little sarah Big World

Balancing Act

thanks, Starbucks dude!

Guys, it is not all doom and gloom here. It may FEEL like all doom and gloom, but it’s not. I guess that’s what’s so maddening–knowing that things are, in reality, quite pleasant and interesting but feeling increasingly like a twirly-out-of-control-stress-bomb-crying-anxiety-mess.

Still, I wanted to balance out ALL ANXIETY, ALL THE TIME with some sweet and silly tidbits from everyday life. Like my baristo excitedly running from the register to the espresso machine, in the middle of ringing me up, to write something on my cup, which turned out to be kind English well-wishings. Thank you, mystery Japanese baristo at Shinjuku station!

And thank you to all my dear and precious friends, who keep in touch with me through the ups and downs and give me an outlet to say things like:

“I’ll try to take some stealth fashion photos of strangers, though that may be difficult, as all Japanese-designated smartphones work in such a way that you CAN NEVER TURN OFF THE CAMERA SHUTTER SOUND. Not even in silent mode. This is due to rampant up-the-skirt photos. Thanks, Japan!”

Thanks Japan, indeed, and thank you, friendships, and thank YOU, Friends. More to come.

 

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In a Nutshell

comedic relief

Even in the throes of a panic attack, I can appreciate that Wikipedia has chosen this exact image for this exact page.

I can get up out of bed, even though I’d rather shut my eyes and pray for this feeling to STOP. To GO AWAY. I can get up, instead, and go for a run.

I can stop drinking alcohol (due to hangover-induced anxiety, something I only started experiencing in my late 20s and WTF), stop drinking caffeine (a joke, at best, as I’m so sensitive that I only ever drink the tiniest amount. Still, even the tiniest amount can eff with my already-tremulous mental state), and start adding structure to otherwise nebulous days. I can run in the mornings, and eat Omega-3s at almost every meal.

I can console and comfort myself with the amazingly-well-written and thoughtful Anxiety blogs on the New York Times website.

I can read up on Buddhism, reminding myself for the one hundred millionth time to Just. Breathe. Breathe into the moment. Stop bumming yourself out over the past, or stressing yourself out over the future. You are married to an unbelievably gorgeous man who enjoys talking to you (all the time, about everything) as much as you enjoy talking to him. You live in Japan, where opportunities you could never have imagined practically throw themselves at your feet. Where new friends, sweet neighbors and earnest students show you a sort of quiet kindness, unassuming generosity and simple, silly camaraderie you never knew you needed.

Then, considering all of the above, I can consider, for the first time in my life, that my Anxiety may not be entirely situational. That it just might have some small relation to brain chemistry and genetic predisposition. And I can seek treatment, and help.

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I may be in a nutshell, but I refuse to be a nut.