Tag: anxiety

Stress Source

I stupidly fired up the old Twitter app this morning and got involved in a thread (reading not tweeting) about how a certain newly-elected Latina congresswoman used the wrong word when referring to the different parts of the federal government. Suffice it to say that a lot of people are just awful.

I allowed myself to get stressed out before getting out of bed. Why do I subject myself to this abuse? I lived for 38 years with no Twitter. I’m sure I could go another 38 without it.

To try and negate the bad energy, I posted this uplifting quote.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profundity. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

One tweet from me won’t change the world, but maybe one person will see it and offer kindness to someone they meet. That person may pass it on to someone else. That would indeed be something.

In a future post, I’ll make a list of things to do instead of browsing Twitter when you just can’t bring yourself to put down the smartphone.

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Walking the walk

I can’t remember exactly when it was that I realized I forgot how to walk correctly. I don’t know that there is necessarily a “correct” way to walk, but a time came for me when walking didn’t feel natural. Now I know this was a symptom of my undiagnosed MS.

I looked for gait training resources on the internet. I picked up pointers from The Gait Guys, and Core Walking with Jonathan FitzGordon. I started to pay attention to the way my feet were striking the ground. I adjusted my posture. I tried to walk with my toes forward instead of turned out like a dancer. I thought about hip flexion, and arm swing, and hip rotation. All of this only served to make me more confused than ever. Trying to make your walk natural is probably the most unnatural thing you can do. It was for me.

The blogger at 2 or 3 years old
When walking was new and natural.

Now that I have an MS diagnosis and I understand why my walk is a little weird, I’m not as worried about it. I still try to be mindful of posture and heel strike. I have a little bit of foot-drop on the left side, so I make an effort to dorsiflex to reduce the risk of tripping and falling. I guess it’s possible that my body and brain have made adjustments to overcome the neural miscommunication that MS causes.

That being said, I still feel self-conscious about the way I walk. I tell myself that people are not watching my walk and judging me on it, but I also feel that people must be watching and judging.

Nothing to do but take life one step at a time.

Much Better

It’s amazing how much better life is when your every waking moment isn’t anxiety filled. The increased Fluoxetine dosage is finally working, so life has not been awful for about two weeks. I do experience a few anxious moments, but I’m able to brush the feeling away and move to a better place. These days I have a song in my heart and a little spring in my step.

I finished my two 10 x 10 canvases. Now I need to reopen my Etsy store and offer them for sale. The desire to make jewelry is gradually creeping in, but mixed media is still more compelling.

My new podcast fix is Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins. In the show, Tompkins has a conversation with a guest. The guest then comes up with a location for a narrative improv that will be performed later by the day’s assembled actors. It’s good fun!

Today is the last rehearsal before GenCon. I’ll be glad to get my Sundays back. If you’re going to Gen Con, look for Different Drummer Belly Dancers performing in the convention center during conference weekdays and then on Saturday before the costume contest. We’re saluting Star Wars! I’m Han Solo in this one.

I’ve been listening to one audiobook after the other. I’ll post about that soon. I’m still reading Welcome to Night Vale on my Kindle.

Things are just way better for me these days. I hope to get some things accomplished now that my mind is clear.

Photo of cone flower with yellow petals.
Today’s Timehop from two years ago.

 

Is it that bad?

If you pay attention to the news or log on to Facebook you’ll learn about horrible things going on in the world. Sometimes you hear about good things, but the bad sticks with you. It’s like when you get a new shirt, and ten people tell you how nice you look in it, but one person says “that’s not a good color on you.”  The natural tendency is to forget the compliments and latch on to the one negative comment. Why are we like this?

Illustration of blue t-shirt.

If you have a tendency experience depression and anxiety, latching onto the negative is a habit you must get out of. It’s a habit, which for me, could lead to serious health problems. As I learned in March of this year, too much stress can cause an MS flare-up (relapse). A flare-up can result in permanent nerve damage. I don’t want that to happen.

Here are 10 things I can do to stay positive and mentally healthy.

  1. Stay off of Facebook
  2. Write everyday
  3. Breathe
  4. Make art
  5. Make jewelry
  6. Escape into fiction books
  7. Meditate
  8. Exercise
  9. Experience nature
  10. Eat right

If I look back at my life I can see that everything always works out. I don’t have to worry about some disaster happening because a disaster has never happened. Even my MS diagnosis wasn’t a disaster. The Universe takes care of me. I’ve just got to trust it.

It helps to do the little things to take care of myself like going to Goodwill and buying some jeans to replace the ones with holes in them that I won’t stop wearing. Don’t I deserve to be not dressed in rags? Three of my favorite pairs of shoes have holes in them too, so I need to get those replaced.

Here’s something I made on my iPhone with Sketch Club and Reflection.

Digital drawing of butterfly
Butterfly reflected

Breathing, breathing, breathing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bit of Success

Yesterday evening I sat down and listed a few of my husband’s basketball cards on eBay. I felt so productive! It’s a lot of work. I have to take good pictures of the front and back of each card and crop them in Photoshop. I name the image files and add them to an online collection on Omeka.net as I’m listing them on eBay. The majority of the cards we have don’t go for that much money, but we have sold a couple of expensive ones. Maybe someday we can get a bit of income from sports cards. My Amazon book sales are extremely slow. I would do better it I paid the professional seller fee. To make that worth it I would need a much larger inventory. I don’t have the time or energy to be a real bookseller at the moment.

I’ve wanted to write more blog posts for work. I finished one last week and started another today. My goal is to start acting like a writer. That means I will write more.

In anxiety news, I’ve been listening to an audiobook about dealing with anxiety. It’s called Self-Coaching, Completely Revised and Updated Second Edition: The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety and Depression. I just reached the section where he starts talking about the actual self-coaching exercises. I decided to switch to listening to The Girl on the Train for a while. I think I’m going to like it. My anxiety is still with me, but it comes and goes. I’m able to eat, so things have improved.

The two canvases I’m working on look like this now.

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And my interest in making jewelry is coming back.

So basically I’m realy uneasy about the world and my place in it, but I have all of these things that I’m still interested in. Seems like a paradox, but I’m not sure if it is.

Tennis Ball Dream

Earlier today I had the thought that everything will be okay. I’m not sure where it came from, but it was reassuring. The momentary calm that accompanied the thought is no longer with me.

I slept in yesterday and today. I dreamed this morning about being in a large auditorium. There was a tennis ball that belonged to me but had gotten away. People in the seats were throwing it around trying to get it back to me. I couldn’t catch it. I like to think that my dreams are never meaningless. I want to believe there is something to be learned from the seemingly random stories my sleeping mind produces. I don’t know what to make of this tennis ball dream.

I’ve been watching a web series called  The Outs. It’s a well-written and produced Vimeo original. It’s mainly about the lives of two gay men and their straight female friend. I recommend it to those who are not averse to such a theme. While in the Vimeo app, I came across a short called The Perfect Fourth. This was a story about a guy purchasing the guitar of a boy who had recently died. There was kind of a surprise twist to the story.

There’s not much to report when you get up late. It’s another hot day, but I can’t stay in. Rehearsal is at 4:00.

Here’s some digital art.

Digital art

I Remember When

I guess I’ll keep writing about anxiety when I quit experiencing it everyday. I made an art journal spread this week. Working on it helped ease my troubled mind. I wrote about it in another blog.

Art journal page

I remembered today that in the days before I went on Prozac I was anxious a lot. Once I was on it for a while, I realized how different I felt. I need that to happen again.

There are times during the course of the day that I don’t feel anxious, but when I notice that I feel okay I get anxious about not feeling anxious.

I need to consult a thesaurus.

I’m learning to use the Pen Tool from a lynda.com course. That is a step forward for me. Soon I can stop floundering and failing when I try to do something in Adobe Illustrator. “There is so much to learn and not enough time,” she sighed.

I’m just spitting out words because I think it might make a difference.

I once thought it would be nice to go into a coma for a few months just to take a break from life.I guess the problem with that is your muscles atrophy and you wake up in bad shape. Maybe I could visit an alternate dimension for a while. I guess we read fiction to escape to other worlds and other people’s lives. I should read more fiction.

“I should. I should. I should,” she was always saying that to herself. All if did was make her more miserable.

Watching Doctor Who helps bring me out of a funk. I used to have a few episodes with Tom Baker and Peter Davison on VHS. Watching them made everything okay for a while.

I still have a little bit of hope that the TARDIS will someday materialize in my front yard. I would be a brilliant companion!

Open

The writing prompt is open. I like the word because it feels right now like everything is open. Things are up for grabs. I don’t know what the future holds for me. Of course, none of us can really know that we have a future. One could be hit by a bus, or swept up in a tornado, or swallowed by a sinkhole. You would think that given life’s uncertainty, I would be able to enjoy each of the precious moments that I’ve been given. No, what I’ve been doing is spending most of my waking time in a state of anxiety.

The world’s tragedies are wearing on me. I’m wondering if I can give myself art therapy. Are there any “do it yourself art therapy” books? I’ll have to look into that. In the meantime, I plan to get more serious about my art journaling. I started a new blog to share my experiences with making art. I’m hoping my art blog will be the one that eventually makes money. The first post is about the fact that my cat room doubles as a studio.

I’ll be able to blog more since my summer class is over. Speaking of the class, I wrote in another post that I thought this class was the last one I needed before graduating. I was mistaken. I need one more. I plan to take Digital Curation in the fall, and it’s actually a class I’ve been wanting to take, so it’s all good.

Here’s wishing that I’m open to new possibilities in the coming week.

Digital artwork
Possibilities

 

Post Workout Thoughts

The weekend was good. I was pretty much anxiety free. Today the anxiety is there but it’s not as severe. I’m sitting downstairs at the YMCA. I decided to sit and write while resting from my workout. I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, some upper body strength training, and then another 20 on the treadmill. I’m listening to ‘Sinnerman’ by Nina Simone on Spotify. 

Every moment feels like frustration because the same record plays constantly in my mind. I’m not accomplishing what I should be accomplishing and it always seems to go back to the clutter in my house. Then it goes back to me feeling lazy because I don’t seem capable of doing anything about the clutter. I’d love to throw everything away and start fresh. My physical clutter mirrors my mental clutter.There’s a book called ‘The Life Chaning Magic of Tidying Up.‘ I’m actually afraid  to read the book. Do I think it will make me confront parts of myself that I don’t want to see? I Need to read the book don’t I? I really do want to change my life!

John Legend’s ‘Stay with You’ is on Spotify now. It’s rather beautiful. 

I think I’ll wrap this up and head to the car. It’s time to get on with things. Maybe I can get rid of some stuff today.

I made this last night with iPhone apps. I would like to incorporate it into a canvas someday. Maybe I will.