Guess Who’s Back, Back Again?

Anxiety’s back, tell a friend
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back?
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back?
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back?
Guess who’s back?

Considering my last post, I couldn’t help but use some of the lyrics from Without Me. Plus, the boy rapped the whole thing in the car yesterday, so it has been in my head. Considering he can remember something like that he’s only heard a few times or the entire lines from a play (seriously, his and everyone else’s), yet forgets I asked him to brush his teeth five seconds later, I think I should start rapping my commands to him.

Brush your teeth, teeth right now.
Brush them good, brush them good,
Brush them good, brush them good,
Or you’re grounded, you’re grounded, yes you’re grounded.

It needs work.

I recently wrote a post mentioning my reduced anxiety, and I must not have knocked on wood as usual. Nah, really though, I think it’s more that I just suck at picking up on things. You’d think someone who has had bad anxiety since she was a little kid would be more aware, but I’m not great at being in tune with my body. For the record, it’s still true that my anxiety is reduced compared to years ago, but maybe not as much as I thought at the time. Once I zeroed in on the anxiety, I realized that this issue has been building up over the past few months.

I’ve been avoiding going out shopping as much as possible lately. I’ll order whatever I can from Amazon, which I’m sure my mail lady loves, and most of the rest of the stuff is ordered through the Walmart app. We have Grocery Pickup at our Walmart, so I can just pull up to the side of the building and someone brings my stuff out. I’ll shop at Target or Aldi when it’s not busy, since those places don’t bother me much early in the day, but I avoid everywhere else like the plague if I can help it. I’ve never cared for crowds (and shopping at Walmart is never fun), but it just leaves me more unsettled than normal lately.

On Sunday, we went to get lunch and then went by Target afterwards. By the time we were in the car heading home, I was so agitated that when I got home I took a Xanax just to calm down. I was agitated because of the noise in the restaurant, how crowded and noisy Target was, how noisy my damn car was. Thanks, children. I put in my earbuds when were were halfway home because I felt like I was going to snap. (I wasn’t driving.) And I have definitely been snapping more over the past few weeks.

Combine that with going out to a play on Friday night and not wanting to talk to anyone because I was struggling with hearing, more of the same on Saturday night, plus not wanting to touch publicly used things again. (Salt shakers and ketchup bottles and other items touched by the public are becoming my nemesis again.) My husband asked me on Sunday if my anxiety was getting bad again since he had noticed these things. And I realized — yes it is, in ways.

I think a lot of it’s due to my hearing. My cochlear implant hasn’t been as helpful as I had hoped it be. It started off working well, as in I progressed from hearing clicks and robot-y sounds to voices and real sounds quickly. And within a few months, I scored high on the tests the audiologist gave me. Progress halted, though, and my speech in noisy environments hasn’t seemed to improve at all. (Speech in one-on-one situations in quiet environments was great, though.) My directional hearing is awful, and when I’m out in public, if someone talks on that side, I don’t usually hear them unless they tap my shoulder to get my attention so I can turn and face them. I’ve becoming increasingly self-conscious about my hearing and add to that background noises being more overwhelming, it’s a mess. I don’t know if there’s a sensory component or if anxiety is just making that stuff more noticeable and worse as a result.

The hearing thing has me so worried about my future. What kind of job can I get in the real world where I can either control my environment or limit most conversations to one-on-one with little to no background noise and avoid phones? I can’t come up with many job prospects in my area outside of teaching. I can keep the classroom quiet as needed and move around to talk to the kids. But I really don’t want to go back to teaching. I also don’t want to take a year’s worth of college classes so I can get recertified. I may not have a choice if I can’t come up with something else, though. Freelance writing is great, but isn’t exactly a career. I know I shouldn’t worry too much about that right now since I have a few years before I’d go full-time anyway.

I have an appointment with my primary care doctor soon, so I’m going to ask her about taking propranolol again. I took it for social anxiety several years ago, and it helped somewhat. It’s meant to treat high blood pressure, but is also good for anxiety because it helps you stay calmer and keep from going into panic mode. If she won’t prescribe it, I’ll ask my psychiatrist when I go in January. Hopefully it won’t interact with anything I’m currently taking. I’m also going to schedule an appointment with my audiologist and see what adjustments she can make.

Boo anxiety, but at least I’m a) aware and b) have a plan. That’s much better than in the past when it was running the show 24/7 with no end in sight.

About Anxious Mom, As Narrated By Morgan Freeman

While updating my About Me page, I decided to have a little fun with it. And since there has been an influx of new followers, I thought I’d share that page as a blog post. Welcome aboard, new folks.


Per the blog post title, you should read this in Morgan Freeman’s voice. 

Anxious Mom, who is known as “Mommy,” “Mom,” or “Momo” by her children, is a 30-something woman who resides in the Deep South. (And by “resides,” we mean “suffers” due to the unbearable heat and humidity.) She has two heathens — a son in middle school and a daughter in kindergarten. When the children aren’t busy tormenting each other, they torture their mother in ways only children can.

There are many things Anxious Mom enjoys doing in her spare time. If you ask her directly, she’d probably tell you that she loves reading and doing intellectual activities such as going to the museum. If you observe her in her habitat, however, you’ll find that she mostly watches shows on Netflix and plays games in her downtime. She is particularly fond of comedies, including The Office, Parks and Rec, Friends, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. She has jokingly said that liking one of those shows is required to be friends with her, but through careful observation, we have learned it is not, in fact, a joke.

If you asked Anxious Mom about her background, she’d tell you that she did a brief stint as a teacher before becoming a stay-at-home-mom. Since then, she has done freelance work part-time, including providing content writing and editing services. Her primary job, however, is working as a chauffeur. This is where she truly excels in life, as she has a penchant for punctuality (as long as her children and husband don’t intervene) and safety. The mother, who we suspect was a hall monitor in another life, is proud of having never gotten a speeding ticket. She does, however, fill her swear jar every other day thanks to her time on the road, so she isn’t as goody-two-shoes as she seems.

As you can see, Anxious Mom is a blogger. Some people call her a mommy blogger, and that irritates her greatly. “I am a mom who blogs,” she maintains, as though there is truly a difference. She has blogged for five years and writes about herself and her family. When she first started blogging, she wrote a lot about her mental health, and it’s suspected that she’ll do so again. The rapidly-approaching-middle-age mother is also fond of writing blog posts where she rants about meaningless topics.

This concludes our glimpse into the life Anxious Mom. You can read her other blog posts or follow her on Instagram for other mundane insights into her life.

1825 Days

So, I recently got a notification from WordPress congratulating me on my fifth-year anniversary of creating my blog. Five years is a long damn time and is certainly longer than I imagined blogging when I first started. Granted, I took the better part of a year off from this blog (although I continued to blog on the other site, so there’s that), but I’m here now at least. I’m gonna do a tiny bit of reflecting on the last five years.

When I first started the blog, it was called “Blogging for Therapy.” I was dealing with severe depression and anxiety at the time, and I thought actual therapy was bullshit, so writing seemed like the perfect outlet.

And it did help somewhat. Being able to get my thoughts and feelings out (most of which were later deleted, because cringe) in what I considered a safe space was good for me. I know sometimes I got way too inside my head and rambled almost incoherently, but it was still better than sitting around keeping things bottled up. Writing out stuff like that can really help make certain situations become clearer. And maybe some shit isn’t as bad as it seems at first.

What helped even more than writing was the support I received from other bloggers who could relate. After I was encouraged to try therapy, I finally did, a year or so into my blog journey. I found an excellent therapist who was incredibly helpful, and my anxiety went from a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10 to a 4 on an average day. It’s so damn nice not to be constantly ready to go off the deep end. Sure, there’s always some anxiety there (and I imagine that’s due, in part, to my personality), but I know how to manage it now. And getting with a different psychiatrist and being diagnosed and medicated correctly helped a lot with the severe depression. Things aren’t perfect, of course, but manageable, which is everything. I only wish I had done this years ago instead of wasting Baby Girl’s infant/baby time trying to keep my shit together (and often failing).

And then there has been all of the blogging about the kids, which is what I post about more these days. The boy was 6 and the girl was a couple months old when I created this blog. And now, as most of y’all know, I now have a 6th grader and kindergartener. Time really does pass by far too quickly. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I wrote about a little boy getting bit by an ant while disturbing an ant pile to try to find the queen ant and see her crown. It was obvious that BG was a force to be reckoned with when she was only a few months old, and that has certainly held true.

As for me, I was 30 and worried about getting old and leaving behind my youth (because apparently up through 29 = youth). Now I’m almost 36 and am not too concerned with being older. (Dying, on the other hand, is a different story. I creep out my husband when I get worried about that and ask him why he isn’t bothered about being halfway done with his life.) When I first started blogging, one of my hopes was to publish something one day. And I did — a few things, actually. The first thing I published was a story I wrote on this blog while hypomanic and being unable to sleep. Thanks, blog!

So, five years. Hundreds of days, hundreds of posts, thousands of comments. Happy blogiversary to me and thanks for following along. I get cake now, rightt?

Nifty Fifty Survey

A friend of mine posted this survey on Facebook, so I copied it and saved it for an easy blog post. It’s not terribly interesting, nor does it reveal anything juicy, but at least you’ll know the thing that’s irritating me the most right now.

1. What is the color of your toothbrush?

Purple

2. Name someone who made you smile today.

Baby Girl. She finished eating and practically pulled her shirt over her head to show me her belly.

3. What were you doing at 8am this morning?

Driving home from dropping off the girl at school.

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago?

Getting breakfast for the girl — grits and potato rounds from Bojangles. I wouldn’t eat it if you paid me, but that’s her fav.

5. What is your favorite candy bar?

Hmm…either a dark chocolate Milky Way or a Lindt chocolate bar.

7. What is the last thing you said out loud?

“Have a good day, love ya.”

8. What is your favorite ice cream?

Cookies and cream

9. What was the last thing you had to drink?

Water

10. Do you like your wallet?

Not really. I wish it was bi-fold like my old one.

11. What was the last thing you ate?

Sugar-free chocolate pudding.

12. Did you buy any new clothes this weekend?

Nope. I did start Christmas shopping, though.

13. The last sporting event you watched?

USC vs Alabama.

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?

Movie theater butter.

15. Who is the last person you sent a text messages to?

My stepmom.

16. Ever go camping?

Not since Little Man has been born I don’t think. We’re planning to soon, though, because BG keeps asking. RIP my back.

17. Do you take vitamins daily?

As far as my doctor is concerned, I take my Vitamin D every day. Just ignore the fact that the seal hasn’t been broken on the most recent bottle.

18. Do you go to church every Sunday?

No.

19. Do you have a tan?

Ha. No.

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza?

Never. I don’t eat Chinese food.

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw?

I only drink Sprite Zero or Mellow Yellow Zero these days, and those come in a can, so no.

22. What did your last text say?

It showed a puke face. My stepmom was telling me something gross LM did at her house.

23. What are you doing tomorrow?

Chauffeuring kids, cleaning, cooking.

Lost #24 – have you seen it?

I haven’t seen it…so I guess this is a 49-question quiz, then. Not changing the title.

25. Look to your left, what do you see?

Books.

26. What color is your watch?

Brown leather.

27. What do you think of when you hear Australia?

Mate.

29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?

Drive thru

30. What is your favorite number?

I don’t have one, but in general, I prefer even numbers over odd numbers.

31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone?

My husband.

32. Any plans today?

BG has occupational therapy today, so I’ll pick her up from school early and take her to that. Maybe I’ll do the dishes, too.

33. How many states have you lived in?

One.

34. Biggest annoyance right now?

The grass. My husband is apparently incapable of cutting our 3/4 acre lot (and only 1/2 acre has grass) in one go. He spends a few minutes cutting it over five days, then does a little weed-eating here and there. It fucking kills me. In fact, I texted him when I got home and noticed how awful it looked and bitched about it. He said he’d try to finish it tomorrow. I’m sure you can picture the steam coming out of my ears.

35. Last song listen to?

That Seagulls song by the Bad Lip Reading.

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards?

Why would I?

37. Do you have a maid service clean your house?

I have before in preparation for parties. That’s not a regular thing, though.

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?

I usually wear a pair of Skecher boat shoes. They’re super comfy.

39. Are you jealous of anyone right now?

The neighbor whose husband cuts and weed-eats his grass in one go.

40. Is anyone jealous of you?

I doubt it.

41. Do you love anyone?

Uh-huh.

42. Do any of your friends have children?

Some do.

43. What do you usually do during the day?

Take care of the kids and house, read, write. Fuuuun.

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now?

Nope.

45. Do you use the word ‘hello’ daily?

I usually say “hey” or “what’s up.”

46. What color is your car?

Tealish.

Apparently #47 is missing, too. 

48. Are you thinking about someone right now?

Well, this survey reminded me that I’m pissy at my husband for being slack with the grass, so I’m thinking about him.

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags?

Yep.

50. How did you get your worst scar ?

I fell trying to climb up the ladder to get back into a pontoon boat and scraped the top of my foot on some metal. It’s not a very impressive scar. The biggest scars are from surgeries, but you can barely see them since the surgeons were rock stars.

What’s annoying YOU right now? And don’t say this survey 😉

30 Minutes In The Life…

I need to start keeping a list of blog topics again. An idea popped in my head while I was in the bathroom earlier, and I thought it’d make for a decent blog post. (It wasn’t about anything bathroom-related.) So, I made my way into the living room and sat down at my computer and got a notification that I needed to take medicine.

Reminder: medicine 10:00, daily

It was more than an hour past when I should’ve taken it, so I got up. Once in the kitchen, I saw that the eggs were left out that I brought in this morning from grocery shopping. And by grocery shopping, I mean that I ordered a bunch of stuff on my Walmart Grocery app and picked up everything before I dropped off Baby Girl at school. I hate going in Walmart with a passion, plus they remodeled the damn store and moved everything around, so I’ve been using the app. The app came in especially handy this week since I’m dealing with a cold-sinus thing. When I got home, I put away everything but the eggs. Dammit. Back to the computer.

How long do eggs stay good when left out?

Google said eggs can stay out at room temperature for two hours. Seeing how I got a notification that my groceries were ready at 7:45 and it was past 11:00, things weren’t looking good for the eggs. I put them in the refrigerator anyway and will let my husband test them out. I can’t throw away 18 eggs unless I know for sure that they’re bad, and he’ll taste test anything. (Seriously, though. I told him the other day that I don’t know what I’ll do if he dies before I do, because then I won’t have anyone to check to see if food is still fresh.)

After putting the eggs away, I noticed the gallon of bleach on the table. I bought it because there’s a stain of some sort in the toilet and I’m hoping that will take care of it. I poured a cup of bleach in the toilet and then realized I didn’t know how long I can leave bleach in the toilet before it eats a hole in the plaster or whatever.

How long can I leave bleach in the toilet?

And then I noticed the notification in the top corner of my screen was still there reminding me to take my medication.

Reminder: medicine 10:30, daily

So I took it.

And after I took my medication, I cleared off the kitchen table, wiped down the table and the counters, and contemplated folding one of the baskets of clothes by the back door. I decided against that because nothing looked too wrinkly.

Back to the computer desk. The Google tab was still open from my bleach search, and I saw that it’s recommended you leave bleach in the toilet for 10 minutes. Okey-doke, timer set for 10 minutes. And then I got to the reason I sat down at this computer desk in the first place — the post.  I opened up WordPress, ready to write about the topic I was excited to write about earlier, but then my brain totally blanked. I hoped that by writing all of this out, I would trigger something and the idea would come again, but it didn’t.

Oh well.

And now you know how I spent the last 30 minutes of my day.

In case you’re wondering, I actually did flush the bleach on time, but it didn’t get the stain. Yuck. Google tells me that it’s probably lime build-up, so I guess I’ll buy something for that later.

Yet Another Lazy Weekend

The quality of my sleep has been garbage for the past couple of months. I’ve been falling asleep okay, which is a nice change from lying awake tossing and turning with a million thoughts racing through my head, but I still wake up feeling exhausted. That likely has something to do with Baby Girl joining us in the middle of the night. And laying with her head in my neck at times and kicking the ever loving shit out of my back at others. She joined us last night, too, but she got up with her dad at 7:30 and I slept until 10:30 this morning, so I feel good. It is so damn nice to wake up feeling refreshed.

We had a lazy weekend last week, and this one has been the same so far. My clothing changes have been limited to putting on fresh pajamas and I haven’t had to so much as touch a bra.

I’ll take swinging low at home any day over those damn restrictive bras.

I miss watching the kids play sports, but it nice to not have anywhere to be on Saturdays. (And three evenings during the week for more games and practices.) It’s good for LM to get a break, and BG didn’t want to play soccer anyway. I imagine we’ll sign her up in the spring whether she wants to or not just to get her out there and have her try again and see how it goes. Unless the boy does the winter play, all we’ll have to focus on is school until next February when soccer starts.

It’s almost fall, y’all. Soon enough I’ll be able to wear my preferred blue jeans and flannel shirts, which make me look manly instead of cute, but I love them. Fall is absolutely my favorite time of the year. We’re planning a weekend trip to the mountains in late October to see the leaves changing. That doesn’t sound very exciting, but it’s so lovely to look at. Plus it’ll be much cooler there than it is here, so bonus points.

With this being the first day of September, we’re starting a 30-day keto challenge. We’ve been doing keto or low carb on and off since April. I’m down a little over 30 pounds since starting, which is nice! I want to get back on only keto for a while since that seems to help my cravings better, plus I lost weight more quickly than only counting calories. I’m hoping to hit the 50-pound mark by my birthday. If I do, that’ll be my lowest weight since graduating from college and getting married. Fingers crossed.

Katie bug went to the market to get decorations for Christmas. She checked them out, then she went home. Then she watched a show. The End.

The girl crawled up next to me on the couch while I was writing and asked me to write out that “story” for her. She said she’s a writer now. ❤ And then she headbutted me on my forehead because she wants to start “head bumping” which is “like fist bumping, but better” she said. No, child, just no. I hope she doesn’t try to make that a thing at school.

Happy long weekend to those of y’all who get tomorrow off!

Lazy Monday

It’s been a “stay in my pajamas” kind of day. My husband worked from home, we didn’t have anywhere to be today, and he picked up pizza for dinner, so I don’t even have to mess with that. I have washed some clothes, but I’m not even gonna fold them today. I have multiple laundry baskets for a reason, and I’m not ashamed to admit that we sometimes live out of them.

BG has commented a few times about how she’s happy that I’m still in my jammies. Out of the stuff in my jammy drawer, there are two striped nightgowns that she loves. I bought them when I was pregnant with her, and they’re super soft and great for cuddling. (But heaven forbid I lean over to pick up something, because then the ass is on display.) The girl is low-key obsessed with the nightgowns, and last night she told me she doesn’t want me to wear anything else but the nightgown from now on. Maybe I better warn her that I’m not wearing this when we go see her teacher tomorrow.

The kids have had me cracking up big time over the past few days. While we were out shopping this weekend, LM saw an Oregon Trail handheld game and made a comment about it. BG perked up and said, “ORGAN TRAIL? You mean there’s a game where we walk around and look for body organs?!” That child was over the moon at the possibility of such a game. She was kinda disappointed when I told her they didn’t have a serial killer in training game and that it was something else. LM said he might print out some body organs, paste them to cardboard, and make an Organ Trail outside for her this week. This is all so weird, but he’s a sweetie.

And yesterday, their shenanigans caused a booboo, but how it happened was hilarious. I was doing stuff in the living room when I heard a bump and crying. She fell out of the bed and hit her head. After consoling the girl, I asked what happened.

“I was being Scar and LM was being Mufasa and the bed was the cliff. I was trying to push Mufasa off the cliff, but I fell over, too. I’ll never try to push Mufasa off a cliff again.”

You really can’t make this shit up.

The girl LOVES Scar, by the way. She thinks he’s funny. Hmm. I’ve only watched the cartoon version all the way through once and then the live-action, so I didn’t get the funny vibes with the murderer and then attempted murderer so much, but okay.

So, I’m the person everyone comes to when they want their tech stuff fixed in my family. My MIL needed the battery in her laptop replaced, and it wasn’t as simple as sliding off a battery compartment cover and popping it out, because there isn’t such a cover. I had to open up the laptop and remove the keyboard to access the battery and unscrew it to get it out. Not easy-easy, but easy enough. Until BG came in the room.

She wanted cheese samples. She is obsessed with going to Harris Teeter and other grocery stores and getting samples. So now she wants me to make her samples, which I do buy cutting up a cheese stick in smaller pieces. I told her to wait five minutes while I finished screwing the battery in place, but she didn’t want to wait. So she climbed up on a footstool next to me and told me very loudly in my ear that she wanted her samples, but then she slipped and fell, and grabbed the laptop on the way down. The damn ribbon cord connecting the keyboard to the motherboard tore in half.

BG felt terrible and kept talking about how she was a bad girl now who messes up all the time. (Any mistake she makes these days, no matter how tiny, gets that reaction from her.) I got her to quit the negative self-talk and then we talked about the consequences of our actions and stuff, and I think it clicked why it’s important to be patient. (And I learned to never work on anything expensive when she’s in the house.)

I found a couple fix-its online, but they were done by people who really know what they’re doing and looked like a pain in the ass (and probably not possible for me to do anyway). Shit. I found a refurbished Chromebook online for cheap (like about the same cost as taking the old one to an expert and having it fixed) and ordered it. I told BG that I got her grandma a new laptop and asked if she was going to help me pay for it. I was teasing, because it’s not like she has money anyway. Her reaction:

“Why would I give you my money to buy something for someone? I’m saving it so I can go to Taco Bell. I could give you a penny, but I don’t see why.”

I told her I didn’t actually expect her to help pay for something like that, but did explain how when people break something they usually help pay for it/help fix it/whatever. She left and returned with some money.

“I have a dollar bill in my piggy bank, but I’m using that to get a cheesy roll-up from Taco Bell. I did bring TWO pennies for you, though, and you can use that to buy the laptop.”

So generous.

I’m so glad we had a lazy day at home. Appointments, appointments, appointments for the rest of the week! Buuuut nothing in the evenings, so yay.

Weekend Coffee Share: Boring Week

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we have mostly been hiding away inside all week. With temps over 100, there wasn’t a lot of going outside until over in the evening. Luckily, my dad fixed the problem with our AC unit (apparently the breaker didn’t have enough…voltage or something and kept tripping), so we were able to stay cool indoors at least.

We had to go to the girls therapies and get her hair cut this week, but otherwise, it was pretty uneventful. I didn’t have much planned in the way of indoor activities and crafts, so we mostly read, played video games, watched movies, and played board games. A couple summers ago, I had crafts and science experiments planned for pretty much every day, but this year has been much lazier. I have been pinning stuff on Pinterest, so at some point, that will change.

Speaking of reading, LM has been complaining. In my Facebook Memories, one popped up from a couple years ago, where he had read for 3000 minutes at this point for the library program. That’s 50 hours, or a little over an hour per day, which isn’t a lot, but still good. He hasn’t even finished a book this summer, which is very disappointing. I make him (yes, I have to make him) sit down every day, but he’s only halfway through a Harry Potter book. He told his dad that he shouldn’t have to read because he’ll get enough of that when school starts. What happened to my little bookworm?! He only wants to play video games and build with his LEGO blocks.

BG, on the other hand, can’t get enough of being read to. As some of y’all already know, she read her first book out loud yesterday. It was one she hadn’t read before, and she zoomed through it so quickly that there’s no doubt in my mind that she has been able to read at least somewhat for a while now. I rather doubt that she’ll read much for others just yet, because that’s how she rolls, but I’m so proud of her. She has struggled in a lot of areas developmentally, so it’s great to see her “win” one.

So, coffee folks, if we were still drinking, I’d tell you that I’m at a loss for anything else to tell you for this week. I swear, my life has gotten so boring lately in terms of juicy (or interesting) stuff to share. That or my memory sucks, and I’m pretty sure it’s the former. Boredom is good, I suppose, since that means there’s no shit hitting the fan anywhere.

As the random girl who popped into the break room in college, looked around, and then quickly darted off said, “Ta-ta for now.”

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli.