anxiety · Reading

Owlcrate April Unboxing!

It’s time again for my Owlcrate unboxing! For those of you that don’t know, Owlcrate is a monthly subscription service. You get a box each month with a newly released young adult book and 4 or 5 bookish goodies. Each month has a different theme, and the theme for April is Head over Heels! Here’s what was in the box:

An Owlcrate button. There is one in every box and it always matches the art on the spoiler card.

A headband from Storiarts, printed with text from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice!

Tea from The Tea Spot, inspired by Anna and the French Kiss. It’s a dessert blend of chocolate and cherry. I’m not a tea drinker, but the packaging is beautiful!

A mini candle from Novelly Yours. Three different versions went out in the boxes, all inspired by a Rainbow Rowell novel. The one I got is called “Baz and Simon” and it smells amazingly like raspberries!

A keychain from BookwormBoutique, featuring a quote from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli.

A print by Evie Bookish with a quote from A Court of Thorns and Roses.

A chapter sampler of Umberland by Wendy Spinale

Lastly, the real star of the show, the book this month was The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. Along with the book we received a signed book plate, a letter from the author and an emoji sticker. I just finished this book, literally minutes ago. I loved it! 5 stars! I’ve never identified with a character more than I do Molly. She is me. We’re the same and I love it. She’s never been kissed, never had a boyfriend and now she suddenly has multiple candidates. She’s refereed to as fat, though I’m not sure how you would define that. I am not a small girl. I have fat. I’m self conscious and shy and awkward. Molly also suffers from social anxiety and panic attacks and has to take a pill daily, sound familiar? She thinks things that I think and she’s into the same things that I’m into (crafts, Pinterest, that stretch of skin that is exposed when a guy stretches and his shirt raises up a couple inches…) At one point she sends a semi-risky text and then panics at the possible outcomes. I’ve done that. I do that. She plans out what she’s going to say and do. She wears a cardigan in 80 degree weather because she needs a security blanket to hide behind. Seriously, Becky Albertalli, get out of my head!! Molly might be one of my favorite characters ever, because she’s so real. On a different note, Molly and her sister Cassie come from a very diverse family and this story reminds me a lot of the television show, The Fosters. It’s a super sweet contemporary and it reminds us what it feels like to have unrequited love and that it’s a nice feeling to have from time to time: “But you know there’s an upside here. Because when you spend so much time just intensely wanting something and then you actually get the thing? It’s magic.

The last thing in the Owlcrate box is always a sneakpeek card for next month. These cards are always so pretty, I swear. The theme for May is Comic Explosion! and it’s going to include a full-sized Funko Pop. I know nothing about comics. I read the walking dead, but that’s as far as my extent goes. I’m not a superhero girl. So we’ll see how that box turns out. It’ll probably be amazing even if I don’t care about comics. Owlcrate also announced that they’ve lined up special Owlcrate exclusive book covers for their next 6 boxes!! I’m so excited about it. I’m such a nerd, I swear. Book covers are everything.

 

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anxiety

Whoa, Anxiety!

At the end of March, my Papaw was cleaning out his gutters when his ladder slipped out from under him. Three weeks later and he’s home from the hospital, but he has to use a walker, and wear a back brace whenever he raises above a 30 degree angle. Also, he is now on oxygen.

Someone has been staying with him around the clock until he has the all clear from his doctor. We’ve been taking turns. Thursday he had two doctors appointments in Lexington. If you don’t know, I live a couple hours away from the city. Lexington isn’t really a big city to most people but to me it’s huge. And we had to go right into the heart of it, to the student hospital UK. His appointments were back to back, 2 hours apart and we had no idea where to find them. I do not like to be unprepared, so I was stressed out before we even left the house. I like to know exactly where I’m going and what’s going to happen when I get there. I like to have my conversations planned out in my head. If I don’t, I stress out. So that was a struggle.

Also, my papaw turns 77 years old today, but that doesn’t stop him from acting like a teenage boy that never left the house before. He talks to every single person he sees. All of them. He’s loud, he’s always trying to make people laugh, cutting up and joking. He’s always been that way. He told the same joke to every person he saw. He says “I won the lottery last night!” They say “You did?” and he says, “Yea, I got to put my feet on the floor this morning. The Lord blessed me with another day.” My papaw loves Jesus more than anything else in the world and I get it. I do too. He uses every opportunity that he has to witness, and tell everyone that will listen just how blessed he is.

Some people just don’t get it though, and some people, like me I’m sure, do not want some stranger talking to them for no reason, even if he is a harmless old man. I know that my papaw is exactly the kind of person I’d try to avoid if I didn’t know him. Because people scare me. Interacting with people scares me and I need to plan it out first, I need to be prepared. That day was a nightmare for me. Pushing him around in his wheelchair was a task, especially while wheeling around an oxygen tank and a folded up walker. Plus, mom felt the need to pack along a giant blue bag of yarn for her down time. She had no downtime, and most of the time I was carrying everything. All the paper work was passed along to me, because I “have the nicest hand writing” I was introduced to 5,000 (clearly, not really but that’s how it felt) people most of them strangers, just because my Papaw is so friendly.

Also he’s in a habit of flirting with every nurse and pretty lady that walks past him. He doesn’t mean anything by it, but you can’t just do that. People get offended, even if no harm is meant. Most just laugh and joke along with him and tell me how sweet my Papaw is. If my Mamaw were still around, he would not be allowed to act the way he does. She kept him under control, reigned him in, because he has so much energy for a 77 year old man in a walker. And I guess that’s a good thing. I hope to have my Papaw around for a very long time. But I don’t think my anxiety can handle another doctor appointment in the city.

Riding in the car with Papaw is very enjoyable though, there are no strangers for him to talk to, (But he tries whenever we go through a drive-thru, I’m surprised he doesn’t roll down his window and talk to people at the red-lights to be honest.) He likes to talk about his life, memories, and old times. He tells us stories about him and my Mamaw. You can tell how much he loved her. Today we were listening to a CD and he looked at my mom and said “Your mom could sing. She’d try to sing quiet and she thought I wasn’t listening, but I loved to hear her voice.” It’s bittersweet for me, hearing about my Mamaw and Papaw. I miss her so much and I know he does too. They really loved each other and he’s always talking about how he’s ready to go home to Heaven because he knows she’s waiting on him. It’s the sweetest, and saddest thing he talks about. I tell him to stop talking like that. We need him here a while longer, but it seems to make him happy to think about, and I can understand why.

Basically I had a really stressful day out with my Mom and Papaw on Thursday but I enjoyed the time I got to spend them. I hope that next time, because he has to go back in a month for more x rays, I can find a reason not to tag along though, because of my anxiety. That was the most anxiety I’d had in a long time. I’d much rather take my turn sitting with Papaw at his house everyday than to go through that again.

anxiety · Reading · Uncategorized

Changes

Today is a rainy, ugly day. It’s Spring though, so that’s to be expected right? You might have noticed that my layout has changed. I can’t decide it I like it or not. I want my blog to be more organized, more professional. (Not that I’m profession, but I’m trying to be. Fake it ’til you make it, right?) I’ve been writing about books and reading more often, and that means I’ve strayed away from my original intent with this blog, which was to talk about anxiety. I do still talk about my struggles with mental illness, but I don’t think you’d know that at a glance.

I’d like to work on my blog some more, set it up so that you can select which topic you’re interested in, have them on separate pages maybe? I need to figure out how to do that. I also have been working and dreaming a lot of my online shop. As you might know, my Etsy page is empty. I’d like to set up my shop right here on ZaneAnxious, so that all of my stuff is in one place. Streamline everything. I want it to be cohesive and still look nice.

I’ve fallen into the niche of making watercolor bookmarks lately, so I’d like to start offering some of those up for sale. I’m not 100% confident about my abilities yet, but I’m getting there. Hopefully soon I’ll have it all figured out.

anxiety

Update from last week…

Remember the extreme anxiety I was having last week? I figured out the problem. I was scrolling on Tumblr and someone posted about how you shouldn’t take anti-depressants with sinus pills, or Mucinex. I looked it up and it’s true. So thank you Tumblr, you managed to help me figure out my problem. I had been taking sinus pills and Mucinex like clockwork to try and kick my sinus infection and what I got was a giant case of anxiety.

I felt really dumb once I realized, but I stopped taking the sinus meds and after a few days I felt back to normal. So it was a lesson learned, you should always check to see if your medications will react with each other. It could have been worse than it was, so I’m thankful it wasn’t. I’ll definitely check next time though.

anxiety · Uncategorized

Will it get better?

My anxiety is rearing it’s ugly head again. To be specific, my hypochondria. Some day’s it’s fine, nothing at all, it doesn’t exist, but this week it’s all I can think about. I told myself yesterday “I’ll make an appointment with the doctor tomorrow.” But what did I tell myself today? “I’ll make an appointment on Monday if I’m still feeling anxious.” Guess whats going to happen on Monday.

The thing is, I get worked up over the smallest things. This time it’s a mole on my skin that I’ve had since I was a kid. Holly says it hasn’t changed at all, it looks like it always has, but if it would make me feel better, go get it checked out. I instantly panic at the thought of going to the doctor. She says, “if it’s nothing they can assure you, if it’s something, they can get rid of it.” Don’t you love how calm she is about this? I wish I could be. Holly does a really good job of making me feel better though. I couldn’t thank her enough for that. I feel like a crazy person that I get so worked up over this. It sends me into a spiral of anxious thoughts and I feel nauseous. Maybe I need my medication adjusted? Or maybe hypochondria is just something I’m going to have to learn to live with…forever. I hope not. Living in fear is no way to live.

anxiety · Uncategorized

Self Care day!

We all have bad days and we all have our own ways of dealing with them. This is just what I personally do when I’m not feeling the best. And I don’t mean I feel sick, I mean I feel ugly, anxious, lazy or just blah.

How to feel better when you feel like poo:

  • Take a hot hot shower and shave your body. Wash off all the dirt and grime and sadness.
  • Lotion up and make yourself smell great. Also, turn on a Tart Warmer and melt some good smelling wax to surround yourself in aroma therapy. I particularly like the smell of “Pink Tulips” from Scentsy, and Lemon Sugar Cookie from Hudson Candle and Light (I got those from Joanne Fabric, and they do not smell like lemon, but spot-on like Fruit Loops cereal.) Rock Candy from ScentSationals smells amazing and if you’re into “boyfriend candles” Zen, from the same company, is also really good. If you’re going to go with a candle, I highly recommend Marshmallow Fireside or Sweater Weather from Bath and Body Works. Smells can do so much to lift your mood, and certain smells can even trigger memories for people. Needless to say I’m a big fan and that was a lot of information about smells for one bullet point.
  • Put on something cozy (and paint your nails, if you’re into that.)
  • And while you paint your nails, cuddle on the couch as you watch an entire season or two of your favorite show/re-read one of your favorite books.
  • -Or- Get dressed up for no reason and take some selfies! Just the act of smiling will make you feel better.
  • If you still feel bad after all that pampering, get up and clean something, or reorganize something. The environment around us has a huge impact on our moods, you’ll know this if you’ve ever played The Sims. Most of the time my mood will improve dramatically once those dishes are washed, or the garbage is taken out. I feel much better about myself and my home after vacuuming the floor. And tackling 2 loads of laundry and putting them all away, can change lives.
anxiety · Reading · Uncategorized

Read away your anxieties?

One of the big things that helps my anxiety is to read. If I can pick up a book good enough to lose myself in, then I find that I forget what I was anxious about. I melt into the pages and take on the worries of the main character instead. Much better than my own worries and anxieties, I’ll admit.

It can’t be just any book though. It has to be one interesting enough to keep me constantly reading. Mysteries are a really good choice, I’ve found. I love the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. The chapters alternate between characters and they usually end on a small cliffhanger that pushes me right into the next chapter. I tend to speed right through these books. It helps though, it gives me something to focus on, on days when I’m not feeling my best. Another series that I really like to read is FableHaven. It’s semi fast-paced and again tends to alternate between characters, siblings in this case. It’s more fantasy than mystery, but aren’t most book in some small way about mystery?

I tend to lean more toward Young Adult books, I’m not sure what that says about me, nearing my thirties. I do read non-YA books as well. I read the Of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin. It took me a while though, I kept getting distracting. They were good. But I definitely won’t read them a second time. Also, not a good book for anxious days. I also have been trying to read more classics, so a couple years ago, Holly got me a beautiful set of the works of Jane Austen. I’ve read two of them so far. They aren’t bad if you’re into romance, but they’re slow reading for me, because of the old language (which is beautiful by the way.) Also, not a book to lose myself in.

For those of you reading this, what are your favorite books to lose yourself in? I’m always looking for suggestions!