Sunday, October 9, 2016

Classical Music

You guys, I love music. We all know this. I love all types of music and can appreciate a little bit of everything from time to time as long as it's not too obnoxious or full of nasty crap. For instance, I love Prodigy. I also love Benny Goodman and that's who I am going to talk about today.

I am so grateful to my dad and my mom both for playing classical music for me as a child (and jazz as Benny Goodman was mostly known for his swing and jazz style music). Some of my most favorite memories are afternoon naps and going to bed when my mom would play Benny Goodman doing Mozart. ( ) I'm currently listening to it right now and all it does is stir up those rare happy moments from my childhood.

I remember my dad and my sister both playing the clarinet when I was a kid and I wished I had the skill to pick up a clarinet and play it without sounding like a dying mouse. I can play a saxophone, but I can't even begin to play a clarinet. Speaking of dying mice, we caught a mouse in our living room the other night and the poor little turd got it's tail stuck under our couch leg and there was a lovely little path of mouse blood. So gross. Poor little Stuart.

Some of my other favorite classical music would be Haydn's Horn Concerto #1. ( ) I could play this (near) perfectly and when I wanted to play it for solo & ensemble, my band teacher said it was too difficult for me. He wouldn't even give me a chance to play part of it for him. You can ask my mom, she'll vouch for my French Horn playing abilities.

This is a popular one, most people recognize this when they hear it, but it's still lovely. Vivaldi Four Seasons -

For some insanely creepy yet beautiful and moving music, look no further than The Changeling soundtrack. Fantastic movie (RIP George C Scott) with amazing music. The Music Box Theme is so eerie and macabre. Full Soundtrack Music Box Theme

Anyway, I have a feeling this post will go unseen but I'll later look at it and be able to find links to some of my favorite pieces. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Just Kinda Wanted To Write

Sometimes I get in the mood where I wanna write whether or not anyone reads. I wanna remember what was going on in my life and be able to look back on it. A couple weeks ago my friend Shirley and I went out for coffee after drop off and we laughed and laughed as I reminisced about some of my entries from when my kids were babies/toddlers. Sadly, it was all puke related...why do I write so much about puke? Such is the life of a mom, I guess. Shirley is a writer too. I like that about her and I feel like it's one way we can connect.

So...what's been going on lately...

The kids are getting older. Duh. Timmy is in third grade now, Natalie in second, and Sammy in kindy. All three of my kids are super smart (and I know I'm biased, but they really are!) but sometimes they are way too much to handle. Timmy is incredibly defiant at times while Natalie is highly emotional. Sammy is a mix of the two and can be very clingy which makes drop off difficult sometimes. Today he did great though and didn't even have to say goodbye to me. Breanna and I watched from a distance as he lined up and went in all on his own. I guess from now on the trick is to just ignore the kid.

Lately I've been dealing with a lot of health issues...again. Story of my life, right? The major issue has been my back. The discs in my back have been bulging out in so many words. I've been going to PT for a few weeks and it helps, but not long term. I've been on my feet most of the last few days and I'm definitely paying for it now with pain shooting down both of my legs and the inability to stand up straight. I truly don't think anyone can understand how horrid back pain is until experiencing issues like this, sciatica, and SI Joint pain. I was in the ER 3 times in one week because of this pain. I have a pretty high pain tolerance after experiencing appendicitis, gall bladder attacks, kidney infections, a PE, and three labors and deliveries (thankfully medicated so the pain wasn't TOO bad...) but this pain has had me in tears and wishing I could be put down like a horse with a broken leg. I feel like an old lady some days and hate that people might think I'm being dramatic but like I said, until you've experienced it...

In other news, today was picture day. Sammy has taken after both of his grandfathers and his Uncle Nick with what I call "Chandleritis" - kid smiles so adorably when his picture is NOT being taken, but ask him to smile for a picture and you get a hot mess. Natalie looked so pretty like always though I wish her loose front tooth would've fallen out before her picture. Timmy battled us on wearing a nice shirt but in the end we compromised with him wearing it ONLY for the picture and letting him wear a t-shirt the rest of the day.

Soooo....that's about it for now. I know, super boring, but eh whatevs. Mom life isn't always exciting. Sometimes it's monotony and humdrum boredom.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


It's been awhile, yet again, since I've posted. Today I'm just going to write about some randomness and that randomness is about storms.

I'm not going to be all sorts of metaphorical and talk about "storms in life." I'm talking about real storms - storms with streaking lightning and booming thunder and pelting rain. Storms that can be so full of electricity that the hair on your arms will stand up. Storms that are so windy your gas permeable lenses are almost pulled from your eyes.

Ever since I can remember, I have always loved storms. While most people dread seeing storms in the forecast, I get excited. I have skipped more than one meal because WoodTV8 has interrupted our regularly scheduled programming to bring us a weather alert and I become glued to the TV like it's the Super Bowl.

I remember being as young as three or four years old and my older brother Tony and I would be sitting on our enclosed front porch with the main door open and peering through the screen door, past the bus garage and football field, and into a darkened sky filled with lightning. My mom told us that the thunder was just Smurfs bowling. I told Timmy that once and he blinked his eyes at me like I had lost my ever-loving mind.

As Tony and I got older, we would take the stools from the counter and sit in the studio (basically just a back room in our house, but we dubbed it the studio because when my Dad and Mom were still married, that is where my dad had his music studio) and stare out the big window with the broken window sill (broken because my dad had taken a broom and tried to kill a wily and elusive bat that had made it inside our home and instead of hitting the bat, hit the sill instead) and gaze across "the back 40" (our nickname for the backyard) and watch storms roll in from the west. By the way, I am aware that that sentence is quite long and confusing, possibly a run on sentence. I'm okay with that.

Not everyone is like me, though. My little (but bigger than me) brother was a little more on the anxious side when storms rolled through. The only reason this entire blog post came to mind was because I watch my kids together and they fight so horribly now. They can be so mean to each other and everyone says it's normal and it's sibling rivalry. For me, it just wasn't ever that way. I rarely ever fought with my brothers. They were my best friends. My sister and I never really fought, but she is also much older than I am and was out of the house by the time I was nine. I was super close to my brothers (I'm closest to my sister now that we are adults though!) and we truly never fought. I don't know if it's just because we were spaced out enough in age to not always be in each others' business or if it is because I only saw them a few times a month because of our various custody schedules. Either way, any time my little brother and I would even start to fight, we would be immediately say 'fake fight!' and then we'd hug and go back to being best friends.

Like I said, my little brother wasn't a big fan of storms when we were young. There is one very specific memory I have from when we were about 8 and 11ish and we had a pretty strong storm rolling through during the evening. I think only me and my brothers were home at the time and there was a lot of thunder and lightning going on. We were watching TV and I was sitting in one of the recliners. At one point there was a clap of thunder that shook the house and my little brother squished himself into the recliner next to me. I put my arm around him to keep him safe and we sat like that until the storm passed.

There truly wasn't much more time after that when my little brother surpassed me in height and our roles reversed - he became the one that protected me from boys and jerks and bullies. Even now he stands nearly a foot taller than me and even though we don't see each other that much anymore, he still takes care of me.

As for my big brother, we are still pretty much the same person. We share almost all of the same loves whether it is our love of storms or our interests in conspiracy theories or our taste for music and movies.

I don't really know why I felt compelled to write this, but I'm glad I did. I should do this more often.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Top of the World

This isn't going to be a typical post for my blog. It doesn't have anything to do with my kids, anxiety, funny things that have happened, a birthday post, etc.

This blog post is dedicated to my cousin-sister who is getting married today. Let me tell you, sitting down to write this is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I don't know if it's because I'm so beyond happy for her or because I'm super sick and can't make it to the wedding that I'm sitting here a weepy mess as I go through the last 20 years of memories.

I met my cousin Alicia when I was not quite 15. She was...8? I don't even remember exactly. We weren't technically cousins, and even now, we aren't related by blood - but we are by love. Her mom was dating my step-uncle and we met because I would become her babysitter (along with her little brother..dang jacob was a handful! I do remember threatening to hot glue his head to the garage door :/ HA. He's grown up to be a very funny, handsome man who got married recently himself!). I seriously wonder if Aunt Julie regrets ever asking me to babysit knowing the things I would teach her during those years, ha!

So many memories. Ish is pretty lucky that I don't have many old school pics of us from our younger days - our crazy styled 90s hair, big ugly glasses...yikes! But we have been through so much together. Her devastating car accident that left her with a broken back. I remember running home from school to celebrate with her when she got her back brace off. We broke hammocks together, I made her laugh til she puked...TWICE...we danced in the rain (or storms maybe) had some amazing days camping and fishing together, walking home in negative temperatures and saluting cars as they drove by...dancing and singing for hours on end. Slumber parties, late night movie fests...I came home early from homecoming so I could spend my time with her my senior year. She was truly the little sister I never had and always wanted.

Brent, I have yet to meet you in person, but I know you must be some kinda awesome if Alicia chose you to be her husband for always. I know I don't have to say it, but I am just kinda throwing it out there...treat my girl well. Love her always, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, and never question the strange relationship she has with me and our weird love of The Carpenters.

Speaking of...I guess it's time for me to pass this on. Alicia, this can no longer be one of our songs. One of my gifts to you is simply this.

BUT this is still ours

There are so many more memories that I didn't mention (like actually singing that song together at the Ionia theater, when you got me hooked up with my first "real" phone haha...I named it Burt...your snuggles with my babies...dancing with you at my wedding...I wish I could be there to dance with you at yours...) and I wish I had pictures for each memory to share but really no one really would understand how awesome we are anyway.

I love you and I am over the moon for you. You make me proud. My kids are questioning why I'm listening to the Carpenters and sobbing while I type. You'd think they'd be used to this by now.

Hey look, I found a couple pics :D

Monday, July 13, 2015

Samuel is FOUR!

My Best Buddy, my Sweet Sammerson turned four today. FOUR. My baby is four. Where did the time go? Awhile back I mentioned that he is a sweet, sensitive kiddo who is always doing his best to make others feel better (even if he is the one that caused them pain). He's still that way and spends much of his time smooching me and telling me how much he loves me.

Here are some other random things about Sammy at FOUR! years old so I can remember what he was like when I read back on this.

~ He is quirky. It's the number one word I use to describe him. His arms and hands are his favorite toys - and as annoying as that is to me, at least the kid can entertain himself. He used to use his hands as fans, but now they are birds. We are desperately trying to break this habit of his and we're getting closer. He loves to pretend he's a fan and will flap his arms around and sometimes falls backwards onto the ground and says he's a broke fan. He asks people to turn him on and off by tapping his head. He will ask you to put new batteries into his hands. He will talk to anyone and everyone about fans. Helicopters have fans, boats have fans...anything that resembles a fan is a fan and he loves it. The way Timmy remembers what everyone drives, Sammy remembers what kinds of fans and air conditioners everyone has.

~ He LOVES kitties. And birdies. And doggies. And kitties. Black Kitty (OBK) and Gray Kitty (OGK) are his beloveds. He quite often pretends he's a cat named Meowtions. (Meowsions? Meowshuns?) He loves to chase birds at the park and at the beach. He definitely has a soft spot for animals.

~ He is very much like me in that he feels emotionally connected to music. I've never seen a chid his age cry because of a song making him feel sad or because it moves him. Twice, the song Ripples by Genesis has made him cry big dragon tears and just a few days ago, he heard a pretty classical piano piece that made him sob because it made him feel sad. I love this about him. I hope he's never afraid to show that things make him feel a certain way.

~ He is four and I still have no idea if he is right handed or left handed. More often than not I see him favor his left hand to eat, brush his teeth, or color, but he will often go back and forth so I'm still not sure. By six months old I knew Timmy was left handed and Natalie was right handed.

~ He still talks like a toddler at times. He's got a super cute way of saying certain words, like "blacelet" for bracelet, "ploblem" for problem, and his r sound is still a w sound. So cute.

~ He learned how to ride a bike without trainings wheels at just 3.5 years old - way ahead of the other two which totally surprised me! Tim and Nat were both four, but closer to five when they learned. He's quite athletic already, just like both of his siblings and his dad. Definitely doesn't get it from me!

~ He is slowly learning how to sign all of the letters of the alphabet. I figured if he loves to use his hands so much, he should do something useful with his quirks :) We'll soon be working on some other basic signs.

~ He is a big time hugger and snuggler. He loves to be cuddled.

That's about all I can think of right now. I'm just proud of the cutie pie he is and how he is totally unique. There's not a single kid out there like him!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

What's Going On

It's been awhile again, as I tend to with blogging...

Last we left off, my anxiety was through the roof. While I'd like to report that all is well, I can't - BUT I can tell you that my anxiety has greatly improved. I'm surrounded by amazing friends who do nothing but encourage me, support me, and build me up. I am so grateful for my "Brain Trust" and the ways they make me laugh,make me feel better, and pretty much just surround me with light and love. Of course I can't leave out my husband who has had to deal with my insanity over the last couple months :)

Life has gotten away with me. We had an amazing trip over spring break to TN and GA that I intended to blog about, and may still do. Timothy started soccer a few weeks ago and LOVES it. The Boy eats, sleeps, breathes soccer. He is definitely his father's son. He is naturally athletic and just can't get enough. Baby Girl has been doing amazing with her reading and does so well. She LOVES school and is sad that it's ending in a month. She adores her teacher and has made so many wonderful friends that I know she will miss over the summer. Thankfully her best friend's mom is part of my brain trust so they can't escape each other, haha. Sammy is growing fast and at three years old is the youngest of my three to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels! For a kid that does everything last minute, I can say I am overly impressed with how quickly he caught on to riding a bike.

I never in my life imagined how busy I'd be as a technical SAHM. Monday is basically the only day I have to myself at the moment, and when I say "to myself" I mean me and Sam. We're a team. But my gigs are winding down as well and I'm sad. I love the kids at Mars and at LaGrave. I will miss them over the summer and I really hope I will see them all again in the fall. I also love the relationships I've built with Kathy, Lynn, Sher, Jo, and Julie (my partners in crime, ROFL) as we've calmed the chaos.

Things haven't been completely easy with the kids, though. Timmy went through an anxious time while Chris was gone in NYC for work and Natalie is going through an intense phase of emotional distress which causes everyone in the house to be knocked for a loop. We are working through it and I know we'll come out on the other end in a better place. Until then, keep pulling for us! As for my husband and my brain trust (you know who you are!), keep praying, sending love and light, and buy me rolos. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

When did this happen?

When I was a kid, I never wanted to have kids. My mom did in-home daycare and I was constantly surrounded by children. When I was little, it was so much fun to have lots of friends come over and play with me all day, but I grew up and the children all stayed little. It wasn't as much fun being 10, 11, 12, and having my house filled with four year olds. I'd hide out in my room and felt trapped by the chaos. Sometimes I'd get stuck helping out and having to sacrifice my time to play with the kids outside so that my mom could rock the baby or get snacks prepared. Don't get me wrong, some of those kids became like siblings to me and I still have a relationship with them now that we are adults. I've watched so many children grow up and I loved them like they were family - BUT I was a kid and being surrounded by kids and taking away my mom's attention, you know how it goes. 

Even as I got older, I never really had that maternal instinct or desire to be around kids. Sure, I loved my nieces and nephews, but I was so glad that I could give them back. I have to admit, when my nephew Peter was born, I didn't hold him until he was 6 months old. I've never been one to baby talk to a kid. Me? When my nephew Ryan was born, I held him in the hospital and told him I was going to teach him about tornadoes and other cool things. I may not have ever taught Ryan about tornadoes, but he and I are quite a lot alike with our interests - similar tastes in music and humor and it's been one of the ways I could bond with him as he grew up. With Alex, I didn't really sit and do kid stuff with her. Instead, she'd come over for the weekend and I taught her how to play Monopoly. We take walks together, watch movies together, and I pretty much made her my best friend by acting like she was an adult instead of a kid. Now that she is an adult (AN ADULT!? SERIOUSLY!?) we've never had to go through that awkward shift of 'you're not a kid anymore' - our conversations have stayed the same, and we both laugh at totally dumb things like we always did (I've never really been good at being an adult anyway). 

Then this crazy, insane thing happened. I got married and within a year I was pregnant with our first child. Something totally weird happened inside of me and I somehow knew how to take care of my kid when he was born. Then I had another kid. And another. Then my kids got into school and started making friends. I started getting involved with their classes and becoming friends with their friends' parents. During Timmy's second year of preschool we started having play dates with various friends, some of whom are still my closest friends. I started helping with class parties, etc. I used to say "how in the world can anyone be a teacher, I'd die being surrounded by kids all day." 

And then a couple years ago I started working childcare at my aunt's church once a week. The group was small, but I loved the kids I had and I started getting to know these children for more than just "another kid" and I loved them like my own. I came back for another year and continued to watch these sweet kids grow. I loved it so much that when I saw my own church was looking for help on Wednesday mornings, I realized it was perfect for me. The group I have there is very different than my LaGrave group. First, there are a LOT of kids there. Second, I had to get to know the person who would be running the room with me. My "partner" at LaGrave - we bonded instantly. She's a bit older than me, but we are kindred spirits. She's easy to talk to and we do a lot of laughing. She LOVES my kids, even Timmy, and she's never even met him. So I was a little nervous to meet the person I'd be doing childcare with at Mars. Turns out, she's great! We work so well together - she is firm yet loving with the kids, and like normal, I tend to be the one who does the snuggling and comforting. We end each time with book time and I play little guessing games with them and I am getting to know this group of crazy, funny, sweet 3-5 year olds. 

So I thought, why not add another day of the week to spending time with more kids? Today I met my new group of kids at LaGrave - and it's specifically a moms group, so we have A LOT of kids - and you know what? I love them!! They range in age from a few months old to nearly 5. I also met the other caregivers and again - bonded! We all have our strengths and talents and it naturally just fell into place what our "duties" would be. I spent a lot of time just kind of moving from group of kids to group of kids and making sure everyone was happy. I read some books to Mariel, the one little girl I've known for a year and a half now, and got to know some of the kids by playing with them. I also got some baby snuggles! I LIVE for baby snuggles!! 

Did I mention I also volunteer in Timmy's 1st grade class every Tuesday morning? I am getting to know his friends and all the kids in the class and I love it! Smart, funny kids that give me hugs when I leave and their faces light up when they see me come in. I really feel like I missed my calling and I hate that I didn't discover how much I love spending time with kids until now. Then I sit back and I think, maybe there's a reason it took this long - God was waiting until I was ready for it. He needed me to work out some issues and to learn and grow as a parent before sharing my gift of caring for kids. 

And maybe the apple didn't fall as far as I thought when it comes to me and my mom - because if there's one thing my mom was awesome at, it was caring for kids. 

Monday, February 16, 2015


I might just be coming out of this month long dark tunnel of anxiety. Slowly, very slowly, but surely. The weekend was nice and easy for me, mostly. A few moments of anxiety tummy and some crazy moodswings where I go from happy mom to pissed off mom in 2.5 seconds. I'm working on it. I've been taking relaxing baths and have had a bit more of an appetite again (I can tell because I instantly gained back the three pounds I lost. BAH!).

We welcomed a beautiful new family member into our home on Friday (2.13.2015). His name is Lennon Fitness and he (she? We don't actually know) is a Ball Python. He's adjusting really well to his new home and we were learning each others' tricks. We are both getting more and more comfortable with each other - I let him crawl up my arm and wrap around for a bit this afternoon. Before anyone freaks out, he doesn't squeeze! It's more of a loose bracelet type hold that he does. I think it's more for his comfort and stability than actually trying to "constrict." He has never at all even come close to looking like he's wanted to bite me or the kids even when they are swarming him to give him attention and snuggles. (Yes, he is a snuggly snake!). He is around a year old judging by his size which is about 18-24" long.

The kids don't have school today, but we're making the best of it. We took a drive for trains today and not only did we catch a train, but we found two! Very exciting day :) Now we're hanging out - Nat is watching Spy Kids and the boys made hideouts for themselves. I got Timmy's haircut and picked up a heat mat for Lennon and a bigger water dish for him to be able to go in to lounge if he so chooses.

Thanks again to everyone for has stuck by me while I lost my mind. It's not back, but at least I've adjusted to the lack of sanity.

Friday, February 13, 2015

My Best Buddy

First, I want to thank everyone for their kind words on FB, in the comments, and in messages. I know so many people struggle with anxiety, depression, etc and if there wasn't such a stigma surrounding these disorders, more people would be willing to discuss their battles. I guess I'm just at the point where I can't hide it anymore. Writing has always been my outlet and maybe through my writing I can not only work through my own issues, but others might feel they can as well.

Now, on to My Best Buddy. That would be my Sammy. He's 3.5 now and for awhile we've always just called each other Best Buddy. He's been by my side since he was born unlike his older siblings, he's spent much of his toddler (and older) years having a lot of one on one time with me because the other two are in school. Timmy only had 17 months to himself before he had to share me. Natalie never got that time because Sammy came along when she was 22 months old. But Sammy has been enjoying one on one time with me since he was two, even if it was only for a few mornings a week. But now he has all day every day with me and we do everything together. He's my "baby" and I do a lot of talking to him throughout the day. Sometimes we talk about kitties and birdies and other times we talk about why we feel sad or why we feel angry or happy or upset, pretty much how I'm feeling on any given day because when my shadow is with me, I can't hide anything.

I woke up with anxiety tummy today, as I have for the last month. I'm at the end of my rope with this and I just can't do it anymore. After my shower this morning, I sat down on the steps and cried. Sammy was downstairs riding his bike and I heard him come running upstairs. He sits down with me, looks worried, and says, "Mommy, you crying?" He looks like he's about to cry too and says, "You have a tummy ache? I hug you. I make you feel better." We snuggle and he says, "Mommy, you feel better now?" And you know what? I do. My tummy isn't as anxious as it was before. I think I might even feel a little bit hungry, which I haven't really felt true hunger in days.

My Best Buddy is an amazing little person. He's already in tune to how people are feeling and wants to make people feel better. In fact, all of my kids are this way and I think it's because of all the people in the world I don't hide my feelings from, it's them. They've seen me at my worst - when I've been so mad over the littlest things where I have thrown toys and cursed and yelled and totally lost it in front of them - but then when I'm done, we all sit down and talk about it. I apologize for how I acted, explain how I was feeling and that it was NOT them and that sometimes I have very little control over how my body reacts to things. Other times they've seen me so down that I sit and cry for an hour. During that time my sweet little people rally around me and snuggle with me and draw me pictures and hug me and tell me they love me. My children are my support system and I can't imagine them not being with me. I'm only admitting this for the reason I stated above - I can't be the only one who has totally lost it on their kids and I can't be the only one who is an emotional wreck in front of their kids. It's how we work through it with our kids after all is said and done that is important. I am never afraid to apologize to my kids for things I have said and done around them or to them. I let them ask me any questions they want and I will always answer them honestly. I don't baby talk to my children and I don't blow smoke up their butts. For this, my children are incredibly in tune with their own feelings, and with people around them. In their short lives they've had to witness much more than most people have in their entire lives and they will continue to learn about other real life issues as they grow (not all including me, and honestly, this isn't an all the time thing. MOST of the time I'm a normal boring adult who wants to just sit and veg out in front of the TV and feed my kids mac n cheese.)

Anyway, so there's that. Just opening up here. I'm owning it. I'm owning my imperfections and my struggles. I am not going to hide anymore. I am going to force myself to be happy and to put myself out there and it's not to be faking it til I make it anymore. It's going to be because sitting at home feeling like crap is not going to change anything. I want to feel better and I want to get past this, so the only thing I can do is try. I remember a very early episode of The Simpsons - Lisa Gets the Blues. At the end of the episode, Marge has Lisa force a smile. Later Marge realizes she was wrong to make Lisa force herself to smile, but at the same time Lisa ended up feeling like smiling because she did. So it's a little bit of both - you don't have to fake your feelings, but trying to feel better just might work.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Very Personal Look at Anxiety & Panic

Hi. My name is Liza and I suffer from Anxiety.

No, I'm not just saying "oh, I'm feeling anxious today."

Yes, I do mean suffer.

For the last month or so, I have been dealing with nonstop anxiety and daily panic attacks. Unless you have ever had a very real panic attack or deal with long term anxiety, you might think that this post is a garbage or that I'm exaggerating, but for those of us who suffer from GAD, this post is just a taste of what I have been dealing with for the last few weeks, and on and off throughout my entire life.

Every day - EVERY DAY - for the last month I have had "Anxiety Tummy" - a ball in my stomach that just won't go away. I have no appetite, my stomach and guts are all sorts of messed up, and I just feel sick and nauseous all day long. Quite often this leads into a full panic attack, which is not the same as anxiety, but the two quite often go hand-in-hand.

A few weeks ago, Buzzfeed posted a video describing what a panic attack feels like. While there are moments in the video that do accurately describe a panic attack, I highly recommend reading the comments instead for a true description. Some of the commenters describe the video as "a panic attack on Ambien" and I very much agree. And to be honest, I hate how the video ends with "but it passes" as if it's just that simple. It's not.

Let me describe, as best as I can, what a panic attack is like for me. It quite often starts with a racing heart - pounding so hard I can feel it in my throat and I get concerned that maybe it's not panic and maybe I am having a heart attack. I break out in a rash across my face and chest. My body itches from head to toe. My hands and feet tingle and quite often go completely numb. I can't focus on anything visually and my head is in a fog. I attempt to function normally while repeating to myself "this will pass, this will pass" but it's not uncommon for me to walk into a room and have no idea when or why I walked in there. I try to focus on my breathing, but no matter how hard I try to slow it down or to slow my heart down, it just doesn't happen. My chest hurts. My head hurts. My throat feels like it's closing. This lasts for HOURS, friends. This isn't just a "oh hey, I just had a panic attack, glad that passed." No, for me, this will start at any time, usually with no real trigger, and it will last at the very least for an hour, but sometimes all day long.

Chances are, for those of you who have seen me in the last month, you have seen me while I've been smack dab in the middle of a panic attack, or at least struggling with anxiety tummy. I've been doing a really good job at "faking it til I make it." Sometimes that's what you have to do in order to survive day to day life. It's very much an hour by hour thing for me right now.

I've always been someone who worries about everything and stews about stuff. Why did he say that? Did I do that wrong? Is she mad at me? Why didn't this person call me back? Why didn't he answer the phone? Why is she calling me? It's never just "oh, oops, I made a mistake, I'll move on." No. For me, it's "OH MY GOSH HOW COULD I HAVE DONE THAT?" and then I spend an entire day beating the crap out of myself. I'm so hard on myself and can't ever just move on. I dwell on everything. I'm not an easy person to be around lately, so I am grateful for the friends and family that do take the time to be with me right now. I need it. I need people to talk to and distractions.

I saw my counselor today for the first time in a year. I'm going back in two weeks. It's a start. In the meantime, I am doing my best to find the best coping methods. I take lots of baths and listen to my favorite music. I sit down with a nice smelling candle and do my puzzle books. I snuggle with my kids (even though the anxiety has made me a pretty impatient and hard to deal with Mommy). I watch Impractical Jokers and laugh as much as I can. When I'm laughing, I can't feel anxiety tummy.

There is so much more I'd like to say about this, but I can't get any of it out in a way that makes any sense at all, so I'll just say this is an introduction. I know I've talked about anxiety before, and discussed my experience with PPD and other things before, so this isn't new. I just needed to kinda throw it out that that when you ask me if I'm okay, and I say "yes" and I seem super upbeat, I'm totally full of it right now, but please just take it for what it is because I am trying. And really, I have had some really good days in the last month - I treasure them. It usually means I actually slept well the night before. Two nights ago I was up at 2am. For the day. Woot.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far :)