Showing posts with label anxiety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anxiety. Show all posts

Monday, July 29, 2019

Wistful but lucky... Depression and two kiddos...

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I really want to get back to writing. I miss having a creative outlet.

Just wanted to get some feelings down now, but Baby X has consistently woken from his nap whenever I have opened up Blogger.

Here goes nothing.

With Baby X over a year now, it's kind of crazy. I know I have love in my heart for more kids, but realistically I don't think I could handle more. My depression and anxiety just can't seem to be managed well. Exercise helps with the "big feelings" as I call them around here, but I've been sidelined with the worst back injury of my life since mid June and it's crushing my spirit (and my disc, too).

I was driving back from errands today, Kiddo D at a camp and Baby X briefly calm in his seat. It was a respite from his shrieking and my negotiating in the stores and the parking garage. My sunglasses were cloudy and smudged with tiny fingerprints. Baby X loves to pull off my shades and then forcefully "put them back on for Mommy" which entails jamming the arms into my mouth/nose/eyes and holding them there. It's cute. It's silly. It makes every pair bend and smudged.

I smiled. And I haven't been doing that much these days.

He doesn't sleep well. It's been getting better, but I'm still exhausted most mornings... hell, most days, all day. My coffee intake has skyrocketed in the most literal sense. I go through coffee beans like a newborn and diapers. Or a toddler with toilet paper. Or a kindergartner with liquid soap or toothpaste.

I thought that at this stage in the game I would have had a better handle on two kids. That I'd be less bitchy and have found more of a rhythm, as the saying goes. Mind you, miracles don't happen, so I'll ALWAYS be part bitch, but... ya know, less grumpy and quick to go off on Kiddo D.

Not sure if I have mentioned here before, but antidepressants seem to make me incredibly sick. I have multiple chronic conditions, including one that holds medication sensitivity as a symptom. I've done enough therapy to teach classes and write hardcover books. I mean, the classes would suck and the books wouldn't sell, but I COULD probably do it. There is essentially a holding pattern of sticking through it all, but no real improvement in sight. Not here, not in the horizon, not in the far-distant future. And that's sad. I used to think apathy was so lame... giving up. But there are certain realizations I have made now that just ARE. I'm certain my mood and anxiety will ebb and flow. There will be better days and weeks and months, and the not-so-great ones. I wish there were a magic pill that would help it... reduce it... perk me up. But I have tried almost all of them. NO JOKE. My file is a thick one, spanning decades and provinces. I am a health insurance company's worst nightmare.

But the physical side effects are intolerable. Not even just the first few weeks. It seems to get worse the longer I am on the medication, and then coming off of it it just HORRIFIC. Brain zaps and nausea and wishing death would make it stop because it's so physically uncomfortable and debilitating.

I tried a bunch of meds when Kiddo D was a baby and toddler. I was always feeling sick. It was no way to live.

Now, I have two kids to take care of, so feeling physically ill every day, even if my mood is slightly elevated, is not worth that trade off. Exercise is my best tool, but it's a tough balance between overdoing it and feeling more exhausted, and moving enough to put a dent in the stress hormones and anxiety.

I hope my kids don't look back and think I was a fool for not medicating. That my prissiness and short temper aren't a life sentence for both of them for therapy. I keep trying to be more patient and less RAGE-FACE with Kiddo D. I don't know that I am succeeding.

I always have brain fog, I can't focus, I'm SO SO SO sensitive to noise. It makes the agitation go to unbearable levels. I want to give Kiddo D my attention, but Baby X is NEEEEEEDY and curious and gets into EVERYTHING. I can't look away. So I hope, in my heart, that as he gets less motivated to kill himself at every given opportunity, that some semblance of giving both kids equal attention will come to be.

He's awake now. I should go.

But I do want to say... I am grateful. I am grateful I have these two wonderful, healthy, intense children. I am grateful I get to spend my time with them. I wish I could be a better version of myself. It's so sad to be in therapy and uncover all the layers and layers of shit you were subjected to as a child. For the therapist to say that you're doing incredibly well considering what you're dealing with. But to still fall short in so many ways.

I love my family with all of my cracked, duct-taped, dusty heart. I enjoy the moments when I can make them laugh. So so so deeply. I want to enjoy these days as much as I can. I want to be there for them emotionally - support them POSITIVELY, ask about their day, about their feelings, be able to focus and HEAR what they are saying, and often what they aren't saying, too. Sincerely. I don't want them to act in a false way to make me happy. I need to embrace the fact that they are their own little people. It's so hard. And we model what we know from when we were little. I have so much unlearning and so much learning to do...

I hope I figure it out for their sake... and soon.


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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Cycling for the Terrified (Me)

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So... many of you out there probably have an idea of what it's like to be anxious. At least, occasionally, anyway. Maybe some of you do suffer with more regular anxiety in your life. Maybe it just pops up when there is something particular stressful happening in your life.

Then, there is the lucky type such as myself who gets to shoulder generalized anxiety disorder with a hefty side of social anxiety. It's pretty great. For one low price, you get to constantly worry about every little detail of your life - the safety and well-being of the people you love, every pain/ache/unwell feeling in your own body, the safety of the roads, the safety of the car seat straps, the strength and function of the locks on all the exterior doors of the house, the quality of life of the dogs, the balance between structure/learning and downtime for your active child, the damage Trump is doing already as "President", the global warming crisis....

Okay, wow, that was just the current top-of-mind stuff.

So... after many, many, many years of trying to work through a lot of that, here I sit! It seems to be a part of me that has no intention of waning or leaving.

Nowadays, especially since having Baby D, I realize that I need an outlet. Exercising seems like as good as any option (mind you, if you read this blog or know me in real life, you know that never seems to work out very well because my body seems to enjoy injuries and illness far far more than being active and healthy....).

But then creeps in that motherfucking anxiety.

Baby D is in a class so I can bike. But... I don't know how to change a flat tire. I don't even own an extra tube. I have a portable pump, but I don't know where to attach it to my bike frame so it's been a fixture in the back seat of my vehicle (Pro-tip: super helpful to have a pump somewhere inaccessible and useless!). I also fear speed. I clocked just under 40km/hr downhill yesterday and I nearly had to change my bib shorts. I see any twig or uneven surface as a possible Stephanie-launching enemy. I AM that person that would hit a branch the wrong way and break all my limbs while landing on a dump truck.

I worry that something will happen with her and I won't hear my phone ring. Or that I will end up too far from my home or car and not make it back in time. I set an alarm on my phone, but also fear it's set wrong or won't be audible. Seriously. I set an alarm yesterday, and it never went off while I was riding. Turns out I somehow set it for 1:50pm but specifically for Friday. It was Monday.

Riding on the road means certain death. Drivers in BC are terrifying, even moreso when all there is between you is some air and a helmet. If I pull the kid in the trailer, you bet your ass we're on a trail without traffic.

So I try to live life. I don't want my fear of all things to keep me down and hiding behind drawn curtains. For someone without anxiety, that only seems logical. I feel like those readers who also suffer, either openly or privately, will understand just how much more daunting trying to get out there and bike, or swim, or run, can be when you fear a thousand scenarios beyond just getting yourself out there and moving.

I know I can fail. Or just really suck at the sport. That isn't where the fear lies. I was raised to assume I will fail. But I recognize that it'll take work to really see gains, and there's no way to improve unless I keep trying. And the chronic pain? It can just STFU for a little while because I will hurt whether or not I exercise.

I've been told that I am foolish to keep training or exercising when I get hurt so easily. While I see the truth in that when it comes to things like obstacle races (I can't effectively train for some of those motions/movements, and I've been injured at them repeatedly, so I'm done with those for the next few years, anyway), I am still working towards racing. Having a goal of something that really scares me, even keeps me awake some nights, is something to really work towards. I take it seriously and know I have to put in several workouts a week if I really want it to happen.

Riding can feel so freeing. It's awesome to be able to physically climb some of the badass hills around here. I need to take breaks, but I don't quit. I feel fear but also excitement, which is pretty amazing. I AM capable.

I fear stupid shit AND big shit. So I might as well still aim high. 

I watch Baby D, and although she is just finally starting to show more signs of apprehension and hesitation before some activities where she can get hurt, I also see her total zest for life and willingness to try something. And she usually LOVES it once she gets out there. She's inspiring. She's everything I want to be when I grow up. Ha.


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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Parenting With Anxiety: Park Edition

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So, I bet this will probably shock every one of you.
I have anxiety.

I know, right?

You were all thinking that I am so COMPLETELY easy going, and carefree, and relaxed. My writing style, my self love... and BAM, outta nowhere I just hit you with that nugget.

It's true. It's crippling. It's hard to navigate.

Now, try having to deal with that AND a child who fuels/nourishes herself solely on that anxiety. And maybe some booby milk and pasta, too. But definitely lives for thrills.

Those two things combined lead me to be frazzled and fizzled out EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. By 11am.

Here's a look inside my head during a trip to the park.


*unbuckles Baby D from carseat*

I hope this is installed right. I can't imagine the horror if something were to happen and I had just been too lazy or forgetful or tired to look up the proper parameters and installation. That's probably why I hate taking her in and out of her car seat so much.

Did I just say hate? Like as if I hate having to haul her around? That's just dumb. 

*tells Baby D to be careful and wait a second because we are near a road and she needs to hold my hand before crossing*

Jesus I should have grabbed my wallet first, I hate having her behind me out of her seat. I know if I let my guard down, that'll be when she bolts into traffic. But we've taught her traffic danger. But maybe I need to reiterate it again? Make it scarier so it sticks? No, she'd need therapy later in life probably. Jesus, pay attention woman.

*holds her hand, crosses street toward park entrance*

Uuuuugh. Those after school daycare ladies are judging me already. Do I look extra fat in this? Probably. They'd better not judge my parenting. They will. Who cares? Well, I'm thinking about it, so I guess I care.

*watches Baby D climb high ladder, effortlessly, simultaneously standing close enough to catch her while trying not to be her shadow*

That's awesome this kid is so fearless and agile. I hope she slows down though on that tall ladder. Once she knows she's got it, she looks around too much. Geez that makes me nervous.

*reminds Baby D to watch where her feet are and not to go too fast. Tells her she's doing a great job and that she is soooo strong. Asks if she needs help*

I bet I'm hovering over her too much. But this is a playground designed for 5 and older and munchkin is only 3. But tall. She's so tall. I hope that boys still play with her when she's school aged. I hate all the gender bullshit. She's tougher than kids older than her. She's tougher than me.

*sits on wood edging of playground*

Ah crap... that was close. She's so fast. Why did The Hubs teach her to raise her feet when she's going down the slide like that? She almost flew off again. She loves it, but that'll hurt if she lands on her back on the ground. Friction. Geesh, this kid needs NO MORE SPEED.
My butt crack is hanging out again. I should have worn a longer shirt. I'm so gross. I bet all the skinny moms think I'm just a lazy pig. I guess I kind of am, but I don't mean to be.

If you think this is scary, you should try watching her speed climb a seven foot rock wall.

*shouts for Baby D to STOP! Don't make that 4' jump straight down!*

Oh god. I looked down for a second and she almost fell. I cannot let my guard down. She's so fast and crazy. Man I love her. Jesus my heart in is my throat. That other little kid wants to play with her. Oh man, I hope I don't have to parent anything with the other kid. Especially if she's with the daycare and not her own parent(s). She seems nice enough.
 How can the daycare people watch so many kids at once? Dalia would have run away by now if I weren't here.

Am I creepy? I'm staring at them both. And smiling. All creepster. It's cute this kid wants to play with her, but I feel like most kids can't totally understand what she's saying. But I don't want to follow them around. I have to pee. There are no bathrooms here, dammit.

I hope I'm doing this right. Should I be letting her climb all this at 3? I can't stop her wild, fearless nature. I don't want to stifle her or scare the adventure out of her. Man she's running fast up there. I hope she doesn't bang heads with anyone. Is she too little to be here? She overpowers the little tot lots around here now. She's so tall and strong that she kind of hops and she's at the top. I don't like those older girls hogging the rings. Pretty sure they just told them to go away. Grrr, don't make mama bear step in. Why isn't the daycare lady saying anything? Okay, they ran away and don't seem to care. 

Aw man, I wish that girl would slow down on the curved ladder. Baby D is trying to keep up with her, but she's at least a few years older.

*Reminds Baby D to watch where she is putting her feet. Baby D slips off but gets caught. Regains footing*

Ohgawd that was close. I don't know what I'd do if she got really hurt or broke something. I can't keep her in a bubble but...

*tells Baby D NOT to climb over the 7' tall rock climbing wall railing to imminent injury*


Okay. That was approximately 7 minutes at the park. Good times. I got super anxious just typing that and it was literally just the tip of the iceberg of thoughts.

I'm so chill.


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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The End of Nursing My Toddler?

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A few nights ago, we'd had an okay day, but I was so grumpy. All the posts I've failed to finish on here have been about my health trials and tribulations since last June. Injury, illness, injury, illness, surgery gone wrong, more illness, then another illness. I was feeling the worst of last said illness.

This last illness is mastitis. Pretty sure it was from my new venture of trying to learn to run properly (as opposed to the clusterf*ck that was me trundling through a half-marathon in September without adequate training...) with my new sports bras. Those puppies squished the girls so much, my milk ducts on ole righty decided to reply with anger and pain. For those unaware, mastitis is basically a brutal boob infection.

The chemical content can change in breast milk during mastitis and the baby/toddler may not like the taste of the milk. While this was surely happening with Baby D, I also felt pretty sure she was approaching self-weaning from my milk. I decided 2 years ago that I would let her decide when to stop nursing, but I felt this sad dread that those moments of our lives would be over soon.

But I digress.

On antibiotic #2 for mastitis, I was so so bloody tired and run down.
Weak, with no patience.
That night I realized all I had done was criticize and basically be a bitch to Baby D all day. I crawled into her bed while she slept so beautifully... so peacefully. I looked at her angelic face and her tiny nostrils flaring, ever so gently, and realized that she doesn't deserve the wrath of my health woes. She didn't ask me to start running, or to lose weight or do anything other than be her mommy. But yet she gets the brunt of my bad mood and short temper when I am once again down and out.

I cried. Like a real little bitch. True sobbing, but the kind a mom does so no one can hear. Like holding a tornado inside of your body. I shook her pillow unintentionally. She roused slightly as I stroked her face and hair. I planted a kiss on her tiny forehead and thought about how she will master this world, that no one can or should keep her down (most of all, ME), that she is going to do incredible things in her lifetime, and I thought of how pure and wonderful and HAPPY she is. And that this would be the last night I put my 2 year old to bed. Maybe the last time my little toddler would nurse had already happened.

I felt sad and scared of the world, yet full of love.

As if sensing my upset, do you know what my fiery little snowflake did, as if on cue?
She dug her finger so far into her nostril that I'm certain she found gold.

It was what I needed. A reality check. A slap of BE HERE NOW, WOMAN!
And I giggled. Watching her pick her nose in her sleep was just utterly perfect.

It doesn't need to be all about my pre-disposition-to-all-things-depressed-and-extremely-anxious.

It was so cute and fitting.

She rallied up there for a while, then her hand fell back down on the pillow beside my face. Gawd I love her. I left her room with a smile.

I realized that she's going to keep close to me and keep me on my toes, no matter what comes our way. Not much I can do on the health front... I'm trying my best. I just have to remember to keep trying. And remember that she'll be 3, and her place in this world matters far less to her right now than boogers.

And it's kind of wonderful that way.


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Long Distance Movers: Scams, Bullshi* & What You Should Know

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Yeah, that's right. I said it.

I have been forced to delve into the world of long distance movers. Not because I want to. Hell naw. I am being forced into it. You know, if I ever want to see my stuff again on the other side of the country.

From initial review, it appears that a LARGE MAJORITY of movers are scammers, rip-off artists, and downright criminal. More than a small percentage of reports and complaints discuss a scam that is quite frequent in the Toronto, Ontario area: load up the truck with your shizz, probably not actually code and inventory the stuff, and then lock the truck door and force the paying customer to go directly to an ATM to withdraw more money for some lame/bogus "extra" that the drivers claim was never accounted for the in quote. (Just read the comments section here).

If you pay, you may see your items again. You also might not. They drive your stuff either to their own local storage, sometimes selling off the most expensive items, and then decide whether or not they will ultimately deliver your goods to you.


Being the anxiety-laden, perfectionist-type person that I am, I always like to research the SHIT out of something before making a purchase or service decision. Not because I believe that, in doing so, I will make the 'perfect' decision. No, not at all.

[Sidenote - I find it both amusing and incredibly sad that my perfectionist streak just makes me feel insanely skeptical and causes me to second guess just about every decision I ever make. Because I fear making the WRONG choice, and suffering catastrophic worst-case-scenario type consequences. In reality, all it does is cause immense stress and worry when in reality I can't control anything beyond the brand or company. But that won't stop me from worrying and forever second guessing my decisions**.]

But in looking up all the movers that have quoted us, I am at an impasse. All of them have reviews that indicate this has happened to at least a few customers. A few others showed up on the Canadian government's consumer "beware" list. The BBB (Better Business Bureau) either shows a TON of filed complaints, or no information at all.

Pretty much.

Another problem? If you are moving long distance, you get a subcontractor to unload your stuff at your final destination. Sometimes these are guys hired from homeless shelters and the like. Anyone willing to put in a little time for some under-the-table money.

NOT experienced movers
NOT regular employees who might care
NOT someone who is looking out for your best interests.

Some just employ regular shitty workers. And the moving companies tell you that you have nothing to worry about, and that they don't subcontract their work. BUT THEY DO. Especially for long distance. I highly doubt the one truck driver acts as the delivery man AS WELL AS the mover, all by his lonesome.

So if your stuff gets put into storage, either on your departure end or arrival end, you may never see it again. Or, you may have to pay such exorbitant fees to recover your items (of which, a reasonable percentage is likely broken/damaged or unusable), that getting your items back becomes not at all financially feasible.

Long distance movers charge you by the distance travelled, and the weight of your shipment. They claim to use government scales and provide you with a waybill, but how do you know they aren't weighing your stuff with someone else who is shipping a smaller load? That they don't get Larry, Jim and Bob in the truck, along with some cinder blocks and a bag of bricks? You don't get to watch them or see what's being weighed.

Also? The quotes ranged from $0.45/lb, up to $1.00/lb. A significant difference. One quote? $4700 inclusive. Another quote? $11,200. None of these quotes include packing anything beyond some of the breakable kitchen stuff.

They want to pack my department store Corelle dishes and discontinued wine glasses for $200. That shit isn't WORTH that much to start with. To "crate" our flat screen TV that mom and dad gave us would cost $150. WTF? Do they wrap it in a moving blanket made from the tears of unicorns?

Am I guaranteed that the more expensive one won't pull the scams? No.

But the best part? Any moving company is NOT RESPONSIBLE for damaged items IF YOU PACKED THE BOX. While I can see why this would apply if someone is a shitty packer, it also applies to things that you don't pay them to crate. The basic coverage provided allows for reimbursement of $0.60/lb, industry standard, along with a $300+ deductible if your load gets lost or you can prove an item is missing from the shipment. (And, apparently, know the weight of said item). You can purchase more insurance on your own... but how do I know the total value of all my stuff?

I've been reading (and consequently losing sleep) at, to see what people are saying about the movers. But you can tell so many reviews are bogus, with glowing 10.0 and remarks like "they made me feel 'LIKE A QUEEN!' "... uh... ok. Yeah, I expect that from a mover. Some of the moving company replies to customers who had bad experiences show the moving companies are jerks about stuff. Which makes me even more concerned.

Has anyone used a long-distance mover across Canada that they could recommend? If so, tell me what went wrong, too. I need context and honesty.

It's hard enough to try and accept that I am leaving my family and friends behind in this move...  to imagine losing all of my belongings on top of that is just too much to try to process.

I will hope for the best, but I really don't have a good feeling about this at all.


** I do not, for a moment, second guess marrying my husband. That's the one thing I feel solid about. Though I torment myself wondering what I could have done differently to make our wedding better, more fun, kept more people dancing, should have changed about my dress, blah blah blah.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

California Doomed: Horrors Behind Closed Doors?

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Continued below (warning: I change tenses a bit, deal with my inconsistency accordingly):

So, as in my last post, I had recently, sweatily (What, so what if it isn't a word, I just made it one!) got through airport security, U.S. Customs, and I am alone.

In some countries like Cuba, you get screamed/shouted at if you don't continue moving after you pass through their security or customs area. So I try to walk really slowly around the edge of security.

I don't know if I will be yelled at or forced to move on.

I see the sign for the fancy schmancy Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge to my right, but realize I have no access without Feyoncé.


I am standing alone, without a watch, without a clue as to where he is or how long he will be.

So I put on my big girl pants and wait. 5 minutes. It feels like a long time. Until I still see nothing for the next 3 minutes... 5 more..

5 more...

and 5 more.

I finally approach someone official-looking and ask if Feyoncé will end up in the same place as me once he is done his "random check". The gentlemen assures me that if my guy is travelling to the U.S. that he will, indeed, have to come through the same security area.

He offers that I go to the lounge to wait for him. Or try calling him.

(While it would have been a helpful addition to this post to add photographs of all of the NO CELL PHONE signs posted throughout the security area, I feel that whipping out my cell or camera to document said signs probably wouldn't have gone over very well).

SO THANKS, official-looking-guy. Pretty sure I can't call him, and sure as hell HE CAN'T answer his own phone if he is in interrogation/being searched rectally.

So after twenty minutes have passed, I can feel whatever semblance of big-girl-pant-ed-ness I had crumbling under the weight of the terror that I will never see Feyoncé again/I will miss the flight/ I will die just beyond the border of the security area.

I mean, totally rational, right? Probably the most likely area to die. Or not.

So I start CRYING people.

CRYING at the motherfucking airport, at 31 years of age.

Crying at the airport.... Who? ME?? Nooooo.

After 35 minutes of anxiety and confusion, I finally see him making his way through the hundreds of feet of security aisle.

I cannot express the relief I felt.

I can see, too, that he is at least happy to communicate to me that although he has been violated in ways no man should ever (nor will ever) discuss publicly, that he knows that I NOW KNOW that he is alive and will be coming with me.

We head to the lounge together, STAT, because I need a mother-effing drink more than you can say "overreact".

SO... turns out there was a long line-up in the random screening section. That was it.

Yup, just a line-up. And a friendly search person who apologized for the delay to him. And some questions about pocket contents.


Also? I think that the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Pearson Airport waters down their liquor because I downed two triple vodka and iced teas in about 15 minutes and didn't feel it.

So that was the start to my first (and only?) trip to California.

Calm, cool, and collected.

Good thing I brought my big girl pants, eh?

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