Anxiety Archive

Meditation

Posted May 13, 2019 By kmarrs

In the past, meditation has actually given me increased anxiety. This was because I was of the impression that the goal was to clear my mind completely. Which… is impossible. You can not clear the mind that has ADHD. I’m not even convinced you can clear the neurotypical mind.

Then somewhere along the way, recently, I learned the goal isn’t to clear the mind. You’re going to have thoughts. The trick is to acknowledge them then let them pass you by. Move them aside. And go back to focusing on your breathing until the next thought.

So, with therapist instructions that I’m supposed to meditate for 5 minutes a day, I attempted this. She wants me to spend those 5 minutes focusing on what I’m feeling. So I began the journey of daily meditation.

But it still made me nervous. Was I doing it right?

It took me a couple of days, but I finally downloaded a guided meditation app. The one I have has a beginner’s class that teaches you how to meditate mid practice. It’s not exactly what my therapist had in mind, as she’s since confirmed, but it’s a start. And I can spend an additional 5 minutes focusing on what Ruby wants me to focus on.

So, I guess I meditate now. I do it right before bed as part of my relaxation routine.

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End of Term – Touch of Base

Posted May 6, 2019 By kmarrs

I’m wiring this on May 1, 2019. It is going live on May 6, 2019. And the term ends on May 11, 2019. Just so we’re all in the same place.

I feel… tired. Stressed. Scared. Determined. Tired.

I have a handful of papers to read in the time that remains, for a huge project that is due by the 11th. I have to get the project itself put together. This includes all my secondary research. However, I also conducted primary research and have 2 surveys to analyze. One if fairly minor. The other has over 300 responses. I’m really overwhelmed and scared I can’t do this project justice.

On top of that I have a few more papers to write for that class. and a handful of chapters to read.

And that’s not my only class.

In my other class, I already turned in my big project because I needed it off my plate and it was less overwhelming. So I just knocked it out.

But I still have a huge final paper to write, and a couple of minor papers as well. Plus reading. Always reading. Though the reading for this class it less intimidating.

The next 1.5 weeks are just going to be super stressful. And, lest we forget, I have a surgery scheduled for in the midst of it all.

But I will survive. I am strong. I have high powers on my side. I will come through this.

I have the week that immediately follows this off from school. But then I’m right back at it with the heavy course load.

Light a candle for me, yeah?

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School

Posted August 16, 2016 By kmarrs

So I’ve learned vicariously through another that financial aid and loans will only really pay for one undergrad degree. Not the 2-3 I was hoping for. Which makes sense, I will confess. I was just dreaming big.

The problem is, the current degree I’m working towards… It’s at the school I really want to be at. There is nothing about this school I don’t like. It is exactly what I need as the disabled, working, mom of 3. Evening classes that are only 6 weeks in length so I can take 2-3 in a term and never have to take more than one at a time.
(Ok the odd class is 12 or 15 weeks but that isn’t the norm here.) That is like the perfect set up for my mental health and stability.

However, the degree I’m working towards is not the degree I want the most. The degree I want the most is psychology and I can’t get that at Franklin. I have to go to OSU or a school like it. Mind you, OSU has one of the best programs for psychology in the country so it’s nothing to turn my nose up at, but I’m not sure what level of mental health I can maintain at a traditional school.

So it comes down to following my dreams or letting my mental health get in my way.

I’ve applied at OSU. I have to at least give it a try. I can’t just shrug my shoulders and wave goodbye to my dreams. But oh boy am I scared.

In other news this means I’ll also have to find a new job. To work a work-study you have to be going to the school your working for. I’ll be able to find another work-study at OSU I’m sure. I don’t know that it’ll pay as well as this one does. I don’t know that it’ll be as perfect for me as this one is. But it’ll be an option. I won’t be unemployed for any real length.

So I’m doubly scared. This is two big changes coming up in the summer. Both at the same time. And I hate change. And while this might ultimately be me following my dreams, I’m still… I’m rocking a boat that I’m working really hard to keep afloat to begin with.

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Jennifer Scott has been experiencing anxiety and depression since she was a teen. She shares her journey toward improved mental health on her website, SpiritFinder.org. When she isn’t blogging, Jennifer loves to travel, volunteers at her local animal shelter, and rock climbs.

We’re obsessed with tech. The collective obsession with technology is so immersed in our culture that memes circulate the Internet poking fun at families who are enjoying a meal together or spending time in the family room – every member staring at his or her smartphone. The proliferation of technology is often criticized for reducing person-to-person interaction. In spite of this criticism, tech actually holds tremendous promise for people with mental health conditions. Here’s why:

Mobile Apps Offer Mental Health Support and Educationgirl on phone

An April 2015 report from Pew Research reveals that nearly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults own a smartphone. What’s more, “[nineteen percent (19%)] of Americans rely to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them,” making mobile apps an effective means for providing information to a large portion of the population. Among teens, these figures are even higher.

That’s why apps like Ginger.io are proving a viable means for offering support and tools to smartphone users who suffer from mental illness. The app offers users access to licensed therapists through video visits, tools and health tips, personal coaches and care plans, and even medication support by connecting a user’s Ginger.io care team to their physician to share information and determine medication needs. Ginger.io is not alone; Healthline identifies other apps that offer support for various mental illnesses or tools for relaxation, connections to communities of supportive peers, and more.

Even the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Promotes Technology

The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) “is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.” The organization’s AIR (Anonymous. Inspiring. Relatable) app is a free, mobile-based social network aimed at supporting those with mental illness and their families and caregivers.

AIR encourages anonymous sharing of stories for support and encouragement, providing information, and making connections between those with similar conditions or who have experienced similar struggles.

Mental Health Tracking is Becoming a Reality

We rely on technology to track our heart rate during exercise, the number of steps we take each day, and even our sleep patterns. Why not track mental health, too? While this is a more challenging feat, researchers and data scientists are running myriad studies and analyses to develop effective mental health tracking solutions by identifying linguistic clues that reveal insight into an individual’s mental health.

While apps like Ginger.io are already making use of such technology to some extent, the goal is to ultimately create a highly effective tracking application that would enable providers to proactively treat patients experiencing a change in mental health status with the hope of reducing negative outcomes such as overdoses or suicide. At the very least, it provides mental health providers with additional tools to better manage patient treatment plans, understanding triggers, and pinpointing key changes that indicate a need for medication changes or intervention.

Online Communities Help Eradicate Stigma and Provide Lifelines

You don’t have to be using a smartphone to take advantage of the mental health benefits of technology. Anyone suffering from or caring for a loved one with a mental illness won’t have to look far to find online communities and support groups for people who share similar experiences.

For those who need a bit of optimism, communities like Post It Forward on Tumblr are home to a plethora of uplifting images, inspirational messages, and positive encouragement from others who have suffered from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Love is Louder, “a project of The Jed Foundation created with actress Brittany Snow to support anyone feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone,” is an online and offline initiative with a similar focus.

These resources, in addition to the instant connection to loved ones through family conference calls, text messages, and emails, makes technology a valuable tool in the battle against mental illness. Whether an individual suffering from mental illness is feeling isolated or does not feel like leaving home to socialize, those all-important social connections and critical emotional support is at their fingertips thanks to technology.

Image via Pixabay

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I Don’t Really Hate Math, Of Course

Posted September 30, 2015 By kmarrs

I feel like I bit off more than I can chew, taking two math classes at once. Either way, it would have been two classes at the same time, but I might have paired it better if only one class was a math class, and they weren’t both 15 weeks long. The next 15 weeks are going to be stressful.

The thing is, I know I can handle it. I’m scared I can’t, but that’s how I am. I never give myself credit.

What I don’t know is if I’ll survive this term with a perfect 4.0. I’m having to let go of some impossible standards. There are only so many times I can work a problem before I give up and admit defeat. Defeat isn’t the end of the world. It only feels like it is. Defeat simply means I need a little help and that’s ok. It has to be. I’m not perfect.

I’m not perfect.

Which the insane part is I long ago accepted I’m not perfect, and yet I hold myself to the standard of perfection when it comes to my academics. I know it’s because I know I’m capable of great things. But I’m still only human. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m human and I make mistakes. Or I simply don’t understand everything with perfect clarity. And that’s ok. The standard I hold myself to is an impossible standard and that standard is not ok.

I repeat, mostly to myself because I’m the one not listening, holding myself to a standard of perfection is not ok. It’s not healthy. It has me obsessing over every miserable point loss, and spending hours reviewing what I already know because I’m afraid I’ll forget something come test time.

I can’t do this to myself. I’m fighting a hard enough battle as it is, why do I insist on purposely making it worse?

I need to stop.

So.

So what if I get a B? That’s still above average. It’s a passing grade. It’s more than acceptable to any rational human being.

My perfect 4.0 won’t last forever. At least it’ll be better if it’s because I’m not perfect, versus not doing the work. I’m putting in the effort. It shows. I’m getting the vast majority of the material even. I’m just… tired? Not perfect. And in my mental and physical exhaustion, I make mistakes,

I might even pull off an A in both classes. All this stress over my GPA might be for naught. Either way, I need to just let it go. Accept what is and let go of what can’t be.

I just. This is hard for me.

All I am right now is a student. I don’t have a job to excel in. I have motherhood, of course, but that isn’t all I am. School is what is taking me away from my kids so I at least need to make the best of it. Be the best at it. No. Just do my best.

I need to do my best and accept that no one’s best is perfection. No one is perfect. I need to accept I’m certainly not the exception.

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Borderline Personality DIsorder and Trouble with FinancesAs an alternative to the below, I would like to offer up front the following: text or image ads placed in prominent positions on this blog, for reasonable prices.  I do have a link across the top discussing advertising rates.  I’m desperate enough that I’m willing to negotiate them.  Please take a look!  Walking the Borderline gets an average of 2,000 unique pageviews a month, even with the decrease in my writing, which I’m working on increasing.  I have a few SEO hot posts that really pull in the new traffic.  Then of course, I have a smaller (than 2k anyway), but very loyal following.  So it will be worth the money.  A text ad with me, for example, will run you 50$ for the month (and let’s be honest here, I’ll forget to take it down at month’s end and won’t charge you more than the 50 based off my memory flaws).  TheBloggess?  She’ll, rightfully, charge you twice that.  Ok.  So that being said, let’s get to the main post.  Because I’m all sorts of desperate.

We are so horribly screwed for money right now that it’s reached the point of scary. There are three adults who live here, with 4 combined sources of income, but all 4 are fixed. Two of the sources cover the monthly rent basically perfectly, with enough left over for toilet paper. One of those sources was reduced due to its recipient working like crazy in November and December to try to catch us up on bills. It mostly worked, so as of December we were on track. However, because of that his monthly check for being severely mentally disabled was cut in half. Leaving us about $50 short to cover the rent that we normally never have to worry about. Not to mention the other couple hundred that covered toilet paper, dish/laundry detergent, etc. The other two sources of income is school money. We found out way after the fact that one of the two incomes there that will normally appear at the beginning of the semester, will be up to a month and a half late, due to the student being new. They need to be sure he attends classes before they send him the money that covers bills. My check never was going to show up until mid semester, but that wasn’t going to matter because the other check was going to cover all of January and February’s bills. We have disconnect notices for, well, everything for the first time in almost a decade. Turning off the cable would be a simple solution, except both students rely on it for school. In my case as all my classes are online, that’s a 100% reliance. And as we are in a 1 year contract, we can’t simply cut back on that. We are getting 300$ worth of services for around 100$ and while we could live without the tv for a while, removing it breaks the contract. Good deal or not, you can’t break the contract. So all this is to say that while 2 sources of income from school are coming in February and March, we are so far behind despite cutting back on everything, that by the time it shows up most everything will be disconnected, and we’ll be paying this month’s bill in March, and will still probably be behind.

We are doing the best we can. We brought Pat’s brother in with us to help him and so he could help us finance wise. The three adults couldn’t afford 2 households but joined, once we’re finally caught up, we’ll be able to afford 1. Paying off this damn car with the tax return will be a huge help. We’d get rid of it but we’d just have to turn around and figure out a cheaper, but most likely less reliable, car. This car has us in the hole, but it is reliable as hell so far. Pat is planning a small, 20 hr/week job in the evenings once school is out. With school in session it isn’t an option, for long and complicated reasons involving the fact he needs the car to deliver pizzas. I’d get a job but everyone family and doctors included agree that is NOT an option right now. In my mental state I can barely handle the stress of school, much less school and work. Choosing to do just one between the two, going crazy and messing up is best saved for my grades, and not a company. Like I said, I’m not handling stress at the moment. In addition, my fibro, depression, and meds have me highly unreliable for being awake at any given time. And it isn’t a simple case of being “sleepy”. No. I mean passing out at 9PM and still being exhausted like I didn’t sleep at 8AM. Sleepy is cute and cuddly. Exhausted is scary and stabs people. There is a cartoon showing the difference someone, if you need to visualize the difference. So clearly, work is not an option for me. I tried for disability myself, but was denied because “there was no way of knowing if I’d be depressed for a full year or longer”. Yeah. I’m going to get a doctor, get my fibro treated, then try for disability again for both the depression and the BPD and the fibro. Won’t hurt to try. I’ve been out of work a full year now.
I’m still rambling. I’m so sorry. I should get to my point. In 12 years of marriage, Pat and I have never been this financially screwed. We are about to lose everything. If you have anything you can offer to help I need paid for my work here.   My blog has a donate button (towards the top right of the page) and it would be appreciated beyond what words can express. I hate asking this. This… it’s very humbling and humiliating.

If you can’t help, I so deeply understand. Please just know I do truly get it. I understand broke on an intimate level. I understand financial obligations and I understand the wish to give does not suddenly create the ability to give. But if you can help, please click the donate button. It’ll let you donate any amount you have to offer.

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