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how to cope when you’re stressed out

Posted in Living, Mental Health by


With all the tumult and anxiety going on lately, I’ve really been making an effort to try to equip myself with some coping mechanisms to keep from spinning out. For a long time, the second something made me anxious or upset, I’d let those feelings feed me until I was having an inconsolable panic attack. I’ve been in therapy for a few months now and over the past few weeks I’ve really started to learn that I had no coping skills I could use – I would just freeze up and let my thoughts spiral over and over or run down paths it shouldn’t go. Especially in light of the election results and confusion, I’m working to create a sort of “toolkit” to distract myself from unhealthy actions.

I used to primarily consider myself a lone wolf – I’d rather get through things alone rather than reaching out to other people. After the election (a night in which I spent on a Google Hangout with my friends, anxious, upset and teary) I headed back to Chicago a day early so I could be around people who felt the same way I did. Getting out of the house and being around my friends is an important way to connect with people to stay grounded, and calms the anxiety sparking in my head when I don’t have anyone to take me away from the thoughts. (Social media DEFINITELY does not count as a way to connect here.)

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November 21, 2016

depression is an ocean, and it’s prone to tides and swells.

Posted in Living, Mental Health by

there is a photo of me that i really love. my makeup looks perfectly done (except the smudges in the lipstick where i went just outside the lines of my lips) and my hair is styled just-so, the hairspray and weight from dry shampoo and sea salt spray and volumizing root pump amplifying it. i wear a knowing smile and my favorite necklace, and it’s my facebook picture right now since i feel pretty in it and people seem to like it, as indicated by number of “friends” who have clicked that little thumbs up button. my hair is sufficiently blonde and my nose ring is front and center, just the way i like it.

it’s so funny that even though I choose this image to represent who i am and how i feel, there are things about it and things I remember about the day it was taken so clearly that no one could even begin to see at this first glance.

it was the first pretty weather day, so after i signed off of work for the day, i did my makeup and hair, thinking that i would drive in to town, uber around for awhile, and meet up with some friends for some drinking on a patio. (I vividly remember sending these texts. “COME DRINK WITH ME ON A PATIO! I WANT NACHOS AND MARGS!”) i had a selfie photoshoot in the landing area outside my bedroom door, uploaded my favorite to Facebook (i knew it was a great picture, so I posted it to get a reaction from one person in particular), and headed out. no one could join me, so I had nachos alone as the sun went down and the chill set in on the patio of one of my favorite Nashville restaurants.

depression is an ocean

then, as soon as i got back in my car, something snapped in my brain. why had I just had dinner alone? i felt so pretty and confident – why wasn’t i enough for my ex, or some new boy, or anyone? all of the things that run through your mind when you’re depressed, no matter how good you know you have it. this is how depression and anxiety work: they take things that you love and turn you into someone you can’t even recognize.

I spent the entirety of the next four hours driving around Nashville and bawling my eyes out. i didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew going home wasn’t it. I tried to go shopping for an office chair, but I couldn’t even get out of the car. i tried to take myself for some treat yo self frozen yogurt, but the place my GPS took me to had recently closed.

i finally took myself home that night, exhausted from the frustration and the tears, and slept hard. I just think it’s important to say that even when things look pretty on the outside, depression and anxiety are hard, and it’s impossible to tell where they are hiding.

August 17, 2015

so long, astoria

Posted in Living, Money, Personal, Travel by

The last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind. A brief recap:

June 20-21: jumped on Sixx’s tour, where I hit a deer driving home (and got a speeding ticket in the mail. I now hate the entire state of Maryland and never want to visit Hagerstown again.) 

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June 26-29: visited friends in Nashville, interviewed for a job.


July 2-7: drove home to Michigan to exchange cars with my mom so my car could be repaired (it’s a long story as to why it has to be fixed up there, but at least I got to visit.) Spent quality time with Sixx again, went to a party in a lake (living the dream for a Michigan girl,) did some shopping with the family. I could say so much about this trip, it was EXACTLY what I needed, and we went back to our “ground zero” for the first time. I had always said that the only way I could go back was if he was with me, but I never thought the timing of us in the city again would work, but we were, and so we went. I’m very glad for that.

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And looking forward, I’m heading back to Nash for a conference from July 15-20, then August 6-12 I will be back in Sevierville for family vacation. I will be thankful when summer is over simply because I feel like I live in my car now.


Which brings me to today: I was offered that position in Nashville, so I’m moving at month-end. I’ll have a week of family vacation between ending and starting dates, and I’m extremely panicked. About everything. But I’m trying to stay positive.

So now I’m a pile of nerves and plans and stress and sleepless nights, and second-guesses about everything. This is what anxiety does to you – it looks at the good things happening in your life and tries to strip them from you. “Sixx is on the road texting all these other girls, he’s just using you.” “You’re never going to be able to afford to move, much less live on your own in Nashville.” “You don’t deserve this job.” Anxiety just robs you of finding joy in great things, so I’m struggling moment to moment, but I’m managing. Today I’m excited, and this is the longest I have been excited without a moment of panic in the last two weeks, so I’m counting it as a win.

Any packing advice? It’s not an area I excel in by any means, regardless of how often I’ve done it!
July 11, 2014

Protected: Meltdown.

Posted in Personal by

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March 4, 2013
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