Making Big Decisions With Anxiety

You know how when you decide to change jobs or move to a new place, you get all jittery with excitement and nerves about how it’ll all turn out?

Now imagine magnifying those feelings by ten, to the point where you’re so anxious about the end results you make yourself sick and you can’t fall asleep no matter how tired you are. And your sleep deprivation leads to a migraine, which leads to being unable to function for almost an entire day, and even when you do start to feel better and able to function, your fatigue is so overwhelming, you still can’t do much more than watch a little TV and go back to sleep.

That was how my day went yesterday. On Tuesday some friends and I went to the local animal shelter to look at pets and I found the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen. I had such a profound bond with that cat that I could’ve adopted her right on the spot. Except that I can’t take care of her financially and I don’t have a home to take her to (because my dad isn’t on board with it). However, while I was browsing the humane society’s website, I noticed they had job opportunities, one of which included a cat room attendant.

Based on the job tasks listed, it sounds like a person hired for this position would spend most of their shift taking care of the cats and cleaning, both tasks I’m capable of doing. If there’s minimal human interaction, this could be a perfect job for someone with anxiety. Unfortunately they were closed yesterday so I haven’t heard back from them yet about the job. But in the hopes that I would hear back, I started looking for apartments in the area, made a couple of appointments, and even took a tour of one (though the one I looked at was disgusting).

For most normal people, undertaking these tasks would bring about more excitement for the possibilities of change and while I did feel some excitement at first, especially at the thought of living alone and being able to decorate my own way, I was overcome with anxiety about possibly having to move within the week, having a new job while waiting for disability to respond, and doubts about being able to do the job and survive on my own because I don’t know how much the job will pay or if I’ll still be able to get disability benefits while working.

I worked myself up so much that my sleep deprived migraine worsened, I took a two hour nap after taking a shower, and after seeing the one apartment, I took another hour long nap while waiting for my meds to kick in. And even then, the meds only dulled the throb in my left temple.

As it stands now, on Thursday, I’m still sleep deprived, having tossed and turned for over an hour again last night (but eventually sleeping deeply enough to be more functional today), still fighting a migraine, but overall more relaxed about the possibility of big changes in my life. Yesterday’s lack of functionality was the aftermath of an extended period of high anxiety. Even so, knowing the feelings were temporary didn’t make them easier to handle in the moment.

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Networking

Hey all! I’m keeping busy in my little workshop and so far, I have almost all the Disney princesses made in one particular collection. I’m missing Merida and Ariel for this one, but I also need to make Anna and Elsa, and hopefully Moana at some point.

However, this past weekend I did something that was both very scary and very rewarding in the end. I’ve never been one for networking with other people in any particular field. I’m even afraid to network with other writers, though I have in the past on occasion. Sharing some of my deepest and most personal thoughts and written pieces gives me a lot of anxiety so I tend to hide them, and the same feelings bubbled up in me when I went to a craft expo in a nearby city.

It was a fairly large event with vendors who were selling only homemade items, so it would have been the perfect venue for me to have showcased some of my items had I known about it months before. But I opted to go anyway just to see if I could get some connections within the community and maybe some new interested customers. When I got there, I was scared to death about what to say, who to approach, whether anyone would want to take my card…all these negative thoughts came in to try and dissuade me from talking to anyone.

But once I started talking to some of the vendors, all those worries went away because everyone I talked to was so welcoming and supportive, and they knew exactly how I was feeling, having been there once themselves. Their comfort with discussing the process and giving advice made me feel at ease and made me comfortable talking about my own processes and concerns. And to my greatest surprise and relief, everyone I talked to took my card! Of course, I took cards from each of them as well and did my part in liking their pages on Facebook.

Afterwards I was glad that I went, even though I felt drained once I left, but it was definitely worth the trip to get the advice and the insight from people who have been in my shoes. For now, while I wait for a letter for a future convention I applied for, I’ll keep making amigurumi dolls for Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney (none of which I am affiliated with), and hope I get some orders coming in.

**If you’re interested in seeing what’s available, please click here and check out my page! I am currently only listed on Facebook, but can accept PayPal payments.

One of the Bad Days…

This post may not be like what I usually write so please bear with me. Normally, I try to write uplifting posts, like how I dumped a toxic friend and am finally happy, etc. But today I’m having one of my “bad” days and I’m trying not to disqualify the positive things I’ve accomplished already, but it’s hard. Not even my usual coping methods are helping.

I keep circling back to thoughts of how I don’t feel like I’m making any progress, especially with the week I’ve had, with fighting constant fatigue and always wanting to be left alone. And once I start down that road, it’s like a whirlpool; it’s hard to fight my way back up. I start thinking about how long it takes me to get to mundane, everyday tasks like making the bed or getting dressed, if I even get dressed at all. How my day doesn’t “officially” start until late morning now, when I used to be able to be up and ready to go by 9 am. I guess technically my day doesn’t start until after I’ve done my workout and showered, which has been happening later and later because I put off doing the workout until almost 10 am.

Sometimes I’ll be so tired, for whatever reason, and spend all afternoon laying down. I don’t always sleep, but just laying down can sometimes take the edge off. But it’ll be dinner time and I won’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything besides just getting out of bed. Which is usually not the case. Like today for example; it’s 2 pm and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything, but in actuality, I’ve completed all four tasks on my to-do list. They were small things that required only minimal effort, but I did get them done.

I’m just scared that this is my new reality. For every social interaction, every small task, every move I make or step I take to leave me so exhausted I need a nap disproportionate to the task that was undertaken. This is also why I’m scared to apply for disability, to be told that my condition isn’t “disabling” enough to qualify for benefits. But I’m applying anyway because if this is truly my new reality, despite all my efforts to try and get better, I’m not sure I can hold another job when just leaving the house for a doctor’s appointment wears me out. And I hate that feeling.

Anxiety as a Disability

When people tell me, “What do you have to be anxious about?”, I just want to smack them. Mental health is a HUGE deal lately and as someone with worsening anxiety, I take personal offense to anyone who brushes it off as nothing or says it’s “all in my head.”

Take today for example. My morning was ruined before 9am because of a phone call. It wasn’t anything particularly terrible, like a family death, but in my head, the accusatory tone of the person I was speaking to made me feel like a horrible person for doing what I was instructed (with regards to making the call) and for not knowing all the details of my claim process.

This led to a micro anxiety attack with tears and jaw clenching, and faded into a six-hour fatigue period. This fatigue is from my anxiety and is absolutely no fun at all. I spent most of my morning in a quiet, darkened room, and laying down trying to get comfy and relieve a minor headache. I had a funny show on the TV at a low volume to help distract my mind and I ended up taking a nap around 12:30. I didn’t have the energy to do anything. I didn’t even have the will to do anything except lay down and rest. How do people not think this is disabling?

And this was just after a minor attack. The one time I had a severe attack, I was so exhausted, achy, and fuzzy-brained that I had to call in sick for one entire day, and since it was a Friday, I had the rest of the weekend to recover. But it still took until Monday night for me to even start to feel better. A full four days to recover from a severe attack.

I’ve been tracking and monitoring my anxiety levels for the past two years and it’s progressively been getting worse, to the point where the attacks can be weekly, and the migraines and tension headaches I’ve been having, either as a result of an attack or as a precursor to one from the amount of stress I’ve been under, are up from once or twice a month to three or four times a week. Don’t worry, I’m off to see my doctor next week and I’ve made a list of anxiety symptoms that I believe are interfering with my daily life, as well as questions to ask. I’m also planning to ask if I should be seeing a psychologist more regularly to get a handle on this, because clearly I’m not doing well on my own.

I’m just tired of feeling tired and stressed all the time, and I’m worried that my anxiety will keep me from doing regular work again. Which is a sign that it can be considered a disability. Whether or not the disability agency thinks so is another hurdle I may be having to overcome in the near future.

Finding My Own Way

Happy Wednesday!

Today has been a bit of a whirlwind sort of day. It started out pretty miserable when someone I was speaking to on the phone addressed me with an accusatory tone (I was calling about an unemployment claim) about something from my weekly certification, which I had no memory of, and she spoke to me as if I should have remembered and known better. That set off a micro anxiety attack that left me on edge the rest of the day.

It did not get better until after my mother came home and asked me to go downstairs to work on crafting stuff with her. I was supposed to receive a call from a potential new employer, a call that was postponed from yesterday, and while my phone never actually rang, I did get a voicemail 45 minutes after the agreed-upon time explaining the tardiness and also indicating that an email would be sent for a future time. So far, no email has been received and my instincts are screaming for me to bolt and run from this place. I have no interest in playing games like this.

Which leads to the main point of this post: finding my own way. After I followed mom downstairs to do crafting stuff, my mind got some much needed clarify and I was able to focus on finishing up my light box for my crocheted crafts. On top of that, I got all the photos taken, and some cropped while others need to be edited yet. I’m tired now, which might seem odd for what was a small amount of work, but at least I accomplished something that made me happy and allowed me to focus for a short period of time.

And to be honest, I think that’s what I need right now.

Not to work for someone else, to fill someone else’s pocket, or follow someone else’s rules. What I need to do right now is find my own way, even if I’m struggling for a little while. Do I expect to be an overnight sensation? No. Building a company or even a small community takes time. But I know my projects are well-crafted (I know a 10-month-old who’s really putting their toy to the test) and people love handmade things.

What’s most important to me right now is my health and my happiness, and this job hunting stress is not helping either, especially when a potential employer appears to be yanking my chain. Nobody needs that kind of nonsense.

Looking to a Brighter Tomorrow

I apologize that it’s been so long since my last post. Chaos doesn’t even begin to describe the last couple months for me.

Tuesday was my last day at my job. I finally caved and quit. The past few days have been marvelously stress free and I have no regrets yet. I’ve been making more crocheted fairies and getting things done for the possibility of starting up my own crafting business called Nerdvana Crafts. So yes, I’ve been keeping busy, but there’s still a lot of work to be done in the next few weeks.

Job hunting is not exactly a fun task, but one that needs to be done. Having worked from home for the last five years, I’m eager to do something else from home. So far I’ve found a couple jobs that include freelance editing, writing, and data entry. I’ve also gotten a couple requests for crocheted projects, but as a starting entrepreneur, that probably won’t sustain me for very long, at least not until business starts picking up.

There is a publishing company looking for a freelance writer and editor to help authors with their works and I’m highly interested in this position because one, I’m also a writer and editor, and two, this could be my break into the publishing world and I’m eager to see where this could take me, if I get it. The only hitch is they want writing samples and links to live content and right now, this is my only blog and I would prefer to keep it private for my own sake. However, I do have another one that I abandoned a while ago that could possibly work for this. I’ll have to come up with some new posts for it and hope they’re good enough. The trouble would then arise from picking something to write about.

My family has been extremely supportive of my decision to quit my job, though my dad has expressed concern about me being without income despite my reassurances that I will manage. Having been unemployed before, I know how to manage my finances to the most essential items only until I have a new job. However, the difference between this unemployment and my previous bout was this time, I left on my terms.

So here’s to the future. May it be brighter and more fulfilling, and may this job search not take as long as my last one. Cheers!

Sewing Project #2

After my last sewing project, I was very nervous about doing another one, but as this one is for my best friend, I wanted to try harder to get it done for her for Halloween. This time, however, I chose to go into the store to pick out some of the fabric so I wasn’t as overwhelmed as my first adventure.

This will be my first cosplay attempt. I’m making a Pokemon trainer outfit that includes a romper, half jacket, and belt, and today I bought the fabric for the jacket, jacket/romper trim, and the craft foam for the belt. The pattern is already cut out so I just have to pin the fabric and get it cut out.

The difficulty in this project lies in the type of fabric we’re using. The sweater fleece should be ok, as it’s not too stretchy, but the romper fabric and the trim is an activewear type of fabric, which means it stretches a lot. The pattern calls for stretch knit, specifically activewear, but in getting what I got, it was simply a happy accident that it was the right type and color I needed. Now, I didn’t get all of the fabric I needed. The color that my best friend wanted is considered a fall color so I went in with the intention just to see what, if any, fabric was available in the desired color. Since it was, and there was so little of it, I decided to get it and it was also on sale. I still have to get the black stretch knit for the romper and I’ll do that next week.

But my mother and I have never worked with anything stretchy before so we’re hoping to get some help from a fellow seamstress/sewing teacher, either to help teach us how to sew this fabric without it stretching too much or to commission her to sew it for us. Given the time crunch, it might be more ideal to have her sew it for us, but I personally would like to learn how to sew with stretch knit fabric because I intend to work on several cosplays in the future that may require stretchy fabric. I just need to find time.

Until then, you’ll find me cutting out patterns and watching anime. ❤

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On the plus side, I finished my massive crochet blanket, at least for the moment. I’m still deciding on doing crocodile stitches on the straight edges, but I want to see how they look on the blanket before committing to that particular design. Here’s what the finished product looks like:

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And it’s warm, cozy, and big enough to wrap myself up like a burrito, exactly how I wanted. ^_^