On the sleeve

I haven’t really felt like saying anything on here in the past week, clearly. I have run into a bit of a dilemma with keeping this account of my life and that is feeling the need to edit myself. It makes me feel uncomfortable like I am not being forthright and genuine. The entire purpose of this blog is to keep tabs on my daily life as a returning student. I have this grand idea of looking back at this one day and gaining some kind of insight about myself.. Maybe realizing how much I have grown in the three years it will take me to get my degree, or maybe this will serve as a reminder of how things were if I feel lost as everyone occasionally does.. I don’t know. Maybe a piece me fantasizes that one day my future daughter will read this and she will gain insight about who I was at this age and see me as a person and not just her mother.. I don’t know. I want to be honest about what is going on in my life and how things are as well as how I feel about them but because this particular journal (blog) is public I am realizing that somethings are maybe too personal to share. How do I handle that situation? Anyone who knows me well knows that once you know me well I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am a pretty open book and share just about everything. This is just how I am comfortable. I don’t expect this of everyone else it’s just how I am.

So it just feels false to me to say I am going to log my experiences during this period of my life and then not actually share all of those experiences.

……. 10 minutes later ……..

I don’t think I will have any interest in continuing this if I hold something back. I realize that I am making more of this than it is, I have a tendency to sometimes over think things.

So, a little over a week ago it was brought to my attention that someone I am close with was feeling overly anxious about something that to most people would not be something to worry about. At first it was not anything I was overly concerned about. I know this person well and they have always found ways to work through their anxieties in the past. It quickly became apparent this time was different though. The anxiety became extreme and irrational and for a moment somewhat debilitating for the person. I gave my support and counsel (when asked). Of course given my history of anxiety issues I silently worried for this person and for the people impacted but not to the point of tying myself into knots because I strongly believed (and still do) that the situation would work itself out.

Over a week later now I think the worst is over for the moment. There is a bit of impact to my personal life because of what is going on but nothing negative, just me offering to help out in a small way to see the situation through essentially.

Here is where my feelings are about this, because of my recent history (recent being over a year ago, less than 5 years ago) with anxiety and depression (acute not chronic) I feel that anxiety this severe isn’t easily… what’s the word I’m looking for… expunged.. vanquished.. eliminated. Yes, anxiety this severe is not easily eliminated by the person suffering from it if they attempt it on their own. God, being vague makes it difficult to say what I am trying to say. I feel like I am being confusing.

.. after a moment of collecting my thoughts..

When I went through my hard time after my grandfather died it took me seeing a counselor to learn what my anxiety triggers are, how to identify the feelings I am having when my anxiety is getting bad and then  what coping mechanisms work for me. It took talking things out with a counselor to realize that there is a pattern in my life that I would like to work away from and that I don’t have to feel bad. I can do things to help myself (self soothe etc) so when I am worried about something, like all people do, I don’t allow it to get the better of me. That is all I want for this person. Anxiety, like anything, can feel too big to fix. Look at losing weight, so many people have a hard time because it can just feel like too much and they easily give in and don’t do what they need to do to feel better. It takes work to get where you want to be and that can feel overwhelming so its good to have someone (a professional) to help point you in the right direction and give you the tools you need.

The other thing that has been eating at me a bit with this whole situation is outsiders responses to it. To clarify (which seems near impossible), how people who do not suffer from anxiety view people who do.. This is more broad spectrum, speaking “in general” rather than specifically about this situation. With my history, knowing what I know about other people who I am close with that deal with the same issues it bothers me how the “average person” (if there is such a thing) view us at times. Anxiety is not usually rational and it isn’t something easily controlled. Think of phobias for example, almost everyone has one. I am afraid of the dark (embarrassing!), well maybe more accurately I am afraid of the unknown so at times being in the dark scares me if my eyes have not adjusted yet. Even though I know there isn’t a murdering rapist standing in my dining room just waiting for me to walk by, there is still always that irrational fear that if I walk down my hallway in the dark something might pop out and get me! haha. This is ridiculous, I get that. But it doesn’t mean that just because I can identify it as an irrational thought that I will feel any differently when walking down my hallway in the dark. I will probably still bolt past the entry way to my dining room just to play it safe. 😉

So, knowing that all people have these irrational thoughts and fears how is it so easy for someone to think that someone else is being ridiculous when all that’s happening is they are having an irrational fear about something. I think (at least from what I have observed in my short life) people usually tend to voice this opinion of “Oh your being ridiculous” and discredit what a person is going through when what that person is going through inconveniences them in some way. Not everyone reacts that way, some people are more understanding. I don’t know..

I try really hard to give people the benefit of the doubt and keep in my mind that there is usually more to something than what may appear. I just wish (however naive this might sound) that the world was a little more tolerant… patient.. understanding.. I don’t know, I feel like I am reciting the lyrics from a Lennon song right now. 🙂 It’s like my economics teacher said, you can never have all the information, there is always something you don’t know.

I will post about how classes are going next time, this entry is too long and exhausting and confusing as it is.


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