Black Friday

life-me-orlando-espinosaI had a panic attack on Friday. It came out of nowhere. I was just watching TV enjoying myself when BOOM! What the hell stress? Where’s your decency? My last panic attack was in December. I felt like things were going so well and then I get hit with a pretty bad panic attack. I laid in bed for at least 5 hours feeling like I was going to die. I tried to dial it back by taking rose root and some of the oatmeal drops that are supposed to help with nerves and then I did some yoga but it didn’t keep the panic attack from rolling over me. Maybe it made it less severe but still….

If I’m completely honest, I’m really disappointed and a bit sad about it. I bit the bullet today and called for a doctors appointment. I’m sure there’s some medication that I can take for when a panic attack hits. There must be something I can take if I have an attack so I don’t have to feel like I’m going to die. I can’t take care of myself in that state let alone my children. I look at my stress situation like a glass of water. Each day stress fills up my glass to a certain degree and each session of meditation or yoga, etc eearth-water2mpties the glass to a certain degree. Everything is fine as long as whatever I’m doing empties the glass faster than it fills but this last month, with my daughters long illness, the pressure to get the building done and the awful chaos which is work at the moment seem to fill my glass faster than I can empty it. I keep wondering when my life is going to calm down into some kind of quiet normalcy. I need normalcy to back off my stress levels. I know there’s this analogy going around that “put down that glass” but what if you can’t? What if you HAVE to deal with your child’s illness? What if you HAVE to deal with your kid having problems in school. You have to deal with the day to day things. Children need to eat and need clean clothes. There are some things you can put down and some things you can’t. I’ve really cut down on the things I do. I’ve cut out all extra curricular actives with the school etc. I don’t volunteer for anything anymore. The only extra thing I do is bass lessons and that’s purely for me and something I really enjoy and empties my glass so to speak. I don’t wash the sheets every week or do laundry every time the laundry basket is exploding. I don’t cook every day either. So you see, I’ve let go of a lot.

My life, I guess everyones life, goes in a cycle. It’s up and down all the time. When I first started experiencing stress symptoms, things were about as bad as they could get. My husband had lost his job. I had just had our 2nd child so the 1st child wouldn’t let me sleep during the day and the 2nd wouldn’t let me sleep at night. The income we had was tiny. Then I lost my job while on maternity leave. We were both unemployed and about to lose the house. We were also building our house at the time so talk about stress. High stress was my constant companion for a while. My husband was unemployed for 2 years and I went from job to job. My job security was terrible then. I never knew how long I’d have the job and if we’d be able to pay the bills. The good news is that both my husband and I got jobs and we didn’t lose the house but those years of stress had done their damage. I still had a temporary job and didn’t know where my next job would come from and then I did a dumb thing and studied for my Master’s Degree.

That did nothing good for my stress levels. At the end of my studies, my job also ended. Talk about stressful. I managed to get a new job through the graces of some really wonderful people that recommended me. The new job was not without it’s stressors. The first year was pretty awful as my boss didn’t really trust me and made my work life rather uncomfortable. Add on top of that building the house and taking care of little kids and well, not much reprieve from the stress monster. I finally have a steady job and it really was a job I liked until things were restructured and people were moved into positions they didn’t want. Now theres constant negativity at my workplace. Needless to say, it’s stressful at home and stressful at work. Where’s my reprieve? There are brief moments where things are great and normal, but I seem to have a lot a shit hitting my life fan if you know what I mean?

We’ll see what the doctor says tomorrow. I’m so tired of feeling like a hostage to stress. I deal with things pretty well but everyone has their limits and I’m at the point where I feel I need a little help. I would at least like something that I can lean on if I have an attack. At least then, I’d have a little security.

Classes for the week

  • Sunday: Pause. Breathe. Meditate
  • Monday: Yoga Nidra
  • Tuesday: Yoga Nidra
  • Wednesday: Yoga Nidra
  • Thursday: Yoga Nidra
  • Friday: Yoga for Stress & Anxiety
  • Saturday: Relax, Release & Reset and Drop Into Stillness

I really feel that Nidra isn’t enough anymore. I need classes that make my body release the stresses of the day as well as my mind. Nidra was great for relaxing the mind but I don’t think it does enough to release the tension that builds up on my body. So now it’s time to explore some new sessions.

I also signed up for Reiki Healing lessons. Have I lost my mind? Maybe. I want to check out every avenue. Who knows, maybe I can learn to heal my imbalances and then maybe help other people? I want to help other people like me. Normal people that have had just way too much adventure (not the good kind) thrown at them. I know life is going to get easier, I just need to wade my way through this part until I get there. You know what they say….”When you’re going through hell, just keep going.”

Empathy and Anxiety

I’ve been reading, as I often do, from the wide web of wonderful. Lately, I’ve been reading about empathy, empaths and anxiety. It’s been interesting to say the least. According to lots of people out there, there are those that feel other peoples emotions. This can be happiness, anger, sadness, desire etc. Empaths often have trouble telling their own feelings from others. You can google empath and anxiety and find any number of articles. Whether you buy into that kind of thing or not, it sure is interesting. Some of the signs of being an empath that really fit me are:

1. You feel other’s feelings

You’ve noticed how sensitive you are to the emotions of others. Even before they tell you how they are feeling, you already know. You can enter a room and have a sense of the general mood of the environment.

2. Negativity overwhelms you

Where others can tolerate raised voices, conflict, or anger, it sends you over the edge. You almost feel physically sick or in pain as a result of the negative energy around you. You crave peace and calm.

3. Being in crowded places overwhelms you

You don’t like being in malls, sporting events, airports or other public places with crowds of people. You feel suffocated and overly-excited. You can’t wait to leave.

4. Strong intuition

You seem to know things without being told. You sense what needs to be done or what’s about to happen. Your gut feelings nearly always prove to be correct.

5. You need time every day with no sensory input.

You want to withdraw to your room or another quiet place to recharge.

6. You avoid negative media images

You find it extremely disturbing to watch or read about tragic news events or see unpleasant images. It bothers you so much, you avoid looking at these images at all costs.

7. You frequently have lower back and digestive problems

These are the result of dealing with negative and stressful situations and people. Your feelings show up as these physical symptoms.

8. You are the dumping ground for the problems of others

People around you seem to gravitate toward you and unload all of their pain and problems on you. Because you are an empath, you feel compelled to help, even to your own detriment.

9. You often feel fatigued

Because others take so much from you, you often feel drained of energy and extremely tired. You might even have chronic fatigue syndrome.

10. You have a very vibrant inner life

You are highly creative, imaginative, and loving. You may be involved in the arts or other creative pursuits. You feel close to animals and especially enjoy your relationship with your pets.

11. You are sensitive to sounds and sensory feelings

Loud noises or sudden dramatic movements startle you. You also feel overwhelmed by bright lights, rough fabrics, and strong smells. You also notice very delicate smells, touch, and sounds.

12. You don’t like too many things at once

When you have to multi-task or have too much coming at you at once, you feel rattled and overwhelmed.

13. You manage your environment

You create your living and working environment to accommodate your sensitivities. You arrange your schedule and commitments to avoid unpleasant, chaotic, or overly stimulating situations.

14. You don’t like narcissists

You are particularly bothered by narcissists who put themselves first all the time and aren’t sensitive to the feelings of others.  You may even believe there’s something wrong with you or that you have some kind of emotional disorder.

15. You can almost feel the days of the week

Each day of the week has a specific “feel” to it. You notice when a Wednesday feels like a Saturday. You feel particularly heavy at the start of the work week. Even months and seasons have a particular feel.

16. You are a great listener

People tell you this all the time. You listen consciously and know the right questions and comments to draw people out and make them feel heard.

17. You get bored easily

As an empath, you need to focus on work and activities that stimulate your creativity and passion. If you get bored, you resort to daydreaming, doodling, etc. However, you are still very conscientious and try hard to avoid making mistakes.

Those are the things that stood out for me. Not everything did but out of 22, 17 seemed to fit. When you look at the traits of being an empath and the traits of anxiety, there are a lot of similarities. Blocking emotions, avoidance of disharmony caused by emotionally turbulent situations, can be moody or have large mood swings due to overwhelming thoughts, feelings and emotion, tend to be slower at recovering from intense stimuli…..and so on. The list is filled with traits that are anxiety related due to the overwhelming nature of hypersensitive people (Empaths, HSPs). Interesting..no?

I dunno how much I believe but I think it’s always worth looking into every avenue especially if there’s a way to shield ones self.

This weeks activities are:

  • Sunday: shocker…Yoga Nidra
  • Monday:  Surprise…Yoga Nidra
  • Tuesday: Ooh..NEW! Yoga for Stress & Anxiety (love this btw)
  • Wednesday: Yoga Nidra
  • Thursday: Yoga Nidra
  • Friday: Yup…you guessed it, Yoga Nidra,
  • Saturday: Pause. Breathe. Meditate

Thank goodness I have a whole week off from work. I can really use it. It’s been a really lovely Easter. My car is finally fixed after being in the garage for 4 months (thank you hubby!). I learned to play a hard bass line…yes bass lessons are paying off. The tiling is almost done and I have a week off of work! I’m counting my blessings. You can find the source from: http://liveboldandbloom.com/08/self-improvement/empath-traits-of-highly-sensitive-person and https://empathicperspectives.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/empaths-hypersensitivity-anxiety-coping/

Oh that Wednesday

What a fine week. Full of action and stuff. Mostly stuff…and more action. I’ve been running around so much that on Tuesday night, I fell asleep without doing yoga that night. What ensued was a Wednesday where I was fending off a panic attack all day long. Never underestimate the need for the yoga session. I hadn’t had anything like that since December. I skipped yoga once due to sheer exhaustion and I almost had a panic attack because of it.

b4f5d8db3b183871a82a21ef310c4a49For me, the oncoming panic attack starts out with me getting very tired. I just want to close my eyes. My chest gets heavy like a cat is sitting on it. Then my heart starts to skip beats. My appetite disappears completely. Eating any food at this point will absolutely make me feel nauseous and bring on the panic attack immediately. Then comes the icky icky feeling where I can’t accept any more input. One thing that makes it infinitely worse is when I’m in a room I cannot get out of. This could be a meeting where I’m not allow to leave or a locked room, hospital or airplane. On the positive side, I was able to calm myself and keep it in check. I was very proud of myself.

What’s funny is that I had hoped to take part in an anti-stress study but I don’t think I have the resources to take on something new at this point. I’m just waiting for school to end, electricity payments to get smaller and life to just get easier in general. Thank goodness for a small holiday! I’m so happy that I have the week after Easter off from work. I’m practically dancing on clouds. If all goes well, both kids will be in school and I’ll have the whole house to myself for nearly a week! It’s a much needed holiday.

It almost feels like life is sitting there stroking its beard saying, “Hmm..it’s too quiet. Let’s throw some more shit in. This is pretty good, but let’s see if we can make her go bat shit crazy! More NUTS!”. Yup, that’s exactly whats going on. On the plus side, my daughter is finally starting to feel better after being home from school for over a month.

In order to make up for the missed yoga session (I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen again) I tried Yoga for Stress and Anxiety. It was really lovely! I totally recommend it. I’d not tried it before. It was 45 minutes of pure bliss. I’ll definitely do it again. So here’s how the week panned out:

  • Sunday: Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris
  • Monday: Yoga Nidra with Craig
  • Tuesday: crap I missed it by falling asleep
  • Wednesday: Yoga for Stress & Anxiety with Craig Norris
  • Thursday: Yoga Nidra with Craig
  • Friday: Yoga Nidra
  • Saturday: Yoga Nidra

This whole weekend, I’ve spend a total of 16 hours doing construction, so I don’t really feel bad about not doing more physical Yoga though I sure could use some stretching. I ache in places I didn’t know I had. Pray that I make through to my holiday.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

It’s another beautiful Sunday and my glutes are sore. In fact most of my muscles are sore. I think it’s safe to say that they are going to pain me even more tomorrow (pain in the ass…yes I went there). Muscle pain not withstanding, building can be really nice. My mind is focused on doing the job right so I can stand looking at the work I’ve done for the next 20 years. None of the normal day to day humdrum enters my head when I’m tiling. While I was toiling away, nothing was getting done otherwise. The kids were still up and not bathed, no dinner had been served. No laundry had been washed. I got pretty pissed off actually.

I finished up the building job and then continued on the chores putting the dishes away, etc. I grumbled to myself while the kids finally went to get washed up, (thank you baby daddy) and I was putting away dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. “How can he have done nothing while I was up there toiling away?!”. It was at that moment I stopped myself. This is the “I do more than you” speech I talked about in an earlier blog post. Then I started thinking about a YouTube horoscope reading I’d recently listened to (yes I listen to horoscope videos…don’t judge). She said that Libra’s tend to label things as Good or Bad and that we ought to work on that. After some thought, yeah…she’s right. There always seems to be a good guy or bad guy in every story. My husband, in his infinite wisdom (not even a joke) says that there are 3 sides to every story. The first person’s story, the 2nd persons story and then theres the truth. Nothing comes at face value really. Everyone is fighting their own battles. Of course there are some really evil f*ckers out there, don’t get me wrong but for the most part, people are just trying to get through life the best they can. They’re dealing with there own unique set of problems and so is everyone else.

So when you get mad at someone, take a breath and try to see the situation from a different point of view. It doesn’t pay to get bent out of shape over what someone else does. Let them do them..you and you do you girl.

If you haven’t listened to Amber Khan do check her out on her channel #TheQuietestRevolution. I really enjoy her videos.

Again another week of Yoga Nidra. Though that might sound very boring, look at it this way. 2017 has thrown all sorts of shit burgers at me that would have other wise broke me down. As of this point…I’ve not had any kind of anxiety attack since December. Thats amazeballs! Until the physical exertion stops when it comes to building, I’ll just have to be satisfied with Yoga Nidra =). Be well all..and keep your head out of the drama. I’m going to do my best but that’s as much as I can promise.