Lies My Anxiety Told Me

I took a much-needed self-care “sick” day today. I’ve had low-grade anxiety for a week now, courtesy of a situation that, while it doesn’t involve me directly, has me feeling all kinds of ways. I got up today after yet another restless night’s sleep feeling on the verge of a panic attack, so… self-care day, it is.

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Brains and Behaviors

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of “emotional eating” and how, for me, I think that’s an actual thing. But more than that, it’s a subconscious emotionally and chemically-driven behavior, so it’s not like in the midst of a come-apart, I go to the kitchen and start shoving food in my face. Instead, I think my brain is on autopilot where food and comfort are concerned, and I’m trying to figure out how to interrupt that when it happens – because it happens a lot, in all kinds of circumstances.

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Abstinence: The Absence of Good and Common Sense (and the presence of fear)

Just say no to drugs. (Nancy Reagan in the 1980’s; Trump, present day) This will stop any and all deaths or suffering from drugs, if people just… didn’t do them. I mean, if people didn’t do them, there wouldn’t be a market for them, so all the criminals would stop being bad people, too, right? Don’t take any prescriptions, whether they’re legitimate or not. Don’t drink any kind of alcohol, even though it’s legal, because it will lead to other bad things (like SEX). Don’t even think about smoking weed, even if you’re hoping to use it for chronic (heh) pain management. It’s just SO SIMPLE.

Also, no sex until after you’re married. (Abstinence-only education, 1981; Trump, present day) This will stop any and all unplanned pregnancies, the spread of STD’s, provocative/slutty behavior, rape, and any other bad thing that comes from having sex for any reason other than procreation. Who cares if you marry someone with whom you’re totally incompatible? AT LEAST YOU WAITED UNTIL YOU WERE LEGALLY BOUND TO THEM TO FIND OUT, amirite? Read More »

Problematic Sample Sizes.

As I’m reading Ijeoma Oluo’s fantastic new book, “So you want to talk about race,” one of the many, MANY thought-provoking points she made had to do with how we are all the sum of our lived experiences, which means we view life through our own life lens, so to speak. And because we’ve lived those experiences, then we know without a doubt they’re valid. Right?

But when someone is different than us – whether by way of race, gender identity, class, etc. – then chances are, the life experiences they’ve amassed are different as a result. As one of a million examples: a middle-class white woman is going to have a very different lived experience than a middle-class black woman in America; the white woman will never know what it’s like to be judged by/for the color of her skin, to miss out on jobs because of the sound of her name, to receive substandard health care or education, to be denied opportunity or to be assumed less-than or viewed as dangerous or whatever other harmful stereotypes exist.

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Attitude of platitude(s).

Last week, I caught myself asking the question, “How do you know when what you’re pursuing in life is the ‘right thing’ for you?” Like, when you decide you want something in life, whether it’s a new career, or a relationship, or you want some other significant shift in your existence to happen… because people will tell you that to get what you want in life, you have to work HARD for it. But then, you shouldn’t have to work TOO hard or else you’re forcing it and really it should probably just fall in your lap or come easy to you, right? And if you force it TOO much, then it’s probably not the right thing, and you may even be going against the universe’s plan (or G*d’s plan) for your life, which means it’s all going to turn out poorly anyway. Unless you just trust in the plan – even if you don’t know what it is – and know that it’ll all turn out THE WAY IT’S MEANT TO. *barf*Read More »

You can change your mind at any time.

One of the things that blows me away on the regular is when I let myself focus on the fact that people have actually chosen to believe the harmful, ugly, factually incorrect, or just plain crummy things they believe.

I mean… think about it. Everything you believe – especially the stuff that is more of an opinion than a fact – is something you have CHOSEN to believe. Right? Obviously, if you’re raised a certain way, surrounded by a certain belief system or whatever, then you didn’t choose to believe it growing up; it just… was. But at some point in adult life, I have to wonder if it occurs to people that what they’ve been taught – what they believe – is actually a crock of damaging shit. Read More »

Sing this corrosion.

I’ve been thinking a lot about when, how, and why things fail. It sounds a little grim, but it also feels really practical. If you want to know how or why things work, then it stands to reason you might want/need to know why that thing might break down or fail, too. Right? I mean, you may not always understand or get to know the why, or want to accept the why or how… especially if the failing impacts you directly in some way. And REALLY especially if you would have to admit that you (or someone you love and admire) contributed to the failing.

Seeing your part in things is hard when it’s a painful loss. Looking for someone or something else to blame seems like a better, easier path to follow, until maybe somewhere down the road you realize you’re a common denominator, or you are (or that person you’ve been idolizing is), in fact, fallible and complicit.

The falling apart of a thing – whether it’s a physical thing like a bridge, or a relationship, or an idea, or a state of being like sobriety – generally begins well before it actually happens. A slow erosion… a disintegration… a chipping away in the background.Read More »

Looking back and up. (Part 2)

“What are you willing to give up to get what you (say you) want?”

Some months ago, I saw a post that said something to this effect. I’m pretty sure it was my wonderful therapist who posted it, which damn well figures. She’s great at asking the tough questions, even unintentionally, even when they’re not directed at me, even if they don’t seem so tough at the outset.

This one planted a seed. I woke up this morning, the first day of a new year, first day of a new week, first day of the rest of my life, contemplating just what it is I (say I) want in life, and then what it is I currently say, think, do, or what it is I’m holding on to, that’s standing in the way of me getting it. Easy enough, right?Read More »

Looking back and up. (Part 1)

“I’m great and I’m terrible and I’m great and I’m terrible.” – Fiona Apple

I’d originally started this post with the first lines of A Tale of Two Cities (it was the best of times, the worst of times, etc.) as an attempt at a deep, meaningful review of 2017 coupled with an equally deep, meaningful look at the year ahead. I mean… yeah. Last year was full of wonderful things and also full of really damn awful things. But so was the year before that, and the year before that, and just about every year and every day that has ever been. Just because I didn’t personally experience great things or terrible things doesn’t mean they didn’t happen somewhere to someone at some point, right? Read More »

Sharing is (caring is) creepy.

I don’t like to share.

It’s one of the more “interesting” revelations I’ve had lately, I suppose.

Over the years, I’ve written a lot about how, when I was younger, I had no sense of self so I tried to be what I thought other people wanted me to be. And how, because it was too confusing to be all things to all people, I limited myself to either a boyfriend, or a best friend, but rarely both, and certainly no more than that. Acquaintances aplenty, but only one special person at a time.

What I realize now is that’s only part of the story. Read More »