Day 19: A Difficult Time in My Life

Overall, I’ve had a pretty awesome life. I’ve traveled a lot, met some amazing people, lived the dream, and found somebody I love.

But it wasn’t¬†always awesome.

When I first moved away from home in 2011, I had a really hard time. I was 3000 miles away from my family, really stressed out, a nervous nelly, and afraid of what was coming.

A little background – I’ve been obsessive compulsive basically my whole life. Since 1st grade, I’ve been an absolute neat freak and worry wart. I always had to have everything clean and organized, vacuuming my room more often than I should have. I would also stay up late at night crying to my stuffed animals about how I thought the house was going to burn down. Obviously, that wasn’t going to happen and it was just me overthinking everything. This kind of thing has always been a struggle for me.

Fast forward to age 21 and living alone in a strange city for the first time and it’s like my OCD went into hyperdrive. I started worrying constantly about nothing and thanks to the old man that lived next door to me and accidentally tried to key into my apartment (an honest mistake, I know) my compulsive locking got out of control. I would barricade my door at night with my dining room chair, lock the door almost 200 times before I was satisfied, and would often leave for work but then have to drive right back home to make sure I locked the door behind me.

Of course, after my time in Arizona, I was led to New Orleans. My issues didn’t subside at all, and probably got worse. I would stay up almost all night worrying about the future and coloring (it helped me calm down). At that point, I decided it was time for me to come home and work things out.

I drove back home and spent 4 months going to therapy, hanging out with my parents, and working on myself. It was a really hard decision because I didn’t want to be a useless lump, but I really needed a break. By this time, my anxiety was out of control, my sleeping pattern was seriously messed up, and I was having at least 2 panic attacks a day.

My parents were especially helpful during this hard time. They understood what was going on, did their best to help me out, and supported me. I know it was hard for them too, seeing me so unsteady. I found out later that my mom was also going to see a therapist in an attempt to help me even more. I don’t think she realized how much I appreciated all of her assistance; she would distract me when I was anxious, come lay in bed with me when she would come home from work if I were hiding, and bringing me Spidey when I needed it. My dad did a lot too, making sure that I wasn’t sitting in the house all the time and getting me out in the world so I would stop being afraid of everything.

After those 4 months at home, although I may not have been totally ready yet, I felt comfortable enough to move back to New Orleans after I took a job at Tulane. While I still struggle with anxiety and OCD, I have improved a lot (much thanks to my boyfriend, Bud).

I think I had to go through that difficult time to realize that I am stronger than I thought.

June 5th. I love it.

The holiday last weekend screwed me up so my apologies for not writing my blog last week. Here’s what I have to love this week:

First up, presents. I love them. Who doesn’t? My sister found these super cute Wizard of Oz dolls of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion and sent them to me, along with Jelly Bellies that last like pancakes and maple syrup, and a Proud to Teach P.E. bracelet.

I love it.

Next up, my new job. I love it. If you were confused by the present my sister sent me about teaching P.E., be confused no more. I’m happy to announce that I took a job with St. Martin’s Episcopal School where I will be teaching Physical Education. To say I’m excited is an understatement. I can’t wait to start my new career!

I love it.

Finally, Snap Chat. I love it. I’ll admit that I hated it at one point. But since Bud has been traveling so much with the Tulane Baseball team, it actually makes things fun and easy as far as communication. I probably annoy him with how much I send him, but just think of all of the kitty cuteness he’s missing! Yogi and Maisy miss him, too.

I love it. It’s great. Everything’s great.

I love it.

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September 6th. I love it.

What started off as a terrible week actually turned out to be pretty great.

First thing up this week, getting through the first football game of the season. I love it. What was causing me a lot of heartburn earlier this week (mostly just stress and the disorganization of other people) ended up working out in the end. We got our “stuff” together and the game went off without a hitch. I was on my feet for 17 hours straight and didn’t get home until 2am, but we did it. I could have slept for days after that. You would have thought that I was the one playing football. But big events mean lots of work. Luckily, I have a week off before our next game.

I love it.

Next up, Pecan Pie M&Ms. I love it. Yes, I love pecan pie, so obviously I was going to need to try these M&Ms. I absolutely thought they were the best thing ever but I got some mixed reviews from the rest of my family. They said it tasted like coffee, but maybe I was okay with that because I also love coffee! Yum!

I love it.

Finally, spending the weekend with my family. I love it. I took advantage of this long weekend to come see my dad in Mount Airy, his new place of residence. He’s opening a restaurant down here and I was the only one in the family to never visit the home of Andy Griffith. Not only am I visiting, but my mom and sister came too! I usually only get to see them twice a year but I’ve already seen them three times! My dad showed me around the town that Mayberry was based off of, introduced me to the folks here that have already adopted him as one of their own, and taken me to Pilot Mountain to enjoy the beautiful view. The weather has been amazing and I could totally see myself living around here. I’m starting to miss Brian and Yogi so my trip back to NOLA on Tuesday will be welcome. I’ll post pictures of my trip when I get home!

I love it. It’s great. Everything’s great.

I love it.

Mini-Wins

Life in athletics is full of what I like to call “mini-wins.”

We don’t have to get up on a lift to fix the problem with the video board: mini-win.

The baseball game was less than two hours today: mini-win.

The student workers showed up on time and were actually helpful today: mini-win.

Do you see what I’m saying?

When things are unexpectedly easier than you anticipated or something rolls in your favor, it’s a mini-win. It’s the small moment during the day that suddenly makes your life better, even for a limited time.

While we do experience “Big Wins”, in case you’re wondering. That would be like if we find out we’re getting the infield redone at baseball for free because of a warranty: Big Win.

Obviously, we have more mini-wins, but they’re good enough to keep you going for a while

Don’t think that because you are out of school and are in a working environment that you won’t have to deal with fire drills.

Like today. When we had to evacuate the building three times.

No, there was no actual fire, and no, it wasn’t planned (we had our planned fire drill a few weeks ago).

Turns out that if there is enough steam in the football locker room, it will set the alarms off. And if the football team continues to shower excessively, they will go off repeatedly. Luckily for us, it’s a nice day (80 degrees, in fact), and most people enjoy getting away from their desks for 10 minutes every now and then (maybe not three times in one day, though).

Time to get a new ventilation system!