Author Stories

I’m Weird and I Do Weird Stuff: A Confession

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So I’ve posted some extremely personal stories in the past. Some so raw I needed a minute after I hit that publish button. This one is still personal but I’m going to put my weirdness on blast and I guess that’s just as scary since I’ve never really talked about my quirks post Domestic Violence. 

A lot of my weirdness has come out of survival. Some I developed after the abuse, but all of these are for sure newish.  A lot of them I think are based on control. My story was I was controlled in every aspect of my life. The things I developed were my way of controlling just little things and it got me through. 

But why still do it? I think it’s that stat that if you do something repetitive for a while it just becomes second nature. I don’t have to do these things anymore but it’s just almost a comfort thing I guess. 

My top 5 things I do that’s weird but comforting:)

  1. My daily bathroom routine.  

 Each and everyday when I get ready I take EVERYTHING out I will use and line it up on the counter. Every face product, hair product, make up, brushes, oral care, lotions, EVERYTHING!!! The counter looks like I’m a hoarder and it’s covered with no space to space. Not to mention I bring all my underwear things, clothes, accessories and shoes in with me as well. I’m walking out of this bathroom 100% ready.  

Getting fully ready meant I was alone longer in the bathroom. Alone time was my only time that I could breathe so more time was super important to me. 

Also I felt safer being naked and getting dressed behind a door. 

With all the products out on the counter I could visually see what I had to do still. On days when I was in such bad shape every task felt like a mountain to climb. But if I put lotion on I put the bottle away. Brushed my teeth.. I put away the toothpaste, mouthwash and brush. After each task the counter got less cluttered and what I had left to do seemed less and less. It kept me going and taking one thing at a time. I was in control and I was getting shit done:)

I STILL do this today. It’s such a part of my daily routine that it would probably throw me off if I didn’t it differently.  I will always check bathroom counters for space potential in any new place I live:)

  1.  The Alphabet game

         I have a weird habit of “finding” the alphabet when I get nervous or feel a panic attack coming on. It started when I was alone in a Dr office after being injured where I needed medical attention. I knew I was going to have to lie but was so uncomfortable being there. I started looking around the room and found a letter A on the wall. Then B then C. I just kept going to take my mind off everything. J’s are always the hardest. But I still do this everytime I’m in a room at the Dr. 

I’ve also done it in the shower when I’ve been so defeated and need an escape. The shower was always my place of safety so I did it to calm down. Finding the letters on shampoo bottles or body washes.

3. Counting semi trucks

When I’m driving long distances I set a goal of how many Semi trucks I can find. Back in my relationship we would always travel long distances when we moved so often and I wasn’t allowed to talk in the car. To keep my mind from going crazy and keep me present I would count the semi’s. I’d see when the next big city would be on the interstate and make a goal to see how many I could see before we get there. I don’t do this as often anymore but I still notice them all while driving. I just don’t keep track.

4. Worst case game

We may all have done this to some degree but I tend to do this a bit too much. Something will pop up that worries me and I will start thinking of all the possibilities of what could go wrong. Something so simple as I have a headache will for sure lead to death in my mind. A check engine light will automatically leave me stranded on the road at night and I’ll get murdered by a random passerby. If I’m worried about a bill, I will become homeless living in my car. That’s if they don’t repo it. Then I’ll be living in a tent until someone steals that and then I’ll be out in the rain. See what I mean? I can go on and on with so many levels. These days it’s more comedy relief but I still do it. Back in the day I would think worst case and try to make a plan for whatever could happen. It just gave me a little bit more of control.

5. On time like by an hour

This one is probably my most annoying one for the others in my life. I get huge anxiety about being late for anything. So much so I’ll leave almost 2 hours early just to be there an hour early to sit in the car. If I’m alone it’s no big deal but if you can imagine how it goes with my current boyfriend you are probably just as annoyed as he gets. I’m always rushing and moving him along and then he gives me the look like “ITS 2 FUCKING HOURS EARLY”. Then we laugh and laugh. Haha. Just kidding. I’ll back off but internally I’m stressing we are going to be late. 

The one time we cut it close because of traffic or who know what I’m extra validated in why we need to leave early. But that only happens like once out of hardly ever but damn it if I don’t use it. 

Well there I spilled all my dirty little quirks for the Internet to see. I know I’m not alone in the weird category so if you dare share!!! I’d love to hear yours!

Xoxo 

Amy

Author Stories, Mental Health, Uncategorized

Why taking a break is ok

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Hey all,

It’s been a while but I really needed a much needed break. A break from everything really. I’ve talked about good days and bad days before. How triggers can completely transform a good day to a I need to lay down and hide under a blanket day. I really get so frustrated and can’t understand how I wake up so motivated to take on life and important projects and then one thing effs up my whole day. Then I feel I wasted good working hours and nothing gets done. 

I know I’m not the only one that goes through this crazy cycle. I am in many groups where we all vent about it. Wanting to conquer the world but can’t get out of bed to start.

I felt I needed to take a step back and recharge. Turn off every outlet into my brain. Like a huge surge protector plug In and I just clicked it off and everything went dark. 

I felt I was getting overwhelmed by the smallest little tasks. Crying because I knocked over a pen holder and they flew everywhere. Getting to Target and forgetting my shopping list and could not remember 1 thing on it.

I was completely stressing myself out because I was not getting what I needed to get done and panic set in and then the internal name calling and then shutting down completely. 

For the past few weeks I have been slowing down the pace of things. Makings lists to keep me on track but also with achievable goals. If I get one thing crossed off I do a little dance and pat myself on the back and take a minute to acknowledge I accomplished something. 

To many times I have dwelled on all the things I haven’t done but forget the things I actually did finish. Yes, there are many things that are still on my list but did I cross off the worst one first. Hell yeah!! Did you cross off two small ones but had to add 3 more. No biggie girl! It’s fluid. For me the main thing is to know things are getting done in a healthy way and I’m going to try not to stress that things are still there. 

Think of your to do list as just a reminder of things that can be done. DO NOT THINK IT HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW. Nothing wrong with having an ongoing master list that you keep adding to. You are the one in control of which one gets done first and which ones can wait. It does not control you. 

I know what I’m saying is not anything new or some ah ha moment but this post really is just a reminder to me and anyone who needs it that’s it’s going to be ok. 

Just breathe, take a minute or a freaking few weeks, regroup and come back rested and ready to do the best you can. That’s all that matters. 

Xoxo

Amy

Mental Health, Relationships

What to do when your partner sabotages your happiness and achievements

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This has happened to me many times. Things are going great and I’m hitting my stride in something. I’m about to celebrate or start a new chapter and boom…a fight starts or silent treatment or whatever happens to dampen the mood.

Just how a partner can love bomb you to manipulate they can also turn the opposite direction and tear you down just as quick.

My abuser was the stereotypical narcissist. All about them but very rarely acknowledge what’s going on with you. In the beginning when he still let me work I was climbing upward in my career. Each job better than the next and a HUGE freakin deal for me. It never failed on the morning of my first day he would pout and huff and puff until I would ask what’s wrong. Then I would brace for a long tirade on how horrible I am and they will see they made a mistake hiring me. My first day jitters were just made 10x worse.

It seemed anytime I started to show self esteem and the threat of independence I guess it was time to tear e back down again. After a while I actually stopped trying hard for things. WTF!!!! I would decline job offers that were presented to me. I would stop sharing anything positive because I didn’t want to set him off.

In that time frame I was also going through a weight loss journey. The verbal abuse about my weight was increasing so of course I went on a diet to again curb the verbal assaults. With every pound I lost I did a little internal happy dance. So when my weight loss was getting noticeable it became a problem. I was getting healthy and becoming again more self confident. I noticed more and more fattening foods entering the house. Cookies,chips,ice cream and all the things that got me to my highest weight to begin with. Will power when I’m hungry is always hard for me. I cave so easy so keeping those things out of the house was a huge turning point. Playing into my weakness I caved and started getting lazy in tracking and for the most part gave up. I never got a you look good or I can see the progress..good job.

So what can we do when these kind of things happen? Here are a few tips I wish I would have done earlier to still celebrate my wins instead of hiding them,

1. If you have a small group of people that you can talk to about your big things let them in on it. I hid my abuse but I still talked to my girls about what I’m doing and how it’s going. Have a text chain that you all can share good news and can celebrate together with people that actually give a shit.

2. Never give up on your goals. Even if you have to keep them all in your head. Once I gave up on myself I slipped farther into the abuse. I started believing what he was telling me. If you still have the fire in you but just can’t pursue right now keep it lit! You will get there. Have a planning meeting with yourself each day on what little things can I do safely to move forward.

3. Daily affirmations. This one took me a bit to adopt. I just felt silly at first and to be honest I didn’t believe it. I had to truly fake it until I made it. Every morning and night when I brushed my teeth I would force myself to say 3 positive things about me. It can be the same every day but you need to give yourself a boost since your not getting it from your partner. Self love people

4. Never stop learning. Try new things if possible. Push yourself a little bit just to prove to yourself you can achieve whatever you need to do and crush it. Being in a funk is normal in these types of relationships so its important to still be true to you and keep bettering yourself. You are NOT a the words coming out of their mouth.

Hope this helps a little when your feeling discouraged.

Xoxo

Amy

Mental Health

Losing Naomi Judd

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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

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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