Anxiety

I have dealt with anxiety since I was a teenager. Having panic attacks in the courtyard of my middle school. Everyone staring at me, what’s wrong with her? I wasn’t medicated at the time. My anxiety and stress, which provoked the attacks, came more from what I was going through at home, before and after school.

Anxiety is future prone, I know that now that I’m in my late thirty’s. Never before could I pinpoint exactly the origin of my anxiety. I always blamed it on school so as not to anger my mom even more. My mom was stressed out most of the time. A single mom of 3 kids, one income household, work, clean, laundry, kids, the works…

Mom always elicited a superwoman attitude, often times annoyed and left best alone. She just always kept going. There was zero room for complaining. Mom made it clear that, in life, no one does shit for you so figure it out. Be independent. Depend on no man. Those were her words of inspiration.

While it sounds badass, as it did to me hearing it as a teen, it’s not reality. Courtesy of repetition and mentality reform, I am now under therapy to essentially retrain my brain. There isn’t anything wrong about what my mom did because she didn’t know any better. The problem is, reality doesn’t work like that.

For example, my marriage has lasted 14 years so far. If I were to think like my mom did, I’d be single raising my boys on my own working multiple jobs. There is nothing wrong with that, but I love my husband. I’m okay sharing multiple income, I’m okay admitting when I’m wrong, I’m okay with not getting everything done in one day, I don’t need to yell every five seconds to feel productive, I don’t need three jobs, do you see where I’m going?


Anxiety is future prone. I get anxious because I am used to doing things one way, the way my mom taught me. I don’t have to though. This creates problems in real life for me. A natural defensive demeanor, assumption city girl, and don’t get me started on my RBF!

Retraining your brain isn’t bad. It has helped me cool off and accept that I just have to relearn some stuff. Instead of jumping into fight or flight all the time, I need to better at chilling out first and assessing every situation. Learning because I don’t want to hand down the same traits to my kids. We can’t live in survival mode 24/7.

My mental health is something I struggle with daily. Grateful for my gift of writing, I plan to find ways to share pro tips with you, maybe with those who grew up the same way or maybe just find it worthy.

Just breathe… wait breath or breathe… whatever.

some days…

Some days are meant to be appreciated for the simple fact that we made it through – y estamos vivos ~ we’re alive! Some days are so tough that they require all our energy. Some days are super long and they drag. Today was one of those days. We’re currently caregiving for my husband’s grandparents. One of said grandparents is suffering from the C word, Cancer. It is never easy to hear let alone accept a Cancer diagnosis no matter who it is.

My heart breaks for my husband. The moment he arrived to this country at the ripe age of 13, he immediately began paving his path for success. He had a dream and has accomplished his goals and maintained success. That shouldn’t be taken away from him. It is never easy to be the only one in the family who gives a shit. You set higher standards and you make shit happen – that’s how you avoid the generational curse. Break the cycle, be the difference. I am forever grateful for how much he has taught me.

Homeschooling two teenage boys in middle school comes with plenty of drama. It has been difficult to navigate virtual school due to COVID-19. We hoped it’d be over by now, but so did everyone else in 2020. I feel like I have another full-time job as a homeschool mom, but I’d rather be a homeschool mom than an elderly caregiver (honesty is the best policy)! Managing 6-7 classes per kid makes me feel like I am in high school again, writing notes on the white board for the Teacher so that she didn’t have to even get up from her seat. Dearest Ms. Cunningham, she was one of those teachers who leaves a footprint on your heart. I found out through one of my high school colleagues that she passed away peacefully. I must admit, I was a Teacher’s Pet!

Some days are meant to be ended with a glass of vino.

Stopped writing, walked to fridge, grabbed a glass of Riesling!

Back to regularly scheduled programming… I come on here to vent and express myself in the form that serves me best. I have written since I was a child, literally. Google Tiffany Oklahoma City Bombing and watch the infamous YouTube video if you dare, lol. Not terrible, just never was a fan of my teeth until I got braces!

Point is, many of us struggle with mental illness daily. Many of us also suppress because it’s the only way we have ever known how to mitigate our emotions. Never did I learn how timing is everything and the importance of an outlet. You need to do something, preferably healthy, every single day or as much as you can to release the tension and stress that comes from everyday life. Perseverance and resilience can be achieved by finding this healthy method among other ways. Over time, progress not perfection becomes second nature. Find something you love doing that has positive return on investment, and do that thing as much as you want.

Cheers amigos!

In my head…

  • Distorted thoughts as my therapist calls them
  • Anxiety builds
  • Negative talk begins
  • Shaming as its finest
  • Depression onset immediate
  • Get over it
  • Cycle ends for a lil’ bit

If you were to asked me a year ago if I understand how this was what happens in my head daily, I wouldn’t know what you were talking about. Today, I’m well aware. I yearn for my parents to realize the things they did, just in these steps alone, to me as a child and as an adult. If only my parents could understand that if we acknowledge that we behave a certain way, or do certain things, it doesn’t mean those behaviors, ways and things are normal! Also, when you behave a certain way, it affects the ones who love you, consider them too. I did not before and now I do. I’m not saying my parents need to be like me, I know they won’t. The cycle ends with me though and my kids are smart enough to judge for themselves.

Therapy is not meant to fix me, I know that. Therapy is meant to help me identify and treat for me and ONLY ME. I know that negative talk is not healthy, but I have always done it thinking it was normal. It is not. Heck, I have messed up a recipe in the kitchen while my son was making himself lunch, and said “ugh, how dumb of me – I forgot to add the salt”, and my son called me out for it. As a parent, imagine how that feels. I wouldn’t want him talking to himself that way, checkpoint.

We were not placed on this earth to beat ourselves up. To be honest, it was the weakness I answered during job interviews when asked that infamous question, “What is your weakness”. Gosh, who came up with that question anyway?! My weakness is that I beat myself up and believe my negative thoughts.

It is vulnerable of me to post this because I am letting you in, but I am okay with it. I am an eccentric woman with good intuition and a gift for discernment. Extremely observant, I often times notice things other don’t. Being able to post about my journey will hopefully help someone experiencing the same. As Professionals and adults, we work so hard to paint the perfect picture of ourselves. We work hard everyday and we don’t give ourselves enough time to rest and recover. Stress creeps up and before you know it, the cycle begins all over again. I am finally accepting the ability to stop, it’s okay not to be okay.

If we see the cycle, we can break it and be the change this world needs. Everyone should always feel empowered, encouraged and ready to take on the world. Life is short, and there is only one. Live your best life and never give up.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline

1-800-662-HELP (4357)
TTY: 1-800-487-4889

Website: www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

Processing…

There is a key fact that no one prepares you for when undergoing treatment for anxiety and depression. The feelings are REAL. One minute you can be smiling from ear to ear, and the next minute you are crying without reason. Your body is feeling, processing all the emotions you have suppressed for years. These raw feelings feel like you are about to jump off the ledge of a building. Heart is racing, you are uncomfortable and uncertain of the future.

Withdrawal from society is something I started Monday. Deactivating all social media, I have accepted the process and embrace every raw feeling no matter how uncomfortable it makes me. Not having to worry about my post being worthy of a like feels good. Only allowing the chosen few in feels good. Not feeling the need for validation feels good. It’s a new era for me, and right now I am in the midst of all feelings.

Not to mention, I think it is safe to say that my household in general is over this long awaited election. The ability to tolerate colors and numbers on a tv screen goes only so far, haha. Our country knows deep down, behind all the political bullshit, what we as Americans deserve.

It is with hope that I continue processing raw emotions with the ultimate ability to manage traumatic situations in the future better. I experienced a lot of childhood trauma growing up, and I have a habitual pain of comparing every current situation to that trauma. I’m not afraid to admit it because there’s someone out there who knows exactly how this feels. I am with you.

So the saga continues. I know this will get better. We all have a vice. We are human. We aren’t perfect. We know what we deserve. We are not meant to be fixed, per say; but, if we consistently focus on improving the opportunities will present themselves for a clearer future ahead. A healthier mental state.

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling and/or having suicidal thoughts, please seek help. You are not alone. I am not suicidal, but I have been and I know what it feels like so I sympathize.

Peace and unity…

I started therapy…

Anxiety is an asshole! It lives rent-free in my head and has for way too long. It takes over me and I see red. People have called me dramatic, they have disregarded my feelings and whatever else. Through the years, I have strived for ways to manage it better, but now I embrace it and live with it because Anxiety is a part of me. For those of you who suffer from Anxiety, I am all ears for pro-tips.

So far, therapy has been positive. Learning so much about myself, I realize how much of my parents live in me. It’s scary because I have spent the majority of my life trying to not be like them. I love them, I always will. My path has always been the opposite and we have yet to see eye to eye. There is a blatant disregard for the pain I endured as a child, growing up I suppressed the shit out of it… Ask me how that worked for me? Not good.

As years progressed, I became a wife, mom, etc. and established my career. In November 2019, I moved to Colorado with the intention of opening a business and being closer to family. Reasonable right? I am in my mid-30’s, my kids are almost teens, time to be closer to family, stable and settled down. Who knew that one incident would change the trajectory of our plans as a family and everything we had worked for together up to the end of last year? Needless to say, it didn’t work out. We are back in Florida.

Something took place that reminded me of my childhood. Why? Because ever since I got my period at age 10, I have been given the responsibilities of an adult. I, as a mom, struggle with letting my kids be kids because my brain has been molded to think that we must constantly be in a state of hustle and panic. What I am saying is that, I grew up in survival mode. My mom was a single mom and my dad left the house when I was 5. My parents were unstable and not the best of mentors; however my loyalty always stayed under them and ’til this day I defend them – even when I shouldn’t. What took place in Colorado was what broke the camel’s back for my husband and I. I knew I couldn’t stay there. I knew I couldn’t be calm. I knew it would put me in a constant state of shock. Why did I think this would work? How could I put my family through such a big move? Yeah, I’ve been thinking about all those thoughts on repeat for the past 10 months.

I want to learn about myself and why I behave certain ways. Therapy is a necessity for me, I have been in and out of therapy since I was a kid. My mom could never afford to get me past 3 sessions so I was never consistent. It was here and there. As an adult now, the struggle is real. I am self-taught. My goal as a parent is to not repeat the cycle. While I also have the same goal as a wife, given how many times my parents have been in a relationship, my kids are my priority right now and I can only handle one thing at a time when it comes to improving my mental health.

I encourage anyone needing the attention of a mental health counselor to seek help. While I am no one to take advice from, I can assure you that being able to communicate with your therapist 24/7 by means of a voice message, text message and/or voice call will assure you are always supported. I am enjoying it so far and look forward to my recovery.

TalkSpace is my therapy source and humble abode at the moment. I’m so grateful for my therapist.

If you or anyone you know is struggling, remember to love them first but also encourage them to seek help. My husband was the one who gave me that tough love talk, and I’m thankful.

Cognitive Distortions Are Not Limited to People with Mental Illness, So Let’s All Learn about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Hufsa Ahmad, MSW

People with mental illness are taught about the cognitive distortions we have, which ranges from black and white thinking (a.k.a polarized thinking), to overgeneralization, to catastrophizing. However, after learning about and practicing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques for 6 weeks, people can dramatically change the way they think, feel, and behave. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is…
— Read on mentally-chill.com/2016/08/30/cognitive-distortions-are-not-limited-to-people-with-mental-illness-so-lets-all-learn-about-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-cbt/

This is such a good read 🙌🏼

What she didn’t know…

Growing up I was always left out of the loop. Like, there were no family meetings, no “hey, by the way” moments – unless it was to tell me something to do. I grew up in silence because, as a Parental child, it is the only way I knew how to be. While I had my moments of tantrum and anger as a child and/or teen, I was relatively the one who went along with everything. Things that, as a parent now, I would never imagine putting my children in that situation.

My parents did the best they could, and I should be grateful. I get that. There can only be so much “Woe is me” in your 20s so that once you reach your 30s, you’re basically defining who you are so that by the time you reach your 40s, you can live at your prime and get your 2nd chance at life. Travel more, see more of the world (hopefully without a mask on), make memories and create a sacred home filled with love – endless love. However, at what point do I get to talk about how much SO much fucked me up mentally to where now, as an adult, I realize SO many foundational pieces I missed out on learning growing up?

It just amazes me how much now, as an adult, I have learned about how much I didn’t know. Perhaps my parents were protecting me by not sharing things with me. Maybe they wanted to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and not inconvenience me. Whatever the case, the critical moments of my life that were foundational to my future were missed.

Now, as a mom and wife, I strive daily to ensure I don’t miss out on those foundational moments with my children. Like how I work daily to teach my children of the future by exemplifying an intellectual conversation without yelling and arguing – sometimes.

Evolving as a woman during this self-discovery phase feels revitalizing. I feel like I sweat less over the drama. I choose my battles and opt out of the bullshit. It’s amazing how as we age, the bullshit becomes less enticing. I am happy for this time because while it has felt like a vicious cycle, it has set me up to actually enjoy the remainder of my life the way I deserve to best.

Peace for all…

The aftermath..

This time last year was so different, so much better to be honest. I had just graduated with my master’s degree and was at a good place in my career. I allowed influence and stress to take over my life, and the livelihood of my own family. Multiple factors made us vulnerable and drove us to radical changes. We moved across the country twice in one year, and experienced a lot of hardship in between. We thought we were making the right choice, but our journey as a family had taken a sharp turn into turmoil. I experienced things that reminded me of my childhood, and I was quickly reminded of why it was not a good choice to make this move.

Truth has it that, we as people, get stronger with every trial and tribulation we endure. I believe it. It has been 10 months since all that madness began, and I am NOT the same person I was. My perspective has changed. My boundaries have been redefined. I consider this a positive since we all must grow from our mistakes as adults.

I have learned a lot about myself and my behaviors. Always being focused on breaking the cycle and being the difference took a toll on me. The urge to seek the attention and love I lacked as a Parental child growing up in a single-parent household haunted me. It led me across the country yearning for something that just is not there, and I get it now.

I am back in my home State of Florida, and time has given me clarity. My feelings towards the people who hurt us have been rehabilitated. A grip of reality and the ability to accept things as they are. A new perspective towards the future and what will come. I have faith things will continue to improve.

I decided to start this blog to connect with community as I document this journey. As I grow closer to my “late 30’s”, I want to utilize my passion for writing now more than ever. Being quarantined in the middle of a Pandemic has definitely provided influence! I look forward to documenting my experiences as a wife, mother, dog mom, and working mom.