Surviving A Concert

Concerts were never a huge deal to me when I was a kid. I went to a few and enjoyed them. But they were a very different experience. I went to several Carmen concerts when I was young, they were always free. I was only allowed to listen to Christian music as a kid and so concerts weren’t as big a thing and the artists that really pushed concerts we weren’t really allowed to listen to and certainly wouldn’t have been able to go to a concert. In highschool I went to my first big concert called Winter Jam which had a lot of different Christian artists. Once I got to college and started listening to what I wanted to, I became more interested in potentially going to more concerts. I wish I had actually tried to go to more concerts before I started having my anxiety issues. In a past post I talked about my trip to Disney World. That trip was my first big realization that my anxiety was getting worse. IMG_3620 (2).JPG

This week I went to my first concert in a few years and while my experience was nothing like the Disney trip it definitely affected me. I went with my sister and one of our friends. We saw Regina Spektor. It was an absolutely amazing concert and I’m so glad I went but it was definitely a struggle. Thankfully we were early and we got a decent spot, we didn’t have actual seats, it was standing room. It started off okay but it got crowded pretty quick. We were standing right behind a rail on the second rise, so thankfully we weren’t in the mass of people. For the first half of the concert I was fine, I was really into the music and Regina Spektor was just amazing and so adorable. However at one point more people had started to move to the main floor in front of us and to the side. At one point it felt like my sister who was to the right of me, was suddenly getting closer and closer. The stranger that was to the left of me also felt like they were suddenly encroaching on my space. There were several moments were I almost elbowed my sister without thinking because I was getting so anxious.

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There was a moment were I felt sick to my stomach and wanted nothing more than to rush to the bathroom. I think one of the reasons I managed to  make it through was because of her music, it had a calming affect on me and I really was enjoying myself. Despite that I couldn’t help but look forward to when the concert would be over so I could leave. So when they cheered for an encore I cheered along but every minute that passed I hoped that there wouldn’t be one. There was an encore and it was amazing but I was still glad when it ended. Thankfully we waited until the majority of the people had left which gave me a chance to get some “air”. I have noticed that my anxiety seems to be worse when I’m surrounded by a lot of people and I’m moving, which was one of the problems I had at Disney World.

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As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I’ve always struggled with this but for some reason it gets worse as I get older. Even though I am no longer shy around people, I am now nervous around large groups of new people. While I no longer obsess over what others think of me, I now become anxious and self conscious being around a lot of people even those I know. I use to be, uneasy around people but it’s like now it stems from somewhere else than it used to and its definitely worse. I don’t enjoy being this way. It doesn’t really affect one on one time with close friends at least not in most situations. However it has in a few small ways. For example I began to withdraw from other close friends, while there were many reasons for my withdrawal, a big reason was because they started hanging out with other people and I felt the only way to spend time with them was to hang out with those other people and that always heightened my anxiety.

Some days I wonder how I ever made it through college, although some of the breakdowns I had make more sense now. Thankfully I haven’t really had any like that in awhile. The more I stress myself out the worse my anxiety gets which is why it was so bad senior year. I was working three jobs with a full load of classes, plus a lot of personal stuff going on. This worries me for the upcoming months. Soon I will be starting my summer job and my plan was to keep my other two jobs which will require a lot of maneuvering and leave me with no freetime. I’m not sure how I’ll handle it. If you have any stress relieving tips, they’d be much appreciated.

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The Day My Body Revolted

My alarm went off like any other morning and I dragged myself out of bed, clawing at my phone as I nearly tripped over my garbage. I punched at the little tiny stop button for the alarm in frustration, and threw my phone on the bed in disgust when I finally got it to turn off. I rummaged through the pile of unfolded clothes on my chair for my work uniform, struggling through my barely awake brain fog. Once I had finally shoved my legs and arms into the proper holes I stumbled down the stairs into the kitchen to make my breakfast. As I moved about the kitchen, trying to work around my father who has no awareness to other people’s morning plights when watching his tv shows, I began to notice a dull ache grow in my cerebral cortex. I tried to ignore it and powered through the rest of my morning routine despite the onset sluggishness that comes with a migraine.

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Once I was in my car, I turned on my favorite music hoping to distract myself for the next 35 minutes. By the time I arrived at work I was feeling a little better, my spirits lifted by such great titles as Middle Fingers and Shape of You. I chugged water as I walked in, acid reflux suddenly rearing its ugly head. I chalked it up to my breakfast not sitting right with me. Work began as normal except for the announcement that I would be training someone that day. Even though at that point I had only been at the job for like 3-4 weeks. We opened and had a small flow of people at first but it quickly picked up and got busier than an average Saturday afternoon.

My brain barely even registered the sudden change. All I knew was the minute we had a slow moment I was rushing to the bathroom. I won’t get descriptive but it was bad and the minute I left the bathroom, my whole body felt like it was going to shut down. Suddenly I was sweating and my headache had come back full force. I wanted to throw up but couldn’t, my body ached and the room felt like it was swaying. There was a moment where my vision went black and I thought I might pass out. I tried to power through, but I couldn’t my body screamed and rebelled and I had no choice but to ask to leave early. Thankfully my manager seemed to tell that there was definitely something wrong with me and she let me leave.

The ride home was torture. A small part of me believes that if I had waited any longer to go home I may not have been able to drive home. When I arrived, I immediately grabbed some water and took, let’s just say some strong pain medication and grabbed a bucket. I collapsed into bed but before I could drift into a restless sleep I threw up, thankfully for the only time that day.

I didn’t get out of bed again until late into the evening and all I did was get some water and then climb back into bed, not getting up again until the next morning. IMG_3381

Now to some this just sounds like a bad stomach bug but it wasn’t. It was much worse, I had been glutened and the following week became a mental disaster as I beat myself up for somehow letting it happen. I thought of every possible thing I had eaten the day before trying to figure out what it could have possibly been. My initial deduction was fries I had eaten while out with my family Friday night. I had not checked to make sure they used a dedicated fryer and so I swore to never eat fried food anywhere again. But after a week or two had passed and doing more research, I realized that if that was the case then my getting sick had been caused simply from a contaminated food and not from something with gluten in it. I had never had a reaction of that magnitude from contaminated food. I also realized that for me personally getting sick from being glutened usually takes at least two days. It became clear at that point where it probably happened and if I had realized sooner I probably would have contacted the restaurant it happened at.

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Originally I thought I got sick from eating here but I’ve eaten there many times without a problem.

It was a very eye opening experience for me. I have only gotten that sick one other time, while I was living in Grand Rapids and working at a Subway. That experience was way worse however, I spent most of my time in bed doubled over in excruciating pain. I think the only reason that didn’t happen this time was because of the pain medication my father gave me. Ever since being diagnosed with Celiac disease I have dealt with a lot inner struggles. I’ve wondered if I really have it, if I was misdiagnosed, because I would read others stories and mine was not similar to their’s. I would question how severely I need to adhere to a gluten free diet, how strict was to strict, how lax was to lax. I struggle with being upfront and honest about these questions because there’s already so much criticism pointed at those who are gluten free, I worried about being taken seriously. But I realized I had to stop comparing my stories to other people. Celiac disease is so new and its symptoms so vast, how could I possibly compare my self to others suffering from it.

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This experience has helped push me to start worrying less about other people and more about my health. My disease is real and the consequences to my disease are real. When I posted about getting sick on facebook, I had friends who suggested maybe it was the flu, it was going around. And while I know they meant nothing bad with those words, it still hurt and angered me. If you knew someone who suffered from a disease would you undermine their opinion on their own symptoms and tell them it was something else. I still have a lot to learn about how my body reacts to gluten, how long my body takes to respond, and sometimes how it responds but it doesn’t change the fact that I have it and I have the decision of doctors to prove it.

Since that Saturday I have chosen to start trying to take a more strict outlook on my life choices when it comes to my Celiac. It’s time for me to take this more seriously and to force the people in my life to take it seriously as well. While I know my Celiac disease is not as serious as others, mine was diagnosed earlier and I did not have as much damage as the average person with Celiac, it’s still serious and if not properly maintained could get worse. I hope to start sharing some of the things I do to change my lifestyle, so I hope you’re ready to join me on this new journey.

NaNoWriMo: 5 Years and I Finally Did It!

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Five years ago while in College, someone, probably a professor, told me about NaNoWriMo; National Novel Writing Month. That first time I was told about it I of course considered doing it but it never came to fruition. I also thought about whenever November came up but never managed. It was always there though, in the back of my head. It was something I knew I wanted and needed to do. Well this year I finally did it. 

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This is honestly, probably one of the biggest accomplishments I’ve done in a long time. It got really stressful near the end because of Thanksgiving and visiting friends out of town so there’s kind of that area where I wasn’t getting as much written. Although, that’s also because I was starting to get writer’s block a bit. 

Despite the struggles, this was one of the best things I’ve ever done and I will definitely be doing it next year. It’s really something to be proud of. I unfortunately didn’t finish the story in 50,000 words but I’m close. My plan is to try and find time in between work and making my family their Christmas gifts to finish it this month so in January I can do all of the editing. Perhaps I’ll post the first chapter or two soon on here. 

I’m 25 Now and My Life is No More Figured Out Than A Year Ago

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I realized when looking for pictures that this was what my Birthday consisted of, dinner at Five Guys and a movie with my siblings.

Technically I turned 25 back in August but since I haven’t blogged all summer I’m talking about it now. Some things have happened since I last blogged. One being I left my second job. I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I was tired all the time, stressed out, moody and had no life. Not that I really have anymore of a life now but definitely more than before. The second thing that happened was I got offered a Keyholder job at a Salvation Army, it was better pay than my current job with the chance of moving up to Assistant Manager. What did I do you ask? I turned it down. Because I seem to enjoy sabotaging myself, or at least I’m pretty sure that’s what everyone’s thinking.

If I went back in time and asked myself where I would be at the age of 25, you know what I would say. I would be married and probably have at least one if not two kids. I’d be a stay at home mom, who spent her free time writing, doing crafts, maybe so some volunteering. Now does that still sound appealing to me, not exactly but it doesn’t sound terrible either. Over the years my priorities have certainly changed and I have a different outlook on life than I did pre-college but one thing has stayed pretty consistent, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. Cause let’s be honest that whole married with kids by 25 was just my middle school aged self going with what was expected of me.

Even though growing up I believed what people told me about getting married and having children and only getting a career to take care of myself until that happened, I still had dreams under the surface. What I did not have was a strong need for a relationship which is kind of how you get married. I could probably count on one hand the number of crushes I’ve had, and I mean legit crushes.

My first was a boy from my homeschool group when I was like 8 or 9. Although the only reason I had singled him out was because my older sister and her best friend were picking crushes and since I spent a lot of time with them I did everything they did. So I really just picked him because he was the least offensive out of all the guys there. Although that choice also speaks to the fact that even since I was a little I always rooted for the underdog, the odd one out, whoever was different.

My second and third crush would be two kids from the second homeschool group I attended. While in a way I had a few different “crushes” in this group I don’t really count them because they were only crushes because they were popular. So it was just that, new girl in awe of the popular kids kind of crush. I didn’t actually like any of them. The one kid was my age, really nice kid. Respectable, polite, smart. Things every parent wanted their kids crush to have. The second kid was kind of the opposite. A little rough around the edges (for a homeschooled kid), had a little swag, kind of bad kid. Neither of these went anywhere because with kid #1 he was to much of a goody two shoes and probably didn’t think about having a relationship ever and kid #2 was out of my league, in the way that we didn’t hang out together outside of Student Council and didn’t have anything in common.

My next crush came in college. It was sophomore year, he worked in the Business office and I had to go their every other week to pick up my paycheck from the job I had on campus. I looked forward to those days, and was always sad when he wasn’t working. We had a few things in common and I would try to strike up conversation when I was feeling gutsy enough but I was still in my awkward shy stage and never really tried anything. He ended up starting to date another girl the following year and they got married.

So those are all of the crushes I have ever had. Sure there have been other minimal crushes but nothing to write home about and of course there’s always the celebrity crushes. During college there were always times where I wished I was in a relationship but never enough to try and get into one. I think partially because I knew a lot of people who were in bad relationships and so my outlook on men got kind of screwed plus guys never hit on me. I’ve only been asked out once before and I’ve had very few guys compliment me on anything. So lets just say in my experience guys are not worth my time. Plus I’m a strong believer that if I don’t see a future with you, I’m not going to try anything.

I know somewhere down the line I want to be in a relationship and get married but I’m not in a hurry and it will happen when it happens. I’m not going to do online dating like people think I should or start getting involved in social things so I can meet a guy. I’ll do things in my own time and my own way. I guess that’s kind of how I look at the rest of my life too. I don’t want to do things the way I’m expected to or how other people do them. I don’t want to drive myself mad working two jobs or take a semi better job doing something I don’t enjoy in the hopes that it will lead to something better. I want to find my own way. Maybe my own way is stupid and in the end I’ll end up doing what everyone expects but I need to fail and learn on my own. 

I wrote this post like a month ago so some new things have come up in my life but I’ll talk about that in another post. This one is long enough. 

Surviving Disney World

The most magical place in the world…also the scariest place in the world.

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Recently I returned from Orlando, Florida where I went on vacation with my family to Disney World. Let me say right away, I was very excited for this trip. This was my third time going to Disney World, in the past I have gone when I was around 8 years old and then again when I was sixteen and now twenty five. I know Disney World will always have a special place in my heart and I will never be to old for it. However, I may one day be to anxious for it.

Over the years I have slowly begun to have more and more trouble with crowds, being around large groups of people and sometimes even being around people for too long. I’m not completely sure whether it seems like it’s gotten worse because I’m older and understand what’s happening to me better than when I was little or if it is actually getting worse. Whatever the case, my “social anxiety” is definitely higher than most. (I put social anxiety in quotes because I hate to simply label myself that way because I know it’s a very complex issue. I just don’t know what else to call what I have) However, I am fairly good at hiding my anxiety and that is what I did on our trip because there really was no other way.

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The living room of our resort.

When my family goes on trips we don’t really relax. I don’t think we know how to. All of our vacations have always been very activity heavy. We always pick a place that has lot to do, so we’ve never vacationed in like Ohio or Indiana. From the minute we arrive at our resort or campground, we are doing something. Every day is planned out ahead of time and there is little room left for anything but sleep and sometimes very little of that. Now I’m sure most people who go to Disney World know their days are going to be very full and hectic and don’t expect much relaxation, but that can be a problem. Especially if you have someone like me in your family.

By the end of our 9 day vacation I was ready to go home, I think a part of me was ready to go home about halfway through but I also still really wanted to be. By the end of each day I was exhausted both physically and mentally. I started to notice halfway through that I was snapping with people more and wasn’t always in the brightest mood. Despite that I was really enjoying myself, because I really do love Disney World but it was still tough.

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The worst reaction I had was on our last day there. We had gone to Magic Kingdom. For most of the day it was actually pretty good, it wasn’t super crowded. The park was at a 5 out of 10, on their crowd rating thing. However, once it got closer to the park closing things took a turn for the worse. We had gone on the day of the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party. So as we were headed to the exit people were pouring in. By the time we reached the monorail to leave the park I was a mess. I didn’t tell my family but as we were waiting for the monorail I suddenly felt sick to my stomach, and was feeling short of breath. My hands were shaking and I just kind of felt panicky. Although I’m not sure if the panic was like a side effect or if I was panicky because I didn’t want anyone else to notice. 

I’ve never really experienced anything like that, not that I can remember anyway. It was kind of scary. It really made me realize though that I need to be more aware of what I can handle and not be ashamed that I can’t handle as much as other people. I know that my trip would have been way more enjoyable if I had been able to take time to myself when I needed and had a break in between each visit to the parks. Now obviously I wouldn’t have been able to do this on this trip because I was with my family and was kind of stuck with their schedule but I know if I ever go to Disney World again it will have to be on my terms. Which also means I will be going on the Tower of Terror multiple times!

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Things I Took For Granted Until I Moved Back In With My Parents

I’ve been back home living with my parents for about 10 months now, so almost a year. While it’s nice to be back around my family and not being limited to seeing them like a once month, there are some drawbacks. One of them is the things you start to realize you can’t do anymore or that you don’t have control over because it’s not your house or space.

I am a mixture of independent and dependent. There are certain things that without someone around to remind me or force me to do, wouldn’t get done. Things like scheduling doctor’s appointments, going to Secretary of State before my license expires, having my car looked at, etc. However, I’m not someone who wants someone else to have a say or control over my life or decisions. Even though I like getting other peoples opinions and advice I don’t want to ever feel like i have to take it. I also really need my personal space. While I have never, so far had a place of my own, I’ve at least come close. I mean there’s a big difference between living with your family and living with a friend in an apartment or sharing a dorm room in college.

Anyway, here are some of things that I had taken for granted and now have to learn to deal without.

  1. Grocery Space: When I was living in a one bedroom apartment with a college colleague after graduation it was, obviously, just the two of us. We bought our own groceries and we only had to worry about each other using the space. At my parent’s house, the fridge is housing groceries for the whole family and my dad caters so when he has an event the fridge and freezer are stuffed to the max. The problem I have is that even on days where I kind of feel like picking up some of my own groceries, I can’t always because the fridge is full of stuff I can’t eat. Thankfully my parents are fine with feeding me and my mom, when she can, will sometimes pick me up some gluten free food, but you know there are just days were I wish I could go and buy a bunch of stuff that I wanted. You know?
  2. Privacy: This is a big one. It probably wouldn’t be that big a deal if i had a real room. My room is just a slightly sectioned off space in our upstairs. In a way I share a room with my little sister but her section is kind of in a little alcove but there are no doors. The only part of the upstairs that has a door is the bathroom and my parent’s room. This makes privacy very difficult. 
  3. Clothes: I will be very upfront and say that whenever I had my previous homes to myself, because my roommates were gone, I would walk around in whatever I wanted. Whether that was just a long shirt and nothing else, just my undergarments, or whatever. But that’s kind of hard to do now, and I feel weird doing it even when I’m the only one home. 
  4. Personal Space: This is kind of in line with the privacy thing, the only difference being that even if I had a room to myself it wouldn’t necessarily fix the personal space issue. I am very protective of my bubble. I don’t like people invading my space, I don’t like people touching me, I don’t like being interrupted when I’m in the middle of something, and all of these things happen a lot at home. They happen elsewhere too, but home should be the one place it doesn’t. 
  5. Bed Time: I am a night owl. Always have been and always will be. I like staying up late, that’s usually when I feel inspired and get the most done. However, the problem is that since my room is right next to my sister’s and we don’t have doors, I feel bad staying up late because I don’t want to disturb her. Plus it’s just difficult because I have to do things without a light, or feel like I have to be super quiet, and it just hampers my style. 
  6. Music: I like blaring my music. Whether it’s in the car, my room or just the house period. I especially like doing this when I’m doing chores. Problem is my parents aren’t a huge fan of that and they don’t really approve of my music choices so I can’t really blare it through the house when they’re around. 

I really don’t mean to complain, that’s not my purpose. I knew when I moved back home that I would be giving up certain comforts, it’s just tough sometimes. 

Things I See and Think When I’m Stuck as the Greeter at Work

There are so many things that go through my head or that I see while I’m stuck being the greeter at my job. Here are some of those things, for your entertainment or derision. 

Stuff I See:

  1. Someone racing into their parking spot to try and run over the seagulls
  2. Police cars patrolling the parking lot
  3. People speeding past the stores. I mean seriously they’ve gotta be going like 0-30 in two seconds, in a parking lot. 
  4. Someone putting their cigarette out on the ground right outside the doors and keeping the half used cigarette. 
  5. People parking in handicap who shouldn’t. 
  6. Parents scolding their children. 
  7. Someone driving up and down the rows like five times. 
  8. Solicitors. (I got my eye on you)
  9. People lounging in the store furniture. Cause all that shopping got them so tired. 
  10. Strip mall security guard driving by, again.

Things I Think:

  1. My feet are killing me. 
  2. Please button your shirt up before you come in. 
  3. Yes I am here to keep you from stealing, so don’t joke around or I’ll radio my manager. 
  4. I need to pee. 
  5. He’s got a nice ass. 
  6. They need to give me something to do.
  7. I’m starving. 
  8. Oh look someone else is speeding. 
  9. If you’re going to undo the bench then put it back together.
  10. There’s a trash can right there don’t put it in the cart. 
  11. I wonder if anyone made dinner. 
  12. That guys cute…and he’s with someone. Of course, like I had a chance. 
  13. Oh crap I know this person. 
  14. I wonder what I could make for dinner. 
  15. I really wanna go to Target but I’m so tired. 
  16. That line is long they should let me come in and run a register. No ones tried stealing anything yet. 
  17. Someone needs to set off the alarm so I have something to do. 
  18. Oh you want me to get the hoses that are all the way in the back of the store, even though I’m not allowed to leave the doors. 
  19. Maybe, I’ll stop somewhere for food, but I’m so tired.
  20. I started at 4:30 and its 5:15…I’ve only been here 45 minutes. 
  21. Dude, stop driving past the store, you look like you’re casing the joint. Just pick a spot and wait for your spouse there. 
  22. Please keep walking, please keep walking.
  23. Yes this is an easy job, doesn’t mean I enjoy doing it.
  24. I really want to know what the security guard is doing when he scans our door. Is he like checking to see how many times our alarms have gone off, or is he just looking for something to do. 
  25. I’m an employee, not a genie. If we don’t have any more of those chairs, we don’t have any more. 
  26. If you weren’t going to take the cart to your car than why didn’t you just leave it with me. It’s the only thing I have to do. 
  27. Just let me get the cart for you before you pull something. It’s obvious you can’t figure it out. 
  28. What’s with all the WWE looking guys today.

Creativity Keeps Me Going

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It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much my creativity means to me. I love being creative whether it’s in the writing I do, the crafting, or even my job. I constantly have to be creating something, or coming up with new ideas and plans. It’s how I’m wired. If I can’t be actively doing that I shut down. It’s one of those things that keeps me going, helps me get out of bed in the morning, knowing that I get to create something that day. This discovery also made me realize that one of my biggest fears is that one day I will run out of ideas or creativity. I’ve always been afraid in every job I’ve ever had of becoming irrelevant or unneeded, worried about that one day I can’t think of anything new. These are probably irrational fears but I still worry. 

I think this is one of the reasons I don’t like my second job. There’s not room for me to use my creativity or to come up with and implement new ideas. It’s retail, and I’m a cashier. It doesn’t spark anything in me or make me want to improve anything. I don’t feel needed. If I left, there would be no hole that couldn’t be filled. This probably makes me sound conceited or full of myself but that’s not my intention. One of the reason I enjoy creating and brainstorming is because in the end it’s always to improve someone or something and that’s one of the greatest rewards I could have from a job. 

In my first job, the one I first got when I moved back the D, I can be creative and create new ideas or plans. Yes, sometimes I feel stifled and not free to sort of run wild with things but that’s always going to be the case when you’re working for someone else. If I really want true freedom, I’ll need to start my own business, which I am very tempted to do. 

What about you guys. Do you feel like your job is stifling your creative freedom?

Walls

Wrote this poem when I was like fourteen years old, while attending a Writing Camp at a college. I felt like it was time to start sharing some of the stuff I write, instead of just blogging. If I want to be a writer I have to be willing to let people see what I can do and get honest critiques.

Walls

No door in sight

no light to show the way

No color or splendor for cheer

 

Walls of concrete made with

The color gray

filled with gloomy thoughts

 

No cheerfull bright color

To brighten the day

Or a pillow to lay my head

 

Inside these walls

Is emptiness and loss

convinced that I am safe

 

I feel the eyes turn towards me

but they will never find me

Because I hide in my concrete room

 

You try to pull me out

You think your saving me but I

continue to hide so the world can never see.

What if the Problem is You?

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What do you do when your being the toxic friend to yourself.

Recently I have read a variety of different articles talking about toxic friendships and how it’s okay to end them and it doesn’t make you a horrible person. These articles take me back to college and remind me of a situation I had with a close friend. Someone who in the end I had to cut out of my life. I remember feeling horrible for a really long time. I still miss the person sometimes, even though in the long run it was the right decision and my life and other relationships have been better for it.

One of the articles I was reading mentioned a few things that specifically reminded me of this past relationship. You can read it here. While I didn’t really read most of the steps because they started sounding to new agey or something, the beginning is what got me thinking. In that beginning part it describes a friend and something they do and how you feel afterward.

“But when you hang up, you realize your own mood has downshifted. You were fine before the phone call but now you feel saddened, worried, tired.”

The article goes on to talk about how every person leaves an impression on your field of energy. While not the way I would phrase it, it does make sense. Every interaction we have with someone affects us in someway. Whether good or bad, or maybe both. When we’re constantly around someone who drains us, because they are always piling their worries, fears and problems on us, it becomes exhausting. It quickly affects our mood as well. We become like a mirror image of that person.

Recently I’ve noticed that my attitude has shifted a lot toward what I used to be like when I was around these toxic friendships. After reading these different articles, I began to wonder what’s causing my attitude this time. I’m barely around any of my friends anymore. I don’t keep in touch with any of my highschool friends even though I’m back in the area. I hardly ever get to see my friends from Grand Rapids and I’m currently upset with my two out of state friends (which of course, I haven’t told them this).

I began racking my brain trying to figure out what has been causing my mood and I realized I was causing it. I’m the toxic friend to myself. All the articles that described what a toxic friend is sound familiar to me in this moment because that’s what I am being to myself. Of course it comes across a bit differently but it’s still the same idea. Here are some examples:

  1. I’m the shoulder I cry on: In most situations a toxic friend always chooses you to tell her problems to instead of confronting the person that is upsetting them or talking to someone else as well so that you don’t get the brunt of it. What I am doing is not going to anyone at all. I’m bottling up most of my issues and problems and just rethinking them over and over in my head. This is only making me feel worse because I don’t have the answers and at the moment don’t have the ability to get myself out of my funk, but I’m still relying on myself even though I should be asking others for help.
  2. I’ve become the Debbie Downer: Toxic friends can often have bleak outlooks on life, or are very negative. Even if it’s not always obvious because they come across as a bubbly personality they can actually look at things as the glass half empty. I am not by any means what I would call a bubbly person but I normally wouldn’t consider myself pessimistic, at least not very often. But here lately at least when I’m alone, I do tend to feel that way. In the past I have liked to be around people who are a bit more boisterous and animated then myself because it helps lift my spirits. I can get very dark and moody when I spend to much time alone, which has been a problem lately. Because, in a way, I’m the only “social” interaction I have outside of work and family, I’ve become the Debbie downer to myself.
  3. They put you in a bad mood: Because of everything they dump on you toxic friends tend to put you in a bad mood. Like I was saying earlier, their problems become yours and so then you’re worrying about your own and theirs and then your mad at yourself for letting their problems affect you. So for me at this moment I’m basically in a bad mood because of a problem and then I’m in even more of a bad mood because I’m mad at myself for being in a bad mood about a problem I really have no control over or should be able to handle.

These are just a few examples to try and give you an idea of how I’m being a toxic friend to myself. I think what it really boils down to in the end is that I’ve in a way cut myself off from other people and so all I have is myself. Now I could blame that on the fact that I’m working two jobs and have very little time or that I’m not opening up to other people because I feel my problems are to small and insignificant compared to what they may be going through. That’s kind of another topic for another post though. In the end I don’t completely know what I need to do to fix this. I think I’ve had this problem in the past whenever I was home from school during the summer, the only problem is this won’t change when summer is over, I’m way past going back to school. At least I have my volunteer teaching job to look forward to in the Fall.