“High Functioning Anxiety”

For years I was diagnosed with “anxiety and depression” and treated for it, but it never really goes away.  My friend, Bonnie, sent me a link about people with “high functioning anxiety”.  This was it!  When I might happen to tell a friend I haven’t been out in a while because of my anxiety/depression, they would say, “really??? you seem so good!”. If they only knew what was going on inside my head and stomach!


Pay It Forward


Tardive Dyskinesia

I’ve written about my Tardive Dyskinesia before (a rare side effect from certain antidepressants), but a friend told me not to talk about it and not to tell people I have it.  She saw it as no big deal, she wasn’t being mean.  But it works out better for me when I tell people on the phone that I’m not drunk, that my slurred speech is from TD.  It works out better for me when I tell my friends I’m out with that my jaw is working back and forth because of TD.  My one friend said, “Sarah, I thought you were chewing gum!!” I could have hugged her, I wish it was as simple as  chewing gum.

I had  to go to a “movement disorder neurologist” (I had never known there were different types of neurologists).  She quickly diagnosed me and was sympathetic.

I bite the insides of my mouth and my tongue, and my words are slurred.  It’s no longer just a lisp I have, I’m slurring.  I also grind my teeth and push my bottom jaw forward.   There have been two new medications recently out on the market for TD.  I’ve tried both, and, of course, they gave me such horrible side effects I couldn’t continue the drugs.

So while I’m fighting my anxiety and depression, I’m also fighting the drive-thru at Tim Hortons so they can understand me.  I just wish more people knew about this. I was ignorant until Andrea and I started googling, “wiggling tongue”!

Pay It Foward


Toggle Switch

When people are less knowledgeable in the area of anxiety and clinical depression than I expect, I usually say, “If it were a toggle switch, I would have turned it off a LONG time ago”.

trigger pic.jpg

I have incessant worry.  I get so excited when I don’t have something to worry about – I realize it and say to myself, “Oh my word, I’m happy right now!”  (But I’m usually pretty good at cooking up some type of worry.)  Thankfully, I have a handful of friends who realize this, and I call/email each of them with my worry. They all say, “screw that” in one way or the other, and my worry will usually slowly fade away.  Incessant. Toggle Switch.

Pay it Forward



So Much to Say

OK, It’s going to take me a while to figure out how to blog again.  So much has changed since I was last on that I can’t even figure out the year I last blogged.  So much has happened.

Long-story short, I guess you can say I went off the grid – in the olden days – they’d call it a “nervous breakdown”, I think.  Whatever.  It happened.  I’m not embarrassed nor ashamed by it.   It wasn’t pretty.   I couldn’t help it.

I had to find a psychiatrist fast, and the ones you get into fast are stinky cheese, man.  It took me months and months , nine months to a year, to get straightened out and to get into a great psychiatrist.  My friends stayed near, except for one, for whom I became a millstone around her neck.  That’s ok.  My family was the best.  I’m still a work in progress, but I’m excited to fill you all in on my goings on each week or so.  I missed you and your feedback.

Pay it Forward!


The Fitbit Thing

Hello friends and followers, I might be back.

dancing in bedroom

I received a Garmin Vivo (vs. the “Fitbit”) for Christmas this year.  I may have ordered it for myself and put it under the tree labelled, “To Sarah, Love Santa”.  So all of you out there on Facebook trying to connect to me A) I’m not on Fitbit; B) I’d be mortified to link up with you.

So I’ve had a bit of depression, to be honest, which makes me very, very sedentary (and contributed to me being away from my blog).  And this new gizmo is showing me that.  The new medicine I’m on loves a few pounds extra which requires a couple sizes up in my wardrobe.  It’s worth it, but I’m fighting it.

So this gizmo has me so obsessed, that before bed, after looking at how many steps I took for the day, I knew I had to register WAY MORE steps!  So as Marty laid in bed trying to sleep, I played my iTunes “Happy” twice and danced around the bedroom.  He woke up and thought for sure I had gone over the Edge of Crazyville.  I explained I was just trying to get more steps into my gizmo.  He didn’t care and went straight back to sleep.

I think I’m quite liking this thing despite my lame foot from it’s 4th surgery (7th total for both feet).  I’m not ready to walk around the block yet, but I can dance with the majority of my weight on one foot.  I’m very talented that way.


A Little Obsessed with my Steps

Back to Therapy

I’ve been to therapy on and off over the years for pretty much the same reason.  Anxiety.  And my personal picture of anxiety has a lot of arms that extend off of it with other maladies attached (depression, chronic migraines, etc.).

If you are an avid blog follower or have read my book, you’ll know that I’ve written “flashbacks” about growing up with two alcoholic parents.  And with this plethora of alcoholic remembrances of mine, I’ve tried to use what I learned in writing classes:  Tragedy + Time = Humor for people to understand just where I’m coming from.  But my therapist said nobody will ever really be able to understand the fear it produced in me personally (and still does).

My last visit to the therapist, who knows me well, has me on a mission – a project.  You may be shocked at this mission.  I am to tell a little white lie.  A lie that will not produce harm to anyone in anyway.  You see, I have a huge hangup about lying.  To the point that I obsess about it.  There are many reasons and ways people lie: pathologically, innocently, bullshitting, by omission, humorously.  I can’t tolerate any of them.  I’m too darned black and white.  A lie is a lie, it’s dishonest.  My parents lived a lie every single day I can remember, by carrying on every evening with their drinks/escapades that sometimes put us in danger and always put me in a panic.  Then in the morning, they pretended as if nothing wrong had happened.  That’s living a big fat old lie.  And I, unfortunately, think it’s my personal mission to right the world of these lying wrongs!  It’s a heavy burden, I’m telling you.  It’s a burden I’m looking forward to shedding.

So over the next two weeks before I see the therapist again, I am to have a little fun with this.  Perhaps while ordering at McDonalds, I could order a vegetarian meal and tell them I don’t eat meat (I do eat meat).  Perhaps I’ll start a conversation with someone and tell them I just got a new puppy (I did not just get a new puppy).  My therapist wants me to see how it feels to lie and to see it doesn’t always have to be righted.  I’m game.  And I’ve been having fun thinking of things I can lie about.

See if you can catch me in my lie.  It’s coming.

liar liar image

Is Today a Good Day?

Who, me?  I’ve never been known to be a positive thinker.  I’d like to be, but I’m just not wired that way.  I wasn’t brought up in an environment that I could think positively.  I’m a “glass is half empty-kind of gal.”

After a mini-breakdown and crying jag last week, one of my friends got me a journal and told me she’s been reading a book that encourages you to write down things that you typically take for granted in life that bring a little smile to your face.  This will hopefully enable you to see the bright side of life vs. the dark side.  (We all know how I live on the dark side.)

So I started my journal on Monday.  It took me until Wednesday until I found something positive to write down:

Wednesday:  Elderly chimney-fix-it man who came to look at my leaky chimney said I was a sweetheart.  In other words, I think he was hitting on me.  That’s thinking positively, right?  I’ll take it.

Friday:  Bristol (a 4-year old) told me she liked my new glasses.  The woman at the gas station said she liked my cape.   The sun is out today.  Sciencegirl got some great results on her analyses today.

And the week before I got my journal:  My lawyerboy son came out and helped me with my caved-in snow-laden shed and recovered my family heirloom toboggan.

I’ll give it a week and see what I come up with.