Reflections: My Childhood Safe Space

Growing up I always felt uncomfortable in my own skin. Like I was wearing a sweater that was too tight all of the time. It was a perpetual awkwardness that I couldn’t shake until I was in 8th grade or so. I was still shy and awkward but the imaginary sweater didn’t feel so uncomfortable.

When I was in 2nd grade my mom started dating after her and my dad got divorced. She took 2 years off then started dating this guy who had two kids, one 2 years older than me and the other 4 years older. They would all come over and that was my cue to hide in my room.

My childhood safe space away from this family I wanted to do with was my room. But within my room, I would play Britney Spears’ “Oops…I Did It Again” album on my cassette player while reading whatever book that could transport me to anywhere else.

I have a vivid memory of reading a Sailor Moon manga. I loved watching Sailor Moon so I was really happy to find the manga at my community library. I no longer was confined to the half hour episode after school, I could go on adventures with the Sailor Scouts whenever I wanted.

Instead of running around the house was kids I didn’t care for, I stayed in my room where I could enjoy the things I liked most: music and reading.

Did you have a special place you liked to go as a kid? If so, what did you do there? Do you have similar habits as an adult?

Nothing Good

2020 has been a very difficult year for everybody on the planet. The fact that so many awful things have happened on a grand scale as well as in my own realm have been getting me down. I feel like the waves of depression are pulling me in to the dark ocean that I know so well.

It feels like every day a new piece of bad news comes to my doorstep. I hear it then carry that weight on my shoulders until it becomes unbearable. Until I collapse under the weight.

It’s exhausting to have more bad than good in my life. The stark contrast is too much sometimes and I find myself curled up in bed scrolling through TikTok in attempt to find momentary relief. A silly skit, a k-pop fan cam or a cute kitten to calm my brain.

I hope things are going well in your life.

There’s So Much in My Head

I’m at a spot in my life where I have so much going on in my head and heart that I’m terrified to look inside. The thought of sitting down to reflect on my own, in a blog post or with my trusted therapist scare me. I know if I open the box, I can’t close it.

I feel that if I dive into what is troubling me, I’ll cry and never be able to stop. So instead I keep pushing it down, sweeping it under the rug. Right now the pile under this imaginary rug is the size of both of my cats.

I can’t bare to face reality or the truth I keep tucked away in my heart. It’s much too painful for me to come to terms with.

I want to talk to my therapist about it but I don’t have the strength. Every day I consider making an appointment but I can’t. This is the first time that i am having trouble opening up to my therapist. She has seen me at my worst, seen me cry countless times.

But what’s making me sad, I can’t speak it. Because if I say it that makes it real, it makes it true.

I’m not ready for the truth. I just want to live in my comfort zone for a while longer. I’m not ready to give it up.

I’ve Got Nothing

I don’t know if it’s the never ending waves of bad news, how the stars are aligned or what, but I feel emotionally exhausted. A new season of depression is setting on my mind.

My horoscope this morning even asked, “Megan, are you depressed?”

The past week or two I have found it difficult to function like a human being. On a normal day, I’m a relatively talkative, smiley person who enjoys being with the people I love. Lately depression has been making me almost dread each day. My patience is as thin as a spaghetti noodle so just about everything irritates me.

When I get cranky like this, I get annoyed at myself. It’s a cycle that makes me want to sleep all day until I’m no longer in this state any longer.

I feel like I have nothing to give, nothing to offer the world at this time. Is it possible to take a timeout where nobody bothers me and I can be a slug?

One positive thing is that this episode of depression has brought me make to the blogging world so that’s a plus.

Reader, I hope that you are doing better than me and are feeling some bit of joy this September.

Anxiety Emergency Kit

This coming week I might be returning to the office for one or two days. I don’t want to go but I know the longer I put this off, the more difficult the transition will be. To help with my transition, I am going to create my own anxiety emergency kit for my mental health.

Essential oils and diffuser – Nobody wants to sit in a musty basement and breathe in all the smells of a basement. To be fair, this basement is pretty clean and well kept but that’s not the point! Essential oils help me relax and put me in a better head space.

Adorable stress ball – I got this little stress ball that is a chubby dog in a yellow hoodie. It’s adorable! I will bring him to squeeze and lift my heart with his cuteness.

Good food – Who doesn’t love good food? I will bring some good snacks like almonds, crackers and hummus and something chocolate for a sweet treat. To take some of the burden off of me, I will order out for lunch. Packing a lunch can take a lot of time so ordering a take away is one less thing for me to do.

Happiness playlist – As a millennial, I love 00s pop and hip hop. Anything that was playing at a middle school dance are the jams that make me smile. Oh and of course I have to have my favorite k-pop tracks in there too! Have you listened to “God’s Menu” from Stray Kids? So good!!

Support plushie – I’m not ashamed that I am an adult that still enjoys plushies and stuffed animals. They’re soft and can make uncomfortable situations bearable. I think I will bring this BT21 Baby Tata or my hippo from Animal Kingdom. Decisions, decisions.

I hope that these few things will help me mentally handle this coming week.

How have you been mentally during this time? I wish you all health and happiness!

It’s Been a Minute!

Hey everyone! I’m still around and existing on this planet with you all. I haven’t posted because I honestly haven’t had anything to write until now.

Over the past few months I’ve been spending almost all of my time at home which has been relaxing for my anxious mind. I don’t have social anxiety because I don’t see anybody outside of my small circle of family.

But now life is beginning to go back to normal (despite COVID still being very present in America). I now begin to worry a bit more and more each day about returning to work and going back to my frequently anxious state. I was supposed to go to work on Monday but I asked if I could stay home a bit longer.

I had been so anxious about going back that I couldn’t eat. When my eating habits change, that’s when I know I’m really not doing well.

Getting out of bed has also been a big challenge. Instead of getting up to face the day, I just lay around with my cats hoping that the day will be over by the time I decide to get my ass up.

As times moves forward, I will be posting more about how I mentally handle going back to regular life. I want to prepare myself with an anxiety emergency kit that I can bring with me.

I will make a post about what I decide to put in my emergency kit. It will likely include a stress ball and essential oils but I need more than that to survive.

Are you struggling as life goes back to normal? How has your mental health been over the past few months?

Am I Annoying or Is it Anxiety?

I’m not sure exactly where this feeling stems from but if anybody says that I’m annoying it automatically throws me into a pile of guilt and anxiety.

I ruminate on what I should I have done differently to not be so annoying.

“I should have kept to myself,”
“Why didn’t you take a hint that you were being annoying before it got to this point?,” and
“Of course you are annoying people, Megan! Nobody likes you so why would they want to be around you/hear from drivel?”

If you’re around my age or even a little older you might remember using AOL or MSN Instant Messenger (IM) to chat with your friends and strangers in the 00s and beginning of ’10s before Facebook created its own IM system.

Since I’m working from home I have to communicate with my coworkers via email and Google Chat (it’s IM). In April I was IMing one of my coworkers who I would consider a friend. She and I would message throughout the day chatting about all sorts of things.

Recently she stopped messaging me. I messaged her last week and didn’t get a reply. So I’ve been reflecting on that, wondering if it’s because I am annoying.

God this sounds like I’m in middle school but there’s no buddy icons or cool sound effects!

For the second half of last week I kept beating myself up about it. On repeat I told myself I shouldn’t have been messaging her on such a regular basis. If she wanted to talk to me, she would have reached out on her own!

I imagined in my head that she must have been so annoyed with me. Asking why I am wasting her time, why I am always bothering her and why I can’t take a hint.

Maybe I’m just an annoying person who hasn’t learned to keep her mouth shut.

Why Does Productivity = Self Worth?

I had a little meltdown tonight. There were no tears or shouting but my thoughts were speeding down an icy road ready to slip off a cliff.

I have been feeling so lazy lately. I just don’t feel like putting the effort towards much. Today I ran the dishwasher because, you know,  I ran out of forks. The dishes are still sitting in there as I type this.

I feel guilty that I am not keeping a pristine house. I feel like a whale because I haven’t been making healthy food.

The recycling center is closed so there’s a mountain of recyclables on my side porch. I was supposed to put them in the basement. Have I done that yet? Nope.

These dumb chores taunt me. They tell me I am lazy and because I am lazy, I suck.

Yes, the plastic bottles tell me I suck! What is quarantine doing to me?

Why does productivity change the value we see in ourselves? I’m really not sure what the answer is so please leave me a comment if you have an answer!

Is it the drive of perfectionism?

Is it the expectations people have put on us whether it be past or present?

Since I have been feeling like shit, my therapist in the past has had me say some positive things to change my mindset.

3 things going well:
– I spoke with 3 clients on the phone for work even though I was really nervous about it
– It’s snowing outside and I like snow (does this count? I say it does)
– With the stimulus check from the government I am able to save money I wouldn’t have had otherwise

3 things I can do to make myself content/okay/happy this weekend:
– Enjoy the snow while it’s here
– Take time to read
– Do my makeup

3 things to remind myself:
– Your value is not in the number of dust particles you clean up
– You are important to your cats and dog
– It’s okay

Sending positive vibes your way!

A Tightness in my Chest

It has been week number something since I’ve been working at home, it’s really not that bad. Since I am not interacting with any of my coworkers in-person, I have had fewer social dilemmas which has been nice. And by social dilemmas I mean asking myself whether I should talk to somebody or if they expect me to have a conversation with them. #socialanxiety

But during my time at home, I have been frequently having this tightness in my chest. Not like I’m having an asthma or panic attack, but like all of the anxiety in my body is tensing up in my chest. I’ve had this happen in the past, it’s just become more frequent.

The only thing that seems to help is doing deep breathing exercises. Sometimes I will go out on my porch to do this. It’s still chilly where I live so I enjoy the cool air, it’s refreshing.

It can be stressful for me to be existing, working, attempting productivity for once in my life then I get the stress in my chest. I feel like it takes many minutes to finally relax so I feel like it’s taking away from my time doing other things.

How do I prevent this from happening? I have been doing yoga nearly every morning this month so it’s not that, hahaha. I feel everybody says, “meditate, do yoga” to fix stress. They are not the cure for everything.

My life isn’t all that stressful and my mental health has been decent this week so I’m not sure what is going on. I’m going to try to have breathing breaks each hour to see if that is helpful.

Do you feel your anxiety in your body?

How Can I Handle These Emotions?

As I’ve written about in my last few posts (here and here), I have been extra emotional over the past few weeks. Today I hit my breaking point.

These are the days I am so incredibly thankful to be working from home. Having meltdown days at work makes overcoming the day feel impossible. I usually feel like I have to blink a hundred times a second to hold back the tears that are impatiently waiting to fall from the corners of my eyes.

My emotions have been building up to this point. It has been strokes of bad luck and mistakes on top of  mental illness, periods, a full moon and COVID-19.

Yesterday I broke my second French press in less than a year. It completely shattered on the floor, I felt so defeated. I had already been feeling depressed and frustrated so having my French press shatter started my day off on a sour note.

I had a bad night sleep last night because my dog was scared of a thunderstorm which was then accompanied by feeling like a fool at work. A new project was announced today, to start a podcast which is something I was originally asked to do. Months ago I had been excited about the possibility of it but voiced concern about not having the recording space or equipment to record on so I didn’t move forward with it.

Hearing today that my coworker at the branch office is starting the agency podcast made me feel strange. I questioned myself over and over, asking, “did I slip up?,” “was I supposed to be working on this all along?,” “did I let my boss down? is she disappointed with my inaction?” and “am I a total fuck up?”

What broke me was the announcement that Bernie Sanders was dropping out of the race for president. I have been a supporter of his since 2016 so seeing him throw in the towel was the last thing I needed to hear this week.

While reading his announcement, I started crying and crying. Not solely because of him dropping out but everything that had happened recently.

After I clocked out I ate a lot of ice cream, watched “Catfish” on Hulu and took my dog for a walk. I am feeling calmer now so let’s hope it stays this way for a moment.