A Run a Day, Keeps a “Bad Day” Away

I am having somewhat of a difficult time today.  During this process (of overcoming social anxiety disorder) I have days that I would consider “bad days”.  It’s generally something that tips me off, or sometimes I just wake up with a sense of sadness.  It’s hard to explain.  When I spoke with my cognitive behavioral therapist last year (I miss her Sad smile), she asked me if I was depressed, I remember saying, “Nooo. No, I’m definitely not depressed.”  It’s a standard question she asks all her patients, but for some reason I got really anxious that maybe she saw something in me that made her worry.  I felt like there was this stigma that came along with the word “depression” and I didn’t want to be associated with it.  

I would now like to openly admit to the world (hi, world!) that I have depressive days.  Not every day.  I just get in a weird funk and it’ll just stick around all day long.  No matter how hard I try to cheer up, nothing works.  It’s weird how quickly I can go from being excited about the day to being melancholy, but I can’t somehow reverse the process as easily.

Social anxiety really affects my everyday life.  It doesn’t just have to be when I’m surrounded by people.  You see, social anxiety affects your thoughts..and it doesn’t really discriminate.  All thoughts are subject to false and irrational ideology.  Sometimes I just want to sleep the day away so that I can keep my thoughts at bay. 

These are the overwhelming thoughts that are floating through my head today (rational and irrational as they may be):

  • I look around me and realize how much easier it is for others to form tight friendships and become part of groups in such a short amount of time.  People will say that they think I’m ‘so nice’ or ‘so this or that’, but then X and I will never hear from them again.  Maybe we’re boring?  Maybe we’re not funny?  Maybe we’re offensive?  Or annoying?  I thought we were somewhat in a group, but they all planned a weekend trip and we didn’t get an invitation.  Bummer. 
  • I wish I was like everyone else.  They all have ambition and a goal.  I feel like I have the ambition, but I don’t have a goal.  Being trapped in this mindset makes me feel like I’m the only one my age who is lost and unsure of where to go. I feel like I’m so ready to put all my energy into something but I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what that is.
  • I feel overwhelmed with everything.  I feels almost as if I have this long list of things I need to do and I keep starting all of them but never finishing any one item. 

There are so many more thoughts going through my mind, but I’m finding that writing them all out is mentally exhausting and I really need to just get my mind off of everything.  I might sit down later and utilize what I learned in cognitive behavioral therapy to combat these thoughts.  Or maybe I’ll go for a run – the endorphins really get some happy thoughts flowing.  Plus, I’ll have something to be proud of today.  Wilted rose

I’m not sure if it’s social anxiety or if I’m just being sensitive today, but it feels so weird to vent all this with no one really listening.  Anyway, I hope to post a more uplifting post later!  Smile

xoxo, SAButterfly

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Time Flies..when you’ve got 80’s music and running mojo

I don’t know where time goes, but I find myself surprised whenever a new week has started.  This is probably because I’m unemployed and the days start morphing together into one giant day and then I can’t tell where one day ends and the next one begins. 

Nice run-on sentence, SAButterfly. 

How about I recap the weekend?  I went on my first visit to Lake Tahoe for some skiing – well, really it became a trip to Tahoe for some drinking, but who’s checking? Winking smile  The skiing conditions were straight up horrible.  The kind where all the snow melts during the day and then freezes into slick ice overnight.  Yeah, needless to say, my rookie ass didn’t go anywhere near that mountain.  The weekend was fun nonetheless.  We were in a pretty awesome house with four other couples who we don’t know very well, so it was a good way to get me out of my comfort zone. 

The 80’s Prom we attended definitely helped. Party smile

My true colors shine through when the music comes on and I can dance the night away (and avoid conversation?).    I think I need to get over the idea that I’m boring because I end up feeling like I have nothing to talk about.  Which really just means I need to find cool things to do (hobbies, a JOB??!!, etc.).  

Which brings me to my half marathon training. 

A friend of mine helped reinvigorate my running mojo and ran with me (twice!) last week. I didn’t think I’d like running with a partner because I felt pressure to keep up, etc. But her and I run at a similar pace and I actually really enjoyed it.

Due to hangovers and dangerous road conditions, I didn’t get my long run in this weekend and made myself do it today instead.  I ran 5.2 miles at a 9:46min/mi pace!  I am pumped!  I know it’s not the most impressive pace, but since I haven’t really ran in almost two years I can’t help but be excited that I’m picking up where I left off (pace-wise, definitely not distance-wise).  I ran my first halfie two years ago with a time of 2:13:13 – around a 10min/mile.  Time to push myself to make my goal happen.  Maybe sub-2 halfie is a bit lofty, but I think there’s something to the whole “shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars” bit.  I mean – even if I don’t reach my sub-2:00 goal, I’ll still have finished a halfie (even if I have to crawl across the finish line)!  Right?

xoxo, SAButterfly

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Lists: My Anti-Drug

I don’t know who I’ve become, but I’m certain that I don’t look, act or even feel like I’m 27.  Most 27 year olds are out working hard, making income, and are just generally productive human beings.  I have aspirations of being productive again.

The days I wake up and get cracking on my “to-do” list (they come few and far between).. those are my favorite days.  To achieve this feeling of accomplishment, I have decided to make this my new list of goals:

Winking smile

While dance, music, exercising, etc. are some of my favorite things on the planet, nothing leaves me as proud and excited as the days when I have accomplished most of the things on my to-do list.  Those are the days, that when X walks through the door, I won’t stop talking about everything I’ve done.  That’s why when he comes home and I’m not a bundle of crazy, he’ll always ask “So, how was your day? What did you do?”  He knows I won’t have a lot to say and I think it’s his way of reminding me how much I love to get out and just. Do. Something. Anything.  And probably also his way of telling me to get a job.  Embarrassed smile

It’s like crossing off items on a list is my anti-drug. You know those commercials? “Dance: it’s my anti-drug”.

I love making lists and crossing things off of them.  It’s so fun, in fact, that sometimes I’ll even add something to the list that I’ve already completed (and hadn’t been on my list originally), just so that I can cross it off.  What?  People don’t do that?  Weird.  Nerd smile

With that being said, it is now 2pm and I’ve accomplished nothing.  I have 3 more hours before X gets home and I’d like to have an answer when he asks me what I’ve done all day!

SAButterfly

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Lemonade, Anyone?

This weekend was fun – X and I went for a run with another couple.  It was fun and if you knew X at all, you’d realize that yesterday was his first time running without some sort of ball involved (bball, football, soccer, etc).  He did so great!  Never mind the times we got distracted and stopped along the way…like the open house for the $2.3M home we decided to check out.  Despite looking like sweaty, disheveled messes (not to mention, a bit too young to afford it), the real estate agent encouraged us to take a look around the place.

I’ve slowly but surely began working on my goals from last week.  I have since began running/training for a half marathon.  But, my self-motivation is still at an all-time low.  Moving to the other side of the country has definitely left me backtracking on my progress.  It’s really frustrating moving to a place where I have no friends or family..well, except X.  I’m grateful to have him, but he’s busy with grad school.

I really need to make an effort to meet new people and most importantly be myself around them.  I’ve found it so hard to be myself and even when I feel like I am, it seems to backfire.  The problem with having SAD is that you end up conjuring up strange misconceived notions.  I end up leaving every conversation and replaying how it went and being keenly observant of any negative signs I may have received from the other person.

I don’t think they liked me very much.

Well, that was awkward.

Apparently no one gets my sense of humor.

Why do I talk SO much?

Why did I barely say a word??

If I had a dime for every similar thought I’ve had…well, then I’d be buying that home we stumbled upon yesterday.  So…who wants to start pledging some dimes to the cause? Winking smile  After all, you know what they say..

No? Oh.  Well, anyway, I’m off to drink some lemonade!

SAButterfly

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Social Anxiety Disorder

I had heard the term “social anxiety disorder” at one point or another and it just popped into my head one random afternoon and I felt compelled to research the term and see if there was something to this so-called revelation. I cannot begin to describe to you the emotions I felt as I read the key signs seen in someone with social anxiety disorder.

Social Anxiety Disorder (S.A.D.): anxiety in social situations, fear of being embarrassed, avoidance of situations where they may be the center of attention, etc etc etc. The geniuses at WebMD had plenty to say about me. And this was. ME. To a T!

After that, I sought out treatment at a local university and went through cognitive behavorial therapy (CBT) and it really helped a lot. It’s not something I think will ever be fully corrected, but when I think back to the person I was in elementary school and the person who has improved every year since, I am proud and confident that I’ll one day be more comfortable in my skin.

So, enough of the serious talk.  I want to use this blog to not only work through my social anxiety issues, but also to explore my other interests that I’ve been too afraid pursue before.  Always finding excuses.  So!  Want to know what my plans are for the next month?  Well, I’m gonna tell you anyway!

1. take a photography class – research and pick one within the next three weeks

  • post pictures online, put myself out there for criticism (which is difficult for me). Participate in a photo sharing project.

2. train for another half marathon, but this time I want to be diligent about it.

  • I have a goal of a sub-2 hour half marathon.  Last time, my goal was to “just finish” and I think that made it easy for me to slack off.  I’ll post my training schedule and update my progress on that plan!

3. begin the steps to get a job out here – It’s been 6 months since I’ve moved out here and I’ve been too afraid to apply.  I’ve definitely regressed a bit with the SAD progress I had made in therapy since moving out here to a new place full of new people.

  • Apply to at least 5 jobs this week.  Look into applying for a degree program – research a few different fields to go into.

4. work on making friends

  • Reach out to people more.  Initiate conversations.  CALL, don’t just hide behind texts.  Once a week at least, call someone and invite them out or see if they want to get together.  This will be the toughest one  for me.

Alright, blog, I’m counting on you to keep me in check!!  I think these goals are a solid start.   Hopefully not too ambitious.  Let’s DO DIS!

LEEEEROY JENKINS!

I mean..

SAButterfly 🙂

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An Epiphany

Just a few weeks shy of my 25th birthday, I found myself involuntarily unemployed.  I was partially relieved, but to be honest, mostly devastated, as I walked home on what ended up being my last day on the job.  I went into work that morning thinking I’d be doing the same thing the very next day.  I probably shouldn’t have been all that surprised.  But, I was.

I didn’t take the layoff well at all. That night as I sat on my couch with X (my fiance) on what was supposed to be our 8th anniversary celebration, I cried hysterically until I could not shed any more tears.. any more energy.. and passed out.  I think I cried for a week straight after that. Then I reluctantly mustered the energy and motivation to retake the final part of the CPA that had kept eluding me.

I think more than being upset at myself, I was embarrassed. Was I not smart enough to handle the job? Would my colleagues think I was an idiot? Was this due to my bad first week at the office? Did everyone know about it?  It was a small office after all.  Or was it due to lack of work available, like my boss had told me when he sat me down in his office to give me the news?  I spent the majority of my 2 1/2 months at my new office being unassigned and having no work to do at all.  But still, all I could see when I closed my eyes (and even now – two years later – when I think back on this moment) were the rows of people watching me as I made my way, with the boss of bosses, down to the HR rep who was waiting for me at the end of the hall. The scene replayed over and over in my mind. I could so vividly imagine the look on peoples’ faces as they watched me walk down what felt like death row.  Some looks of disbelief..some looks of.. pity?  This.was.my.nightmare.

I devoted the following weeks to retaking the dreaded portion of the exam I had failed and put off finding a job.  Then, you know, it was time for all the holidays – Thanksgiving.. Christmas.. New Year’s. “Companies don’t hire this time of year anyway, right?”, I’d say. Then I was “soul searching” because I didn’t think I’d found my life’s calling in accounting.  Then I wanted to run a half marathon.  Then I decided I hadn’t traveled enough….and before I knew it TEN months had gone by and I hadn’t begun to apply for any jobs.

I thought long and hard about being laid off from work. How could this be? I always prided myself on trying to be perfect. And here I was… failing. I’ve never failed at anything. And as I reflected more and more, I realized that not only did things at work the past few months lead me to this moment, but I could easily think back as far as my earliest memories as a small girl too afraid to take on the world. Of course I’ve never failed at anything in my life. I had never really even let myself attempt anything in the first place.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”  Wise man, that Wayne Gretsky.

This may sound cliche, but as I sat around wasting another day, I had an epiphany.

I realized that there was something within me that was avoiding rejection – something I’ve actually carried with me for as long as I could remember.  For the prior ten months I had been avoiding being incompetent at another job. Terrified of another layoff.  But this wasn’t new to me at all!  I had done this with every aspect of my life.  I legitimately was just sitting there in front of my computer when suddenly I found myself frantically googling the term “social anxiety disorder”.

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