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Long time, not better

Hello,

A lot of things have changed in the last few months. For most of them it was a positive change. I got a job I actually enjoy (even though it’s not what I had in mind for me) and I’m pretty good at it.

One thing has remained consistent though and that’s my anxiety. It’s always there, sometimes she sleeps. Sometimes, like the last few days, she’s a raging dog that makes my life impossible. Living on edge constantly, afraid of everything, filled with selfdoubt has never been fun and lately it hasn’t been easy to live with.

The one year anniversary of my father’s death is approaching and I am an absolute mess. It’s completely normal, everyone says. And I know it is. Still, living like this is impacting me in a way it’s getting harder to handle.

Am I capable of handling it? Maybe, maybe not. Right after he died I never thought I’d achieve everything I have. Still, I can’t seem to get a thought out of my head. That I’m merely surviving, that what I’ve done during the last year of my life hasn’t been living. And that’s okay too. I guess. It’s part of the process.

I just wish that with time it’s going to be less about surviving and more about living.

I’ll let you know when I get there 😊

The good samaritan syndrome

Is it easy for you to feel selfish? can anyone make you feel guilty with little to no effort? do you feel like you’re worth more if you put the needs of others before your owns? The answer to all of those questions for me is YES!!

I’m about to take a life changing step, one more on top of all the others that have been a result of my father’s death. This one though is a good and exciting one, it makes me happy and it feels 100% right. I’m moving, city. And I’m also moving in with my boyfriend whom I love very much.

I’ve known him for 9 months (a short period of time, I know) but he has showed me on numerous occasions that he’s a good match for me. He cares for me. Takes care of me and has this weird power of making everything better just by being there. I’m excited to see what’s in the cards for us.

Somehow though I feel a bit selfish, like I’m abandoning my family and somehow they’ve, unintentionally, perpetrated that thought. I say unintentionally because I know that they’re going through their own stuff and it’s been incredibly hard on everybody. I know they’re not trying to hurt me.

What has happened in the last few days though has made me think about my personality. I know I’ve always thought about everyone else’s interests and put their needs before my own, but I also know that I need to stop doing that. That as long as I am a good person and I try my best, I have to start thinking about my own needs and how to fulfill them. I think that the decision of moving to Madrid, which I’ve made completely on my own, is a good one towards that path.

There’s no space for guilt. I don’t need to justify myself or my decisions.

I’ll have to repeat that to myself over and over again until I believe it cause right now it’s hard and I do feel guilty.

All my love,

C.

“A dream is a wish your heart makes”

Since my dad passed away I’ve been having dreams about him. They were more frequent right after he died and even though they keep happening, they’re more sparse. Even though dreaming about him and feeling like he’s still here is amazing, the waking up part and realizing it’s not real is the absolute worst.

Yesterday I dreamed that I was walking around a shopping mall and he was seating at a café. My first reaction was, it’s impossible! It’s probably a man that looks like him and dresses like him (he was dressed in office attire, my dad’s uniform haha), but soon I realized that it was indeed my dad. So I did what anyone would have done. I ran as fast as I could and hugged him.

It’s nice to see that my mind still remembers how it felt to hug him, because the hug in my dream felt 100% real. I asked him how it could be possible for him to be there if he was dead. He said he didn’t know anything about being dead, that he felt very much alive and surely I had dreamed it all.

I told him that it was impossible, I had seen his dead body in the mortuary, I went to his funeral, I had visited him in the cemetery. He looked confused and almost like he didn’t want to burst my bubble by telling me that he wasn’t really there, that I was dreaming.

That’s when I decided to believe him, to think that his death was just a bad dream, that I’d finally woken up. We went on a stroll, talked a bit and went to dinner to a nice restaurant. Mundane things that made me so happy just because he was there. That’s when my alarm went off.

My first thought was that I needed to go back to sleep, why did I have to wake up? I’d much rather spend the day with him in my dreams that living a reality I don’t like. Instead anxiety kicked in and here I am.

When someone asks me if I like dreaming about him the answer is always no. Even though the dreams are a chance for me to feel like he’s still here, they’re just an illusion and waking up feels like reliving his death over and over again.

All my love,

C.

10 months of clean lungs

I used to be a smoker. I’ve been clean for 10 months now.

I stopped cold turkey. Was it easy? No. Was it hard? Not really. I’d been smoking for 10 years and one day started having chest pains. Immediately I thought there was something wrong with my lungs. For sure I had cancer and I had brought it upon myself. Stupid little girl. My first thought was “Oh my God the treatment is gonna be so expensive” followed by “I’m gonna lose my hair” and last but most important “my dad is going to kill me”.

So, that same night I decided that come July 1st (it was the middle of June) I’d stop and so I did.

Now it’s time for the question that most of the people ask me when I tell them about my journey, do you feel different physically? do you feel better? and the answer is not really. Still sluggish, I still have a hard time going up the stairs and honestly I haven’t seen a big improvement overall.

What I have seen a big difference on is stress and anxiety. Like many others, smoking was my outlet, my savior and now that I don’t have that anymore I’ve turned to coffee. It’s not the same thing though, doesn’t work as well.

If you’re a smoker and want to quit I have a tip that helped me loads.

Have you seen those pieces of paper stuck to boards with phone numbers that you can take with you? That’s what I did, took a piece of paper wrote down from 1 to 30 with an inspiring quote such as “you can do it” or “Kicking nicotine’s ass”. Each day I would tear off a number. Visualizing what I was doing and seeing how I was progressing was of huge help. I didn’t want to let the piece of paper down (and of course myself). I kept all those small numbered pieces of paper as I reminder of what I’m capable of doing,

Probably what prides me the most was the fact that even going through something so deep, heartbreaking and life changing as losing my father didn’t make me go back to my sucky habit, instead I stuck to it and kept going.

Point is, kudos for me! I don’t think I say this enough but I’m extremely proud of myself for that huge accomplishment. Oh and to all those series and movies that make smoking so freaking appealing, you can go f&”K yourselves 😛

All my love,

C.

I’ve said it, now what?

You’ve reached a conclusion. You know how you feel but you keep it inside because you don’t want to hurt a loved one.

I think we’ve all been there at some point in our life. Right now it’s happening to me. The difference is, for the first time in my life, I’ve said it out loud.

You’re probably thinking, “you’re making no sense give us a bit of context”.

I’ve been living with anxiety for 5 years now. Never went on medication because I’ve always known that I could keep it under control by practicing a few methods I learned from my therapist. My anxiety is related to control, or lack thereof. Everything and anything that falls under the category of the unknown causes immense anxiety in me to the point where it affects me physically.

,One of the topics that feed my anxiety is my career and the whole job hunting process. I hate it. I hate not being a normal person and being able to talk about it without spending entire weeks having trouble sleeping, or living with a never ending nausea wave and not being able to eat properly (or eating too much).

The people that have been around me for a while, family and friends know how to approach the subject in order to keep me calm. I can talk to them all I want about it and end the conversation feeling somewhat calm.

Now, here is when the situation gets tricky. Not everyone knows how to best approach the topic, not because they don’t understand that it causes high levels of anxiety but because I truly think they have different personalities or simply because they don’t understand it.

Well, he doesn’t know. Yesterday I told him. Today I’m freaking out.

It’s hard telling a person you love that talking to them about something makes you feel worse instead of better. That their method, although filled with good intentions, makes you feel ten times worse. That it causes anxiety episodes that last hours and keep you awake until three in the morning, because the reality is no one wants to hurt their loved ones. Especially not me (I have serious issues being honest if I know it’s gonna hurt the other person).

I don’t know what the point of this entry is, maybe getting it all out. I feel guilty, I feel bad. I hope I didn’t make him feel bad. At the end of the day though I have to do what it’s best for me and I have to be honest. Especially with everything going on.

Anxiety sucks. I wish I didn’t suffer from it. I’m trying my best.

All the love,

C.

“Living in Paris, driving a Range Rover”

Some things never change, Paris is and will forever be one of my favorite cities in the world.

Those were the words that came to my mind when on day one in college during a welcome conference the speaker asked us to close our eyes and think about where we saw ourselves in ten years time. That was more than ten years ago.

I currently live in Barcelona, about to move to Madrid, jobless and going through one of the toughest time I’ll probably ever have to live in my entire life. I recently lost my father (he died back in November) to a heart attack, he was 66. Exactly double my age, I am now as old as he was when he had me. Our realities at 33 could not be any more different.

I feel lost. That’s how I’ve been describing my life at the moment. Lost career wise, lost emotionally, just utterly lost.

I’m writing this because I don’t know what else to do with all the emotions and thoughts that haunt me daily. My anxiety has become who I am. My fear of the unknown is at its highest and I hope that writing it down can help processing it all.

So, this is probably not going to be a happy blog, I don’t even see it as a blog, it’s not journal. This is my therapist, for now. This is who I am, what I’m going through and if you’re reading this and can relate to some or all of it, maybe we can help each others getting through it.

PS: how shallow was I? “driving a Range Rover” If I could back I would tell myself to stop thinking about such unimportant things and focus on what truly matters.

All my love,

C.