My Dirty Secret

I feel like I have a dirty secret, even though nothing about it is dirty or much of a secret. It’s more like something I’ll throw out in conversation, but I definitely don’t go into much detail once it’s been brought up. Ok, so here it is (deep breath) I live with anxiety, and panic disorder (frequent panic attacks) with depression for the cherry on top. Insert eye roll for the people who think these are made up things that attention seekers proclaim they have. Trust me, I wish they were in the same category as unicorns and men who change the toilet paper roll. Unfortunately, some people add to the illusion that these mental health issues are a myth, and give us legit disorder having peeps a bad name. There are in fact those attention seeking basic bitches who love ugg boots with booty shorts in freezing temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes (nasty, no one makes a good one) wear way too much makeup, all around plastic and fake inside and out, and CAN NOT WAIT to tell you all about their anxiety and how shook they are because their latest Instagram selfie only got 8 likes, so they had to buy three new pairs of lululemon leggings to calm themselves down. ( I do love leggings though) But, enough about them.

When I was fairly young I knew what depression was. The circumstances I was living in as a child could chip away at any amount of joy or happiness that tried to make its way inside me. Sadness was so a part of daily life, that to me it was normal.

My father made every second of every day a lot more difficult than it needed to be. He was a bitter, angry and manipulative man. He never took a day off from his mental and emotional abuse. School wasn’t exactly a safe haven either. It’s the classic story of fat girl with glasses gets bullied. Ya know, mean girl (boss) tells mean girl (minion) to spit in my face, and then everyone has a good laugh. Classy, am-I-rite. However, was any of this the cause of my depression or was I born this way? I don’t know.

I didn’t know anything about anxiety, or panic disorders until 2012 at the age of thirty-four. I had my first full-blown physical panic attack three days after my mother died. I had every symptom of a heart attack and it sucked. I went to the doctor and had tests done and all that good stuff. For the next 2 years I was in and out of the doctor’s office quite frequently. Anxiety was now a part of my daily life and the panic attacks kept coming, so I started on some medication. I had also started doing extensive research on anxiety and panic disorders. And even though I don’t recall having a panic attack before that day, I started to realize anxiety may have been with me since my childhood. My mother would always call me a worry wort, or a nervous nelly. Turns out, it went a lot deeper than that. I felt I had it all under control for a while. The medication I was on seemed to be a good fit, and the first year I came off the meds everything seemed to be stable.

Unfortunately, my anxiety and panic attacks are currently far from under control anymore. It’s all back and worse than before, taking on different twisting, puzzle like forms. I-kid-you-not, looking up at a tall building has triggered a panic attack. Like, excuse me! How grossly rude is that! I mean seriously, I can’t even look up! Such bullshit. I can barely drive anymore, not that I was ever amped about it before, but now except for taking my kid to school it feels like an impossible task. Literally, impossible. That’s another thing everyone needs to understand. People with these mental health issues have limitations. They just do. It’s a shame that these legitimate limitations can make you appear selfish, stuck-up, lazy and sometimes even a crazy bitch. For instance if you ask someone with social anxiety to go to a party full of people they don’t know, and they explain that they can’t do that…listen to them. It is not that they won’t. They are not just nervous or shy. Now it doesn’t mean that they can’t work on it through therapy, or medication, and in their own time be ready to socialize the night away. Just remember, it is not something they can just chill out about. These mental prisons we live in will prevent us from doing things that are easy peasy for most people, including very regular, everyday things.

The real kicker for me right now is I’m actually happy. I’m absolutely positive this is the first time in fact that I’ve felt this elusive real contentment and happiness. (disclaimer: except of course when my daughter was born) Isn’t that just the cruel joke of the universe…you can without a doubt be blessed and depressed at the exact same time! Anxiety and depression have found a way to coexist in the same space as joy and happiness. Again…bullshit. I still thank God I found the most extraordinary human to share my life with. I literally could not have dreamed up a better and more supportive man. Of course we fight, we disagree, we have our stubborn moments, ya know like every relationship ever in the history of time and space. But, I have never felt more loved and cared for. It has been the most amazing shock of my life. There was this clear moment where I had the “happiness epiphany.” We had spent the whole day with my daughter, and they were really starting to bond. They were making fun of each other, they were ganging up on me…it was adorable. It was just a really good day. And on the drive home I was overwhelmed with a feeling, that made me think, ‘what the fuck is that?’ …Oh wow. Is this…happy?

Which makes it more difficult when you run into negativity of any kind. I must protect and guard my precious happy bubble like a newborn baby. I’m not a victim in any way, but after being born into a raw deal, and one bad circumstance after another, followed by poor choices, things that can only be categorized as learning experiences, paying my life dues one way or another, and never getting to live my own life, basically always having to do what other people wanted me to do. I have earned the right to be selfish. The good kind of selfish. Because, that is a real thing…I swear. For my own sanity I am no longer available for people pleasing until further notice. Which is actually EXTREMELY hard for me not to do. I like everyone to be pleased and content, and if I don’t do what someone wants me to do I feel like I’m letting them down. And that guilt leaves the door wide open for a heavy depression to set in.

I remember when I was 9 years old and my mom signed me up for swimming lessons. I was in a class of about 7 other girls my age. Our instructor was an arrogant 18-year-old boy. On the 2nd or 3rd day of class while we were practicing holding our breathe under water he starts to get angry and yells at me, “You’re not going deep enough under the water! I can still see the top of your head! Do it again!” Embarrassed, I do it again. When I come up for air he yells the same thing. I can feel my eyes getting ready to gush tears and the heat in my face from humiliation. Nonetheless, I do it again. When I come up he still isn’t satisfied. He comes over to me and without warning puts his hand on the top of my 9-year-old head and pushes down, and holds me there. I panicked under the water. When I was released I got out of the pool and walked out of the class, and waited for my mother in the locker rooms, who had seen everything from the bleachers.

That has been a large chunk of my life. Being forced under water. My ability to breathe has always seemed unimportant to the people around me. If I drown, I drown. So be it.

My mental and emotional health is important, and I have been trying to get to a point where I can say that with confidence, and without guilt. Any negativity, bad occurrence, running out of milk, irritating inconvenience, or one not-so-nice word from someone feels like an electric needle stabbing my brain, which then flows through my whole body. It’s like my brain says, ‘Oh hell no. That crap is not allowed under any circumstances. But since we are running into a problem let’s just get rid of all the good feelings we’re having and replace them with an ice pick in your head and crippling depression shall we.’ Cool.

The problem is with the anxiety being at an all time high and depression trying to be my best friend, I hate to say it, but my mind is too fragile. Not to be confused with being weak. I think another misconception is someone with anxiety/depression is mentally weak. And that is SO far from the truth. I simply have limits, which will not allow me to do certain things, or handle certain situations without some form of a breakdown. I can’t allow things anymore that will threaten my well-being. Even later that day when I had the “happy epiphany” something happened that wiped away my good, positive feelings. I wish I had the tools to not let that happen, but that isn’t the case right now. I can’t get on medication at the moment so I’m sorta just riding this out. I’ve been told to look into cbd oil, so I was going to do some reading on it.

This is crippling. This is debilitating. This is a prison. My mental health at the moment seems to be made of glass. A lovely, delicate, over priced glass vase in a well-to-do little shop run by arrogant, self-centered, snobby women and it must be protected at all costs or the owner will lose her effing mind, destroy everything in her path and end her journey heavily sedated in a mental hospital. However, the big bear like guard of the shop would never let that happen. (The man who is reading this as I type)

Thanks for reading!

Some Delicious Recipes and Me Giving Health Advice Again?

Let’s dive right in.

Home Remedies: When My Kiddie Is Sick It’s Ginger Root Time

For years now, not only when I’m sick, but whenever I can work it into my busy day, I try to ingest a piece of raw ginger root. You can find this in the produce aisle of your local grocery store…hopefully. I use to cut a small 1/2 inch piece off the root and just pop in my mouth, chew, and swallow, but it burns hot-like-fi-ya! So, I decided to stop torturing myself and stick it inside of a banana. It also adds some kick and health goody-goods to oatmeal. Skin a piece of root and then grate into the oatmeal. With ginger powering through your system you’re ready to take on the day.

I sound like a bad infomercial.

When it comes to a kid with a cold, it’s all about the tea. I’m not clear on the minimum age to give a child ginger, but I didn’t give my daughter any until she was eight years old. I still don’t give a raw chunk, or in grated form. That might be considered child cruelty until they’re a teenager. Instead I’ll slice a small piece, put it in a cup with either ginseng tea, or any black tea. Pour in boiling water, let it sit a few minutes, then add lemon and honey to taste, which also have healing properties. My daughter likes a small straw (that used to be a big straw until I cut it), and to let me know how many lemon seeds I let get in the cup. Try your hardest to get out the lemon seeds, and to not let the kiddo eat the piece of ginger, or screaming may ensue. This has improved congestion, sore throat, and can help calm upset tummies.

Aloe Vera: Nature’s Slimy Goodness

My mother has had an aloe plant as long as I can remember. Now, I have several. Aloe vera has a thousand uses. Either from the bottle at the drug store, or the gel straight from the plant, use as a moisturizer, it’s great on sunburns, and all life’s little skin boo boos. Not only is it a helpful topical presence in your life, but it can also go inside the human body for all around immune system boosting. From the plant, take a few “leaves” (said with upward inflection) okay, I think they’re called leaves, well, the long green things growing out of the dirt. Take those and peel them. Scraping as much of the gel as possible into a container. After gutting 2-3 gel filled things, add almost a gallon of water, or however much your container will allow, and shake together. Put in the fridge and once it’s cold give at least a cup a day to your child, or yourself if you dare. I do not suggest taking or giving at room temperature. That’s just mean. At first it may be a bit slimy, and they will need to chew and hold a napkin. They also might throw it in your face, and refuse to drink that nasty stuff. My daughter surprisingly never did. She’s not thrilled with it either, but I’ve gone into detail about the bigger picture. Or, maybe I just said, “Take it. It’s good for you.”

To bypass the slimy mess, I’ve recently found a gallon sized 98% pure aloe vera jug at Wal-Mart. If you keep adding water to the homemade mixture it will lose the ooey gooey, but if not dealing with the plant sounds better to you, then try to find it ready-made without the slime. You can also dilute the store-bought aloe with water, or good quality apple juice if the taste is bothersome. My daughter drinks a cup a day, and it has helped with her outside allergies, and frequency of common colds.

I haven’t used over the counter child medications in 2 years. They were not doing the job anyway.

Recipes:

What the hell should I feed the family tonight! How about giving hamburgers a kick in the ass!

For years I only threw seasoning in the ground carcass. One day I felt adventurous, and squeezed ranch dressing, and bbq sauce in the mix. Tossed some flour, poured a dollop of milk, cracked an egg, and mashed it all together with my hands. Sometimes I got a little too ranch happy, and the meat didn’t hold well, so now I use a packet of dry ranch powder. I’ll also leave out the milk once in a while, but if I do add it, I’ll add a slice of bread to the mixture. This will help a little bit of meat go a long way. Parts of this are the same as meatloaf, so I’m not making any claims of coming up with anything new. I’ve also thrown in a dry onion dip packet and nothing else in the meat. Seriously, nothing else. Thoroughly mix in the packet with 1-2 pounds of your ground meat of choice (turkey, beef, bison) and that’s all the seasoning it will need.

Want to do a bun-less burger that will go great with rice, or mashed potatoes, and favorite vegetable. Try this: Mix equal parts ground beef, and ground pork (even better, ground italian sausage) Add: chopped onion, diced tomatoes, splash of A1 steak sauce, garlic powder, pepper, and a pinch of sea salt. Try not to get too much juice from the tomatoes in the mix, or it will fall apart easily. Patty it up and fry that bad boy to your liking!

Tired of red spaghetti? Go green!

Want to make your child utter their first curse word? No? Okay, how about just a look that says what the hell. Let’s throw green spaghetti noodles in their face. This recipe came into my life through a peruvian family, and it is delightful. Get the water for pasta going. In a blender mix together: Fresh spinach, fresh basil, milk, olive oil, salt, pepper, and queso fresco cheese (Usually found near fresh parmesan in the grocery store. A white round cheese.) Blend well and pour into large frying pan. Stir constantly on medium to low heat, until thick and bubbly. Once the pasta is cooked and drained add to the lovely green mixture. We like to slice a red onion and mix it in, but I have to serve it to my kid before adding the onion. She is not a fan. Also, frying up a thin steak and laying it on top of the green concoction is, like, a thing that goes well with this type of eats.

Me Giving Health Advice?

Today I had the urge to talk about food substitutions.

A Bad Substitution (Yes, in my opinion): Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages. You’ll find people who believe this is harmful to your health, and then you’ll find others who say it’s fine and dandy. This man-made chemical is found in all your diet sodas, no sugar energy drinks, and some children’s vitamins. In 1980 a board discussed its relationship to brain cancer, later concluding they didn’t believe it was that much of a bastard. However, it still wasn’t approved at that time, because of many unanswered questions. Research showed it gave cancer to rats, and that fact was even written on packets of sweetener.

In 1983 it slowly started to creep into our lives. In 1993 it was in most beverages and baked goods with the claim of no sugar. By 1996 all the restrictions of aspartame were removed allowing it to be put in whatever the hell corporate money-hounds wanted it to be in. These are all just boring facts, and you can choose to believe whatever you want about this ARTIFICIAL crack originally made by a chemist accidentally. Yeah, it was like a mad scientist trying to create Frankenstein, and instead created a sugar substitute by fucking up Frank. Now, Frank is in your diet Coke.

All I really have is my own experience. I consumed diet energy drinks, diet tea, and diet soda 1 year out of my life in my late twenties. I had noticed myself becoming more aggro than usual. Just irritated for no reason. At first I assumed it was natural with how many brain-dead zombies I battled working my graveyard shift. But then I started to feel an all around…not right. I read an article about the rumors of the big A, and decided to quit the diet beverage addiction. Within a few weeks I was feeling better and more like the normal aggro me.

Around the same time I was being a responsible mom, and bought my daughter a bottle of children’s vitamins. I don’t recall how long she had been taking them before she became different. She was hyper and uncontrollable. She was not the same kid. Finally reading the label (something for kids wouldn’t have an iffy ingredient, right?) of the well-known brand of kiddy nutrients I found aspartame. Long story short: Took her off of them, and back to normal. I had my sweet, funny, kind, smart kid back. Five years later I found a non-personality altering vitamin from this AHH-mazing website http://www.swansonvitamins.com/

This is my experience. Draw your own conclusions. Make your own decisions.

A Good Substitution: The Greek Gods All Natural Plain Greek Yogurt

I wanted plain greek yogurt to blend with avocados and use as a healthier salad dressing option. Which I’m sure is tastylicious, but I have yet to try it. What I have done is put it on or in everything that usually involves sour cream.

The first night it accidentally fell into my families mashed potatoes. I waited patiently to see if anyone noticed a difference. Later on my husband says, “I don’t know what you did to those potatoes, but you have to always make them that way.” Yes, sir.

I’m so damn proud of myself when I discover a healthy sub my family will eat, since I tend to be healthy-edible-challenged. It’s great on tacos, burritos, baked potatoes, and anything clogged artery cream had previously been best friends with. The texture is different from most yogurt, it’s actually very close to sour cream. Tossing it in garden rotini pasta with olive oil, diced tomatoes, red onion, and olives, is a scrumptious dish that you might even be able to label healthy. Add cut up chicken breast and it’s even more scrum-dilly-umptious. When I make my daughter a burrito I ask her if she wants sour cream, but there isn’t any sour cream in this house. The eight year old never questions it. That is the true test to how truly great a replacement this is.

Assault On The Precious

I recently purchased an exercise bike.

All I have to do now is:

-Get up in the morning

-Take the kid to school

-Take care of the dogs

-Have coffee

-Then hop on, and peddle away these pesky pounds!

Well, almost instantly I had regrets.

I haven’t been on any kind of bike in donkey’s years. I was warned that my back, legs, and arms would probably suffer for a while. None of those were a problem. The problem was the violent attack from the bicycle seat on my precious. I could only tolerate the assault for a few minutes before I dislocated my uterus.

I tried everything to make the seat bearable, and not feel like I was being violated. I folded a towel over the seat—no. I placed a pillow under my toosh—not only looked ridiculous, but was absolutely in no way comfortable. Finally, I ran to the internet and found another seat.

I found some the same shape, but wider. I thought that would work, but then I saw the seat sent from heaven. It is a seat made without the assault on the crotch part. It’s just two moving butt cheek pieces. I would like to meet the person who had the wisdom to make this seat. This creation has put a stop to the senseless intrusive act against my body.

Of course it’s not plush and super comfortable, but what did my fat ass expect. At least I am able to go long enough to work up a sweat, as I catch episodes of The Real Housewives of Orange County.

THE DEVIL a.k.a. Crotch Assaultinator

SLICE OF HEAVEN

You Think Your Job Sucks?

I’m standing in front of a toaster. (Intrigued yet?) Oh, it’s also the size of a mammoth, and it’s one of the most medieval devices I’ve personally come across in my life. This large rusty metal contraption rotates about 40 pieces of bread at once, and gives birth to toast after a few rotations. The thing is, you have to stand in front of it, as it radiates heat burning your face off to catch the bread at the bottom. After each rotation the bread falls out, you catch it, and throw it back into slits, trying very hard not to burn the flesh from your hands. Like I said, medieval.

At this time, I am seventeen years old, working at a retirement home during the summer of 1995. I work 5 days a week, from 7am-6pm. I make $4.25 an hour. It blows. Hard. I’m one of the many teenage waitresses serving the folks breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m also one of the many teenagers the manager of this place treats like donkey bleep.

But, this story is not about the a-hole manager, or the scary toaster.

Scene: Back to tussling with the menacing toast maker.

As I’m performing daredevil tricks with bread to prevent myself from ending up in the E.R., I hear some disagreeable voices going back and forth from the other waitresses.

A bit of back story: I’m the newest employee. Why do you think I’m performing one of the most undesirable duties as a waitress in this place. Little did I know, there was actually one more duty that had it beat. Beat by, like, a lot.

I yell over to the girls and ask what the problem is. One exclaims it’s the other’s turn to take Mr. Johnson his meal, and of course the other waitress disagree’s and says it is not.

“Who is Mr. Johnson, and why won’t he be in the dining room?” I ask.

Their heads quickly whip towards each other locking eyes, and I could see evil manipulating light bulbs going off.

“Well, the thing is, he kind of has a special condition, so we have to bring him all his meals.” One finally pipes out.

“Okay, so why are you arguing about it, just take the man his food.” I say, a bit frustrated.

“He has elephantitus of the balls.” The other waitress blurts out.

(This is what she said, and what I called it for years, but in later research I discovered it is commonly mispronounced that way. The actual term is elephantiasis.)

I had never heard of that before but my logical brain had a pretty good idea what it meant.

“Alright, so.”

“I mean, you just don’t know. You just don’t even know. It’s all out there. And then there is the smell. It’s so gross.”

“Just give me the food. I’ll take it to him. The man has to eat.”

They both look very satisfied. When I begin towards the elevator one yells, “Hold your breath!”

As I’m going up to the third floor I think, how bad could it be, okay, I haven’t seen too many balls period, but whatever, and what part of this place doesn’t smell like piss. Huh…she didn’t actually say the smell was…ugh whatever…

I get off the elevator and start down the hall to Mr. Johnson’s room. What a convenient color for the carpet. Shit brown.

Two doors away from his room and my nostrils are already catching a whiff of something. Directly in front of his door my senses are being assaulted with a pungent aroma that is more wretched than anything I could imagine. This is not okay. This whole thing. I shouldn’t be here taking all the B.S. that comes with this job. And someone should be in there disinfecting, cleansing, powdering…or whatever.

I knock on the door. No answer. Oh come on. I decide to just go in. I open the door and walk over the threshold. As I catch a glimpse of Mr. Johnson sitting upright on the edge of the bed–I turn around and power walk my ass right back out, closing the door behind me.

Not because of the sight of his naked from the waist down body, and crusted cantaloupe sized balls, because I forgot to hold my breath.

The smell as bad as it was outside of the room, was a completely different situation inside of the room. Words will never be able to fully explain what that bouquet was like. I can’t even explain why it smelled like that. The only thing that ever made sense was, whoever had the responsibility of cleaning that room and Mr. Johnson, were terrible at their job.

I swallow traces of vomit down my throat and prepare to go back in. This poor man.

I take a few deep breaths and hold it. I power walk back in like nothing happened.

– Put his tray of food down.

– Nod. Force tight smile.

– He doesn’t acknowledge my existence. Sad. But okay with me at this point.

– Grab tray left from last meal. Place dirty dishes on it.

– Freak out internally because all dirty dishes have unexplainable white crust-like substance around the edges.

– Realize I’m being an idiot because what I’m thinking can’t be possible.

– Think: Anything is possible.

– Realize I’m about to pass out.

– Power walk out of the room. To the elevator. To those two damn dirty bitches.

– Express to them they are horrible people.

– Quit 3 weeks later.

 

Evil Creatures

To be serious about my health/weight loss kick, I may have to consider counting calories and carbohydrates. Now for someone like me who loathes math in all forms, counting anything is mental torture.
If someone had a gun to my head, and started a statement with,
“Billy was at a train station…”
And ended that statement with,
“How many…”
I would yell, “Just pull the trigger!”
I hate math. I’ve always hated math. Guess it’s time to bust out and dust off my calculator.
Actually…

Nope. Who am I kidding? I’m not counting shit. I know what NOT to eat. I just have to not eat it. Done.
(P.S. Counting may work for some. Oh yeah, and this is mainly a humor blog mixed in with my truth. So shush, people who swear by counting calories.)
Yours Truly,
Hater of Numbers Big and Small
Ha ha…I knew it!

Do They Put Meth in Vitamins?

Yesterday, I felt like I had been on my vitamin regiment for a week, but I checked where I marked the calendar, and it had only been 3 days. I then wondered if I was a time travelling demon, because I could have sworn it had been a full week. Anyhow, I can already feel a difference. I’ve started a liquid multi, B-12, and 4 various tablet vitamins. I also bought a bottle of flaxseed oil, because the tablets I found only came in boulder size.

I should have gone with the possibility of choking to death. You will never see me on the reborn Fear Factor, because I couldn’t even get a little liquid omega 3, 6, and 9 down my throat. It smells like fish oil, and the taste, and texture is horrid.

Back to the difference I’ve noticed. I’m experiencing a get up and go, go, go, now, now, now sensation. I had opened my eyes around 4am on a day my husband was off from work. I laid in bed thinking, wow I am so freakin’ ready to get up, and if I do, think of all the extra crap I could get done. I could barely see his face but I still stared through my hubs wondering, when is HE going to get up, Jeez, come on already! I’m up–why isn’t he up! I eventually talked myself out of rising, because if I did the dogs might have went off like hungry hell hounds, and disturbed the whole house at 4am. My daughter doesn’t have to get up for school until 7am so I didn’t want to chance it.

Through out the day I’m finding myself having the urge to clap and cheer to the family, like an overly perky high school cheerleader. Now, anyone who knows me would never use the word “perky” to describe me. I have no desire to even be “perky.” Honestly, the word “perky” makes me think of the type of white girl that I am not, nor ever have been.

But, it’s these goddamn vitamins!

The thing that’s really weird is even with all this new found excitement coursing through my veins…I still bleeping hate exercising. As the kids say these days…FML.