RSS Feed

Tag Archives: recovery

Anxiety Woman’s reading list: a prescription for wellbeing

Posted on

I remember being in the middle of a conversation with a fellow actor in San Francisco. After yammering on as we actors do, he stopped, looked me in the eye and said, “I can’t afford to be around negative people anymore.” Then he walked away. I laugh large laughs in my head today because his conversations about making it big and investing in his latest project remind me of a certain current president of a formerly much admired nation. If you can’t deal with negativity then perhaps you might need an ego reboot.

Sure, I’m a bit negative when it comes to assuaging men’s egos. I also have a tendency to underrate my own cooking but this is a self protective move. If I tell people the brownies are a bit undercooked and have too much salmon extract in them, that means there are more for me.

I’ve been noticing my stress level is creeping up lately. I can’t sleep until 3 am. My dominant forearm is aching while I type this. I’m getting charlie horses at night and now I have “Trigger thumb” where my thumb becomes dislocated as I sleep due to high tension and over use during the day. How do you overuse a thumb? By yanking up one’s pants too many times, securing wheelchairs, pushing wheelchairs, giving a thumbs down to bad movies, riding a bike in winter  desperately trying to get the brakes to work and by cross country skiing.

I am taking a break from the skiing and the biking and decided to catch up on my reading.  My reading choices reflect an inability to move forward with my life. It would take a disaster of great proportions to uproot me from my safety net of friends and activities so that’s what I read about. Besides there is nothing like a disaster book to make you feel like anxiety is a good thing.

I read this one last year when there was very little snow in Alaska. The weather was getting me down but reading this put an end to my complaints.

I just finished reading this. If a recurring reference to a pail of human eyeballs doesn’t put you off then you might enjoy the rest which is equally gory but historically accurate.  There are no big plot surprises as you can see the trajectory right on the cover. And to think I am wary about moving back to the Northeast because of ticks.

Here’s one I got at the library book sale on Friday night, haven’t started it but it was on the shelf marked. “Disasters” so how could I go wrong?

I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but I have a difficult time resisting non-fiction with the word, “terrifying” in the sub-title. I hope someday there will be a Trump era history with that word in the title. I find myself feeling much more at home in a Trump presidency than many of my friends who don’t court disaster as doggedly as I do. I, who am oft  the outlier in terms of neuroticism, now appear closer to the mean or average. This is a lucky break for me.

A man named Lance Panzer, no relation to the tank, reviewed it on Amazon.com with the headline, “Makes the Perfect Storm look like a picnic”

Just in case I needed a different sort of input, I made my way over to Title Wave to  cash out my credit before the March 15th deadline. Look what I found!

Product Details

They have two more copies if you want one!

This is how I put my life in perspective. I may have no direction. The leader of my  country may be inherently unstable but at least I am not on a plane with snakes.  If you have any film or reading recommendations, please leave them in the comments.

 

 

Advertisements

Tis the Season to SCREAM!!

The clocks are going forward which is SO stupid in Alaska where most of us have seasonal affective disorder. It’s going to be pitch black when the school bus comes no matter what time you call it. It’s also going to be cold and for some children, way up North, there will be polar bears waiting to eat them at their bus stops.

The only redeeming aspect of this weekend is Halloween. Most kids will go to malls or well orchestrated Halloween Townes or Trail events.  But we still have some old school ghouls with their porch lights on. One family in Mountain View has their home open as a Haunted House this weekend.  My roommate and I have put our unit on The Trick or Treat Map and are almost through decorating. Sad to say, I am almost through the first THREE POUND bag of Halloween candy as well. Here are some photos of the yard. Nothing was purchased  except the $3.50 zombie head, which I decorated myself.

zombie.jpg

This next guest is a favorite of mine. My roommate created it and it has a seat of honor right by the door. I am using gender neutral language because even though it looks like a chicken, I don’t want to make assumptions.

chick.jpg

This creature reminds me of the  Malcolm McDowell film, “O Lucky Man,” which featured the following result from an advertisement for paid participants in medical research.

sheep

A not so lucky man!

We also have other obscure guests on our porch.

trio.jpg

Yes, that is a rat with a rotten banana. How about a grave with ketchup?

cross.jpg

That is a stake, not a steak which I believe is more commonly associated with ketchup. On the subject of scary food, how about a really obnoxious orange tree?

orange.jpg

My roommate made an excellent sign for us since we live in The Valley of The Moon.

doom.jpg

We do our best with very little cash but I did buy one of those laser lights that you see on TV which make it look like there are fireflies everywhere. I consider it a great investment as it works for Christmas as well as for indoor parties. Now I will never have to hang lights again.  Hanging lights is not my forte. The ones you see on the window above were originally hung by me but I caught my roommate rehanging them so they would be more artistic. I am messy but Halloween can be messy, I hope. At least as messy as election season.

Maybe that’s why my seasonal affective disorder is so bad this year.  I’ve lived here a little too long. I need some more adventures that don’t involve being cold, wet, or  the online dating of Republicans. Perhaps I will put the zombie as my primary photo on OK Cupid. I seem to peek the interest of men in Florida. Does that mean that only really inaccessible men like me? or are people in Florida more likely to fantasize about the cold? I don’t fantasize about Florida. I dream of a state with less expensive health insurance and a few less Right wing zealots.  .

Please feel free to stop by my house this Halloween. I only get a few trick or treaters. I mostly decorate to keep my recovery strong. After all, there is no better time to be obsessed with death and doom! Except, once again, election day.

What made me want to write today

1.  Watching the panic over Hilary Clinton’s health.   Let’s admit that all of us are going to die, make mistakes, get sick.  I would rather have a president with a mental or physical illness who gets to know their limits than Trump or Putin who have no limits. Leaders are no longer descendants of the Gods. They should reflect the imperfect population they serve.  We are vulnerable, but in our leaning on others we are better on the whole than those who can not bow due to their rigidity.

2. The 9/11 tribute I just watched was a great example of this. Public Servants did not run away from their job but ran towards it. Even though their lives were in danger. They held each other. They cried. Everyday there are things in this world to cry about. We are lucky enough that there are things to laugh about as well.  When a firefighter is overcome or a fellow social worker breaks down, I don’t laugh or pity them. I may fear that I will be next but I acknowledge my imperfections and move on. I attempt compassion and believe they can recover to what extent they are able with support.

pumpkin

 

3. Pumpkin Cookie Butter ice cream by Tillamook Farms. It has something named “Speculoos” in it.  It tastes good. They could make it anytime of year but it only comes out in fall because there’s a market for it. Its appearance underscores the inventional explosion of Oreo Cookie and Chips Ahoy flavors which are too numerous to name.  FYI, Chips Ahoy filled with brownies is a loser.  Living in a feeding frenzy for “trending” in terms of flavors and media, I want to push back, not just to the basics but to what real creativity is. Putting your own style together, making a recipe with leftovers, throwing some friends together and improvising a script that doesn’t have to be filmed in 3-D, seeing past an illness to the person behind it, and knowing when the rules have begun to break your back then coming up with acceptable alternatives.

As an actor, I enjoy breaking the fourth or fifth wall when it fits the scene. As a clown, I show my dirty laundry for laughs. As a social worker, I  let my heart bleed but keep my head on straight. As a human, I eat my roommate’s crazy flavored ice cream and cry, “O, the humanity!”

Let’s each make our own twisted way in the world today and hope that the weave spins something magical out of us.

 

Getting Sketchy

This is my yard in summer, around 8 pm. My brain is tired of thinking so I am just going to draw for a month or two instead of writing. I am a creative arts therapist so this is for my own good, to practice what I preach. Besides, I fell off the unicycle again and this seems safer.

By the way, every household in Anchorage has this chair. It’s the only affordable summer chair that comes up on the barge. I omitted the fact that this particular chair is held together by pink duct tape on the arm. 

Next time I will attempt to draw the 12 stellar Jay’s in my yard, if they don’t Peck out my eyes first.

Crazy things I must do in order to keep alive

Posted on
  1.  Find joy in life even though it is not fair and I have been given much more time and gifts than I possibly deserve.

2. DO NOT read the news everyday.  Make small talk or change the topic with  people who dwell on catastrophe and politics.  I can never correct all the damage done by my people and my culture but I can make my own personal amends. I do not need to be sold on the right path. Remember that this path is not likely to be approved by my family, workplace or any major sponsor!

2. Dance everyday even though I am a terrible dancer. This includes the cage dance I was invited to do at the playground downtown. Thank you, Schatzie Schaeffer I had almost gotten to  9 pm without a healthy pole dance.

3. Remember to let my glasses fall into the port-a-potty once in awhile. I did this at The Three Baron’s Faire and immediately plucked them out. I should have let them sit there a bit and taken a photo.

4. Don’t expect my roommate not to eat my ice cream when he gets up with the munchies. Don’t expect him to replace it either. It is a losing battle and not that important but I can buy ridiculous flavors which might gross him out like mango-turnip crunch with chia.

5.  Do write, to keep in touch with friends and to let out my hopes and fears which as the song says are “baked into a beautiful pie.”

 

6.  Keep on riding the unicycle even though I bruised my rib and can still feel it when I go to bed. I may be a sensitive person. I cry easily and I want people to like me but I am not giving up yet. As one of my therapists told me, “don’t fire yourself, let them fire you.”

7. Wear the clown nose when I am driving, except when I have to sneeze.

8.  Always stop for unicorns.

unicorn.png

All the annoying inspirational words you will ever need

obnoxious10

Thanks Mr. Nice guy. Quincy Jones is a business man. It works for him, but my self worth is less than his so I need your investment desperately!

 

obnoxious7

I might  still be working on that 3rd grade spelling quiz if I listened to Mr. Edison.  I haven’t given up on theatre though,  even though I began as a self satisfied stage hog and have progressed only to a become mediocre narcissist.  This is  a great quote to send friends struggling with addiction.

 

 

obnoxious16

I should really work harder at me. I am never good enough, especially good enough looking. Babies and children  are beautiful only because they secretly work out when we adults are binging on The Walking Dead featuring people who aren’t very good at being dead which helps our self esteem.

 

obnoxious15

Advice from someone who appeared to be miserable trying to be someone else until the day she died.  Not that I don’t have empathy with her struggles. Oh wait, I don’t because I am too confused by her double message and the waste of the person I am.

I can’t decide about the next two. I like the idea of being a moving target.

obnoxious3

still3

But am I just avoiding my spirit which wants to watch television in bed? My spirit wants to soar but I tell it to lay down on the floor and take a nap.

 

I hope I have distilled all I have learned on facebook from my friends and their gurus to make your life that much better, because it can always be better and more authentic than the person next to you!

 

 

 

 

 

Anxiety woman survives another Anchorage “winter”

I use the term “winter” quite loosely as it has been an unheard of 40 degrees F most everyday this week.  The Fur Rondy sled dog races were abbreviated from 30 miles to 3 as the dogs are mushing through slush brought in from the local snow dump. I biked to the fireworks tonight. I have done this before bundled up like a blimp but today I wore fingerless gloves and a light jacket. Note the lack of hats on these festival goers.

hats

You would think we Alaskans would rejoice in the warmth and lack of snow but instead we are MISERABLE!  It is darker when there is no snow to reflect the small amount of light we get. Also there is no skiing of any sort and now the skating is also impossible. Biking with studs and running with cleats are my fallbacks.

So here is how I got through this pseudo winter.

  1.  I paid no attention to the presidential campaign.  Sure, I laughed at some Trump memes on facebook. Especially the one my friend Luke posted of the entire library staff wearing a familiar hairdo.

2.    I didn’t force myself to blog, as I would have bored you to death with my petty problems and horrible anxiety about my new job. It is a pretty good job by the way but like most people I feel I am doing a horrible job when I start something new. Unlike most people, my mind exaggerates it to a life and death struggle and I accumulate as many stress related diseases I can manage to contract at one time.

3.   I did a play. It was an awesome opportunity as I only was onstage for two minutes so I had plenty of time to either be anxious or remind myself that I was having fun. One way I have fun is trying on hats. There’s no better place than a theater for outrageous hats.

fluff

Is this not one of the best hats ever? My costume was pretty cool too. I was playing a dead alcoholic in heaven. The play was Kurt Vonnegut’s Happy Birthday Wanda June. You can’t find it on the internet because he hated the film but the play is hysterical.  Here’s another winning hat:

viking

I realize this is not for everyday wear but Easter is coming up.

By the way, this particular theater, Cyrano’s in Anchorage, has a lovely anti-anxiety poster backstage.

nix

When I catch myself thinking just how bad I could screw up, I remind myself that Richard Nixon just made things worse for himself by being all tense. Must have been very difficult to deal with getting impeached. If I lost my job or got kicked out of a show at least it wouldn’t be the biggest story of its day.

Here is some lovely headgear I wore today.

hairn

I am working at a nursing home. My costume was a 60’s waitress uniform. Our African American history celebration fell to me as the sole activity staff working on Saturdays. I came up with a successful theme – The Integration Cafe ( like a much nicer place than the Woolworth’s where the black students were not served.) Since we had already used up our entire budget for the month, all we needed were pies and a bit of ingenuity.  Everyone was encouraged to sit by someone they didn’t know well, I served pie and ice cream shakes ( we already had the ice cream and the milk!). We watched an excellent film on the music of the civil rights movement, followed by  someone who had prepared a solo and a spontaneous sing-a-long of songs from the movement. I had library books on The Harlem Renaissance, The Tuskegee Airmen and such on the cafe tables and photocopies of famous and not so famous African American pioneers.  Can you tell I am proud! I’ve come a long way from hating myself completely! The singing helps. Also the family members and friends of the residents who helped out. I feel like I am part of a team now.

So I have to remind myself that I can always try on a hat. There are many people to help out if I only ask. There is always chocolate and I don’t have to beat myself up for eating it when I’m anxious and depressed because very soon I will have A DENTAL PLAN!!!!