Worry Wart

I missed last week. Dang it. I plan to post twice this week to make up for last week. I was going to write about how I almost deleted my last post. It was open and honest and raw. And I felt exposed and stupid for writing it. So I was going to delete it. But then I realized that I was only wanting to delete it because of other people. I need to be able to say what I need to say right now. For healing purposes and for the purposes of getting used to writing on a regular basis. I need this catharsis. And also, being a writer means sometimes saying things other people don't want to know/read. These feelings kept me from writing last week.

But I'm now moving forward. Onward and upward as they say.

I wanted to write today about my paranoia and anxiety that I deal with on a regular basis. This shows up in a lot of ways. I worry about things to a degree that it interferes with my daily life. I am constantly second guessing myself. I am constantly examining other people's words to me looking for hidden meanings. This all comes to a head at night. Most nights I wake up every few hours in a state of terror. I have to try so hard to sleep against the paranoia and hallucinations. Typically I'll wake up with thoughts of things like "If I look at the ceiling fan, it'll be my fault my husband dies." Most of my hallucinations revolve around death or being attacked. Usually Austin's death. Sometimes mine. And they are serious and feel so real. And they are completely irrational.

I spend many nights filled with irrational terror. I have to try really hard to tell myself it isn't real. That devils and demons aren't out to get me. That I'm not being pursued by enemies. I have trouble sleeping. Even though I KNOW it's not real, it can be difficult to fall asleep anyway. I try to think of something else and all I can think about are horrible and terrifying images.

Sometimes these events are funny. On the rare occasion that I go to bed before Austin, I have been known walk up to him and accuse him of something completely nonsensical. I am awake when this happens. I remember it clearly the next day. (I know what I said, even if I have no idea why I said it.)

This is apparently a family thing. For several members of my family, in particular my mother and one of my brothers, this is a frequent occurrence for them as well.

I wish I could make this go away because it interferes with my sleep quite a bit. And sleep is something that I need more of, not less.

Do you have trouble sleeping due to vivid and frightening thoughts and images?


Tracie's Journal #1

I'm starting a new blog series called "Tracie's Journal." My sophomore and senior year of high school I was required to write in a journal for my honor's and AP English classes. I'm really grateful for this because I am a terrible journaler. Because of this requirement, I have dozens of entries into my thoughts as a teenager. I will be randomly selecting an entry from these journals to post on this here blog. I plan to give commentary on the posts, especially the ones in which important things are written.

Here is Journal Entry #10 from my sophomore year of high school (originally spelling and punctuation preserved):

"I care for them all the same way, yet they always grow differently. Just like children."

Today I am not as big as a grouch as I was last time I wrote, I am, however, much, much, MUCH more tired than last time. I'm hungry.

I went to work for the second time last night. It was not fun. I stood the entire time. I worked from 5:00 to 7:30. At 8:45 no one still hadn't come to pick me up. I was furious! Finally at 9:00 Quincy was going home and heoffered me a ride so I went with him.

I'm almost done with my chapter outline in chemistry and I'm doing better on the labs. I just need help with the stupid, piece-of-crap practice problems.

Man, I wish I was 16. I am going to be crushed if no one ever asks me out. That would hurt me, but I am preparing myself for it because I know for a fact that no one will ever ask me out. Guys are stupid and blind. I am an ugly, pathetic, fat girl with nothing to live for (school, social, and dating wise.) I am not perfect not will I ever be. There is a lot of depression about me. I try to push it out of my mind and put a smile on my face. Yet it lingers there. Why don't any guys ever show any interest in me? I can already that. You already know the answer. Sometimes I get tired of being "the happy one." Because it's all a lie. One big, fat LIE. I am NOT happy. I pretend I am. Rarely, if ever, am I truly happy. The only person who makes me happy (most of the time) is Heidi. She lifts me up when I am down. And she truly makes me laugh and forget my problems. That is why I wrote that poem for her awhile back. To tell her what she means to me. Heidi is a "gem." Hee, hee. Just thinking about Heidi and the things we've done together make me smile. And that is just what I need. Someone to make me smile and forget.
Thoughts on this entry:

The first thing you'll notice is the quote. I started off every journal entry with a quote. SeaQuest was one of my favorite shows at the time. It's clear to see that I wrote these entries very stream-of-consciousness. I wrote whatever popped into my head. I also apparently did not know how to use a comma as appropriately as I do now.

I started my first official job this year. I was 15 when I started working at 5 Buck Pizza. The work was very physical, especially for an out-of-shape, overweight teenager. I would come to work there for two years before quitting to work for my dad. I hated not being able to drive myself to work. My parents would come get me when they remembered, which led to many nights like this one waiting to picked up.

My hatred of chemistry permeates most pages of my sophomore journal. I had chemistry right before English, and journal pages were done the first 10 minutes of my English class. I often left chemistry frustrated. No class has ever made me feel as stupid as chemistry did (at the time, physics would later take the cake in college). The teacher was boring and honestly, a terrible teacher. I never understood what I was supposed to do. It was an honor's class. (Why oh why oh why did I take an honor's chemistry class?!) Amazingly, I pulled off As and Bs. This class also marked the first and one of the only times I did not get an A in a class. I got sickeningly good grades in junior high and high school. I think I cried for days when I saw the B+ on my report card.

I correctly predicted my dating life in this entry. I did not get asked out during my entire time in high school. I asked out guys for the girl's choice dances, and in this way I was able to go on dates. I do not miss this aspect of high school. While I am okay with not having lots of boyfriends in high school, I do wish that I would have been asked out for dates occasionally. I was overweight for most of high school. I also hated myself, lacked any self-confidence, and was extremely self-conscious. (This started to change in the later half of my junior year.)

While I was depressed about my looks and the lack of interest from guys, I did have a best friend. We did a lot together and actually had most of our classes together that year. I am so incredibly grateful for my friendship with Heidi. This is kind of complicated to write about because I remained best friends with Heidi from elementary school to college graduation. We then had a falling out and grew apart, which I still regard as the most painful experience of my life. We have since patched things up, though we are more acquaintances now then friends. As grateful as I am for the wonderful memories of this friendship, we had our issues to be sure. The biggest problem is I suffered from codependent patterns at the time. Patterns that I carried with me through college. I didn't know that then. It took me years to recognize the signs of codependency. If you follow the link, many of the statements under the "low self-esteem" and "compliance" patterns would describe me most of my life, especially in regards to this particular relationship. While I am happy to be free from codependent behaviors (for the most part) in my relationships now, I regret that this friendship had to extinguish in order for that to happen.

And that is the first look into Tracie as a teenager. More to come later.


2013: Bringing the Unadventures Back

Yay, we didn't die! Woot! I, for one, am personally THRILLED that I survived 2012. It was a hard year in many ways. I have a lot of plans and goals this year. And for the first time in a very long time, I am excited about the future.

Okay, pushing forward. I already went back to the previous paragraph to read and edit in an attempt to make it all sound wonderful and all that. (Edited to add: I did go back later and edit it. But doing it later makes it revision. :) )But I've decided I've got to stop doing that if I'm going to make this year's goal. I'm going to start writing again. Blogging is just one of the ways that I'm going to count this goal. I'm going to start blogging at least once a week. Recording my thoughts, feelings, ideas, trials, misfortunes, adventures, unadventures, and all that jazz. Should be great fun for everyone. I also am going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year for the first time ever. To prepare for this, I am going to write one short story a month until November.

Part of being able to accomplish this writing goal of mine is letting go of perfection. I am an editor by profession. This makes it extraordinarily difficult to actually write anything. I have no sooner written a word down before my inner critic/editor goes MUST PROOFREAD, FIX, NOW!!! And you know what happens? I never actually write/post anything because I'm way too busy being hypercritical about everything.

SO no more. Goodbye critical self. Hello creativity. Another thing I'm letting go is pretending to be somebody I'm not. For too long I have tried to not offend anyone and have let the potential (most likely imaginary) readers of this here blog dictate what I say and how I say it. No more. I cannot take it a single second longer. This is MY space. I guess I have finally decided that I am okay with losing friends if need be. I cannot please everyone all the time. Why have I driven myself crazy all my life trying to have everyone like me?? It's impossible to have everyone like me. I know this, but I sure as hell have tried. And I don't know why I have cared so much either. Blogs have been in decline in some time. Nobody even reads my blog anymore, so I'm reclaiming it. This is MY precious. A place to be myself and to unleash the thoughts of a person who has been silenced for far too long.

I know who I am. People can take me as I am or...well I guess they can refuse to do so. Their loss really because I'm pretty freaking awesome. You didn't know that? Well, I am. I am going to prove that by letting me people know what I think.

The last year or so I have spent countless hours reading other people's thoughts, stories, opinions, and ideas. All with saying nary a word about mine. In written form that is. I talk people's ears if they let me in person. Am I right, my in-real-life friends? It's a darn good thing that much of what I have to say is interesting. (winky face) So, all of this has to do with becoming an authentic person. I have been absolutely MISERABLE this last year pretending to be someone other than who I really am. I am going to let my freak flag fly and see what happens. Come what may.

So other themes for the year besides letting go of PERFECTION, and becoming AUTHENTIC, and unleashing CREATIVITY is to create order in my life. I have come up with ideas and plans to help me enjoy my life this year. One is creating and maintaining a schedule. I've already come up with a plan for how to keep my house out of chaos. (No, Mom, it's probably not going to be to your standards of cleanliness, but it will be at least liveable.) I had an epiphany the other day that the reason my house has been a disaster this last year (besides the craziness that is my life) is because of my desire to be perfect. I'll explain. My whole life I've lived a life of all or nothing. My house is either spotless or a disaster. I either work out every day or not at all. Etc., etc., ad nauseum. Well, that's gotta stop. It is futile to pretend that my house will maintain spotlessness. However, disaster level doesn't work either. So I'm going to quit believing that a spotless house is the goal. Liveable is the goal. I'm going to try to keep the house clean without worrying that everything is clean all the time.

The order idea also means that I am going to this year get back on a normal human sleep schedule. I know that I will have many setbacks in this goal since I've become quite used to my disjointed and unhealthy lifestyle. But I will do it. The Internet as my witness. I also will start using routines with Morgan. It'll make his life better and mine.

I am also going to schedule time in my life for exercise. I have a goal to lose 20 pounds by the end of the April. To do this, I will need to lose 1-2 lbs a week, which is totally doable. I need to lose more like 50-70 to be at my "optimum" weight, but I'm starting with 20 pounds to get back down to my prepregnancy weight. (Yes, I never lost my pregnancy weight. I'm far from the first.) I actually have the motivation to do it this year because I can't accomplish my other huge goal of this year without it. I'd say more but I'm always careful not to reveal too much of my personal life on here because I work and so I need to keep some things to myself. Most of my IRL family and friends know what I'm talking about anyway. Anyway, I am really, really excited about my plans for this year.

I am also really excited that AUSTIN IS GRADUATING IN APRIL!!!!! Yes, that deserves caps and multiple exclamation marks. It's really that good of news. Austin being in school has been absolute hell. Really it has. I cannot wait until he graduates. I know this will mean a lot of big changes for our family. And we are THRILLED.

Other big plans for the year: Going to Hawaii to visit our awesome friends and going to Houston to visit Austin's awesome family. I'd love if we could squeeze a trip to California in there as well. We'll see what happens.

I also want to start having game nights with my family and friends this year. I love playing games and spending time with my family and friends. So I'm going to start hosting them. I think once a month. (Alternating between family and friends)

So to sum up, my goals for the year:
1. Let go of perfection
2. Unleash creativity
3. Become authentic
4. Create order out of chaos (and its corollary: Create health for self)
5. Have fun with family and friends :)

I think this is the fewest number of goals I have set ever. I usually have lists and lists of them. And usually never accomplish them. I really like the idea of these themes to remind me of what I want from this year. Most of them overlap with the other. Really excited for 2013. It's going to kick 2012's ass.