Last Night Things

Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas get their fast
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far.’
They just show on up with their big old heart

I don’t know how I got so lucky. Last night, in my anxious ridden moments of weakness, panic and sadness, you showed up. The support you presented, support that you gave me, it’s support that people could only ever dream of finding in their lifetime and I have it in stride. I feel like the luckiest girl in the whole world. And, you know, I also feel like I don’t deserve it, but I am thankful. So thankful. Last night meant the world to me, and I want you to know that.

*Reference: https://millenniallifecrisis.org/2020/08/18/when-panic-attacks-attack/

When panic attacks attack

I had a panic attack at the end of work today.

My three month probationary period review is on Thursday. It was supposed to be last week, but it got moved to this week, so I’ve had to carry that nervousness around with me for an extra seven days.

I’ve been very anxious about the review.

If I make it through this review without getting fired, I’ll have passed the probationary period, I’ll be an official employee with benefits and holiday time and get a work credit card and all that jazz.

But I keep telling myself ‘if’. ‘If’. ‘If’. It’s a word that can really eat away at you if you let it. And, for some reason, I’ve been letting it eat away at me since my review was rescheduled from last week to this week.

I’m worried.

What if they fire me?

What if they say ‘hasta la vista’ and they just don’t give a damn?

What if this all ends and comes crashing down around me as quickly as it started?

I’ve been doing really good with respect to my anxiety for the past two months. I’ve had very few major issues and, for the most part, when I get anxious, I’ve been able to be reasonable and calm myself down.

This afternoon I sent my boss a message on Microsoft Teams chat and they read it and didn’t respond. They didn’t respond and my mind just started racing.

‘What if I’ve failed?’

‘What if this all ends on Thursday?’

‘What if I’m fired?’

It didn’t take long before I was struggling to breathe and found myself curled up in a ball unsure of what to do. I’d like to think I’m calmer and a lot more collected than having a panic attack because my boss left me on read.

All that being said, perhaps if I survive Thursday then I will be.

Here’s to hoping they don’t fire me. Confident me says they won’t. Anxious me says that the worst case scenario is always possible, no matter how confident I am.

Releasing thoughts from my brain so they don’t control the rest of my day.

Debt scares me.

When I was a kid my family did not have a lot of money. Often we barely had enough to get by. My parents always made sure that we had food to eat., but I do remember instances where I was wearing my shoes until they had holes in them, and then continuing to wear them past that point. I do remember my siblings and I having to go out on our bikes to the nearby recreation centres and ball parks to look for cans so that we could collect enough money to hopefully put five dollars worth of gas in the vehicle so my father could get to work. I do remember a few times when the collection of cans did not provide enough and my dad actually hitch-hiked to work.

Debt scares me. I don’t ever want to go back to that place.

Now that I’m an adult, I am really good at living within my means. I’m really good at not getting something unless I absolutely need it. I’m really good at going without. I know the difference between needs and wants and I know how to stretch a dollar. I’m very careful with what I purchase. I’m very careful with how I choose to live because debt scares me.

I want a plan.

I want to know that everything is going to be okay. I want safety and security in a world that can provide anything but.

8:30 AM

How much did I sleep last night? Maybe an hour… tops.

I just can’t calm down. I’m not sure what’s going on. That’s a lie. I know what’s going on there’s just nothing that I can do to fix it right now. Sometimes shit hits the fan and you just have to wait for the storm to pass.

I’ve been working for two hours already and I’m exhausted. I feel like a zombie. There is not enough coffee in this world to get me through this week.

It’s going to be another long day. If I make it through this week I’m going to hibernate for the summer.

1:10 AM

I’ve been having panic attacks on and off for the past three hours.

I haven’t slept for three days. Not really. I’ve has small naps here and there but I haven’t been able to physically lay down and shut my eyes for any considerable length of time (longer than an hour).

The toll of not sleeping is deep. My mind is exhausted, my body is aching and I have this overarching pit in my stomach that is making it difficult for me to consume food.

I need to be up for work in five hours. Am I going to sleep tonight? I doubt it. Am I going to lay here anxiously trying to slow my brain down and massage my achy muscles for the next five hours? Well at least for the next four.

I don’t know what to do.

I really don’t.

Nothing is working.

I lay down with every intention of sleeping and life… it just fucking has other plans. I’m literally running myself ragged.

Guest post: The monster that is anxiety

The following is a guest post written by Tiffany from the blog Ethereal Empathy.


When I was little I made friends with a monster.  She kept me company wherever I went, stayed with me as I grew, and often showed up when I needed a friend the most.  Even though she validated my feelings, was reliable, and was always there for me… it wasn’t healthy.  The truth of the matter was, this monster wanted to keep me for herself.  The only feelings she confirmed were those of fear, and her company never made me feel good about myself.

My monster friend kept me awake at night with her chatter, and convinced me to stay home when other friends invited me out.  She stripped me of my self-worth and confidence, and reminded me of how different I was from everyone else.  In that loneliness I accepted this monster, which we refer to as Anxiety.  After all, she appeared to know me so well. 

Perhaps I clung to Anxiety because she was familiar, or maybe it was because she wasn’t all bad, all the time.  This little monster helped me see potential threats and kept me aware.  The deep understanding of fear, that I had developed, helped me to relate with individuals who suffered similar stress. Still, I had become a prisoner of fear with no boundaries to keep my monster at bay.

“Without darkness nothing comes to birth, as without light nothing flowers.” – May Sarton

It was in my self-doubt that Anxiety held me captive.  I had trained my brain to jump to worse case scenarios and to see the prospective negatives of any given situation. Overwhelmed by uncertainty, and my lack of ability to concentrate, relax, or find calm, I struggled with each day.

My body had turned on me, with symptoms of illness, without ever having been truly sick.  Unexplainable pains and tension would come and go as they pleased.  There was no balance or predictability in the waves that rose and fell, and often times came upon me with no warning or explanation. 

Having a panic attack is much like swimming in deep waters during a storm.  It takes everything you are to keep your head above water, and sometime you get hit by the turbulent ocean which pulls you under.  It is a fight for air, for continued existence. 

I could not see what it looked like to thrive when my constant state of panic made basic survival a challenge.  The very thought of working as a productive member of society seemed impossible.  I looked into the dark chasm of the unknown, unable to find the light.  I saw consequence of failure instead of the potential growth that comes with experience.

Instead of trusting in my own capabilities I sought out healers and trusted individuals to fix me, but there was no cure for this.  No instant solution to repair the broken parts of myself.  Medication only numbed my soul, taking more away without giving enough of myself back.  Therapists were a constant reminder that to be whole I needed to dig deep to find answers within. 

How could I mend the fragmented pieces of me when I was incapable of believing in my own worth?  I couldn’t.  My monster never lied, exactly.  We all have a balance of light and dark inside of ourselves.  Where there is the potential for disaster there is also the potential for success.  What I hadn’t been able to see was the strength in both.

I would be naïve to believe that there are those out there without flaws. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time.  When dark times are upon us, and it feels as if they might destroy everything, we find that we are more resilient than we might think.  Living in the shadows of fear makes it hard to see.  Feeling as if we are alone is an illusion.     

Turns out the cost of not taking risks, and not believing in our own natural gifts, is much higher than the upward climb of facing the monster.  If the choice is to succumb to a life of worry and suffer a stagnant existence, or to battle a life gripped by fear for the chance of actually living…  I choose to face the unknown. 

Anxiety is not a true friend, but it is not my enemy either.  This alter ego, my anxious self, is debilitating but only has power if I give it.  I can use it as a crutch or I can learn her moods and motives, triggers and tastes, in order to respond appropriately.  What is so easy to forget is that we have the power to change the world, starting with our own being.

So I learned to consistently make course corrections along an unpredictable path.  Staying ahead of the waves when possible and bringing along a life preserve just in case the waters get the best of me.  Most importantly I discovered the importance of second guessing my own self-doubt. 

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

The path is hard.  There are times I slip and fall, get scraped up along the way, have setbacks and face detours… but I keep moving forward.  That steep cliff edge that I started on has gotten easier, the journey less rocky.  Somewhere along the way I learned to trust myself and accept that I am capable and deserving of so much more.

Anxiety is still with me, she is my twin who is just looking out for my well-being and here to protect me.  Although misguided her intentions are good.  I accept her for what she is even though she cannot see the error of her ways.  It is my job to not let her define me or keep me from the life I deserve.

It is through this understanding that the light began to seep through and point me in a direction of confidence.  I found my balance and overcame obstacles I never thought possible before.  Instead of struggling each day to survive I learned how to thrive, to have a life that is mine, and meet my fears wisely. 

Anxiety is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, an innocent wearing the mask of a monster.  Although frightening she doesn’t decide your fate.  Her power over you is limited and only exasperated by your own insecurity.  Believe in yourself, trust your own intuition, and the gray clouds looming over will clear. 

There is hope, I am proof of that. 

“On particularly rough days, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”  – Unknown


Thank you to Tiffany from Ethereal Empathy for contributing such a thoughtful and honest post to #MillennialLifeCrisis. If you have the opportunity, I strongly recommend checking out Tiffany’s Blog. She is a ray of kindness and honesty in this crazy world and she brings a unique perspective to the blogging community that is the truest definition of one-of-a-kind.

This is not a holiday

I need to rant. This might be all over the place but I just want it said. It’s okay to be upset, or angry or mad about what’s going on in the world. It’s also okay to not care, if you don’t want to.

I’ve seen this meme floating around the internet (as of late) that says ‘If you don’t use this time to teach yourself something new, you didn’t lack time you lacked discipline’. I cannot even begin to explain how frustrating I find this mentality.

This is a pandemic. This is not a holiday. This isn’t ‘free time’ so to speak. This is ‘stay the fuck home so that you save your’s and each other’s lives in the process’ time. This isn’t fun. And it’s not supposed to be.

You can drag me all you want. You can tell me that I’m looking at this from a negative perspective, but the truth is, I’m looking at this from a realistic perspective. This is a traumatic experience for a lot of people, if not for everyone.

To the lucky few who are able to work from home, you’re now navigating a whole new territory that involves learning how live/work in the same place. An environment without the help of your coworkers, or office technology, or any of the office luxuries you’ve grown accustomed to over the years. And, while you’re plugging away on that laptop, quite literally flying by the seat of your pants to try and maintain some form of functionality amid the chaos, there’s news stories saying work won’t resume until fall, there’s kids or partners or dogs in the background making a lot of noise and a world that just won’t seem to give you a break. And to the doctors and nurses, health care workers and hospital staff, care aids and everyone who is helping on the front line and working essential jobs (at grocery stores, etc..) there is no breaks. There’s no days off. There’s no reprieve from the painful struggle that is trying to keep the general public healthy.

To the unlucky rest, there’s no work. And there’s no way to find work. Postings for a cashier position in a grocery store in a small town in Northern BC are attracting 3,100 resumes/applications. I can’t even imagine how much higher the competition is to be a cashier in a metropolitan area. People want to work. They want to provide for themselves and their family members and they can’t. They’re at home worried about how their bills are going to be paid, how long the food in the cupboard will last and whether or not a guardian angel is going to drop dinner from the sky. And, while they’re worrying about money, mortgages and the basic necessities of survival, there’s news stories saying that they could be off work until the fall, or even early next year, and kids or partners or dogs in the background making a lot of noise and a world that just won’t seem to give a break.

To the really unlucky folk, work might have been the only time during the day that they had to escape their toxic home environment. It might have just been the only time they had away from their abusers. Now, not only are they being thrown into a stressful home environment that already existed for that much longer each day, but there’s the added financial and economic stresses of life adding to tensions in the household. And, while they’re worrying about how to make it through the day without having their body, mind or soul quite literally beat up on, there’s news stories saying that they could be stuck at home until the fall, or even later, trying their best to tip toe around the abuse and limit the things that might set off abusers.

And let’s not forget about the kids in this. The kids we’re trying to keep from being kids, because it’s their second-nature to hang out with their friends and ride their bikes or play basketball. These kids who’ve had their lives turned upside down who may, or may not, understand what’s going on right now.

EVERYONE has been impacted in this.

This is not the power hour. People don’t need to be made to feel guilty for staying in their pajamas, or sleeping in, or binge watching Netflix rather than cleaning their house. What we need to make each other feel less alone for the very real fear, frustration and panic we’re all facing. Every situation might be different but we need to show each other compassion and appreciation for the very basic struggle it takes to just be a functioning human at this point in time.

Do what you have to do to make yourself feel better. Do what you have to do to give yourself some grace. And encourage other’s to do that as well.

If you’re someone who wants to teach yourself something new, great. Teach yourself something new. Learn that stuff, whatever it is. Go hard! But also, recognize this is your means of coping. This is not how everyone copes and you do not have the right to make someone else feel bad if they’re not doing the same as you.

The more ‘Productive things you can do from home’ lists and videos I view, the more I think people really don’t understand the concept of productivity guilt. There’s a big difference between choosing to be productive yourself and choosing to make other’s feel bad for not doing what you do. Nobody needs to be made to feel guilty because of how they’re acting, or reacting, to the present state of the world.

Some people cope by sleeping in. Some people cope by not getting dressed. Some people copy by eating four pieces of cheesecake in one sitting and they do not need to be made to feel ashamed for any amount of weight that might be put on because they’re not going to the gym right now. Home workouts aren’t for everyone. The very long winded point that I am trying to make right now is that everyone copes differently.

However you’re handling this pandemic, this social isolation, this extremely unstable time in history, give yourself grace. Give others grace. Check in on people. See how they’re holding up.If you need to cry, cry. Cry with each other. Be vulnerable. Or don’t. Just remember that we might all be going through this together, but we all deserve the right to cope/handle this how we want.