Walmart, Solo- Social Anxiety Style

I managed to go to Walmart by myself today. And I’m really proud of myself.

I had to psych myself up for about 2 hours beforehand, promising myself cupcakes afterwards (I was going for a few ingredients). It was terrifying, and my heart is beating like I just ran a marathon, but I did it!

As I got out of my safe zone, my car, and began speed walking towards the entrance, a car began to follow me, which really freaked me out. It didn’t need to follow me- I was at the side of the road and the rest of the lot was clear. I turned to glance and noticed it was a young man, which just made me walk faster. It was really creepy. (And part of the reason I usually wear baggy clothes. I hate being looked at.)

When I got inside, I swear everyone was looking at me. I didn’t even grab a cart or basket, racing straight to the baking isle and frantically grabbing what I needed. I checked out as quickly as humanly possible and booked it back to my car.

What is a normal, everyday thing for someone without social anxiety is a nightmare for me. I was terrified for the whole time in there. At one point, I’m pretty sure I was hyperventilating. I was on the verge of throwing up the entire time, and I can only be thankful that no one attempted to talk to me. It makes me disappointed in myself that I even consider this a step forward, because this shouldn’t be hard. But I deserve to be proud about this. I deserve to acknowledge this step forward for myself. It was hard, but I did it, and that means a lot to me. I still have a pit in my stomach, but I didn’t die and now I can go make therapeutic apple cider maple cupcakes.

Happy Fall, and happy shopping!
-Rae

Welcome Back!

Hello all!

I know I’ve sort of fallen off the face of the planet, but I’ve been insanely busy. Rather than bore you with the details of my hiatus, I’d rather tell you what I’m involved with now! I’ve got a lot of really new, very exciting things going on, and this would go very well with at least a few of them.

I now have a Twitter! I don’t have one under my real name, it’s under something similar to my blog (to both make it easier to protect myself and make it easier for people to find). Link here! It’s a more personal, more frequently updated (sorry, sorry!) version of this, so if you’re interested, head over and follow. It’s a lot less formal than this setting, so you can see a lot more of me between the cracks.

I also have been trying to educate myself in American politics, to help myself out in the coming Presidential Election (of which I can finally participate in). I have found the amazing Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders. After halfheartedly deciding to vote for Hillary back when all this started, Sanders is a burst of fresh air to me. His views reflect almost all of mine, and I adore his honesty and his refusal to sling mud like the other politicians running. I sincerely hope you will head over and read about him. Feel the Bern! I’m actually heading to a volunteer campaign this weekend. I don’t have a lot of extra money, so I decided to volunteer my time.

Other than starting a new semester and trying to get a grip on my anxiety (which is actually going well, for once), that’s about it. I will endeavor to update more often, and I apologize for disappearing like I did.

Have a wonderful evening!
-Rae

Only Up from Here

I’ve been feeling a bit better lately.

I still feel just a little hollow, but a bit of affection from Clark always helps. I also just received my replacement promise ring (I lost my original! Devastating!) and it is so beautiful. An independent photographer also has asked me to model for him. Modeling has always been a dream of mine, so I love that I get this opportunity.

I also figured out how to change my profile picture on Facebook and give it that rainbow filter. I love it!

I hope your day is going well.

Is it worth it to try at this point?

I’ve been gone a while.

I guess I’m trying to reorganize my life. I’ve been putting on quite a show these days, and I think people are fooled, but I can feel my social anxiety worsening and the beginnings of depression. I’m bone tired of this pretense.

I’m starting to get numb again. Maybe a defense mechanism? I don’t know. All I know is mostly I feel small. I told myself I’d never let myself feel small again, back when I began picking up the pieces of my life, but it’s easy to say that and very hard to live. I feel insignificant. I feel like I don’t really leave a mark in the world around me, even though I try very hard to positively affect those around me. I feel a little bit defeated.

I just feel like I can’t rely on myself anymore. I feel..almost..fragile. Like I could be blown away by a puff of wind.

I don’t know what brought this on. I shouldn’t be feeling unhappy or unsatisfied or getting a permanent pit of anxiety in my stomach. My life is going well, but I just feel unfinished. I feel like I’m blurring around the edges a little, just fading out enough to make emotions uncomfortable.

Why am I so terrified of ‘normal’ things? I can hardly go to the grocery store by myself without having an anxiety attack. I can’t even feel comfortable in my own home now. I shut myself away because I’m afraid that someone will find me to be inadequate. I feel a little inadequate.

All I know is, my life is very close to perfect. But why am I not feeling good about myself? Why do I have to make things difficult on myself, right when everything is going well?

I have to try to find my own heart again. This can’t be right. I have to try to pull myself out of this dangerous downward spiral. I can’t help but feel a little bitter. Why do I always have these issues? It feels like it’s only ever me, and I really hate to burden my friends with my stupid problems, especially because it’s hard for them to relate.

I may need to recruit professional help.

Opinion Piece: Caitlyn Jenner, The Duggars, and Rachel Dolezal

I feel almost unsettled as of late, mostly due to what is swirling in the media. Caitlyn Jenner’s transition, lovely as it is, has put me on edge due to the amount of hate that I keep reading in the comments. Each one hurts me, despite the fact that it isn’t about me. I still feel it very keenly. I keep finding out how difficult emotions are, now that mine are back full force and then some. I applaud her for coming out, despite the less than welcoming attitude of some. She has saved countless lives by being an example to other LGBT youth, and hopefully has made this country a bit safer for LGBT people. But the hate still puts a pit of anxiety in my stomach. It makes me uncomfortable to see thousands and thousands of people hating LGBT people for something that is out of their control. It’s sad to be hated based off of sexual orientation or gender, as well as religion or skin color. This whole situation reminds me that there is still a lot of work to do regarding topics like this, and the more media time they are allowed, the more normalized they become.

The Duggar family also has triggered my outrage, and has caused me to kick a few friends out of my life. One friend, a few years younger than I am (she just graduated high school) kept repeating that it is their business, they took care of it on their own and we should leave it alone. This by itself is outrageous to me, as Josh never received proper counseling or punishment (as praying and working in construction isn’t a punishment). But I feel the most sorry for his victims. They were raised in a family that devalues women, and Josh’s parents allowed Josh’s behavior to continue for several more times before taking action. This could have been prevented. Instead of owning up to their guilt now, they have sent out their daughters to save the family’s reputation by saying that they have forgiven him. Sexual abuse is not something that is so easily overcome, especially since the girls received no help either, or support from the family. They were told to keep their heads down and say nothing. That family is poisonous and so hypocritical, as well as unapologetic. It’s almost laughable that they had the nerve to accuse LGBT people of being child molesters, when their own son is one. To pass this off as ‘alright’ or ‘already taken care of’ is nonsense. We have a justice system for a reason, and Josh has not served his time for his crime. We can’t make exceptions. Where would we be if you could escape capital punishment by praying about it? This whole situation just makes me so angry.

This one is (literally) close to home for me, as I live in Spokane, so there has been a lot of talk about it. I am a bit conflicted about the Rachel Dolezal situation. Some people are comparing her situation to being transgender, declaring that she is transracial. Some are outraged because she can’t change her race. I honestly am unsure what to think. The fact that she lied about her original ethnicity is irksome to me, as one of the things that I value highly is honesty. It also irritates me that she has taken job positions that are for black women, reducing opportunities for black women. I also can’t entirely wrap my head around the concept of being transracial, as gender and race are two completely different things, and in my opinion, race isn’t fluid, while gender can be. I get that Dolezal admired black culture, and decided to join it, rejecting white culture. That’s understandable. But transracial? You can’t change your ethnicity, only what culture you decide to assimilate to, correct? Maybe I need to be more openminded, but I honestly never considered race to have flexibility. Culture does- she took on black culture. I don’t know whether it is even possible to take on black ethnicity.

Opinions? Comments? Clarifications? Feel free to drop a line below.

Life Flows On

Hello!

The past few weeks have gone overwhelmingly fast.

First, I finished my finals and got pretty good grades in all my classes. An A, two A-s, two B+s. I’m honestly just happy that I got such good grades in Core and my Atlantic World class.

My sister graduated successfully and will spend the next year applying to medical school. I’m very proud of her! Although her graduation sort of overshadowed my 20th birthday, I don’t mind. The way I see it is, I have another birthday every year. You only graduate a few times at most in a lifetime. My sister’s graduation definitely takes priority. Anyway, my parents, grandmother and one of my aunts came up, which was wonderful.

My parents are also helping me buy a car. As amazing as that is, the whole process has been pretty stressful. My driver’s license expired on my birthday, so I had to renew, but since I’m from California, it’s going to take a while to get here. The car’s title should come in the next week to week and a half or so. I can’t get insurance or drive the car without my license, of course, so I’m stuck despite having wheels until my license comes in, which could take up to a month- and even then, is probably getting shipped to my California address. It’s sort of frustrating. But once all this is figured out, I will finally have a car!

I am also taking a class right now, a Children’s Literature course. It’s an independent study course, and it’s only for three weeks, so it’s pretty intense. I love reading, especially young adult books, so 30 of them in 3 weeks is no problem. I’ll really enjoy this class.

I’m also hoping to get a job with kids this summer, but if that falls through, I will volunteer with children. My parents pay my rent as long as I am doing something productive, so I am free to spend my time volunteering. I’m really lucky because my parents have enough income to indulge me and my siblings.

Clark has been sick the last few days with a bad cold that has morphed into a severe sinus infection. After a slight mishap revolving around attempting to make a doctor’s appointment today and mistaking an acupuncturist for someone who can diagnose Clark’s illness and write him a prescription, we decided to call in a favor with my dad, who is a dentist. We explained the situation, and my amazing dad called up to a pharmacy and prescribed Clark a Z-pack. That should allow him to go to work in a few days and feel a lot better.

So things are looking up, despite some complications. In a short time, these small problems will work themselves out, and I’m looking forward to it.

Marginally Important

Remember that exams do not capture your essence. They don’t take your personality or heart into account. They don’t measure the contents of your soul. Tests are important, but not that important. Don’t stress- your life will work out exactly how it needs to.

As my Jido would say, “If it doesn’t matter in 10 or 20 years, don’t stress about it.”