Posts Tagged: anxiety

Anxiety

High Alert

Does cognitive behavioral therapy actually work

I met with a therapist today. Not a psychiatrist - a therapist, and specifically one specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy. What CBT is, essentially: an intensive, results-geared 12-18 week course of therapy during which you learn specific techniques that you can use to better cope with your anxiety (or depression, or whatever it is that brought you in).

I sat down on the therapist's couch next to a little machine bubbling lavender-scented steam into the air and gave him my best "Look at how happy and okay I am!" smile (because, as everyone knows, the most important part of therapy is convincing your therapist you totally don't need it. ...Right?). He asked me why I was there, and even though I knew this was a pretty unhelpful way to begin the session, I told him the truth: that I didn't know.

It really was true; these days, I feel more or less...fine. Great, actually. My anxiety is under control; my insomnia has virtually disappeared. I'm stressed about various things, of course, but they feel like things I probably "should" be stressed about, like travel and mortgage payments and such. I only booked the appointment in the first place because the psychiatrist who I see about once a month to check in on my medication suggested it, and so while I paid for that day's appointment at the reception desk I also scheduled a new one with his colleague. And then all of a sudden it was a month later and there I was: sitting in a therapist's office and talking about feelings.

DIARY

Almost There

Mother's Day 2016 temper tantrum

It's 7AM on Mother's Day, and I'm writing this from a Southwest flight somewhere over...Colorado, I think. I was originally scheduled to fly home from St. Louis this afternoon, but yesterday morning I was on set and called my kids to FaceTime with them, and that one call ended up changing my plans. I hadn't seen their faces in a couple of days because I couldn't get my FaceTime to work (discovery: restarting one's phone more than once a year is apparently a good idea) - and when they finally popped up on my phone screen my heart started pounding and I started feeling like I might cry (which is not a thing I want to do on a set, ever). When we hung up, I went straight to my computer and started hunting for a flight - any flight - that might get me home even an hour or two earlier.

Anxiety

The Story Of Who I Am

Road trip in New Mexico by the river

{ New Mexico road trip with my then-boyfriend Jason | 2005 }

For about four years in my mid-twenties (roughly ages 22 to 26), I was anorexic.

Just typing out that sentence is a big deal for me, because for a long, long time it wasn't something I admitted even to myself, and certainly not to anyone else. I've always referred to it as "that time when I was super fucked-up" or "that time when I decided not to eat ever again" - jokey, hyperbolic half-truths intended to swing the conversation towards lighter subjects. I've never even said the word "anorexia" to my mother; I called her yesterday to talk to her about this post so she wouldn't be blindsided (although of course she knew anyway). But over the past few weeks, I've found myself saying out loud to one friend or another, whenever a related subject comes up, "Oh yeah, I was anorexic." And we talk about it or we don't, but it's out there either way.

Anxiety

Unbalanced

Mother and daughter laughing in black and white

Let me tell you about the moment when I realized that even though my work is incredibly important to me, I need more separation, and I need to be able to shut off sometimes - not just in a half-assed way (where I'm technically playing with my kids but 60% of my brain is devoted to the email I need to remember to send by the end of the day), but all the way.

And I need to do this on purpose, because it doesn't come naturally.

This realization has happened to various degrees many times over the years, but it really happened - like, can't-get-it-out-of-my-head-happened - a little less than a year ago, when I was visiting a Children's Science Museum with Indy and Goldie. They were playing with this massive model of hills and trees and buffalos, and I was half-watching them play and half-checking my text messages because even though I'd taken the afternoon off I still needed (wanted?) to make sure everything was cool work-wise, and suddenly I looked up and realized how photogenic and symmetrical the background was and how great the colors were, and thought, oh hey - I should Instagram this! It's cute! And symmetrical! And those colors!

Lifestyle

FlyingNinjaMom

Waxed canvas khaki diaper bag

Jetlag + rain = a baby who sleeps until 9AM (and a VERY happy mother)

You know how usually you get off a plane after a cross-country flight and you're like ugggggggg I'm exhausted I just want to be home already? Yesterday, as I was pushing my daughter's stroller through the snow towards the taxi stand with one hand and pulling a sixty-pound (oops) suitcase with the other, a laptop bag and a camera bag and a diaper bag and a purse hanging from my body and a half-eaten package of popcorn suspended precariously in the cupholder, I heard actual music playing in my head. And it wasn't, like, Sarah MacLachlan: it was a TRIUMPHANT ORCHESTRAL SYMPHONY. I think it may have been the Rocky theme song.

Because I KILLED IT yesterday.

Anxiety

Photos Of Flowers (And Being Gentle With Yourself)

Oversized pom pom Smile hat for toddlers from the Gap

Grey Knit Hat (for women) | Smile Hat (for kids)

I was playing around with lighting and props for a shoot I have coming up, and took these test photos, and...I don't know, I just thought they came out well, so I wanted to show them to you. Sometimes it's nice to just look at a pretty photograph of flowers and pom poms.

On my drive down to LA, I started listening to a podcast - Elizabeth Gilbert's Magic Lessons, in which she discusses the process of exploring (and hopefully unleashing) your creativity. (I'm aware that this does not appear to have anything at all to do with the aforementioned flowers and hats, but bear with me, because I do have a point here.)

Anxiety

A Ramble About Insomnia, Because Coffee

via

First, I would like to announce that I am at this very moment sitting in heaven. It's a place called Whimsy located a few towns over from me, and it's a half-cafe half-play space where you can hang out and drink coffee and use the free WiFi while your children get their organic toy on (in Northern California, apparently, toys are not toys unless they are Melissa & Doug toys). Your children are watched by a bunch of lovely young women who will come get you if they need something, but basically:

You are alone. In relative silence. With coffee.

Anxiety

Anxious

medication

It's been awhile since I published my post Someone With Problems, about my decade-long struggle with anxiety and my decision to finally, despite a deep-rooted discomfort with the idea of seeking outside help, try medication (Zoloft, if you're wondering).

Now it's a year later, and so I wanted to talk about how it's going.

It's better. So much better, most of the time. But not always.

DIARY

The Post I Wish I’d Read Before Having My Second Child

| Follow Ramshackle Glam on Instagram |

Six weeks after my daughter was born, an email landed in my inbox that sounded like it had come from the inside of my own head. A reader, J, wrote to me that she was pregnant with her second baby, and that she was excited, of course...but also scared. Scared of how her life was going to change - rewind from the calm of the toddler era to the madness of the infant period - and scared that her relationship with her first baby would be...not lost, but dimmed somehow. Pushed aside.

Her email was such a relief to me to receive, because I understood it completely. I had struggled so much with these fears myself and experienced such enormous guilt about them that...I guess it just helped to know that others felt exactly as I did.


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