#BellLetsTalk - Yes, I struggle with anxiety.

  1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

    "he felt a surge of anxiety"

    synonyms:worryconcernapprehension, apprehensiveness, uneasinessunease, fearfulness, feardisquietdisquietudeinquietudeperturbationagitationangstmisgivingnervousness, nerves, tension, tenseness; More
    • desire to do something, typically accompanied by unease.

      "the housekeeper's eager anxiety to please"

      "an anxiety to please"
      a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.

Yes, that's what anxiety is. 

But what does it feel like? For me, I imagine it's similar to what a heart attack feels like. My heart beats ridiculously fast, my breathing is laboured, my extremities tingle, and I have a feeling of doom. But it's not a heart attack (I've had my heart looked at, and had an ECG and an echo done - my ticker is in amazing condition). It's bad enough when it comes on during the day, but to wake up to it? Bloody wonderful. <insert sarcasm>

I have few known triggers, so I can prevent an anxiety attack by avoiding alcohol, for instance. Yes, alcohol is a trigger for me. During a particular venerable period a couple years ago, a new trigger presented itself. Alcohol. I had an ounce of alcohol and within a short time, was in the middle of a full blown anxiety attack - in the middle of the night. I thought I was dying. I worried my kids would be motherless when they woke up in the morning. After the symptoms slowly ebbed away, I realised it wasn't death. (thank God). I'd had a few anxiety attacks before that, but figured the alcohol would relax me and I could escape my worries for the night. Haha! Yes, worrying excessively is a huge trigger. Lucky me. 

I worry about being fired, about why it's taking someone so long to return a text message when I know they are attached to their phones. I get anxious just thinking about my anxiety. I worry about death. Death is also a trigger. It's all around me. I lost three family members/friends between March 14 - Dec 29 of this year. I have two others fighting cancer, and we're on death watch with my grandma. :(

I get anxiety over thunderstorms, but at least *I* know why, and it's something I will never share. Still knowing what causes them, and trying to finds ways of dealing with them are two separate things. I've tried facing them. I've tried making a game out of it. I've tried to pretend it's not making me a pile of mush on the inside. But they trigger me all the same.
I'm trying to take control of it. I use medications - sparingly, and only when nothing else will work. I talk with a therapist. I'm trying. :) It's all I can do.
I don't discuss it with friends and family because of the stigma that's attached. I mentioned it once to a family member and it was received with eye rolls. We need to break the stigma.

So let's spread the word. Let's combat the stigma associated with mental illness (ugh, I hate that word... illness). Talk to me. Talk to a friend. Let's talk.

For every text, or tweet with the #BellLetsTalk or FB post or instagram post, Bell Canada will donate five cents to Mental Health Initiatives. Let's TALK!

Know someone like me who battles anxiety? Here's a great article on helping them because there's power in knowledge.

My 2017 Resolutions

Ah, the new year has descended upon us like the freshly fallen snow here. It's beautiful and gives us a moment to pause and breathe in the newness of it all.

This year, like the years previous, I have a list of things I'd like to accomplish. Some are the basic ones that I'm sure a lot of people have, and some are personal to just me.

My lofty professional goals:

  • To release two books this year. This goal is very manageable since That Summer is off to the editors & proofreaders within a week, and set to go out into the world before Valentine's Day. The sequel to Duly Noted has an anticipated release of late summer/early fall. It's already half written. If I really wanted to push myself, I'd say releasing three books in 2017 would be a strong push, but we'll see how the year goes.  
  • To budget money for advertising. I'd like my novels to get further out, but that doesn't come free. I'd be thrilled if any of my books--already released or soon to be--ever reached above the top 1000 point for longer than an hour. :) 
  • To find an affordable and excellent editor to use over and over again. I've shelled out good, hard earned money in the past to editors that come recommended and made all the corrections they said, and yet, time and time again, reviewers mention grammatical errors. (Yes in case you're wondering, I have contacted the editors about this, and been met with stark silence.)  :( This is heartbreaking. I get that everyone is human, but when one reviewer sent me a two page list of mistakes, it's anger inducing. Time to locate someone who will do the job right. Any ideas? 
  • To promote the hell out of my author friend's books. Be prepared. My friends write amazing books and I am going to promote them on every social media platform I belong to. The world needs to read their books. 

In my personal life: 
  • To blog more under my author name. I've blogged about things I'm thankful for, but think this year I may do more of a diary type blog. Be more transparent with my thoughts and feelings. Something I think I need to work on.
  • To unsubscribe from so many damn email lists. I've started this and it's already amazing. No longer is my phone pinging with "Buy One, Get Two Free" offers, or "TODAY ONLY" deals. It's freeing. Each day another four or five come in, and each one I let go. Now if I get an email, it's from someone I want to read. :) Definitely less stress, and time away from more important things. Deleting 50 emails a day doesn't sound like much, but it's time consuming. 
  • To let go. I have several friends who have said "let's get together for coffee" and for whatever reason, it never happens. Time to let go and stop trying. There is only so much of me to give and if they don't have time for me, well, I guess that's their problem. ;) 
  • To be more selfish. In a good way. To take more time for me. Do more things that make me happy. If that's evening teas with friends, or pedicures or facials, I want to do more. So for starters I've joined a book club. An evening out with a group of ladies to discuss books. What a great way to start being "selfish". 
  • More date nights. The kids are old enough to manage a couple of hours by themselves. Hubs and I need more time together - away from the home, the kids, to be a couple again and do things that make us happy.

    What about you? Care to share any of your goals? Personal or professional?