I had said I would post yesterday but then I got stuck in Austin traffic (twice!) so I got home later than I had planned and by then, all I wanted to do was eat a late lunch and catch up on Gotham. I was full on “I can’t even!!!!” yesterday afternoon so I plopped on the sofa and ate Taco Cabana while wishing Ben McKenzie would clear his throat. Like, we get it Ben, you’re super tough and no-nonsense, but cough and speak with your regular voice. This is not how Ryan Atwood used to speak!
On to the food, sort of. So did you know this is not my first food blog? I know it would appear that way since this is about as basic as you can get and it looks like something a amateur would put together but I’m actually a seasoned blogger. I have been blogging regularly since December 2004 and in February 2008, my friend Kira and I decided to start a food blog. It was called “We Be Cookin'” I met Kira through our personal blogs in 2005. We became friends, spent most of our work days IMing each other about Veronica Mars, and eventually got so close that she was one of my bridesmaids. Our food blog lasted a year and I don’t remember why we stopped. I was unemployed in February 2009 and didn’t find a job until May so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because I was busy…Anyway, I bring it up because I posted about making Chicken Tarhonya on that blog. Since I’ve already posted about making that meal, I don’t think the internet needs another post on the subject. Not much has changed since that post except now I make this meal for three beasts instead of one.
I want to focus on the second reason for me taking an extra week off because I think it’s a topic that a lot of people don’t feel comfortable addressing. The short answer is anxiety. The long answer is, well, get ready to read.
I’ve suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember; I think I had my first panic attack at eight. Of course I didn’t know it was a panic attack at the time but now that I know what they are, I can definitely diagnose it as such. What did an eight year old have to be anxious about? Oh, just an alcoholic father who was verbally abusive to her mother and who would often show up at their house at midnight and start arguments and be a general terror. I don’t remember how long this went on but I do know that my panic attacks stopped around the time I got to junior high and they stayed away all throughout high school. They reared their ugly head again when I got to college, which is understandable since I was in a new environment. I have always craved stability and my panic attacks seem to pop up when I’m experiencing some massive changes to my routine. They also always happened at night, they still do, so at least I only lose my mind at home and not in public. Silver lining.
In the summer of 2011, I experienced a miscarriage. I went in for a check up, they found something “abnormal”, and the next thing I knew, I was being prepped for a laparoscopy. They had only planned to perform a DNC (the nurse called it a dust and clean up. I hated her for saying that) but when they were in there, they also found a tumor that had grown on my left ovary. They ended up removing the tumor, ovary, and the fallopian tube. I was devastated afterwards, so much so that I lost 15 pounds in one week. One week. What followed was a month so filled with depression and anxiety, that I sought medical help. That turned into another two months of trying to figure out what meds worked and which ones didn’t. Fyi, Prozac did not, Zoloft and Xanax did. I also started seeing a therapist and that combined with my medication got me back to as close to normal as is possible for me. Then, four months after my miscarriage, I got pregnant again and with my psychiatrist’s and psychologist’s assistance, I got off my meds. I was lucky that I didn’t experience any side effects and it went pretty smoothly. I was very fortunate.
The past five years have been manageable, even with the stresses of being a mother. I run on a regular basis, I do yoga, I meditate, I’ve cut back a lot on my alcohol (yes, friends, what I drink now is me cutting back!), and I just watch myself. I work really hard on managing my anxiety and sometimes that probably leads to more anxiety. Which is what I’ve been experiencing lately. Which is why I took a mini-vacay. There have been days where I do everything I’m supposed to do and I still feel my skin crawl. Where I cannot stop worrying about “what if.” Where my mind races so much that I’m left questioning my reality. And to be frank, that shit is fucking annoying. Because I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing and sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes it does, I’m not going to discount those methods, but sometimes they don’t and I’m left hyperventilating at three in the morning.
So I’m trying to decide if I need to get back on meds, specifically Xanax because I can take that when needed. I know that just having it will help me because it did in the past. Just knowing I had a way to end them right away gave me peace of mind. I mean, I never even had to get my prescription refilled, that’s how little I used it. The only thing holding me back is that I don’t want to be dependent on an outside solution because I’m one of those crazies that believes we are capable of overcoming everything alone. And that’s a dumb outlook, I’m aware, but that is the truth. When I got on medication before, it was with the understanding that it was a short term solution and it would give me time to find a permanent one. I never wanted to spend the rest of my life on medication because, let’s be honest, those people are not viewed in the best light. Again, I’m aware of how stupid that is but I’m being honest.
So that’s where I am. Trying to make sense of all of my conflicting, hypocritical feelings. It’s an exhausting experience but I need to get this figured out. I’m just really, really tired of this.