Anxiety is a Bitch

There I said it.  Anxiety is stupid, inconvenient, and a huge pain the ass. I’m tired of sugar-coating it and pretending like it doesn’t impact me, but today I’m too tired to pretend.  Everyone has felt anxious; some of us experience it because of an incident, like being stuck in traffic on the way to the airport, and some of us feel it all the goddamn time.

My medications help with my anxiety but they don’t take it away.  I still feel anxious just like I still feel depressed.  I think one of the reasons I get so frustrated when I feel this way is because I had this unrealistic belief that my meds were these magic pills that would take away all of the bad feelings and thoughts.  Wishful thinking.

The reality is they don’t and I still get the reminders that my brain hates me sometimes, like when I feel like people are staring at me when they’re not.  For me, one of the hardest parts about dealing with anxiety is knowing how crazy I sound.  At work I get so afraid that someone is going to try to talk to me and I’m going to feel too uncomfortable and too awkward to say something coherent and end up sounding like a lunatic. So I stay at my desk with my headphones on praying that no one will tap me on the shoulder.  It always becomes a problem because I drink a ton of water (thanks, Lithium) so I have to pee every 10 minutes.  But when my anxiety kicks in I feel so uncomfortable and unsafe that I stay glued to my chair until the feeling of having to pee becomes so painful that I have to get up.  Then I walk to the bathroom with my head down, again praying that no one will talk to me, and sit in the bathroom panicking that people think I’m crazy.

The reality is that no one usually notices.  People are caught up in their own world, especially at work.  And even if people think I’m crazy, so what?  I know I act this way because my mind plays tricks on me, but I also know that it happens to millions of other people.  My anxiety makes me do weird shit, like wear headphones without music playing so people won’t talk to me or change train cars because I think people are staring at me.  It also makes me do things that are extremely inconvenient, like walk a mile to the train station only to turn around and walk all the way home to make sure I locked the door, even though deep down I knew I did.  I even wear specific types of hair ties on my wrist because touching them relaxes me.  I do it when I talk to new people and I know it’s weird and people occasionally give me weird looks, but most of the time people don’t notice.  More importantly, it makes me feel calm and that matters more to me than what someone I don’t know thinks about me.

Anxiety is a bitch.  It makes us do weird shit that some people don’t understand and might qualify as “crazy”.  But the worst thing we can do when we’re anxious is get down on ourselves for it.  Everyone feels anxious, whether they have anxiety disorder or not.  And if you need to make accommodations for yourself, like always having headphones or hair tie on your wrist, then do it.  There’s nothing wrong with taking steps to make yourself feel safe and comfortable.  There is something wrong will constantly allowing anxiety to take over and hold you up in the bathroom while you muffle a panic attack.  Believe me, I’ve done both.  Put your mental health and feelings first and find what works for you, don’t worry about how it will make other people feel.  They probably won’t even notice.

Do Me a Favor – Never Say That Again

It’s human nature (or at least it certainly appears to be) to say something stupid from time to time.  We’ve all had the moment(s).  You know that moment where words come out of your mouth and the expression on people’s faces immediately tells you that you have made a horrific error?  Yeah, that moment.  Commonly known as “foot in mouth” or as I like to refer to it “stop talking immediately”.  Profusely apologizing and saying that you’re really tired and distracted because your cat is sick and you just got fired and you had no idea what you said was offensive can sometimes alleviate your faux pas.  Other times, you just need to never EVER say it again.

For your reading pleasure, here are some of the hilariously stupid and ignorant things people have said to me over the years:

“Women don’t drink whiskey.”

Someone legit said this to me at a bar.  Pretty sure “I will cut you” was my response.

“Your job sounds really boring.”

It often is, thanks for bringing that up.  It’s also how I pay my rent, buy whiskey, and feed myself.  What do you do?  Oh you’re an accountant?  Your work must be riveting.

“But you seem so normal.” [In reference to my bipolar disorder]

That’s because I’m medicated – if I wasn’t, you certainly wouldn’t be thinking that! You’d be preoccupied trying to figure out an escape route.  Also, educate yourself.

“You’re so lucky you’re thin.”

I get up at 6:20 in the morning to go to CrossFit i.e., expensive self-inflicted torture that gives you a nice butt.  And when I don’t do that, I spend my lunch break at a spin class.  I also eat pretty damn clean (minus my occasional jelly bean indulgences), drink almost a gallon of water a day, and cut way back on beer.  This isn’t luck, it’s dedication – I earned this body.  End of rant.

“You’re successful for a woman.”

Also something someone legit said to me at a bar.  That was the end of that conversation.  And that man’s self-esteem after I ripped into him.

“Where do you see yourself in five years.”

Ideally?  On a private island writing my second best-selling novel and eating truffle fries.  Realistically? Writing fucking user guides.

“That’s what you wear to work?”

I sit on the non-client-facing floor of my office surrounded by engineers wearing tee-shirts and sneakers.  So yeah, I’m wearing jeans and a hoodie.  You don’t know my life.

“I’m voting for trump.”

Get away from me. I can’t.

Bro Chick Problems

Whenever I tell people about this site, the first question they typically ask is “What does ‘bro chick’ mean?” I included the section found in the header of this blog for just that reason, but I wanted to elaborate on it further.  Urban dictionary defines  a bro chick as “a girl who will sit back, drink beer, play video games and football with you, and still spend 5 f**king hours doing her makeup.”  Well said Urban dictionary, well said.  The nickname was given to me because I say and do things like the following:

“I really want to watch the football game at 1pm, but all the good produce at the farmer’s market will be gone by 2pm.  Ahhhh.”

“I want to look pretty but I don’t understand how hair curlers or eyelash curlers work.”  Pretty much any beauty tool seems more like a weapon than a make-me-pretty device in my opinion.

I cannot walk in heels.  I look constipated.

I don’t watch sports to look “cute”.  I have genuine interest in this game and have a lot riding on it for my fantasy team.

Other women think dude friends want something “more” than friendship from women.  Not the case as with my friends I am seen as a non-sexual object, like a little sister.  Or a lamp.

On that note, once you become a non-sexual object all the vulgar stories and gross behavior men do without the presence of a female comes forth.  For you are now another bro and things like pooping and girl’s nipple sizes become frequent topics of discussion.

In college I was frequently handed Mike’s Hard Lemonades or Smirnoff Ices instead of beers.  Now I frequently have to pipe up when the bartender looks around and says “Who ordered the whiskey?”  I did, no Cosmopolitans here.  No sir.

“No that’s his salad.  I ordered the bacon mac and cheese.”

Interrupting thoughts such as “I can’t believe Eli threw four interceptions last night.  So awf…oh man I need a manicure.  My nails look like a farmers…I wonder how many calories are in this smoothie.  Who has a bye week next week?

A bro chick is a unique hybrid between a guy and a girl; she will manage your fantasy football league and then buy a wildly over-priced pair of rain boots because they’re “in” and “functional”.  She will wear a cocktail dress and drink beer until the dress gets too tight which is when she will promptly switch to whiskey.  She is your drinking buddy, your wing-woman, and your bro with boobs.  Do not be put off by her lack of interest in hairstyles and fashion for she will make up for that with her sweet baking skills.  She is sarcastic, she is unique, and she is writing this post.