The sun is shining right onto my hands as I type, and they look 700 years old. When did my HANDS get old? Yeesch.

Anyway, I’m not doing well. I know I have an ovarian cyst, and that those are common and usually benign, but of course I’ve gotten myself into the “What if it isn’t?” lather and this is driving me crazy. There has not been one night I’ve slept the entire night through since October.

I am at a low point.

What do all of you do when you’re at a low point? Like, what do you say to yourself to get out of it?

Also, I had a very unpleasant exchange with someone who it turns out doesn’t like or respect me very much and I always thought she did and, oh, that stings. Plus also, two people I don’t know all that well unfriended me on Facebook and I know it shouldn’t matter because they’re, like, the wife of someone I barely know and the big sister of someone I was friends with when I was 13. Why do I care? And yet I do.

I am at a low point. Did I mention?

Plus I can’t even think about Australia. I can’t. I can’t look at pictures or read anything about it. I get too upset.

So, really. Tell me. How do you pull yourself out of these low points? I keep telling myself, and have since October, that after the next doctor’s appointment, I will feel better. I just have to make it to December 10, or December 16, or January 2. But each appointment I go to just involves making another appointment. For all I know, when I go get my Cystine Chapel [(c) Faithful Reader Fay. All rights reserved.] looked at next week they’ll set me up for yet ANOTHER appointment. At this point, I feel like I will live in this fever pitch of terror forever.

My blood pressure is high–a thing it’s never been. I have Bilbo Baggins under my eyes. I can’t sleep. Oooo, maybe I’ve lost weight. Hang on…

Four measly pounds. Really? Geez.

I gotta go. I have to get in the shower and go to work and try not to be Eeyore all day. Actually, I’m more that high-strung rabbit right now, whose name I think is Rabbit, and why did everyone else get a good name and he had to be Rabbit? Well. Piglet. He also lost out in the name department.

Talk to you later.
Person (I guess that’d be my name in wherever the hell the Winnie the Pooh people lived.) (Not that they were people.) (Oh my god I have to go.)

105 thoughts on “Doldrums

  1. I’m sorry you’re feeling low. I have no advice to add to the great comments below, but just wanted you to know I’ll be thinking about you and hoping things get better for you soon.

    Like

  2. Pamela, lurker from Indiana says:

    One more thing someone else pointed out that I should have said – you have lifted my spirits, made me laugh, been an important bright spot in my days for years and I’m very thankful that continue to share and amuse us.

    Like

  3. Cheryl says:

    Lots of people obsess over their health, you are not alone. Worrying won’t help at all. It just shortens your life. And like my Mom always said, “You’re fine, it’s a long way from your heart!”.

    I always tell myself that if it is indeed serious, they would want me checked out yesterday. The fact that they haven’t done that with you is encouraging.

    I’m not an expert, just someone who has had a date with the operating room ten times…I just sat here and counted…10 times! Holy crap! At 65 I am still here and kicking. A few body parts are missing and both knees and a hip are new, but no complaints.

    If they want to remove the cyst, let them. Going under is the best sleep ever….honest. I am the nutty person who wakes up after surgery with a smile on my face, so glad to be alive. Yes, that happened.

    Plus, I had a cyst break once…hurts like a hell.

    Bottom line, take your pup for a walk, get some fresh air, eat something bad for you and if they want to do surgery, let them. You should get some time off, with disability pay and paid time off, as Martha Stewart says, “is a good thing”.

    Like

  4. Linda in CO says:

    Nothing new to add, just wanted to say that there are some real pearls here. I love this group of wonderful wise, caring Pieps you have here. And we all care for you, June, I hope the doldrums turn to humdrums, because boring is better than sad, I think. Be good to yourself.

    Like

  5. LIsa. Not THAT Lisa says:

    I wish I had something helpful to add, but I got nothin’. I’ve had some really down moments this year and I think I just wallowed. And somehow it got better.

    You yourself June have lifted my spirits more times than I can even count. so thank you for that and know that I, along with the tens of others, are here rooting for you.

    Like

    1. Lisa from Texas says:

      Lots of great advice here. I hope you find it encouraging that others have felt similarly at times or hit a rough patch. I’m gonna try to remember some of the suggestions for future lows.
      The one thing I think you need to do is tell your doctor all about what you are experiencing. Anti-anxiety meds might be the answer for you… just for a awhile to get you through. I went through a health thing a long time ago. Part of my treatment was taking daily injections that changed my hormone production. One day I found myself with tears rolling down my face—like my cheeks were entirely wet, I was crying, but not sobbing—at a fast food restaurant trying to decide what I wanted to eat. Not usually cry worthy. When I told my doctor about the crying and anxiety and other stuff, she calmly explained: normal not crazy, your hormones can affect you like that, and she was there to help me through. It made such a difference to me to know much of this had to do with hormones. Since this was “female troubles” like your cyst, you could also be experiencing this more intensely because of hormones.
      And think of all the loving support you have received (ignore any that’s not) and even though you don’t know most of us IRL, you are liked and cared about.
      And finally, you will make it through all this. You have been through a lot in the last year or so and the-waiting-for-the-other shoe-to drop just adds to it.

      Like

  6. Pamela, lurker from Indiana says:

    Sometimes life sucks balls. And then it doesn’t. And then it does again. My husband died at 59 in 2017 and I didn’t sleep all night for a long time. And then I was doing ok. And now I feel like shit again, but January in Indiana will do that to you. Lots of good advice from others. The thing that seemed to help me the most was to think about how many other people are going through shit and to try and do a good deed for someone else. That’s all I’ve got. This too shall pass.

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  7. gladyswhoisalsobee says:

    June I hope everything settles down and you feel better soon.

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  8. Darla says:

    I am several drums of dol right now. This time of year is rough.

    Like

  9. Joy says:

    I’ve been thinking about this one all day. First of all, it’s January- cold, gray, no-light January. I always feel horrible in January. This month sucks. Second, you’ve had quite a lot of trauma this past year so there is a reason for not feeling great. Your feelings are completely valid and reasonable. Third, I’ve been thinking about what helps me get out of a bad mood, and I think what helps most for me is a little break in the routine. Walking in a new place after work or during lunch, going someplace new for a weekend, inviting a new friend out to lunch. Newness shakes me up and helps me get rid of the funk. Oh and the person who doesn’t have any respect for you is an asshole. Straight up. Complete turd burger.

    Like

  10. Another Unruly-Haired Person says:

    Sorry you are feeling bad.
    For me, it helps somewhat to really try to only deal with one day at a time. Also, news moratorium.
    We love you!

    Like

  11. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know why I bother posting my advice bc reading my June Big Book of Facts I don’t have much hope you will follow, but here is what I do when I have a health scare ( and my last one was blood in urine too, and I had to go through the same exams you described):

    Never ever google your condition. I only do so when someone tells me about a medical concern they have, and in doing so realized that the search results tend to go to the most serious diseases possible. For friends and family, what I read never come close to being the problem–their diagnosis always turn out to be much more benign than what google made us believe.

    This means that reading about possible reasons for an abnormal result in my own medical exams would only make me nervous and thinking the worst. If I don’t look things up, I can more easily put the situation out of my mind. I’ll watch funny movies and keep busy until the final results come in, and so far this has kept me mostly calm during the waiting period. And if one day things aren’t fine, at least I’ll have spared myself from unnecessary worrying, since there was nothing I could have done differently while waiting for confirmation,

    Like

    1. Joy says:

      Yes. My beautiful, young friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and she had such a peaceful attitude during her treatment. I asked her why and she said she never ever looked up her condition on the internet. She didn’t join any support groups. She just went to the doctor, took the advice and the treatment and moved forward with her regular life.

      Like

      1. Anonymous says:

        This was me exactly. I was diagnosed and never googled or joined anything. I did the treatment and I am three years out now 🙂

        Like

  12. melvie says:

    Wish I had something inspiring to say but alas, I do not. Just know that a lot of people you never met irl care about you and what you are going through.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. debwhosbacktobeingdeb says:

    In my head I just sent you a beautiful bouquet of flowers, but instead, in real life, I just donated what I would have spent on the flowers to WIRES – a relief effort for animals in Australia. Much as I know you like flowers, I think you would appreciate that more.

    I have been through my share of medical problems, but I try to remember what the doctors told me about percentages of whatever being cancer (low, that’s why I focus on that), or how easy it would be to remove, or whatever positive bits and pieces I know of regarding whatever it is I’m dealing with. Other than that, I take my anti-anxiety meds at night to help me sleep, and try to come up with some positives going on in my life as opposed to dealing with the never-ending horror on the news.

    I am not one to call friends and complain. It makes me feel funny. Plus, I like to keep a lot of things private. But if you have a few good friends you can lean on – either IRL or on fb or wherever, do it. Well, at least that’s what I do. Keeping it bottled up doesn’t do any good.

    You know we are all rooting for you. You are our truffle and we are your pigs.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Kim says:

    I hate it when you feel low. I wish you could feel how much we all care about you. I think most people are sensitive when they find someone doesn’t care for them. Maybe a sting instead of a hurt. It seems normal to fret about a potentially serious health condition. Anyway I don’t have any advice because I’m wired differently from my upbringing.

    Like

  15. Texas Kari says:

    Like everyone else, I can relate to the doldrums, and medical stuff sends me right over the edge. I once told my doctor friend about medical worries and she told me to take cues from the pace of the medical people. If they aren’t in a giant hurry to schedule me into tests/appts then it’s likely not serious. If they scramble and start making special arrangements, then perhaps it’s serious.
    Here are the things I do:
    1. Go outside. Sometimes for exercise, sometimes just a lawn chair in the front yard, sometimes pick a few weeds, whatever. I just go outside and goof around.
    2. Make lists. I love lists. I make lists of things to do around the house room by room with tiny incremental tasks. I fully realize this is an effort to control life when it seems beyond control. Even if I don’t do a single thing on the list, I feel somewhat better, which brings me to…
    3. Do something from the list, no matter how small. I take great joy in crossing it off the list and bringing even a tiny bit of order to my environment.
    4. Do something nice for someone else. Nothing major, just something simple. The recipient doesn’t even have to know about it because their gratitude isn’t the goal. I focus on the fact that giving changes the heart of the giver (me).
    5. Avoid bummer tv. I eliminate tv that feeds my worry, so no news and definitely no medical dramas. No shows where children are kidnapped and mistreated. No shows about people dying.
    6. Avoid chaos. I don’t do anything to invite in more chaos. I lay low, man. No adding extra stuff, no volunteering to take on extra work, no hosting parties, etc.

    I have no idea if any of these will help anyone else, but I hope so. We all gotta get through the tough times in one piece, right?

    You rock, June. You may not feel like it, but you do!

    Like

  16. susanhenschen says:

    I feel the same way. With the people not liking me thing, with the Australia awfulness.

    I’ll add to it: I’m not liking myself very much, mostly because I don’t feel like being nice anymore. So I’m not. It’s like my filter is gone and that’s kind of liberating but also awful because I haven’t been like this before so now I’m worried I have a personality disorder. It’s not like I am a horrible person (yet), but the motivation to be nice just isn’t naturally there anymore nor can I easily summon it. I keep rattling off my opinions, and even though I think they are valid, I also know they can be a bit polarizing as soon as I have said them. I don’t know.

    I’ll be going through the comments to get advice, too.

    Like

    1. Lori in Texas says:

      I’ve always heard that if you’re worried about being awful or having a personality disorder, etc., that’s proof that you don’t. You have a conscience, which may be nudging you to be a bit nicer. (Believe me, this is me, too!) But yay, your conscience is working!

      Like

  17. boomersmommasmomma says:

    I tell myself that worrying won’t change anything, but a positive attitude will. And if I start to worry, I think of something positive. And remind myself that Drs. And technology have made strides and no matter what I will get through it.
    Helps me.

    Like

  18. Laurie Emery says:

    Sometimes when I can’t face doing anything, when I am so low that just getting out of bed seems impossible, I march. I march around the house with my knees up high, punching the air as hard as I can in a celebratory way, shouting as loud as I can imagine shouting at that time ‘Hooray!’ For me, I think that it is a ‘fake it ’til you make it’ kind of move. Granted, sometimes my march is just a shuffle, and my celebratory shout is just a whisper, but i keep going until my knees get higher and my punch gets powerful and my shout gets louder. Btw, my cats are not fans of this behavior.

    Laurie (Lucy’s mom)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Lorraine says:

    There is an iPhone / iPad app called “Insight Timer” that I’ve found very useful for relaxing / meditating / falling asleep. I like it because you can filter by time (5 minutes to 30+ minutes) and choose guided meditation, music, or different sound therapies ( rain, ocean, singing bowls, etc.). I like everyone else’s suggestions too (heart emoji).

    Like

  20. Dana Starr says:

    I took Klonopin for several months to get me through the worse time in my life, and I’m a person who normally won’t even swallow Aspirin when I have a headache. Klonopin took just enough of the anxiety away so that I could function through the cancer scare my child went through.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Sandra in Naples says:

    Ativan. Movies at the theater. (if you even feel like putting your bra on and going). Calling the Emotional Ambulance that some funny commenter wrote about (loved that). Ativan. Also sometimes you just have to wait it out. Ativan.I had a cyst and it was painful and they yanked it out right away…what is taking these dr’s so damn long? Ativan. Cyst was fine by the way, no biggie and I am A BABY. Have I mentioned taking Ativan?

    Like

    1. Beth from the woods says:

      I really feel the need to mention that Ativan can cause totally the opposite effect of calmness that you want. In the elderly, it can make them agitated and almost uncontrollable. Since June isn’t elderly this shouldn’t apply to her , but for all those out there that have elderly relatives. Ativan.

      Like

  22. bamacarol says:

    Dear June, I was just thinking about you Monday and wondering how you are coping. I hope it does not bother you for me to say I will pray for you. That helps me a lot when I am having doubts/anger/issues/problems. I stopped watching the national news year ago and local news recently. We have had 2 children (age 2 or 3) and 3 women in our area who have been abducted and murdered lately and the sadness got overwhelming. I know that makes me look like an ostrich but it is one of the ways I cope. Cannot think about Australia and the animals. In 2018 I had my second knee replacement surgery on a Tuesday; on Wednesday evening my mother had a heart attack, stroke and saddle block pulmonary embolism. We did not know or find her till Thursday afternoon. We were in the hospital at the same time. She was not supposed to live but not only did she live, she has almost no indications that she has had this episode. That was a very depressing time for me but we all made it through. I hope you can get some relief and find a way to not obsess and worry. I have also found that doing something for others, even if just visiting them or taking them a container of soup and snacks has also helped me get outside of myself and focus on others. I think the fact that you get out with others some helps as well. Plus I have the ability to get totally lost when I read a good book. Have you read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett? It is a very interesting book and has two sequels plus he is writing a prequel now. Reading about a cathedral being built in the 12th century doesn’t sound interesting but it really is.

    Like

    1. pcb says:

      I’ve been doing the ostrich thing for about a year now and it does help, but what I really want to say is I loved Pillars of the Earth and still don’t know why! It was so good. Maybe I need to read it again.

      Like

  23. PLS says:

    I write down what is angering me, making me sad, curse words and all, scratching the page with my crazy writing, writing what I really want to say to people or situations but can’t or shouldn’t, ALL of it, then I burn the pages, works for me every time.

    Like

  24. PJ says:

    I’m so sorry June. If you don’t have anything that can help you manage the anxiety and sleep it is okay to ask for something. They save my sanity on occasion.
    Getting frazzled about the cyst is a normal reaction to something abnormal in your body. Push to get it taken care of.
    Just one thing–the word “unfriended” is way too loaded for what that actually is. Lots of people periodically clean up their internet connections. Saying they “unfriended you” can be defused by rewording it. It’s smart to keep your footprint online smaller.
    The other interaction with someone you thought liked and respected you–well, that just hurts and I am so wounded by things like that I’d just sit on the couch next to you and cry for two days until you were tired and unfriended me and then I’d leave and you’d feel better.
    I like you, June. I really like you. We all do. Life hurts like hell right now. It will get better.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. yetanotherkelly says:

    I have gone through some shit in my life and how I get through it is to just take it one step at a time and deal with things as they happen. I will allow myself to have a pity party for a short time and then I get over it and DO something about it, including getting counseling. Or I do something productive. Scrub the bathroom, clean out my closet, etc. Another thing that has always helped ME is to get my ass outside into fresh air, even if it’s for 10 minutes. Sometimes, I will just go and sit in my backyard in the sun for a few minutes or I’ll go for a brisk walk around the block. “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.”

    Like

  26. Arlene says:

    Dear Lovely June,
    The wonderful comments made here offer some great suggestions to help you get through this stressful stuff. I think I’ll bookmark this column so I can try some different tactics the next time I’m low. There have been so many great suggestions, but I am going to offer one more. Read a book(s) that you love. I would like to suggest Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. If not the entire series (that you have), maybe just one. For now. Recently I reread “The Long Winter” and it did help me as I struggled to get through yet another difficult time.

    As I have become more ancient, I am attempting to obsess less because I’m realizing it has never helped me. The last six-plus years have been pretty tuff but I am finally starting to feel that I’m going to be ok. My advice to you is: 1) do exactly as Door Color Expert Andrea has suggested and, 2) until the next Dr appt, read about Laura’s adventures. Best wishes!

    Like

  27. Anne says:

    There is some great advice here, but I’m still going to add mine. I’ve always struggled with anxiety and depression. My daily anti-anxiety meds literally save my life. Here are some other things that help:

    – Keeping a gratitude journal. It sounds dumb and hokey, but every night before bed I write down three things that happened during the day that I’m grateful for, or that brought me joy.

    – I listen to a lot of different guided meditation/autogenics/ASMR videos before bed. There are a million different ones, and there will be some you hate and (hopefully) some you like. But I find that they relax me. The autogenics in particular are really great for actually making me focus on relaxation because the commands are simple. “You left hand feels heavy.” Okay, I can focus on my left hand feeling heavy. Sometimes guided meditations end up stressing me out. “You’re in a field.” Great, I have a mental image of a field. “There is a stream to your left.” HOLD ON MY MENTAL FIELD DIDN’T HAVE A STREAM NOW I HAVE TO REDECORATE. Anyway, UCLA and Cedars-Sinai have some autogenics videos on YouTube that I enjoy.

    – Shut off the shit. I love news and politics, but right now I’m not in a place where I can handle it. And I swear to god if I see one more burned koala I am going to be in a state. So I’m not paying attention. That might make me a bad citizen or whatever, but it’s what I have to do for right now. I’m applying the same strategy to people. There are certain friends who are ALWAYS negative. They bitch and moan and complain endlessly about everything and that’s all they do. And I’m not hanging out with them right now. I don’t want their negativity to spread to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Maddie says:

    I think in the beginning of The Awful Thing it is all panic and then frantically searching for A Cure or Someone Who Has The Answer and then you have to wait months for that appointment so you go back to panicking because wtf else is there to do? But later, you realize that no one has the forking answer or if they do it will not return you to who you were before and there will be more crap to wade through (phone trees, awful side effects, parking decks, shit I’m not going to talk about)…. and just basically you are forked man.

    So sometimes you just have to freak out. Do this in private. Try not to scare the cats & Edsel. But do it. Then realize that all that crying, worrying, whatever it is you do has not changed one forking thing for you except now you’re exhausted with worry & have puffy eyes or stress zits.

    Then pretend you are just fine & stop rehashing/mulling & **stop giving It attention**. This may be hard to do if you feel like shit. But do it anyways. You’ve made the appointments with whoever, so while you’re waiting, pretend you’re someone else or some other time period of you. Other than pesky physical symptom, you are just the same as you were last January or you are June in January 2006 or whatnot.

    What helps with Not Giving It Attention?

    * Be really really nice to everyone you meet (except the asshats obvs).
    Do not focus on yourself.
    Focus on the nice people. Family, friends, strangers. How could you make their day more awesome? Give sincere compliments. Listen to them. Appreciate them. Focus on them, not yourself. Also everyone is going thru shit so maybe you’re helping someone else who is also internally freaking.

    * Appreciate what is *real* and good in your life. You have glorious hair (some people don’t). You can listen to music without pain. You have two good arms and legs that let you walk or maybe even run! You have nice people in your life who care about you. Try to remember that there are people who do not have these things/abilities. When you start thinking about how horrible your life *could* be, return to thinking about how wonderful your life *actually* is.

    * Obsess about something else. A tv show, a book, make up, learning the scientific name of every plant at your local park, volunteeering, whatever. Find something that is not yourself in which to lose yourself.

    * Avoid anything and anyone crappy. No news. No complainers. No score keepers. If Facebook triggers your anxiety maybe pause that. If you can’t give it up then limit it. Set a timer on your phone to hold yourself accountable.

    * Hang out with your pets. Focus on giving them fabulous days. Marvel at how much they love you unconditionally. Focus on how they just live now. Make that now wonderful for them & then join them. Cats in Sunshine on the couch? Get a good book and curl up in the sunshine with them. You are just fine now, you are warm now, you are loved by that kitty now, this book is good now. Now is nice.

    These are my tricks. They do not always work. I hope you feel better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maddie says:

      Thought of another trick – when your mind starts to spin out, creating catastrophic possible futures?

      Fork that bench (curse courtesy The a Good Place) and imagine a forking awesome future for yourself. No medical shit. Nothing realistic. Put all your energy into imagining. Be detailed & specific. Flying car? Cool. What color? Does it have a burlwood interior or chrome? Does your 1930s house have a breakfast nook and receiving room? Is the staircase straight or spiral? View of the ocean? Mountains? Ponies? Ponies and baby ponies?

      If you can’t imagine for yourself, do it for a book or TV character. Barbara and her husband (Call the Midwife) are alive and well and living in the country in a restored Tudor. There is a secret room in the house with a window looking over the duck pond. It is Barbara’s happy spot. It is wall papered with old newspapers and letters. She likes to read the cozy slanted words of other people’s lives and safe small news events of the past (mostly the engagements & personals column). Make their lives lovely.

      Like

  29. pcb says:

    Agree with the suggestions others have made (reading, volunteering, getting outside in the sunshine) but sometimes nothing seems to work this time of year. Not gonna proselytize but losing myself in scripture and study goes a long way towards keeping me centered and conscious of the big picture even when I am sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. June's Boss says:

    Dr. Google says your cyst might be causing your hbp, which makes sense because if your endocrine system is being hijacked, that’s gonna happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. lares15 says:

    I need sleep to stay sane and calm and focused – I have the type of insomnia that won’t let you fall asleep. Take 0.5mg Clonazepam before bed – miracle drug. I also check in with my therapist as needed…really reboots my brain . Meditation even 15 minutes has been a go to since forever. I like to bake so I’ll make muffins and drop them off ..firehouse, police station , nursing staff etc. – — I would get a surgery date and just do it.

    Like

  32. laurieintexas says:

    When I feel as if people don’t like me, I try to remember that I have people I don’t like, too. None of us are everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s okay! How boring and terrible would this life be if we were all wa

    Like

    1. Linda from Jamestown says:

      So true – I meant to say this, too. It took me a LONG time to figure out that I am not everyone’s cup of tea. Not everyone is going to like me and, let’s face it, I DEFINITELY don’t like everyone else. There are people that have been important parts of my life that have suddenly dropped out and people that have slowly drifted away. I try to think that if they were MEANT to be in my life and a part of my existence, then they would be. Otherwise, I *try* to wish them well and let them go. It hurts when you find out that people aren’t the good friend you thought they were or that you don’t mean as much to them as they mean to you. All you can do is feel the hurt and then move on. Somewhere out there – right this minute – is someone who is wishing you would pick up the phone and call them. Or text. Or email. (You get the picture.) This person WANTS to be the friend you need. Now you just have to find that person.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Door Color Expert’s comment! The doctors need to know what this is doing to your entire physical being. Always remember to push your doctors. They aren’t God, they are supposed to be there to help you. So make them do their job! Last year I had kidney cancer, and period between finding it and my surgery I was really stressed. To calm myself I kept telling myself “if you worry about what might be then you just worry twice”. I will be sending positive thoughts your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Tammy says:

    I know how stressful the medical worries can be. I hope things settle down soon. When I am in a funk, I watch something that will make me laugh such as a comedian, or specific episodes of “Whose Line Is it” that I know are hilarious. There is a crazy British show called 8 Out of 10 Cats that is always entertaining too, if you haven’t seen it.

    Like

  35. Amber says:

    I’ve been reading First, we make the beast beautiful by Sarah Wilson. It’s really helped actually, her experience with anxiety is way worse than anything I could imagine. I’m about halfway through the book. I’ve dealt with anxious depression since my teenage years, and also have endometriosis. I’ve had numerous ovarian cysts removed and in my experience when I have a cyst my hormones are so out of whack that the anxiety is much worse.

    Like

  36. Four pounds is a good thing, right? Not under the circumstances though I suppose. I have nothing different to add to the great suggestions made by everyone else. I think reading, hanging out with people (which you seem to be really good at), exercising, are all good plans. I CANNOT think straight on a lack of sleep, so I would find a way to rectify that first and foremost. Get some help to sleep all night – sorry if that might mean ANOTHER doctor visit.

    I was stung last year when a family I sat for decided not to have me sit for them this year. Their baby was treated like a queen here – my entire family was enamored with her and she could not have been more loved and better cared for anywhere. It hurt that the mom made up a lame reason that they couldn’t come back to have my care for her (like a meeting once a week that would keep her late, and I said ‘No prob – she can stay late one day a week’ and the mom had nothing). I suspect they found something cheaper, but it cut me to my very core. We were facebook friends but she either never posts anything anymore, or she unfriended me. I am not a FB aficionado, so no clue. Anyway, even if you know people have their reasons and it might have nothing to do with you – I too take things personally.

    Hope you dig your way out of this. I hate feeling blue and I hate that I tend to eat more crap or snap at my kids more when I do.

    Like

  37. Megsie says:

    There are some great strategies here! I, too, tend to read more, write more, and go for walks. I also hit up SuperSoul Sunday, and On Being to tap into my spiritual self. That is a centering force for me. It helps me be more “me, ” you know? I agree that you should tell your doctor at your next appointment that this cyst must go ASAP because the anxiety is debilitating. Still standing in your doorway.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megsie says:

      Oh, and I watch this:

      I love it so!

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Jeanie Herkomer says:

    I am on two anti-anxiety meds. I just have to assume they’re working, although I still have my moments. I tell myself that tomorrow will be better, sometimes for many days in a row, until finally it is. I have a Public Service Announcement that might work for you. I noticed in one of my to-read books, the main character is Karen Sommerfield (not SUMMERFELD). I think Karen will find much happiness in this novel. The book is called The Language of Sycamores. It’s author is Lisa Wingate, who also wrote Before We Were Yours. I sincerely hope your woes are over soon, June.

    Like

  39. Kerrin says:

    I’m sorry you’re low. I have no words of wisdom other than, I understand what you’re feeling. I usually retreat into a series I love or a book(s). I also like to work myself ragged until I’m so physically exhausted that I fall asleep because I physically can’t stay awake any longer. (scrubbing floors, ironing clothes for hours, walking to the store, then having to lug everything home. Generally just not sitting down during the day. Of course, I don’t truly exercise, because that would ACTUALLY be helpful) I actually fell asleep DURING a PET scan thanks to this method. And I think that made it easier than just lying there, as still as possible, and waiting for the verification that I did, in fact, have cancer

    I’ve recently started being SUPER proactive in my check-ups and early detection tests (after the small brush with cancer 2 years ago–found early, taken care of easier than most, I am always waiting for it to jump out and scare me again yelling “I’M BACK!!!!”) It sucks, but the relief I feel after they eventually tell me “you’re fine. it’s fine” is, I think, what taking drugs might feel like? The high I feel from relief is wonderful.

    Wishing you a relief high very very soon!!

    Like

  40. Ruth says:

    My best things are getting outside for a bit, snuggling a cat, only reading and watching stuff that makes me laugh. I force myself to think grateful thoughts. I hate that I have to force it, but it eventually does settle my mind,

    Like

  41. cheech1000 says:

    I have been in the doldrums too at different times in my life. During my divorce, after Monte died, after my breast cancer diagnosis, after my thyroid mass diagnosis, after being unjustly fired from a job I worked at for almost 30 years. Basically, I haven’t slept through the night for the past 10 years!

    How I get through periods like that is some self pampering. Taking a day or two off work and staying in bed. Watching TV all day, staying in my pjs, eating comfort foods. After that, I’m usually prepared to go out and tackle the world again.

    I am not usually upset by other people’s opinions of me. Maybe it’s my age or my personality, but I don’t much care what others think. I like me, and if you don’t? Ok. I probably don’t think much of you, either.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. M says:

    I way of dealing with stress is a nice long walk in the woods but obviously if you’re in a great deal of pain that may not be the best medicine. Anyhow, DCEAndrea has the most logical approach, in my opinion. And you lost 4 pounds, to me that is a BIG DEAL, congratulations! I heart you June.

    Like

  43. Pal from MA says:

    Yoga and meditation saved my life from high blood pressure and anxiety and panic attacks. Eventually got 30 pounds off my body, too.

    I am so sorry for your hard time right now. It sucks.

    Sending you strength… xoxo

    Like

  44. Capelover says:

    Sorry you caught the doldrums. I think it’s going around because yesterday was a total sucky day. I turned off the news and turned to an old station that played yesterdays swing music. So much of this I heard as a child and knew most of the words. It brought back so many happy memories of my parents going dancing or an impromptu dance the living room. It was healing.
    FB was not off limits till I read something I didn’t like, so I turned it off. My dog was my psychiatrist for the day. He likes to play ball and it gets me outside even though it’s cold.
    My daughter got me into Amazon Prime’s the Marvelous Miss Maisel. I love it and my mind gets lost in her life not mine.
    Hope something I’ve said helps. After Christmas is always kind of a letdown. Soon the birds will be singing!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Amy Alison says:

    I have no practical advice, but the name of your post says something. The doldrums are an actual place on the globe. Regions of ocean near the equator where sometimes the wind just quits blowing for long periods of time. BUT then it picks up and you are swept out of there. I call my periods of depression or lethargy the doldrums to remind me that I am only waiting for the wind, and it always returns.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. teesmithii says:

    I’m so sorry you are going through all these medical issues. It’s so stressful.

    I have totally stopped listening/watching the news. That has helped me. Take a who care attitude about being unfriended (that sounds like advice doesn’t it), those people could be taking a break from FB. Since I don’t have a good grasp on this social media thing who knows if that’s the case.

    When I am stressed about something I will clean house like crazy with soothing music playing or I retreat to my sewing room and make little dresses. The sewing is the best way to keep my mind off the issue that has me stressed because I have to think about what I’m doing so the dress(s) are made correctly.

    When I can’t sleep, which is very often I listen to my weather radio that plays the local weather over and over, it’s so boring I fall asleep or I read, which helps me concentrate on something other than the stress causing issue. When I get really desperate I take half an Ambien, but I try to avoid this because they’re addictive.

    I also force myself to walk. I don’t enjoy exercising, but it gets me outside in the sunshine. I think these short, gray days add to being down.

    I hope you feel better soon and these stressful medical issues are resolved.
    Tee

    Like

  47. Angie P says:

    I’m currently waiting to get some dental work and my heart is doing the Indy 500. Last summer I learned i had rectal cancer. It was so scary. The chemo was bad and I didn’t lose my hair. But the 5th and 6th weeks of radiation were horrendous pain. Plus I had radiation vertigo so I couldn’t craft, read, or hardly watch tv. The only thing that helped was mediation and thinking I was floating on a raft in the pool or beach. A little xanax helped too. And I kept repeating the mantra this too will pass and miracle. So a year later all cancer is gone and I feel great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maddie says:

      Angie P I am sooooooo happy for you! You are so amazing for enduring all that and now you feel great! You give me hope. Thank you for sharing.

      Like

  48. DG says:

    I just want to thank everyone on here for the comments and suggestions, I really struggle with post holiday blues in January living in Western NY with no sun and cold weather and these tips are great. I also just has a procedure and cannot exercise for 3 weeks so trying to find other ways to stay positive.

    Like

  49. DG says:

    When I am low things that normally wouldn’t bother me become unbearable. I would suggest staying off social media, as no one puts the bad stuff on there so you always feel like a failure. The one thing that helps me when I am low is my grateful journal. I try to write in it a few times a week and sometimes it is very hard to find things to be grateful for but it really does help. Sometimes I write that I am grateful for a my coffee maker, or having a hot shower but I find when I am low it is because I haven’t been writing what I am grateful for. If you are looking for a book I just read the Wife Between Us and found I got sucked in.

    Like

    1. teesmithii says:

      I’m so grateful for hot and cold running water! We could have a grateful day here in this non blog.

      Like

  50. Anonymous says:

    I learned this technique in therapy. Every hour I allow myself 10 minutes to obsess over the thing I am worried about or upset about and then when it comes to my mind after those 10 minutes are up I have to tell myself I can’t focus on this until the next hour. I will be allowed to obsess etc. in the next hour. This has worked for me even with a recent health scare similar to yours. Hope it will work for you and hope you get this resolved as quickly as possible.

    Like

    1. DG says:

      This technique helped me when my mother died, my therapist told me to pick a time every day to grieve. It really did help.

      Like

  51. MissPam says:

    My faith. I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. Sigrid says:

    Here’s what I do:
    * I make sure to follow the basics of sleep and eating
    * I dress a little better than usual. I know it’s silly, but I usually live my life this time of the year in yoga pants and casual shirts. Putting on a dress helps me feel more pulled-together
    * I follow a rule of opposites, in which if I think, “the last thing I want to do is go out,” I make myself leave the house and take a walk
    * I tackle interrupted sleep with podcasts. I pick something that’s interesting enough to keep me from thinking my own worried thoughts, but dull enough that I wouldn’t stay awake to keep listening. And I put it on very low volume with a 30-min timer so that if I go back to sleep, it doesn’t wake me up later
    * I clean house and keep the house cleaner than usual. It’s a nuisance, but I feel better in a tidier environment, plus I can feel like if I accomplished nothing else, I accomplished that
    * I read utterly frivolous books if it’s possible. And watch frivolous television, also if possible
    * I see a counselor. This is more from some years ago, when a lot of my unhappiness was driven by life situations that I either couldn’t do anything about or which seemed too big to deal with. It was helpful to have someone push me to address my issues and break down the things that seemed too big

    I’m currently in a state of needing to do these things, but not doing all of them. My husband has a mental health condition that is not very well-controlled at the moment, the entire family has coughs (I’m the least severe), work is being intense, and I would very much like a 3-week vacation from all of my roles and responsibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Door Color Expert Andrea says:

    I have no healthy recommendations. But I do think you should, at your next appointment, tell the doctor that the cyst is killing you. Look him or her in the eye and say “everyone says it’s probably fine and that it’s just pushing on my bladder and no big deal, but I don’t sleep, I can’t focus, and if this f-ing anxiety kills me because everyone is ho-hum about getting it out of my body, I will be sure my dog sues your ass when I’m dead.”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The Poet says:

      This. Print it on a card to read so you won’t go blank when you need to say it. Doctor needs to know it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Florence says:

        Perfect, DCE Andrea and Poet! Lately, I’ve been reading old comic books in bed for 20 minutes or so to deflect the crummy stuff. Calvin and Hobbes, maybe? I listen to comedians when I can’t listen to the news anymore as I walk: e.g., John Mulaney’s The Comeback Kid makes me happy.

        I didn’t realize til I was about 50 that Eeyore’s name came from the sound donkeys make. At least if you have a British accent. We’re all pulling for you, June.

        Like

    2. Fawn Amber says:

      I third this.

      Like

  54. Carol in Mpls says:

    I take my meds, do my light therapy, meet friends for a quick coffee, listen to my growing up music [side note: the Linda Ronstadt documentary was excellent. Now her music is in my car, which makes winter driving better.] I also do needlepoint, which requires focus [yay for my ADD], but I find the rhythm is very soothing, and I can relax. It’s actually meditative.

    With all the crazy going on in the world, add some to your own life, and then what? I’ve unfollowed a couple of my friends on fb, that was a relief, as they don’t know, but I have the benefit of not having their crazy get to me.

    I know this isn’t a big thing, but I’m turning off the news. Only skimming the headlines, and reading what interests me, something that won’t upset me. We have a great jazz station here in Mpls, and it’s so soothing on my brain.

    I keep reminding myself that little steps count, and that I am moving forward, which is what matters most. This helps, as I’ve not been sleeping well either, due to a rotator cuff injury coupled with arthritis in my shoulder. Just trying to stay even keeled as best I can. Good Luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cheech1000 says:

      I agree with that too. Nothing lifts my spirits like going out for lunch or dinner with a few of my friends and laughing like an idiot for a few hours.

      Like

  55. amajoanie says:

    Stay away from google. Write down the scary questions so you don’t forget and get some answers from the doctor at your next visit. It’s ok to cry, you wouldn’t be the first person who cried in front of the doctor. You get to be human. It’s ok to ask for something to help you sleep. I saw a chart on Facebook yesterday that put our fears in perspective regarding things we worry about. I shared it to Face Book of June. Point is, odds are ever in your favor. Remember there will come a day you will laugh about this and you are very loved by many. Forget the few and their insignificance. How many of us wish we lived close so we could hang out with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  56. Jeni says:

    What I try to do:

    I remember that everyone has a right to their own thoughts and feelings; that in order for someone’s opinion about me to register, I have to care about what they think. I remember that the only opinion that really matters is my own and that if I want to show up differently with people, I am free to do so (or not.) I also got off social media so I could spend (or waste) time differently and not ride the emotional rollercoaster of virtual “friendships.”

    Like

  57. Just Paula H&B says:

    Wait. There are things one can do to get out of the doldrums? You don’t just wallow and wait it out? MY GOD, the things I learn here.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. KelliinGR says:

    I am so sorry you’re feeling this way. Can relate. Breast cancer diagnosis in late October, surgery late November and now seemingly unending MD appts,. Feels like it may be that way forever even though prognosis is excellent. BP has been elevated pretty regularly since diagnosis and have difficulty turning off my “hamster brain”, so sleep was a major issue. Asked surgeon for something to help and Xanax proved to be a great help (for getting to sleep, not functioning in the daytime world as it’s sedating) without the hangover feeling I’ve gotten from sleep aids. Have also practiced some yoga nidra and it has been somewhat helpful. This is a short one that is really basic but there are a ton of them out there on the You Tube:

    Here’s hoping that your next appointment will bring relief from anxiety and the end (or close to) of the string of MD appts.

    Like

  59. Katie from work, fmr says:

    I just try to do something to shake up my numbing daily routine, especially in the winter, with the SAD. Go on a weekend trip, even if it has to be just driving somewhere an hour away hanging on a friend’s couch. Spend time with people, even if you don’t feel like it. Volunteer. Whatever it takes to crawl out of your own head. This is what I try to do when I’m feeling down.

    Like

  60. dbinmd says:

    I tend to internalize things which is not helpful, so I don’t recommend that. A few things that do seem to help:
    a) read a ridiculous, fluffy cozy book where no thinking is required – just be entertained
    2) go see an equally ridiculous movie – either a comedy or an action flick that is not at all realistic
    III) I love old stuff so I sometimes find an antique store I’ve never been to and just wander around.

    I’m not a very social person, so I find doing things by myself when I’m feeling down less stressful than doing something with a friend(s).

    I’m sorry you are down in the dumps. Health scares are incredibly stressful.

    Like

  61. Georgia says:

    I really really want to be helpful. But this time of year puts me into a depression (I classify “a depression” differently than my everyday, medicated diagnosis of depression) and I’m insane about anxiety (also medicated! I’m a barrel of fun!)

    But my stupid stupid thing is that I crochet. I know it’s nuts that it helps, but somehow, even when I’m not Actually working on the project, the one I have going is in the back of my brain kind of working stitches.
    Then when I have free time I can focus on it and not other stuff. I have the tv on, because silence is hard for me, but not on something I need to watch closely.
    I’m not great at crochet so I have to focus and start over a lot. It gives me something to occupy myself.
    Also, I choose projects for someone I’d like to surprise but wouldn’t expect something from me. Recently I made a scarf for the greeter at Walmart because she’s so sweet. She was so ridiculously happy that it made me happy.

    Like

  62. Jen S. says:

    I have no great advice. I try to Scarlett O’Hara my way through a lot of low points and take my anxiety meds when it doesn’t work. So, I tell myself I’ll think of it later, but not right now. My best friend’s husband unfriended me on FB and I spiraled over that, but really I hadn’t noticed for at least a year and short of asking why, I’ll never know so I try to ignore the thought. It’s not easy to focus on the good things and not give headspace to the fears and anxiety obviously. Try to treat yourself to something reasonable that you’ve been wanting. Retail therapy always helps me, even if I just buy a new bath bomb or book. Good luck shaking the lows.

    Like

  63. Gretchen says:

    I am a super chilled out person in general, and I’d be in the same state you are about The Cyst (does it have a name yet?). So give yourself a break and don’t beat yourself up about the fact that you are a mess. It’s scary. I always say treat yourself like you would treat a good friend going through something similar. To cope with low points, I spend more time with my pets. Turn off as much media as you can. I don’t watch the news at all. Mindfulness sounds stupid but it helps. Have you read 10% Happier by Dan Harris? Hang in there, it’ll get better.

    Like

  64. Kit says:

    Oh my goodness the winter always gets me into a funk.
    First. of all, I learned the hard way to never date someone new during the holidays because when they dump you in January it is a terribly hard time of year to bounce back and to get over.
    This year: I am moving, in two weeks, so that has me very excited and looking forward and making plans. What gets me going is to always have an exciting or exhausting (or both) project on the horizon. Something that will literally take tons of energy and keep me busy busy busy. After my move I am closing both stores for 2 days to deep clean them. Another huge project. And also the sunshine is extremely important to me and every therapist I know says it is critical for our survival. Sit outside or under one of those lights for 10 minutes or so each day, more if possible, to get. rejuvenated and to maintain good health mentally and physically. Feel better. and I am moving closer to you!!! See ya!

    Like

    1. Beth from the woods says:

      There ya go, go help Kit move. yippee
      or help her deep clean , that way you get to see every little thing in her stores.

      I try to tell myself that me worrying about it will not change the outcome, no matter how much I worry . Even if I have to remind myself several times.
      I go eat my favorite treat in my favorite place, visit your favorite place to visit, a long drive just looking around for your “place in the country”. Daydreaming is fun and “what ifs” spark your imagination.

      Work on your book …THE BEST ADVICE I NEVER ASKED FOR VOLUME 1. Wait that is the title of your book the title of mine is different.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Arlene says:

      Yes, check out natural light-type light bulbs for where you spend significant time! My husband used to always get depressed during the winter. Changing a couple of light bulbs in out home did help. Or, since you live in a warmer climate, get outside as much as possible each day. Sunshine is good as long as you aren’t trying to tan with baby oil to “protect” your skin.

      Liked by 1 person

  65. cherylk says:

    I’m sorry you are feeling this way. When I feel overwhelmed or sad I turn up the music and clean like a maniac. Sorry I don’t have better advice, especially since you are actually asking for some.

    Like

  66. Linda from Jamestown says:

    I’m sorry you’re having such a crappy time.

    Here are a couple of my tried and trues. I watch this video by Danielle LaPorte. I know she can be a little rah-rah, but she makes a lot of sense to me and I think I’ve watched this a million times by now. Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/cITNveY-kig

    The next one is pretty new (it’s from the latest Star Wars movie) and I’ll have to post it on our FB page (I can’t find it on YouTube.) I know I’m old enough to be this actor’s mother and I’m ashamed to admit how many times I’ve watched this (at least daily) but it makes me happy. Very happy.

    I agree with what Kim says about volunteering. Maybe we should start a FBoJ Random Acts of Kindness blitz and see if we can pull all of ourselves out of the January doldrums.

    Like

  67. Melissa says:

    I’m going through something similar. I feel ignored by my kids and I feel like the only thing in my life is work.

    Right now I’m just focusing on things I can tackle and have control of. I started a new workout program, I’m making a commitment to read more in the evenings, I’m making appointments for a physical and mammogram right now so it’s out of the way by summer.

    Also, going for walks is really a great way to feel better. I usually don’t feel like it, but I make myself walk to the post office and back. I usually feel like going further once I’m started.

    I recently got unfriended by someone I used to work with and who I thought I had a good relationship with. I feel like she unfriended me in a huff. I try not to look at my friends list because being unfriended does kinda suck.

    Like

  68. ClgInAZ says:

    Doctor appointments with the only purpose is making ANOTHER appointment are so annoying.
    Taking a walk in a new place sometimes helps to change my attitude.
    Organizing an area in my home that’s cluttered helps too but sometimes it’s difficult to work up the energy for that.

    Like

  69. Audra Volpi says:

    Ohhh June. I can so relate to the overthinking, sleepless doldrums.

    In 2014, after a 3 year stint of nonstop bleeding, I found out I had huge fibroids. Like the size of my fist. That whole period of doctor and ER visits, critical care ambulance rides due to a massive rupture that almost drained my body, surgery was the end result. It’s been bliss since, but during that time, it was hard to see past my own world.

    And now?? For me, I have dance parties with my dogs, immerse myself in home renovations and thrive on paint fume highs. I do manual labor because it helps me become so incredibly tired, that I can hardly stand it.
    I know that’s not sustainable long term, and you without a drill would require you to at least borrow someone else’s. 😐

    however what also has helped me, is to turn off negative media influences. Look for goodness happening in the world. I play white noise sometimes when I’m home to drown out the negative self talk and my favorite of all time, and I swear this is true… I listen to my internal voice and visualize that voice’s affect (effect? I never remember which word here) on a child. How would a child react to the words coming out of my brain. That is something I’ve focused on the past million years and it’s really helped retrain my thought process and internal voice to be better to myself.

    If all else fails, come on over to enjoy paint fumes and construction madness, maybe some wine. #daydrinkersunite Alittle dancing and crazy laughing never hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

  70. Letty says:

    I read lots of mysteries that I know will turn out fine in the end, so that I can feel, even for a moment, that there are answers. For sleep, I try to memorize poems, a little bit every night. When I wake up at some stupid hour, I make myself focus on whatever part of the poem I’m working on. The trick is to jump right to the poem before other thoughts jump me.

    I’m sorry that you’ve got all of this going on at the same time. Feeling vulnerable to the whims of fortune and asshats is awful. But I think you know that your blog people and FB crew all really care about you and are rooting for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anonymous says:

      The Calm app on my phone has a breathe bubble that I use for acute attacks. For longer term bouts I try to volunteer for something that helps someone (if I am physically okay to do so). Or the opposite – I take a day off to read, watch Netflix, and go for a long walk (otherwise my back starts to hurt because I am also aging)

      Liked by 1 person

  71. brindijo says:

    Medication and therapy help, but I find Crafting meditative. I hate Hobby Lobby and glue guns, but I find being immersed in a project gives me something to look forward to and keeps my mind occupied. My daughter and I painted canvases over Christmas. I think also just being with my daughter helps – she is a teenager who hates me currently – so we don’t speak. I think being with someone who is keeping me company but doesn’t expect me to talk and analyze and socialize. I can send her to visit to keep you company. Her constant eye-rolling and sighing are delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. sara(h) says:

    June,

    Hate the low points of life. I recently experienced a low period and my doctor prescribed Clonazepam, an anti-anxiety drug. Oh it made my life especially my nights so much better. I would take a very low dose when I was ready for bed and in a few minutes feel tired, go to sleep and I didn’t wake up til morning. Even better, I didn’t wake up with that lovely feeling of dread or impending doom.

    I had tried meditation, guided imagery (both of these normally work when I am in an extended time of high stress), Melatonin, and Nyquil but nothing was helping.
    I have no idea if this would help you but it has helped me tremendously.

    I don’t take it every night, in fact I haven’t taken any in over 6 weeks now but having it on those nights when my brain won’t stop has been amazing.

    Like

  73. Mary says:

    Personlet.

    I have worked myself up into a multitude of lathers, mostly about things I can’t control. And when I do that, I call on this story from Elizabeth Gilbert to de-lather myself:

    MY TERRIFYING TORNADO STORY

    Dear Ones –

    So I was recently on vacation in Miami Beach, Florida (a place I dearly love) and I was driving over Biscayne Bay, happy as can be, when suddenly my phone started beeping an alarm from the National Weather Service. There was a tornado warning for the next hour in my vicinity.

    The message said, “Get to safe cover immediately!”

    I was a bit stuck in traffic, and I was right in the middle of the Bay, so I started to panic a bit. I could see clouds gathering in the distance, and I know how fast and crazy the weather can change down in Miami.

    My adrenaline took control.

    I started driving around the other cars as fast as I could, and I took the nearest exit, my heart racing. I needed to find shelter, and FAST. My mind raced, as I tried to remember everything I’d ever learned about how to survive a tornado. If I couldn’t get to shelter fast enough, maybe I should stay in the car? Or are you supposed to get UNDER the car, and hide in a ditch or depression?

    I know there is no such thing as a basement in South Florida, since the whole peninsula is basically a piece of Swiss cheese made out of porous limestone, so I decided my best bet was to find a secure parking garage.

    As I sped along, my phone beeping its ever more urgent warnings, I was amazed at how nonchalant everyone else in Miami seemed to be about this imminent tornado. People were just wandering down the street, coming in and out of Dennys, acting like they didn’t have a care in the world — my GOD, how careless people are with their lives! They must be used to insane weather down here, and they just roll with it…but seriously, people — at least take shelter!

    I had this wicked thought: “You people can die if you want to, but I SHALL LIVE!”

    I found a parking garage near a Target superstore, and pulled in, being sure to park my car as far from the window openings as I could, so it wouldn’t be destroyed by flying debris. Then I ran like hell into the Target and grabbed some clothes (as a ruse) and headed back into the dressings rooms, which I figured were the safest place. I hid inside the dressing room until the tornado warning finally passed, while my whole body shook with fear and anxiety — but I also felt proud of myself that I was such a quick responder, and that I had saved myself as much as possible from danger. (Not like those fools who didn’t even seem to CARE that they were about to face ruin!)

    Then it was over. Nothing had happened. The tornado warning passed.

    I shook myself out, emerged from my corner of the dressing room, and went back to the car.

    I had survived! Because I am a SURVIVOR!

    Then I looked at my phone more closely, and realized my mistake.

    The tornado warning had not been for Miami Beach. The tornado warning had been for my hometown of Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

    Which was over 1,100 miles away.

    Which might explain why I was the only one in Miami Beach that day driving like a maniac, speeding into parking garages, running through Target, and cowering in the dressing room in panic.

    I’m not even sure they HAVE tornados in Miami. (Do they? Who knows? It hadn’t occurred to wonder about this in the heat of the moment.)

    The reason I’m telling you this today (aside from giving you the opportunity to laugh at me) is because I feel like this story sums up 99.9% of my history with fear.

    Because this is how it is, 99.9% of the time.

    99/9% of the time I panic over NOTHING — allowing myself to become saturated with anxiety over imaginary tornados. I constantly lose my mind in worry over false alarms. I allow my body to be consumed by adrenaline and cortisol and stress reactions over storms that are happening 1000 miles away, or (in the case of this tornado warning) ARE NOT HAPPENING AT ALL — NOT ANYWHERE. (Not EVEN in New Jersey, as it turned out.)

    I invent elaborate stories about how terrible the danger is, and I judge other people for not being afraid enough, and I speed around like an insane person, ducking and dodging and worrying over…nothing.

    Nothing at all.

    Because 99.9% of the time, it’s nothing.

    As the old adage goes: Most emergencies aren’t.

    Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take shelter when there’s an actual tornado warning. It just means that most of the time, there isn’t a tornado.

    Most of the time, we invented the tornado.

    When the actual tornados of our life do come, my experience is this: we tend to be able to handle them. Oftentimes we handle real disasters better than we handle the FEAR of possible disasters.

    So be cool, is what I’m saying. (To all of you, and to myself!)

    Just be cool for two minutes, before you start panicking.

    Let’s make sure we’ve got a real reason to be hiding out in that dressing room at Target, before we all go hiding out in that dressing room at Target.

    Chances are it’s all gonna be FINE.

    (Nice side-note, though — I ended up buying one of the blouses I took into the dressing room with me that day, though. So all’s well that ends with a new blouse, I guess?)

    Sigh.

    ONWARD!
    LG

    Liked by 7 people

    1. June says:

      I love this.

      >

      Like

      1. elimysmommy says:

        I feel like I should read this every day of my life.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. cherylk says:

      This is a great story

      Like

    3. cheech1000 says:

      This is so awesome. I need to make this the screensaver on my phone for ALL the times I overreact.

      Like

    4. Anon says:

      I have bad coping skills like drinking or drugs (the drug phase is gone), shopping, random trysts which let’s face it doesn’t happen anymore. I dont watch the news altho I’ve been lightly exposing myself to possible WWIII. Can.not.watch.Australia.
      These past 2ish years I’ve built a very small group of people I can text a secret word and they have agreed to pray for me and not ask questions. Because if I have to tell you why I won’t ask. 2 of those are mental health people who are not my counselors but friends. I can say anything…anything and I won’t be judged or told to pull myself up by my bootstraps. And honestly telling all that to someone removes a lot from the balloon. I’ve never been in your place with cysts or cancer. I know me. I would have to be put on major anxiety meds. Numb it out and I will process when I’m on the other side. Again, maybe not the best but I am being completely honest. You can contact me and I will listen.

      Like

    5. Anonymous says:

      This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!

      CommandoBarbie

      Like

    6. Laurie in TN says:

      Sadly, this story won’t work for me because this happened to me but I had my dog with me, complicating my decision as to the safest thing to do, and my go-to was Lowe’s instead of Target and I actually saw the tornado getting ready to touch down just ahead of me. Fun times. But in general, I understand the point of her story, it is said time and again that most of what we worry about never happens and it is such a waste of our time and energy. Now that I am much older and have had to face a lot of hard realities over the past 10 years, I do worry less. Things happen or not despite our worries and intentions.

      So much good advice here, I hope June and others find some helpful coping skills. It’s sobering how many of us have serious struggles. And yet, we persist!

      Liked by 1 person

  74. Amy in CO says:

    When I’ve been that low before, the only thing I found was reading. Just being in a different mental place helped a lot.

    Like

  75. Shannon Tin Azure says:

    I’m sorry you’re having a rough go of it lately.

    I wish I had great pearls of wisdom but I’m not so good at this stuff either. I overeat, I retreat into a blanket burrito on the couch…ugh.

    But I do try and immerse myself into anything I like. Such as playing a video game. And I also try to be in the moment with my animals to help heal.

    Wish I had more to help.

    P.S. you will never get rid of me. I will be a bone spur on your life forever.

    Like

  76. Persephone says:

    Owl was an owl. Eeyore, Winnie, Kanga [the mother Kangaroo] and Roo [the baby kangaroo] were the only variations in The Hundred Acre Woods. I can’t offer any advice just methods to pass the time – try finding a good book to read, a tx series to watch, stay off of social media, listen to the dramatization podcasts on the BBC iPlayer [app on my phone, not a dating app for British people], basically any positive distraction to carry me through those doldrums. I am sorry that you are experiencing them. They can sneak up like a damp fog and permeate everything.

    Like

    1. lschumacher2017 says:

      Ooo – I think an app for dating British people would be a GREAT idea. Why doesn’t someone come up with something useful like THAT?!?

      Like

  77. kim says:

    The only thing that ever pulls me out, other than therapy, is volunteering. For me it’s with the homeless, but I think it can be mostly anything that puts you in contact with people in need. (Also sometimes wandering the city on my own for random (non physical) encounters with strangers, but that only works on low level blues.)
    Hope you feel better

    Like

    1. Anonymous says:

      Add to the fact a lot of innocent people are going to killed for no reason … But I am with you. I had a doc Friday appointment for an issue and I had ovarian cancer in mind since yesterday. The results from transvaginal ultrasound were unremarkable. One would think I would be jumping for joy but I still don’t know why I’m having the issue. I don’t have any words of advice. I usually implode and retreat to bed.

      Like

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