We’re All a Little Crazy

My anxiety’s not as bad as it used to be, but I know that some of you have it that bad and worse. Hold on. You feel alone but you’re not.

maney smiles back

These are things I tell myself when I feel an anxiety attack coming on, which happens about once on good days.

  • You are invisible. People who look at you can’t really see you.
  • Humans can smell fear. As long as you don’t act afraid, they won’t hurt you.
  • Name off as many words as you can that begin with C but make the S sound. Cistern, circular, celestial…
  • Notice people’s shoes.
  • Count in Binary on your fingers. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
  • Don’t step on the cracks.
  • Sing happy songs. “You Are My Sunshine,” “Danny Boy,” “Into the West,” “If All the Raindrops…”
  • Make believe you’re someone else, someone who’s normal and happy.
  • Hide in the bathroom until your brain stops humming.
  • Crying in bathroom stalls is allowed. Just get quiet when other shoes shuffle inside.
  • Hugging yourself is allowed.
  • Don’t smile unless you want to. They can’t take that…

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Here’s Looking at You, Hope

Here’s to crying yourself to sleep with the Finding Nemo theme playing, grounding you in unreachable hope.

Here’s to sleeping in out of fear of depression, only to realize that the day is bright and full of hope, and you feel better.

Dear readers, don’t you ever give up. Life seems like too great a burden to bear some days, even for me. But it is always worth those sunrises when you feel okay.

Hold on.

Poetry Friday: Doubt

I recently found this post in my old drafts. I don’t remember why I wrote it, but I like it.

Doubt

It depends on the day how I feel about us; about you. There are so many secret complications, internal struggles, that it’s enough to make it all not worth it.

Can I trust you? Can you trust me?

Can I trust that the future will be better than today?

If I need to vent or cry or worry, will my words reach your heart? I have darkness inside me, you know, black and heaving and hungry and cold. Maybe I will never lose it.

Can you love the darkness in me? Can you love my sadness and my pain? Can you accept the ugliness, or when I feel ugly? Can you accept my beauty, even when I see it clearer than you?

My mind is a mess of mistrust. I know what you want me to feel but you have to understand, lots of times I can’t or won’t. This is reality. This is me right now. I can see so much of myself that you will never understand or appreciate, not the way things are right now.

I bottle my emotions. I splatter my emotions across the pavement, bright and wide and red enough for helicopters to see.

I am tame, quiet, so soft and meek. I am wild, annoying, prickly and harsh.

I doubt you can handle me.

I don’t know if I will keep you.

Lesson Learned

I never feel quite as alive as when I’m being rebuked for something.

It’s like all of my blood freezes in place; my breathing shallow; my eyes wide and nearly watering.

(It’s awful.)

Truly, every other moment in life is blissful dreams compared to how a perfectionist feels when being asked to improve.

The problem this time is that I have no filter.

I don’t know when to stop.

And I sometimes even take a kind of sick pleasure from seeing people squirm when I break conversational norms.

I’ve been told many times by loving friends and family (and my therapist) that there is a place and a time to share my story; a right and a wrong way to convey information. I am quite accustomed to the solemn head shake that means: “Have you no shame?”

My parents, siblings, and husband have taken to ignoring my crass and provocative commentary, noting wisely that usually I just want a reaction from them. It certainly takes the fun out of being blunt, but it hasn’t stopped me yet.

What isn’t fun is when I take my genuine, teasing, curious personality into situations that I perceive as safe and welcoming, when in fact I should have checked “Miss Blunt” at the door. My reasoning? “Miss Blunt” is fun, but she can lead to a rebuke.

As I’ve been thawing out my frozen blood all day with hot tears, blankets, and cocoa, I’ve officially learned that there is a time to be genuine Maney, and there is a time to be someone else. It’s a skill I needed to learn, and painful though it has been (and will be), rest assured that I will try to remain vulnerable, sincere, and genuine as I write to you, dear readers.

Keep being brave as much as you can. I still have anxiety and depression on the daily, but I’m still going and I hope you are too.

S-A-F-E-T-Y Nap

That moment when it is amazing weather in February and all the neighborhood kids and moms are playing outside but you have a cold and your head had been hurting for hours and all food tastes like dirt and you can’t muster the courage to enjoy the day because of course you are still depressed and this stupidly amazing weather is not helping.

Time to hide in bed.

(Safety Dance, Men Without Hats)

Understanding Amidst Conflict

So vulnerable, so true. Love is something I personally need to focus on when dealing with differing political opinions.

practicalmormon

Politics has this subtly unnerving way of creating conflict in otherwise peaceful relationships. Over this last election, I developed this horrible habit where I would unconsciously categorize people in my head based on how much their political views agreed with my own. As my daily conversations with people inevitably turned to politics, I would closely watch for how people reacted to the mention of certain political ideas and take note of it as a key factor in how I saw them as a person and how I viewed our relationship as friends, family or classmates. Even when I outwardly put up a cordial front when people expressed political views that I disagree with, inwardly I would unconsciously make a mental note to think less of the person and, in certain instances, try and limit contact with them. It was as if I thought of my own point of view as…

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Streams of Mercy

The snow has been coming and going. Mostly coming.

I haven’t written you for a long while and I’m sorry. Not because I think you have suffered at all from my lack of correspondence, but because I look over the last few empty months and realize I didn’t write about anything I’ve been through.

I finally got a job and it is quite nice. I’m working with at-risk youth at a residential treatment center. I’m exploring the field of social work right now and so far it has been rewarding, though tiring.

My husband has been cooking new dishes lately. Last night I had gumbo for the first time. I really liked it. He added kale, which tasted fine, though I had been under the impression that kale shreds your insides? I think I heard that from a family member.

People are marching all over the world. I’m glad that some people let their passion fuel them into action. I drown my passion in Netflix and naps.

I’ve started preparing a lesson I will have to give in church in a few months. Lately I have been impressed to talk about relying on the Savior, as well as bringing the Atonement to the forefront of our lives. The interesting thing to me is that I believe that the Lord loves me, is always with me, and has a plan for me, but I forget about this belief 99% of the time. Sure, I believe it’s true, but it isn’t going to do much for me if I don’t let that knowledge change my daily, hourly perspective on life.

My anxiety has been bothering me more lately. I find deep breathing helps me cope. Cuddling is also positive, and I’d recommend it if you have the means.

My little family of two is so blessed. We have so much. So often my mind and heart get weighed down worrying, but I try to remember how good I have it.

I hope you are all doing quite, quite well.