List what ya love for anxious emergencies

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When I’m in a foul mood, it’s hard to remember what makes me happy. That’s why I like to keep silly photos on my phone of the people and animals I love.

 

I also like to keep a list on my phone of things I can do to cheer myself up.

  • Go for a walk
  • Read a book
  • Play with the cats
  • Grab a tea at a local coffee shop
  • Knit and listen to podcasts
  • Garden

It’s similar to what I used to do with keeping a gratitude board on my wall, but more specific in that it gives me actions to take when the anxiety takes over my mind and I can’t come up with a plan on my own.

This is especially helpful when other tricks–like encouraging negative thoughts to float away–aren’t working.

Recently, I’ve decided I need to add another list. Some days, I’m so motivated and pumped up about work, I feel like I can do everything I want to do and will be so successful. Other days, I have no faith in myself or my abilities. I become so self-conscious about what other people might be thinking about me and my work. I worry that I’m going to fail and wonder how I’ll survive.

So, I’m working on a list of things to motivate myself! Here’s what I’ve got so far:

My list is short. Clearly I need a little help building it. What do you do to get yourself excited about you and boost your confidence? I’d love suggestions!

More importantly, if you’ve got silly photos that you can’t help but laugh at, no matter how angry or anxious you are, I’d love if you could share them on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and tag me @megjcrane!


Concussion update

I’m still very much concussed. I’m up to working two hours a day, 30 minutes at a time with two hour breaks in between though. Whooooop!

What’s been hardest is that I’m getting a small taste of life and it’s making me want more. I finish a half hour of work and start getting pumped up to do something else fun, like go for a run or cook or read, and then remember that the next two hours are all about rest. No screens. No reading. No thinking. Just sitting, listening to an audiobook and knitting something basic.

It gets harder when other people don’t understand. “I’m having a bad day and don’t think I can walk that far to meet you. Do you mind coming here?” The correct answer is “No problem,” or “That’s not going to work for me today. Can we reschedule?” Not “Why?” I’ve had this injury for three months and I’m beyond tired of it. I’m also beyond tired of talking about it and explaining what a concussion is, over and over. If I say I can’t do it, please just accept that and move on. I’m not avoiding that activity because I’m “hiding from the world” or being a brat. It’s because it’s not good for my healing brain.

Here’s what I need:
-Few messages, short and concise, only when there’s a reason, and space to answer in my own time when my brain is feeling up to it;
-No voicemails. For reals. My voicemail message even reminds you;
-Hangouts close to my home or with rides built in;
-Quiet–no yelling, no loud music; and
-Not being questioned when I say what I need.

Thanks to those who have been patient and understanding.

xoxo
Meg

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Anxiety leads to hilarious embarrassment

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Sometimes, we all do embarrassing things. Sometimes, we can’t even think about those things later without cringing. Although, we so seldom actually take notice of others walking into poles (without the distraction of a cellphone). And, if we do, we rarely think about the accident for years or judge the injured too harshly.

However, I always thought everyone noticed everything I did, judged the shit out of me and remembered forever.

Until recently, for years after something happened, I’d have to push the memory away before it was fully formed in my brain because it was so painful to think about.

In Grade 8, I was walking down the hallway and the boyfriend who had dumped me the night before (over MSN) was walking towards me. In an attempt to look casual and also too busy to take notice of him, I stretched my arms up, up, up and feigned a yawn. Not really the smoothest move to begin with, but a lot less so considering I had massive, dark sweat stains around the pits of my light grey sweater. Thinking about that for years after, I used to shudder and have to fight back tears of embarrassment.

More than a decade removed, it’s pretty hilarious. Oh, little Meg. So silly.

My bud Tony joined me on this week’s episode of Ramblings of an Anxious Mess to chat about the strange things we’ve done because of anxiety. Most of this stuff is recent and most of it is hilarious. At least, we’re choosing to laugh about it.

I don’t want to spend my life being mortified by my own weirdness, especially since I am a pretty odd little duck. So, I choose to laugh at myself.

Here are some strategies I use.

Picture it from another person’s perspective: I did walk into a pole once while out with a dog. I wasn’t on my phone. I wasn’t talking to anyone. I was sober, it was light out and I had had my morning coffee. I wasn’t even really looking anywhere but straight ahead. I was just so lost in my head, I walked into the pole. My first instinct was to run home and hide. Instead, I looked around for someone who had seen it. I wanted to laugh with them. No one saw, and I was a little disappointed that only I got a chuckle out of it. Although, I did spend the rest of my walk with Naomi laughing, out loud, at myself and trying to picture what happened.

Use it as comedic material: As I held the door open for the caretaker of my building, he wished me a happy new year and reached his arms out for a hug. My hand made contact with the sleeve of his jacket before I realized he wasn’t going for a hug; he was putting his hand on the door. I looked down and ran. I fucking ran. And then avoided him until he was no longer the caretaker. But, I told everyone I knew. I still tell that story when I think someone could use a laugh. Others use it as well. That bit made it far in early 2016 and spread cheer through dreary post-holiday season Winnipeg.

Imagine it happened to a friend: Hearing about friend’s doing stupid shit is as entertaining as hearing about single friends’ dating lives. Even though it sounds a little bit awful, you’re jealous that’s not your life. You’re also excited to have the hilarious story to focus on and tell others about, kind of how my friends spread the story of me almost hugging the caretaker. However, when it’s your story, you get to tell it. A friend of mine once accidentally pepper sprayed herself. I was there. It was fucking awesome. Except that she was in pain and is a little over me telling everyone the story. If it happened to me, I wouldn’t feel like a jerk for every time I fall over laughing about that. Or for publicly sharing it here. But, guys, it was awesome.


podcast artwork4Those are my non-anxiety related embarrassing stories.

This week, on Ramblings of an Anxious Mess, my buddy Tony joined and we shared some of our most embarrassing anxiety related stories. We’re wildly hilarious and weird. I highly recommend you listen to our stories. And, maybe, you could be a brave little toaster too and share yours? Let’s all giggle together and pretend we don’t have issues with anxiety. We’re just really, really funny. Right?