Anxiety Archive

Crash, Into Me Babe

Posted November 26, 2020 By kmarrs

Sunday evening, a little after 10pm, I was headed to Marge’s house to work the overnight. I was about 2 or 3 miles from my house, going about 55mph, which is the speed limit. I’m certain of my speed because it’s a stretch of road that is easy to speed on but dead at that time of night so I had cruise control on. I set it at 55 exactly. It wavered between 54 and 56. Good enough. I was approaching an intersection. Cross traffic had a stop sign. I did not.

As I reached the intersection, a 17yo boy, with a brand new license (he’d gotten it the morning before) and driving a new to him car that still ahd temp tags on it, ran the cross traffic stop sign and was in the middle of the intersection exactly as I reached it. There was no time to break or swerve. We were both going pretty fast. I at the speed limit. Him I’m not sure.

I t-boned his car going nearly full speed. His girlfriend was in the passenger seat and thankfully walked away from it. Cuz as fast as I was going and where I came in contact, I easily could have killed her. Thankfully, his parents bought him the equivalent of a tank. Both cars were totaled, but the three of us lived.

About 2 minutes later a tow truck happened upon us. A couple of minutes after that a sheriff stumbled upon us too. We were in the middle of calling 911 when help randomly showed up. Another sheriff was called in to assist.

I was pretty much immediately declared not at fault. Because I wasn’t. And there was nothing on my end I could have done differently. His insurance agrees and there will be a payout. I’m not sure how much yet.

At the scene I had adrenaline pumping and told everyone I was ok. About an hour later when I was safely home, the adrenaline wore off and I realized I was indeed in a significant amount of pain. I have a nice bruise running across my torso from my left shoulder down to my belly, thanks to the seat belt that did it’s job.

It’s longer than that, but I didn’t want to include my breasts in the image. This gives you the idea though.

Then there are my knees which slammed into my dash. The left is bruised but mostly ok. My right knee is totally fucked up.

This is my left knee. Clearly bruised. Kind of sore. Not that bad.

Clearly my right knee is pretty fucked up.

My best friend upon hearing about the accident and learning I came home started pushing me in the direction of the hospital. She was concerned I’d fractured my collar bone or had whiplash. Robin and Thomas joined in on the campaign concerned I’d fractured the knee.

So I called mom back and asked her to come down to my part of town and take me to the little stand-alone ER down the street. They ran a CT of my head and neck, and took x-rays of my chest/shoulders and knee. All imaging came back clean so it’s one of those things where it looks and feels worse than it is. The doctor did warn, however, that if it still hurt like that a week later, I needed new x-rays because hairline fractures don’t show up right away.

I cannot begin to describe how much I hurt. And literally everything hurts. All of my hurts. So much hurt.

I don’t have photos of the car. It was late and dark. It’s still at the impound lot. Hopefully here very soon I can go and retrieve the things in it.

I’m missing a week of work because I have no car and I’m just not fit to work right now due to injuries.

So I need the kid’s insurance to cough up money for the car, injuries, and missed work. Plus the impound fees.

The kid is a good kid. I want so bad to be mad at him. But he’s just baby. Stupid and reckless baby. But baby nevertheless. He’s only a couple of months older than Thomas. Thomas in fact knows him and declared him a good kid. I hope his parents are like being stern in a way that he learns his lesson, but are also showering him with love and support. He was really freaked out at the scene. He did a bad thing and knows it. I have zero doubt he’ll be more careful from here on out. So while I’m sure he’s grounded, I hope his mom is hugging him a little tighter right now and loving the hell out of him.

I am worried about his passenger girlfriend. She said she was fine at the scene, but then, so did I. I so easily could have killed her when I hit their car. She walked away ok, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t discover an injury when the adrenaline wore off, like I did.

I’m just so worried. They are just so young. And the crash spooked them.

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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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