Loss and Change: A Recipe for Anxiety/Depression!!
Hello everyone. I just thought I would write a post today about how I’ve been feeling for the last few weeks. Actually, anxiety and depression are a part of my daily life unfortunately. I am not sure why change has always been so hard for me, but it is. I HATE CHANGE!
For the last month or so I have been reading a lot of novels, working out, and watching movies. That’s just how I like to spend my summers mostly. Oh, and I got hooked on Grey’s Anatomy. I actually started watching the later seasons first from 2004 or 2005 that are on t.v., but then I decided I wanted to start with Season 1, so I have been getting them through Netflix. What a crazy, good show! It reminds me of ER which I loved from Season 1 all the way through the end on t.v. I love a good series that shows character growth which both of these shows do in my opinion.
Anyway, getting back to reading novels. I joined the group on Facebook called “Coffee and a Good Book.” Wow, what a great group of people! I love all the people I’ve met on there and conversed with about different things. I have added several friends to my own Facebook page from that group, and we enjoy each other’s company. However, I think I have become too comfortable with having friends who are either ones I know and have had in my life who I only get to talk to online now, or are people I have only met online whom I’ve never met in person. When I am in town, though, I really don’t have friends to just hang out with. I never really have since we moved here in 2001. Let me explain.
About a month or so ago I tried to get back in touch with a woman who had told me last year that I was her “best friend.” I had always thought of her as my best girlfriend, too, for the last 14 years! (My husband is my best friend and always will be.) She and I met at church, the little church we were members at until October of 2014. I admit my husband and I were angry and upset about many things when we left that church, but most of it had to do with how the pastor ran it. A few of the other members knew this, but couldn’t understand why my husband (who had been an elder for many years) just could not deal with the stress any more. I even took the time to call all the ladies I was friends with there and tell them ahead of time that we were leaving. Some said they were sorry to hear that. They said they understood and wanted to keep in touch. My “best” friend said she wanted to stay in touch. I said of course we should! Honestly, I wanted these ladies to call and check on me after a while, but only one of them has. One sweet older woman who I really didn’t expect to hear from, because we had never really gotten together to do anything outside of church and she has been dealing with cancer for about two years now. Her call encouraged me so much, I felt a new endearment for her. I have done a painting for her, but have not gotten it framed yet and taken it to her. I also have not posted it yet, because I’m not sure I’m quite done with it.
Anyway, once summer rolled around, I thought I might hear from the woman who I thought was my best friend since her school year job was over for a few months and she might have more free time. I thought summer would be the best time for us to catch up. In July I finally got up the courage to call her. I was NOT prepared for what I heard at all. In all of that time she had assumed we just were not friends any more! Instead of calling me to see how I was doing or tell me how she was feeling about everything, there was just this assumption that lingered. I tried to assure her that it was not the case! I said I figured she was just giving me some space to process leaving the church. Then I suddenly heard about the few times she had invited me to things that I hadn’t wanted to go to. She knew I didn’t like the same kind of music she did, but she kept inviting me anyway and felt rejected because I didn’t want to go. Yet, in all those instances, I never heard once how she really felt about that. If I had known it bothered her so much, I would have talked with her about it. I probably still wouldn’t have gone, but I have never felt the need to apologize for liking different things than she does. I am sorry her feelings were hurt, but I’m not going to change my interests to please others. I spent too much of my life living like that, and I was miserable. Then I brought up the fact that she said she had always liked my art. Yet when my pieces were in a gallery a couple of years ago, she never took the time to go see them and didn’t come to the opening night. I felt hurt, too, but I let it go. She did buy some of my printed cards a couple of years after that, and so did a few others at church which I was thankful for. Several years before she and I had even taken an art class together at the college one semester which was fun at first but ended up being way more work than either of us had counted on, and we ended up dropping it. That was no big deal either. I was bummed that we didn’t finish it, but I got over it.
I guess my point in all of this is that when she told me we were not friends any more, I began to question if we ever really had been, you know? I feel like true friends can give each other time to process loss and change. However, change has always seemed to be linked to loss for me. And that is what is a drag about anxiety. I became depressed after this loss, because that is just how I deal with it at first. I cried, got angry, wrote about it, and moved on. But now I am going through another loss and another change. Does it ever end??? 😉
I just learned the other day that a dear high school friend whom I have been back in touch with for the last couple of years just passed away from liver cancer. I think I am still in shock. I just talked to her on Facebook about two weeks ago. She was only 53. She was loved dearly by all who knew her. She came from a big family who all welcomed me into their home back in my high school days, loved me unconditionally, and who were all a lot of fun. She and I lost touch after I graduated and started working, but always managed to keep getting back in touch on and off for all these years. I was so happy when we became friends on Facebook and could chat, but devastated when we she told me she had liver cancer and didn’t know how long she had left. I wanted to go see her, but my own anxiety about traveling, my own health reasons, and the timing of her last family reunion just didn’t work out. I really wanted to see her before she died, but it didn’t happen, and it is a regret I will have to live with. So now I am just missing her. She was one of the absolute sweetest people I have ever known in my life. She always had a smile, we always were attracted to the same guys in high school, and we laughed so much whenever we were together that I can still hear the sound of her laughter.
My heart breaks for her dear family, because they love her so much, I can’t imagine the weight of their loss.
Now for the new change. Yesterday, my husband and I had to take our high school daughter to her new charter school to sign up for her classes and get her books. However, we had thought she would only have to be taken into town for the on-site classes two days a week which was going to be like the schedule we’ve always had. She hasn’t been doing math the last couple of years, though, because the history and advanced english classes she was taking were a ton of work, and she felt like she couldn’t concentrate well on math. Plus, I had reached the place where I couldn’t teach it to her, because I didn’t remember the higher level stuff any more! So when we met with one of the math teachers yesterday, I was sitting there feeling ashamed wondering if I should have pushed her to keep up with math in the last two years. This teacher, however, reassured her that she could learn it, but she would have to work really hard. However, she assessed our daughter’s skills a bit and deteremined that she should be in a different session of the math which meant we had to sign her up for the Tuesday/Thursday class. I almost had a panic attack right there. Driving to town FOUR days a week now? I wanted to scream NO!!! But we have no choice. If she wants to graduate in two years, it has to be done. The bright side, though, is that our son should be getting his license soon and can take on helping me by taking her two days a week. However, when she got home, she told me she wanted to go back and finish Advanced English where she used to go since it could fit in her new schedule now. That would mean a longer day on Mondays and Wednesdays, but I still think she will learn a great deal more with Charlotte. Charlotte hated seeing her have to leave to go somewhere else so I am hoping she still has room for her. However, if this works out, and those days are longer, perhaps in time those will be the days my son takes her! 🙂
Well, by the time yesterday afternoon was over, I felt like I was having an anxiety attack on the way home from town. My husband took his truck and took her to do some shopping at a few places for some special things she needed. So I went to the gym to try and sweat out some anxiety, but it didn’t quite do it. Then when I got home, my son and I talked about the school stuff, and that helped calm me down a lot. After everyone was home, he said he wanted us all to watch a funny movie together about role-playing gamers. It is called “The Gamers: Darkness Rising.” It was hilarious!! And I found it funny, because I know all about what they were doing since we have been playing Dungeons and Dragons. So that was a great stress relief. Then I had a long talk with my husband and good night’s sleep. So today I feel more refreshed. I have been wanting to write about this for quite some time, but hadn’t decided if I should. Well, it’s my blog, and I can write what I want. So there! 😉
Anxiety and depression are no fun when I am in their clutches; they suck! But I thank God for the people in my life who love me unconditionally and help bring me up when I am down. Teresa, my dear friend who just died, was one of them. I will miss her light and laughter more than I can say.
I may start drawing some more today since I haven’t been doing it much lately. I want to get more art posted. Thanks for being patient. Thanks for reading if you made it all the way through!
Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug. 🙂