On Anxiety

falling apart

Sure, on the outside things seem to be normal, dare I say, good. But the ugly fucker of a lie I’m keeping inside is that I’m falling apart.

This is where you ask yourself “is she really writing that on a blog, where all of the internet can see it?” And yes, I really just did write that, on this blog.

I’m tired of pretending things are okay. No, this is not a cry for help or some bullshit like that. This is just a way for me to alleviate the heavy load I’ve been carting around.

That wretched bitch called anxiety and panic disorder has her hands wrapped around my neck again. There are moments in certain days when I feel like I can’t breathe and I’m not sure how I’ll get out of the sinking hole that I’m falling into.

And then there are days when I’m fine and I feel normal and life is undeniably good. And on those days, gratitude fills the spaces where the fear usually resides.

I remember my very first panic attack. I was 24, sitting at my desk at work, when all of a sudden I was sure I was having a stroke. I ran out of the office, as if running would somehow make whatever bad thing that was happening, untrue. I insisted someone take me to the emergency room. Not only did I scare the shit out of myself, I succeeded in terrifying everyone that day.

For about 3 weeks, I lived in a constant & paralyzing fear. I had panic attack after panic attack. I would call my parents crying, telling them I’d rather be gone than live this way. I eventually sought counseling and was able to learn to manage the anxiety. I started living again.

My heart aches recalling how broken I was then.

My heart aches even more knowing that here I am, broken open, yet again.

No one would know it by looking at me. I put on a brave face. I don’t like worrying people or feeling like a burden. And why? Why would I ever complain about something so trivial as anxiety? I mean, fucking relax, right?

God, I wish it were that easy. I wish wine or food or drugs or anything could make this go away. But it doesn’t, believe me I’ve tried.

I finally picked up the phone today and made an appointment with a therapist.

Yes, doing that…making that phone call…was my cry for help.

This?

This is just me clicking away at a keyboard, trying to experience some semblance of emotional catharsis.

This is me being fucking real in the only way I know how.

Things I Love

[I borrowed this idea from my lovely friend Paige]

I love the shit out of my friends. I am loyal to a fault. I will cut the bitch that hurts anyone I love, period. I’m the kind of friend that will pick you up at 3 am if you’re too drunk to drive, drop everything to be there if you need/request it,  and never expect anything in return, ever. I love having friends that I KNOW beyond all doubt, would do the same for me.

I love buying cookbooks which I place on a shelf I never return to and contain recipes within their pages that I’ll never actually try. I love watching old episodes of Sex and the City to placate a foul mood or when I need to retreat from everything. I love hoarding years’ worth of magazines and stacking them neatly on top of each other in month order.

I love the way it feels to dance without giving a single fuck as to who might be watching. I love zumba-ing with women who have zero clue how to move their bodies, but are truly discovering its power for the first time. I love a good workout high and the way exercising makes me feel.

I love the way it feels to be loved by a woman. I love their tenderness and their strength. I love that I’ve been strong enough to fall in love with women in spite of the apparent obstacles of doing so.

I love getting lost in words. I love their power.

I love happy hours and long, boozy brunches with friends in which much shit is talked and much laughter is shared. It always, without fail, creates moments that make me genuinely happy.

I love that I’m proficient when it comes to the consumption of amazing food. I believe breakfast food is the best of all the foods. I adore cheese and bread and red meat. I have planned out entire trips to foreign countries just for the chance to indulge in these things.

I love that I’m loud. I have a loud laugh that turns heads and garners attention. I also like to think I live life in this way.

I love craft beer. I love dive bars that contain interesting people with even more interesting stories.

I love gay bars and gay boys and my fantastic gay community.

I love road trips to nowhere and maps that show me exactly how to get there.

I love escaping into a dark movie theater alone. Just me and my bucket of popcorn accompanied by sour patch kids and a diet coke. I love even more that I truly believe this is the ONLY way to do a movie.

I love my Central American culture. I love that my passion is best expressed in Spanish. I love platano frito, pupusas, tamales, baleadas, and yucca con chicharron. I love to dance to Salsa and Merengue. I love Honduras’ tropical heat, vibrant green landscape, dizzying hills, rampant poverty, and humble people. I love the way I feel at home there.

I love to talk. I could talk circles around most anyone. I might also like the sound of my own voice, but that’s for another post. I love to listen and be supportive, without judgement, to those I’ve let into my heart. And once you’re in…you’re IN.

I love to sing. It is the talent I was blessed with. It is the talent that makes me feel most like me. I love to harmonize. I love the way singing has been therapeutic and comforting when I’ve most needed it, always.

I love my family. I love the way they’ve slowly come to know the real me and accept me. I love my nieces and nephew. Those children are literally, my heart. I love that we all genuinely enjoy spending time together and try to as often as possible, in spit of the distance between us.

I love iced green tea, hip hop, cute flats, swearing, a night out vs. a night in, meeting new people, laughing so hard my face hurts, trying new food,  inappropriateness of all kinds, wearing jeans, speaking Spanish even when no one understands me, and rocking oversized earrings.

But more than anything, I love taking in small moments and feeling sincere gratitude for it all.

Shaking The Past

The end of my last relationship was traumatic enough that it stopped me in my dating tracks. I shut down. I built walls. I became a cynic.

“Who, me? Fall in love? FUCK THAT!”

Those are the exact words that would come out of my mouth. My very, extremely sailor-cursing mouth.

I’ve spent the last three years burying my heart behind the assumption that I could actually control what it did or didn’t feel. As if, in robot-like fashion, I could flip a switch and shut it on or off.

And you know what? For a while, it worked. I floated along with an iron gate over the center of my chest. Nothing got through, I didn’t allow it. I wouldn’t allow it.

I’ve been so unbelievably afraid to let my heart function the way it’s supposed to. Warm, open, fearless. But what if? What if I let go of all that bullshit and allowed my heart to feel something it hasn’t for so long?

And because this is the year of no bullshit, I have let go…

Let go of the fear, let go of the belief that somehow the pain of the past will penetrate something new and break it wide open. And so what if it does? Bravery is experiencing that kind of pain and loving yourself enough to get up off your knees and continue forward. I decided a month ago that this year would be my year to do just that. Get up, shake the past, and walk forward with an openness that could allow something I’m truly worthy of, into my life.

And what do you know? Just like that, the Universe came calling back.

I’ve met someone. I really like her.

But that’s not the important part. The importance here is that I’m finally ready and unafraid to feel again…

Wish me luck.

to be continued…

2012: No More Bullshit

I’m here to declare 2011, the year of all bullshit.

I’m slightly angry at myself for setting a ridiculous amount of goals the last days of 2010 for 2011. Even a friend, who I no longer associate with, was like, “uhm, don’t you think you’re just setting yourself up for failure?” And at the time, I was like, “bitch, you don’t know me!”

Yes, I’m harsh…I know. But this is exactly why I’m pissed off, because she was right.

You see, I had a spectacular 2010. I traveled, I lost a ton of weight, I started school again, I grew on many levels. All good things, right? And if 2010 ended on such a fantastic high note without me having made a single goal/resolution…what kind of amazing shit could I accomplish with goals in hand? Well, that was the thought at least.

Boy was I wrong.

I’m not here to bash on 2011, because in all honesty, it was quite the year. Many highs, some lows, but as always, the experiences and growth trump any negative.

And now it’s the last day of 2011 and 2012 is staring me down in an intimidating fashion. I’m really mushy, emo, introspective, and all that jazz during this time of year. Not only is it a new year, but it’s also the advent of my birthday a mere 2 months away. Because of this, I sit and ponder, deeply, on how I want the next year to be different.

The past 2 days I’ve been carefully crafting what I like to call, my desires for the new year. I don’t do resolutions. That’s just asking for failure, seriously. And even though 2011 started based on bullshit, it did offer me something entirely valuable. It showed me that I do want so much more than what is currently before me. It showed me that anything, I mean a n y t h i n g I want and desire is possible.

And with all that being said, 2012 will be different. It just will. I know it.

In 2012? No more bullshit, that’s a promise!

Live in the Present

There are those specific events that tend to snatch you right up out of the current place in which you’ve been comfortably inhabiting in your life.

I, for one, have approached my life with so much apathy. It’s so hard to read that, but even harder to accept that it’s true.

About a month and a half ago, I found out my 28-year old cousin has stage IV stomach cancer. If you’re not aware with what stage IV means, it means the cancer has spread to one of your major organs, in his case, it’s his bones. He was told he has 3-6 months to live with no treatment, possibly more with treatment.

My heart literally breaks for him and his wife, for his child, for his siblings and parents, every single day, over and over.

Yet everyday, along with the heartache, I’m reminded that this time on earth, this life we so carelessly toss around, as if it’s a given, isn’t at all.

Ironically, it is this helpless well of pain deep inside an unreachable place, that will drive me. It will remind me, every single day, that this small life I have is to be lived, LIVED, and not wasted. It will remind me that apathy is no longer an option. It will push me forward and onward to use the days I do have to the best of my ability. Because some people are not afforded that simple luxury.

So, thank you Mario for being brave and for teaching me lessons that you have no clue you’re teaching. Thank you for showing me that this life is worth fighting for.

Thank you for waking me up out of my fog.

Your life means and will forever mean, more than you can imagine.

I love you.

What’s 10 Pounds?

Well fuck me and my insistence to stay authentic here. Yup, you read that right. FUCK ME. How’s that for getting to know me, eh? Welp, that’s me in a nutshell. Highly inappropriate, sailor-cursing female. And I’m perfectly alright with that.

In staying aligned with keeping it real, I have to confess: Oh my god y’all, I’ve gained 10 pounds in the last 3 months.

JAW TO FLOOR.

I cannot describe how much I loathe seeing those words typed, let alone accepting that they’re true. And before anyone starts protesting my inability to accept a few added pounds, let me explain:

For the past year and a half, I was on a very committed trajectory to actual fitness. I say actual, because never in my life have I ever committed to really anything, let alone my health, exercise, weight loss, etc. That’s sad, right?

Once I started exercising though, something magical happened; the weight just started to melt off. Wanna know what other magical thing happened? I was finally able to remain connected to my body and remain in the moment for an entire 60 minutes of every day. Also? Dammit if it didn’t make me sleep better, deal with stress easier, and be in a general all around great mood.

So you’re probably waiting for me to get to the point.

The point is that in the last 3 months all of those positives have taken a complete nosedive. And that only means I’m now more stressed, heavier, grumpier, and sleep-deprived. I mean shit, I’m writing this at 2:30 A.M. does that seem normal?

So while yes, gaining 10 pounds isn’t the end of the world. For a well-documented emotional eater like me, it’s the beginning of what one might call a “bender”. Having eliminated exercise from my everyday was not the smartest move. I has all of the smarts, can’t you tell?

In conclusion, It’s 2:30 A.M. I’m now banging my head against the wall hoping that the desire to workout will suddenly emanate from said head-banging action. In addition, I’m grumpy, I’m hungry, I’m rolling my eyes at every single thought I’m having. In a nutshell, I’m fucking nuts.

Consider this a cry for help.

Flashback: 4th Of July Weekend

It was 2006.

An extremely significant relationship of 2 years, one that prompted a move 1600 miles from Dallas, TX to Stockton, CA, had abruptly ended.

We had fallen in love with each other’s voices and carefully crafted promises. We tried desperately to rescue and fix each other. But sometimes, one is far too broken to be fixed.

The end was painful. She disappeared and I cried, grieved really, the sudden loss of her in my life. After she left, I still kept going through the motions. I lived in our house. I got up for work everyday and carried out the requisite daily grind, but at 5 o’clock, I knew I was going home to emptiness.

It was also the first time in 8 years that I would be forced to live in a space, completely alone.

A weekend that is deeply engraved into my memory, is Fourth of July Weekend of 2006.

I lay, in what had been our bed together, knowing fully that she wasn’t coming back. Her clothes still neatly hung in the closet and her toiletries still in the bathroom. All the remnants of the person I loved so fervently, remained. Evidence of our life together surrounded me. Our movies, her books, her favorite drinks in the refrigerator, even her socks still laid on the floor, next to her side of the bed.

It was in that house, where I was feeling so much loss, that we had shared our first kiss, just two years prior.  A house that held many firsts. A house that I would soon grow to despise.

I lay in bed, watching romantic comedies, eating Cheetos, and chain-smoking a massive amount of cigarettes. What the fuck did I care? She wasn’t coming back, no one was. I went and sat in the closet with the string of her neatly hung clothes, and I cried. I cried in a way I never had. I felt a searing pain, deep in the center of my chest. A pain so deep I thought it might physically kill me.

I couldn’t understand why she left and how she became a cruel person I no longer recognized. I couldn’t understand how she just stopped loving me. We were supposed to be different. How naive of me to think that that could actually be true. No one ever warned me about Scorpios. No one ever advised me to steer clear of their vicious sting.

I would get up from bed, walk aimlessly to the kitchen, look in the fridge and find nothing that would or could comfort my broken heart. I walked to the couch, sat down, and started playing music, our music, country music.

I remained curled up on that very couch, trying to figure out how and where I supposed to go from there. It was all very unclear. My eyes so full of tears and so stuck in the disillusionment of what had crumbled around me.

I was able to sleep intermittently throughout the day(s), but never at night. I called every person that would actually listen to me without saying “I told you so”; the list was short. I hardly had a bite all weekend. Cheetos and cigarettes would be the extent of it.

I created scenarios in which she was in front of me and I was able to say everything I was compelled to say in that moment. The  appropriate words never came. Instead, I let songs and their lyrics wash over me.

It was there, that weekend, curled up on that couch that I finally realized this had now become my reality. Acceptance was a hard and agonizing pill to swallow. Yet, by the end of that weekend the emptiness, the loneliness, and the realness of what had happened, finally sunk in.

That was the very last time I wallowed in pity like that. The was the very last time I felt that incredibly broken. I allowed myself that one weekend to fall apart , but after that, no more.

It’s been 5 years since then and still, every year without fail on that particular date, a part of my heart still grieves the pain of that girl whose heart was so broken on a Fourth of July Weekend.

Tagged

Let the Chips Fall Where They May

In conceptualizing this blog, I thought of all the blogs I had read in the past and had fallen deeply in love with. I would stand in awe of every single one of their posts and the magical way they knew how to tell a story. Every single time I would read one of them, I would think, “now that’s not just a ‘blogger’, that’s a writer.”

I would read them all the while letting jealousy slowly rise within. “Why can’t I write like that? Why can’t I be as smart, witty, funny, or have the same ease with words?”

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to possess this talent of writing and for as long as I can remember, I’ve failed miserably. I can’t tell you how many blog posts I’ve written in the past that remain buried deep in my drafts folder. I would type away furiously and feel relatively comfortable with what I had written, only to let those damn inner voices win.

I admit that I cared too much what others would think, when all I really needed to care about was what I thought. It’s a fact, NO ONE judges you with the same intense scrutiny that you judge your own self.

I’ve been debating for a month or so now whether to start yet another blog. Womp, womp, is the only song that played in my head continuously.

And then my festiness kicked in and I said, “Fuck It!”

And here we are…

“Say what you mean, mean what you say, and let the chips fall where they may.”

We All Start Somewhere

Welcome to the inaugural post of yet another reincarnation of my blog.

Trust me, I’ve done the blog rounds before. You know, those fluff blogs, full of cheery, inspirational images and bona fide bullshit. Yup, that was me. I got caught up in that whole little world. A world that promotes the sharing of a life that isn’t all too entirely accurate or real. I get that everyone has the choice to do and share what they wish, and this here, is my choice.

I’ve been consumed, in the past, with putting my best foot forward, not offending anyone, being careful with what I share blah, blah, etc. When really, I was just scared. I was scared that I wouldn’t be liked or accepted as just me.

But I can’t be anyone else other than me, I don’t really know how to anyway.

I loves Oprah. Anyone who knows me in real life, knows this fact. I’m pretty sure I bore people TO DEATH with my stories of watching Lifeclass and reading O Magazine, and Oprah this and Oprah that. It’s rather exhausting.

On a recent episode of Lifeclass, Oprah discussed being your authentic self. It included the episode back in 1997 when Ellen came on the Oprah show after her Time Magazine cover. Oprah stressed the point that it wasn’t until Ellen could come out and stand in her very own truth, until she was able to own it and be comfortable in it, that things started to change for her and her life just opened up.

How does this apply to me? Oh LORD It applies, TRUST. I’ve perfected the art of being who I thought everyone else wanted me to be. I perfected it so much that it should be renamed after me.

And that brings me to the entire point of this little blog.

I want to write as me, authentic to my own true voice, full of ALL the swearing and the like. I want to tell you about where I’ve been and how each of those stories have built who I am today.

I’ve been through A LOT in my 32 years and it’s time I share it. It’s time you get to know the real me.