Not Going Back There

One thing about dealing with anxiety is that it seems to always be lurking.  When you think you are finally back on your feet and doing good, it slips a trip wire in your path.  You are too busy enjoying life to notice then next thing you know you are down.  That quickly sometimes.

Friday night I met up with a few friends for dinner and to see a free concert downtown.  As the sun set, the crowd grew.

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Still I had fun.  I even dared to think how awesome it was to be in a crowd that size.  How at one point not long ago, this would never happen.  Felt so accomplished in dealing with the attacks and thought maybe the agoraphobic part of my life was finally over.

Course shopping the next day reminded me that it can strike back harder any time it wants.  A simple bit of clothing shopping had me in full blown panic in less than 15 minutes with maybe an eighth of the size crowd. Unfortunately I didn’t have my trusty back up to call on (klonpain) so it progressed & I ended up staying inside the rest of the day exhausted & a little depressed that I was back to this. Frustrating.  Still I knew I had been here before and survived.

So next time I went with a friend.  (one who knew about my anxiety issues)  We shopped a little, had lunch then went to another store…. where it hit again.  Even with the klonapin, it hit hard.  Still I was determined.  We changed locations and still no good.  Getting dog food was necessary though so I fought on.  But I was done. Over it.  Lost the fight, but I will win this war.

What happened at the pet store got me thinking though.  Interaction with a seriously rude know it all cashier.  As she rang up the bag of dog food (& I focused on breathing & not subcoming to the urge to dash out the door and just keep running away), she judged my purchase.  Judged as she rang it up.  Asked if my dog liked this food.  Um… well he eats it & has yet to learn english and complain or leave any comment cards, so yeah I guess so.  Then she goes on to say “You know this is the most expensive food in here? ……. and it isn’t the best.”  Who asked you b*tch? nearly escaped my lips but in the attack all I wanted to do was pay & leave so I just looked at her with I’m sure a look that said “Is this happening?”  She then gives me my receipt and a final “well I guess if he loves it”.

Bizarre.  Just really bizarre.

Back home it pissed me off the more and more I thought about it.  The former retail manager in me thought that she really needs to learn to just sell the products from the shelf.  If it isn’t any good, why are they selling it there?  and telling a customer it is the most expensive food in the store just makes the customer feel like they are being ripped off.  Just as two dog people, I have to think she feels like she is trying to help, but really wrong approach for me.  I could see it maybe if we knew each other or if I had asked for her help with something prior, but she didn’t know me.  Just burned me.

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Got me wondering though.  Honestly I hadn’t given his food much thought since we got him & the vet suggested that brand & type.  Maybe there was something to what she said.

So I went online to a couple of pug rescue groups that interact with and posed the question about what they feed their pugs.  The information I got back was overwhelming but really appreciated.  Lots of people knew a lot about their dogs’ diets and what brand foods were good or bad.  Sadly Baxter’s food, not so great.

He has had a few issues that I assumed were just part of being a pug.  Turns out he could very likely have a food allergy.  Seems they are common.

Hit me that I am currently more aware of what I am eating and trying to eat healthier, why shouldn’t his diet get a revision?

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So I did research and yesterday he started a higher quality food that is grain-free and more protein based, less fillers…. and joy of joys cheaper for me!  His treats also are getting switched up.  We will try it and see how he does.  So far he LOVES the new food.  Acts like I have served up a bowl of treats for his meal.

So evidently we all are getting healthier around here.  The parrots better watch out!  Kidding, though they are enjoying the increase in fresh fruits & veggies from my salad making.

Now if only I can get these panic attacks under control again so that I can go get the food.  Will happen.  I have done it before and will do it again.

Can’t wait to go back downtown for another show…. that pet shop, not so much!

What Matters Really

So yesterday was a freak out day.

We all get them now & then.  Doesn’t make them easier to deal with but at least they like all other days, only can last 24 hours.

Part of what was really bothering me was making that danged Will, Living Will, Powers of Attorneys & Health Care Power of Attorney.  It was just for a class assignment, but we also notarized them and made them legit – if the student chose to.  Its something I didn’t have, so why not?  Its needed.

In making it, it forced me to really look at my life.  What I would leave behind if today was the day.

What did I value?  What made it into my will?

Funny enough, I didn’t think about my camera equipment, jewelry or anything that can be insured.  What I stressed about was Baxter & the birds.  They are what matters to me.  No I didn’t leave them all my money (what money?) but what I did do was spell out exactly what should happen if I go prior to them.  Baxter has to have a loving home where he will be a valued companion.  He has been abandoned before & I don’t want him to end up back in an animal shelter.  The birds, well I know what happens to parrots that end up at animal shelters.  Mine will never go (or go back) there.  They have to go to a rescue group that specializes in re-homing  companion parrots or a sanctuary.

The other depressing part was… who to name.  Makes you really see where the heart strings are…. or aren’t.  Who can you trust?

Sadly family is very limited right now & the likelihood of my parents outliving me isn’t one I can count on.  My sister is here & brother in law, but beyond that?

Slightly depressing? you betcha.

As much as I study and strive to do the best at whatever career I so chose, at the end, its family that is by your side.  They are the ones who remember you.  They are what matter most.

Which frankly scared the hell out of me.

Already know what its like to lose family and not looking forward to the declining numbers.  Still it escapes me on how family is made.  (yes I know the biology class how to part) How it all bonds together over the years.  Two singles become the couple that develops into the start of the family.  So strange and magical, yet happens daily all over the world.

more realistically this blog!

I’m not at a place in my life where I am ready for kids just yet, but still scary to think that I’m also not at a place where I have that strong couples bond.  Not something I can fake or force.

What I really have to come to terms with is if I’m ok with the opposite.  Can I be that person who stands on their own til the end?  How do I make my life worth having been through?  Guess that is something I think we have to ask everyday.  Treat each day as a way to bring something better into it.

Figure out how to find the inner peace and be proud of who we have been and are because really that is what matters most.

…..well as far as I can tell….

Hoping that all works itself out quickly & that I can attend classes that aren’t so close to home and depressing.  Bring on the legal research & torts cases!  On a positive side, it is good to think through things and may be exactly what needed to happen sooner or later.  On to better days!

Out of Thin Air

As much as a 3 day week sounds blissful, I’m starting to see the downsides.  Four days off are nothing to complain about, but reality is the 3 days I am in school and trying to get everything done are intense.  Add in trying to date and have a life and its the perfect storm for needing those 4 recovery days.  At least when they are weeks like this one.

Working? um… why would I? to pay bills? Ha!  That implies there are actually jobs available that will be flexible enough to work with school schedules! Right. Not in this area lately.

Sure I could go for the Do You Want Fries With That option I guess, but I am trying to avoid the Freshman Fifteen this go around (does a 2 year associates even have a Freshman year?) and in all reality the minimum wage for busting my ass route is just going to leave me with no energy to study anything.  So what’s the point? I’d flunk out anyway.

Thought that Grants & Scholarships would be extremely helpful this go around since the first time I did college I didn’t go for any at all.  I was extremely lucky in that my grandparents & parents did some serious sacrificing and planning to put me through starting the day I was born.  So since I haven’t even used assistance before, why not now right? WRONG.  No longer eligible.

here have some cash… just kidding!

The grant I got – turns out someone in Financial Aid is a moron.  They gave me money yet some how are now saying I didn’t qualify for it.  So they took it back.  Why don’t I qualify? bad grades? shady past? criminal records? blue eye shadow?  Nope.  Simply because I have a degree.  A degree I was honest about from the get go in applying to school.

So now I owe several hundred dollars which they let me use at the bookstore for this now imaginary grant.  Which has to be repaid before I can register for classes next week.  Not sure how many people who aren’t working actually have that money just laying around without any purpose, but its not this girl.

Everything I have goes to getting by.  Sure I’m not eating ramen every night, but I have cut back on a lot of expenses since starting school.  So much so that I’m frustrated in a lot of ways.  But that is adulthood.  Not very many people do have tons of extra money to just toss.  Its a trade off I am willing to make.  Every purchase matters more now.  If I decide to go get a cup of coffee out, that means I have to cut corners elsewhere.  Its life.

Still I’m at the point where, its starting not to work.

Added unexpected expenses, like the grant I now have to repay along with the tuition for next year, are just not working out.

So stressed? You betcha.

What’s a girl to do?  There are several places hiring for full time.  One side of me says to take a step back and start working again.  School will be there when I can get to it.  Maybe take one night class for the next decade.   Still going full time would mean I am done and working in a job I am going to want to be in, in roughly another year and a half.  IF I can get there.

Student loans? As much as my parents really don’t want me to take on more debt… they are starting to seem like a very real option.  Scary as it may be, the money has to come from somewhere.

Between trying to figure all this out and finalizing a will & end of life paperwork (for class, but still hit me hard emotionally), study for exams, stay up on readings, prepare for a speech (um… got an A even with um… saying um… way more than um… I wanted to!) and doing photowalks, honoring soldiers and staying connected with friends, I AM BEAT.  My brain feels fried.  Deep fried.

Still no stopping now.  It may be my “weekend” but there is laundry to do, bags to pack, roads to travel with family waiting at the end to see.  Oh yeah… & homework. Lots and lots of homework.  With another exam waiting for me at 11 am on Monday.

this is my favorite mug. tends to always be dirty.

Thank goddess for the Keurig & pug snuggles.