anxiety, depression, healing poetry, health, holiday ideas, holiday poem, holiday stress, life, poem, poetry, wellness

A Corner That’s Quiet

I just want to rest

Away from the stress

A corner that’s quiet

Please let me try it

Away from the mean ones

Just myself alone

To think my own thoughts

To cry and to moan

To feel what I feel

Without being told

Just who I should be

And what I should own

I just want to sit

In silence right here

No yelling or scolding

No judgement or pain

I want to be me

The way that I am

In my perfect world

Inside of my heart

Because all that I own

Is inside of my soul

They can’t take it from me

I won’t give them control

anxiety, holiday ideas, holiday shopping, holiday stress, holidays, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness

Shopping During the Holidays and Social Anxiety Order

OMG! Holy Crap! What is with these people??

They are everywhere. They are aggressive and impatient. They are rude. They are all on top of me, in front of me and behind me. I hate grocery shopping this time of year. It either gets worse every year or I get more anxiety from it every year.

It starts on the way to the store. There is traffic everywhere and many people think that their holiday errands are more important than everyone else’s. I was driving this evening on a back road with a speed limit of 30 mph.

I was going 35 and this big ass truck is practically in the backseat of my car. The brights were on , as if it isn’t bad enough when a truck is that close and their lights are high enough to be too bright to start with.

I am not going to speed up because some bully guy is driving up on top of my car. It is too dangerous to speed up. I have learned the hard way that it does not satisfy them.

They are stilled annoyed at you from driving the speed limit to start with and will still ride right up on you, You can’t slow back down if you see police or anything or if the road changes to a lower speed limit. They won’t allow you to slow down.

So then I slowed down to turn into the grocery store and he got madder and hit his gas so hard that he scared me whipping around to pass my little car. I can’t stand this kind of bullying.

Then the parking lot at the grocery store is a nightmare. People drive and walk right in front of you. You can’t even get into a parking space. People will hang their car doors open for 5 minutes to talk to someone they just happened to run into. They have one foot in their car while they are standing there blocking the open parking space.

I the store the real zoo begins. You would think these people have never been in a grocery store before. They block the aisles with their cart and don’t try to move at all to let you pass. They will stand in front of whatever food you need to get to and just stand there talking on their cell phone, while you wait.

They can see you, can’t they? Why do they think I am standing behind their cart and waiting?

God forbid you say something to them. They roll their eyes at you for interrupting their conversation. Is their cell phone conversation so important that they had to have it right in front of the frozen pizza case?

In the check-out aisle these people bring 85 coupons with expired dates and argue with the cashier, while the line backs up. Then they write a personal check, that they have not filled the paperwork out at customer service for.

They get frustrated with the poor cashier who is putting up with this for minimum wage. By the time you get to the register, the cashier is all ready to defend themselves.

On the way out, some little kid was playing with a huge orange shovel (the big ones that are for the driveway). His mother is oblivious, while he pushes the thing right towards my feet. He very nearly tripped me as I was trying to get out of the store alive.

Mom finally notices, as he almost knocks down an old woman. Mom does not stop him. She continues holding up the cashier as she talks on the cell phone while checking out her groceries.

What is the deal with people on their cell phones asking the cashier to WAIT A MINUTE while they talk on the phone? Can’t they tell the person on the cell phone to wait a minute?

Where do people’s manners go during the holidays? Maybe it is just in New Jersey. I dont know. People here are not usually considerate to begin with, and it seems to get amplified by the season.

If a car slows down to wave to me, to let me out onto the road, I have to check their licence plate to see if they are from California or some other place. It is so rare for NJ plates to ever let you out in front of them.

I don’t even go to the malls unless my kids really want to. Women turn into aggressive shopping monsters.

Merchandise is knocked onto the floors and it is left there. People actually walk over it or even step on top of it.

They will run on front of you to grab the last Monster High doll right off the shelf in front of you. Even if they saw you reaching for it. (My youngest is a big Monster High fan)

So I don’t know what I was thinking, going to the grocery store at 8pm this evening. I will go back to my midnight grocery shopping. For everything else – THANK GOD FOR AMAZON !

anxiety, christmas funny, disfunctional family, family, funny blog, funny Christmas blog, funny family story, funny holiday blog, holiday funny, holiday story, mental health, mental illness, social anxiety, top 10 list, top 10 list funny, top 10 list holiday, top ten list

Top Ten Things Women Hate About the Holidays – Annie’s Top Ten Lists

10. You spend 40 hours of work to afford the gifts, 20 hours shopping for them, 4 hours wrapping them and they are all torn open in less than 15 minutes.

9. Your mother in law will come to visit for longer than usual.

8. She will re-organize your kitchen, in spite of your pleas not to, and you cannot find the things you need to make the holiday dinner.

7. Little children will leave toys that roll, right at the top of the stairs.

6. All those family members that you have “been too busy to get back to” suddenly realize you are off from work.

5. The men monopolize the tv, with football and yell things a lot.

4. Other women comment on your weight, one way or another. (Why do they do this? Who the hell asked them?)

3. When women end up at your house, before you have gotten any make-up on, they say “Oh, Annie you really can pull off that “natural look” can’t you? I just can’t do it myself. But you can manage to pull it off.

2. You have to tell your 16 year old to pull up her shirt to cover her cleavage better, before Grandma gets there for dinner. Then your 12 year walks into dinner late, with her shirt even lower.

1. Aunt Mary eats your hidden stash of emergency chocolate or Uncle Bob drinks all of your hidden stash of wine coolers which you bought specifically to get through the day.

abnormal psychology, health, Holiday depression, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness, neurology, psychology, suicide, Suicide holidays, suicude

Suicide, Suicidal Thoughts, Suicidal Ideations are on the Rise This Week as Search Terms / If You Ended up Here Please Read This

I looked at my searched terms and I noticed a dramatic increase in the search of suicide and suicidal thoughts. I must assume that this is a direct correlation with the impending holiday season.

To many people, the approach holiday season is like impending doom. There are so many potential triggers that are likely to send someone into a severe depression.

It is hard to find people that are compassionate and will actually listen without judgement. Most people find death and suicide so disturbing that they are not willing to let the existence of such things into their reality.

So what ends up happening is when someone mentions having thoughts of killing themselves, the responses are as follows:

1. Oh, Don’t talk like that!

2. You don’t really mean that.

3.  Everyone gets depressed. 

4. You aren’t the only one with a hard life. Why does everything have to revolve around you?

5. My personal favorite …Everything isn’t ABOUT YOU!

6. You have a great life. 

7.  There is nothing really wrong with you. 

8. Did you take your meds today?

9.  You are just trying to get attention.

10. You would not actually do that.

So, these are all actual things I have heard people say in my field of healthcare work. I have had patients that were suicidal and other healthcare workers actually said these things to them. Needless to say, I promptly sent them out of the room.

The thought of suicide is disturbing to someone listening, but it is much more disturbing to the person.

People that have suicidal ideations, have tried everything else to feel better. They have already racked their brains and tried to reach out for help over and over again.

It is rarely something that suddenly occurs to a person and they do it on a whim. I would venture to say that by the time someone searches the term suicide on the internet, they have already spent months trying to get real help …if not years. 

Some people are helped by a good therapist to deal with depression and anxiety. Others are not helped. It may be a bad patient/therapist match or they may be a person that therapy is just not the thing that will help them.

Meds work for some people. Medications for mental health are precarious at best. It takes a while to find the right medication and sometimes pills do not help enough.

“Have you taken your meds today?” is really not helpful. In fact the answer could be extremely complicated and not a yes or no answer. People have several meds in their arsenal. They are adjusting the dosages on a daily basis, trying to get some relief.

The extreme lack of validation is devastating to a person. If you are feeling suicidal and someone tells you “Everyone gets depressed. Just suck it up like the rest of us. Everything does not revolve around you” how does that make you feel?

You are in a severe state of mental torture. Then someone says they have depression sometimes too, so you should get over it….This can add to the feeling of isolation. 

People who have not suffered from severe depression do not know what it is like. But even people who have been suicidal in the past do not always believe a loved one when they  try to talk about this.

If you are feeling suicidal then it hurts to be invalidated and brushed aside. It makes you feel more worthless and hopeless. 

Something in your brain has become so traumatized that it is telling you that it cannot tolerate any more pain. Your very own brain is against you and telling you to end it’s torment.

Having your own brain work against you like an enemy is a very very frightening thing. You do not want to do what it is telling you to do or you would not keep reaching out for help, from those around you, from meds, from therapists and then finally from a stranger on the internet.

They think you have a choice to just “stop it” or “turn it off”. It is not that easy. You can’t just flip a switch and turn off thoughts of suicide. You have been consistently traumatized by things for a long time and the brain has become exhausted. 

The first thing is to validate you and your feelings. I know you feel terrible fear and pain. It has been building for a long time, probably from years of traumatic events and people constantly invalidating you.

By this point in time, you have been invalidated so much by so many people that you feel alienated and like you are different from everyone else.

Someone who has suicidal thoughts may be very compassionate to others. They can be the person that other people tend to count on and expect to be strong, no matter what. 

Some people end up self isolating because they feel they are invisible to other people or that they do not belong. They may feel very taxed by the company of others, especially when they cannot talk about whatbis going on inside of their own brains.

People can get to a point where their  brain is telling them that it cannot tolerate the mental torture any longer. This is not intended to be selfish.

I dislike hearing people call suicide selfish. The person who commits suicide is not trying to abandon anyone. Their intention is not to hurt anyone.

It is a state of emergency that people get into and they cannot figure a way out of it. 

If you have had suicidal thoughts before then you know the extreme feeling of lonliness and hopelessness.

The holidays are coming and there are elements to certain holidays that can betriggerring. Sometimes feelings of loss, isolation, and grief can become amplified.
Having to hide your feelings and thoughts about depression or suicide can make it worse. It can seem like you are the one person that no one wants to listen to.

The holidays require an extreme effort of acting just to get through. The acting feel tedious and exhausting.

One thing that can help to endure the holidays is the Spoon Theory.

If you have not heard of it then you can easily find it on google by typing in Spoon Theory. You can make it more specific by typing Spoon Theory mental illness.

You do not have to fullfill everone’s expectations during the holidays. Just because other adults expect certain things does not make you obligated to do all of them.

Self care and self love are very important during the holidays, particularly if you tend to become more depressed at that time of year.

anxiety, depression, holiday anxiety, holiday stress, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness

Social Anxiety Disorder an the Holiday Season

I have noticed a marked increase of readers looking at my posts on social anxiety since the second week of November. The reason that jumps to my mind is that people with social anxiety disorders become overcome with anxiety near the holidays.

The holidays are exciting for most people. They look forward to the get togethers and interacting with their relatives and friends in large groups. But to people with social anxiety the mere thought of the holiday events is extremely stressful.

I love to interact with people one on one. People find me to be funny, compassionate and understanding, At work they say that I am very patient and good at interacting with the patients.

I love my work and I love to connect with patients and family members of patients. Lucky for me, most of my interactions at work are one on one.

Sometimes two or three family members will come to me for information or just to talk and get their feelings off their chest. I am good with small intimate groups like this as well.

But put me in a room full of people and I suddenly feel very awkward, out of place, nervous and sometimes have panic attacks. I can’t follow all the group dynamics. I don’t like having to keep track of all those interactions going on at the same time.

I dread the thought of someone calling attention to me at the dinner table.

Sooner of later, someone will saySO!! Annie! You are being so quiet. Tell us what is going on in your life!”

Oh my God! What is it that they expect me to tell them? I really don’t know what they want as a response.

You are not really supposed to say the truth about your feelings if you have been experiencing depression or anxiety or financial hardships or family problems.

I don’t want to talk about anything personal with a group. ( I just LOVE when people tell me I should go to group therapy! NOT)

So I get kind of paralyzed. Everyone is looking at you for a response. What is going on in your life?

There is nothing going on in my life that I do not feel is somewhat personal. It is hard to talk about work because I have emotion about that. I can’t talk about my living situation because it is all tremendous financial struggling.

I cant thimk of anything that conform to the rules and that I feel comfortable talking about in a group of people. But there you are. Everyone is waiting… You have to say something….

What I want to say is “please ask someone else. I don’t mind talking to any of you in private but please don’t force me to feel so embarrassed and awkward by cornering me at the dinner table.”

But we all know that it would be considered rude to say that. Actually that alone gives me anxiety

Why can’t we say “I am not comfortable interacting with all of you at one time. I am not skilled in the procedure for this. I feel stupid and really uncomfortable in this situation.”

And I don’t think most of the people here would be interested even if I did talk. Then I would feel embarrassed that they are bored or worse yet judgemental of what I say about my life”

I don’t feel like I think and process things the way other people do. They would not understand if I told them things I am doing or the reasons why.

I feel inauthentic playing a role that is expected. It is not really me. If I spoke and acted like myself, I fear the social consequences. I don’t like confrontation.

If someone becomes critical of something I say, I do not want to have to justify myself. On the other hand, I do not want to be silent and allow the other person to “win” the social interaction.

It all feels like a game to me that I do not like to play.

Everyone puts on this “face” in the group.

They all seem to fit into the unit in a special place , like puzzle pieces. I am on the outside, like an extra puzzle piece that is too different to fond a place.

I really don’t like their puzzle, as a whole anyway.

To me this is a question you ask someone in private. I would never ask someone this question in a room full of people. I would not presume their life was so great that they would want to tell it to a group.

Social anxiety kicks into high gear the closer and closer we get to having to suffer through the get togethers. Everyone is so loud at these things.

Everyone interacts with each other. I feel like my individuality gets lost and I am supposed to blend myself into the group. But I do not want to.

I try to leave early of I can, although I do enjoy the food. LOL

I also know that people with post traumatic stress disorder have trouble during the holidays. There are so many potential triggers everywhere being inflicted upon you.

My OCD will also kick into high gear during the holidays but that is for another blog.

I would love to hear from anyone who is experiencing increased anxiety as we get closer to the impending trauma and discomfort of the group events. Maybe we can at least validate each other’s feelings.

Thank you
Annie

anxiety, christmas, holidays, mental health, mental illness

Holiday Anxiety

Be proactive this holiday season. Make sure you do not lose track of yourself in the midst of all the chores, errands, and worrying about what others want.

Every season, people become depressed and have horrible anxiety. Keep on top of yours from the beginning of the season. Holiday Anxiety and Depression – It is like an infection – It is easier to prevent that to cure it.

Keep your daily schedule reasonable. Don’t try to do more than you can do. You are not a super-hero. It will exhaust you and your resistance to illness, anxiety and depression will go way down.

Keep up with the basics – sleep and rest !!

Remember , people always expect you to do all kinds of things. But they are not aware of what is going on at your job and in other areas of your life. They are also not aware of what is going on in your mind. They do not know the anxiety or depression you are feeling. They cannot be the judge of how much is too much.

You can’t please everyone. In fact, some people will complain anyway, even if you make inhuman efforts to make them happy. Some people could have the whole world and would still complain it is not enough.

You can only do what you can do. You have to know what is reasonable for you. That is all you should try to do. You will just frustrate yourself otherwise. Then on Christmas you will see that one little thing would not have made any difference anyway.

Make time for yourself. Don’t spend every minute you are not working preparing for Christmas. It is not fair to you.

If you would not expect someone else to endure the level of your errands and chores and work schedule, then don’t try to endure it yourself. Cut some things out. Christmas will come and then it will be over in a flash.

Take care of yourself. You deserve to have a good holiday too. Not just all the people who you are trying to satisfy.

Namaste,
Annie

christmas, holiday stress, holidays, top 10 list, Uncategorized

Annie’s Top Ten Lists – Top Ten Annoying Things About the Holidays

10. The closer you get to the mall, the more people cut in front of you, practically taking the front of your car off.

9. The bell ringers will ring that damn bell right in your ear and publicly shame you if you don’t put a quarter in their bucket, even if your hands are full.

8. Your mother-in-law will ask you what you want for Christmas and then get you exactly the opposite.

7. No matter how hard you try, there will be three hours of wrapping to do on Christmas Eve.

6. Old ladies will rip a toy right out of your hand, in Walmart, because it is the last one.

5. You gain ten pounds eating chocolate, because you know someone will talk you into cutting the junk food for a New Years resolution and you’ve got to fill up now.

4. They start the Christmas music in the stores so early in the season that you can’t stand it by Christmas.

3. When you arrive at the homeless shelter to volunteer, one of the food servers offers you a bowl of soup because the stress of the holidays has reduced you to looking like you slept outside.

2. You run out of scotch tape at 11:30 pm on Christmas Eve when you have three gifts left to wrap.

1. All of the radio stations on Christmas Day are playing Christmas music. You would kill to hear a rock song.