“Broken Crayons Still Color”

I feel like all my posts consist of all the ugly and negative parts of my life. I was reading over all my blog posts and I myself was saddened, It seems like my life is just one big ball of misery. Don’t get me wrong I have my every day struggles, but I’m alive, I woke up this morning, someone else didn’t have that luxury.

I have stated in one of my previous posts, that I do work a Full-time job, which is very challenging for me. However, it is a job I was comfortable with, it’s actually the job I had before all this even happened, not to mention my mother works in the same building as me, which is an extra level of needed comfort.

Having a job makes me feel like I actually have a place in this world, I make my own money I’m able to support myself and my daughter again, It makes me feel like I’m “normal” even if just for a little while.

My weekdays are pretty stressed filled, just being at my job, I explained all that in previous posts, but my weekends are pretty fulfilling, my most comfortable state is when I’m in the comfort of my own home, so being able to be home and be my own crazy and not have to worry about who’s watching is a weight lifted off my shoulder in itself.

Having anxiety controls my everyday life, but it doesn’t STOP my everyday life, I have fears, yes. But, I am able to calm them especially with my medication, I am still able to do things I enjoy, like shopping or looking around in stores(not by myself just yet, but working on that). I like to chill out and watch Lifetime Movies, I go out to eat with my sister or mother and Grandma, I live just very very carefully.

My life isn’t all hell, I love those supportive of me and I love the value of my life, because without it I wouldn’t be able to be a mom. Sometimes I don’t feel as though I’m much of one, but my daughter will say something that reminds me I’m still doing the best I can, though she sees me struggle she doesn’t judge me, she loves me just the same.

I ran across this saying “Broken crayons still color” and it made me smile, we may all be a little broken or face hardships but that doesn’t mean we are ready to be thrown away and don’t matter. We still have purpose our life is worth something, whether you’re facing Mental Illness or any other problem, if you are still here fighting you HAVE A PURPOSE HERE!

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ENOUGH

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“Stay Calm, It will be fine, You don’t look like you have anxiety, just breathe, don’t stress over it so much, you’re crazy, is it really that serious, everyone has rough days, it’s not the end of the world, I found this on google, it says it will help with anxiety, others have it so much worse, you’ll be fine, life still has to go on, you’re a grown woman….”

I could go on, and on. Anyone suffering from this illness knows the statements all to well. These are things we hear at some point during our day. Things that make us cringe on the inside, at least for me it does.

Whether you realize it or not these are some of the most hurtful and discouraging things to say to someone dealing with anxiety, I understand many are just “trying to help”, but these words are not helpful to us, we have heard them time and time again, no amount of “encouraging pep talk” is going to help me out of my illness.

I personally am very well at hiding my anxiety, even during a Panic Attack, I could be having one internally and you would never know anything was even wrong until I hit the floor. I have developed this skill simply because I live in fear of letting people see my true Panic, I have been belittled by some of those closest to me, I am able to laugh it off but deep down I am crying inside. People read articles, or post about ways to help with anxiety and sure they may be helpful to some but at least 96% of people I would say get absolutely no outcome from it. I don’t know about you guys, but the LAST thing on my mind during a panic attack is “breathing” I’m just trying to maintain my posture and not pass out.

Having to hide who you truly are around people who are suppose to be your backbone and safe haven is so frustrating, it’s a shame we are belittled and made out like we are over exaggerating something we literally have no control over, I mean honestly if I could “just calm down” on the spot my life would be AMAZING, but I hate to break it to you, that is just not how anxiety works.

So for those who do not suffer from this illness, can we please vow to change our view on not just anxiety , but ALL forms of Mental Illness, because honestly, how can we judge someone else based off an experience that you’ve never even had. I know you may think you are helping, but you are not.

So next time you find yourself in the presence of someone with anxiety or someone who is having a panic attack try saying things like this ” Is there anything I can do to help, May I sit here with you, Should I call someone for help, I’m here for you, take your time, etc.”

Enough is Enough, let’s start making that a habit! Mental Illness is no joke, it can be very serious in most cases, and the next time you say “Oh you’ll be fine” may just be to someone at their wits end of being put down instead of lifted up in love and encouragement.

A day In the Life of ME

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A little meme humor to start off this Blog Post, because the reality behind what’s meant to be a joke is so far from it in my life. I often find myself thinking to myself ” but do I gotta get up” much like you would do as a child having to get ready for school in the morning. But, it’s the truth I don’t want to get up because I know what that means for me… MISERY.

From the time my eyes open until my eyes shut and I actually fall into a deep sleep, I am anxious. I often find myself dreading waking up every single morning because no matter what the day may hold, I know it will be miserable. I hate that I have that mindset because It’s always the thought of, I could have not woken up at all, or It could be worse which is true. But, It still sucks. I would like to invite you into my head, into my world and my struggles, my ticks as I like to call them. This is a day in the life of someone with severe anxiety, and panic disorder with agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia being defined as a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed. So basically the fear of everything, so lets keep that in mind while we start my day.

So oddly enough a person who fears literally everything has a full time job( trust me I NEVER thought that would happen, especially a year ago, so If you feel stuck Trust Me you Aren’t) As soon as my eyes open my anxiety begins I first ponder on the thought of I swallowed something in my sleep (Swallowing something, literally anything is one of my ticks). I wear a hospital mask in my house at all times, even when I sleep, to prevent this fairly unrealistic fear from happening, as I begin getting ready for the day I must make sure that I am in my daughters or grandmothers sight at all times, whether they are watching me or not it makes me feel better.

During the process of getting ready I being tossing around the idea in my head that I’ve some how managed to touch an outlet or stick something into it and any moment I’ll be going into cardiac arrest from electric shock ( yes these are the thoughts that remain in my mind every single day), I have these thoughts even though every single plug in my house that isn’t being used is plugged with one of those toddler plugs so they won’t touch a plug, you know the ones. These thoughts toss around my head until I leave for work.

I do not drive by myself, I haven’t faced that fear just yet, but it’s definitely on the to do list. Luckily my mother works close by, and we are able to carpool to work everyday.

Once I get to work that’s where the real fear kicks in, because I cannot wear my mask, and their are not plugged outlets, and there is hundreds of things I could swallow or stick in an outlet. I am in constant fear all day long, I have to hide plugs so I don’t feel the need to look at them and have them taunt me, I have to record myself a lot because I’m by myself so much of the day there is no one to reassure me I haven’t done anything my crazy brain tries to convince me I’ve done.

Another major tick I have is the fear of medicine I don’t want to be anywhere around it. I will have clients that come in and all I can literally think about is if their is medicine in their purse. I hate going to gas stations or the grocery store because I know there will be medicine somewhere, even at home our medicine is locked up in a file cabinet at all times, and only my grandmother has the key and before the questions pops up in your head, yes, it is that serious.

So after a long day of stresses I am finally able to lay my head down, and let my anxiety run wild over the amount of medicine I may have been around, what I may have swallowed and why it’s taking so long to die after I was so sure I touched that electrical plug 6 hours ago and then eventually my most favorite part of the day occurs, sleep, or in my case ESCAPE…

I honestly debated even sharing this because this is one of those things that only those who live within my walls know about me, so the fear of letting that out just gets me anxious in itself, but this is my reality I can’t help it, even when I try to. This is who I am even with my medication, it calms the thoughts but they never really go away. So to understand me you would have to know this about me. I don’t let people in for that reason, I don’t want to share this with someone, I’m ashamed that my life is this way. But, I am learning that these are the cards I was dealt, and I can either sit and wallow in self-pity or make a life for myself despite my troubles. If I can do it, you can too! Please don’t ever give up.

I’m Still Here

I’m here, I’m alive, I’m Living. Not that anyone has even noticed my absence, I myself just hate to have strayed away from my blog. I love writing(well typing), it’s like an escape for me. All the words of my life story that are bottled up inside are able to be poured out of me. I don’t open up to anybody. So this is a way for me to say the things I wish I could without actually haven’t to physically talk to someone.

I also am going to try and at least do an entry a day mot only for myself but for someone, anyone else. I found myself browsing through Word press looking for anybody with the level of anxiety as me. I have yet to find a good blog to really relate to. Everyone has their own level of Mental Illness of course, but It’s nice to be able to feel as though you aren’t the only one out there. I have found several that give me a sense of relif but not yet a feeling of “I’m not the only one out there”.

Not everyone wants to share their story and that is totally understandable. I myself have fought back and forth in my own mind about sharing my blog link to people who actually know me, and I have not yet the courage to do it. I do however feel that it is a little easier spilling my crazy contents of my brain to a world that doesn’t know me, that didn’t know me.

I am embarrassed of my diagnosis, some of the closest people in my life have no idea the things I have been through the last two years nor the daily fight I am still battling, and I honestly don’t know if they ever will. I am not ready to share that with them yet, however if I can help anyone else, just make one person feel as though they aren’t alone I will be satisfied.

So I will try and be more consistent with my posts, because someone, one day, may just stumble across exactly what they needed to see, that is my goal and hope for the Blog.

To whomever may need to see this, you are not alone, you are not crazy, and you DO matter. I am here, I am you, and we are in this fight together.

Trapped Soul

I feel as though I have been trapped since the start of my Diagnosis, Visions of my “old self” play in my mind, I imagine a time when I felt I was ” normal “, now I am haunted by those memories, living as this whole new person that I hate with a passion. I have spent months and months trying to bury the on going downward spiral of my anxiety, I tried to regain bits and pieces of my life before anxiety, but I wasn’t aware at the time the old me would never be back, I needed to stop pretending.

I had spent countless months still looking for an answer that I wanted to hear, I still refused to except my diagnosis. I begin to head into the second of my many downward spirals, as my anxiety and panic disorder began to worsen, it started to stop me from doing everyday necessary for survival things, such as eating, drinking, etc.

As my body began to essentially deteriorate, I would just continue on with life like normal, I tried to not think about my feelings, or my anxiety at all. I pretended it didn’t exist. I was ill, mentally and physically. I went through a patch where I legitimately did not eat for 3 whole months, and I am not meaning this lightly. I would tell myself today I’ll eat, but never would, days turned into weeks, that turned into months. I would drink water, and an occasional meal replacement shake but aside from that I would eat nothing more.

October 2018 was a terrible month for me, I was entering month 4 of not eating, I was so weak, getting out of bed was an absolute struggle. All I wanted to do was lay in bed and not move. I could feel something wasn’t right, but I just ignored it. One day about a week or so into the month I woke up feeling awful, more ill than usual. I wasn’t able to get out of bed, just sitting up in bed I almost passed out, I immediately called my mother from work to come and get me and take me to the hospital. I had to have my step-dad rush home from work to help me get out of bed, and get my daughter ready.

We finally make it to the Hospital, I had an EKG first because my heart rate was so high via BP reading, I knew something had to be wrong when the tech asked “Mam are you in any pain, your heart rate is ridiculously high” having anxiety of course didn’t make the situation any better but that sent me into a full blown panic, we were sent back to the room to wait results, after what seemed like hours the doctor returned, stuck her head in and asked my mom to step outside, I was about ready to faint.. talk about a terrible way to handle that when your patient has crippling anxiety, but that’s a story for another day.

My mother returns with a blank look on her face, I immediately snapped and asked What the Hell was that, what did she say!? She explained that my blood work was so off the charts in a bad way they were shocked I was even still conscious, my potassium levels were in deathly low ranges, but that to me wasn’t what scared me the most, the next thing out of my mothers mouth still haunts my mind, ” They want to have you admitted into a Mental Hospital Celeste”

I was sick, in every way humanly possible I had spent months practically digging my own grave, I knew that this was a possibility yet I continued to tell myself I would be fine, a part of me knew I needed help, but the anxiety told me I was fine. I realized that my soul no longer existed, Anxiety was and had been the controller over my body and mind n0w. My soul was sinking further and further away, trapped behind a vicious monster.

This is NOT my fate!

Following my anxiety diagnosis I tried to get on with my life the best I could, I wanted to ignore all my problems pretend that they didn’t exist. I did well for a couple of months, however without even realizing it I was slowly deteriorating. I began counseling in hopes it would help, I knew I could fight this by myself, I didn’t need medicine, I didn’t even have anxiety, I could fight this, so I thought.. 
Counseling became an issue for me each session became a constant drilling to start my medicine, and she was so convinced that my “mental issues” came from the absence of my father, which has never weighed on me severely, he had never been apart of my life so there was nothing to mourn. After a few weeks I realized that this wasn’t for me, at this point all everyone (family, counselor, doctors) could talk about  was getting me to start some medicine, and I was sick of all of it, so I stopped seeing a counselor and switched my doctor. 
All the while I wasn’t seeing all of the signs, now that it’s been almost two years I see it so clearly, I was slowly becoming a hermit, I was not going out as often, I was still able to go places alone, but almost every time I would get dizzy spells, go numb, start sweating, and panic so I would have to leave immediately. Being in large groups of people began to panic me, I couldn’t go to the mall hardly anymore, church became a huge panic for me, things I so easily did before, how did I not see this?
Coming into 2018 I was miserable I knew I wasn’t myself at all, I still had constant dizziness, I was at a loss, I began seeing a new doctor, I felt like a broken record explaining my symptoms yet again, I liked this doctor she seemed to listen and actually want to get to the bottom of this. I started over for second time seeing specialist after specialist, taking multiple tests, like some sort of lab rat, to my surprise all tests came back negative, nothing was being found, nobody had any answers as to what happened to me. This really sent me into a panic, the doctor then introduced the thought of having anxiety again, I was hurt and frustrated, I felt people were beginning to think I was crazy, and maybe making all this up. She thought since the counselor hadn’t worked in the past for me, maybe a psychiatrist might be a better option, I was honestly offended. I left the appointment feeling confused, hurt and just numb, why was everyone trying to pin me as crazy, was I crazy, was any of this even real, was I really losing my mind. 
All these thoughts ran through my mind, I felt alone in this battle, here I was suffering from some mysterious illness, nor doctors or my own family believed there was anything wrong with me, all they kept throwing my way was, “you have anxiety Celeste”, could it be true, could a perfectly fine person one day wake up and now be the victim of crippling anxiety? No, no there’s no way. I just wasn’t ready to accept that as my fate. 

June 2, 2017

The year 2017 started out great for me, I had just landed a new job working as a secretary for an oilfield part company, I was feeling good, I was making great money and was all around content. About 2 months into my job I was offered a part time position working as a secretary in a law office, the same one my mother has worked at for years, it was a great job so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get my foot in the door with that kind of career.  I continued on working for both jobs, around March, I noticed I started to get these dizzy spells,  they would come out of no where and just hit me like I was about to pass out at any given moment. They lasted about 20-30mins and would go away and I would be fine, however considering I did a lot of driving for my first job (Oilfield Sec.) that was super scary for me because I didn’t want to pass out while driving, however I had always been fairly healthy so I just ignored it and went on with life. By the end of March the oilfield job ended up slowing down and I was let go from that job, to my surprise that same day I was offered a position working part time as a secretary for an office located in the same building as the law firm I was already working for, the pay was so high I was blown away, at this time I was only 20, a single mom to a 2 year old and still living with my parents, but between the two jobs I was making enough to begin saving for my daughter and I’s future. Coming into mid April, I hadn’t had anymore dizzy spells so I figured that was that, and I was fine, by the middle of May I had enough saved up to begin looking for an apartment or rent house for my daughter and I, I was so excited because I was doing this by myself no help just me, I was working so hard and couldn’t wait for the future. By the end of May I had found a little 1 bedroom rent home that was so perfect for us, I checked it out and put my deposit and everything in and had it secured there were a few last minute things that were getting done to the house so we couldn’t get the keys and move in just yet. 

Now, here is where the nightmare begins , it’s June first I go to work like normal everything is good, midday I get a bad dizzy spell again, this time it lasted hours I was concerned because I thought I shook this I didn’t understand why this was happening, however by the end of the work day I was feeling better, I got a call saying I could pick up the keys to my house and begin moving in the next day so I was so excited It was our place finally, so I didn’t think twice about the spell after that. 
Well here we are, it’s funny almost 2 years later and I remember this day like it was yesterday, I went to work like usual was excited all day knowing I would be getting the keys to my place, I did have a dizzy spell but wasn’t to concerned about it as my mind was on other things, fast forward to the end of the day I picked up my keys and finally had my house!  My mom and grandma were coming over to help me deep clean the house before we started to move things in, I sent my daughter over to her dad’s parents house, and we headed to clean.. It took about 3 hours to clean the house fully it was small so nothing to bad. All was well and I knew we’d start moving things in the next day (Saturday). We stopped for a bite to eat at one of my favorite spots Schlotskys (which I refuse to ever eat again by the way). We finished up eating and headed to go pick up my daughter, this is when my life was forever changed.
About 10 minutes after leaving the restaurant, I as I call it was hit by a wave of death, simply because I can’t think of any better way to describe it, I just felt completely and utterly ill. I picked up my daughter and headed back home to my parents house, I was sweating, feeling faint, weak and just all around bad. I was running fever, took some medicine and went right to sleep. The next morning I woke up feeling no different, I was completely bed ridden, I couldn’t eat, drink, move, nothing I just wanted to lay there that’s all I could do, I didn’t know what was going on, the one time I tried to get up I almost passed out so I remained in bed all day. These same feelings went on for a week, my mother begin to worry it had been a week without going to work, not eating, hardly even able to drink. I’m the type of person I don’t like to know bad things, like if I had cancer I wouldn’t want to know just let me live my life and die in peace, so this is kind of how I was going about what was happening to me I had not ever in my life been this sick so I just knew I was dying, my mother begged me to go to the ER after a week and a half so I went ahead and went, they did a few test and blamed it on acid reflux, to me that didn’t seem right but hey, at least I’m not dying. They gave me some medicine and the next day I felt a little better. I went back to work I was feeling functional but not my complete self, that following weekend, I finally began moving into my house. It took about 2 days to get all moved in and I felt complete, for about a minute or two, the next day I was back to feeling the same, I went to work anyway because how else would I pay for my new home if I didn’t, as the day went on I felt worse and worse, I ended up having my dad come get me I was layed out on the floor in our office library until he arrived. 
My 3-4 days of being able to function went out the window I was back to being 100 percent bed ridden, at this point my mother ended up living with me to care for me because I couldn’t do anything, several family members had to take turns sitting with me until my mother got off work and could take over, I honestly felt I was dying.
I do not like hospitals so going back didn’t feel like an option considering all they could say last time was acid reflux and my symptoms hadn’t changed, also I had no insurance at the time so it was harder for me to seek medical help. By the end of June I was still ill, my mother set me up a doctor appointment to get a second opinion, I barely made it, had to be wheeled in, in a wheel chair, had to be held up to get my weight, I explained to her my symptoms, and she told me I was feeling this way because I wasn’t eating or drinking, mind you I was eating and drinking just fine before this all started, so again that didn’t seem right to me, the second verdict she had was my bp was elevated so she wanted to watch it over the course of a couple of weeks. So again I left with basically no diagnosis. My bp remained high over the couple of weeks so she wanted to get me started on some medicine to help with that and assured me that was what was causing all my problems, at this point it had been a full month of being bed ridden, not eating and extremely dizzy/faint, with absolutely no reason as to why this was happening to me. 
Over the next few weeks I became terrified, I was so overwhelmed, I eventually had to give back my home, which I never even got to enjoy, I could not work and my mother could not afford to keep paying my house note as well, I was still bed ridden, I thought that if I”m dying why is it taking so long, I literally was suffering with no end in sight. I went back to the doctor, I lost count on how many times, I got my bp fixed yet I still felt the same and she assured me that was the problem, I told her look, I can deal with not eating, feeling sick, but this dizziness is what has to go, I couldn’t stand or do anything without support because I would pass out. I had MRI’s and CT’s done all came back fine.. I was completely at a loss, I was so miserable I was praying to God for bad news just so I could begin some type of road to recovery, but all I was getting was a bunch of nothing is wrong with you.
I eventually stopped seeing doctors, I forced myself to begin eating, didn’t go well at first, but I began getting some type of appetite. I was getting more strength back, more ability to sit up in bed, the urge to want to eat, actual cravings for things. I noticed I begin to fear everything I didn’t want to go any where or do anything because I felt it would set me back again. I still was experiencing extreme dizziness but at this point I had been living with it for months so it started to become my new normal, I began being able to go to the bathroom by myself, shower by myself, do some things around the house.
Around September I decided to go back to the doctor and try again figuring out where the dizziness was coming from, I told her again all my symptoms and what I had been experiencing I explained to her that I was so terrified to do some of things I use to such as eating certain foods, wearing making up, using certain shampoos, and body washes etc. because I had no idea where any of this came from I didn’t want to set it all off again because I was finally beginning to feel a little more like me. 
This was when anxiety was introduced to me the first time, she told me that this all could have been caused by anxiety and was definitely progressing at this point, I was honestly offended, I felt as if she was saying I made all this up and just had anxiety  like a crazy person, I was livid. She prescribed me some medicine and I left, I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I felt so alone at that point, like I’d truly never get any help now, they all think I’m crazy. 
However at this time I did not know, the nightmare I was truly in for, this was only just the start of a miserable life I just let walk right in the front door, if I could go back and tell myself one thing it would be “TAKE THE DAMN MEDICINE”, I took the doctors words as an insult instead of actual help, this was my first of many mistakes, I did not know the true monster hidden behind the simple word “anxiety”, I truly wish someone would have told me. This is the beginning of my hell, the beginning of my battle with anxiety/panic disorder with agoraphobia.