Living with Anxiety

Hey, everyone! It’s been a HOT minute since I’ve posted on here and I can’t even apologize. You know . . . life and all that. But let me catch you up.

Everyone knows that March 2020 was when the world turned to shit. My job, as shocking as it was, sent us all computers and told us to work from home for a bit. We all thought we’d be back in the office in 2 weeks or something, but here we are almost 2 years later and now our office is closed and we’re permanently working from home. My dining room is now half of a dining room and half of an office.

Working from home has been great! However, I didn’t realize that subconsciously it was doing a number on my mental health. If I felt a headache, I was internally contemplating whether or not I had a blood clot that was trying to kill me. After cleaning the kitchen cabinets (and there are a lot of them) one afternoon, I felt a pain in my back and was convinced I had a kidney infection. I had a pulsing sound in my right ear and ear pain one day (which lasted for months), so I went to the Minute Clinic at CVS and was told I had bubbles of liquid trapped in my ear drums due to allergies. What the heck am I allergic to??? Anyway, I was in and out of the doctor’s office, the clinic and the hospital more times than I would like to count. I decided enough was enough . . . maybe I need some anti-anxiety meds to help me out. My doctor prescribed Lexapro. I took it for 2 days, but I am not a meds person (despite my love/hate relationship with the doctor’s office). I decided I wanted to try walking outside and see if that helped before I relied on the meds. I never thought I would say this, but WALKING CHANGED EVERYTHING. I stopped taking the meds and haven’t looked back. I walk 2-3 miles every day now (if it’s not raining, because . . . Miami) and I feel great! This is not a knock on anyone who does take anti-anxiety meds by any means. This just happens to be what has worked for me right now. And maybe I’m wrong. Maybe what I’m about to explain is reason enough for me to actually be taking the meds, but what do I know?

If you know me at all, you know that I was born in New Jersey and have been talking about moving out of Florida for quite some time. Dating, friends, etc. just hasn’t been easy for me down here and I feel like I need to remove myself and start over.

Don’t get me wrong . . . I have friends . . . I just don’t hear from them for months on end. I reach out, we talk, we say we need to get together and then I don’t hear from them until the next time I reach out. Talk about doing a number on your anxiety. Some of my friends stopped inviting me places because they always assume I’ll say no (their words, not mine). Despite me saying that, yes, sometimes I’ll say no because my anxiety is high that day and certain situations make it worse, but that doesn’t mean I never want to do anything! It means that I would love the option to say I can make it or I can’t. And, if I can’t, I don’t need a lecture about how I “need to get over the anxiety.” If it were that easy, no one would have anxiety. I promise you.

There are few things in life that feel worse than having anxiety and feeling like you’re alone in your thoughts to deal with it. If only people took the time to actually listen to what you need or do some research to understand anxiety a little bit better. People are always so afraid of things they don’t understand or experience themselves.

The other thing is that I’m almost 38 years old, I’m single and I have no kids. I helped raise my niece, but she’s almost 18 and does her own thing. All of my peeps here in Miami are married and have kids. They can’t just come over for a movie and some wine. They can’t just drop what they’re doing and go out for a spontaneous dinner. It’s kinda sad that I feel like I have to move to another state where I know no one in order to feel less alone, but here I am. I love my friends, I just don’t always feel like that love is returned. Is it because of my anxiety? Or is it because of me? Either way, maybe moving to another state and not being able to hang out with friends cause there aren’t any there might feel better than being where all my friends are and not hearing from them lol.

Then there’s dating. What a shit show lol. As far back as I can remember, I’ve either been cheated on or made to feel like I wasn’t enough for an attempt at an actual relationship. Before you start thinking that I’m a hot mess, I always get told that I’m too nice or too good to be true, that they don’t want to lose me as a friend, etc. I have two older brothers, so I’ve kinda grown up seeing what not to do with guys. Sorry if I’m not a psycho who is high maintenance, guys! Some of my friends tried getting me on dating apps and they’ve gone as well as can be expected. I either get sent unsolicited dick pics or asked if I want to join the guy and his girlfriend. App gets deleted. I’ve been told I’m not big enough, or I’m too big for what they usually like. For someone with anxiety, each interaction that doesn’t go the way I hope it will go is another blow to my psyche. Is it me? Am I unattractive? Is being too nice a bad thing? No, mother f*ckers, it’s YOU!!

You might be saying to yourself, “Jeez. This girl is either depressed or really negative.” The truth is I’m neither! I’m an awesome person who loves to laugh and do fun shit. The problem is that I’m also an awesome person living with anxiety and sometimes that makes certain situations less appealing. I’m the person who always wants to have Friendsgiving or Friendsmas or Any-Day-of-the-Weekmas. I want that friend who will listen to me complain about some dumb shit because it’s what I would do for them. Yea, I don’t have a husband or kids to take care of, but I’m a human being and I need human connection just like anyone else. I want to be the person my friends call cause they need a shoulder to cry on. I want to know what it feels like to have someone truly love me back.

I’m a hopeless optimist who feels like maybe they took a wrong turn somewhere. I’ve been wandering around this place for so long now, I’m not sure I can find my way back. Especially alone. My life has become a series of unfortunate events and, because I’m an awesome person, I just keep bouncing back. I know there’s better out there and I won’t give up on finding it. If you’re like me, please know that you’re not alone. Your people are out there. I truly believe that mine are too. Just remember that you’re awesome and anyone else who is awesome will realize that too.

Yours truly,

Kristin

My Essay, ON THE WAY DOWN, Has Been Published On Anti-Heroin Chic

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Hey there!

I recently submitted two essays to Anti-Heroin Chic and am happy to report that BOTH have been accepted! ‘On the Way Down’ was published on April 24th and the second essay will be published at a later date.

Both of these essays are extremely personal to me, so I was nervous about submitting them. My only hope is that someone who might be experiencing something similar won’t feel so alone.

‘On the Way Down’ was written about my first major experience with anxiety. Losing someone close to me was a trigger for me and it’s become a part of who I am. I was experimenting with different styles of writing, and I wrote this essay using only semi-colons to give off the effect of experiencing the anxiety I was feeling at the time.

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You can read the essay for yourself by clicking the link below. This will redirect you over to Anti-Heroin Chic:

On the Way Down by Kristin Trujillo

 

April: Day Six | What is one thing you need to start doing?

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The loaded question for Day Six is:

What is one thing you need to start doing?

Besides the typical going to the gym, eating healthy, saving money, etc., I think my answer for this one is that I need to start driving places. Yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds lol.

Throughout my life my dad always drove my mom and me everywhere. Starting a new job? He’d drive you there to let you get a feel for the area before having to do it by yourself. Need to stop by school for something? He’d drive you there too. The man LOVED to drive and would volunteer to drive you everywhere. While I appreciated it at the time, I feel like it caused some damage. I get anxiety when I have to drive places I’m not familiar with.

I’m 33 and have lived in Miami for the past 27 years, but I’ve yet to drive myself to Orlando. That means I can’t take little spontaneous trips to Disney with my niece, I can’t plan road trips with friends because I’m the only one whose hands start to sweat when I have to get on a highway. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a good driver and I’m a safe driver, but I don’t trust other drivers. I’ve seen way too many people putting make-up on while they drive, plucking their eyebrows, eating, texting . . . you get the point. It makes me nervous and I try to avoid it.

The anxiety I get comes with a price though. Friends invite me to things and I sometimes turn them down because the thought of┬ádriving there alone makes my head spin. This sometimes causes them to think twice about inviting me because they automatically assume I’ll turn down the invite. It hurts sometimes, but I’m sure it hurts them when I can’t make it. Something that people don’t try to understand about anxiety though is that it’s not something you can just say, “Hey! I’m gonna get over this today!” Believe me, I wish it was that easy because I tell myself that all the time.

So that’s what I need to start doing . . . I need to take baby steps so that I can eventually make that trip to Disney with my niece