Most people understand an anxiety attack and what it is. It is the feeling like you are dying or about to die, it’s a boost of adrenaline that causes the heart to beat faster and for your thoughts to suddenly become uncontrollable. Everyone experiences an anxiety/panic attack different.
For example, when I have one, I have a shortness of breath, my finger tips become numb (like the sensation of your leg falling asleep) and I cry uncontrollably and I can’t breath and I get this uncontrollable urge to kind of want to bang my head against something. There are mini panic attacks or panic states as well. When in a panic state, I am not entirely feeling like I am dying but I do feel the urge to run of a cliff, I can’t really describe that any other way. Think of it like an ostrich in cartoons when it would get scared and bury its head in the sand, that’s the feeling. I have an urge to run and hide. In a panic state, I feel as though everyone is judging me and I am incredibly unliked, stupid, useless, and etc. Everything someone says to me is immediately taken out of context and skewed to match this thought pattern. This is also called, “Mind Reading” when I assume I know what that person is thinking about me or something I did. In the panic state, it is the fear of the panic attack that is always looming. Its like that feeling right before the drop on a roller coaster but the drop never happens. Your stomach is preparing itself for the drop, your muscles are tightening and bracing themselves, but you never fall. You’re just one tight knot of a person.
A mini-panic attack is something incredibly quick. An uncontrollable thought process that happens but only for a second that I can easily pull myself out of. For example, wallet is missing and it is time for work, what if I’m late? What if they fire me? Turns into I’m the worst employee int he world. They probably want to fire me anyway and this is just an excuse (this is called catastrophizing). And then I find my keys or my wallet, and the wave of relief hits and I’m out the door like nothing happened.
Its kind of like living with another person in your head who keeps hitting the panic button without your consent. I’m a pretty independent person and for the most part I don’t always need to hear that I’m doing okay. Its just these moments, suddenly the gauge of confidence hits an all time low and I’m hitting a dead horse and that dead horse is me.
Things that make me anxious:
- Time. “What if I’m late?” “What if I show up too early? Will they think that’s weird?”
- People “Oh I should ask her that, she’ll probably think I’m annoying. She probably already thinks I’m annoying.” “Too many people on the tree and they are all looking at me. There must be something wrong with me” “Oh, they didn’t invite me to eat lunch with them or go out, they must not like me.” “I haven’t called so and so in a long time, I am terrible friend and I deserve to not talk to them.”
- Homework. “What if I’m doing this entire essay wrong?” “Is it worth spellchecking when he’s going to hate it anyway?” “What if I fail all my classes? I can’t afford any extra semester.”
- Money “I need to save for Christmas gifts. I shouldn’t have bought that Chai Tea Latte, that could have gone towards a gift.” “What if I for some reason don’t get paid and can’t pay rent.” “If I buy this dinner, I will feel guilty later. I could have saved that money.”
- Being alone in giant crowds
- Wearing sweatpants outdoors
- Clothing “I just look stupid in high heels, look at that little girl trying to be grown up.” I should wear that because I have a muffin top and everyone knows it.” “I shouldn’t have worn this, everyone thinks I look stupid. I look stupid.”
- Whenever I hear, “We need to talk” or “Lets have a chat”
- Conversations. “I should not have said that, they probably took it the wrong way.” “What they are really saying is they’d prefer I wasn’t around.”
So what helps me…
When people don’t try to have me read between the lines.
Alarms and the Calendar on my phone.
Lists and lists and more lists.
Labeling what I am feeling and understanding it.
Talking with my counselor.
Music to calm me down.
I’m the first person to say that this way of thinking is outrageous but the problem is, it doesn’t stop. Even knowing it is a crazy way of thinking, it doesn’t stop my brain from smacking the panic button and having me think that way. The best way is to counteract it with positive thinking, I make lists of positive thoughts. It sounds dumb but it helps. I’ve been pretty good at hiding these issues but when things become so overwhelming, I just can’t hide it. So I’m going to talk about it. Can’t be embarrassed by something if you admit you have it.
This is in response to a fellow classmate who explained that when she read work written by others who are younger than herself, she never really takes it seriously. She described it as being, “Cute.” Now, this is of course not a rant towards this student and I made sure to make my opinion clear in class. However, this is in response to hearing this a lot throughout life.
This is a big pain point for me, not that I get riled up and want to fight someone about it, I just find it incredibly disappointing. I find it disappointing because right off the bat someone is judging me for something that really shouldn’t matter in my writing. It is the same as someone saying, “When I read something written by a woman, I just think…that’s cute.” Thats a huge problem, I mean, I’m not offended, that is an opinion. However, as a reader or an artist, I believe one shouldn’t cut something off for those reasons. And to say someone younger cannot be as equally mature or reflective is downright absurd.
Not everything written by a teenager is going to be gold. However, not everything written by someone middle-aged is going to be groundbreaking. I can think of a lot of adults who’s ability to critically think and analyze one’s world around them…does not exist.
Maybe it was just me, but as a teenager, I knew I didn’t have all the answers and it absolutely frustrated me every day. So I wrote and wrote and wrote, I wrote to seek answers. There was an arrogance of that age. An arrogance of trying to prove all the grown-ups who told me anything I did was, “cute” that I would try even harder to prove them wrong. And then I learned it didn’t matter, it wasn’t about me. That was on them and I shouldn’t create something so I can gain the respect of someone, I should make something that speaks to me in that moment right then. And if respect or acknowledgment comes from making it, then bonus points for me.
People spoke of being embarrassed by their writing from when they were younger. And yes, I am too at times when I read old journals. However, I feel there is a wisdom there that is lost. The unending courage to write something that could be laughed at because it spoke to me then. I miss that. I think we forget the struggle of being young and being told you won’t “understand” until you’re older. Its an agonizing waiting period. And I think maturity and reflection do not come with age, it comes with experience and courage and an ability to lose the pride a little. And I know the story of growing up quicker than others all to well, so please, do not stick me in a folder of “cute”. I think we are embarrassed because we remembered the mistakes we had to make to learn.
I don’t think we should ever be embarrassed of our ages when creating art or anything. I think a lot of teenagers or young people or whoever, don’t reach for things because they are so frequently told that they won’t really understand anything until they are older. Whats the point of even trying if immediately you are shot down? I don’t regret any of the art I’ve made previous to this. The only stuff I do regret is when I wrote something that wasn’t true, something that was trying to impress someone else. Those stories are what came out loud-mouthed and awful.
I find myself doing it at times though, when I have a lower class-man complaining about their dorm situation and I think, “Oh man, you think that’s tough?” And I have to stop myself because, hey, who am I to judge? Maybe its really messing up their days. I don’t know their day to day life, who the fuck am I to judge? I mean, I’ve never felt my age. I’ve never felt like an 18 year old or a sixteen year old or a 23 year old I never really dealt with cliques or popular cheerleaders, I went to a Performing Arts High School where everyone kind of sucked and some people were just douche-bags while others were nice/chill people. I never had myspace statuses declaring my love for a boy I’d been only dating for two days. Because even as a teen I knew I had no clue what love was and frankly, I’d wanted to leave that confusion for later.
I just don’t want to reach a point of that arrogance where I become stone and unable to evolve and change my point of view. Because I don’t think its very productive. I’d like to surrounds myself with hard-working people who create lovely things whether they are 90 or 11.
Filed under: Regular
Ahem, its been a while.
I am taking five classes this Fall Semester for a total of 16 credit hours. I am also working full time for a total of 40+ hours.
My schedule looks like this:
Writing & Rhetoric II (English Class) – 12:30pm to 1:50pm
Work – 3pm to Midnight
Writing Horror – 8:30am to 12:20pm
Latin American Writers – 12:30pm to 3:20pm
Writing for Radio Drama – 3:30pm to 6:20pm
Writing & Rhetoric II (English Class) – 12:30pm to 1:50pm
Work - 3pm to Midnight
Work – 3pm to Midnight
Work – 3pm to Midnight
Yoga: Beginning – 9am to 11:50am
I can tell you right now, I am absolutely terrified of my own abilities and thankful for the corpse pose meditation exercise I’ve already learned in Yoga. There has been a lot of corpse posing at 1:30am and lots of worried calls to my mother (my anxiety which is almost always at a five is now generally at a seven). It might seem like I have a good amount of time for stuff and maybe I would if I owned a car in the city but with trains and buses, most travel time averages to 30 min – 1 hour. It get worse when I leave work at night, miss one train and you’re waiting 25 minutes for the next.
So please do not be surprised if there are times where I fall asleep into my salad bowl or I mutter off incoherent sentences about a paper that is due in a day or so. I have not left myself much room for error or for slacking (although I have budgeted them in, in anticipation). Or with anxiety riddled texts I ask if I am completely disappointing you and apologizing for being a terrible friend. My anxiety puts me in awkward positions that I later cringe about wondering what was I even thinking? I shouldn’t be so hard on myself but I truly don’t care what others think about me, but when it comes to my pals, I care a lot.
Mainly, I’m not so worried about the work load itself, I’m entirely terrified about forgetting something I was suppose to do, whether it be for class or one of my jobs. I have this terrible fear of letting people down and I especially want to eat my cake and to have it too.
Secretly, I want the challenge. I want to prove I can do this with a trial by fire and more than enough people have worked with a schedule like this their entire time in school. I want to hold myself to a higher standard and GET THIS SHIT DONE WITH.
I know for a fact there are some students who are pulling 18 hour semesters, so I’m doing a lot better than them but I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and forcing myself to rely on my own abilities. This has definitely been testing my faith in myself and my conscious.
Mid-terms are this week and next. Anyone want to help me memorize sanskrit yoga pose names?
Filed under: Real Life, Regular | Tags: 10 lbs, body image, fat, not fat, weight
So when I went to the Doctors a little while ago, I found out in a years time I’ve gained ten pounds. It could have been a shorter time than that but I don’t own a scale so I couldn’t give you an exact time frame.
And for the first time I was shocked.
First of all where did the ten pounds go? Is it all in my butt? No, my butt has always been this size. And my pants fit the same as usual.
The nurse saw my confused look when she told me my weight and quickly explained, “But you had your shoes on and your clothes.” And I laughed slightly thinking, yeah like those weigh a whole ten pounds but I was really thankful that she thought to comfort me. And I thought of all the girls she had to comfort before me and it made me really sad. I don’t worry about weight things, I never have.
I’ve always considered myself slightly husky (I’m a built a bit wider than other girls. I’ve always had big upper arm muscles, a wide chest, and wide shoulders), whether I was or not. This is my morphed perception of myself, and its not something I cry about and say, “OH I’m SO fat!” Because I know I’m not fat. And I don’t need an emotional pet-talk or an ego petting (but it never hurts). It is just how I see myself, its like little deep part of me that crawls out in how I look at things and tries to visually make me feel insecure. I don’t really over-eat, I’m not a person who ever feels guilty after eating something (except that one time when I ate this really bad popcorn at a wrestling show, that was kind of the worst stomach ache in the world). However, when I’m feeling nice about myself, I just say I’m a little more curvy than girls my size.
Food is a treasure to me. I love food. I could describe certain foods like I describe my favorites novels.
I’ve never starved in my life. But when I moved out and went to College at 18, I didn’t necessarily eat as much as I should. I’m a forgetful eater, sometimes I would go a whole day and realize I only ate an apple and that was it. Going from class to work and back to class again, was tough on me. Especially throwing myself into a new environment where I barely knew anyone. I struggled with financial aid with my school and I slept very little due to stress. With issues happening back at home that were out of my control, I was feeling the pressure. That was my first year. I didn’t gain the Freshman 15 pounds, I lost weight. I had to set reminders so I wouldn’t forget to eat and scraping by with a retail job pay didn’t always give me a lot of options for food. So I ate small and sporadically. I lived in the dorms, so I couldn’t make full meals, I had a meal card but the cafeteria gave me the pukes three different times. So my weight pretty much stayed the same for a few years.
So what happened a year ago? What changed?
Well, I have been out of school for a full year and it was great. It stinks that I don’t have my degree still due to financial reasons but it was a breather to not worry about that stuff for a while. I also got a better job than my last one. And this job has been awesome to me. It has encouraged me to be myself and be my best self. I work with people I wish I could stick in my pocket and keep with me forever (in a non-creepy-stalker-serial-killer sort of way). I make a-(excuse my french)-POOP ton more than I did at my retail job (which still is not a lot but I pay my bills and loan payments and don’t have to worry about them ever not getting paid). I also have full medical coverage, eye coverage, and dental coverage. And I never had to worry about my checks and when it they are arriving.
My previous job, checks would bounce on a regular basis. I was visiting home, after Christmas (I worked over X-mas because I needed to make the money to pay rent while I was away), and my work check BOUNCED. Not only messing up my rent check but also making me completely and utterly broke in New Jersey. I found out while I had gone out to a diner with my friend Devon and my card was denied when paying for the check. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” Was my first though when I checked my bank balance on my mobile phone. I wanted to crawl in a dark hole to die.
That is the sort of small business I worked for. And it was stressing me out really bad. When I got back to Chicago it was only a few weeks later that I quit. Granted, I quit after my hours where cut from about 30-35 hours to almost 15. I cried my eyes out, because I loved the job, I didn’t like the place I worked at but my job was awesome and I did like the people I worked with. But it was the punch in the boob I needed to get the hell out of there.
And then my beautiful opportunity arrived when the Universe was looking at me and saying, “Yo, I’m knocking at your door so you better answer.” I was lucky to get this job and I treasure every second having it. Its not that I don’t think I deserve this job but I’m sure there were a thousand more people more qualified than me. I am happy I did prove my worth and got the job. I started out as a temp and was hired. When I got the call, I high-fived everyone in the train car I was in. And that is kind of what this job has felt like. Granted, I’ve been stressed at times but its not something that is ever permanent or consistent, most of the time the stress in induced by me over-thinking and panicking.
I’ve got a pretty dang awesome boyfriend who doesn’t stress me out either. Its nice dating a real human who is smart and knows things.
I’ve got an awesome apartment (it has skylights and stuff and is way cheaper than my previous apartment I had in the same neighborhood!) and awesome roommates.
I am also going to school this September to finish my degree and with financial aid on my side and scholarship from my school, I am set. There hasn’t been sleepless nights wondering how I’m going to get a loan with no cosigner.
So I’m not stressed and I can afford to buy myself food (a decent amount of it too). Could this be the cause of my 10 pounds? The Freshman 15 I never gained? AM I LITERALLY LIVING FAT AND HAPPY?
My roommate did mention that I also work a night schedule, I work 3pm to Midnight. He worked a night job as well and explained how he gained weight too. It messes with your metabolism and you have to figure out the right balance of snacking and meal time that works.
But I like to think I’m just living fat and happy.
Sometimes, I feel a little insecure about it and I get scared. Of what, I couldn’t really say. But I must recognize it is a little on the high-ish side, and I should make sure that while I am always happy with how I look, I should always stay healthy (so maybe three bags of cookies from the vending machine isn’t a good idea.) And I also need to recognize, with my sit down office job, I’m not as active as I was when I was running around like nutcase for my retail job or for school. I think that’s what I’m mainly worried about, I don’t want be unhealthy (well at least not so much unhealthy because I still really love Cinnamon buns and pizza. WAIT, guys, there should be cinnamon bun PIZZA! Just without the cheese and pizza sauce.). So for now, I ‘m working on a good eating schedule at work so it doesn’t mess with my metabolism or at least to get it back on track as it should be.
Filed under: Real Life | Tags: equal rights, gay, hate, heterosexual, homosexual, junkyard dogs, lesbian, love, marriage, straight, the moment I knew, Well whats so great about Heaven anyway?
I get this question a lot, “When did you first know you were straight?”
And I remember a story from my childhood that I think really explains that moment very well. Now I don’t entirely remember this story as a memory, because I was pretty young but in my heart of hearts, I think this was the moment that I KNEW. My mother tells this story better than me but I’ll channel her over the– (how many miles is it again, Mama?)–and do my best.
I was little, I’m going to say three or four and I was in an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting with my mother, not attending but more so just being a baby and being with my Mom (although the joke will always been I’ve been in AA all my life). And I was leaning against my mother while we listened to someone speak of their time. I had a pacifier in my mouth which was actually prescribed by a dentist because I had a Caveman under bite that would make an Orge laugh. Don’t get me wrong I was cute but damn, that under bite is hilarious in pictures. So I’m sucking on my pacifier and having myself a good ole time with my blanket, when a black man walks into the meeting and takes a seat a bit ways from where we were sitting.
My mother says, as she imitates my motions, that I sat up quickly and popped my binky (pacifier) out of my mouth. She said I was very calm but wouldn’t take my eyes off him. And I just wiggled out of her grip, and shimmied right off the bench we had been vacating. She said I just kept staring at him as I said, “I’m going to go sit over there.”
“By that man!”
“By that black man! I’m going to sit over there.”
And so I did. I sat next to him the whole meeting with my hands folded and just staring up at him. He probably thought I was the silliest thing. I was hardly a subtle child but I like to this that maybe this was my first crush.
I think I also knew the moment I saw Shawn Michaels wrestle on WWF. He was much older than me but his playful smile won my heart. There was a long time where I secretly had plans to become a professional wrestler just to meet him.
And I knew I was straight when a boy first told me he like-liked me too and I thought, surely, this is the moment where my heart will deflate from relief. He has really pretty blue eyes I couldn’t look at without blushing and I always did my best to secretly always take the seat next to him. And I knew it when that same boy hurt me with disappointment in his actions (BRINGING CIGARETTES TO SCHOOL IN THE THIRD GRADE?! YOU KIDDING ME?).
I knew I was straight when I kissed a girl and just thought…meh.
And I knew when, I was terrified, knowing I could love a boy and they can so easily hurt me. How dare they have that power, who do they think they are?
And I knew it wasn’t wrong because everyone told me it was right. I loved the “right way”. Barbie and Ken smiled up at me from their dream home in Malibu and waved from their straight loving hot tub (now with bubbling action!). And I always questioned what was the “wrong way”?
I knew I was straight when I learned what it meant to be gay.
“Rose and Susan. They aren’t just friends.” My cousin explained to me as we played in the bath tub. I had just been taught what a period was and now I was learning the relationship between my father’s next door neighbors. My cousin whispered, “They are like boyfriend and girlfriend.”
“But they are two girls?” I asked in a confused tone.
“Yeah but they are together like that, like a boyfriend and girlfriend.”
“Oh.” And then it clicked. I understood. And it made sense why they held hands, “Oh okay.” I nodded and whispered and I wondered why we had to whisper this. And I didn’t think it was bad, I just didn’t realize that existed. And I accepted it into my small childhood bubble of things that are in the world.
And it was church that told me otherwise but I just could not believe it. I mean first, telling me all of my pets would never go to Heaven and then telling me that my dad’s nice neighbors were abominations? Listen, maybe I could take not having my pets in Heaven but Rose and Susan are good people. And I liked their chocolate lab named Bailey who would frequently come visit neighbors just to saw hi and get a treat. And I like the little dock they had off their yard that they let us kids play on. And they don’t get to go to Heaven? Well whats so great about Heaven anyway?
I was happy to find my mother really understood me and my heterosexuality. I was happy to know she didn’t blame herself for my heterosexuality and that it wasn’t a choice but that I was born this way. And she really got to know all of my boyfriends and made them feel welcomed.
Honestly. I don’t get it. I don’t understand or get it. How can you just let your child go out to the wolves and not care? How can you stand and say someone is not allowed to love the person they love? I don’t care who said it was wrong, who said that person is right? Why are we treating others differently? This is my rant part. This is where I get mad. This is where I say there are no second class citizens and we should stop treating others like it. People should marry the person they love and they should also be allowed to Divorce the person they do not love anymore. Life is so short. It is so goddamn short.
Why are we so worried about such unimportant things. Go read a book and smile and laugh and look how infinite the sky seems and how tiny you really are. It is so fleeting and people are snarling at each other like packs of starving junkyard dogs. How does it effect you how that person loves another person? Go paint a picture and wear socks that don’t match and try and memorize the feeling of sand between your toes. Live your life and don’t hinder others. It doesn’t effect you. Your children can so easily leave you, who cares who they love, doesn’t it only matter how you love them? Your children are a gift, not something for you to shape and mold however you like, to use and abuse and then toss aside with they are the round peg that won’t fit in your square hole. Draw a picture with them, watch a movie together, hug them, hold them when they are terrified, what else matters? It doesn’t stop you from catching butterflies or playing tag in the backyard.
Let people be.
What is so hard about that?
So there. There was my rant and there was my soap box. It probably doesn’t make much since and when I try to be clever, it doesn’t always work. I just can’t stand it.
Filed under: Regular
I think the idea of monsters that we find in old cult films like Godzilla or in fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood or in myths like the Minotaur trapped in the Labyrinth, have direly changed.
Monsters are us now. Monsters are human. They are the bad guys with the guns and the knives just waiting around every dark corner of the street just waiting for me as I walk home at night from job.
I am not afraid of the thing that I was so sure lived under my bed when I was six. I am afraid of what person lurks in the night hunting for me or someone I love. What if that thing under my bed was protecting me from the other bad stuff?
If we dissect the original monsters we know of, they truly are terribly scary creatures because they have been so harmed by their circumstances or by man. The Frankenstein monster was a creature created to find itself cast out by its only idea of a family and left to be hated and unloved. His story is of abandonment and how it can shape a person, it is the story of responsibility for your creations. He was an intelligent creature who no matter what was still feared because of his looks and his origin.
What is the meaning behind a rapist? Or a serial killer?
I prefer not to think of those things. I prefer the monsters from the stories, the creatures who are cast out from society, who represent something we are all deeply pained by at some point our life (Rejection, jeaolousy, etc.). I prefer the silliness of Count Chocula and the Cookie Monster. Monsters are creatures who are who they are and stand bold because of it. Big Bird is a monster but he’s a good one (I mean come on, your gonna tell me Big Bird didn’t get hit with some funny rays to get that big?). I like the good monsters, the ones you don’t always understand and thats is what makes them beautiful. The ones that shake up the way we see things, turnt he picture around and let us see it from a different angle. Monsters are people who don’t feel ugly because everything is beautiful.
Maybe thats a really silly way to think and maybe I think too much or too hard ont hese things. But we’re put on this Earth for something and we still haven’t quite nailed down answer as to what that is yet, so might as well fuck about a bit until we do.
So thanks to a really good person (he’s also smart and charming and has really deep soulful blue eyes that I could stare into for—I’m sorry what were talking about?) I’ve figured out a sort of focus of this blog, sorta. Welcome to the Monster Moment! (Name subject to change when I can think of a better title…suggestions are welcome!) The point of this website is completely selfish, its all bout me, and I wanna feature things that are weird and people who are off kilter and all amazing for it. And I hope in some way you can see the beauty in those things like I do and maybe you can show me the beauty in that I might have missed.
Other new segment:
Reading This Fucking Comic Book, because I know how much people want to read about my opinion on comics.
I’m very excited ;-}
I’ve decided I want to create a sort mascot for my page and I want it to my muse. So I need to narrow down a name for my alter ego. And I hope to do that with your help! And while you’re at, why not let me know your awesome alter ego’s name?