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Showing posts from 2015

Oh I'm Halfway There..

Hello readers! I am coming to you from Stillwater Oklahoma!! While our original road trip plan involved an overnight stay in Enid Oklahoma the bad weather kept us east of OKC and landed us here in Stillwater. We got a bit excited about all of the bad weather that was headed south for the day and re routed several times and got lost ZERO!

We went to bed around 10:30 last night and I fell asleep with my husband's arms around me and Wrigley curled up by my stomach. I woke up several times due to the neighbors, weird dreams, and being afraid of oversleeping my alarm clock. I finally rolled out of bed around 6:15, took a shower with Matthew, and finished packing up what needed to go into the car. We hit the road at 7:22 am. I wasn't even out of our parking lot when I realized I had forgotten the dog dishes at home, as well as the key to our lock box that is hidden away in my truck. We stopped around 9:30 for a bathroom break, which resulted in Wrigley trying to chase down a Husky w…

All I Want For Christmas {part 2}

Last year on the Friday afternoon before Christmas I was laying in my bed moping because the place I had a job interview at the previous week said they would be in contact at the beginning of the week hadn't called. I was waiting for Matthew to get home and my phone rang around 4:30. It was the call I had been waiting for and it was a job offer. I of course accepted and said I could start after the new year. I immediately called my parents and told them (even before telling my husband...that habit was hard to break!). We were planning to have friends over that evening for some scary Christmas movies so the call came at the right time to celebrate. It didn't really set in that I had finally gotten a job offer after eight months....and the (almost 12) months I worked there were just as long as the eight I had been waiting..

This year I got the phone call I had been waiting weeks for the weekend (Friday at 4:30...) before Thanksgiving. I had been pretty miserable at work the past…

Midnight Anxieties

I very rarely have problems sleeping at night. I'm typically out cold in a matter of minuets and sleep until my alarm clock wakes me. But sometimes anxiety drowns me and I can't sleep more than a few hours.  There's typically an underlying issue I can pinpoint the insomnia to, which is both good and bad.

I'm currently laying on the couch with Wrigley while my mind spins and twists and turns after laying awake in bed for an hour.  It's also not very often that I actually come to the couch when I have theses bouts, but it's early and my husband had this problem last night so I am letting him get a good night's sleep.

Right now my brain is my worst enemy. My brain is scaring the shit out of me. My husband and I decided at least 6 months ago that we wanted to eventually move to Austin , Texas. Thst dream is becoming a reality. In 10 days I will pack my car and with my mother and Wrigley as my navigators,  passangers, and Co pilots I will drive from Sioux Falls …

HAPPY HOLIDAY (AnXiEtY)

I absolutely love Christmas.  I always have. I love everything about it. The music, the trees, lights, decorations, and the fact that everyone seems generally happier. I used to turn my Christmas tree on, put on Christmas music and lay there for hours relaxing. I love buying presents for my friends and family members, and I would be lying if I didn't sy I loved opening gifts too!

Enter anxiety.  The older I get the more anxiety the holidays seem to bring me. My anxiety levels rise and try to ruin the joy that I surround myself with from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I start to worry about what the plans are with family, what to buy people, making my own Christmas list, and Christmas day in general. It's all trivial, for the most part. Like what time is church, what are we eating and when, what time do we get to open presents, things that don't even matter! Anxiety tries like hell to ruin my holiday spirit but u refuse to let it. This year I was proactive in trying to beat thi…

Angry is Just Sad's Bodyguard

I've been angry lately. I'm not one to get overly mad about things, let alone angry. But it's been seeping in through the cracks and being upset is leading to anger. Anger is not part of my (typical) personality. In the past it has taken A LOT to make me angry. The past 4-6 weeks if someone looks at me wrong I get angry. Why? Why is my brain suddenly feeling this emotion after it being suppressed for SO long? I don't like it. I don't like getting angry, being angry, feeling angry. I don't know how to BE angry. How do I (correctly) express my feeling of anger? How do I go about doing so without saying something I don't mean, will regret, or without hurting someone else's feelings? Permanent damage can be done when people are angry and the last thing I want to do is lose a friend or loved one because I was angry (and said something stupid). I know there are times that anger is legitimate and things deserve to be said when one is angry. I'm trying to f…

Mental [Exhaustion]

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I have been so mentally exhausted lately. I feel like I'm always some sort of exhausted. Whether it be physically, mentally, or emotionally. It's no surprise for someone with anxiety disorder to constantly be exhausted. It's no surprised for anyone to be constantly exhausted, really. While part of it is me trying to adjust to Daylight Saving Time, the other part is my brain simply working on overdrive. My brain has been going around and around and around about so many things that I literally can't keep up.

I'd like to say that the biggest challenge is adjusting to the time change, but I think it all started before that. I have started to pay more attention to the way people treat me. In the process I have weeded out some of my so called "friends" who have been less than friendly to me. During all of this I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with ME. What makes me so terrible that people can say such mean things? What makes me so unfriendly that …

There's A Story Behind Every person...[Stop Judging]

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Last week I posted about how I feel so many people are uneducated about mental health. I'm going to revisit this topic.

 There is a mental illness crisis in this country. While the path to recovery begins with you recognizing or admitting that you have a problem,  it isn't that easy. We have country full of people living with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, you name it. I'd be willing to bet the largest majority of these people are living their life undiagnosed and without the treatment they need. Why? Stigma. There is a terrible stigma attached to mental health and it needs to stop!!! I get so angry when people are willing to realize that cancer, and diabetes, and heart disease, and alcoholism are all real issues and diseases that are killing people daily! Why can't these same people understand that mental health is also killing people daily? People take their own lives, they go untreated, un medicated, which call all lead to death [without suici…

How Anxiety Ruins [Some of ] My Favorite Things

Anxiety is a real bitch sometimes. It has a tendency to ruin some of my favorite things. Like Halloween.

is about one of the best days/times of the year. Not only do I love Halloween movies, I love costumes. Dressing up for has always caused me anxiety but the older the get the less anxious I get over it. I am always so jealous of people's costume ideas and ability to pull off such elaborate ones! Of course, when you eliminate going to a bar there isn't much need for an elaborate idea......at least not where we live currently. Perhaps someday I will outgrow the anxiety of "going out" on Halloween.

Today is Halloween and while I have been fairly anxiety free all day now that the evening is starting to roll around so is my little friend. I learned a long time ago that I can't do Halloween with a crowd. I can't go to the bars dressed up for Halloween and I can't go to the bars NOT dressed up for Halloween. I've tried in the past and every year has been m…

My Quest and How [I Though]t It Broke Me

My dream has always been to become a licensed social worker. Well, not always but since I got done with college at 2010.. I tried to get into one grad school and was not accepted so I pushed my dream aside. I decided it was probably too hard anyways, and if I didn't get in right away that maybe I wasn't cut out for that. The thought would cross my mind every once in awhile but I never did anything about it, except think about it.

Fast forward to last fall. I was sick of rejection letters from jobs I applied or interviewed for, I was tired of being a substitute teacher because my anxiety won 9 out of 10 times and I wasn't really bringing in any money anyways. I finished the process I started with asking for reference letters and completing the application. My goal was to send in my application before the end of the year. The end of the year came and went. The new year came and went, I still had the application and hadn't kept up on asking for my reference letters. In M…

An Open Letter to Anyone Who Wants to Read It

While I don't believe that I should have to defend myself and my anxiety, I do understand that there A LOT of people in this world, and in my life, who do not understand anxiety, depression, and mental illness in general. Family and friends alike. This is for you.

Dear whoever is reading this,
I have General Anxiety Disorder. I have depression. I am a functioning human being. I lived several years of my life hiding my anxiety disorder and they were miserable years. Let me explain my life with anxiety to you.
Just because I have anxiety doesn't mean I am not happy. In fact I am happy a majority of the time. Do I fake my smile sometimes? Yes! I absolutely fake it until I make it some times. And  you know what? That is okay! Not everyone is 100% happy 100% of the time. Having depression doesn't make me sad all of the time either. You can be depressed and still be happy, I am. So please, just because I have these terrible things going on in my brain  at times does not mean I a…

365 [Blissful] Days

Most people say the hardest year of marriage is the first one. I am going to disagree with that. Matthew and I just celebrated our one year anniversary of saying I Do. We had one of the best weekends together that we've had in a long time, if not ever.

The hardest year that we've had together was the year we were engaged. We got engaged in September, moved in April, Matthew started his new job in May, we got married in October, and I was unemployed until January. My anxiety and depression kicked my butt for those 8 months I was unemployed and trying to plan my wedding all while applying and interviewing for jobs. If we can make it through all of that together, we can make it through anything.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8VMYLniuDk&feature=player_embedded

Last (single) Date

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This was one year ago today! Our last date as a non married couple :) We went out for dinner that night and enjoyed ourselves before the craziness of the next three days began. It was probably one of my most favorite dates I've had with this handsome guy. Three days before the big day!

[Wedding Week] One Year Later

Today starts the one year anniversary of "wedding week". One year ago today I got up and went to a mandatory training for my new "job". Substitute teaching. I got in my car, with my wedding dress in the backseat so I could drop it off to get steamed, went to get coffee, and drove across town. I walked into the school this training was being held at trying not to look lost and confused. I found a seat near the back and sat down. Nothing on the agenda was of any interest to me so I sat near the aisle in case I needed a break. I had barely sat down and looked at my phone. A text message from my best friend and bridesmaid. She had been married for five years at this point and offered me some "wedding week advice" It had me choking back tears. Everything she said were all of the things I told myself I needed to do that week. What a relief that even though I had no idea what I was doing I was on the right track.

When the training was over I went back out to my …

Semicolon

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About six weeks ago I got a new tattoo. I got two new tattoos at the same time, actually. I'm sure by now everyone has heard the buzz about the Semicolon project. If not, I suggest you Google it and do some reading. There are some amazing stories out there about this.


When I first heard about it was on June 20th. I was in Sioux City for a wedding and we were exploring the new Hard Rock Casino. A friend of mine posted a blog post by the girl who started this project. I read it quickly thinking "wow, that's really cool!" I was busy and forgot about it. The next week when I was back into my routine I decided to read the blog again and do some research. I immediately knew I needed to get this tattoo.


So I did. I had been wanting another small tattoo for awhile so I decided after work one Friday afternoon to go and do it. I went alone and didn't even tell my husband (he knew I wanted to eventually get them). I got my semicolon tattoo over a scar on my wrist. The scar…

Turn Turn Turn...

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I keep hoping that something exciting or uplifting will happen in my life for me to blog about after the past few downer posts. Unfortunately things have not taken a drastic turn for me just yet. I am still trucking along feeling like something is missing in my life. While I have gotten closer to figuring out what that something is, I basically still have the same feelings of being sad for no reason and more anxious than usual.

My husband and I were SO excited to move to Sioux Falls last spring. We don't hate it here at all, but for the first time (probably ever) we are on the same page about what we need to do for US. We both have had the same realizations about how things are going and are aware of what we need to do to make some changes. We haven't made any big life changing decisions, but we have been talking about a plan to do so. We both realize that while we are happy with each other, our marriage, living in Sioux Falls, we aren't as happy as we deserve to be. We a…

Unfinished

I've written blogs before about how I am struggling with enjoying life. While I feel like I am happy, at the same time I fel like I am only merely surviving. I may not break down and cry but when I do something that should make me super excited I feel like that emotion is so deep inside of me that it takes a miracle to bring it out. I am stuck in one of those "funks". Again.

Summer seems to have more of these long stretches of me just not feeling like myself than winter does. That is backwards for most people. While I do still get hit pretty hard with SAD in the middle of winter, it also strikes me every July as well. This makes no sense to me. Maybe it's the drastic change in mild temperatures to extremely warm tempuratres, I'm not sure. It is, however, one more reason why I believe I need to live where the seasons don't change (often!). What is most bothersome about how I have been feeling for the past few weeks is the reason why. I DON'T KNOW WHY!!!!!!…

One Year And All That Has Changed

One year ago I was a month deep into unemployment. The other day I was sitting at my desk, looking out the window and wishing I had the summers off. I was immediately thrown back into last year when I DID have the summer off. It caused my mind to race and think about all of the ups and (mostly) downs of last summer. How long some of the days are, how many tears I cried, how low my self esteem was, how stressed out I was...all of the bad things. Granted there were a few good things about having the summer off...I read a ton of books, I got my wedding planned, and I realized how hard life can be. What a wake up call last summer was to me in both positive and negative ways.

My mind eventually went to how much different I am this summer than I was last summer. Not only am I now employed but I have my self esteem back..(most days!) I feel like I am a real human again. I have social interactions with more than just myself, my husband and my family. I have a reason to get up in the morning (…

This is Real

I have been exhausted the past two or three weeks and when I was trying to figure out why I came up with nothing. I don't stay up late, I haven't been doing any strenuous exercising (even though I should be), work hasn't been [overly] stressful, and my evenings haven't been any busier than usual.

And then it hit me. I have let depression slowly creep back in and my anxiety has been higher than normal for about three weeks now. That is why I have been exhausted. People who have never experienced mental illness or have an understanding of it would think that it isn't possible to be exhausted from living. They probably call it lazy. They don't know.

I haven't been depressed in the way that anybody probably has noticed. I haven't been crying, or losing weight, or overeating. I have had less energy, a racing mind, a terrible self esteem, and been crabbier than usual. I haven't been myself and even if nobody else has seen that, I have. I can't paint a…

Standing Up/Breaking Down

Last week was full of ups and downs for me. Mostly downs with a few ups scattered in there for a bit of relief. I feel the depression trying to wiggle it's way in the cracks and take over, and while I typically will do anything to stop that I don't have the energy to do it this time around. At least not yet.

I believe that I am a person with a real [big] heart. I am about as empathetic as they come. I always want to do everything in my power to help those around me. This sometimes gets me in trouble. Not only was my heart broken last week but so was my determination. It has gotten to the point where I am tired of people, I am tired of my brain, and I am tired of fighting. I don't understand how things can be going so well, and I feel like I have everything figured out and am on a straight pathway to my next ambition and then all of a sudden I'm not. I understand there are roadblocks to everything in life. I get that. But these roadblocks have come as a result of me sta…

(My) Companion

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As I am writing this entry tonight I have an 8 week old puppy on my lap trying to help me type. That's right...Matthew and I are parents to a 2 pound, 8 week old Yorkie that we call Wrigley! He is the most adorable thing in the whole entire world. Everyone that sees him agrees.

I have noticed an increase in anxiety since I have fully settled into my new routine with work, home, and life. Because I don't want to use medications except for a last resort (meaning, when nothing else seems to work but before I go completely crazy) I have been trying many different things to self soothe. One of my friends sent me the Secret Garden adult coloring book for my birthday a few weeks back. I used to color ALL of the time, except the only materials I had to choose from were, sadly, children's coloring books. I didn't always mind, but they weren't always the right level of stimulation that I was looking for. The few times that I have gotten that coloring book out since I got it …

Vacation Rebound

On Monday night my  husband and I returned from the most amazing vacation of our lives to date. We spent four beautiful days in Austin, Texas soaking up the city life and bonding with my cousins.

Typically when we come back from a vacation it takes me days to recover and feel "normal" again. I am always so sad to be back home (more so when family is involved!). I stay quiet, I don't have much of an appetite, I just want to sleep, and I get crazy ideas (like moving!). I am so happy that this rebound was much quicker than ant I've ever in my life, I think. On Tuesday I was full of anxiety and could barely get through my work day. When I got home to my extremely messy home I didn't even have the energy to unpack and do the laundry that was waiting for me. This is so unlike me as the first thing I typically do is unpack. If it was one night way or ten, I hate having my suitcases laying out full of stuff. I did what I could to ease a bit of my anxiety and spent the re…

Fourty Days Come and Gone

With Easter being two days ago I thought I would update how my 40 days of Lent went. First of all I had a wonderful Easter with my parents, sister, and my husband. It was the first Easter that we didn't get together with extended family OR have to drive 3 hours back to Aberdeen after eating a huge Easter meal and wanting to take a nap! It was a very laid back Easter with beautiful weather that aloud us to spend the afternoon outside. My parents, husband and I went to church on Easter morning. I have always enjoyed Easter mass because of the extra energy it seems to bring with it. Everyone is always cheerful and wearing such bright spring colors. We always get to church about 20 minutes early so we can get "our" pew and to listen to the music. As the church started to fill up I felt myself becoming mildly panicked. I tried not to focus on the fact that people were closing in around me and just listened to the music and prayed that I wouldn't have to scoot any closer t…

Defeat? Victory!

When I went to get my physical with my new doctor in Sioux Falls this past January I told him about my anxiety disorder. I gave him a brief overview of my past few years dealing with it and informed him of my PRN med that my doctor in Aberdeen had given me. I told him I would be starting a new job the next week after not working for 8 months and I was fearful hat my anxiety would amp up with the change.

I started taking my PRN a couple days into my new job. I took it at night before bed because I knew it made me sleepy. I had no problems when I took it. When I tried to quit taking it the anxiety was full fledged and I had some bad days. Long story short I am back on a daily anxiety med. I have been for two months now and things seem to be improving for me. When I first went back on the daily meds for the first time in almost 3 years I felt defeated. I felt like I had lost my battle and I was going back to the beginning to start all over again. After talking to a friend who also suffer…

Triggers

I don’t always know why I’m anxious or what causes me to have an anxiety attack. I know that there is not always a clear answer and that there are probably reasons I’ll never figure out but there are some triggers that I am aware of and really try to avoid. I realize that some of my triggers cannot be avoided thus causing me to deal with that anxiety when and if it appears. Here are some of my anxiety triggers that I am well aware of/

1.Not getting enough sleep at night. If I am unable to sleep or go through a short stint of insomnia I start to get anxious, which in turn prevents me from falling asleep.  This causes a vicious cycle for me. There are nights this happens to me and I only sleep for 3 or 4 hours.

2.Being in a room with many people and not knowing any of them. Being in a room with people I do know. As I mentioned before I feel like I am starting to have some crowd anxiety. I have yet to put a finger on what exactly happens to me when I have these episodes. I also don’t have …

What A Difference A Day Can Make

Yesterday I felt myself slipping. I felt myself going in a downward spiral that I was not able to stop. There was a tug of war going on inside of my head. Part of my brain was talking me and my self esteem down and the other part of my brain was trying to contradict those negative vibes. I didn’t smile at anyone at work yesterday, which is unusual for me (even when it is a Monday). I did not go out of my way to greet anybody or make small talk…which is something I have been trying to do to make my days at this new job a little bit better. I didn’t care about my life yesterday. All I cared about was going home and lying on the couch. And eating…(story of my life!) I don’t like days like that where that switch is flipped and there is nothing I can do to turn it back off. It’s like I literally have to just bide my time and hope that something inside of my brain will click and everything will go back to “normal”. I know that person is not me and it is not my best self. Those are the days …

40 days and 40 nights

It’s that time of year again..the time where spring is near, the days get longer, and people get all excited about having to give something up for 40 days. The past few years of my (adult) life I have felt a renewed energy when this time of year comes around. I get excited bout the seasons changing and the weather getting warmer, and about the Lenten season and all of the good vibes it seems to bring with it. This year something is different. Ash Wednesday snuck up on me and I was not prepared mentally. The weather has been cold which makes spring feel like an eternity away. With my recent rollercoaster battle with anxiety the energy isn’t there either. Being the Catholic girl that I am, I grew up always giving something up for lent. I would fight my parents about “being too young” to follow those rules, about not wanting to do it because it was stupid, saying nobody followed it anyways, and eventually giving up something like candy, pop, chocolate, or my favorite….fighting with my b…

Panic!

I had an anxiety attack at work on Friday. People (who know me) probably have a hard time believing that I even have anxiety/panic attacks. When it happens to me it’s not noticeable unless you are staring right at me, are in mid conversation with me, or are attuned to the signs of one, (which is hard because everyone’s anxiety attacks look different). I don’t have them very often and I do not freak out or make a big scene. Some people do. We had an all staff meeting in the morning, I got here at the same time as always (10 min early)  and took my seat one chair in from the end of an empty row. Being new at the job I had not experienced an all staff meeting before, but I could tell from the way they had the chairs set up that it may not be the most comfortable thing for me. It started out fine as the two girls that sat on either side of me are two that take the time to talk to me (maybe they’re even trying to get to know me?) and the rest of the empty chairs slowly filled in. The Progra…

My Sun Shine

I mentioned in a previous post that Matthew’s cousin gave me a light box to do light therapy when we were visiting over Thanksgiving. A few weeks back I finally started working it into my daily routine. I started using it in the mornings. The first thing I do when I get up is turn that sucker on. It is in my bedroom right by my closet door. I turn it on and then I go take my shower. When I come out of the shower I feel so much more awake than I do when I come out into the room with overhead lighting. I leave it on for the duration of me getting ready. This could be 15 min or 30 min depending on my mood, if my clothes have already been picked out, and what I do to my hair! This is my 3rd week of using it and I do have to say it has made a difference. I leave for work in a MUCH better mood. I get that “natural” light that I need MORE of. I was kind of skeptic of it and its benefits as when I had attempted to use it before I would get an almost nauseous feeling. I think that is because I…

What I Learned

We had Christmas with my mom's family this past weekend. I know, Christmas was a month ago, but we never get together until January. Which is okay with me because it keeps the Christmas spirit alive just a little bit longer! Our family is growing, and not because any of us are having kids, etc. It's because we have so many "adopted" family members. We had four extra bodies at my aunt and uncles house this weekend, which compared to some families still isn't that many people. I think we had 14 total? As a side note, it makes me happy that so many people enjoy our family enough to feel welcome at our holidays :)

What I learned about myself this weekend is I do not do well in small areas with many people. My uncle has a bar in his basement. We usually spend our time down there drinking, conversing, maybe dancing, and having fun. There were so many people down there this time around that I felt like I wasn't truly able to let go and unwind. I was constantly moving…

Anxious and Risk-Averse

We become anxious and risk-averse. When we experience success, we don’t fully allow ourselves to experience the joy of accomplishment.” I found this statement while reading a blog about how to be kinder to yourself. Wow did it hit home. I have previously mentioned how hard I am on myself and how I my self esteem has been in the garbage more often than not the past 6-8 months. I was on this constant roller coaster of up and down but the self talk became more and more negative as time went on. The words “be kind to yourself” didn't exist in my mind and they certainly weren't being put to use. This particular phrase is exactly how I felt when I got the phone call for my first job offer since moving to Sioux Falls. I was so stressed out and anxious about life that when I accepted the job and called to tell my mom (yes, she was the first person I called, because someday I won’t be able to call her at all) and my husband I had zero excitement or joy in my voice. Why wouldn't some…

My First Week

My first week of (new) employment brought much anxiety. It wasn’t getting up and going to work after not doing so for 8 months that caused my anxiety. It was being somewhere new, surrounded by unfamiliar faces that was the biggest cause. Not having a schedule to go by, not having anyone know what my schedule for training was going to be, and generally being confused was very hard for me. As someone that likes to be prepared, organized, and plan ahead I was in a whole new world. I met an overwhelming amount of people, mostly in passing and left to try to remember who was who. I do think I handled it all better than I expected, which surprised me. I did have some minor anxiety attacks, but there were no tears which, in my world, is a small victory. I was able to leave my eight hours of work behind when I went home and enjoyed the evenings with my husband. I did not lose sleep or have bad dreams. Things that I do expect with come in time, but I made it through the first week without. I wo…

The Reason

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For some reason people have this idea that unless you have a "reason" to be sad, or depressed, you shouldn't be. There is this idea that in order for someone to have mental health issues they have had to have some major, traumatic event happen in their life. Not true. While I have lead a fairly good life in my 28 years on Earth, I have had my fair of struggles. Is there one major life changing event that triggered my problems? Not that I am aware of. I still have both of my parents alive and well, both of my siblings around to drive me crazy, I've never been in any type of major automobile accident, broken any bones or had any major surgeries, etc etc.  Does that make my anxiety and depression "made up", or "exaggerated". ABSOLUTELY NOT! While a lot of people that live with mental illness may have had one or more of these terrible things happen to them, that doesn't mean it's true for everyone. My anxiety is just as real and present as som…