You mad?

Feels like I’m drowning

whenever you’re mad

I gasp and I struggle

to make you feel glad

Don’t know why my world stops

you’re allowed your feelings

but soon as your temper pops

my heart goes reeling

You won’t let me fix it

I feel crushed under emotional water

I can’t swim out of it

if I try too much, your anger grows hotter

 

Says more about me than it does about you

I can’t fix your feelings, so what should I do?

 

Why does deep love

come with so much pain

feeling with my heart

instead of using my brain

Must learn to let go

of what I can’t control

and hope you forgive me

and peace finds my soul.

 

© Stefanie K Fauth, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Stefanie Fauth with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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Tattoo anxiety…

Just when I think I’ve done all the therapy I need to “fix” the anxiety that ails me – I’ll have another bout that makes me feel oh so delightfully hopeless.

This time, there were life factors that contributed – my husband has recently taken a job that has him traveling Monday through Thursday of every week – and since he used to be the stay at home parent to our two boys – it has been a difficult adjustment.

Of course, work is stressful at times, and that can contribute to any symptoms I feel – but what set me over the edge was a new tattoo.

I had wanted it for years – a tattoo on my forearm that said “Saint” when looked at one way, and “Sinner” when looked at the other way.

It looked good, I was happy with the art – but the tattoo shop had a “demonic” bathroom and played that special inward-singing heavy metal that scares me – and I was on edge the entire time it was being done.

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It wasn’t my first tattoo – not even my second – but it was my first visible tattoo – and it was BIG.

And as soon as it was done, I had what those in the business call “tattoo regret”.

All I could do was fixate on it – how clearly I’m not a person who is able to be trusted with decisions, and I should be locked up for fear of harming myself and others.

I cried hysterically for several days off and on – much to the perplexity of my husband – who was confused by my reaction.  He loved the tattoo, and I had wanted it for years.

I continued to be a wreck about it for at least a week.  It felt like people started to look at me like a side show – “tell me about your tattoo” – which was genuine interest – and most people loved it, but when I was feeling like such a wreck, it was hard to be excited and talk all about it.

I heard it was normal to have a big reaction to a highly visible tattoo – but I felt like anything but normal when I was so stressed I wanted to rip it off my arm…

It’s been a few weeks now – and my anxiety has once again become it’s normal, manageable level – but it was a harsh reminder that I’ll never be done with these panic attacks.  No matter how much therapy and breakthroughs, there will always be life happening, and as long as life happens, there will be times of anxiety.

I’m taking solace in the fact that I know what to do to help myself – and I know how to climb out of that black hole that my mind digs for itself.  For me, it’s talk therapy, a steady dose of anti-anxiety meds, and a support system of family and loved ones who are willing to be with me when all I can do is cry.

I’m hopeful if you suffer from anxiety that you are able to find a way to cope -because in those moments it’s at its worst, it’s hard to remember that there is life beyond this time, but there will be.  No matter what, it can and will get better.

For me – the tattoo may get removed, but I no longer freak out when I look at it.  If I do remove it, I promise to keep you posted!

Anxiety – what if?

What if someone doesn’t like what I’ve done?

What if I’m not perfect?

What if I try this and fail?

 

It’s thoughts like these that can keep me up at night.  What if I could just let go of my anxiety, wouldn’t life be grand?

But I am afraid these thoughts have plagued a good part of my youth…

Thanks to therapy, I’ve mostly gone through these thoughts fairly quickly – I’ve grown to accept the idea that nothing will change the past, and the choices made, even if they weren’t the best, have shaped who I am – and who I am is actually pretty cool.

This has taken a lot of therapy.

And the what ifs of the future – they still get me.

What if my sons aren’t able to care for themselves when they get older?

What if they find life mates I don’t get along with?

What if they don’t want to spend as much time with me as I do with them?

What if I lose one of them or my spouse?

And to all these thoughts, all I can say is they are an argument to live fully presently.

Live with my family as they are now – enjoy them, even when they drive me crazy – and appreciate all the times we have.

And, as my daily life is to teal with my clinical anxiety and depression – those what if’s will always be around.  But, so long as I continue to work through them and maintain therapy, I’m hopeful they will not cripple me as they once did!

Up all night…with anxiety

Anxiety posting continues…

Last night, I had such a hard time falling asleep.

I couldn’t quiet down my brain.

I was so tired I could hardly move or talk…

And yet, my brain refused to quiet.

I was running all the comments on Facebook – had I offended someone?  If I had, did I need to worry about it – or was it their problem?

That conversation I had with a coworker today – did they know I was kidding?

The class of 9th graders I lead – did I do a good job, or did I really miss the mark?

 

The answer I would give to any other is – “It’s totally their problem, yes they knew you were kidding, and of course you did a good job.  Try not to stress!”

 

And yet, for myself, I could not offer these kind words.  At least not in the moment.

After getting some rest, I am able to find peace.  Some exercise has helped – and reaching out to friends has offered more comfort than I can ever be able to thank them for sufficiently.

Anxiety will not have the last word.  Stefanie will.  Even if she continues to struggle with Anxiety until she’s old and feeble – Stefanie will have the last word.  (With the help of God, of course!)

Thoughts on Anxiety…

anxiety-talk-bigstI’ve decided to blog my struggle with anxiety and depression.

Because too often, I feel alone…and if I do, I’m sure others do.

We are NOT alone.

And it CAN get better – connecting with others is one way to do it!

My anxious thought for today:

Why is it that I can think any hateful thing said about another person is something that should not define them – but when I hear hurtful things, I feel very much defined by them?  If the same thing was said in the same circumstances to someone else, my reaction would be reassurance, messages of peace and love.  For myself, I go immediately to anxiety – what I have done to deserve whatever words have hurt me.

I not only wish I could be stronger for myself, I happen to judge myself for my inability to let things roll off me.  A thing I will need to work on.  With prayer, with journaling, with a professional therapist.  I will always be insecure and sensitive, my work will be to love myself through it.

Does this resonate?  What is your anxious thought for today?  How are you helping yourself cope?

Therapeutic Complaining…

It’s always been hard for me to have any sort of negative feelings.  I mean, they are there, but it’s been hard to own them. I have always lived in the Midwest, the land of making sure nobody rocks the boat or ever questions anything.  As a rather full-of-fire, go-against-the-norm kind of person, it’s hard to be located here.

Here’s the thing: I need to process my negative feelings.  I get frustrated, and I feel hurt, and I get scared.  I’d grown up thinking that there was something seriously wrong with me because of this – so many people seemed so calm, so with it, and just plain ok all the time – how did they do that?

If I brought up something that bugged me, I’d be chastised – other people have it so much worse, “what gives YOU the right to complain?”  So I’d be left alone in a shame bubble – I’m clearly the WORST person ever because I feel the need to bring up when something upset me.  

It was not the only cause, but I know it’s a source of my problems with anxiety and depression.  Rather than be able to vent out my negative thoughts, I’d feel compelled to hold them in, as I’ve seen so many do, and I spiraled into a ball of emotional anguish and self-loathing. “Why can’t you just be ok with what’s going on?  Why can’t you stop feeling angry/sad/anxious?  What the **** is wrong with you?”  I could be pretty horrible to myself at times…

As I’ve been in therapy, and exploring my psyche along with my theology, I’ve learned a lot about myself.  One big thing about me?  I need to process – good and bad – externally.  This means I have to talk things out to process them.  Talking about negative things is not the end of the world as I had been led to believe, just a means of working through them in my own head.  The big problem with this is that others are not always comfortable with my desire to discuss things, no matter how negative – they think it sounds selfish, or annoying – which might be true, especially if they don’t allow themselves this venting!

I have always wanted to please the entire world, and have everyone think well of me.  It’s perhaps the biggest sin that I’ve got – it puts a big wedge between what I should be doing in light of my call, for God’s plan for me, and even my self-care.  If I believe that EVERYONE is a beautiful creation of God, made in the image of God, I must trust that I am, too.  I am not a demure, quiet, always happy person.  I’m not a private person, either.  I need to talk about what bugs me.  This has to be ok for me to function properly…This does not mean I need to be a jerk – I must process feelings in a way that honors not only me but others.  There will be times when it’s appropriate to share publicly, and times that I can only talk privately with trusted family and friends.  I will try not to be a burden to you with this, but I do hope that others can understand that I do need to process…

What, may you ask, does this matter to you?  It matters that you know that no matter what, I’m an ear to listen when you have to talk about something that bugs you.  I’ll ask you to take care of feelings and such while you do it -but I’m a hard core believer in the fact that you need to talk through (or think through to those of you internal processors!) what bugs you.  Let yourself be mad, let yourself hurt, and know that it WILL get better.