Stress & Anxiety Leave Me Speechless

In 2001, I thought I was handling my recent stress and anxiety well. I was a 6th grade teacher in a low-economic, drug and gang-ridden community. The job equated stress. However, I loved my students, even the ones who challenged me to do so.

Over a couple of days that fall, I lost my ability to speak. I had recently been under the weather, so I wasn’t surprised that my doctor treated me for laryngitis. However, my voice never returned. Nearly a month had passed when my doctor finally recommended I see an otolaryngologist. Continue reading “Stress & Anxiety Leave Me Speechless”

It’s Got Me Pulling My Hair Out!

When Anxiety Becomes Too Much

We’ve all heard it or have said it:

I’m so stressed/worried/frustrated that I’m pulling my hair out!

My son suffers from trichotillomania.

What a freakin’ long word.

(trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh)

For those of you who don’t suffer from this, it is the compulsion to pull your hair out. Oftentimes, it is due to anxiety…and sometimes the sufferer has a history of OCD. Only 1–2% of adults and adolescents even have this condition; my son won this jackpot.

Continue reading “It’s Got Me Pulling My Hair Out!”

I Swear I’m Not Crazy

Stigma suggests otherwise.

Bit by bit, I’ve become more comfortable speaking up about my own mental illness. People hear that term, and they immediately think, “Oh no! What should I expect?” and they take a step back. Then they hear “bipolar 2” and they seem to turn and scurry away from the scary unknown.

I swear I’m not crazy.  I’m educating. I’m advocating for others who struggle. I’m attempting to stamp out stigma. I aspire to prevent others from giving in to suicidal tendencies.

Recently, I’ve reconnected with old friends via social media.  They knew me once upon a time when I was just me…quiet, happy, had close friends, living life as a teenager in high school.  What will they think when they realize I have anxiety and bipolar 2? It scares me to my core that it’ll be another nice-knowing-you-but-see-ya moment. Continue reading “I Swear I’m Not Crazy”

Stuck In the Sludge of Depression

Mental Mud

Over the past week or so, I’ve struggled with a prolonged depressive state.

Not the deep, suicidal depressive state, but one where I feel like I’m stuck in mud up to my waist and trying to move while I slowly sink. It’s cumbersome and frustrating and not pretty.

I don’t know when I’m going to “snap out of it,” and I become frustrated. I wish to force an upturn. The longer it takes, though, the more frustrated and anxious I become. Agitated, I wonder when I can feel better again. The numbness to what’s going on around me is fine for a while, but eventually it turns into “what’s the point?” I slide further down into my depression.

Difficult Tasks

Sooner or later when I actually do something around the house, I receive praise for having done it.  Don’t get me wrong; it feels good to be appreciated.  However, acquiring a gold star for something so menial seems silly.  Internally, though, I recognize the accomplishment for what it actually was for me. A triumph. Continue reading “Stuck In the Sludge of Depression”