Tag Archives: anxiety

It Will Always Be So

When you believe something, when you honestly and truly believe something, it is difficult, if not impossible, to change your mind. These beliefs can be demonic nightmares, torturous to endure. It can be anything: self esteem, self image, faithfulness in a relationship, intelligence, skill ability. Whether you believe you can’t do something, that you’re great at something, or that you are a victim of infidelity, it will be true. Well, at least in your mind. You’ll never be comfortable in any setting, especially social ones. The feeling of not belonging will take over your sanity and you won’t be able to enjoy yourself regardless of the situation. You’ll no longer know the meaning of “fun.” You’ll become an introvert; an avoider; a ghost. People will start to believe that you’re stuck up, unfriendly, a bitch. You’re friends will begin to feel that you’re not longer interested in their friendship or presence. You will slowly become isolated from everything and everyone. You’re life will become so lonely.

So what do you do? How do you fix this state of mind? You can’t. Once your mind truly believes something to be true, it will always be so.

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A Piece of Me Dies

There are few things in my life that I’m proud of. My life has been a hard one. I grew up poor surrounded by drugs, alcohol, and parties. As an adult, I pride myself on being a decent mother, fairly intelligent, and a strong Zumba fitness instructor. This last year has brought everything I had been proud of shattering around me.

One: not being able to give my children the things they want to “fit in.” Recently my 10 year old daughter attended a birthday party where her 10 year old friend received an iPhone 6. I then had to watch my daughter cry silently as I explained that she wasn’t old enough for such technology. She does have a tablet, which was not a gift from me, but suddenly that’s not good enough for her. She wants to fit in. She wants to have an iPhone like so many of her friends. I stand by my decision on her not being old enough, but what about other trendy items? I can’t afford wardrobes from trendy stores like Old Navy, The Gap or P.S. by Aeropostale. Sadly my girls wear clothes from Wal-Mart of K-Mart. More often than not, their sneakers come from the same stores, or from Pay Less. Even though they choose their own wardrobes, a part of me dies inside that I can’t at least give them name brand clothes and sneakers. I see many of their classmates wearing Uggs, another item I will not buy because of how fast they are growing. But if I had the money to constantly replace the boots, I would buy them for my babies in a heart beat. They’re unable to participate in sports not only because of start up fees, but the fact that I work nights and cannot transport them. They’re unable to play an instrument in the school band because I cannot afford the instrument rental. I know many people will tell me that all of these things are trivial, but the truth is that they’re not. These things are important in a child’s life, especially the sports and musical activities. And when I have to tell my babies that they can’t do the same activities their friends are doing, a piece of me dies.

Two: realizing I’m not as intelligent as I think I am. Currently I am in my third semester of college. Each semester I have found myself in tears due to struggling with my academic load, and honestly it’s not a heavy one. I’d always been a good student through elementary and high school, but 10 years later I find myself on the tail end of everything. I sit in my biology class twice a week struggling to follow along. My professor’s words could just as easily be in German for all that I am able to understand. I look around the room at my fellow classmates who don’t appear to be having the same issue. They participate actively and ask questions in the same German language while I desperately listen for some small shred of the English language I’ll be able to jot down for later use. Perhaps I’m not as intelligent as I thought I was…perhaps I waited too long to return to the world of education.  I’m a receptionist at a gym and I teach Zumba fitness classes…not exactly positions I can make a living out of. I’m unable to go into the military because I’m a mother. College is, sadly my only option, but I’m afraid I won’t make it to graduation. A part of me died when I realized I’m not longer able to keep up.

Three: watching my Zumba career go down the drain. A little over three years ago I decided to get licensed, not to teach, but to have access to amazing events that only instructors could attend. I was pushed into teaching, but sadly I still have not been to any of the fantastic events I’ve longed to go to. When I first started teaching, I considered myself to be good. And I felt wanted. I was always a part of something, whether it be performing in a Zumba event or substituting for another instructor. Suddenly I am not an outcast. Only 3 or 4 instructors ask me to cover their classes and when I do I’m lucky if any students show up. A piece of me dies when only 2 people show up to a class I’m teaching. I’m rarely asked to do an event outside of any I’ve started or help start. The lack of interest hurts. People have posted hurtful things about my class on social media and it affects me…very deeply. I have my true friends who will say nice things to lift my spirits, but I can’t help but wonder what I’ve done wrong. Why am I so alienated? I’m currently on a break from teaching, and am unsure if I’ll return. The honest truth that many people will not notice or care kills of piece of me. I had Zumba dreams after teaching for the first time. But as with every other aspect of my life, I do not have the money to turn my dreams to reality.

It’s said that money can’t buy happiness. Maybe that’s true. But more often than not the people who make that statement are financially sound, and that is a fact. They may not be rich, but they are comfortable. They do not understand what not having money does to a person. They do not understand what it’s like to have a negative balance in their bank account. They do not understand what it’s like to live on hot dogs, noodles, and frozen pizzas. They do not understand what it’s like to have a piece of their spirit die.

I’m rebuilding my life…but so much of me has died.

The Ugly Truth

In 2013 my physician suggested that I see a therapist. I did not do this. I didn’t see how expressing everything that bothered me to a complete stranger would fix any of my problems; because it wouldn’t. The truth is that I’m sick. The thoughts that haunt me aren’t something that simply talking about can ever fix. These thoughts aren’t something that medication can hide; I know because I’ve tried. So instead I turn to writing…and you; the reader of this blog. 

I hate myself. Not like those girls who squeal about hating their hair, face, clothes…whatever. I honestly hate myself. It goes beyond physicality. I wish I was a completely different person. I wish I was a different person living a different life a different way. This is the first time I’ve ever confessed this to anyone…not even my fiance knows that I feel this way…until now. This is the worst feeling a person can ever possibly experience. Let’s face it: we don’t live in fairy tales. There are no fairy God mothers or genies to ease our pain or change our lives. And while we can change our physical appearance, status in society, and the level of comfort in which we live, we cannot change the way our minds behave. I can’t anyway. For years I’ve battled with being content with myself, but I’ve never been able to achieve it. Even when these ghosts are quiet, the smallest thing can set them a blaze. For example, seeing a peer from elementary school that I had idolized. 

Sometimes instead of wishing to be a different person, I wish I had made different life choices. Made different friends. Had been more active in school activities.  Been better at sports. Basically had done everything in the complete opposite way than I had. Maybe if I had stayed within the popular circles instead of settling in where I thought I belonged…with the below average, the trouble makers. I grew up poor so I assumed I could never “belong” to a higher crowd. That I wasn’t worthy of them. I know now that it’s not true. I was well liked in school. I pretty much created my demise. I dropped out of any clubs and sports team I joined because I never felt like I was good enough and I was just dragging every one else down. Where did those thoughts even come from? I never had any one telling me I wasn’t good enough or smart enough or pretty enough. I told MYSELF these things. This is what sick minds do. 

The reality is I can’t change who I am and I can’t become a different person. Even if time travel did exist and I was able to go back, I wouldn’t know what I know now so I’d most likely make the same choices all over again. So either way I’d probably be exactly where I am now. Once in a while I’ll try to convince myself that everything happens for a reason and if I hadn’t made certain choices in my past I wouldn’t be where I am now. The problem is that I’m not happy where I am now. To me it’s a lose-lose situation. I have no reason to not want the life I have or to feel the way I do about myself…but it’s still there. Every day it’s there. 

So what’s the solution? What’s the answer? How do I move on from this. I can’t. This is a struggle I will always battle. Darkness is a powerful thing. It can drown out even the brightest light if it so desires. I live in darkness. Sometimes there are stars that light my way, but even they aren’t as strong as I’d like. Sometimes I’m afraid of myself and wonder how I can live out the rest of my life with these issues…with this sickness. But…what other choice do I have?

Lacking Motivation

You know what my problem is? Motivation. A severe lack of motivation. I’m not happy with my body right now because of a 30 pound weight gain caused by a medication. I’m now off the meds, but instead of being insanely driven to get back in shape, I’m just depressed over it. I’ve been trying to get myself in gear but I feel like I’ve been failing more than succeeding. I’m sure it doesn’t help that my stress levels are extra high. I need to get my act together.

I find it disturbing how situations in life can affect me so hard. Weight has always been a HUGE issue for me(no pun intended). In 2008 I weighed in at 232 pounds; I’m five foot five so it wasn’t pretty. I decided I needed to make a change. I got involved with different fitness programs: Zumba, running, Zumba toning, pilates, Urban Strip & Fit, and even Richard Simmons. After a year of actively participating in all of these, I successfully dropped 50 pounds. I wasn’t skinny, I was FIT. I was so proud of myself! I kept up my workout regime and eventually got my weight down to 155 pounds. I had muscle definition, including my abdominals. Not bad for a mom of two who opted to lose weight “the hard way” as opposed to surgery. I didn’t necessarily diet, but I did practice portion control. After hitting that weight loss goal, I didn’t give up on working out. I kept it up to keep it off.

Fast forward to 2013. I was working as a manager in a fast-paced, customer service business. There were never any breaks or time of peace and I was working 45-50 hours a week. I was burnt out and getting run down. After suffering a nervous breakdown while on duty(highly embarrassing by the way), my doctor recommended I give an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication a try. I obliged, and was surprised at how controlled my moods became. My stress levels dropped and situations that were out of my control didn’t bother me as much as they used to. However, over the next year I noticed that my weight slowly began to climb. I began increasing my workouts and changing the way I ate, but my weight continued to rise. It was devastating and my depression began to return. Sort of ironic since I was on medication for that problem. When I finally hit a 30 pound gain I went back to my doctor. She admitted that a side effect of my meds was weight gain. Holy. Shit. I was furious. Being overweight depresses me so why would my doctor put me on something that would make me gain weight? I just couldn’t have it. I had quit my job a few months before this visit so I felt confident about my self control to come off of the medication.

I’ve been off of these pills for about two months. My weight is currently fluctuating because I’ve been inconsistent with my workouts and eating. My drive is gone. There are other aspects in my life which are adding stress, such as financial issues and decisions about my fitness career, which probably aren’t helping my focus. I need to find a way to get myself together and find a balance. I won’t be happy if I stay at the weight I’m at now, which is 189 pounds. Being an overweight fitness instructor isn’t appealing. People tell me I look fine, but I know they don’t mean it. Sometimes people just feel obligated to be encouraging. I know eventually that little switch in my brain will flip and I’ll be back on my fitness journey. The waiting is driving me mad. 

Lost Friends

I’ve lost a lot of friends in my life. When I see them now, in person or social media, I get angry at myself. I’m an extremely sensitive person and small things upset me. I read into situations incorrectly or too deeply and get my feelings hurt which causes me to react to said instances without fully evaluating my thoughts.

In elementary school and high school, I always made friends at the start of each year. All I wanted was to be accepted. I somehow would end up in the clicks of the social leaders. I ended up building friendships with those who would be at the top of our class and actively involved in school events and clubs. I grew up very poor and we didn’t even own a vehicle so I was unable to participate in things. I ended up alienating myself from everyone because I assumed they wouldn’t want to continue to be my friend. What if they found out the truth about my life? They wouldn’t know that I didn’t belong. I had convinced myself they would dump me anyways so it was easier to separate myself. 

In my adult life, my sensitivity continues to be a problem. It’s not easy to be rid of alienation. I constantly feel that I’m not wanted. Like I’m not good enough.  That no one would miss me if I were to disappear from the small circles I run in. I’m sure some wouldn’t, but I know there are some who would. Those are the people who reach out to me when I’m surrounded in darkness. Those are the ones who try to pull me back when I feel lost and alone in this world. 

I’ve lost two people in the last 2 years that I had considered my best friend at different points in my life. One of them treated me bad and I just didn’t fit into the lifestyle the other was aiming to have. Both breaks crushed me. I know I’m not a perfect friend, but I am a loyal friend. Losing two people that I had depended on for years took a devastating toll on me. Now the battle starts. I have to fight the urge to reevaluate everything that happened in those friendships. What had I done wrong? What could I have done differently? How did I ruin those relationships?

Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I did. I don’t claim to be an innocent, but I also don’t feel like I deserved to be cast away. I’m a lot to handle and I tell people that constantly, but I’m the type of person who needs friends in my life. I don’t need to be popular or in demand or involved in everything but I do want to be thought of and remembered. I want to have successful friendships. I want to have lifelong relationships with people. My greatest fear is ending up alone. 

Fear of Newbies

One of the things that holds me back in life is dealing with new, unfamiliar people. I’m not sure if it’s gotten worse as I’ve grown older, but I’ve been this way since I was a young girl. I remember dreading the new school year at the end of each summer. Who would be in my class? Would I have at least one friend? Would that friend still want to be friends? Growing up very poor left me without the means to be a “cool kid” so I had to rely on being friendly to my classmates to fit in. Not an easy feat for someone who has a social anxiety. 

As an adult, I still deal with social anxieties. Those who know me probably find that hard to believe because of my outrageous personality and antics while teaching my Zumba classes, but I promise it’s true. Each time I step in front of a class that’s not my own, I have to fight the urge to run. My stomach starts churning and fluttering. My chest starts to tighten. My mood starts to falter. I wonder how I’ll even get through the class. Will they like me? How many people will walk out? Will they judge me based on my appearance? So far my nerves haven’t got the best of me. But believe me, they’re always lurking behind my smile.

These anti-newbie emotions reach into every facet of my life. In college, I have to sit in the back row of every class because I fear all eyes will be on me. Online course are a God send to me. Unfortunately, not every class is available online so I must brave being on campus. Each day I survive is a small victory. When I go out to eat, I request booths because I feel the enclosures will conceal me. Being seated at a table makes me feel exposed and uneasy. Are people watching me? The answer is probably not, but I still can’t shake the feeling. I’m not a fan of bars or clubs either. How can I stay hidden in those kind of places? I can’t. Trying to relax while sitting on bar stools or standing around the edges of a dance floor is almost a painful event. When I go out, I can’t wait until it’s time to go home. My friends don’t know that I suffer from social anxieties. Well, until now anyway. When they ask me to go out for a night and I say “no,” they most likely believe I just don’t want to spend time with them. So far from the truth. I love the people in my life and cherish the ones I call “friend.” I just can’t bear to be around large groups of people that I don’t know. Sad isn’t it?

I wish I didn’t have this issue. I wish I could go out and enjoy life without worrying about who’s watching me or who’s judging me. I wish little things didn’t have such an adverse effect on my life. I wish I could just….be free.