“Never forget that love and friendship go hand and hand. So don’t be afraid to tell your friends you love them. After all, it could be the only time they ever get to hear those heartfelt words.” ~M
Photo credit: pixabay.com
Photo credit: pixabay.com
I have to admit, when someone asks me if I’m fine or okay, I start to get a bit defensive. I immediately begin to wonder if I’m starting to look weak or somehow flawed. I’ll come up with any number of excuses to convince the person that I am completely okay and that they need not worry about me. But 9 times out of 10, when somebody asks me this, I only go on the defensive because they are completely right. I’m not always fine and somehow it seems they’ve noticed it. I’m terrible at being able to hide my emotions and I’m drawn to people who are really good at reading them. So with that combination, I am always sure to be found out.
Today, I was thinking all of this over and began to wonder why I am so set on having people believe that I’m okay, when in fact I’m actually not. I think part of it stems from my upbringing. I grew up in a home where I was taught to “suck it up and drive on.” If I ever had a problem, I was told that it was inconsiderate to speak of it and burdensome for others to hear it. I was told that there were plenty of other people who had worse problems, so my problems were not important enough to speak of. I’m almost thinking this was a generational thing because I see a lot of people my age who were told the same thing. We weren’t allowed to complain or voice our opinions like people are nowadays. Everything was a certain way, and whether we liked it or not, that’s just the way it was. We didn’t have many choices or options, we were just told to do what we were supposed to do, and not ask questions or complain.
I had my first and only panic attack when I was 18, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I had just started a new job, in a new state, and was living with my biological father for the first time. I didn’t know anybody and barely even knew my dad. I had no idea I was feeling anxious at the time because I had grown accustomed to the feeling of anxiety and usually just tried to brush it off as if nothing were wrong. But for some reason, that day, my body wouldn’t cooperate with me just brushing off the anxious emotions which were welling up inside of me. I was completely alone, facing the world for the first time on my own, and uncertainty and fear began to overwhelm me.
Well, that first day on the job only lasted about 20 minutes, before the anxiety attack started. Everything began to turn different shades of gray and I could barely stand due to the sudden dizziness I felt. All sound became muffled and it seemed like I had gone into a dark tunnel where sounds just echoed off the walls around me. I could hear my breathing, which was raspy and strained, and the pounding of my heart, a sound I had never heard audibly, was now the only other sound I could hear. I could no longer speak because I could no longer hear my own voice. It was probably the scariest moment of my life, and I had no idea what was happening.
I remember somebody leading me to a storage room and making me sit down on some boxes. I remember sitting there thinking that I might possibly be dying, but I had no idea what to do about it. After being left there for what seemed like ages, finally, somebody came back for me and tried to ask me what was wrong. I remember not being able to explain to them what was wrong and so eventually they seemed to give up and just drove me home and left me at my apartment.
I don’t remember how long I was back at my apartment before I was coherent enough to call my dad, but after he got home, I remember trying to explain to him what had happened. Since I had never experienced something like that before, I couldn’t really explain what had happened to me. Looking back, I think everyone at that store must have thought I was on drugs or something. I never did end up going back to that place and I don’t think I ever contacted anyone to tell them that I wasn’t coming back. It was years before I ever fully understood what had happened to me that day. I haven’t had another panic attack since then and I really hope I never do.
I’ve since become a master at hiding my anxiety and rarely admit to anyone that I am often depressed. The only time I really confide in anyone is after my feelings of anxiety have subsided. I feel like it’s safer for me to talk about it then after the suicidal thoughts have left me, and when I can control my emotions better. I always have this fear that if I actually tell someone how I’m really feeling that they will lock me away somewhere, for fear that I may otherwise harm myself.
I’ve seen my own daughter end up in a mental hospital and so I know what they are like. The place she stayed at did her absolutely no good and actually made her mental state worse. She became like a prisoner while she was there and we had no say in anything that happened to her. The psychiatrist there told my husband and me that he had complete control of our underage daughter and that he wouldn’t release her until he wanted to. I wouldn’t wish a place like that on my worst enemy and it breaks my heart every time I think of my daughter having to have been there.
It all started out with our family physician insisting that we take her there, and once we did, we lost all parental rights and were only allowed to visit her for about an hour each day. We drove the two hours there and back every day, all in order to be able to at least see her and tell her how much we loved her. But I would never allow it again for any of my family members, no matter what the situation, and I certainly never want to end up in a place like that myself. So even though I struggle with anxiety and depression, I do so without medication, without therapy, and without any sort of outside help. I “suck it up and drive on.” It’s the way I was taught and the way I’ll forever remain.
Photo credit: pixabay.com
Photo credit: pixabay.com
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Photo found at: boredpanda.com
Photo credit: outofthisworldx.wordpress.com
I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but I have recently decided to bring a bit more diversity to my blog, and I’ve been trying to come up with some suggestions for different topics to write about. So this morning, I had this brilliant idea to ask my husband if he would share his thoughts about what I should write about. He did give me a couple of great ideas; he suggested sharing my recipes, or writing movie reviews. Of course I don’t watch very many movies, and cooking and baking are such a chore already; neither one of these topics seemed very appealing to me. So then an amazing thought came to my mind, why not write about his thoughts? I imagined writing about something that’s important to him, something perhaps he has always wanted to share, but has never been given the chance to. I figured each week, I could write about a topic of his choice and through this, perhaps learn a little bit more about what makes him tick and hopefully have some great conversation in the process. Sounds like a good idea, right?
So I proposed the idea to him like this… I said, “Honey, why don’t I just have you as the topic of my blog every Thursday morning? You could talk about something that is really important to you, something you would like others to know from a guy’s perspective.” He looked up at me with a look that said, “What? Are you kidding me?” So then I said, “Oh come on…. if you could voice your opinion and speak on a certain subject, what topic would you choose to discuss?” He responded with these three words… “Peace and quiet.” Of course I started laughing… I mean, what did I really expect from the man who sits in his recliner most mornings, vegging out to re-runs of NCIS, Walking Dead and playing Bubble
Bit@h Witch on his kindle. Did I really think he would have something more to offer, as far as insightful conversation goes? In the entire 22 years we’ve been married, he has never been much of a talker, so I should have known better than to propose such an outlandish idea. Oh I love my husband, I really do… he has so many other amazing qualities, but what I really wish he would do, is talk to me more. This is the main thing our relationship lacks, and to me it’s a pretty big deal.
In my experience, men seem completely content to go into their “nothing box” and stay there for as long as they’re allowed. This of course drives women crazy, as we desperately want to have meaningful conversation and not feel like were always being ignored. I have met a few men that could carry a rather decent conversation, but it is always short lived; and why is this? Why doesn’t meaningful conversation ever last between men and women? I suppose since men are less emotional than women, maybe they just can’t handle the emotional attachment that comes with long drawn out conversations. I’m guessing it wears them out to the point of exhaustion and then they just can’t keep it up. Guys speak up here… Am I right? Are we wearing you out?
I can tell you one thing though, when men shut women out like this, it has a very negative impact on us. We feel hurt, abandoned, and unloved. We were made to be a helper for our husbands; this was the entire reason God made us in the first place and so we try our best to do this. Unfortunately we don’t often feel appreciated for what we do and so then we withdraw and leave our men wondering why suddenly we don’t want anything to do with them anymore. Guys please hear what I’m saying… you can’t just want us when it’s convenient for you; women are not okay with that. So if your wife wants to talk to you and have meaningful conversation, listen to her and say something meaningful back.
And for all you women out there… stop trying to talk to your man during the wee hours of the morning. You can’t expect him to comprehend anything you’re saying when he is tired and not thinking clearly. Your words will fall on deaf ears! He will quite literally fall asleep on you! I know because I have made this mistake all too often and then I’ve been disappointed because of it. Oh and don’t follow him into the bathroom… men hate this more than anything else. That’s his private throne room, so stay out! I think it boils down to this… meaningful conversation leads to good communication and without this, our marriages are sure to fail. So talk to each other when you have the opportunity and make the effort to spend time with one another. If you want to be happy, it takes both of you to make it happen.
Photo 1 – sabusinessindex.co.za, Gif – wifflegif.com, Quote – Pinterest.com, Photo 2 – valleysleepcenter.com
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