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Just Another Blog Post…. but this one has Cat Pictures!

I’m feeling anxious today.

I’m not sure why. I’m pretty sure it’s not because of the election drama or anything like that. It certainly doesn’t help, but I’m not exactly thrilled with either of the possible results this year. I just woke up with this incredibly anxious, uneasy feeling. It’s not an unfamiliar feeling, but it has been a while since I’ve dealt with it. Oh, the joys of having multiple anxiety disorders!

I got up, had my coffee, finished week 4, day 3 of LIIFT4, followed by a 2 mile Walk at Home walk.

Breakfast was a smoothie made with chocolate protein powder, acacia fiber, creatine, collagen peptides, kale, cauliflower, and carrots. With it, I had a Pecan RxBar (nothing to write home about) and some of the frozen yogurt bark I made. The yogurt bark was just 2% plain Fage with honey mixed in, spread on a cookie sheet, and topped with fresh berries and Target’s Good and Gather Salted Chocolate Grain-Free Granola before freezing.

To be perfectly honest, I really just wanted the yogurt bark and/or RxBar, but I like a little more protein to start off my day. So, I decided to steal an idea from Brianna and have a chocolate protein shake on the side. I just bumped things up a bit by adding in the fiber powder and some veggies. Usually, I don’t use flavored protein powder for smoothies, but I figured there’s nothing wrong with doing it occasionally. Besides, I was initially just going to mix the powders together and call it a day. Adding greens just took it a step further.

Anyway, after I finished my breakfast, I went out to run a few errands. I took one of my cats out for a trip to a couple pet stores. He was a little clingy when we first got into the car, but he calmed down once I started driving. The hardest part was holding onto him in the parking lot. Once indoors, he was a lot calmer. Don’t be fooled, however! This is the same cat that likes to bolt out the front door and bully the neighbors’ dogs.

Unfortunately, social distancing when you bring a cat into a store is extra challenging, but I’m ok with that. Simba certainly enjoys meeting people. I’m tempted to take him out more. I would love to take him out right now. It’s just the kind of crazy, impulsive thing I do when I’m feeling anxious. (I’ve also shaved my head and gotten my ears pierced, so this is tame in comparison).

I ran half of my errands with Simba in tow, then took him home and stopped at Target and the grocery store to take care of everything else I needed to do to check one of the monthly items off my Powersheets. I’m incredibly excited about checking this one off.

I’m at 12,000 steps right now. I still need to clean up my workout set-up from this morning: roll up my mat and put away the pile of dumbbells I used. I think I use a more extensive variety of weights on shoulder day than any other day. I think, when it comes to upper body, shoulder day might be my least favorite.

I also need to straighten up the kitchen and tidy my room. It’s a little messy right now. Nothing terrible; I just have some things scattered around from one of my to-do list items. Usually, the goal is to tidy before I go to bed, but tonight is book club night, so I need to get it cleaned up before that. Actually, book club tonight is a good thing when it comes to me getting things done.

I think I need to start a load of laundry as well. I might be able to put it off until tomorrow, but I should probably just do it today. Is 4 pm too early to shower and put on pajamas?

Yikes! 4 pm?! Well, I definitely need to get moving. I have to make sure the living room and kitchen are cleaned up before anyone else gets home. I’ve been pretty good about cleaning up my messes in those shared spaces (even cleaning up around or for other people), but the one time I leave a spoon in the sink for longer than 20 seconds, I don’t hear the end of it.

Hopefully, this gnawing feeling of anxiety subsides soon. It’s the worst!

Take care, everyone!

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Losing My Identity

I miss writing.

I miss that feeling I used to get where the words seemed to just make their way from my head to the computer screen without any thought. I never brainstormed or made outlines. 

I just wrote.

Most of the poems in my books are completely unedited- save for fixing some typos or spelling errors. There were no rough drafts. True, some poems took some more time and effort than others to phrase everything in a way that fit the particular rhyme scheme or whatnot, but many were just written in one shot. 

Many were written in my journals. One or two were written in text messages. There’s even one that was “written” while walking around my local Walmart singing. 

My old blog posts were the same. I’d sit down at my computer and just type. Even though I cringe and roll my eyes at some of it, there are also things I’m convinced I wrote specifically because I needed to read them at a later date.

Being a writer was part of who I was. It was so much more than a hobby; it was part of my identity.

Writing like that made me feel alive. I could take everything I was feeling- and everything I didn’t know was consuming me- and release it into words.

However, writing is also an enemy I used against myself. When the panic attacks and depression were at their worst, I rarely said anything audibly against myself. Speaking out loud that I was “worthless” or “ugly” wasn’t enough. Instead, I wrote it down. I’ve filled pages in my journals with sentences like “Everyone would be better off if I weren’t around” and “I should just kill myself.” I wrote, telling myself that I was “stupid, ugly, worthless, unloved” until I became numb to the sting of those words. I believed if I genuinely made myself believe them, then they would no longer hurt. I wouldn’t have to face the emotional roller coaster of feeling good.”What goes up, must come down.” 

When I first started cutting myself, all I had on hand was the pen I was using in my journal. So, that’s what I used. I found other ways to inflict physical damage upon myself, but it started with a pen. 

I think my struggles with writing started in 2011 when, in a bout of stubbornness, I threw out the medication I was taking to help stabilize my moods and declared that I was “fine.” There was no happy or sad or good or bad. There was only “fine.” I was tired of feeling broken; I wanted to be completely numb.

I didn’t stop writing then, but things changed. Over the years, I realized that I couldn’t truly pour out my heart in writing and remain unfeeling. 

But the emotions frightened me. 

It’s in times where I’m overwhelmed with emotion that I am prone to hurting myself. At times, I’ll resort to verbally abusing myself by writing hateful messages to myself in my journals or whispering them over and over until I go numb. 

Other times, I’ll pinch myself or pick at my skin until it bleeds.

And, in the past, I have cut myself.

And while it has been years since I’ve inflicted physical damage on myself, the fear hasn’t gone away. Neither has my tendency to abuse myself in other ways. 

I want to write again. I set a goal to write for my blog every single day because I wanted to see what would happen if I committed to taking the time to publish something new regularly. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want anyone to read what I post. If I didn’t want it, it wouldn’t be on the internet for the world to see. In fact, one of my dreams is to eventually make money writing.

More than that, however, I want to feel alive when I write again. 

I’m afraid, though. I’m worried that that part of my identity may be gone for good because I was stupid and stubborn.

I’m also afraid that I won’t be able to handle it if it isn’t gone. I’m afraid of the damage I will do if I allow myself to open up and feel things with the intensity that I need to feel them in order to create.