Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

I took myself out today, all by myself, no dogs–I know, shock. They were sad when I left, without their walk, but I really needed to just be alone and breathe.

I went downtown and walked through Capitol Park to Ambrosia cafe on K Street–great people watching, which is all I wanted to do.  Ho-hum on the coffee, but I ate a delicious apple galette. There may also have been the best pesto focaccia I have EVER eaten, sold to me outdoors at their catering set-up by the sweetest girl, but that’s a lot of food, and oh, how I will pay for it. Comfort food really can be comforting, for a while.

I walked back through the park just taking in all the sensations of a day: the political “suits” on their phones, looking so very handsome & verboden. The state workers in their dresses, nylons and sneakers. The evangelist with a speaker on the corner–annoying. The smell of spring blowing through the trees. It was  mostly all good.

And then I came home and got stuck again. Nothing has sold in the shop. I blame myself–not enough product? Prices too high? Bio not splashy enough? The allure is. not. WHAT?!? WHAT is the allure NOT doing?! I am tired of battling this question. My answer always feels like something I have done wrong, ergo I am wrong.

Spiral, spiral, spiral.

It can be really hard not to go there, especially living and working alone. There is no cheering squad, or kind soul, to really help me out of these emotional ruts.

So, I write–write, write, write it all out–and try to breath, make more coffee (simple tasks), shoot some photos, take a step forward, even a baby step, even a shuffle.

It will pass–and it will come back with a vengeance!–but then it will pass again. this is just how it goes.

d, xo

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I looked straight at my doctor today and said, “Oh, you know…I’ve been a little sad lately….” And then my mouth opened up and poured a heavy list of life happenings into his hands, before I said, “but you know, I’ll cheer up….”

He nodded, wanted to add more medication on top of what I’m already taking to “cheer myself up” but seriously, it’s just more upon more. I remind him that depression is not sadness, but he’s too busy talking. I let it go. This  journey has been longer than my short time knowing the doc.

“Sadness is more or less like a head cold – with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.”Barbara Kingsolver

I often blame myself–I am NOT working nearly hard enough as I should be, so of course, I’m not successful! Then I blame my circumstance: teaching killed my spirit and created a fear in me I never knew I would endure. Public anxiety, much? For god sakes, get over it, already! But then…

I flip, I flop, I am up, I am down. I work, I work, I work, then I stare at the computer like it’s a slot machine that will DO something wonderful, cheerful, miraculous, uplifting. I wish, I pray, I get up, I take a shower, I walk the dogs, I measure success in tiny, tiny teaspoons, and then I pour then on the floor.

Depression runs in my maternal family. There, I said it! (Please don’t tell my mother. She would be horrified.) Family maters stay in the family, which is to say, we do not speak of them, ever.

This is how my mother was raised, but my own stubborn determination to shove back at depression, and later–after 4 super fun years of inner-city subbing — acute social anxiety, rage internally.

It’s an all-or-nothing battle of beliefs: I have good sales, I am up! I don’t have a sale, I am bad–also, I have failed, I don’t work hard enough, I am not focused enough, young enough, determined enough, I am down. There is no practical inference of how bad bad is.  It’s just ALL bad.

The doc has been trying to get me to go to this group thing: meditation, yoga, group hugs, bio feedback…I want to chew my arm off rather than go, but I promised–though I’ve promised before–that I will go. I will go. I will go….and all I want to do is walk, sip coffee, stare at the sky, breathe. That I can do.

I tell myself it is a journey–what a cliché. What I really believe is that happiness may not truly be for me. It may not–and I say this after many, many years–be attainable. This is not to say I am never happy! I am.  I have known some great joys, but they fall upon me like leaves from a tree. I hold them for a moment and then they float on.

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It’s not a good day when I’m walking the dogs, sipping coffee, & yet want to strangle both of them & cry. It’s a sign–a big flashing red neon with audio yelling, you have GOT to let it go. You have to drop what you aren’t handling and take care of yourself before you snap. You just have to.

I have avoided, stressed about, cursed myself for, battled with or neglected so many things like an impending heart attack–which, by the way, I actually thought I might be having a few weeks ago. Next stop, the cardiologist, no joke.

1. I have to get rid of this cat. She’s darling, quiet, simple, and yet her presence is stirring up the dogs, & this whole cat box thing is just grossing me out. Find her a home. Let her go.

2. I hate walking the dogs together. It stresses me out and makes me nasty. It makes me a bad dog walking mom, because they each want to stop at every. single. god. damn. bush & I never get to walk more than 10 feet without stopping. I have to walk them separately and this will mean watching one of them look positively rejected and pained, because going for a walk is the best thing about their day. One. At. A. Time.

3. I am not the ideal entrepreneur and I might well never be. I’m not going to be featured on Etsy, and I can’t remember the last time I even made the front page. I don’t sleep or sleep too late–in desperate attempts to stay off  anxiety of any given day. I stress. I fret. I get overwhelmed with how behind I am with my business–and mostly how far ahead, beautiful, stunning, well photographed, updated, blogged, pinned, newslettered and promoted other shops are–and how young. They are all so very young, hip, beautiful, and can photograph their clothes on themselves. They look like ads for Anthropologie. I can’t Photoshop away enough years to compete. It just isn’t going to happen.

I can still have two beautiful shops, I just have to give myself permission to let them be what they are, the best I can do amongst everything else, and let it be. My customer service is stellar. So I have that.

4. My life, my house, my existence is never going to look like a Pinterest board. My desk is elbow deep in papers, there are dust bunnies blowing across the wood floors, my wardrobe is so frighteningly disheveled I’m taking boho chic to a whole new low in boho recycled whatever. I am never going to run errands in those beautiful 4-inch leather sling backs I adore. My hair is never going to achieve Brazilian blowout chic, but more like Supercut’s special-of-the-week that’s been flattened because I never walk without a hat even though my skin is WAY beyond skin cancer redemption. I hate the sun in my eyes and I can’t wear the fab Jackie O sunglasses because I need them in prescription.

5. I need a part-time job, one where I go out in the world and they pay me to do something, I’m not sure what, so I can afford to keep my apartment, my dogs, my life. I have a dusty English degree. It wreaks of antiquated quaintness, like Avon perfume or an 8-track player.

I feel like “Tall, grande or venti?” will be my new version of “Would you like fries with that?”

6. I have to let ideals go and be okay with what is. That’s what this whole list comes down to. Living in the mess, but staying a course, even a zig-zag one without so much emotional attack on myself. I’m not sure how that works, but taking notice, creating a comical self-deprecating list and then laughing at. It lightens my inner critic to beat it to the punch. It’s a start, somewhere in the middle.

P.S. I can see a dozen or more edits this piece needs. Not. Going. To. Happen.

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I’ve been verging on an existential melt down, but not for the reasons one might think–you know, global warming, Earth Day, “An Inconvenient Truth,” Darfur–no mine has to do with completion and information.

Let me explain, along with running a new internet shop (dahlilafound.etsy.com–shameless ad plug) I’ve also added more stress, or, I’ve allowed myself to get stressed out AGAIN for the most ridiculous of reasons. Truthfully, give me a lollipop and I will find a reason to stress; choking hazard is the first thing that comes to mind, but I digress. . . . 

Completion! Ah, yes. There is no end to the STUFF I need to find, fix, create, photograph, bio and post. NO END IN SIGHT! And that freaks me out like you have no idea. It really messes with my need for order–create, complete, feel sense of doneness, deep breathing, rest, move on. Right now there is no breathing or rest, at least not without happy pills.

Then there is Information. Example, I find a great Deco tie, but I need to know all about it when I’m posting. (Does anyone really cares about this, but me and a few library geeks?) I was on-line last night for over two hours searching copyright dates on a box of Crown Checkers and a Swingline CUB stapler.

Swingline StaplerCrown Checkers

There have been, and will be, more: The Grand Funk Railroad red album has the original gold label.  I know this because two nights ago I researched vinyl forever.  Do you see any records on Dahlila Found yet? No. And what about the cool opera shoes, the signed oil painting, the porcelain dishes? THERE IS NO END TO THE MADNESS! Okay, that was slightly overemphasised, but do you see my problem? (OCD is the not the answer I’m looking for, although yes, probably, maybe, a little. )

Now, if you will excuse me I have to go crochet something for Dahlila.etsy.com. Crocheting is said to relax the nerves.


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