create a braille like story of my anxiousness, tattooed by my own subconscious across my skin. It’s the just below the surface panic I feel in silent moments, or loud ones. Loss of control, I’m on the verge, I attempt to think through every moment of every day before it unfolds. Trepidation is there, I can feel it. I remind myself to breathe. Constantly feeling one wrong step, wrong word, or wrong action away from a catastrophic panic meltdown. The reasons I feel dread echo loudly in my brain incessantly.
Is this a side effect of nagging perfectionism or the inability to see past my own pain? Maybe the agitation on the rise is both some days. How will I survive another minute, another hour, or another day?
It’s the maximum stressed feeling but it’s with me all of the time. There’s never a break. If I don’t think about my breath I hold it as I wait for the other apocalyptic shoe to drop.
I must keep the panic below the surface as though my skin holds back the insane hysteria. Like it’s interwoven and makes up all of me.
In the event I let it spill out, anxiety makes me crazy. I claw at my flesh in attempts to let the panic escape me. In that heightened frenzy I feel trapped inside myself. Tears and nonsensical strings of words flow freely. I collapse. I beat my own legs.
Breath. Breathe. Breath. Breathe. Nothing calms me down in those moments except letting the panic run its course. If these feelings escape they only has so much steam. Trepidation seems to run on fumes for days before the emotional explosion.
Recognizing the distance from my goals is much easier than recognizing the distance I’ve made from my starting point. I know that in the last year I’ve changed. I’ve grown, I’ve improved myself physically and mentally. I spend less time self loathing and more time self advocating. I’m less inclined to please the crowd and more inclined to take care of myself however the panic still exists, buzzing just below the surface. At any moment torturous negativity will spill through my mental veil rubbing my nose in the path I still must travel to achieve my expectations of success.
I’ll endure in my pursuits of mental health and happiness. Even though at times the just below the surface panic feeling is just as relentless, I’ll continue to dance with it through turmoil and fear letting it propel me to be my best self.
One breathe at a time. Inhale the calm. Exhale the panic.
Breathe (A Poem)
It’s only one life
You’re living in
Time to human
Up, be your
Own best friend
Pickup your feet
Don’t let them
Drag. You’re a
To this earth
Time to lag.
Wallow in your
You’ll never relent
It’s your life, own
That. Believe in
Settle for content.
Reach for the
Let go of inner
Fears and doubts.