Oh My GAD

Oh My GAD

It’s hard to remember a time before I wasn’t a circular thinker. I’d dwell on things for a ridiculously long time, worry about every move I made and dissect it long after everyone else involved had let it go.

As an adult, I’d come to accept my anxiety as part of who I was – just another an aspect of my personality.

I have been lucky enough to find a supportive and caring community to hold me up when life was hard and help me keep my “crazy” at bay since I was little. As an adult, being married to an introvert was especially helpful – we could stick with predictable and he served as my calm, stable rock when I was hyperventilating about needing to get air in my tires or if my boss was upset with me (spoiler alert: she wasn’t).

Unfortunately, in the past few years, my anxiety kept increasing. I knew depression ran in the maternal branch of my family, so that helped me in knowing I might have some funky brain chemistry. At my worst, I was dealing with panic attacks about basic tasks like going to work or having to make phone calls. At first, I was able to write it off as having a higher stress job than ever before, with people I didn’t want to let down, but it didn’t explain why I started crying when the CEO was “mean” to me.

After one too many crying jags at a lunch with my (very understanding) boss and mentor, and discussing it with Bill, I decided it was time to talk to a doctor because this just wasn’t a healthy way to live. I found a doctor covered by my insurance, and after a conversation with her (including yet another spate of tears), I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD.

One of the very best descriptions of GAD I’ve encountered just popped up on Buzzfeed today. I immediately shoved it in front of Bill’s fact and said THIS IS IT!

It’s so wonderful to have someone put into words (and gifs) all the things I’ve felt my whole life – for instance:

“One second I’m safe in my apartment watching Netflix, the next it’s like UGH WTF WHY DO I FEEL THIS EXISTENTIAL DREAD WHY CAN’T I BREATHE NORMALLY ANYMORE THERE IS LITERALLY NOTHING HAPPENING WHY???”

“Being able to schedule things and have a plan helps us chill, so ~winging things~ is just not enjoyable. Can we just decide when and where we’re going to meet?”

“You’re running late? OK, so do I sit here and do nothing for what could be, like, three hours? Do I start something that will inevitably be interrupted when you get here in five minutes? Did you die on your way over? UGH WHY CAN’T I JUST RELAX?”

“We don’t expect you to know the right thing to do or say. We just appreciate you being there.”

Now, I take a daily maintenance medication and meet with my doctor every few months to discuss how my brain is working and any side effects. The difference I have felt since starting my medication has been truly life-changing.

Bill has his wife back, I’m the creative employee my organization and co-workers deserve, and I’m simply and happily less crazy. That may sound dismissive or simplistic, but that’s the heart of my experience.

So, I guess this is sort of like a coming-out of sorts for me.

Hi, I’m Emily. My brain is broken, but I’m working to fix it the best I can. Thanks for hanging in there with me, and loving me for who I am.

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Manckwhite Summer Vacation 2015: Albany and Boston for Two Whole Weeks!

Busy Bear

Busy Bear

Hello folks; sorry it’s been radio silence here at Mancktastic! August has colluded into complete busy-ness for the ManckWhites, so I’ve been focused on keeping us on schedule and non-crazy which means le blog has suffered… Unfortunately it looks like this condition may continue until the end of the month or so.  It’s kind of hunker-down-and-work time, so time that would otherwise be focused on creating blog material is either filled with necessary activity or being spent on down/couple time. Between Bill’s school year starting, some spec work I’ve been doing, some of our best friends moving (boo!) and pre-wedding festivities for other friends, we’re just swamped! I’ll try to pop in with life updates and some pictures every now and then, but it’s likely to be sporadic. Just a few quick notes before my nose is back to the grindstone:

1. Happy, happy birthday to my wonderful husband! For the first time in many years, Bill’s birthday didn’t coincide with the first day of school, so he got to have a low-key 30th birthday-day at home with the puggle, taking a break from school prep for just a bit. We enjoyed a Gruyere twist on Manckwhite Mac & Cheese for dinner; we couldn’t enjoy traditional birthday fondue since The Melting Pot was all booked up. Tomorrow, we’re having a dinner-and-poker night with Bill’s best friend Zach and his girlfriend Robin in celebration, with Brie fondue on Sunday night as a last-night-before-school/birthday treat 🙂

2. The school year is here! My thoughts and prayers are with all teachers and their support systems as we get back into the swing of things. As I left for work this morning, I rejoiced that this would be the last morning (until winter) Bill would get to sleep in while I trudged off to the graphic design mines! After a whole summer of leisure, he’s back into the working world with me, but then I remembered that means no more Bill at home to run random errands and hang out with the puggle. The school year means late nights of grading, random long days of parent-teacher conferences, and the wear and tear of the daily grind are all back on our plates. So, fellow spouses and loved ones of teachers, enjoy your equal working status again, but remember that our hard-working folks are back to the difficult mission of educating the future with all the joys and lows that can bring.

Have a great weekend, friends!

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Hi folks! Sorry about a lack of content this week; Bill was out of town for a lacrosse tournament/camp, so the dog and I spent most of our time cuddling in bed and watching Netflix, with occasional breaks to clean the apartment and make cookies. Whenever Bill is gone, I just sort of nest down into the apartment. Every drawer gets organized, all the laundry and chores get done, all of my meals are extra-healthy and I try to leave the apartment as little as possible.

To make up for depriving y’all of some delicious recipes this week, how about some pictures from the week?

I’ll be back on Sunday with my Sharp Dressed Lady series, then hopefully it’ll be tasty business as usual on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂