School Got Real

Okay, this post should have been titled “Shit Got Real.”

School begins a week from today.  Nevertheless, both of my professors opened their classrooms today.  This came as a surprise since it is a holiday, but I can’t complain.  I tend to procrastinate.  Knowing what lays ahead might keep me in line this time around.  Also, my sister-in-law is coming from Chicago to meet K2 and reconnect with Paczki.  The best time to travel for her is next week.  The trip has been in the works for a while.  It will be great for the K Kids to be around their Midwest side of the family.

What I did not anticipate was school starting the same week.

To say I am scared about the two events happening at the same time underestimates what is going through my head.  My body is tense.  Did I mention we are taking a trip to San Francisco and then one to Hollywood?  No…okay, now you know!

Oh yeah, I take my driver’s test (again) a week from today too.  To top it all off, Packzi’s new school is having a mandatory meeting the day my sister-in-law comes to town.

A trip to Alcatraz, whale watching, a baseball game, and Disney are on the agenda.

Everything piled up.

I am not complaining.  This will be great because I get to tackle a lot of my fears head on: the driving on the freeway, sea sickness, school, getting to know FullEclipse’s family, and not gaining weight that week.

I want to succeed at everything, but I am afraid that I will end up in a corner with a panic attack.

I guess the thing to do will be to tackle one thing at a time.  First, school.

Reading the syllabus made it real.  No more dreaming.  Two classes in ten weeks!

One step at a time.

Right?

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People Cannot Begin to Like a Food They Hated….

…or can they?

For as long as I can remember, I hated peanut butter.  Hate does not even describe the gag inducing reactions my body had anytime peanut butter touched anything in my food.

About two moths ago, FullEclipse bought crunchy peanut butter.  I gave it a go since peanuts are okay.  It was fine.  I would lick a little bit of the knife off whenever the K Kids had peanut butter and jelly.

Then, the gates of peanut butter goodness opened wide.  I am craving peanut butter.  I can’t get enough of it or any kind of nuts for that matter.

The family went to Panera.  The kids opted for the obvious.  K2 didn’t finish his sandwich.  I went for it.  FullEclipse just looked at me.  It was like he married someone else.

I don’t know what to say.  Part of me thinks that my body needs something from the peanuts.

I will enjoy this craving for a bit.

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It’s Never Too Late or Is It?

Full Eclipse graduated from college last week.

With his celebration, the graduation celebrations have begun.  Everywhere I look, I find ads or people talking about graduation.

That reminds me, Paczki graduates from Pre-K in a month.

For a long time, this end of the year activity made me upset.  I did not finish college.  Young people get to have all the fun, etc.  I had to struggle with my first two years of partying in college, marriage, divorce, marriage again, the family business, kids, anxiety, and overall sense of emptiness.

This cycle repeated during back to school as well.

Simply put, my life as student was over.

Dr. How I Met Your Mother changed this opinion.  Sure, I did not get to experience  college life, but I lived through some many experiences that taught me great lessons.  She said that not everyone gets to learn what I did.

This was a turning point for me.  I began to toy with the idea of going back to school.

After many hours of research, applications, and phone calls with enrollment counselors, I am proud to say that I am enrolled in school!

I am scared.  This will be a brand new format (online) and major.

Let’s see how it goes

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Facebook Musings

Social media is my how I communicate with the world.  I don’t have many “real life” friends.  The few that I have are busy with their lives.  Getting together with them is often difficult.  If we add my kids to the mix, it becomes impossible.

One of the advantages of living this virtual life is finding people who share my same interests and struggles.  Anxiety takes up most of my life.

I posted the following on a forum and on my wall:

 

I often think about my anxiety and what it has taken from me.

The “what-ifs” are what kills me all the time.   But that is a subject of another rant.

What I think about is how society views mental illnesses as a whole.  We seem to be treated like lepers who must be put aside where no one can see us, feel us or become infected with whatever disease we have. What aggravates and saddens me is how people underestimate the power of our illness.  How many times has anyone with a mental disorder heard this phrase, “It’s all in your head! How can you be sick?”   Well, thank you for pointing out the obvious!   As if we didn’t know it’s all in our heads.

The truth is far more complicated. In my case, for example, my panic disorder was diagnosed ten years ago. At the time, I thought it would pass.  It didn’t.  My anxiety comes and goes in waves.  One minute, I feel great.   Then, something happens that sends me into a road of anxiety, hopelessness, and depression.  When you least expect it, you wake up from this never ending nightmare realizing how much you have lost.   I can’t ride roller coasters, get on airplanes or do spontaneous things.   Going on a freeway scares me. Silly! I know, but this is my life.

It took a long time for me to accept my reality and realize that I needed help.   Even when I found it, the psychologists were not the most helpful.  I had to find the courage to say, “I matter.  I need to find someone else.” I found Dr. T (AKA Dr. How I Met Your Mother) and Dr. W (AKA Dr. Backstreet Boy) and began to feel some hope.   After over a year of medication and therapy sessions, I have begun to recover some of my freedom.

But there is always that sense that I am one step away from going over the edge.

My story is just one example of the many stories of  mental issues.

I am not asking for a handout from society.

People with mental issues want to be viewed as a normal even if I can’t do things that are considered “normal”.

Compassion and understanding would be a great step.

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