Friday, May 23, 2014

Sometimes it Feels Good to take a Risk



Every day we take risks…that is what life is all about. I think we should take more risks, though. For example, this past weekend I participated in a storytelling event called Speak Up in Hartford. I sent a pitch of a story (theme was “bad romance”) and it was accepted. I then wrote up a script and got in front of about 100 people and told my story (only 6 minutes). 

This was a risk, but at the same time, it wasn’t. I enjoy speaking in front of groups and am comfortable doing so. The issue was that I am still suffering from depression and that made me anxious about speaking in front of a group. What if they noticed my shaking hands (from medication)? What if they noticed that my mouth was very dry (from medication)? Even though I beat up on myself the next day, thinking I did not do well, I am now able to feel good about it. I took a risk at a not so great time in my life and I got through it. 

Sometimes we have to step outside of our comfort zones and stir things up. This was especially important for me since I have felt rather static these past few months. This gave me focus and responsibility. I knew it was worth it when I looked at my husband as I finished and he gave me a huge grin…he was proud of me. I thought my heart would explode, as I felt it emanating from him. This risk was worth it as my self-esteem was raised as a result and my love for my husband grew even more.

Why don’t women take more risks? I do mean “safe” risks, not daredevil kind of risks. I think we get so stuck in our own heads, it is difficult to stray, especially as we get older. If you have children, then that takes away so much of our “free” time, when could we do something “out of the box?” 

We need to take time out for ourselves, do something to surprise people, but mostly to surprise ourselves. I felt free after I told my story the other night and it was a good feeling. I did something that was a bit outside of my realm and I lived through it. The best part of taking a risk is the great feeling you get for putting yourself “out there.” I think this is imperative in terms of personal growth.  It also reminds me not to waste time on the small things. I don’t want to expend time on the minutiae of life that, in the end, really does not matter.

So, get out there and do something exciting or fun or just meaningful to you. One option that is very hot right now is a boudoir photo shoot. This is one idea to really put yourself out there and be in the moment. Do something that makes you happy and challenges you, in mind and body. And, yes, I may know about the boudoir photo shoot from experience.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hard Day

You know when you have a bad day, you can do your best to shake it off? Well, I had a bad day but it was not like anything I could "shake off." To go over my weekend, on paper, it looked great. My brother and his boyfriend came to visit on Saturday and to see me at my first Speak Up event (storytelling: theme was "bad romance"). I am used to public speaking and used to do trainings at my last job so I am very comfortable in front of a crowd. I started to get nervous later in the day but I pushed forward and got in front of the microphone and told my story. I am convinced everyone could tell my hands were shaking and I am convinced everyone could tell my mouth became very dry very quickly. One of my medications causes these side effects which become heightened when I am nervous. I think I did okay but I am doubting myself. My husband looked so proud of me, which helped me push away the negative thoughts.

While I had a good morning today, it was still filled with bits of anxiety of unknown origin. It ebbed and flowed to the point where I felt emptiness one minute and anxiety the next. This is a very disturbing feeling and I feel it in the pit of my stomach. Anyone who suffers from anxiety can understand that horrible sensation.

So, after a phone call with my shrink, yet another medication adjustment. While I know I am getting somewhere in my treatment, it is slow and I am not someone who does "slow." I like to solve problems immediately, nip it in the bud. I want what I want and I want it now. It is difficult to have these personality traits when depressed because the trajectory of getting better is not a straight line up. Just as my anxiety ebbed and flowed today, so does the line on the chart that measures the lifting of a depression.

I am holding on and fighting...it was just a hard day.