Fear and Excitement

Next Big Thing

Two of my worst enemies in the emotional world are fear and excitement. And on opposite ends of my brain, naturally. Fear is usually accompanied by the feeling of being overwhelmed and sometimes depression, but always anxiety. Excitement comes with it’s own set of interesting challenges. Tunnel vision of the future without realizing the now is a ‘symptom’. For example, the potential house I wanted to buy. Yes, the land was great. However, the house itself was a total shithole. I knew it needed work, but I saw what it could be, and didn’t see the $400,000 of work and 3-5 years of time it would take to make it into my dream house. It was a giant money pit. I walked away. Because I’m smart. Be like me. Hehehe

scareexciteAnyway, it’s rare when I feel both fear and excitement at the same time, and these are very hard emotions to work through. I feel major anxiety without the depression. This is the hardest mania I have to work through. I think extra hard, my brain doesn’t stop, I can’t sleep, I talk a mile a minute, I clean like crazy, I can’t sort through my thoughts, I can’t talk to anyone because I just frustrate them because I’m all over the place. I think about all the possibilities of what could be. Then I think “Oh, I don’t want to get stuck in the tunnel vision trap” and try to slow down. Then I try to pick holes and find the bad parts so that I don’t overlook anything. Then I start to get anxiety because I’m now thinking about all the bad parts. Remember my last post about how I’m scared and doing it anyway? Well, this is me… on the edge of the cliff, doing it anyway. I’m moving forward no matter how it feels because I have to. I see my long-term end goal. I see my short-term goal… and I see the inkling of my very long-term goal. Every time I try to look ahead, I lose something in the now and lose a little perspective. There’s so much going on, so I have to just focus on the short-term while being mindful of the other goals. It’s exhausting.

I’m scared. I’m excited. I’m insane manic right now, and my heart is beating so fast. I wanted to get all this out of my system and then I’m going to do deep breathing exercises to try to calm down. This weekend is going to be pretty stressful for me, and I need to find a way to keep it together. I’ve literally had one panic attack in the last few months. I’ve been doing so well, I’m not going to lose it now. And I’m not going to back down. One-I literally don’t have a choice. And two..I’m not a coward. I’m seeing this through all the way. I’m finishing this ‘project’.

todayWhat’s so scary? I know, I know! I’m being really vague. Ok, let me lay it on you. My house sold, and my closing date is on February 10th. I found a temporary place to live and I went out to see it today. It’s way better than living in a trailer for a few months and running my company that way (which is what I was planning on doing). It’s a little studio, and I can run my company and have all my dogs. I’m looking at a new place, and possibly building. I’m not going to get too much into detail because it will jinx it. But I can say it’s a big deal, it’s all new territory for me, and I’m having to learn about running power, water, septic, and gas lines to an undeveloped property, buying water rights, building licensing, costs of building, time frames, city ordinances/codes, and finding out what it takes to really get in there and make it happen. I’m usually on the phone for hours every day with realtors, lenders, the city mayor, utility companies, storage facilities, my builder, and a ton of other companies trying to get everything in order. I’m still seeing clients and training dogs every day too. Long days make for one frazzled Heather near the end of the day. But at the end of the day, I can say I am doing everything I can. I’m giving it my all, even though I’m overwhelmed. And that gives me a sense of peace. I won’t give up. I know what I want, I have a vision, and it will work out. I just have to keep learning and trying. I’m so incredibly determined to do this, I won’t take no for an answer. This is happening. It’s real. BIG, EXCITING, SCARY things are happening right now. Business is booming, and it will just continue to keep getting better!

I have my calm piano music going already, and all my dogs are asleep, curled up together next to my bed. I’m diffusing essential oils, I’m fed, watered, and ready to fall asleep after I calm myself down. I have to get rid of the mania or I’ll crash just as hard. This is one of the biggest things I’ve been working on the last few months with my therapist is handling the cycling. I’ve been pretty damn good at it lately. So goodnight, and I hope you have exciting, scary things happening in your life too.

Do or Do Not. There is no try.

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

yodaHad an epiphany today when doing some house hunting. The place I had in mind fell through. That’s ok, hakuna matata. I’ll find something else, and something better. I won’t let the little things like this get me down. I’m always looking for the ‘next big thing’. And this place is where I will make my footprint. It’s a little strange thinking about how I’m leaving this house and moving on… a lot of emotions on that. I’ll deal with those later (compartmentalizing), and I’m focusing on my big picture goal. Which is to get a place up and running where I can live and work, and leave work at work.

My epiphany had to do with the quote above. There have been many areas of my life where I’ve said ‘I’m trying’. ‘I’m trying to get better at ____’. ‘I’m trying to work things out’. ‘I’m trying!’ Stop. I’m done trying. I’m DOING. I’m not TRYING to find a place. I AM finding a place. I’m not TRYING to work things out. I AM working things out. I’m not TRYING to run an Ironman at the end of the year. I AM running an Ironman at the end of the year. It’s too hard for me to be half assed, in the middle or just trying. I’m better than that.

“The only failure is not to try.” – George Clooney

But what holds up back from giving it our all? Fear. Of what? I’ll tell you. It’s fear of failing. Everyone is scared of this in one sense or another. So… I’m scared. And I’m doing it anyway. I was nervous about working horses (I’ve always had a healthy fear of animals bigger than me). I’ve started working with them and learning a little about horsemanship. I’m scared of going through big milestones by myself. I’m doing it alone – like selling my house and buying a new one, moving into a temporary location. Let’s be honest, I think everyone is a little scared of doing big things like this alone. Starting my business somewhere else terrifies me. I did it before, yes… but I had the support of my ex husband. Now, I really am on my own and have the support of myself. Relocating is scary, but I’m doing it. I was/am afraid of guns. I went shooting (And I did really good!). I’m scared about doing big house projects. Guess what? Yeah, I’ve done some big ones recently. And I think my biggest fear of everything… I am scared of putting myself out there emotionally. I’m trying again – cautiously, but I’m doing it. To receive the type of emotional support and love I deserve, I need to put myself out there too. So, I’m in. And I’m putting all of me out there. I’m all about doing things that scare me lately.

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” – Elbert Hubbard

success
So, I’m done ‘trying’. I’m DOING now. If I want something, I’m working on my big goals. Even if it means I fail. Hard. I’m in. All the way. Failure doesn’t mean the world is ending, it just means there’s an opportunity to learn and grow. The fear of the unknown totally scares me. When I don’t know what is going to happen, I usually have horrible anxiety. I’m going with the flow this time, and just letting what happens, happen.

Do something that scares you every day. It will help build you into an unstoppable entity of power and confidence. Just do it in the right away so you don’t become an asshole. At least, I believe that. I have more drive every day where everything else is telling me I’ll fail. Sometimes I get knocked down. Hard. But it seems the harder I fall, the stronger I become.

Ok life…. it’s time to BEAST MODE!!!!

“Experience teachings slowly, and at the cost of mistakes.” – James A. Froude.

After the Rain

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4/5/2013 Rain in April

Yesterday, I finally cracked. I broke down at work. I cried in front of a coworker.

Yes, that was quite embarrassing, as you can imagine. I don’t normally make a habit out of crying in front of people.

Anyway… yesterday was another ‘down’ day.

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My first flower of the season. 4/5

However, today, I see a break coming. I have spoken to my new therapist, and had my assessment today. I like her so far. She listened, didn’t judge, and seems like she wants to help.  My last therapist gave me silly exercises to work on that didn’t help and actually made things worse. That’s why I stopped going. Now, I need to work on me, and get back in the game…the ‘healing’ game.

We have discussed future plans and a treatment plan, and I want to see what she comes up with. I was honest, and as hard as it was, I was open. Very open. I’m glad my husband came with me for moral support. He listened, and jumped in when I forgot something, or when he needed to add in a detail that I missed.

I’m happy he is so supportive of everything that I do. I don’t know how I would get through some of my issues without him.

So, in light of today’s rain, I am using it as an excuse to start over, per se. I want to work on healing, and I’m ready to put in the emotional work on myself to be happy with myself, and who I am. I have to stop letting one particular individual break me down. I climb up, get some confidence, and then I am broken down again.

I have to learn how to not let people’s words hurt me as much as they do. ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ is a lie. Those words do hurt… but I have to be a wall, a rubber wall, and let those words bounce off. It is hard when you respect someone so much, when you look up to them so much… then they break you down. I work up the courage to ask for help, and then when I finally do… I’m insulted, burned, and smashed back into the ground. Then, I have to pick myself up and put myself through the same thing again and again.

Why?

Why do I do this? I have asked this time and time again. My husband has asked this. Why do I keep coming back for more and more abuse? …because I respect this person. Because I look up to this person. Because this person has worked so hard to get the business she wanted. Because I want to be as successful as this person. Because this person is an inspiration to me, and I feel I should take the abuse. I should throw money at this person and have them teach everything they know to me.

4/5 Rain through my screen

4/5 Rain through my screen

What do I feel about this person?

-Intimidation
-I feel small when I talk to this person
-I freeze, can’t speak, can’t think logically
-Insignificant
-Like I won’t amount to anything
-I don’t know anything about my career… like I am a fraud.
I feel scared of this person

Does anyone have the same feelings about another person? How do you handle your feelings? What have you done to keep it together when speaking to him/her?

 

Bait Dog

This was heartbreaking to read. But rescuing gives these dogs something to live for. Rescuing is what I always want to do… I wish I could save all of them.

mymegaedog

Author’s Note: To my wonderful readers, please consider rescue for your next pet. They don’t all have stories like this, but they all have stories.

Today is a good day, you are merely bored today. You walk in a circle around the post until your rope gets tangled and causes the chain embedded in your neck to tighten. When the pain of metal on open flesh becomes unbearable you stop. You lay down. Your pads are worn smooth from the endless hours of pacing on hard concrete, and they are achy and cracked. Your nails are still sore from the clipping last week when the people cut them down, down, past the quick, cutting skin and nail as one. At least there is no clicking noise now. When you click, the people come.

Your mouth is dry and swollen and your nose is so raw you cannot even lick it…

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Am I ready to be in a fishbowl?

I’m struggling to put what I want to say into words. I’m scared because I haven’t told many people about it. Will I be judged? Who will be there for me when I need them? Will people understand? Does it even matter? Do I even care? Will I be ridiculed? Is it my fault?

I’m struggling to decide how to put the experience into words. Everyone would see, would know.

I’m scared of how I will feel. I’m scared I’ll start having the nightmares again.http://www.popgive.com/2012/08/top-5-common-nightmares-explained.html

I’m scared it will come back and I won’t sleep. I call them demons. Whispers in the night. Shadows all around me. Enveloping me. At night, the darkness owns me.

I’m scared of people knowing.

Or worse. Confronting me about it.

I’m not a full person anymore. Something was taken from me. I think this was the beginning of when I started to lose pieces of myself. That’s when the darkness started. I’ve been dragged into the ground, where the pressure has pushed me down for so long. Hell, I was thirteen. I wasn’t even old enough to realize what I was feeling.

Am I ready to accept what happened and finally move on? Am I ready to talk about it? I’m sitting here right now, struggling to type the words. The words are so simple. If I can’t type them, does that mean I’m not ready? Do I have to force myself to do it? I think I might vomit. Or scream.

The whole reason I started typing, instead of doing talk therapy again was for this reason-to discuss what happened. To put it down in words. I’m not sure I’m strong enough to open up this chapter of my life. Everyone will know. I will be an open book.

If any of you watch “Private Practice”, the spinoff series from “Grey’s Anatomy”, this will make sense. Dr. Turner, a therapist, was pregnant, and was seeing a client whose baby had died. The client assaulted Dr. Turner, and cut out the baby from her stomach. She kidnapped him and left Dr. Turner to die on the hardwood floors of her own house. She was saved in time, but had intense PTSD. She went to a therapist to overcome all her struggles, and then wrote a book about it. Every detail was in this book. Clients, people on the streets, clerks, employees, doctors – everyone knew about her incredibly painful, intimate story.

No, this didn’t to me. But people approached her about the story and asked her questions. It helped her. Will it help me?

I’m scared.

The Demon Came…The story of how I was diagnosed

I was diagnosed in 2010 with something they called ‘Major Depressive Disorder’, or more commonly referred to as ‘clinical depression’. There were a series of events that led up to all my happiness being sucked out. By a demon. Yes, you have heard this word before, and as cliché  as it is – that’s what happened.

Our wedding

06/19/2010

It started in November of 2010, I was diagnosed around this time. Five months after my husband and my lovely wedding, we purchased a home. We had a housewarming party, and we love, love, LOVED our new house. Our first ever, dream home. We had everything ready, all moved in, unpacked, and were deciding what our next BIG thing would be. We had a trip to California planned for the Christmas holidays, and we were excited to tell everyone about our new house. When we returned… the house just… stank. My husband went to the basement, and .. squish squish squish… The carpet was wet. We had a flood. A big one. A nice, big, wet, moldy mess.

Back to the house. Here’s where things got tricky…
No, insurance didn’t cover it. Were there damages? You bet. Now, we had to max out credit cards, take out loans, just to MANAGE the flooding. It wouldn’t stop if we hadn’t put ourselves into financial hell. So, for the next 6 months, instead of doing our next BIG thing… we paid off our debt.
Our house

Depression sunk in. I realized our horrible situation, and how this was going to affect everything. This was the beginning of when I realized something was wrong … in my mind. And I needed help.

It flooded again… and I started thinking about suicide. I didn’t want to go through this anymore. As much as the flood and money problems are all material things, there were much deeper issues going on. Family issues, emotional issues. I couldn’t do it. I went into work with a mask on, trying to hide the fact I was royally fucked up in the mind. My mind was a prison and I couldn’t breathe. It had padded walls and no windows. Thoughts of previous traumas filled my head.. one in particular, and it was my demon. He haunted me.

Now, during this time, there were also MASSIVE family issues going on (my side and my husband’s side. The issues aren’t directly related to this story, so that’s for another time. The nightmares started. The demon was in my head. I stopped sleeping. He started coming during the day. He was everywhere, and he was after me. I was now on anti-anxiety meds, antipsychotics, and sleeping pills. I was numb from the pain. That was the idea. Miraculously, my husband and I weren’t having problems, but we weren’t great either. We were… managing.

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Flood 2010

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A few months later (March), we had another flood… in the other side of the basement. This time, we were going to cover all our basis. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty details, but basically, this cost us about double our down payment. So, again… financial hell. Things weren’t getting better… we were just getting deeper and deeper into debt. My depression got worse, and I was numb every day. I wanted to die. I just needed one shred of good news…

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Well, I got promoted (company from hell)! This was going well for about three weeks. Then…I got fired. Great, huh?

No reason as to why they let me go. None, no explain came from my company. It was really… out of the blue. So, I immersed myself in self-pity and thoughts of death. I tried to talk to my husband about it, and he got angry at me for thinking that way. I stopped going to therapy. I didn’t want to go anymore. I didn’t want to get out of bed. So I didn’t. I just played video games. And watched Grey’s Anatomy. Which actually helped. I liked to watch other people’s problems, and thought they were funny. That’s what the show is supposed to be about, right?

I hated myself. I failed. Our house is a mess. Our wallets are empty, and in my head, they would be forever. I couldn’t sleep, the nightmares kept coming. I didn’t want to do anything, but if I didn’t think, the demon would come back. I didn’t want to talk to this demon, and I didn’t want to see him. I hate him. I saw him everywhere, he followed me awake, asleep, at home, in the car, at a restaurant. Everywhere. If I shut my eyes hard enough, he was gone. Just white spots appeared instead. So, I had a drawer full of medicine that would make me sleep for a long time. Maybe, if I didn’t wake up, the demon wouldn’t come after me anymore.

So, I took a bunch of the pills.

Apparently, that wasn’t enough, because I woke up the next day and the demon was there. So was my husband. I couldn’t tell him what him what happened. (I did eventually, he was angry again) I just told him I was really tired.

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Well, a few weeks later, I gathered up what remaining dignity I had and looked for a job because my severance was out, and unemployment only went so far. I put on the mask again and went to interviews. I found a job. A great job, actually. With a great company, great people, great pay, and best of all… these people are now my friends. I feel they support me, and understand. I need that. I need a ‘work family’. Which I have now.

Shortly after I started at this great new company, I saw my therapist again, and she recommended I get a dog. A therapy dog, specifically. Well, in our current financial state, buying an already trained therapy dog wasn’t possible. So, I just settled on getting a puppy. Which we were seriously considering. A coworker of mine needed to find a new home for his dog, and Wa-La! We have Napoleon. I fell in love, and he’s the perfect ying to my yang…so to speak.

Now, back to the basement issues, we had 2 more floods in 2011 while we were rebuilding. So, we hired a lawyer and threatened a lawsuit. Because we asked so nicely, the plumbing company came out and fixed their mistakes. . . finally. So, we started rebuilding again…

One room at a time..

Framing.Insulation. Drywall. Mudding. Texturing, Baseboards, Painting… Dollar sign, Dollar sign, Dollar sign… gone, gone, gone. More anxiety, more feelings of we’ll never get out of this.

But we did… and here are some pictures of our finished basement. After the damages.

Hallway

Hallway – Click for larger image

Bathroom

Bathroom – Click for larger image

Living Room

Living Room – Click for larger image

Office

Office – Click for larger image

Guest Room

Guest Room – Click for larger image

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1 year since original flood… November 2011

My dog was diagnosed with mast cell cancer. This was a pretty big kick in the gut. There was no other option: We had to operate. We had to do everything we could to keep him around with a high quality of life. So, we removed the tumor. There was only one, and he would need some recovery time. They got it all, and were having it biopsied. We would know in a few days how bad the cancer was.

Now, we had already planned going to visit family for Thanksgiving. Ryan’s family lives in California, and we like to go once a year. All the plans were already made. So, we planned on going, and leaving Napoleon with a trusted friend. The stitches would be out, but he would still need regular walks and some physical therapy so that those muscles were used to prevent atrophy.

Cancer test came back Grade 1, and we think we got it all! That’s great news. What a great way to start the trip! Knowing our dog would be with us for quite a long time! Napoleon

So, we left Napoleon with our friend after his surgery, and we had the neighbors watching the basement every day. We covered all our bases. Now… I was really uncomfortable without Napoleon. He had been my security blanket and without him… I felt naked. I cried, I felt unsafe, the fear came back. The nightmares, the demon. But… I put on the happy face again, and pretended to be excited.

Now, the kicker… a few days before we left, my grandmother passed away. My mom was very upset, and she was having a really hard time with it. I felt horrible for leaving for Thanksgiving. We already booked our hotel, and our car, and our flights, there was nothing I could do. It was done, I was leaving.

The day we got into town, I noticed I had a sharp pain in my stomach, but didn’t really pay attention because of all that was going on. As the week progressed, this got worse and worse. I was in tears almost every night because of the pain. I just took more anti-anxiety meds because it numbed me.

We get to California, and we see my husband’s grandmother (who we knew was sick) … but we weren’t prepared for what we saw. She was dying. She had lost her spunk, her energy. It hit me like a train. I had just lost my grandmother, and now we were going to lose my husband’s… I have been in the family long enough where his family is my family now. This was hard.

demon

Thanksgiving Day. I started vomiting this morning. But I sucked it up, because we were on vacation, and I was supposed to be enjoying myself. I also had to because it was Thanksgiving day.

So, I sucked it up, and we spent the day with the family… while our grandmother was in a hospital bed.. she had started hospice the day before. Meaning she didn’t have much time. That evening, I was in so much pain, I had started to vomit more, and I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t walk, everything hurt. I felt like I wanted to die. Oh, how badly I just wanted someone to kill me. This was from pain, not from my mental prison.

Emergency room. They finally gave me dilaudid for the pain. They did tests, and realized I had a severe kidney infection, and it was in danger of rupturing. They kept me there until I had ‘drunk’ all the fluids in the banana bag (which also had antibiotics, apparently). Going to the ER in another state, and not having a ‘home’ to go to when you leave is not comfortable, let me tell you. I was told to be on bed rest for a week. I thought that meant a few days. I’d be up and around.

We went to my husband’s family’s house the next day and said our goodbyes. Especially to our grandmother. She really was near the end… I didn’t know how much longer she had. I was now drugged up to all hell, and was numb again. So, seeing her like this, and saying goodbye was painful, yes. But I wasn’t really ‘on this Earth’, if you know what I mean. I was watching myself say goodbye.

Then we left for the airport. I had to basically close my eyes the whole way because I had car sickness. The movement was hurting, so I just focused on not throwing up. Got to the airport, couldn’t walk. Needed a wheelchair. I was scared about the flight… scared I might vomit, and I hate planes. So, I combined my drugs and took a sleeping pill, and a dilaudid for the plane trip. I do like dilaudid…

When we call my father-in-law to let him know we got back into town safely, he tells us our grandmother had passed away. I was numb already, so I couldn’t feel anything. My husband was very upset and I, in my sick state, needed to take care of him, too. We picked up Napoleon, who was overly excited to see us, and we just weren’t in the mood to be around a jumpy, excited, slobbery dog. So, we went home, I curled up in my bed, with Napoleon on his bed, right by the bedside, and slept… for a week. I had started my treatment for the kidney infection, and had some much needed me-time under the gentle protection of narcotics.

Once I was ready to go back to work, I was rested, I was more happy than I had been in a while, and best of all, I didn’t have the demon show up. At least during the day.

That’s … the incredibly long story (sorry about that… hope it wasn’t boring) about how I was diagnosed and the first few years of dealing with my demon. He still comes around, and I’m not ready to face him.  But this was the last time he’s come during the day. There were events from years before that led up to this diagnosis… but I need strength to post them. I need support from my friends. I think it will help… I need strength.