Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Homesickness, Anxiety, and Other Ailments

A thousand years ago, I promised you wonderful peoples a post about my anxiety and stress and how I've been struggling to keep hold of my wits lately. And then I never wrote it because when I'm battling my stress levels, I tend to neglect the things I love to do most. I let the necessary obligations rule (because, what choice do you have?) and any free time is spent trying to recuperate and rest. The last thing I want to do after being anxious and stressed all day or all week is use up any more brain space I might possibly have left. 

The sad part of that is if I'd make myself write or take photos, I'd probably be happier. Thus is the constant dilemma of the creative person who needs to pay the bills. I never even posted the gazillion photos I took of the snow. They're just sitting on my hard drive, forgotten and lonely and cold (they're cold because they're of snow. duh). 

And it's not even my job per se. It's me. I can't seem to handle the smallest amount of lately, though this isn't the first time I've been through this. The last time I had major issues with stress and anxiety, it was due to other things that I hadn't dealt with. I'm fairly certain that's the case this time as well and one can only overanalyze herself so long before cracking up. 

I really do need professional help sorting through it all and I've been looking for a therapist, but, so far, nobody is taking new patients. Do we just not have enough therapists in Portland? There's certainly a surplus in LA, so what's the deal? I did get a couple of recommendations from friends and I'm waiting to hear back if they take my insurance. Cross all your appendages, people!

It often feels silly that I'm struggling when all seems to be going well in my world. I'm with the best man I've ever known and he's been impossibly supportive and patient through all this, something I don't always know what to do with because I've never been treated so well. I have a decent job with many duties that I truly enjoy doing. And, of course, no work is without stress and I've been wondering what's wrong with me that I can't handle any sort of stress. Maybe, even though I'm capable of a lot, even though I'm creative and intelligent, maybe I can't handle putting so much of myself into my work. Does that make sense? I'm the type of person who does her work 100%, but what room does that leave for any personal happiness? I really struggle (and have always struggled) with how to maintain that balance. 

At any rate, it's easy to fantasize that a mystery relative with bequeath me a fortune and I can be self employed and just write and take photos and travel. Wouldn't that be the life? Le sigh. 

I'm sure a lot of this stress and anxiety is due to issues popping back up again, my childhood abuse, my adoption. Certainly a major part is that I spent most of my youth trying to earn a love that my mother would never give and I've found myself in a loving relationship and I think, deep down, I'm scared as hell of fucking it up (you know, because it was always "my fault" that my mom beat the shit out of me). I'm running ragged trying to keep it all in place. When it's most probably not that fragile at all. But I can't help but revert back to past fears because that's what one does. 

Hello, therapists! Hello? 

And, I have to say, I'm really homesick. When I moved from California to Oregon, I never anticipated that I would get homesick or that it would be such a production to go back to visit. It's a long way! California is a long-ass state, yo! So not only does it take a pretty chunk of change, I have to make the most of it and see every person in every city in the LA and San Bernardino area. It's a production. 

We are planning a trip down there this summer. We've been talking about it forever and, dammit, we have to make it happen. Boyfriend hasn't met anyone really and I need to see them too and, of course, we must go to Disneyland. Obvi.

I don't miss most of it. I still maintain my reasons for leaving, namely the heat and smog, but also a faster, more shallow way of life. 

Would YOU miss that? COUGH COUGH
I love Portland in so many ways. But it's truly difficult being so far from most of my friends and family. At least one of my best friends is here! I don't know that I could deal without her, because I don't actually have all that many good friends here. Sure, I have friends and I have my boyfriend's friends and we hang out and have a good time, but that doesn't compare to the lifelong friendships and connections I left behind, people who just know me so well. I miss them like mad.  

It doesn't help that Portland traffic is making me crack up. Honestly, I never thought that, after battling the Los Angeles freeways, I'd complain about traffic in sleepy little Portland, but I am. It's not the gridlock of major cities - it's the people. 

It's the drivers, the bicyclists, the pedestrians. Either people don't know the rules of the road here or they just don't give a fuck. There's no zoning out on the drive because you never know what someone will do. I have near misses every single day, no exaggeration. I'll almost hit a pedestrian who runs in front of my car. I'll almost hit a cyclist who runs a red light. I'll almost hit many many many cars who cut me off and drift into my lane and run stop signs and do crazy illegal things you would never think someone would do. EVERY DAY. Just this morning, I was cut off three times by cars and had to stop for two pedestrians sauntering across a 4 lane highway. Sauntering. Like they owned the goddamn world. 

And that's not even counting how many times I've nearly been roadkill by cars or bikes while I'm walking. I understand why people jaywalk here because crosswalks offer no protection. It's no wonder Portland is known for its great mass transit. They have to have reliable buses and trains because nobody here knows how to FUCKING DRIVE. Don't get me started on merging. 

Deep breaths. I'm getting all worked up just thinking about it. 

Clearly the answer to all my problems is money. I need to be rich so I can afford a helicopter to take me places (or, better yet, teleportation). And if I'm that rich, I won't need to work so I'll have less stress and I can afford any therapist I want to deal with my issues. AND I can afford to travel anywhere I want and bring anyone I want along. 

See? Money really can buy happiness. 

2 comments mean you love me:

Lynnette said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Don't worry I am here for you, we will hang out this weekend, I'll even drive if you want (hum, or maybe I'll make Todd chauffeur us)

Angel The Alien said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm a little worried about moving to Oregon because I'm afraid I'll be in the same homesickness situation... and Chicago is even harder to visit than California! More money really WOULD buy happiness, because if I had the money I could fly back to Chicago every weekend if I felt like it. And just knowing I COULD visit if I wanted to would probably help me get over my homesickness! But this is purely hypothetical now, because I still live in Chicago. But because I, too, have anxiety issues, I am already freaking out over my possible future homesickness from a home I haven't left yet!

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