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Anxiety and all her friends

Anxiety and all her friends

With anxiety, you’re pretty damn sure something is wrong. Something has happened. Or is going to happen. Or you did something wrong. Or you will. Or there will be too many people looking at you. Or no one will ever notice you. Or.. or… or. It can be never ending and it really is so hard to function like this. To find your center and do what you have to do.

I was trying to describe panic disorder & anxiety to a high school friend of mine and it really is tough if they haven’t been through it. They can have sympathy and support you but unless you’ve been through it, it’s so hard to really understand how helpless you feel. In panic mode, your mind and body are screaming that something is wrong. It’s like fight or flight has been kicked into high gear without warning for no apparent reason and you can’t shut it off. No amount of “It’s okay” or “You’re fine” or “Try to relax” sentiments makes the panic go away.

Trust me. I’ve been there. I still go there. I’ve gained friends who get it. I’ve lost friends because of it. (“You’re too needy.” Or “I can’t go through this with you again every few months.“) But it’s not a choice to have anxiety. You do have a choice in how you can help yourself.

Show up. That’s all. Just show up for yourself every day. Say “I am going to get up, get dressed, and maybe I’ll go do something that scares me a little.” You might only reach the “Get up” part but you showed up for yourself. That is a step in the right direction! Show up. Tell yourself at least once a day something good. Just a nugget. It doesn’t cure things but it doesn’t hurt. I don’t know anyone who has said, “I’ve had an awful day. I’ve just had too many positive thoughts.

And remember, especially in that heightened state of anxiety that this is temporary. It’s just some stupid thing your brain does to lie to you and freak you out. And it works. But it won’t always. And you won’t always feel this way. And in that moment, know you are not alone. There are a lot of us carrying a lot of anxiety. Anxiety that has kept us away from friends, family, events, parties…life. We get it. Baby steps and you’ll get out of this scary, dark place. I promise.

Another year older. It’s time to be wiser.

Another year older. It’s time to be wiser.

This year’s birthday hit differently. So much has happened in the last year and a half and I am flat out tired. I finally came to that breaking point where, to paraphrase a quote by Maya Angelo, I belong everywhere and no where. I’m not looking for belonging in everyone else anymore. Even though I so often feel like I’m standing alone, I know it’s something I have to do. Someone, somewhere will say something to remind me that I’m strong and loving and I’m not alone but I no longer need them to confirm that. I can be surrounded by people I love who love me and yet I’m learning I don’t feel the need to seek validation from them to know that I’m worthy.

This next year I have goals for myself. Things I need to do to live life with a wild open heart.

I’m going to love with no expectations.

I’m going to be fierce but I’ll be kind.

I’m going to be tougher yet I’ll still be tender with everyone I come across.

I’m going to be open to people who come into my life. I will soften my heart and be better to those who choose to stay in my life. I will throw my arms open wide and love wholeheartedly those who return to my life. And I shall guard my heart with cautious optimism but never shutting it off to the love and possibilities of good friends, new experiences, and the hope of second chances.

This is the year I’m going to live as I should’ve been living for a long time now. I’ve lost so much in the past few years. Friends. Opportunities. My sister was obviously the worst to knock me off my feet. I’ve faced loss before. The “they’ve left your life by choice but are still around” loss but I’ve had forever loses too. I know the loss of losing a baby. I know the loss of losing my Mom. And now I know the loss of losing my sister. I’ve always leaned on friends for each of those.

I think the loss of my sister is what opened my eyes to how truly alone I am and threw me into the deepest of depressions. I wasn’t surrounded by friends when she died. I’ve lost most of them. Some because my depression kept me from being better at keeping in touch. Some chose to move on. Some I guess just “weren’t that into me” as they say. I’ve never needed a tight-knit group of friends like I did then. And I didn’t have it anymore. And I broke. I shut down. A year and a half later and my therapist and I are just now beginning to deal with the loss of my sister. I am just that good at shoving trauma down deep enough to not consciously feel it. I’ve never known how to do it alone. I still don’t know how to do it alone but I’m learning how when I have to and also (and this is the hardest) trying to learn how to ask for help. That last one is a bitch when you don’t know who to ask. But it’s time. Picking myself up sucks. It hurts. I will learn how to do this while I keep an open heart. But, damn, pulling yourself out of quicksand without a rope isn’t easy.

But this is my birthday gift to myself. I’m taking this year by the [fill in your word of choice] and remembering not only who I am but what I can and should do to make myself happy. This year I will do what I can to be a better me. Part of that has to do with you.

If I ever told you you’re my friend, you still have a place in my heart. Say hi. Kick me and remind me not to disappear.

If I’ve ever told you I love you, I still love you. I may be afraid that too much time and life has passed to reconnect but know you’re still in my heart and I’d be overjoyed if we did reconnect.

If I’ve ever sat with you and laughed or cried or both, I miss that. Can we do it again?

I suppose in this new year of being older and becoming wiser what I’m trying to say is… I need you. I really do.

And that’s not as scary to say as it used to be but it’s also terrifying.

Here’s what I am going to do. It’s my new project for myself for the year. I’m going to snail mail everyone I hear from at the very least a letter. If you want to reconnect, connect, or just see if I’ll follow through, drop me a comment. Either here or on Instagram. Who knows what else. If only a few reply, I might learn to crochet and make you a whole blanket. (But I really hope more than a few of you do! I am not very good at crocheting.)

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to do this damn thing.

I hope you’ll join me!

Missing my Mom and hoping she would be proud of me

Missing my Mom and hoping she would be proud of me

Not a day goes by when I don’t think of and miss my Mom. Sometimes the grief still sneaks up on me in an overwhelming way and comes pouring out of my eyes. Take today for example. Gabby and I were talking about a movie sequel/ prequel and I casually said, ” But I don’t want her mom to die.” Boom! Before I knew it, the tears were streaming down my cheeks.

It still doesn’t make sense to my heart how I can live in a world where my Mom doesn’t exist. It just doesn’t work right. I still need her. I will always need her.

January 6th is the anniversary of her passing.

Passing. That sounds so easy. She passed. No. Just no. She was ripped from this world and left a void that can never be filled. Longing for her words or hugs never to receive them. Advice I need but will never get. Adventures we were supposed to share that never happened. Grandkids that are pretty damn awesome that will never know for themselves how amazing and hilarious their grandma was. She didn’t pass. She was brutally ripped away by a disease that is cruel and terrifying and one that is considered the “sister” to mine. In some ways that has helped me understand her in ways I couldn’t when she was alive. How’s that for a ironically sick twist?

Oh God I miss my Mom. My heart just does not understand. Time doesn’t make it easier. It just changes things. But the pain stays. The longing that I have no idea how to put into words but tugs at me in a relentless and unyielding way stays. Some days it rips my heart out through my tear ducts before I even realize it’s happening.

Damn. I just wish she was here to see my kids and to see who her baby girl has become. I hope she’d be proud of me as a mother. That’s my heart. I wish she knew me now.

I love you, Mom.

Hey BlogHer12 – This is mah face! Also known as do not pretend you don’t know me because now you’ve read this and you do.

Hey BlogHer12 – This is mah face! Also known as do not pretend you don’t know me because now you’ve read this and you do.

So there is a fun series of blog posts going around so that BlogHer attendees can maybe recognize a face in among the 4000 other women there. So, I am all about jumping in for a good cause. That cause being I don’t want people to ignore me. And, so you will recognize the many faces of Jenn.

Me chilled and just being there with a smile (also known as “Where I am and what’s happening?“) This is the look you will see most often. That and me laughing.


This is me laughing with friends.


This is me in my new glasses from Rivet & Sway.


This is me looking at you and thinking, “Wait. What?”


Now, if you see me like this it means I have my sock bun in my hair, no make-up and probably no coffee. So if I seem really out of it or dumb, again…NO COFFEE. Just back away and wave and you should be save. *Note: The exception to this is if it is really late at night. In that case, I am about to go to bed. But it is still probably best to just wave.


This is me after I have found my beloved coffee and all is right with the world:

So come say hi to me!

Also, I’ll probably be seen with these two a lot: Say hi to Liz and Elizabeth, too.

Matilda knows all

Matilda knows all

I have been having a blast test driving a Ford Taurus X. I adore the navigation system. As I was driving to a movie with my kids yesterday, I decided to program the theater into the navigation system to see if she (yes, the navigation system is a ‘she’ not an ‘it’) knew where we were going. Suddenly, I looked at my son and exclaimed, “I cannot take directions from someone I don’t know. We must name her.”

That of course resulted in an enormous eye-roll.

“Nancy. Nancy Navigator. Nah. Too easy to go there. Won’t work.”

*eyeroll* and a *head shake* “Seriously, Mom?”

“Betty. But Betty what? I don’t have anything for Betty. Nah. Nope. Not Betty.”

“Hey, I liked Betty. Let’s use Betty.”

“I have it!” I exclaimed. “Matilda. Matilda Mapsie. Her name is Matilda Mapsie.”

“Mom, that sounds like a 70 year-old hooker’s name.”

That is when I laughed so hard, I slammed the vehicle into a lamp post and we all were crushed. Okay, that last part didn’t happen. But, the comment. The comment was made.

“Oh, son, you’ve sealed the deal. Her name is SO Matilda now.”

From that point on the rest of the day were comments such as:

“My 70 year-old hooker said to turn here.”
“Hey, Matilda says she wants to stop off and grab some smokes and hit the bar.”
“Oooops, Matilda got that one turn wrong. Must’ve been out too late last night.”

I am SO going to have a blast beating this dead horse 70 year-old hooker.

‘Defences of my memo.’

‘Defences of my memo.’

Lindsay over at Suburban Turmoil had a post a while back that showed what her name is in an anagram here. It turns out that MY name in anagram form is “threat finest injure bed wetter‘? The hell? I am SO not a bed wetter! I can be a threat. I can be the finest. And yes, I can injure you. But I take exception to the whole bed wetter thing. Rude!

However, if you anagram Mommy Needs Coffee you get: Defences of my memo. Now, I can like them again.

I did some of my friends names and laughed at how some were too accurate. NOT mine, though. Remember that.

Did I mention that I have a lot to do and therefore am playing on Facebook and blogging and getting to know Second Life. (Read about that new fun on Aggroqueen.)

A friend and local blogger, Niihaus, is back to blogging. I heart her so much that I stalked her for a while. I don’t think that is why she went offline, but I told her I would back off a bit on the stalking is she would meet me for lunch. I will be sitting outside her blog waiting.

Oh, and the whole iPhone thing? So not into it. If my phone rings when someone calls me and I can answer it (after finding it), then I am good. No need to iPhone me up. UNLESS of course Apple wants to send me a free iPhone to demo. Then I am all about it! Go iPhone.

And to keep my blog pretty, I offer you another vacation photo of where I want to be now. Though the weather is currently looking about the same here as it was there, the view is not anything as awesome. I miss the beach.

I would rather view a storm at the beach than at home.