My Lightbulb Came On Today

I honestly haven’t felt so alive in awhile, career wise, until today when I had a completely amazing conversation with a complete stranger. I had a older gentleman come into my uncle’s furniture store today – Furniture Mattress Outlet in Ranch Cordova, CA (shameless plug). I was covering for his team today since they are out at a funeral (fun fact: I used to sell furniture here after I graduated college while searching for my dream job). Not sure how it even came up but before we both knew it, it was an hour long converasation about today’s health care system, doctors prescribing more medciations than ever, a pill is expected to fix everything, how we should be shifting our focus over to diet & exercise as a treatment plan, as well as education, prevention vs treatment plans, or including health education in treatment plans etc. Before I knew it, 45 minutes had gone by and my body just felt lit up. I have not felt this passionate in awhile. It reignited my love for Public Health and health education.

When I started college, my mom pushed and pushed for me to become a nurse. I was young and I truly believed it was a career for me. Don’t get me wrong, if I did become a nurse back then I’m so certain I would of ended up a public health nurse. But once I finished up at a community college and walked away with 3 associates degree (shameless toot of my own horn), I took a gap year. I applied to nursing school and didn’t get in. Apart of me was sad but apart of me was relieved. It broke my heart to see people hospitalized. I also didn’t like hospitals because I spent so much time in them when my dad was super sick. I struggled to understand why people continued to get sick with diseases that were almost preventable with proper education. There were a ton of educational resources out there but they were not reaching those that needed it. I also realized that if someone is dealing with gun violence in their neighborhood, they’re not worried about diabetes because they’re probably going to shot to death before their diabetes claims their life. Sad truth. There was a need for policy, system & environment changes to occur in order us to do health education work.

Anyways, so at 21, I decided I was going to go back for a public health degree at sac state. Let me tell you, my time at sac state, I met some of the best of the best professors who filled my cup. I was so inspired to go out and change the world, so when I landed my last job, I was ecstatic. It was a job that allowed me to be in the trenches to serve underserved communities. I was doing health education in a different setting. Let me tell you, it was not as easy as I thought. I quickly learned that there were elements of health education that I didn’t learn in school. Relationship building was the key to the work. You had to really get to know the community you were serving, the challenges they were facing and why health wasn’t their priority. I had to forget work plans, state deliverables and focus on the people & their community. I found myself shifting to a servant leadership mindset. I spent more time asking how can I help you accomplish these goals instead of operating with a checklist & workplan I was given by the state. I quickly learned that you can only create change if you really take the time to understand the behaviors and take the work people are already doing to the next level by one simple suggestion. I started to win at my work everyday when I saw small changes. Yes, they were not big changes that the state was looking for but I went to bed every night knowing, I had change the life of one person and that person’s health & life would be different from here on out because of one piece of information I was able to give them.

I won’t lie, the public health work is hard, and it doesn’t pay well. You got to constantly surround yourself with people who believe in the work to remind yourself that this work is worth it and will change the trajectory for generations. However, I did get really jaded at one point because it became frustrating when you go out there, do all this great health education work just for someone to fall back into old habits. This really pissed me off I won’t lie. I felt that my efforts were wasted and started to think maybe I should of listened to my mom and became a nurse. At least, I would be sitting with a shit ton of money right now instead of dealing with grants applications, lack of funding, and lack of support from various government entities. So I left my job when we were dealing with lack of funding. I contemplate various career options that I could go into that would pay well, give me that big house and fancy car. But the more I researched the more I didn’t feel fulfilled. I felt like the least authentic version of myself. I felt like a sellout. It wasn’t me, it was my lust for material things that really brought me no joy.

But today, a lightbulb went off and today I am reminded of why I love the field of public health and why this work matters. This isn’t just health education. It’s changing people’s life. It’s changing the next seven generations life. It’s creating a better world. It’s building community. It’s relationship building. It’s a shitty paying job but it fills your heart. It’s long, tireless days wondering if the work you do will matter because people are going back to old habits. It’s long nights of wondering if you should of gone into a different career. It’s moments where you see a child light up because they tried a new vegetable they haven’t had before and love it. It’s where partnerships allowed a whole community to go home with a bag of groceries. It’s convincing a whole school to implement their health & wellness policy. It’s being a catalyst for change. It’s empowerment. It’s teaching self love & self respect. It’s a desire to leave the world better. It’s human compassion. It’s love. Public Health to me is love for thy neighbors.

So what does this mean for me in the next few years ? Its me going back to school and get my master’s degree. It’s me wanting to teach at a college. It’s me wanting to work for a nonprofit organization. It’s me networking with likeminded individuals. It’s me filling my cup again with the things that light me up and give me warm & fuzzy feelings. I want to do good and doing good makes me feel good.

I hope this post makes you start thinking about what lights you up. Or when you’re talking to people, what makes you feel so passionate. Follow that feeling, make it you’re calling. Stop buying into society’s expectation of jobs that pay well, or that 401k plan. Everything will eventually workout. Just follow that lightbulb. It’ll take you to places that make you feel good and do good.

Re-shift Your Wins

This was a statement my mentor would always tell me…”Reshift Your Wins”. I would really get annoyed with him because I was seeking validation when I was having my pity parties but this statement sticks with me more often than not as I have gone through the last few months. Funny how at one point it bugs the crap out of you then out of no where, you get what they were trying to tell you.

This time of year, people are ‘recapping’ their year and all the great things that happen. I hate to admit it but it does make me feel ‘small’. Yes, this might be the low self esteeming peaking through…but needless to say, I have sat there and thought to myself about what did I accomplish this year and the list doesn’t seem as glamorous or something that I feel is respectable given my age. People are buying houses, starting families, getting promotions at work, traveling, living their best life and then there’s me…just chucking along this past year with no sense of direction and a whole bunch of baggage. But when I reshift my win, I am focusing on the words “chucking along this past year” – meaning I didn’t quit this year. I kept going, even when shit got real hard. That’s a huge win for someone who struggled this year and spent so much time in a dark hole right?

So if I focus on re-shifting my win, I accomplish a lot and have a lot to be proud of:

  • I spent a crap ton of money on therapy but I went to therapy all year long…best decision I made for myself.
  • I went on and then off my medications
  • I learned how to set boundaries with the people I love
  • I cut out toxic relationships that do not benefit me in anyway
  • I quit drinking…although I’ve had a drink three times in the last few days I can honestly say I don’t miss it and will be kicking off 2020 with dry January
  • I read so many books this year. Solitude ain’t that bad when you got a good book.
  • I was pretty active all year with my fitness despite no weight change, i moved at least 300 of the 365 if not more days.
  • I started a blog and am writing about feelings and leaving it out there for the world to read & connect or judge me…but most importantly, I am embracing my vulnerability
  • I went somewhere I have never been this year – Texas, New York City, Philadelphia
  • I got my crap together to watch my best friend get married and that was a highlight of my year
  • I mustered up the courage to sign up for a jiu jitsu tournament and did it.
  • I took a break from Kaia because I knew what my body and soul needed at the time but I’m coming back for Brik 🤪
  • I stepped out of the comfort zone and started wearing heels from time to time. Funny how it boosts my confidence with a good pair of shoes.
  • I chopped my hair off because I needed a fresh start and I think I’m ready to grow it long again haha

All of these little wins really added up for me this year, making it a year in which I will have to say I am glad I did quit and kept going. Reshifting my win helped me find the positives this year and it’s truly been filled with little wins all day long.

Next year, I am looking forward to many things but mostly I am just excited to see how I continue to grow as a person and become my true authentic self.

I hope to inspire you to focus on your wins this year no matter how small.

Uh Oh…The D Might Be Back

How fitting is this quote ❤️

Hi again. I am trying to get back into the swing of things lately. After my trip to Texas, I’ve been wayyyy off. I’ve been feeling really blah lately. I don’t quite know why but I am starting to exhibit the early signs of going back into depression again. The downside of depression is it never really goes away. Things get better for awhile, you feel great and then it creeps up on you when you least expect it to. I am very fortunate this time around to begin to take notice of the signs or patterns of falling back…I have been in a bit of self preservation mode where I am starting to slowly withdraw from people. I am unfollowing people on social media again if I feel that our energies don’t vibe or I just need to not see your stuff at this time. I am getting shorter with my responses with people. I am leaving events earlier because I rather be home. I don’t like being on my phone. I am sleeping in more and I am taking naps again. I just feel tired and uninspired all the time.

The sad part of being so in tune with my body is now that I feel it creeping back in, I have so much anxiety about how it might take over my life again like it did this past year. So I am trying to remain vigilant about fighting these symptoms by staying busy, forcing myself to get out and blogging (even though I haven’t felt like it and actually contemplated deleting the blog…again…this is me going into self preservation mode). With the holidays shortly approaching, I already have so much anxiety about being around family. I know deep down my family loves me and wants what’s best for me. But sometimes, they go about it in a way that is too much for me to handle; therefore they emit a type of energy that drains me to a point of falling back into depression.

I have been really good about not drinking. I have had a sip here and there this week. But I’ll be completely honest, it doesn’t taste good to me and I no longer crave it. I was just at a holiday party this weekend where everyone was drinking. I thought to myself multiple times throughout that night that I could have a drink but instead, I grabbed a sparkling water and sipped on that. Not drinking has brought a sense of mental clarity to me. I quickly realize that people I tend to need to drink around are usually people who trigger me so I have to drink to be able to stand them. It helped me realize I should lessen my contact with them. Since I’m not drinking, I find myself trying to cope with food. I’m a binge eater by the way. Sexy I know. But my gut has been jacked up because I started taking probiotics and my gut is in it’s healing process so it’s building up the good flora that my body needs to stay healthy…which means I’m in a lot of discomfort and have been eating less…which makes me want to shop but when you are unemployed, you can’t be doing too much LOL. So that leaves me with stupid freaking emotions…and lots of it. I legit cry so much and all the time. Not always because I’m sad but because I’m happy or just so excited…it’s annoying. It almost makes me miss my antidepressants because at least I didn’t have to feel so much all the freaking time LOL. But I’m having to figure out how to deal with all these emotions in a healthy way so that’s a positive thing. Which probably makes sense why I am going into self preservation mode…so I can find what works for me? Who knows. This post probably won’t make much sense but I am just getting it all out of my head because if not, it will drive me bonkers.

So yes, I am afraid and almost paranoid that I am falling back into depression. So my promise to myself is that I will exercise at least 4 out of the 7 days. I will try to eat better…oh yeah how’s that 100 days of healing going? Well I’m healing…and it hurts my gut as mentioned above. I have cut back on so much junk…still a work in progress but I read something last night that put things into perspective for my binge eating…I have to remind myself it won’t be the last time I will eat those cookies so no need to binge. This has helped with portion control & reminding myself, I can enjoy treats without overindulging. Okay back to my promise to myself. I will try to stay busy around the house. I won’t beat myself up if I need a nap, but don’t abuse naps because it can quickly become a coping mechanism for me. FYI, I use to sleep 16 hours a day when I was severely depressed so hence why fatigue & exhaustion scares me. And my last promise is I will blog about this experience. I will share my fears, worries, and use this blog as a way to cope instead of finding something self destructive to do.

The holidays are rough so if you are struggling, need to vent, or just want to connect, I’d love to. I hope you are doing well & I hope you check up on your loved ones this holiday season ❤

San Antonio, TX Trip

San Antonio, TX Trip

Hi there! I have been away all week in San Antonio, Texas. Right off the bat…I LOVE TEXAS. I never thought I would but oh my goodness, everything sure is bigger in Texas and I love it. If you are ever in Texas, I highly recommend Taco Cabana. Where else can you get 12 street tacos for under 12 bucks! I just got back on Sunday and since then I have been in recovery mode. This trip took a huge toll on my mental health. I knew ahead of time that this trip would come with lots of triggers but I took many steps to ensure that if I was triggered, I could get myself back on track. I am actually proud of myself for not drinking at all on this trip. BTW, 32 days sober here! Anyways…

I went to Texas to attend my cousin’s Basic Military Training (BMT) graduation from the Air Force. This trip also was a family vacation with my mom’s side of the family – which included my mom, my sister, my uncles, and my cousins…all of us…in one Air BnB…for five days. Can you take a guess at what may have occurred? LOL.

Overall, the trip was intended for us to celebrate my cousin’s graduation and that was exactly what we did. I am so incredibly proud of him and this accomplishment and look forward to seeing where this new career takes him. Growing up, I was a bully to my cousin Andy. I did not quite realize the level of trauma he may have experience from it until I started therapy and realize how much of my childhood affected me. I feel so much remorse and I was very fortunate to have some alone time with my cousin and mustered up the courage to apologize to him for all my satanic behaviors when I was younger. Some might argue that oh it was when you were kids so it doesn’t matter. But to me, it does because no matter how long ago it was when you hurt someone, you should still apologize because you may forget what you said or did, but that person may never forget. So I had to set aside my pride and apologize because I know I was wrong, and what I did was wrong. It was sweet he kept saying it’s okay, I forgave you a long time ago. I had to keep reinforcing that no it wasn’t okay but I am glad he forgave me. So lesson of the trip, no matter how long it’s been, if you hurt someone, apologize. It’s never too late. Chances are, they are still waiting on an apology. If anything, this car ride back to base with just the two of us, was one of the best parts of my trip.

Aside from that part of the trip, I also really enjoyed spending time with my other two cousins on the trip. I never get to see one of them because he’s too busy with school and lifting at the gym. I also got to spend a lot of time with my girl cousin and I am reminded how much we connect in a deeper level. She might just be my soul sister since we understand each other so well when it comes to certain parts of our lives.

While there were a lot of bad parts of this trips, (LOTS of drama and clash of personalities), I am choosing to focus on the good. I had to remind myself multiple time the reason for this trip and if we look at it from that lens, the trip was a good trip. Although, there were a lot of parts of the trips where I felt really anxious and annoyed, I took a lot of time to be alone to reset and recharge. I contemplated leaving early a couple of times because I was triggered but these reset sessions really allowed me to refocus and remind myself of the why of the trip. I am glad I was able to do that because those extra days in San Antonio, were good for creating memories for my cousin & my family, who never spends time all together. Below are some pictures from the trip and our family’s new airman.

This week, I am back and probably will be blogging a lot more. If anything, this trip taught me that boundaries are key in a family like mine. So I will most likely be covering that topic. I know I missed woman crush Wednesday last week. I apologize, I was traveling all day that day and by the time I got settled, I was tired and uninspired. So count on two posts for WCW 🙂

My Current Dilemma: How to Stop Being The Nice Girl Everyone Is Used To

So here is my current dilemma, a bit of first world problems if I must say so myself but it’s seriously a real issue for me. I am going to go ahead and validate my own feelings that this problem is really real for me at the moment and I am struggling to find a balance with it.

So for all my life, I have been the person that would bend over back and be nice to people. I struggled to say no so that’s probably why people thought I was so nice. I was obsessed with the idea of being liked by everyone. I would go above and beyond to be nice to people so they would like me so they can validate this characteristic about myself that I so much desired. I would put aside my personal needs & interest just to be nice. Now I am not saying, I was being nice just to labeled nice. Deep down, I am truly kind and nice person. It’s just there are times where you have this internal conflict with yourself where you’re like, ugh I really do not want to do this but I know so and so would really appreciate it and it would make them super happy…but guess what? It cost a price to make someone happy. It meant a lot of times, I was unhappy and then I got resentful because I didn’t quite know how to set my own personal boundaries or say no to shit I hated. I have so many relationships in my life where I am so resentful but then I also know that it’s also my fault for not setting boundaries. At the same time, shame on those people as well for taking advantage of my lack of boundaries and using it to their advantage.

So here I am, after a year in therapy woohoo, I have been working very hard on setting boundaries, saying no to stuff I hate, not feeling guilty when I let someone down. Let me be honest, the guilt trip was real…especially when people were upset about me saying no and didn’t expect it so they legit took me on a guilt trip so they can get their way.

But my problem is now that I am “therapized”, I am really struggling with transitioning into this new identity with my new boundaries set and being more assertive in my life. I am afraid that by practicing these things, I will upset a lot of people who are close to me because I have bent over backwards for a lot of these people. I was so hung up on the idea of being nice that I forgot to put myself first. And now that I am going to do that, it’s really scary for me to be me and take care of me because of the fear of what people think. I know, I know…I shouldn’t care what people think. Have you tried doing that lately? Yeah easier said than done.

A while back my husband mentioned this quote to me and I didn’t quite get what he meant until now. I did have a serious problem…I was obsessed with being liked and I was obsessed with what people thought about me. But these days, I am going to say what I mean and mean what I say because I am sick and tired of being liked. I just want to be me and I want to be liked for the person I am, with boundaries, assertiveness, and all.

So if you know me, and you care for me, please please please be understanding when I am setting my boundaries with you. Please don’t be upset when I turn you down or can’t help you. Please know it took a lot out of me to say no or set those boundaries. Please be kind and tell me you are proud of me for being assertive and putting myself first. That is all I ask.

I know for a fact that I am not the only person who feels this way. So if you do feel this way, we should have coffee ❤

What I Learned From Being Cheated On

I was super young. I would say I was about 18? 19? I was young, dumb and convinced I was in love. I don’t think we ever were though now looking back. I don’t know if I loved him or I was just legit looking for an anchor to cling to because I had just lost my dad not too long before. I also don’t think you could say you love someone and then hurt them the way he hurt me. But regardless if it was love or not, it doesn’t matter. If anything, I think he liked the idea of being in love with me because he knew deep down, I fit the mold of a good wife and mother. In reality though, we were just two lost souls looking for someone to cling onto so we didn’t feel lonely. I guess you can insert the “Scared to Be Lonely” by Matrin Garrix song lyrics in there and it’ll make some sense of how I view that relationship. (Great song if you haven’t listened to it)

Being cheated on was one of the most self sabotaging experience of my life. I say self sabotage because not only did I allowed someone to make me feel that I was not good enough and but I actually spent my time convincing myself that he cheated because of ME. That I nagged too much. That I wasn’t pretty enough. That I didn’t dress cool enough. That I wasn’t old enough. That I didn’t have the same life experiences to connect with him. That I was too young. That I wasn’t funny enough. That I was too nerdy. That I was too family oriented. That I didn’t know how to have fun. That I valued quality time too much and didn’t appreciate the material things he was into. That I was not sexy enough. That my hair wasn’t long enough. That no matter how much I tried, I will never be enough for this person.

I spent so much of the time figuring out why I wasn’t enough. I was sick to my stomach some days because I wanted answers. (Best part of a break up, the weight loss woohoo) But he couldn’t give me the answers I wanted because he didn’t know the damage of his actions. After all, he didn’t know what I knew. He probably thought I bought the “I want to take time to be a better man for you” lie. What I wish I had done was tell him he wasn’t good enough for me and that he lacked the ability to recognized what an amazing, strong woman I am and that he just let a really good one go. He will regret it. I am certain. There will be a day when he will realize what he did and I hope when that day comes, he forgives himself for what he did, because I did. It doesn’t make what he did okay, but I forgive him.

Because at the end of the day, it wasn’t about whether or not I was good enough for him. The truth is, I was never going to be good enough for someone who wasn’t ready for a woman like me.

That’s the truth. There’s the whole…right timing, wrong person. Wrong timing, right person. Right person, right timing. I believe in it. It’s just how the universe works.

How did I bounce back from that heartache? I clung to my family and friends for dear life. But most importantly, I surrounded myself with people who recognized my worth. People who truly loved me and wanted the best for me. Oh and I watched a lot of Grey’s Anatomy LOL. Yup, I was Meredith in Season 2 of Grey’s. One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, FLOOR!

The best years of my life happened after this heartache. I truly blossomed in those years. I learned so much about myself. Checked off so many things on my bucket list. I danced and laughed louder than I had ever done. I did not make time for people who didn’t make time for me. I was on high. And let me tell you, when you are happy inside & out and busy living your life, not wondering when the next great thing is coming because you just LOVE your life so much…amazing things happen…for me it was meeting my love bug. I’ll save that story for another day.

But to the boy, now man, that gets to be the subject of this post, if you are reading this, this is what I want you to know…

I forgive you. I really do. I don’t harbor any resentment towards you. In fact, I thank you more than anything for setting me free. For allowing me the time to heal myself, find myself, enjoy myself and grow into the strong, independent, kind, loyal, and all around amazing woman I am. I hope the same for you. I hope you have grown into a man that you were meant to become. I hope your life experiences have shaped you into a well rounded person. I hope that you continue to make your grandma proud because she adores you so much. I hope you became a man that follows through with his words. A man that has learned from the mistakes he has made as a boy. A man that cherishes the great woman (if there is one) in your life. I hope that she knows how amazing she is each and everyday. I hope that you put her on a pedestal & remind her that she is more than enough. I wish nothing but the best for you because despite what happened, you still deserve to be happy. I hope that if we do ever run into each other, we can be civil and exchange hellos. After all, it was almost 9-10 years ago 🙂

To my readers, I hope you find it in your heart to forgive the man/woman that hurt you. Only when you can forgive them can you truly move past that phase of your life and live your best life. It was never your fault. It Also, if you ever want to share your experience with me, I’d be more than happy to listen. Just know that you are enough and there is someone out there that will recognize your value and love you down to the core for all your amazing and quirky qualities.

Today I am grateful for…my sweet pup Apollo for cuddling up next to me as I blog this morning. He has been such a sweet boy the last few days as I have been recovering from my antibiotic allergy. Dogs are the best man. They know when you don’t feel well and they don’t leave your side. I love my Apollo Theodore ❤

How My Anxiety Effects Me…

How My Anxiety Effects Me…

When I am not freaking about about something, I am dealing with the physical symptoms of anxiety. If you have anxiety, you get that it’s just not always psychological but you also get to deal with the physiological symptoms. Fun, so much fun.

My first memory of anxiety was probably right after my dad passed away. My mom & baby sister slept in my room with me for months since I’m sure it was really hard for my mom to sleep in her room without my dad. I was grateful for the company since it was a really difficult time for my family. But I had so much fear of losing another parent that I couldn’t sleep at night. Every night I would wake up and I couldn’t go back to sleep unless I checked to make sure my mom was breathing still. Hearing her breath would ease my anxiety in someway but then I would worry about my sister or brother being dead so yeah before you know it, I got anxious about losing my family every single day. This still happens to this day. When I can’t get a hold of my husband, I immediately go through all the news stations websites and search for accidents or keep calling/texting him. This is the part of grief no one talks about…the anxiety that comes with it.

For years, it continued on. Every time my mom wouldn’t pick up her phone and was home from work late, I got really worried. Stomach in knots worried. Nausea. Irritability because I couldn’t find her. And when she did come home, I would be so mad at her…even though she had no idea how worried sick I was. I would feel stupid because she was just busy or her phone was on silent. Then I beat myself up about being so dramatic.

This anxiety carried over into other areas of my life as well.

I never ever ever ever stop worrying. It makes me so restless sometimes because all I do is think and worry and think some more worry even more. It’s not fun. That’s what happens when you’re not a quitter I guess. You can’t quit anxiety.

This last year my anxiety was too real. I didn’t leave the house unless I absolutely had to. When I say I had to, I mean it. I relied on Door Dash for food, Raley’s & Costco delivered, and Amazon had everything else I needed. Every single time I left the house, I become absolutely obsessed with my garage door. I had to watch it go down every single time. There were days where I would turn the car around to go back home to make sure it’s closed because I had a fear of someone breaking in and letting my dogs out. I didn’t care about them stealing anything because let’s be honest, the only thing worth stealing in my house is me…cause I’m a snack. (Bad joke?) But I became so paranoid it took over my mind whenever I left the house. I was worried about awful things happening to my dogs. They are my kids.

I remember I was on a business trip back in May and the dogs accidentally got out…thankfully our neighbors were out & my husband jumped out of the shower in time to find that they had escape. My husband waited til I got back from my trip to tell me because it would have given me a panic attack. I probably would have flown home that day if I am being honest. But that situation made me even more anxious every time the dogs would go out to go potty when I wasn’t home.

Some days my anxiety got so bad I didn’t want to be around people. I was so worried about people commenting on my weight, my life, my life in comparisons to their children or my brother’s life. I avoided every possible situation so I didn’t have to feel like a failure. Because I truly began to convince myself that I was a failure. That none of the hard work I’ve put in matters because there was always going to be someone who is doing “better” than me. I couldn’t even leave my house for god’s sake. My best friend was my dogs. My favorite hobby was drinking myself to sleep or eating my feelings. I didn’t have anything great going on right? (Yes I am aware there were great things in my life…I just failed to see it because I was in a dark hole) So take anxiety, a evil disease and combine that with comparison, the thief of joy, and multiply it with depression (I’m really good at math, this equation is made up)…I had a pretty freaking amazing time this last year and a half.

This quote to remind everyone to be kind because we are already our worst critic. Now that are just some people who are completely unaware of how stupid they are…those people, you might need to remind them but do it gently lol.

Please know, this isn’t my current state of mind. My current state is in a healing process where I am not thinking less of myself like I wrote above. In fact, if you are curious, I am currently in my crying over everything phase of healing where I just start bawling out of no where. I guess this is what happens when you’re on antidepressant for a year and couldn’t cry. My poor husband got to witness this hysteria this am when he brought me breakfast in bed but didn’t bring the coffee. The nerve of this man to not give me a tasty beverage with my breakfast LOL. But seriously, The man is a saint I tell ya, some days.

My amazing therapist had to remind me…what if these questions I’m worried about people asking doesn’t get asked because what if people are actually nice or what if people don’t care whats going on in my life or that I’ve put on weight or that they are too self-absorbed that they won’t even be thinking about me and my life? Now that was a thought that alleviated some of my social anxiety. So her strategy for me to slowly return to social settings was to make it about them. Ask them questions. Be so all up in their life that they won’t have time to ask about you. Two great things come out of this: 1) The person will walk away and think “Wow, Ngoc is such an amazing listener.” 2) I didn’t have to share a dang thing about my life woohoo!

So what happens to me & my body when I have an anxiety attack?

Yo! His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy

There’s vomit on his sweater already: Mom’s spaghetti

He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready

To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgetting

What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud

He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out

Lose Yourself, Eminem

Well those lyrics were fitting so I had to drop it in here. But in all honesty, it’s pretty accurate. Clamminess is a real thing. I start getting cold sweats. My stomach starts hurting really bad. I feel nauseous and light headed. When this usually happens, my heart is racing, I feel like I need to lay down. So I go and lay down and I don’t get up for hours. I just lay there overthinking and I can’t move. Once the attack comes & goes, the body is so tired. I kid you not, if I experience an anxiety attack, I am done for the day. I won’t respond to your text or calls, I won’t leave the house. I am staying in bed and I am going to my calm place. My calm place is a place that my therapist and I worked on creating for moments like this. When I can’t sleep because my anxiety is in full effect or when I need to calm down, I go to my calm space. I begin by either listing out loud or in my mind the details of the scenery of my calm place. I get pretty detailed and the more detailed I get, the calmer I begin to feel. This is a excellent natural way for me to manage my anxiety. What are some other ways that work for me?

  • Exercising…going to jiu jitsu helps me feel less anxious. Yes it’s a social setting but jiu jitsu is like a second home to me. I don’t feel judged there. I can look super ugly because everyone there is just super gross & sweaty anyways.
  • I have been abstaining from alcohol. Going on my 3rd week, woohoo! I survived attending wedding with 700 guest last night and I survived not being peer pressured to drink. I am proud! Cutting back on alcohol is really hard but I know deep down, alcohol is an demon that I not only need to work on eliminating for my health but also because alcoholism runs deep in my family. I mean my dad pretty much drank himself to death. He died of Cirrhosis which is a kind of liver failure.
  • I am working on limiting caffeine to one cup a day or every other day. Getting a good night sleep helps with not needing caffeine or a quick brain break during the day by doing some jumping jacks or a brisk walk to get my blood flowing to wake me up.
  • I am also working on fixing my diet. I’ve read lots of great books on how your diet and health goes hand in hand. I read It Starts with Food by Melissa Hartwig, the Whole 30 lady and that was a great read. However, I’ve been reading Raymond Francis book, Never Be Fat Again and Never Be Sick Again, to really get a better understanding about how certain foods really affect our health. I want to make a more informed decision about what I fuel my body with so I can feel healthy inside out and not just to be skinny. Skinny is overrated. Healthy is sexy.
  • I have a 30 day yoga pass I need to start using. I’ll update you on that in whenever I actually make time to go lol.

If you are suffering from anxiety, I am truly sorry. It really sucks. It also sucks when people don’t get it and tell you to get over it or calm down or you’re being dramatic…I hate that world…dramatic…I was one of those people…TIL anxiety happened to me. My only hope is that we continue to be kind to ourselves. Start our days with positive affirmations and remind ourselves that its okay to be where we’re at. This is our journey and it’s going to look very different from everyone else’s.

Plus anxiety isn’t all bad. There are some positive things that are attributed with anxiety. Like when things go right, you’re surprised. There is always a backup plan because we live for back up plans. So we end up saving ourselves. We never forget anything when we travel because we triple checked our baggage and our list. So yeah, those are just some positive parts, I’m sure there are more. If any crosses your mind, let me know!

Today I am grateful for…the delicious homemade biscuits and gravy my hubby made for breakfast. It’s not healthy at all but it sure was a treat.