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Party House

Sack Up, Ho

Okay, so first of all, wait, hold up, everybody shut up for a minute. I am so deeply grateful to everybody who took the time to comment, email, or message me yesterday. It was all a bit overwhelming (although to be fair, right now everything is overwhelming, including getting out of bed and/or composing a meal more complicated than several sticks of string cheese), but it was overwhelming in a good, kind, warm-hug sort of way. I struggle more these days with how honest/confessional I should be online, now that I have at least one foot in a more professional realm, albeit one where everybody still knows my blog name. But I'm glad I just came out and said what's what. Because it fucking sucks and I need a place where I can say that, curse words and all. 

(IT FUCK FUCKITY FUCKFUCK FUCKER FUCKING FUCKSTICK SUCKS.)

But as planned, I got out of bed yesterday, took a shower, combed my hair kind of, powdered my shiny face and even dabbed on some mascara (which I may or may not still be wearing today), and drove myself to my doctor. She listened, nodded, and got to work digging the implant out of my arm with a scalpel. It certainly wasn't followed by an immediate I'M CURRRRRED revelation, but I did feel an immense sense of relief. 

Since I've had similarly terrible sensitivities to anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants (I get every side effect listed and then some), for now I'm going to apply the lessons learned from the hormone disaster and go the therapy route along for now. I was definitely in deep, deep denial as to how my anxiety was impacting my life (avoidance, procrastination, a dollop of self-sabotage, assuming the worst-case scenario was lurking behind every unopened email or text or unanswered phone call, etc.) and I need to get myself some grown-up coping skills. I can no longer passively blame A Thing In My Arm for my weird mental gymnastics and failures, so it is officially a Sack Up, Ho moment. 

("Sack Up, Ho" was an insider-y rallying cry from the Mamapop days of yore, and remains something of a personal mantra of mine. Try it! It's oddly motivating.)

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(Surprise flower delivery from a friend, complete with all-caps SACK UP HO inscription on the card, made even better because it involved two separate phone calls from a very confused florist.)

Anyway, again, thank you for reading, for listening, for commiserating. Let's all promise to take care of ourselves and each other, and hold hands and come together to invent a version of Kumbaya that involves a ton of curse words and dirty jokes. I think that is exactly what the world needs right now. 

 

Comments

Joanna Moore

Love it!

Suzanne

That is awesome. I will resolve to use that mantra when my TENS unit doesn't kill enough of the sciatica pain.

Depression is a serious bitch. Anxiety is a worse bitch. Dealing with both takes a strong person, especially without meds. You WILL get through this and come out superwoman on the other side.

Brooks

Love the Mantra. Share what you feel is right and let the rest of us watch your six.

MontanaJen

"...(avoidance, procrastination, a dollop of self-sabotage, assuming the worst-case scenario was lurking behind every unopened email or text or unanswered phone call, etc.)"

Oh. Hay.

I literally LAST WEEK had an epiphany that those things^^ that you just listed, the things that I have in double-scoop-proportion (along with the weird conviction that any deja vu means that something TERRIBLE is about to happen to my family or a loved one and I have the power to stop it IF I COULD JUST REMEMBER HOW)...those things are, in fact anxiety.

For over a decade I had considered them simply...wait for it...being more prepared than everyone else in my world. So much energy. So very much energy spent.

So, fellow anxiety sister, let's do this together. Valium for everyone!

nic

So much of what you've written in the past couple of days really resonates with me. I know I need to talk to someone and even went so far as to try and find a psychiatrist covered by my insurance. Sadly, when I was unable to find a female doc that took patients over the age of 30 I sort of let it fall by the wayside. I've developed this strange "only want to see women doctors" preference the past year or so. Some days I can almost convince myself it's not an issue. Anyway, you've motivated me to take another look. Thanks for sharing.

Lori

That parenthetical description of how anxiety was affecting your life? That is me. Holy shit so much me. I started Lexipro about 6 months ago and thank all the gods it's changed so much...except the bad habits that I can't quite shake that are engrained into my mind. I think it's time for me to SUCK UP HO, and call my therapist. Thanks for that nudge. And all the best of sunshine, rainbows and curse words to you.

Meg

I wanted to comment yesterday and couldn't quite get there but IT SUCKS SO HARD and CBT is thebomb.dot.com for learning to manage the cognitive distortions. I also wanted to share that I grew up in a home where mental health wasn't talked about -- we went too far in the direction of validating every thought you had, which meant that it took until my mid-to-late 20s to realize that my worst-case scenario/all-or-nothing frame of mind wasn't something I had to live with if it made me unhappy. It took a bad spiral to get there, which I didn't recognize (see family history). what I'm trying to say is that it might have made a big difference to have a parent who was open about their struggles, and who could teach me skills for dealing with triggers underlying the nausea that everyone wrote off as a "nervous stomach." Your kids are so lucky to have you as a mom, is what I'm trying to say.

Sue W

So the Rainbow Shitting Unicorn can now shout Sack Up, Ho as it pirouettes and princes happily! One of the benefits of a Tribe is that we all don't have the Crazies on the same day. We are stronger together.

Louise

Therapy saved me. I was coming out of a year in which my father went downhill fast from Dementia. He passed away the same week I found out I had miscarried. My anxiety went through the roof. I've never been able to take anti-depressants. The side effects were terrible for me. I've been in therapy for a year and a half and it's helped in so many ways. It has especially helped me now that I'm 39 and find myself surprisingly pregnant. I hope it helps you.

Lisa

I hope you give yourself credit for the goodwill you have earned here. I have been in the blogosphere since 2009 and you are one of the very few blogs from the early days I have kept reading. My kids are grown, BTW, I read this for your voice and only for that. So I suspect that we are not a random crew of people saying nice things to you, but rather a group compelled by your persona and talents.

I, of course, hope you write more. But I, needless to say, don't matter and wish you the best and send you a general huzzah for your awesomeness.

Kate

I want to thank you for your post yesterday (as well as this one today) because it made me face my own avoidance/hiding from emotions and schedule an appt with my therapist. I also wrote "SUCK UP HO" on a post it and stuck it on my monitor. Grown-up coping techniques, indeed!

reenie

The ONE day I don't check your site! I'm so sorry you're suffering, struggling, and debilitated.

I can't even with this election, and I've spent more time thinking about my younger, sexually-assaulted self in the last month than I have in years. I also just learned I'm Vit D deficient, and started extra supplements today. Here's hoping for brighter days ahead for all of us.

Thanks for your honesty in posting this. I completely understand the reluctance to post negative or "poor me" things, or to even get the care we need as mothers and wives and just women in general...so good for you for taking care of yourself. And again...thanks.

Shelbey

Please never stop this blog! I love it so. And I wish you all the best. Anxiety sucks big time.

Caroline

So...this "(avoidance, procrastination, a dollop of self-sabotage, assuming the worst-case scenario was lurking behind every unopened email or text or unanswered phone call, etc.)" isn't what I'm supposed to be doing?

Kathy

I, like you, am sensitive to all the meds. So stopped them altogether and was just slogging through. Unrelated, I went on the Slow Catb Diet to lose the newly formed middle-age muffin top and lo and behold! On the third day of the diet, the cloud lifted! It was AMAZING. Like every other low carb diet, it restricts grains, dairy, etc so hard to tell what really did the trick. But my suspicion is that it was a combination of upping my healthy protein and stopping the sugar. Strangely, the muffin top did not go away but who gives a shit if I got my mind back!

Allie

I'm a long time depression/anxiety person. I would say this to you - if chemistry isn't for you, try guided meditation. It's helped me significantly just lengthen my fuse and be more mellow over all. You can youtube Jason Stephenson meditations and zone out for 30 min and you would be amazed what 20-30 min daily of just deep breathing and time do for you. I highly recommend it, #gamechanger

Heather

What about oils? I hate to go all hippie-chick on you, but they've made the most gigantic impact in my household. I use them for everything. To make my husband not snore, to get my kid off the plethora of allergy meds she was taking (so, so many things), insomnia and restless leg syndrome are no longer a thing for me, I have blends for anxiety and to keep my house healthy and all sorts of stuff. I even use them on my dog. I just share because I know they work. And they're natural. There are no terrifying side effects.

Just a thought. Hope you feel better soon!!!!

Jesabes

Inspiring words are not my forte, which is why I felt paralyzed yesterday when I tried to think of something to say. But sack up, ho is right in my wheelhouse. Be a nasty woman! A nasty president woman!

Amy

When I first started going for help the docs had me try a bunch of different anti-depressants, which was a disaster because hey, I'm not depressed, yo. I just kinda get freaked out a lot.

So having lost my faith in the medical system I just googled "anxiety/panic disorder therapy" and I found a bunch of semi-useful stuff, including the gem that turned out to be what helped me get it all under control (and my behavior was exactly the same as what you're describing). The best part? It wasn't even from a therapist. Just some other poor fuck who's sometimes too scared to leave the house.

He said, Panic and anxiety are like terroists that are holed up inside your head. And you don't negotiate with terrorists, or give in to their demands, because then they know they've got you on the ropes and they'll just keep making more and more demands until eventually you've got nothing left to give. So tell them to fuck off because you ain't buying it, and just go about your day as if you weren't batshit crazy. Eventually it becomes almost true.

Anyway, I'm not guaranteeing it's gonna be anyone else's salvation, but I wanted to share it just in case it helps someone a little. That nugget of wisdom is what lets me keep a half-full, 2 years expired, bottle of Xanax sitting in the medicine cabinet (and on bad days in my purse). For emergencies, you know.

(P. S. I wish I remembered where I read it so I could credit and thank the guy. You saved my ass, mystery dude. For realz. Thanks.)

Stacy

Glad that you are taking care of yourself. Some days are one day at a time days but, strong together, you'll get there.

Kay

Alrighty, I'm super, super, super not trying to diagnose over the Internet or anything, but as you're going to find a therapist ANYWAY, if you happen to find one with some good diagnostic skills, I don't know if you'd maybe want to ask them if adult ADHD exists anywhere in the mix of potential problems? Just... since you're going to talk to someone anyhow, and anxiety and ADHD are super co-morbid and tend to accelerate one another, and you have at least two kids with it and it's like, 80% attributable to heredity and... well, it's just crossed my mind, um, well before now. (I have it. And anxiety. And recognizing it was a Big Fucking Deal and it may very well NOT be the case for you, but if it is then it matters.)

Kris

Kay - yes! Worth getting it crossed off or verified.

Amy - take care of yourself! I hope therapy helps and you start to feel better soon. I am all for sharing and I am not actually a touchy feely shary person, but this stuff is important and the more we all talk about it the more people will talk about it. Also, STAY AWAY from election stuff. Give yourself the peace of not reading or listening to it. Nov 8 can not get here soon enough. I can tell that reading that stuff affects me so I have stopped.

Jeannie S

I just wanted to say thanks for posting today and yesterday. I am a fellow anxiety sufferer (and holy heck did it get worse 40+ when my hormones started being crazy!) and it helps *so much* when people are open about it, because I feel so much less alone. Hope things improve quickly!

Lauren

YES! Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I love your guys's catchphrase !Haha the poor florist!

Candice

Good luck with your therapy journey. I found mine incredibly helpful. It took a long time but really the take home message for me was to be kinder to myself, pat and soothe myself and be my own best friend because no one else is going to do it! The more pressure I put on myself the more anxious I get, hence actively making sure I don't take in too much is my second line of treatment (after citalopram!). On the contraception front, have you thought about an IUD (Mirena)?

Kristin

I've been there. It does suck, and therapy is good. So is meditation/mindfulness, and exercise, and sunshine, and stepping away from the election news. But don't underestimate the power of hormones (or steroids) to make you feel batshit crazy. I used birth control pills in my early 20s. Never, ever again. That stuff messes with you. And I've had so many doctors say to me: Oh, you didn't like the pills, which you can decide to stop taking at any time? Why don't you try these hormone injections that last a month or this hormone bomb that gets implanted in your body for years? WTF? No! Ever since my days on the pill, I have questioned the whole idea that hormonal birth control was some key moment in women's liberation. Men get to forego all responsibility while we gain 10 pounds of bloat, bleed constantly and go insane? Doesn't sound like liberation to me.

Steroids are another thing I will never mess with again. The only period of crippling anxiety/major depression of my life started with me taking a steroid pack.

SparkleP

I forgot to mention too that I thought mine might've be from hormones so I asked my infertility doctor and she said oh I agree you need a break and gave me a few months worth of birth control pills. (I heart her fiercely. What other IVF doc would be so understanding?) I lasted two weeks until I realized in week two I was asking others to pick and drop off my kids at school and lying wrapped in a blanket on my couch for 7 hours a day. I called my psychiatrist who kindly didn't laugh at me for taking so long to realize what the problem might be and told me to quit the pills. It helped the panic attacks stop but I still feel like crap most of the time. Really hoping voting Monday helps. I've also tried craniosacral therapy and signed up for a mindfulness meditation class online (because, ugh sitting with people in places that are not my home is ugh. I just hid in the bathroom from the Fed Ex man even though he was delivering chairs to me and it's raining). Anyway my psychiatrist said mindfulness is good and raised eyebrows at cranio sacral but I said I AM DESPERATE MAN I WILL TRY ANYTHING BUT CRYSTALS.

Thank you so much for providing a forum where we can be ourselves and share with an awesome group of like minded nasty women. :). Rock on!

Lindsey

Yup, I'm there with you on the avoidance train being the big outward sign of my anxiety. Been dealing with this (medicated, therapy, self-care, crying, etc.) for 10+ years. One thing I found recently which I've really found helpful is the book 'The Worry Cure' (ignore the self-proclaiming title) as a way to teach the why of your thoughts and how to handle the ones that just keep cycling. https://www.amazon.com/Worry-Cure-Seven-Steps-Stopping/dp/1400097665/ref=sr_1_1

Meredith

A really simple thing that helped me HUGELY with nighttime anxiety was regular old Audiobooks. It helped me go to sleep quickly because I was fully engrossed in the story and it helped me stay asleep, or at least if I did wake up in the middle of the night my mind didn't immediately go to ALL.THE.BAD.THINGS!! because I hadn't fallen asleep obsessing about them. Listening to Watership Down on audiobook was seriously so awesome. Your mind can't go to all the bad places if you are listening to an epic saga involving rabbits being read to you in a charming British Accent. That book alone ended months of nighttime anxiety/insomnia for me.

Jenallday

Ugh, same. "I don't WANT to go back to therapy" I scream as I avoid twitter, the news, the outside, humans. Who left me in charge of myself?

Good for you for taking the first steps. They suck the most. But when not in the fog you realize that being an anxious mess is really the worst.

Stacia

Totally not a doctor and there's a good chance you've either tried this or heard this but have you tried Benedryl? I know, I know... shut up with witchy ways but I'm just throwing it out there. I have anxiety and lucky for us my 8-year-old daughter has it too. Whoopity do! Because she's 8 there isn't much she can take but even for what youngins can, she can't bc HELLOOOOOO SIDE EFFECTS! And that's why I bring up Benedryl. My daughter takes hydroxyzine (generic form of prescription antihistamine), given to her by her psychiatrist. It works by calming your central nervous system. Just makes everything chill the fuck out. I take Lexapro but if I need something extra on a particularly shitty day, I take a Benedryl and it helps. Just throwing it out. Feel free to disregard if you've tried it or just don't give a fly toot. ;) Added to therapy and whatnot it might be something to ask about. :) Smooches!

Katie

Sending extra positive vibes from the Old Continent here and Lisa (somewhere up on top of your comments line) said exactly what I was thinking! Hope you realise we appreciate YOU and your work here, it's good that you are taking care of yourself and we'll be here rooting for you :-)) All the very best to you and remember - no matter how shitty you feel right now, you've taken the first step and therefore you are on the right road to feeling better.

Anna

Someone's already said it but seriously explore the possibility of undiagnosed ADHD. Treating my ADHD with meds and talk therapy did more for my anxiety and depression than 16 years of antidepressants ever did. ADHD can cause you to hyper focus on anxiety causing things and well then.... hello anxiety wormhole. And going through your entire life with it sets you up for some pretty unhelpful thought patterns, thank you brain!
Your honesty is very touching and reassuring. Feeling alone in anxiety makes everything worse. Everything I can tell from reading your blog from across the country tells me you are raising 3 awesome boys who will become 3 awesome men and really embracing the kids you have in all their glory.

Amy A

Hugs to you! Your honesty and sense of humor are what drew me to your blog, and if we, your loyal readers, can give any of that back to you, then all the better. Hang in there--it can and will get better. Keep telling yourself that, even if it doesn't seem to be the case at the moment. Take comfort in that, and know that it's absolutely true.

Amy

Just what you want, weird advice. I have horrible, horrible anxiety. Not wanting to take the meds and deal with the side effects, I looked for alternatives. I started taking 2-3 Ashwagandha Root pills a day a few months ago, and I am dealing with it so much better and can even sleep. The brand I use is by Gaia.

Lolly

Feel better, Amalah. Better days are ahead.

KImtoo

What Kay said. May or may not apply, you may have thought about it before, but damn, getting my diagnosis at the age of 48 did wonders for the depression I've been battling off and on since I was 13. Turned out my depression was a symptom, not a comorbidity. Although the anxiety continues....
Hang in there, my internet friend. Hang in there.

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