Monday, March 26, 2012

Travel Planning Makes me Feel Bipolar

I can't wait to just BE IN EUROPE. I still have anxiety when I reach my destination when traveling, but it's much less severe than the planning/getting there anxiety. I'm exhausted and I still have a few days to go. I've been waking up at all times of the night, being wide awake and ready for the day at 5:30am, and going to bed at 2, with waking up every hour in between. And it's not the normally pleasant wake up at 4am, look at my clock and realize I still have 3 hours to sleep happiness. Instead, I wake up panicked, wishing I was asleep so I wouldn't have to think about all the things that could go wrong or what I'm going to forget. This week I feel completely bipolar. One minute I'm happy, confident, and brave, and then the next second I'm in tears laying on the floor in my room or leaning over a shopping cart trying not to black out at Walmart. Yes, anxiety sometimes equals dizziness and fainting. I feel like I'm crazy. Last night I watched The Santa Clause 3 1/2 times, half because I was too lazy to get up and turn something else on, half because everything Christmas helps me calm down. Plus, who doesn't love Tim Allen? haha. Let's get this party started so I can stop feeling bipolar.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Anxiety at its Finest

If you've never had to deal with anxiety, there's really no way for you to understand just how much it sucks. Unlike most other human emotions, anxiety can't really be "cured". You can learn coping techniques and have therapy, but it doesn't ever completely go least for me.

Tonight was my first real anxiety attack pre-Europe trip. This is about how it looked:

5:30am: I wake up, panicked, my heart beating fast. I realize it's dark outside and don't even want to know what time it is. It's 5:30, and my anxious mind and body are up for the day. I lay in bed and watch movies for 5 hours until someone else wakes up.

12:35pm: Some nice girls at church befriended me when Chani was working and I had to go alone.

12:40pm: We're singing the hymn and these lines came up in the song I Know that My Redeemer Lives:

"He lives to silence all my fears. He lives to wipe away my tears. He lives to calm my troubled heart." And I almost lose it in the middle of the meeting. I've been distracting myself and just not thinking about this trip at all. I guess I suddenly realized I needed all of those things.

4:30pm: I'm home alone, look at my already packed suitcase and my eyes fill with tears. I've got a real problem with suitcases. I watch Seinfeld and take a nap to distract myself.

Then I spent the evening with my amazingly supportive family. I think there were 24 Nixons gathered for dinner, and it was nice to be distracted and to have so many people who love and support me so close. They are all surprised that I'm actually embarking on this adventure, but they're all super supportive.

9:30pm: On the way home from dinner at grandma's, I completely lose it. I happen to be driving past the temple, which I've visited several times since I bought my plane tickets. It was already closed so I sat in my car and cried/freaked out/prayed for half an hour. When I got there I felt defeated and weak, and when I left I felt confident that I can do this. But I was still crying. Once the waterworks start, it's like a ruptured dam behind these eyeballs of mine.

10:00pm: I listened to church music in my car on the way home.

10:15pm: I made mate' and took 2 melatonin pills...there's no way I'm waking up at 5:30am again.

10:40pm: I'm still waiting for the melatonin to kick in. I have lavendar oil on my wrists and neck, and I'm watching The Santa Clause. I plan to listen to my anxiety CD of whales singing while I fall asleep.

See what I mean? Coping skills. Lavendar. Mate'. Singing whales. Temple. Church music. I know this trip is supposed to happen and I know it will, but it will take a lot for me to get there.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rejections, Revisions and Rejuvenations

Apparently graduate schools don't even send rejection LETTERS anymore; they send rejection EMAILS for you to open by surprise at work on a Monday morning. Keeping it classy, Utah.

While I'm not at all surprised, I'm more upset about it than I thought I would be. I am not surprised because I did my applications last-minute and my statements of intent weren't fantastic because other than just loving school, I really don't have another reason to go to grad school this year. I had nothing else major planned for my life, so I figured graduate school was the next step.

Now that I know grad school is not a possibility for me this year, it's time to really kick it into high gear and make something happen. I've done enough planning; now it's time to GO. I cannot and will not let this year be as lame as last year was.

First up, EUROPE!!! Diana will be there for at least the next 6 months, and Kylie will be in France until June and Brittney will be in Germany until June as well. I have to go visit both of them while they are there!

I'm making some revisions on my goals for this year, as I'm constantly re-writing my own future and my own goals. When you are faced with rejection, the best thing you can do is re-write your own story and your own future.

Today's somewhat disappointing emails from grad schools solidified what I think I already knew: grad school isn't happening for me this year. While I'm sort of disappointed, I think it scared me more than anything, because now I know that this crazy, adventurous, brave, terrifying, mind-boggling year I'm planning for myself is happening!!! It's yet another sign and arrow pointing me toward the brink of this adventure I'm taking myself on.

I've felt sluggish and a little defeated in my plan-making the past few days; for some reason I let that negative, anxious, scared part of myself think that this adventure wasn't going to happen. These rejection letters emails have just rejuvenated my goals and plans for myself.

Delicous Pesto Green Pizza

Taken from HERE

1 pound prepared pizza dough, preferably whole-wheat
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1/4 cup water
5 ounces arugula, any tough stems removed, chopped (about 6 cups)
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


Position oven rack in the lowest position; preheat to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about the size of the baking sheet. Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake until puffed and lightly crisped on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook broccoli and water in a large skillet over medium heat, covered, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in arugula and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread pesto evenly over the crust, top with the broccoli mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until crispy and golden and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
I use a pre-made gluten-free pizza crust, which is about the size and consistency of pita bread.
I like spinach much more than arugula, so I use that instead. I also make my own pesto because it's better and cheaper this way.