When loneliness is a good thing

Hi guys, lately I’ve been incredibly lonely. I’m going through some tough things in my life at the moment and it’s left me feeling empty and disconnected. While I’m trying my best to stay social and continuously connect with others, I can’t help but feel there is a reason it’s not fully helping me feel better. Here’s why I think that is.

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I think consistent loneliness is an opportunity for growth. The more time I spend alone the more I’m realizing how uncomfortable that makes me. I’ve avoided being alone with myself for so long that it makes me feel uneasy. I now know I need to take this time to get to know and love myself.

Lately “inner child” is something I’ve been hearing consistently. I’m in a lot of intensive therapy these days and everywhere I go I hear someone say “don’t forget to take care of your inner child”. As awkward as it may be, it’s actually necessary and when I’m alone with myself I’m more in tune with what my inner child needs.

The more time I spend alone, the more I realize just how much pain and stress I’m harboring. I keep myself busy to distract from those feelings but being forced to be alone and quiet with my thoughts always brings those feelings to light and guys it’s HARD to deal with. It’s hard but necessary and that’s what I’m getting at here.

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Take those times you feel super lonely to reflect on what you need, what your inner child needs. Are you avoiding something? Why are you so uncomfortable being alone with your thoughts? What messages are you hearing and how can you challenge them if they are negative?

Take those lonely days and turn them into days of self-reflection and self-care. Go for a walk in nature, color or paint, watch your favorite movie or read your favorite book. Do something you love for yourself and slowly and surely you’ll learn to be comfortable being alone with you. You deserve some quality time with yourself and that’s a good thing.

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When happiness isn’t a choice

Happy New Year! With all of the inspirational quotes and “new year, new me” posts floating around I thought I’d talk a bit about why I WON’T be choosing happiness this year. Yes, you read that right.

You see for me and others who suffer from a mood disorder, happiness isn’t a choice. For most people, their moods are based on their circumstances. I get it, sometimes bad things happen and you just need to choose how to react to it. However, I believe sending messages that your happiness is a choice can leave a great number of us who have to cope with mood disorders, bipolar disorder etc. feeling guilty and lonely. For us, our moods will change regardless of what we do and don’t do and that is part of the illness.

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For those of you who don’t quite understand mood disorders and how they differ from other mental disorders, let me explain. We go through cycles called “manic” and “depressed” phases.

Manic phases consist of elevated mood and energy (but don’t get me wrong this can sometimes be a bad thing see my previous post for details), while depressed phases are pretty self-explanatory. These phases differ in severity and length depending on the person but these phases come and go regardless of what that person does.

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So when I’m in a depressed phase and someone says “choose happiness”, I feel worse. I can look for things that make me happy during these phases, but the truth of the matter is, I won’t feel happy no matter what I do. I just have to sit in that sadness until it passes… like a wave.

So for those of you who suffer from mood disorders I have a personal new year’s message for you. You will feel sad, angry, irritated, and confused this year but like a wave, those feelings won’t last. Don’t feel guilty for the way you feel but find ways to cope with those feelings while you’re feeling them. If you have the energy, do more of things you love. If you can’t get out of bed, that’s okay… rest.

For those of you who don’t have a mood disorder, please be understanding of those of us who do. Realize the things that help and inspire you may not be for everyone and that’s okay. Everyone has their own path to take to happiness or as those of us with a mood disorder like to say… stability.

Thanks for reading and happy new year!

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What it’s like having a mood disorder

It’s been a while since I’ve written but I thought I’d share a little glimpse of what’s been going on in my life. This past year I was diagnosed with a mood disorder. Doctors believe it’s bipolar disorder but are unsure if I’m type 1 or type 2. Either way, I struggle with my moods and have since I was an adolescent. I felt it’d be helpful to share a bit of my experience with this.

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I had my first suicidal thought at 14. I self-harmed during all four years of high school but if you asked those who knew me in high school they’d say I was chipper and full of energy. People who knew me in college might say the same.  They weren’t wrong, not completely anyway, I was a combination of chipper, happy and full of life but also depressed and suicidal. I had periods of activity when I’d be involved in everything and periods where I’d completely isolate myself. I quickly developed a reputation by those who just so happen to see me at my worst. I was “the crazy girl”.

Those who got close enough to me definitely noticed that my moods were not stable. I’d go from being completely happy and full of life to feeling worthless, lethargic and depressed. I either went to all of my classes and made good grades or skipped them all and stayed in bed. Many who grew up with me assumed I was just dramatic, sensitive, or thought it was a passing phase… they were wrong.

I’ll be 26 in less than a month, married for almost 6 years and the mom of a soon-to-be four-year-old toddler. I STILL struggle with my moods. On a typical day, I’m productive, organized, and outgoing. During depressed phases, I can’t even manage to get out of bed. I spend hours on end crying until my head pounds from the tension and all hygiene and self-care goes out of the window ( I’ll go weeks without doing my hair). I feel a deep sense of emptiness and it quite literally feels like there is a hole in my chest. Other times, I feel nothing at all, completely detached from the world around me like I’m watching someone else live it.

On the other hand, when I’m manic my thoughts are nonstop. I’m full of energy, full of ideas, and full of life. I get the most done when I’m in this phase. I feel like I can do anything. I consider learning a new language, or maybe 5 (hello Duolingo). I learn a new dance or two. I even consider the possibility of being psychic and pretend I’m moving my train home from work with my mind.  Take me out when I’m like this and I’ll definitely be a good time. I’ll dance the entire night.

This may seem fun, especially compared to the depressed phases, but I also become impulsive. This means I can always count on a manic phase to help me go broke. Severe mania can also lead to psychosis. During this phase, you can literally blank out. I’ve had this happen many times and they almost always end without someone getting hurt (I’ve also had to replace a few household items I broke after a period of psychosis). There are also studies that show mania can be linked with brain damage (not so fun after all).

These phases for me are always followed by a “crash”. I can easily say this is the worst feeling in the world. I can feel myself becoming hopeless, tired, depressed and there’s nothing I can do about it. No matter how great my week had been or how perfect everything around me may seem… when I crash into depression I know I’m going to feel worthless, exhausted, and empty. Even if deep inside I’m technically happy, my brain makes me feel sad or apathetic.

The suicidal thoughts are there whether I’m manic or depressed. Even if I feel completely happy and I had a perfectly good day they manage to come. The biggest difference between these thoughts during these phases is that when I’m manic I have absolutely no desire to act on them… they are just another one of many MANY thoughts. They come intrusively and then they’re gone. When I’m depressed it’s a different story. Especially right after a crash… this is a terrifying time for me because while a huge part of me knows I want to live… my brain tells me otherwise. Sometimes I believe it.

This disorder feels like a constant internal war. It feels like two extreme versions of myself wrapped into one and I wake up not knowing which I’m going to be. The worst is that I have adult responsibilities to tend to even while struggling with this. I can’t just stop being a wife, mom, employee… but my brain doesn’t stop for those things either. It affects every aspect of my life. Every relationship, both professional and personal. Because I’m usually either at work or home with a toddler, I have to always work to keep a calm head even when I feel like I’m going to explode. I’m constantly being fed lies about who I am by my own mind and end up quite defensive. To prevent this from impacting how I react to those around me, I usually shut down completely as a result and become extremely apathetic and detached. I stay as busy as possible in an attempt to distract myself from my own mind. If ever I have time to be idle I’m left alone with my thoughts, and for me, that’s the most dangerous thing. As a result, I never feel rested.

I’m not writing this to make anyone emotional or sad but to hopefully give people an idea of what this is like. It’s far from a choice, it’s a matter of brain chemistry and in my case, a result of previous trauma. I’m working on finding healing but this is something that I’ll always have to live, and work, and grow through.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and if you’re struggling I hope you know you’re not alone and that you take the time to seek help.

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< National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255 >

5 Things I’ve Learned Since Graduating College

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It’s been AGES since I’ve written on my blog and for that, I apologize. Adulthood hits you hard and fast and before you know it you’re halfway across the country with your husband and child filing taxes and figuring out how to make a budget. I’m getting ahead of myself, let me explain why I’m writing this.

Three months ago I graduated from college. I took a gap year (for personal reasons mentioned in previous posts) so I was a bit older than most of the graduates and thought I was well prepared for “adulthood” as I’d already had a child and husband. I didn’t realize how much more there was for me to learn. With that in mind, I thought I’d pinpoint the top five things I’ve learned as a post-grad (and PR Professional) and share them in hopes of preparing other soon-to-be graduates for “adulthood”.

That feeling of “now what” after graduation is completely normal!

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I already had a job lined up when I graduated so most people might have assumed I didn’t experience this but that’s completely untrue. Whether it hits you right before graduation, right after, or even months later when you’ve started your new job, it’s completely normal. We’ve spent most of our lives being told to do well in high school so we can go to college. Go to college and do well so we can graduate and get jobs. Most people don’t guide us much beyond that point.

So unless you’re going to grad school, it’s a strange feeling to settle into your life after college, whether you’ve just begun your dream job, have decided to travel abroad, or are still figuring out your plans. Remember you’ve achieved a major milestone and what you do with your life is now completely up to you. That kind of freedom can be scary but it’s a good thing.

Despite how many years you spent studying your profession you will still have a lot to learn in your first job.

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I was a pretty good student during my last few years of college and by the time I’d graduated I felt confident that I’d be able to glide into my new job with ease. I survived the stress of my last semester of college by reminding myself that I’d soon be in my new job and things would be a lot easier. However, once I actually began that job I quickly realized I had a lot to learn. Becoming a part of a team, learning internal processes, learning how to communicate with clients and most importantly becoming confident in my own knowledge and skills were all just the beginning (to think I thought all of this would be easier).

The beginning of your career is much like freshman year of college. You’re meeting so many people, soaking in so much knowledge and learning about yourself each and every day. You couldn’t have convinced me three months ago that three months later I’d be THIS into Fintech and listening to cryptocurrency podcasts on the train to work. You’d be surprised at just how much more there is to learn, not only about your profession but about yourself in those first few months after college. You’ll make mistakes and that’s completely ok. It’s just part of the process.

Spending time seriously thinking about your goals and things you’re passionate about will be crucial

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This was important during college but only becomes more important after graduating because now is the time to make those dreams a reality. It’s easy to talk about the things you want to do but a totally different thing to spend each day actively working toward those goals. In college, your short-term focus is passing a class so that you can get the credits you need to graduate. Once you’ve accomplished that and have taken those next steps in life, the pressure to make those goals a reality becomes more apparent.

My first few weeks in my new job I had to take time to seriously sit and consider what my passions are and where I hoped to be in a year, five years or even 10 years down the road. You might find that your passions have completely changed or that you want to take a totally different an unexpected route but it’s important to at least sit and think about it (or even write it down). Knowing this will giving you guidance moving forward. If you’re unsure my advice is to pay attention to what you spend the most time talking about and thinking about and move forward from there. Even if it seems crazy, now is your chance to make it happen.

Finding balance is NOT easy!

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When I was in college I somehow managed to balance finishing my last two years of college while raising a child and managing a marriage. At the time it felt like the hardest thing in the world but now I’m glad I was able to have that experience because it prepared me for what life would be like outside of college.

For traditional graduates who aren’t married with kids (and probably aren’t even thinking about it), this will be a challenge. Remember how you felt when you had multiple social events, several projects, multiple tests and a part-time job to juggle in college? That feeling won’t go away after college (at least not if you work in PR like I do.) Work/Life balance is VERY difficult. As a PR Professional especially, I found myself working constantly the first month. Even after I’d get off and come home I’d continue to work. I really had to learn from my senior-level colleagues and boss how to manage. To be honest I’m still learning but I’ve found it’s important to learn how to focus on the present. Work when you’re at work, relax when you’re not. Don’t overwork yourself! It sounds easy, but trust me in those first months when you’re trying to prove yourself it can be difficult.

Don’t expect to have everything figured out because that will NEVER happen. Ever.

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When I was a student I used to see professionals who would come to speak in my classes and think to myself how successful they are and how inspired I was by all of the things they were doing. I’ve now realized, even in such a short amount of time, that part of “adulting” is figuring things out little by little. I see my superiors at work still sorting out doctor’s appointments and figuring out how to manage work. It made me realize this is something I’ll always be doing.

You will never have it all together. Even those who seem like they do, don’t. We are all learning day by day. Give yourself time to figure things out and when you feel like you’re stuck remember that you will never have everything figured out. As simple as it sounds remembering this will keep you sane (trust me).

 

 

 

 

Travel Diaries: My Summer in San Francisco

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In case you didn’t notice from seeing my adorable two year old in the photo above I spent my summer in San Francisco. Every since I can remembered I’d dreamed of going to California and this summer I had the opportunity to do just that.

Now this trip was not for play but for business. I applied for an internship at my dream Public Relations agency and after months of an extremely competitive application process and three phone interviews I found myself on a plane to San Francisco.

Due to the cost of living in San Francisco as compared to Arkansas my husband and son did not spend the entire summer with me (that’s another story for another time). It was very hard on me emotionally, as I had never been away from my baby boy. However, my husband was brave enough to drive all the way from Arkansas to San Francisco and stay with me for a week. I thought I’d share some of the places we visited.

Golden Gate Bridge

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This one I’m sure you were probably expecting being that it’s one of the most visited places in the country but seriously you have to go. There are several places in the city you can go to if you want a great view. My husband actually found this tiny park area not far from North Beach. This spot was on all of our bucket lists.

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Giants Stadium

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I am by no means a sports fan but everyone should have an experience like the one I had at the Giants stadium. Even if you aren’t into baseball the food is delicious (garlic fries are a must) and they have tons of places to take awesome photos as you can see in the picture above. They also have a beer garden, Coca-cola slide and Trolley.

I went during the dog days of summer and got to see a ton of ADORABLE dogs dressed (and painted) in the giants gear and colors. Cutest thing you’ll ever see! So if you go make sure to go in June when all the four-legged fans are there. (Here is a link if you want to see some of the dogs from this past summer).

Ghirardelli Square

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If you have a sweet tooth like I do then you must go to Ghirardelli Square and get a sundae. The Ghirardelli shop also offers tons of chocolates and other sweets and views of the bay. My two year old definitely enjoyed this stop.

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Because I spent a great majority of time working I didn’t get to go to a few of the places on this list but my husband and son did some exploring of their own. Below are a few of their favorite stops.

Coit Tower

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This beauty is located in Telegraph hill (just a few blocks away from my job so I saw it everyday but never actually climbed the stairs to the top LOL). This was one of the first stops my husband and son took since it was so close to the office. The tower offers great views of the city.

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Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharfs

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Definitely the most “Touristy” thing on this list. You can find tons of restaurants, museums and attractions here and it’s always full of life. My husband and son took a cable car down to Fishermans Wharf. If you like seafood you are in for a treat, if not there are a number of other options from street cars to In n Out burger (you must try their vanilla malt!). You can also find a ton of seals hanging out in this area.

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So while my son and husband were out having all of the fun I was in the office.

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*I will be sharing my internship experience in a later post*

Regardless of whether I was in the office or exploring the city it’s amazing to be able to share these experiences and continue to stay optimistic about where life will take me next. It was easy to fall in love with San Francisco and their are still a ton of great places  I didn’t get to visit, which is the best excuse to go back and I definitely plan to.

Until my next adventure, ciao!

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Why I don’t plan to have more children

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Well hello again and welcome back to my blog. I am sure you are curious about the title and I thought since my little man is now two and people have started questioning me and my husband about possibly having more, (a daughter perhaps) I thought I would address my feelings on the matter.

I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE ANOTHER CHILD!

No, it is not because I dislike being a mother, being a mommy is the best thing that has happened to me and I adore my baby boy so much, but pregnancy was AWFUL for me. Let me explain in a bit more detail so maybe I will stop getting the “when is the next one?” question from now on.

Background

Because I do not come from a big, supportive family like many people I know, when I found out I was pregnant no one was planning a baby shower or any of those fun things for me. I didn’t have many people to celebrate with and it was a little lonely. At the time I just told my husband and a few relatives. My husband, on the other hand, does have a big family who all seemed really excited, so we decided to go to Belgium to have the baby. I was young, pregnant, lonely and in a foreign country where I did not speak the language and it was rough. I’ll add that this is the summer after my brother died and I was also struggling a lot mentally so I had dropped out of college and was quite depressed but that is not even the full story… allow me to go into the pregnancy itself.

First Trimester

My first trimester I had hyperemesis gravidarum, which is basically 24/7 morning sickness. I vomited constantly… It was miserable. I could not smell food cooking without vomiting and even when my stomach was empty (which was 90% of the time) my body would try to vomit which led to dry heaving. The only things I could manage to get down on occasion were apple slices, oatmeal and sometimes soup or crackers. I also drank a great deal of apple juice. I was weak because I could hardly eat and basically lived in bed.

At some point, It got so bad and I got so weak I almost fainted and had to go to the emergency room. I was then given an IV and prescribed medicine to help with the extreme morning sickness. It helped a bit but not enough, I was still sick constantly. I remember trying to walk through the city with my husband so he could show me around and literally having to walk into an alley to throw up. Not fun at all! I lost over 10 pounds during this trimester.

Second Trimester

During this point in my pregnancy, I developed what is called sciatica. This is when pressure is put on the sciatic nerve that leads to radiating pain throughout the body, particularly the lower back and hip area. It was excruciating and I have a high pain tolerance so that’s saying a lot. There were no medications that I could take for this while pregnant so I had to just make myself as comfortable as possible.

Around the same time I developed this problem, we started to have issues with some of Michael’s relatives and were put on the street living from home to home due to the severity of those issues. I was having to walk a lot and sleep on floors at times and the pain got worse. I also developed pelvic girdle pain, this happens when the joints in that area become unstable. It literally felt like my hip was popping out of place when I walked at times. It became painful just to roll over in bed, I would literally cry ( I didn’t even cry during labor) and as the baby grew more and more the pain became worse and so did my mobility.

Third Trimester

So at this point in the pregnancy, my extreme morning sickness had subsided but the sciatica and pelvic girdle were really bad and because my belly had gotten big it became very difficult for me to walk.

Around this time we were still living from house to house and struggling with the family conflicts. We were being threatened and harassed and my stress level was at an all-time high. I started having contractions at around 30 weeks and went into preterm labor a week later. I was taken to the emergency room where I was monitored, given a steroid shot and other medications and put on bedrest. The entire time my husband and I were in the hospital we were still receiving threats from some of his relatives, so while doctors were telling me to relax, I still could not. The hospital staff even locked the door to our wing because they were receiving calls and asked if we wanted to contact the police. I can’t make this stuff up, it was stressful.

I returned to the home we were staying in at the time and had to stay on bedrest for the last six weeks of my pregnancy. I was given medication that was supposed to stop the contractions and prevent preterm labor. I could only get up to use the bathroom or take a shower (I had to sit on a stool in the shower because I couldn’t stand). Because of my lack of exercise, my sciatica and pelvic girdle pain became ten times worse and I now needed help to get around. I could not walk properly. I had to go to my doctors’ visits in a wheelchair at this point. I was honestly worried it would not improve after labor and that I wouldn’t be able to walk normally again.

Labor

I went into labor at 38 weeks, a few weeks before my actual due date. This was actually the easiest part of my pregnancy and for a lot of women, the opposite is true. I was in labor for around 33 hours. I wanted to have a natural birth so I gave birth in a room with a jacuzzi tub, but because I had a high-risk pregnancy I wasn’t able to have a full water birth and had to get out of the tub once it was time to push. Everything went perfectly, the pain was awful but bearable… at least for me. I spent the majority of the time trying to meditate and do deep breathing practices. The intimacy of the room was incredibly nice and my doctor and midwife were great! I loved giving birth in Europe because they do not intervene as much as American doctors.

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(Old Instagram Post of the room ^^)

My son and I had skin to skin for the first two hours of his life and he was kept by my side the entire time. The only mishap was that I tore (TMI) during labor and had to have stitches. I honestly did not feel a thing until later. I was up and walking like normal the next day and my sciatica and pelvic girdle were gone. I literally felt like giving birth was a miracle and I was so grateful my pregnancy was over. The recovery went fairly well minus the stitches and my baby boy was perfectly healthy.

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(After labor^^)

And so…

I have no doubt that I could get through labor but I am not sure my body can stand another pregnancy. I was told several of the issues I had are sometimes even worse the second time around and that seriously concerns me. For now, I am content with my little man. Adoption is something I have always considered and always wanted to do and something my husband and I will discuss more in the future but for now, I am completely content with just one.

I hope this puts things in perspective for you. If you’re reading this and you are a mom what are your thoughts on having more children? Do you feel pressured to have more? If so comment below and let’s talk about it!

Thanks for reading!

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What it’s like to feel paranoid

For those of you who do not know I will be spending the summer in San Francisco away from my little family, while I’m excited for new opportunities to learn and build my career, it would be an understatement to say I am FREAKING out but the point of this post is that I always freak out.

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Because I hear time and time again to just “calm down” or “everything will be fine” I thought I would share my frustration with those statements by explaining how my brain works. My brain does not understand “calm down” my brain only hears “freak out” and “everything can and will go wrong.” That is the immediate response I have when faced with anything, whether it is routine or novel.

No matter how many times people tell me to relax I can’t. I literally feel like I have hands around my throat and can hardly breathe the majority of the time. You know that big lump you get in your throat when you feel like crying but can’t, the kind that leaves you with a pounding headache… that is how I feel 99% of the time.

Let me explain this a bit more because people typically see me and think I’m fearless or I have it all together and trust me I work VERY hard to keep that image. In reality that is far from the truth.

On the daily basis I freak out about everything that could possibly go wrong from car crashes to abduction (no exaggeration) and because of this I research and plan everything out beforehand (of course this is only sometimes helpful because we all know nothing ever goes as planned).

Let me give you an example, if I have to go somewhere I plan out my route beforehand. Last year I was interning in Little Rock, AR and had to drive alone for the first time to the city. Not only did I plan out my route beforehand but I literally took a virtual tour of the route via google maps (street view to be exact). I planned which parking lots I would use and which streets I would walk down. This may not sound like a big deal but trust me feeling that I HAVE to plan every tiny thing is a huge burden and honestly it’s only the beginning of my obsessive thoughts. If you think I don’t know exactly which ways I will have to get to my internship this time around, which streets to avoid, which areas have more crime in San Francisco already, you do not know me well my friends. I’ve already researched the exact buses, BART (bay area rapit transit) and which streets I should walk down versus when I will need to call an uber or taxi (something I have never done). It may sound like I’m just overly prepared but let me continue.

I’ve spent at least 4 hours reading stories of people who’d been mugged in San Francisco, I read so much I found there is a pattern, it seems people are typically mugged between 10 a.m. and 2 a.m. Which means I won’t be out after dark. I may as well be a detective right? I already discovered that the majority of the people in the area have their car broken into and that petty theft is often ignored by the cops in the area so I’ve been planning ways to secure my belongings. Even looked up antitheft bags. I even considered dressing down on the way to work and then changing my clothes once I arrive so I don’t look like an easy target. I also considered what steps to take in case I do get mugged and oh what if they have a weapon? What if there is more than one mugger? Now you’re starting to get it. Do you understand how annoying it is to feel this way? A part of me knows I am overreacting but regardless I can’t make the thoughts go away.

My mind automatically goes to the worst possible thing that could happen. Last night I looked out of the window more than 20 times because I thought someone would break in. I literally jump out of bed anytime I hear a car door close. Because it can’t just be a neighbor or civilian right. Not in my head… in my head, it is most definitely a serial killer. The only time I ever get a full nights sleep is when I know someone else is home (my husband or relative). I have a son who I check on at least 10 times once I put him to bed to make sure he is still alive. I even check if my husband is still breathing in his sleep half of the time. He may think I’m being sweet if I lay on his chest but I am just checking for a pulse. Relaxing is not my strong suit.

I always feel like someone is watching me, or following me. It feels like I’m walking on eggshells everytime I leave the house. Every time I get into the car I imagine getting into an accident. Every time I go to the store alone I imagine getting mugged. I hate walking anywhere alone. Even just calling people to handle administrative things stresses me out. I literally plan out what I will say in my head before any phone call or meeting, even if it’s as simple as asking for directions. I get so anxious I physically get sick. The majority of the time I keep myself incredibly busy to distract myself from these thoughts.

Now you may think I sound like a hot mess and you’d never want to hang out with me but do not worry, the majority of the time people around me do not notice because I have mastered my poker face. Internally I may be freaking out but on the outside, I look like I have it together and trust me that is a talent in and of itself. Odds are if we met, you would probably never know I was feeling this way. Unless of course, I told you, but then you still wouldn’t understand to what extent.

Don’t get me wrong being overly paranoid does have its benefits, though very few. I tend to be overly prepared which means I am never lacking when it comes to school and work. However, dealing with everyday life can be a burden at times and it is especially worse when people who do not understand how difficult it is for me to relax, tell me to do just that.

When I was just a child my dad left and my mother was arrested. My oldest sister was murdered and my brother randomly died in a car crash 4 years ago. Many of the people I grew up knowing have passed away. It bothers me when people say “you will be fine” or “nothing like that will happen to you” because if it happened to them what makes me an exception. Bad things happen and I have reasons for feeling like they will happen to me. A part of me feels that it is inevitable and so I should just take chances and live life to the fullest but yet I still worry about everything. It’s a neverending battle that I deal with on the daily basis but I try very hard not to let those negative thoughts rule my life (even though at times it feels that way).

It is not fun to live inside your head considering all the horrible things that could possibly happen at any given moment but it’s also not fun to have people tell you to just stop worrying as if it’s that simple. I wrote this in hopes that people who do not experience this level of anxiety will understand how burdensome it can be. We need to switch the need to tell people to just “calm down” or “be happy” and shift that into understanding how others perceive the world. Those things aren’t simple for everyone. It is easy to tell someone not to worry when you don’t understand how it feels to be bombarded with intrusive thoughts on the regular basis. Instead just be present and be there to show support. I hope this post will offer some understanding to some of you and I hope you share this with others.

Thanks for reading!

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