Author Stories

It’s the 4th of July and I am in panic mode

Advertisements

Hey All,

For most Americans, today is all about get togethers, BBQ’s, celebrating our countries birthday with a day off and ending the day with fireworks.

For me, this weekend is my annual checking myself into a fancy hotel, spa days and drinking myself sleepy until I’m sound asleep before I even hear a boom go off.

My name is Amy and I am 44 years old and I am completely terrified of fireworks. Yup. There I said it. Sudden loud noises have always been a fear of mine. Fireworks, thunder, cars backfiring, guns, horns, etc. I’ve been this way since I was a little girl and guess what? I never grew out of it as most people would say.

I have always tried to pinpoint where/when/why it started and I can only think of one possible thing. I’ll tell you but you have to promise not to laugh ok? When I was 4 or 5 my mom and her friend would go bowling on Saturday nights and her friends 16 year old son would always have to babysit me. Two single moms did what they could to have a few hours off so we were an unlikely pair. We would always be at our house since I was always sent to bed way earlier I felt probably so his 16 year old self could do what 16 year olds do. I was a pretty stubborn kid so as a punishment he did this..again don’t laugh ok? We had an extremely old microwave in the house. It wasn’t digital and it was a turn dial. And back in the day it wasn’t the little beeps you hear today…it was a super loud alarm and I was scared of it. So if I didn’t go to bed and stay there he told me he was going to set the microwave for 10 seconds and hold me there to watch the countdown. Some savage torture shit for a 5 year old. I called his bluff and the monster that he was did it. (ps. totally not a monster and we joke about it today) He held me still with my arm around my chest and 10. 9. 8. …. I was screaming and then BAM! it was so loud and scary and he know I would run right to bed after that. I mean it totally worked but for sure there had to be other way right. RIGHT?!?!?!

So I’m not totally sure if that was my trigger for loud noises but that’s really all I can remember. Fireworks, storms when I know they are coming I can plan. I’m currently in a hotel drinking my wine and will order a nice dinner then night night and wake up the next day knowing I made it though. There is always the asshole that has them leftover though and like to blow them off in my neighborhood for another few days. Those are the hard ones to plan for. For storms I am glued to the radar on my phone and when I think it’s time to hide I grab my headphones and turn up my music and hide in the bathroom farthest away from any outside walls or windows. Gotta have a system people. My friends joke that I need a human size Thunder Shirt that are for dogs.

I know my fears are not rational or even comparable to our military heroes. I always think of them this time of year as well. Some suffer from severe PTSD and fireworks can trigger so many things for them. I think of all the pets and wildlife that have no idea what the hell is happening as well.

I’m for sure not one of those that are trying to ban fireworks and take away peoples fun (I would do a little dance if it actually happened though). I want everyone to enjoy the holiday and eat themselves silly with BBQ. I am perfectly happy that I just got my facial and nails done and I’m watching bad reality housewives of somewhere with my fave bottle of wine. Oh and my dogs are here too and they get big bones later. We are doing it up people.

Happy 4th!

Xoxo,

Amy

Mental Health

Losing Naomi Judd

Advertisements

Hey all,

It took me a minute but I did want to address the passing of Naomi Judd.

First and foremost it’s a loss. She and her daughter Wynonna were a huge part of my childhood since their songs were always playing in the house. Big voices, big personalities and big hair. I was totally on board.

Naomi was completely open about her struggle with mental illness. She talked about while she was on the road she felt alive but the quiet times at home is when the bad thoughts set in. She was what they have called treatment resistant. Trying everything and nothing will break though.

I’m on 3 different meds and I’m still not 100% sure it’s the right mix but fighting to find it can be exhausting.

The one thing that kind of got me was the wording of her passing. “We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness” I thought for someone who was so open about her struggles about her mental health and suicide thoughts they would have come right out and say that was what happened. I understand they were protecting their mothers legacy but it could also be a teaching and large platform for the prevention of these types of things.

Of course it has come out today that it was for sure suicide. I also understand as a non family member we are not obligated an answer. The pain the family is in is unbearable. So we mourn with them.

RIP Naomi. Rest easy and we will always remember the voice and the voice you had for others like you.

xoxoxo

Amy

If you or someone you know needs help…It’s there and it’s ok to call or text or message.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Mental Health

Thinking the worst and jumping to conclusions

Advertisements

If thinking the worst and jumping to conclusions were an Olympic sport I WOULD DOMINATE on a global scale. It’s my go too, My wheelhouse, my comfort zone. Is it wrong? Hell yes it’s wrong..but can I stop? No way.

I always joke that I can go from sniffles to death on a simple google search. I can take a minor thing like not texting back right away to them being mad and hating me. If my boss asks to chat with me quick I automatically think I’m getting fired.

Just yesterday I picked up my guy at the airport. I typically get out of the drivers side to go to the passenger side so he can drive. After I pop the truck and get out so he can put his bags in the back we typically meet in the middle somewhere Iwhile I am going around and hug and kiss as a welcome home I love and miss you gesture. This time he walked right into the car and buckled up. No kiss, no hug NOTHING. I of course think the worst. OMG he is mad, he hates me, he’s going to break up with me in the car, He’s got bad news…blah blah blah. I run through EVERYTHING before I even get in the passengers seat. Meanwhile he’s all like what’s your deal while I run through all my feats with him before he pulls away from the curb. I panic and he’s like oh sorry..I was just getting in the car no biggie. He immediately calms my fears and we go about our day like nothing ever happened.

I’m highly aware how exhausting I must be, always having to reassure me the sky is not falling. I really do try and let things play out without a freak-out but if my anxiety is already at a high there is no stopping the panic.

But why do I do this? My therapist says it’s because I have had a lot of loss in my life. Like I need to make sure nothing else happens. Also because of my past abuse I always think I’m in trouble or in the wrong so I need to hurry up and figure out what’s happening so I can brace for impact of bad things and possibly try and fix it. Meanwhile the other person simply forgot to text back. It probably is just a small cold or in my guys case just wanted to get in the car.

So what can we do to try and stop the spiral? Here are the things that I do. It’s still a work in progress obviously but I do try and practice these steps.

  1. Stop Time Traveling– Most of the thoughts I have would be happening in the future. The what if’s. What if I fail? What if he’s going to be mad? What if I see a pretty cloud and am looking up and then get hit by a huge bus and DIE? If we take a minute to think in the present. We can maybe slow our roll. Maybe look at the clouds AND check traffic. Maybe wait and see if he or she is mad before you keep pestering them by asking IF they are mad. Fun Fact: It will probably make them mad if you keep asking.

2. Play out the worst case- So if you must go down the dark path of what if’s.. Then let’s go there. What if you fail? Ok we fail. Do we try again, move on or work harder and figure out what went wrong. What if he’s mad? Ok he’s PISSED. What can we do to make it better? Let’s apologize and figure out where we went wrong so it’s not an issue moving forward. Clouds and getting hit by a bus. Maybe we get everything in a secure place for our loved ones. Let’s not take the day for granted. Let’s always put our best foot forward and live for the moment. Unless that one foot is the foot that get’s you hit by a bus:) By playing it out you take back a little control and will know exactly what to do if the worst does come. You can totally let out a I TOLD YOU SO as well if it makes you happy.

3. Play out the best case- It’s the same game as above but with the better outcome. Again either way you are going to be in control with whatever way it pans out.

4. Would you say this out loud? With the likes like the sniffles turning into a rare illness that will kill you in 6 months. Would you actually tell someone that? Out Loud? With things that can be a little out there I always ask myself that question to see if I’m willing to share my paranoia with others. If it’s my guy I’m more prone to blurt it out since he knows how my head works. If it’s a co worker and telling them my sniffles is going to kill me in 6 months so I’m gifting you my stapler is a bit harder. If it’s hard to sat to other people maybe take a step back and think to yourself am I making this a HUGE deal when it’s in the nothing stage yet.

5. Journal- Sometimes all the steps above are no match for anxiety. I have found that journaling or writing down the fears can have a positive impact. I play the best/worst case on paper so I can see just how outrageous it can be when I read it back. This blog is a bit of a helpful tool for me as well. I know if I write it down others can read. It’s a gut check sometimes.

Everyone is different is how they handle things. Some people are full on jumpers like me and others it’s just a quick thought and then they move on. Wherever you land on the scale just know that we all have moments like this. It’s just how you handle them that makes a difference.

The one thing I found that can help is once I play out worst case I can typically laugh at it so I thought we could all share (if your comfortable) our funniest worst case/ jumping to conclusions moments.

Here’s mine:

I dated a man that lived out of town and when he would come stay with me he always brought a little duffle bag with him for the weekend. One weekend he came and he had a lock on the bag. I’m not one to really go through peoples stuff but I was so worried why all of a sudden he had a lock on the bag. Why? What the eff was in there? Why now? Why can’t you be open and honest with me? Are they murder supplies like a knife and a tarp to hide my body? My thoughts got to the point where I finally had to confront my future murderer. He then opened the lock to the bag and pulled out a fancy blue tiffany’s box and presented me with my DAMN BIRTHDAY PRESENT. Yes folks, I confronted him on my birthday. He put the lock on it because he wanted the gift to be secure while he was traveling. UGH. I’m an idiot.

Ok your next. What have you done when you should of just slowed down and walked through everything?

XOXO

Amy

Author Stories, Mental Health

My in real time mental breakdown starting in 3..2..1

Advertisements

Hey all,

So what you are about to read is extremely hard for me to post. I’ve been gone for a few weeks due to me relapsing into a deep state of depression and panic attacks triggered from my abusive past.

During my worst meltdown, I decided to write out all that was going through my head. My worst thoughts, the panic rambling, the trying to understand and getting more and more frustrated.

I promised myself that I would not edit or alter my words. What you read below was me in real time writing my exact thoughts. No filter. No spellcheck. Just raw painful emotions. I’m fully exposed here and this is just as terrifying as the episode itself.

Why would I share this? Because it’s real life. I’m just one of many who battle mental health issues each day and below was my day to battle.

Here we go.

Feb 20th 2022 at 2:35am

What the fuck am I doing up again? I’m so tired but I’m wide awake and I can’t sleep. My head feels so heavy. It’s like my body and brain are so disconnected. My body is barely moving. Exhausted. My damn brain is telling me all the things I hate about myself. Right now I believe every word. I want the words to stop. Each word is flashing like a neon light.

Worthless, stupid, idiot,fat,ugly,broke,selfish

It feels like one of those scrolling news feeds on CNN or ESPN. Constant and never ending and I can’t shut it off.

I’m on the bathroom floor. It’s cool on my skin. I want to cover up. I’m embarrassed being exposed even though I’m the only one here. I want to wear so many layers to hide but I’m too fucking lazy to get up off the floor.

I hate that I’m like this. I’m so embarrassed. Everything is falling apart. My body, mind, relationship, money. I feel like a piece of shit not worth being here. I’m more of a burden than a asset to anyone. C has not spoken to me for a week. He left for Florida and has not called since he left. My heart is beating out of my chest and it’s hard to breathe. He can’t handle my past very well and doesn’t understand my future is still traumatized. I need to stop letting it interfere. It’s ruining everything. My ex 3 years later is still in my head hurting me. I’m not allowed to be happy. Please god make the pain go away. I can’t take much more.

My heart hurts like it’s going to explode. I can’t calm down. Writing this down is keeping me alive I think. It’s making me look at the words. I hate words.

My eyes are burning from my tears. I have a huge rash on my neck and chest that is starting to itch. Last time I scratched until I bled. I’m going to not do that this time. I did hit my head when I was falling to the floor. I’m sure my head will continue to pound until tomorrow. I hate that I am so pathetic. Why cant I be strong like I used to be. Or was I ever? Was I always this shitty? I’m spiraling out of control and nobody is here to catch me. I don’t blame them.

I feel like screaming “please help me”. I want someone here to hold my hand. To speak softly to tell me everything is going to be ok. But I’m so alone. Sometimes I think I’ll die alone.

I think that is scarier than anything.. dying alone. I’m an only child. I don’t have kids and my relationships are spotty at best. Who will be there for me? Am I worth taking care of?

I want to go to bed so bad but I know if I get up off the floor I will start spinning. My vertigo is in full force once I hit this manic state. If I move to quick I throw up and fall over. So here I sit.

It’s been over an hour now since I’ve been in here. My heart rate is slowing down and I feel I can breathe better. The feeling is coming back to my hands and feet. They always tingle when I’m hyperventilating. Popping the Xanax once I got to the floor was a good call. I hate taking it but it’s works so well for me. I wonder if this will always be my life. Crying on the bathroom floor ashamed and popping pills to calm down.

I’m finally getting sleepy and I’m both mentally and physically exhausted. I’m wondering if I should write these attacks down more often. I helps me focus on this I guess even though I’m rambling. I’m going to try and get some sleep until my alarm goes off at 7. It’s going to be a long day.

So there you have it guys.. Whew! I hate reading that to be honest but it’s my truth sometimes and that is ok. I do want everyone to know that I am ok and no need to worry. I am on the right meds. A support team that just needed a breather and I’m doing much better.

I will always be a work in progress and some days are WAY better than others. I am pretty proud of myself for the courage to post this. I know everyone says you are not alone but you really do have allies out there, I am here fighting right along side with you. We can have better days and as long as we have others to rely on on the not so great days we will be ok. All you need to do is reach out and ask.

Love to all,

XOXO

Amy

Mental Health

NFL address mental health in PSA with current players

Advertisements

Hey All,

So it’s Sunday and I’m a DIE HARD football fan. The Minnesota Vikings are my team and through ups and down I’ll ride or die.

But Over the last few months I have been loving these NFL PSA’S with active players talking about struggles with mental health. When you think the rough and outthought game of football you really have not seen many come forward with the struggles controlling fears and sadness. It’s for sure not typical. Speaking out on your internal fears, loneliness, depression , anxiety and panic attacks can be considered a weakness and could be exploited. Most never come forward to get the help they need because of this very reason.

We have all seen the news stories over the past years surrounding domestic violence and CTE brain disorders. They have not been pretty. Just a few weeks ago a former player threw his baby’s mother across the room into a TV. Link is below with video but trigger warning for sure.

https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2021/11/19/former-nfl-player-zac-stacy-arrested-at-orlando-airport-after-ex-girlfriend-shared-video-of-him-throwing-her-into-a-television

The NFL for sure has had some ugly bumps but I do appreciate the effort they are making to normalize the conversation to the fans and in particular the younger fans. These guys speaking out have a HUGE platform and I applaud the courage they have for speaking openly about it know the stigma it still has.

Due to copywrites I’m not allowed to play the PSA’s here on the blog but you have time look for them on Youtube. They are super easy to find.

The list includes:

Joey Bosa from the Los Angeles Chargers- Joey is talking about how he always put his physical health first but is now starting to work on mental health as well.

Soloman Thomas from The Las Vegas Raiders- Soloman has experienced the loss of his sister by suicide and has struggled with the sadness.

Hayden Hurst from the Atlanta Falcons- Hayden discusses how he has been struggling with depression and anxiety for years.

and DJ Clark from the Jacksonville Jaguars. He talks about having bouts of panic and fear.

The NFL and the NFL players Association have both confirmed they do offer mental health services to the players and front office staff but they vary from team to team. Some go all out like the Indianapolis Colts to having very little resources.

Get what the Colts are doing..

https://www.colts.com/community/kicking-the-stigma

They have launched a full fledge campaign dedicated to mental health. Donated funds stick close to home which makes sense but this is yet again another way to reach a huge platform to normalize the conversation which is important. They are Kicking the Stigma indeed.

Ok that is all for now because Football has officially started and my Vikes are playing the Lions today. #SKOL

XOXO,

Amy