Painful changes

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I’ve had to give myself a bit of a reality check over the past week.

My anxiety isn’t going to go away because I make small changes. Turning down work here and there, taking a couple hours a week to do something I enjoy and going on meds aren’t the solution. Years of anxiety has left me with debilitating joint pain, constant digestive issues and an inability to take a satisfying breath. That’s not going to be solved by consuming less sugar and more vegetables. I’m going to have to make some huge changes. And it’s going to hurt.

In the past week, I’ve made some major strides.

1. Goodbye coffee 😥

My dear ol’ pal over at Real Swanky is so cool. She’s straight edge and doesn’t consume caffeine. What?? So impressive. I mentioned to her that I wanted to quit coffee and she recommended a hickory root-based coffee substitute.

I’ve been drinking it for a few weeks to cut back on my morning coffee intake, but over the past week I completely stopped drinking coffee and only had two or three cups of caffeinated tea.

And, you know what? My anxiety levels are so much lower. Lower enough, that it’s not all that hard to turn down a cup of joe when I think of how much it harms me. (As I say with a small coffee next to me… But I’m working from a hospital cafeteria, so I’ll cut myself a break!)

2. Find a roommate

I’ve been loving living alone. I leave the door open while I shower so my cat Stella will come visit. As soon as I walk in the door, I take off my pants. Music is almost always playing throughout the apartment and I have frequent solo dance parties in the kitchen.

But rent is $950 per month.

Should I give that a minute to sink in? $950 per month paid by a newbie freelance writer starting her own business. Yeah, it doesn’t really make sense.

I was waiting for a specific person to move in, but I really shouldn’t have had any period of time without a roomie because I’m always stressed about money. So, I’ve started asking around. I bought a smaller desk so my office can move into my bedroom and a bed frame with space for storage underneath. The larger bedroom has been cleared out so I can get a few extra bucks than if I gave up the small room and I’m almost ready to welcome a semi-permanent, paying house guest.

As soon as the room is set, I’ll post it on VegVisits and AirBNB as well. Just in case it takes a while to find someone to live there.

3. Push, push, push

I get so stressed because my home isn’t as tidy and clean as I’d like it. The level of stress this causes me makes it near impossible to get anything done. I’ve got extreme joint pain, caused by anxiety. Somedays, walking is hard because my knees just don’t wanna be knees. Other days, I can’t bend my wrists and pain shoots up into my elbows.

Imagine scooting a vacuum around like that. I don’t have to imagine because it’s something I’ve done. Pain, nausea and panic fucking suck, but they’re not going to get better if I don’t do anything. Over the past week, I’ve made myself carry a heavy desk up my three-storey walk-up when I was exhausted, taken care of my scoby while feeling like I might vomit and dragged a huge bin of laundry down to my car at 5:45 a.m.

 

Life has been so far from what I want it to be for so long, that I just wanted to have things that I want, now. I wanted to drink my cups of coffee alone in my own, clean apartment. I wanted to save up money for a house in the country, then move in and become an animal foster parent again. Maybe get a dog and a pig. Perhaps a little cabin outback where I could set up a writers’ retreat.

In the process of immediatley taking what I want, I sabotaged this dream by wasting money on rent. I had some saved for a home, then invested it into Cockroach and am waiting until early 2017 for the return. The stress of this all heightened my anxiety so much that it’s been difficult to deal with life. I feel like I’ve been on the edge, slipping and losing grasp for a while.

I’ll get what I want. One day. For now, I just need to take care of present day Meg.

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