Status:Away

anxiety, mental health, thoughts

How can I escape reality when there’s so many things I’m leaving behind?

People are not doing good around me and I’m feeling I need to stay.

We had this camping trip planned for weeks, I haven’t gone anywhere in months, before corona.

I looked for the signs that told me not to leave and I told my brother if he felt okay about going.

He was fine and all the bad signs I had started to turn around.

Today’s the day. Anxiety will not win.

I’m out for weekend. Escaping reality (not really, Fkn anxiety is still coming for the ride), and hoping that I don’t come back to total disaster.

-Dear Perception

Choose to Stay

advice, anxiety, depression, mental health, Poetry, thoughts

Thoughts racing, hearts pacing

Heads rushing, I’m not too trusting

This life game is forever changing

I love challenges so I keep playing

Crippling anxiety

As long as my heart is thriving

Beating and alive see

I will live my life gee

Don’t talk about sobriety

Come and sit by me

Enlighten me

Tell me about your life please

So I can escape mine please

Let me give advice

Let me in your mind

I want to see how you think

I want to help you start to achieve

Your true potential, so exponential

The things you can do when you get your mind together

We on borrowed time and we slowly wither

Just be happy and be free

Keep your same energy

No matter what comes your way

I hope you choose to stay!

These are some thoughts of the day!

-Dear Perception

I DID THIS!

advice, Parenting, thoughts

Man I had all of these great thoughts earlier and I was ready to drop some straight knowledge today for y’all! However, I forgot it.

Therefore, my thought of the moment includes how fucking fast my savings can deplete when it takes me forever to build it up. Just like my credit. It doesn’t make any damn sense!

I could be angry about it but I’m not because that’s not the right emotion to feel for a situation like this. The emotion I feel is sad and disappointed in myself. Why? Because I spent the money and I knew what I was doing! That’s important.

It’s important to identify when it’s your fault, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again for the people who didn’t listen the first time!

Now I can’t sit here and be mad at about it because I did it. All I can do now is find a solution to my issue so that I won’t be sad in the future. That solution is to save up again and next time try not to blow it on all on an upcoming camping trip.

I’m so pumped to escape for a weekend with my family though! Truth be told, the main reason I blew my savings was because every year I say I’m so excited to escape and then every year I get frustrated on the trip about something. Usually it has to do with the kids.

I never truly know how to relax and that’s annoying. Talk about anxiety. At a river, and there’s hills to hike, and what if they drown, or fall over the cliff, or anything literally could happen. Needless to say, camping trip sounds fun but never is fun and since I’ve identified this, I want to change it.

That’s why this year I said, let me buy everything possible that will make my life easier while I’m there. Three kids and a vacation isn’t really much of a vacation unless you got the kids set up.

Mind you, camping = no solid cell service. (Say that 3xs fast!) Without electronics, parenting is going to get real! As in, my babysitter is gone. Sounds terrible but it’s true. So true in fact, that I will still have them download movies and take chargers and power banks because if all else fails and the camping experience is just too boring, they can at least watch a movie!

I’m putting antecedent strategies into place. I’m planning ahead of time, maybe too thoroughly, but every time I wing these vacations I end up pissed off so I’m hoping I won’t regret blowing all of the monies. Who knows, maybe I will and they won’t use anything that I got however that will be a later post if that does happen.

For now, I’ll be sad but grateful that I could buy things for them in the first place. Grateful to be able to go anywhere during these times, and grateful for the things I do have versus what I do not!

Stay grateful!

-Dear Perception

Disappoint Your Children

advice, mental health, Parenting, thoughts

Sounds crazy huh?

Let’s talk about how we can save our future generation from being spoiled and entitled brats. I think that’s a touchy topic because all parents love their children so much that they defend them, as do I so we’re not knocking those parents. However, I think it’s important to recognize when our kids suck.

Like when I tell them “No” or “Not right now” and they hear, “You’re never going to get it!”

Or when I tell them “Yeah, maybe tomorrow or tomorrow we’ll see” and they hear, “Tomorrow FOR SURE!” so when tomorrow comes and I say “No”, all of a sudden I suck as a parent right?

Today, I shouted out, “Sorry for disappointing you” to my twelve year old for the first time ever. This was in response to her mumbling as she’s walking away, “You said today, but of course, it’s not today!” My entire motherhood (12 years) has been prized on not disappointing them. On being the best mom ever for them because my mother set a very bad example of how to be a good mother. So to me, it means trying to be the person I needed and I’m aware that many parents do this.

Over our quarantining time together, I feel like my children and I have really taken it to another level. I am so real with my kids, sometimes too real, but in reality that’s what they need sometimes. Why should I wait for life to teach them hard lessons when I can slowly introduce them to it and desensitize them before they are adults? Do I do this on purpose? Absolutely not! But when an opportunity arises and I analyze it, I see that I’m teaching important lessons versus “how did I let my child down today?”! See what I did there? (Side note: it is important to note that you shouldn’t let your kid down continuously, that is not the message here!)

Let me explain it.

Today, I disappointed my child, and I knew it was going to be hard for me to do it but I was like, you know what, fuck it. Why? Because life isn’t fair and sometimes they are going to be disappointed. If it’s you disappointing them, at least they will understand it a little more. Especially because you can explain why it’s happening whereas that stranger won’t explain a damn thing.

That’s another important note. Make sure you talk with your children and explain your actions. Yeah, sometimes I’m not the best mom and I make plenty of mistakes! On the days where I feel overwhelmed I tell my kids the truth! “Leave me alone, I need five minutes, ya’ll are TOO much for me right now go take a break!” and I’ll even tell them, “I feel very frustrated right now and I don’t want to yell at you for no reason!” That’s real life! Those are emotions that they need to process and understand that it is totally normal to feel that way. It also took me years to get to this point! I had to slowly become more firm and honest. For their sake and mine!

Again, this is my style and I’m trying really hard to not raise sucky adults. When they are acting like brats, I tell them that too. Being ungrateful is not okay, especially when I know their lives can be much worse because mine was. They have their needs met and more so I believe my contribution to society is raising individuals who also contribute to society. Respectful, grateful, understanding, giving, compassionate, but they must also know boundaries. So yes, they are being raised with a little hood in them because they need to learn to survive. In the end, I’m teaching my kids to survive in this world, without me. That means to notice your emotions, notice when you’re wrong, notice your own flaws so others can’t point them out and then FIX them if they need to be fixed. Understand that you are not always right and that sometimes it’s best to listen instead of talk. These are all really hard concepts to understand but we are practicing all of them slowly throughout pre-teen and teenage years before adulthood smacks them in the face.

My personal advice of the day is, don’t be afraid to disappoint your kids sometimes because if it’s not you, it’s going to be someone else and it’s going to be a harder lesson for them in the future. You’re not a bad parent for not following through 100% of the time. Just try to do your best to teach them accountability but also teach them that some days it’s okay to not follow through because mental health is also important. It’s more important to notice when you need a break and today, I needed a break.

Anyway, today’s disappointment was, you ready for it?

I didn’t want to make homemade noodles with my oldest kid. Supposedly, (maybe I did), I told her that we would. We’ve made things from freaking TIKTOK for the last two nights. I’m done with the TIKTOK stuff, also I’m tired and that sounded like a lot of work. So no, we’re not making noodles today. Yes, she will get over it, but I will also explain to her why so she understands. I also gave her the option to figure it out herself if she wanted to make them and that apparently was too much for her to do.

Parenting isn’t easy, remember to know when you need a break. I needed a break today but that’s okay, we can make noodles tomorrow (or maybe we won’t), I’ll see how I feel at that time. Today, we ate buffalo chicken wraps and she helped with that because guess what, she got over the no noodles thing, imagine that! #Parentsunite

-Dear Perception

My Brain’s Spazzing

anxiety, mental health
Click on the picture to look at more art by this artist!

Anyone else ever feel like their brain twitches and spazzes out?

One minute I’m doing one thing then within the next few minutes I’ve jumped to at least five different things before I tell myself, “get it under control!”

I mind slap myself and then I trip out for a second like wow, that was a lot of different things at one time.

It happened today again. I literally felt my mind jump between thoughts and my fingers and hands moved with them, quickly clicking in and out of tabs on my computer, anxiously jotting down notes and rushing through the moment, and then suddenly pausing to figure out what I was supposed to be doing in the first place. It was like I couldn’t control my brain for a minute and because of that, I couldn’t control anything. It was brief, but still long enough for me to start looking into why that happens, because it’s been happening often.

Try to recognize these times.

Self reflection is important during the days where my brain twitches. I like to figure out how I got to that point in the first place and most of the answers lead me back to face my anxiety. Anxiety in a different form, an upbeat anxiety if you want to call it that. An anxiety that isn’t crippling but actually pushing me to finish my shit instead of avoid it or worry about it. I didn’t feel worried, I just felt like I needed to get things done and I wanted to do it! However, it was still anxiety in the sense I couldn’t collect my thoughts enough to focus, so productivity is unfortunately still reduced. Today, I was jittery and anxious. I wanted to do everything at one time because I was motivated and ready to complete all of the things. I felt like I was going to accomplish my entire list of shit to do. In reality, that didn’t happen. The burst of energy was short lived, and I regained my focus and got through the smaller list I created for myself as a goal for that day.

Anyway, google searches lead me to anxiety and bipolar disorder. It wouldn’t surprise me but I’m stronger than a diagnosis and I am emotionally intelligent enough to know what’s happening and how to respond. Plus google lies sometimes so whatever! I definitely think it’s important to try to figure out how to recognize those thoughts in the moment and attempt to identify a way to shape or change them. I’m not sure how exactly but I will tell you that I’m in phase one of recognition and that’s farther than I was before. One step at a time!

To learn more about the brain visit Brainfacts.org!

-Dear Perception

Positive Coping Skills

mental health

Let’s start this one off by being completely and one hundred percent honest, I barely do any of the recommended positive coping skills. I have never been officially evaluated, I was given anxiety medication when I was pregnant with my last child because of the symptoms I described. Based on my research and my family’s mental health history , chances are that this generalized anxiety disorder thing has my name written all over it and that’s okay.

I’ve learned more about anxiety than I need to know because I experience it so much. Every single day actually and I’m trying to do better. It’s actually progressed into full-blown panic attacks recently and I have to adapt to now learn how to cope through them.

So I’m not here to tell you to go get in therapy and get yourself fixed. I’m here to tell you some positive things that I have found work for me.

Identify the Trigger

One of the biggest tips I can give you is to identify what triggers you. Even if it sounds dumb to say, “Yeah my kid touched me and that triggered me” whatever, as long as you know what set you off. One time, I got mad because my kid accidentally spilt the cereal everywhere, and there I went off on my little angry tangent and I couldn’t breathe. However, was it really because my kid spilt the cereal or was it underlying issues that were triggered because of that minor mishap? So before you do anything, try to identify what set that panic off? Anxiety for me is non-stop, everything is a trigger. However, I have to identify when it goes wrong and I explode, why did that happen?

Writing

If you haven’t checked out the EXPRESSIONS page, I highly recommend you head over there ASAP. Writing for me has to be the healthiest thing I do. I release everything that is bottled up in my head, no filter, and I feel so much better afterwards. If you’ve never done it, just try it, especially if you don’t want to go to therapy. If you’re like me, I personally do not want to sit and talk to someone about the issues I know I have, especially when I know what I should be doing, I just don’t want to take the time to do it.

Crying

Don’t knock this until you truly experience a cry that makes you feel so much better when you’re done. I had to research this because it became a pattern that crying is the FASTEST way to release the overload. I know it sounds crazy and crying is seen as such a weak thing to do, which is why I try not to cry in front of people, but a quick five minute session in the bathroom does just fine! MedicaNewsToday published an article about the benefits of crying and there are some resources within the article to point you to literature on the benefits of it. However, there is also an article on crying that dissects what crying could really mean for humans, which is really interesting. Check it out!

Taking a Break

So this contradicts something I said in my Negative Coping Skills” post, but when I refer to taking a break, it doesn’t mean go take five minutes to breathe in and out and hope you calm down. Taking a break for me means DISCONNECTING from the world. Social media drains me. Helping others drains me. Work can be draining, social interactions, all of it. So escaping to a new place, with water preferably, and nature surrounding me, is my escape. I take a break and disconnect and that clears my mind. I spend time with my children and I pretend nothing else matters for that day! Don’t make any excuses, just go and do it! Find that place where you feel the happiest at and stay there a while!

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

This is a type of therapy that I am still learning more about. Essentially, it’s a self-paced thing, something you can learn to do, but it is supposed to help you get through some of those triggers that happen in your life. The biggest thing with this therapy is that it aims to help you stop suppressing some of the traumas. There are therapists out there who can help you learn this but you can also teach yourself.

Clients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives.”

-Psychology Today

To find a therapist near you, CLICK HERE

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This type of therapy focuses on making changes within yourself by refocusing your thoughts to in turn change the way you feel. It is similar to the above treatment in the sense that you still have to deal with your shit. However, there are strategies to make it easier along the way.

“CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that are held (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.”

-Ben Martin, Psy.D

Medication

Of course, there is medication that you can use to treat anxiety. Medication can help alleviate some of the panic you feel and help you slow down a little to live life. Talk to your doctor more about your symptoms of anxiety or other disorders to ensure you are being proactive to get better. If you are against medication, no worries, there are obviously plenty of ways to cope. You just have to find out what works for you!

Negative Coping Skills

mental health

Anxiety sucks. Just want to throw that out in the universe for the millionth time.

Now let’s talk about how to deal with it, because at some point, it has to get dealt with. We can’t just escape our feelings/emotions, but we can damn sure try!

Time and time again, people with anxiety are told they are overreacting. We just need to CALM DOWN! That we should just breathe and take a break. That’s great, thanks for the advice, I’ll definitely keep that in mind the next time my brain switches into fucking panic mode for no obvious reason other than the book I was trying to put on the shelf fell down and that was the cherry on top that made my brain completely psycho. I’ll try that out.

It seems impossible during those moments of high anxiety, where the world is crashing around you, you can’t breathe, you can’t see straight, you can’t think straight, you can’t stop your body from completely flipping out on you. In those moments, it seems impossible to do anything to make it stop. Nobody teaches people with anxiety how to cope through that when they are little or when the anxiety first starts. By the time counseling and therapy come into play, medication is being tried out, many people with anxiety find other ways to deal with it.

These other ways can be seen as negative but if you had something wrong with you, wouldn’t you do anything to make yourself feel “normal” or “better”?

Literally Me!

Escape/Avoidance is something that we all do to get away from the feelings we experience with anxiety. Maybe not everyone, but I know I do. I’ll get on my phone, scroll through Facebook or play one of my games for hours to avoid everything that is going on around me. I call it “self-care”, “taking a break”, when in reality, I’m literally just avoiding everything surrounding me and trying to make myself feel better about it. This in turn leads to a lot of shit not getting done. Therefore, I am unproductive on some days, the entire house will look terrible, my kids will run wild, and I will sit there and pretend everything is fine.

If you find yourself doing this, welcome to the negative side of coping. I’ll embrace that my coping skills need to get better, but I don’t know when I’ll make that happen.

My other big strategy to deal with my anxiety is to use it as a crutch sometimes for my impulsive decision making. The panic that I feel in my heart when I stop avoiding my duties will make me go out and blow $200.00 so fast because “I have to clean the house now”. To motivate myself to clean the house, I’ll go buy new wallflowers, new shower things, new sponges, new everything, even though I don’t really need any of it, but it’ll make me feel better when I’m done cleaning the house. So, that’s good then right?

I’m not sure honestly.

Last but not least, let’s talk about my absolute FAVORITE way to cope. Pretend that everything is okay, even though you really need to rage out because your brain is so overloaded. That’s the fake it till you make it part. That’s the part where you get up everyday, push through all of the bullshit that you know is a lie in your head, and you make shit happen regardless. That is the hardest part of coping with anxiety. You have to live with it. You have to find a way to adapt and incorporate it into your life somehow, because life keeps going.

I don’t think any of these things are good. I know that I don’t have the best coping strategies, these are some of the negative things I do. I think that’s okay though sometimes. I know I should try harder but I promise there is a balance. A balance you will find out about if you read Positive Coping Skills!

-Dear Perception