Have you been paralyzed by fear? For the past 2 weeks I have been paralyzed by fear and it has caused me so much anxiety all I have wanted to do is lay down and just sit in the silence…have you ever felt that way?
I have lost hours worrying about the future and being so scared to fail that I have literally lost hours to just laying on the floor unable to get up and take action. There are so many things I want to accomplish and I know I can do it. I have proven time and time again to myself that I am so much more capable than my mind tells me, but at this current moment I can’t see the fucking tree through the forest…no light at the end of the tunnel just a bundle of anxiety that keeps me from doing literally anything. Getting up is hard, brushing my teeth is hard and just getting motivated to get my shit done has been the struggle of a lifetime. I know this will past but right now it feels like I will be stuck in these feelings for the rest of my life. No amount of medication or coping skills has helped, but I keep trying and I’m not going to let this take over my life.
We can do anything we set our minds to so it’s up to us to ensure we don’t let the voices in our head overshadow the tiny part of us that knows we have everything we need right now at this current moment. Write down how you feel, list out everything you’re grateful for, write over and over that you will be okay and just know that feelings are temporary and can change in a split second so just keep fighting.
Wake up, do your job, workout, have a social life, do something great, make more money, have nice things….the list for what we think we should be doing goes on forever. The amount of time you spend doing those activities eats little bites out of your day and in the back of your mind you feel like there’s something more you should be doing, you have to make sure you do all these incredible things, but in reality just being you is enough. We live in a culture that tells us we need to do more, be more, get more, more, more, more, but when is it ENOUGH. For me, my diagnosis of bi polar and adhd threw me for a whirlwind that I’m still navigating and I have the biggest case of imposter syndrome this side of the Atlantic. My problems aren’t bad, others have it worse, I should be doing something more, I should be doing something else, I should be helping more people…..where in those statements am I? Why am I not thinking of myself while I’m out here trying to do the most for what other people believe I should be doing….that’s a me problem.
The problem of feeling like you have to give every second of your life to everyone else, in my mind it makes me sound selfish because you know what, it’s not all about me! I sit here day in and day out and feel like I am living a lie because my life is not turning out the way I thought it would, but in reality this is all happening for me. I have a purpose and it’s to really dig deep and help people who feel like I do…who feel like their never quite enough while quite literally doing all the things all the time. I want to create a community here in this space that allows people to openly share their thoughts and feelings and receive validation…sounds super snowflake like but I promise just taking the time to feel your feelings makes all the difference. I’m on this journey with you and we are aren’t going to make it out alive, but we can do the best we can right here, right now to live and be in the moment. You are enough, you are doing enough and the way that others perceive your actions is on them (unless it’s something like murder because yea we all think that’s bad or at least I hope we do). The only thing we can control is the person we are in this second….you’re not an imposter, you have a purpose and you have something of value to share with this world, it just takes a minute to get your shit straight and really go after it.
Looking back on old blogs it makes me laugh because I really thought that I had everything figured out. I thought that not drinking for 30 days would solve my problems, but in reality, all it did was give me a reason to justify my drinking. If there is one thing I am, it’s self-aware…painfully self -aware of everything I need to work on, all of my flaws and every mistake I’ve ever made. Looking back, most of those experiences were fueled by alcohol…leaving a party because I didn’t feel “wanted”, running home in the dark and having to cross a highway in the middle of the night because it was the only way to get back to my house, falling asleep in the middle of a public place and waking up realizing so many things could have happened to me but I was too drunk to think about that at the time. I justified my drinking because it didn’t impact my job, it didn’t impact my ability to workout and I could carry on a semi normal life that no one questioned. Behind the scenes, I counted the hours until I could drink, waiting until I could go home and be alone with my drinks because I wanted to feel anything but what I was feeling at that moment.
It all started more or less when I lived in Texas…if you know anything about Texas, there are drive through daquiri shacks all over the place…like a Starbucks for alcohol. The first time I realized I might have a problem (I didn’t really accept it, it was just a passing thought) was when the drive thru worker knew my order down to the extra shot of vodka I got every day on my way home from work. My personality revolved around alcohol…if I was home, out to eat, visiting family, hanging out with friends…I was drinking. Every event I attended revolved around alcohol and I began to equate the positives and negatives in my day to the number of drinks I was able to have, how out of my mind I could get and how much self-control or lack thereof I had. Drinking never led me to anything positive, but I absolutely believed that it did at the time. I had relation-shits centered around alcohol, friend-shits centered around alcohol and a life centered around alcohol. I surrounded myself with people who loved to drink as much as me, just another justification that drinking was okay and not a problem.
By 2022 I could quite literally count the number of days I had not had alcohol in a year on one hand (it was 0 btw). I had reached a point where I knew that I needed to do something to change my life. After years of self-destruction, it was time to change…and that brings us to the present.
Tomorrow starts the rest of my life, I am worth working on and I will continue to do what I need to create a better life, a life I deserve. Asking for help was absolutely terrifying, but I’m doing it and I’m starting intensive outpatient therapy tomorrow. Writing those words for someone to read terrifies me, but my goal is to just be real and to show that it’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to need support and it is more than okay to take time to work on yourself (will I listen to my own words…probably not, but we are working on it).
5 years ago, I almost died. I almost died because I was too scared to seek medical attention for fear of what my boss might say. The feeling that he thought I was malingering or seeking attention ate away at me while my body slowly went into septic shock. How could I know if he thought I was malingering, I don’t control his brain? I may not have the ability to read minds but his greeting when I came back to work confirmed my fear…a simple “oh, you weren’t kidding when you said you were sick”, confirmed everything I thought about myself and caused me to shove the pain of that experience into the deepest part of my brain…. now it’s 5 years later and that corner can’t take anymore. It took me 5 years to realize that one experience caused me so much anxiety, pain and sadness.
Looking back on this time in my life makes me so sad. I wish I had received help for these issues sooner, or had identified the problem before it became too much for me to handle by myself. Even bringing it up now, I think about the things I could have done to alleviate the anxiety or make things better for myself. This issue has an impact on so many people regardless of their line of work. The idea that getting help is a weakness or makes you less than. That focusing on mental health is not as important as a physical ailment…that your life is worthless because someone else doesn’t understand the pain you suffer, the pain that to most is invisible.
Holding on to painful experiences allows for so much negativity and sadness, that left untreated leads to terrifying outcomes. The thought that going to bed and not waking up is so much better than having to live another day trapped inside a brain that can’t begin to fathom what real happiness and joy is. The idea that if you weren’t here the world would be better off because all you bring to it is negativity and pain. No one comes to you because they think of joy and happiness when they hear your name…your name is synonymous with saltiness and annoyance. You joke and laugh at how “salty” you’ve become but inside you’re crying because you don’t want to be miserable and you don’t want to show others how lonely and heartbreaking it is to be in your world.
Despite the parents that love you dearly, the mom that would do anything for you, the friends who have let you know that you mean something to them…you still can’t see the light through the trees. Getting up is a struggle….basic human tasks seem impossible, hell just brushing my teeth is a nightmare most days. I sit here and wonder how the hell I got to a place that has left me so lonely, heartbroken and immeasurably sad. I want to be happy, but right now I don’t even remember what that feels like, I’m so deep in my own bullshit and I am trying with every fiber of my being to get out of this hell I created in my mind. I built the walls up so high these last 5 years that I don’t know how long it will take for me to knock them down, but inch by inch I’m working at it. I almost died, almost…..almost….I didn’t die! I let a part of me die and now I have to figure out how to build that part of myself back up. My feelings are valid no matter how much I tell myself they aren’t. I matter, even when I don’t think I do and I hope that I can help at least one person by sharing all of this….just one that’s all I’m hoping for.
P.S. I am so sorry about my grammar and sentence structure.
Proud. The one word that when I think about it, brings up so much sadness and anger. I have never felt proud of myself, but I poured my pride into other people and made sure those around me knew that they were enough, doing all the right things and creating a great life. Meanwhile I stood there telling myself that I didn’t deserve happiness, that my trauma wasn’t real, that I don’t get to be sad because I have too much going for me. Well, you know what, sometimes the people that seem to have it all together just don’t. When I pictured my life, I didn’t see a broken woman fighting a war against her brain…the anxiety, depression, ptsd, and addiction. I saw someone who was living the life of her dreams, but present Sara doesn’t measure up to what I wanted my life to look like, so now I work to become her. I can’t continue to gaslight myself into thinking that my experiences aren’t valid, that the feelings I feel towards them are too much…that I don’t have the right to be sad and take resources away from someone more deserving than myself. I tell myself every day that I am worth it, that I am loved and that I am not too much but it hasn’t stuck…I don’t believe those things. I feel the opposite so deeply and I can’t shake it off. How the fuck did I get here, to this place where I can’t even believe that I’m worth fighting for…sure I’m getting help for my problems, but in doing that I don’t feel proud for reaching out, I feel shame for not being able to process my own damn emotions by myself. I am tired, I am sad and I don’t know when I will be myself again, but despite it all I’m still trying. Maybe one day I will believe that I am enough and worth it but until then I will remind myself daily with the new habits, I’m creating by giving myself 10 uninterrupted moments each morning and evening to write my thoughts and feelings. Processing my emotions will take time, and learning to trust that my experiences and reactions to them are valid may seem impossible right now, but one day, everything will be okay.
Do you ever do something you know isn’t good for you? I bet almost all of you answered yes to that in your mind but if someone asked you in person you would deny it. For me, I justify things because I work out, eat right and drink enough water for a football team, but that’s not how life works. You don’t just get to negate the harmful things you do because you practice more healthy habits than not. I have one of the most, if not the most addictive personality and literally anything can become a vice but for me; the two biggest being gum and cigarettes. I promised myself I would never smoke when I was younger but here we are…only in the past few months have I started questioning why I do it. The number of people that have told me to quit and chew gum is comical because while smoking almost a pack a day, I also chew gum constantly…it’s a huge problem and I see that. In my mind, I can’t just shut it off though, I can’t just wake up and stop…it has to be methodical. Going cold turkey on anything has proven disastrous before (Sara circa 2009 who hadn’t had chocolate or peanut butter in a year).
Sometimes it’s not about will power, it’s about recognizing a problem and searching for the root so you can destroy that and build yourself up on a foundation free of cracks and unwanted weeds. I’m not sure how or when, but I will not be a lifelong “insert bad habit” I refuse. I want to be remembered as strong, confident and compassionate…not as a frustrated, angry shell of a person.
If you feel inclined, I would love to start a discussion about anything that might be hindering you from being the healthiest version of yourself!
Self-love is often thought of as something you either have or don’t have. Like so many things in life, it’s not always inherent to someone and must be taught, cultivated and nurtured.
I have fallen victim to my lack of self-love and low-self esteem more times than I would like to admit in the past 28 years. I was always such a confident little girl who at the age of 4 when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up exclaimed that I didn’t need to be anything because I was beautiful. I look back and am so sad for that little girl because by the age of 8 she no longer felt that way and was just sad. I wanted so badly to fit in but I was bullied beyond belief (verbally never physically) by little boys who had no idea that their words would destroy any self-esteem I had. From whale, to fat cow, to pig and fat bitch I was called so many names that really left me feeling like I would never be good enough. The people in my life that mattered never said those things to me but I let the words of people who didn’t matter change the way I saw myself and jump started my journey into a really dark period where I did anything to be the best at everything and I succeeded. By all accounts I was confident and working hard for things I wanted. Inside I hated everything about myself.
I still question myself and require way too much assurance that I’m not a bitch, that I’m good enough and that I’m worthy of the good things that happen in my life. So many people have let me down and told me I was too much to handle, but at the end of the day I have to remind myself that those people never really cared about me, they cared what I could do for them. I have to stop letting their behavior interfere with my self-esteem and self-worth becsuse I have let it go on for way too long. I am convinced and terrified that everyone in my life will one day see everything that I think about myself and will believe it. I don’t want to ruin my friendships and relationships because I feel some type of way. I am thankful for the parents, boyfriend and friends I have for sticking with me through everything. I have a lot more good days than bad but it still takes me far too long to name myself when I’m asked what are the things/people I love in my life. Take it from someone who constantly feels less than that you most certainly are not and those that love you will never make you feel that way. So today, forgive yourself, know that you are more than enough and that you are worthy of all the good things that happen in your life.
FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. Your heart is racing, anxiety through the roof and all you can do is obsess over what other people are doing without you around. However, this feeling doesn’t appear out of nowhere, it builds from years of being left out and ostracized. Over the years more and more people would follow suit until one day you are convinced that no one wants you around and you care so much more about people than they do about you. You see, the problem with having a big heart is that you are the one who always ends up hurt. You spend your days going over every scenario, asking yourself why you’re never good enough. If you’re like me, the thought trap that you’ll never be good enough plays on a constant loop in your brain. You let the negativity your brain creates to fuel the way you see yourself…as too much but somehow never good enough.
When this loop starts playing in your head it’s up to you to see the silver lining and focus on the people in your life. Remember those who care and forget about the ones who would never give you the time of day. So, here is your list of things to tell yourself during an episode of FOMO
Realize that it doesn’t matter what other people are doing
You are enough
It’s okay to voice your feelings
You have a small circle and that’s important
The anxiety won’t last
What you’re feeling right now won’t matter in 5 days, months or years
We hear it constantly that we should all be conducting self care on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For the vast majority of people (myself included) self care is this thing that just feels so selfish and often times leaves me feeling like I should have been doing something “productive.” But you know what? Doing self care is productive because it’s like hitting the reset button! It allows you to give your undivided attention to things that you would have put off longer had you not taken time to focus on yourself.
When I find myself thinking that I should spend my time doing something else that doesn’t involve self care I have to remind myself that not focusing on myself is a dis-service to all of the tasks I need to complete. Setting aside 10 minutes to do a face mask, do my nails or just sit in a bath with my phone on silent resets my brain and allows me to focus on those things after I take care of myself.
We live in a world that goes 1000 miles a minute and we all need time to re-set and give ourselves a break. Here are some things you can do to show yourself some love. The list will include a things that will cost some moola to things that are completely free and you can do at home.
1. Get a pedicure (if you have the money go do that, if you don’t go give yourself one!) 2. Get a massage (set up a monthly massage you’d be surprised at how much better you feel. 3. Turn your phone off and run a bath. 4. Do an at home facial…if you have a mask, do that or make one that you find a recipe for. 4. Go on a 10 minute walk with your phone on do not disturb…this one is one of my favorites. 5. Organize your room. A clean bedroom will leave you feeling accomplished and less stressed. 6. Read a chapter of your favorite book. 7. Journal about your day or whatever is on your mind. 8. Put an episode of your favorite show on and turn your phone off so you don’t get distracted. 9. Color, yes color lol. It’s so relaxing! 10. Meditated…5 minutes is all you need. This is the hardest for me because my mind goes 10,000 miles a minute but it’s so good for you.
Self-Care isn’t selfish, it allows you to put our focus on other things while giving them your full attention. Taking 5-30 minutes (depending on the activity) will make a world of difference in how you approach your daily tasks and how you treat yourself because you deserve that!
I have always been the person who makes unattainable resolutions that ultimately end in me feeling like a failure because I couldn’t reach my “goals.” Resolutions are usually set at the beginning of a new year but are rarely ever backed by solid plans, turning them into reachable goals. This isn’t to say that you should never make resolutions, but if you do, you must create a glide path of benchmarks that will lead you to that resolution…or goal as I would rather call them. Every new year seems to bring about a renewed sense of wanting to change but that feeling is fleeting and by the 3rd week of the New Year, most resolutions are already forgotten or given up on. This year is different, this year is my year.
When January 1st hit, I made a promise that I would not make a resolution based on my body or how I think my life should be. I didn’t even think to put a price on making sure I was becoming the best version of myself because I didn’t need a “new year” to invigorate my desire to be better, know better and do better. This new year brought a sense of calm because I refused to box myself into unattainable resolutions I thought I had to make in order to fit to the status quo. The only thing I told myself was that I would be 1% better in everything I do and that I would find ways to achieve my goals that did not require me to completely re-arrange my life. No weightloss goals, no crazy savings goals, just a vow to invest in myself and create the life I want, not the one someone else thinks I should have.
You see, my “resolutions” didn’t start in January, they started in July of last year when I decided I was done making exuses and treating my mind and body like a garbage can, letting drama and bull shit cloud my desire to grow mentally and physically. I made a decision that would help bring about the change I wanted to see in my life, the change that I wanted for myself. There are many people who never invest in themselves and for a them, I hope they have a moment of clarity to truly find what they want out of life. In July I decided to invest in my future by hiring a nutrition coach, I put aside my pride and allowed Team NK and Chelsea Cross to guide me in my journey to be 1% better every day. My pride and need for approval were put aside and I can honestly say it’s the best investment I’ve ever made in myself. I’m not saying you have to do the same but you have to be able to clearly look at the goals you make and invest in whatever is necessary to make them happen (within your means of course).
I didn’t wait til January to invest in myself, I did it when I was at my lowest and needed help pulling myself out of a very dark place. I didn’t use January as an excuse to make a goal that would be forgotten in 14,21 or 30 days. I took the leap and jumped in feet first and now I have a group of amazing people that share in my desire to create lives they love. 2021 is a year that many people have been looking forward to and I must say I’m excited to see what it has to bring!