Tag Archive | anxiety

Elevator phobe πŸ–€ {heads up:⚠️ there’s a picture of my cut finger in this post}

Content warning ⚠️: phobia

Click link to watch video if desired- it will show up

This video f’d me up lol Most horrifying thing I have seen. I literally felt like the very very beginning of a panic att*ck coming on, had to take some deep breaths lol πŸ˜† Felt like my chest caving in

A man got stuck in n elevator at like the 39th floor in the middle of the night on a Friday and wasn’t found til Sunday.

I thought this was going to trigger a relapse in me just hearing that true story πŸ˜‚

Also, I was where this girl was at one point. She runs up and down 17 flights of stairs to avoid elevators. I totally understand. I did that for years, even running up/down twenty floors. But I overcame it with exposure therapy some years ago. I’m so glad. That fear was crippling.

I got cut yesterday on a doorknob in an apartment building I visit for work. My claustrophobia was acting up (I struggled with debilitating claustrophobia for as long as I can remember, conquered it with exposure therapy a few years ago, it’s generally dormant, but every once in a while, I have a minor flare (this is different than a relapse which happened once), particularly if I’m dehydrated {I’m very physically active seven days a week and can get dehydrated easily, though I’m working on this – dehydration in me can trigger anxiety physical feelings, racing heart, anxious feelings, jitters…that aren’t about any specific thing, and that general anxiety can latch onto a certain thing or thought, and sometimes manifests as my claustrophobia even though it’s not originally that, yeah it’s weird lol If I have an anxious feeling for no reason just like if I have a depressed feeling not about anything in particular, it can search for something to latch onto and become about that then get carried away with it}).

I wasn’t going to go into a panic or anything but could tell I would be a bit anxious on an elevator. I just wasn’t up for it. Even on my best days having to get into an elevator takes a little bit of emotional energy out of me. It’s not destructive to my mental health because it doesn’t happen often enough and is only a little bit. I have no problem at all in general getting into elevators. But usually I do have to psych myself up for getting into one. If I’m tired (which isn’t often) or just not in a very good mood, it may be better for me to avoid elevators if possible (not always possible as I frequently have to get into them for work, and not all buildings have stair access going up or some are on like the 40th or 60th floor, I’m very physically fit but don’t think even I can run up 40 floors πŸ˜†) because I can’t give it my all like when I’m my best self. This just takes emotional energy I may not have that moment and makes me more susceptible to relapse. My claustrophobia will likely never be cured, just dormant. But that’s no problem at all, it’s enough for me to be able to function well. It used to be crippling.

Because my claustrophobia was flaring, I decided to take the stairs. I stepped through the door leading to the stairs, and it closed (I remember hoping it did not lock). I looked around, and there were no stairs to be seen, just a room with a bunch of closed doors. My first thought was uh oh, what if they’re all locked, but I did not actually believe it, thought it was just my claustrophobia talking. But sure enough. None of them would open. So I reached for the handle to open the door I just came through, and the handle broke off. I frantically grabbed the broken part still on the door and pulled. It stayed closed and sliced my hand in multiple places, especially the finger here. I tried putting the handle back on and pulling it open, but it came off again. So there I was locked in a room, the room I decided to go in to get to the stairs because my claustrophobia was acting up, and I wasn’t exactly in the headspace for being enclosed somewhere. Isn’t it ironic? Lol And my phone was almost drained.

I did not go into a panic even though I was locked in. I still remained calm and decided to try the doors again thinking if I can’t get out, I’ll just call someone and explain. I got one open that led to the stairs. To come back down, I had to get into the elevator anyway because the stairs would just lead right back to that room lol

These are my FB posts earlier. Just sharing here lol I had a battle with this building again this morning 😹

Sending love & hugs to all who want it!

Xoxo Kim ❀️

The Forgotten Mourners πŸ–€

Diane β€οΈπŸ’” July 14th 1956 – February 14th 2015

When I first learned about her, no less than two million buffalo stampeded across my chest. (That is just an estimate at the risk of sounding dramatic.) When the dust finally settled, when chaos clipped its own wing & the Earth relinquished her thunder, I found the remains of a heart not twenty feet from my aching body, trampled into a bloody mess. This heart did not belong to me, but I ripped open my own ribcage just to double-check.

Many years ago, on Valentine’s Day, her favorite holiday, I suddenly lost my close work friend at a former job to a heart attack. No one saw it coming. We were close but only in the workplace, not outside of work. We worked together everyday for almost ten years. We always said we would hang out one day outside work, and she would invite me to her house to celebrate the holidays with her family, but it just never happened. We never talked outside work unless we just happened to see each other on the streets or in stores. But she was often on my mind, and I could tell I was often on hers. She would tell me she saw things that reminded her of me. And she would come running over and say “Kim! I couldn’t wait to tell you this, you’ll never believe it…” (One day it was that her grandbaby said “f*ck,” and he learned it through her without her intending it πŸ˜†) She was old enough to be my mom and has adult sons and grandkids. She would hug me as we were closing up for the night and say “Love ya, girl, be careful!!” She talked to me and scolded me in a motherly kind of way. I used to overhear her bragging about me to people, telling them about classes I took, about how sweet she thought I am, as if I was her daughter. She had no idea I heard.

One day she collapsed at work and died on the floor. I wasn’t there that day, I was on a meditation retreat. I had this morbid need to see the room she died in, to stand on the spot where they told me her body hit. I thought it would feel cold and dangerous, dark, threatening, and for some reason I had to see, to feel it. I thought it would feel like a place where someone’s life ended, that the walls would somehow whisper of a last breath taken, of a warm body, full of energy, full of future plans, suddenly becoming cold & lifeless on the floor. I thought it would become a place of dread, a place I couldn’t bear to set foot, to lay eyes on. I never saw inside the room before that, just a quick glance once in a while. I had no reason to be in there in all the years I worked there. I thought I could somehow catch a glimpse into her last moments, feel her very last breath being drawn if I stepped inside. But there was nothing. Nothing at all. It was very ordinary. The same walls, the same floor, same dim light, the same sink and washrags hanging around, like the room I worked in. It was small & stuffy unlike the large one I worked in. It felt safe, actually, not a place where someone died, not the place that held my friend’s body as she left this Earth forever, where just a moment before she was reading a newspaper and sipping out of a water bottle. And I couldn’t feel anything except the pang of seeing her newspaper she was reading the morning she died, still folded up on the table, and her water bottle half full next to it, right in the middle of seemingly safe mundane life when her heart decided to give out just out of the blue without warning. She woke up that morning just like any other, probably wearing a red or heart shirt for the holiday. She was like that. I wondered about the people who took her away, were they cold, compassionate, caring? Did they think of her as someone’s mom, someone’s friend, someone’s coworker, someone? Or was she just their job, just another body to be carried out? I wondered if they felt compassion for us, for those of us left here in pieces in the now dark cold place that she occupied here on Earth.

I remember the day we met. It wasn’t love at first sight, at least not for me. I thought she was unpleasantly sarcastic and obnoxious. She was yelling and cursing to (not at) a coworker, I just began the job, and she was already there a while, then she asked me a question about how much we were selling something for, and I said fifty cents or two for one dollar, I meant to say 75 cents or two for one dollar, and she said “Yeah, well no shit it’s two for a dollar.” πŸ˜† But she quickly grew on me, and I came to love her and her funny sarcasm.

She was a loud, funny, sarcastic woman. Every other word out of her mouth was “Fck.” If she was angry at us, we knew it. She was extremely compassionate and fiercely loving but not what most would call sweet. She was always giving her last dollar to someone else. All three of her sons at one point wanted to date me, and two were arguing over me. She told me she would be honored to have me as a daughter-in-law but that I was too good for all three of them (and every other man out there). πŸ˜† She was angry at her sons, yelling “Don’t you fcking dare even think about going near that sweet innocent little girl til you get your sh!t together!!! I’ll kick your @$$es!!!” Then she turned to me and yelled “Don’t you dare even think about it with them til they get their sh!t together, then choose one!!” πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜† They were very close so they were always at our work coming to talk to their mom or drive her home. She always affectionately referred to them as my Daniel, my Thomas, My Matthew. She would make me lunch and bring it to me.

When she would bake cookies or something at home, she would remember me and save me some. At work we would laugh and joke together. I was always texting my mom about the funny things Diane did and said, the kindness she would show to others even when she was angry. We worked at a food serving place. One night she went to Rita’s water ice when they were about to close. The worker wouldn’t give her water ice(if you don’t know what water ice is, because I think it’s a Philadelphia thing lol, imagine ice cream but not milky? Like flavored ice but soft. Something like that). He said he was closing. The next day he came to our place when she was working. I worked at the other side, and she worked at the kitchen side. He wanted food right as Diane was closing. She said “you know what, I shouldn’t give you sh!t after you were an @$$hole last night, but I will,” and she stayed open later and made him food even though the night before, he denied her when she wanted water ice. She got nothing extra out of staying later to make him food.

One day my dad came to my work acting like he was messing with me (he has a twisted sense of humor like that, a couple occasions he came to the store at night acting like he was pulling a gun/kn!fe on me and a bunch of men at the bar on the corner would come running over to tackle him and I had to embarrassingly tell them he’s my dad just joking, I really did have a gun pulled on me one night working alone, by a stranger, and he thought it was hilarious to joke about) and said “yo what are you doing” in a loud demanding voice. Diane was going by in a car, and not knowing it was my dad joking, she yelled out the car window, “She’s working!!! The f*ck’s it look like she’s doing?!” That’s just one of the many occasions she told someone off for me. She was very protective.

The last thing I ever heard her say was “Unfuckingbelievable!” Then she slammed a window closed in my face. I never saw her again. She was angry, but I love that this was our last encounter since we had to have a last encounter. It was so her and makes me laugh.

When I found out, my world collapsed.

A cold empty feeling came over me. It felt like some kind of constant in this life of mine was stripped away and like a lonely empty space now existed in the world that was once occupied by a warm loving presence. I could have never imagined a life without Diane. A world without Diane in it made no sense. She’s the closest person to me who ever died, and I wasn’t prepared. I lost another work friend before that, which was devastating, but we weren’t as close, and it could have never prepared me for this. I knew grief then, but this was different, like a boundless ocean. My other grief was intense. It was real and true but when compared to this grief, it seemed superficial, like just the surface of it.

The feeling I remember most is the feeling like I was missing a limb. It wasn’t physical pain but felt like missing an arm, like something essential to my body/life/existence was cut off in a traumatic accident or something and felt like a numbing, tingling sensation in its place. I couldn’t identify where the numbness was or the tingling, but it was somewhere. It felt deeper than body but also physical. I never knew a feeling like this exists. All day, everyday, there was this nagging sensation like part of me was physically missing when it shouldn’t be; it felt like it was ripped away, not cleanly cut or just misplaced, like it was physically, messily ripped off of me. Something about the element of surprise worsened it. It was a completely unexpected loss. Diane was healthy and middle aged. The other feeling I remember was literally struggling to breathe everyday for no reason. It felt like drowning or suffocating. When I was eleven years old, I couldn’t swim. I fell into a swimming pool at 12 feet deep, when no one saw. I remember the feeling of not being able to breathe, my arms and legs were flailing, my chest was caving in. When Diane died, I remembered that day in the swimming pool all those years before, it felt exactly the same. My body had the same physiological reaction. I remember writing this years ago and saying it’s not a metaphor, like it was physically the same. I had to stop at random parts of each day and gasp for breath. One morning a couple months after she died, around 2:00, I woke thinking I was having a heart attack too. I thought the grief was literally k!lling me. I couldn’t breathe and never experienced anything like it. My heart was palpitating, I felt like something was wrong with my face and struggled to get out of bed. I looked into a mirror, and my eyes were completely black, it was like two black endless pits instead of eyes. It looked scary, I never saw such a thing outside of horror movies. I began to have something like convulsions gasping and gasping, thinking my mom or sister would come and find me dead of a heart attack on the floor at 28 years old.

Then I remembered that a panic attack can feel like a heart attack and thought maybe that’s what this is. I never had one before. I remembered panic attacks aren’t dangerous and won’t k!ll, just feel like they will. Back then I was a Buddhist student and remembered all the breathing and meditation techniques. I forced myself to breathe deeply and mindfully and envisioned a Buddha surrounded by bright wh!te light like we did in class, stopped it in its tracks almost instantly. That’s when I realized it was the beginning of a panic attack coming on. I never had one before or after that. But occasionally, rarely, I still have some anxiety rooted in her death. Before Diane died, I never had anxiety except claustrophobia.

I also frequently had this feeling like I wanted to scream her name hysterically until my throat was raw. I would imagine climbing with just my arms and legs up all the buildings in the city and getting to the top and screaming hysterically for her, screaming her name off all the rooftops. The pain felt like something throbbing. (I have a similar feeling to much of this when I have a pet who dies, but I expect them to, their little lives are so short and fragile, I don’t find it traumatic like this) My whole body was in throbbing pain(this is how I experience all grief). I used to lay on my bed or on my bedroom floor, curled up in a ball in agony on all levels, hugging myself trying to will the pain away. Until then, I never really realized that someone can just suddenly die even though I knew people before this who did. It stripped me of my sense of security. I felt like everyone I knew, especially my own mom, was going to just suddenly die on me without warning, and it filled me with dread and panic, kept me awake all night. My whole body was filled with trauma. Every moment I just kept thinking who is dying now, everyone I looked at I imagined them dropping of a heart attack, no control whatsoever. The ticker gives out for no reason whenever it feels like, even in young seemingly healthy people, and there isn’t a thing we can do to stop it or know it’s coming.

One day while sitting in the back of my dad’s car speeding on the highway, the throbbing was so relentless and urgent, I briefly, uncontrollably imagined opening the car door and letting myself fall into the traffic simply to stop it. It wasn’t depression or su*cidal. It was just a passionate throbbing of my entire existence that wouldn’t let up, and I had no idea what to do with myself.

I felt guilty for grieving so hard, for my body’s reaction. I felt like it wasn’t my place. She was just a work friend. I felt my grief was disproportionate to our relationship, not valid, that I wasn’t worthy of sympathy, that my grief wasn’t worthy of the place it was taking up in my body. I felt it wasn’t worthy of putting into words and out into the uni-verse, though I still did. I struggled to understand if it was a real thing or just a me thing. Unpleasant questions would intrude into my mind throughout the days. Would anyone else in my position have this reaction to such a loss, to losing “just” a friend, a coworker? Was it normal? Some kind of over attachment? Was I just being dramatic? Was I hijacking the grief of the real mourners? I knew people grieve for friends, coworkers, but mine felt not valid and too much for the situation, the fact that she wasn’t an outside of work friend made my grief seem disproportionate, and I do believe it’s even more difficult to lose a friend who is a friend in every aspect of life, not just work, both are painful and difficult. But some losses are more profound and challenging than others. This loss is terrible, for sure, but not the most profound or life altering someone can experience, like losing a spouse/life partner/child/friend who is like family in every way…Even though I knew it was real, it felt like it wasn’t, like it wasn’t mine, shouldn’t have been mine. It felt like it should have been reserved for someone else, someone more important than me, for her husband if he was still alive, for her sons, for her family or friends outside of work, like I had no right to it. I used to write about it a lot back then and often felt it was meaningless to because other people have experienced worse losses, and here I am complaining about the loss of a coworker. It seemed petty next to the loss others experience. But the pain and loss were so painful, nothing petty about it.

It’s a similar feeling when an online friend dies or even just someone we follow and don’t interact with but always seeing their content. We know our pain is real, but there’s that guilt, that nagging question, like is it really my loss? Is my grief real, valid, appropriate? Or should I step out of the way and let the real people have their grief? That would be easy and all well and good if the grief wasn’t nagging day and night, keeping us awake, insisting that it is in fact our own loss as well. If the loss and the love weren’t real to us, there would be no grief to ponder, but still it’s hard to embrace it as valid. If my grief wasn’t so intense and at some moments even v!olent, I wouldn’t have questioned the realness, the validity. Anyone can be sad when even a stranger dies. But this was a deep, heavy personal grief I did not feel entitled to. There are so many memories of just the two of us. Laughing, eating, joking, drinking hot chocolate together, listening to Rod Stewart… memories only I hold. Someone has to grieve for those lost moments and give them a place, honor them. Someone has to give them life. Who else can? We had a relationship, a connection, memories that only we shared, that were ours alone. No one else can grieve for that, only I can. Thinking this way makes it seem a little bit more valid.

I tried looking up things on Google about how to cope with the loss of a coworker to death, looking for something to validate my grief, and couldn’t find much at all. Google seemed to think I was looking for ways to support a grieving coworker and also suggested ways to support the family of our dead coworker. This hints at how it’s really not considered a significant/personal loss and hardly even worth mentioning. I looked it up again recently out of curiosity. I found two things for that specific loss but mostly just the same stuff as before and about grief and loss in general.

I always loved her, and I sensed she loved me too, and she was a significant part of my everyday for nearly ten years, even when we weren’t together, but as platonic friends and only at work, I wasn’t sure how valid our relationship was, how important it really was, not to us, but to anyone else, society in general, just whatever truth exists, I felt the grief, sympathy, should be reserved for real friends and family and couldn’t understand why I was reacting the way I was, felt I was overreacting, dramatizing my situation, but I couldn’t get it to stop. It was beyond my control. It was physical.

I remember writing that if I knew that last moment what was coming, I would have never let her go, would have slashed open my chest, cracked open my ribcage, if I could have, ripped out my own bleeding heart and handed it to her. And I would have.

Recently Instagram suggested I follow an account of a complete stranger. I loved the thumbnail picture I saw, a beautiful young woman and man on their wedding day. I love sweet posts like that so clicked her account just to see her love photos and was very surprised and dismayed to see in her bio, “widow.” At 26 years old! Part of my brain wouldn’t let me believe it at first, I knew it couldn’t be true at their age, but it is. I read her posts where she describes her grief after a tragic car crash, and I was surprised to see it somehow resembled the first couple years of my own grief, she described the missing limb feeling(I never heard anyone else say this), a feeling like part of her body missing, a feeling like drowning and suffocating, the physical sensations, the sense of panic and panic attacks. It was everything I remembered. I know hers is much worse, but so similar in some way. I could tell my grief wasn’t as profound, not as permeating, not as life altering, that there were layers and aspects missing even while the throbbing and aching were at their worst. Things I will never understand. And she mentioned something about not really understanding true grief or pain til you lose a husband and the father of your kids. And I do know what she means. It brought back that old feeling like I overreacted, that I had no place grieving, especially to such an extent, such depth over a friend, just a work friend. I felt guilty like I was taking off of someone else’s real grief and loss somehow by having my own experience. U.S. society and others, as a whole, favor romantic love/relationships and parent/child ones. Any other relationships/grief/loss/love…get pushed aside, and all the sympathy/validation tends to go to the spouse/romantic partner/child/parent. So it can sometimes be challenging to have intense grief for a different loss and see it as valid or even real. It feels guilty. It feels almost like being some kind of imposter, taking on the role of someone in mourning, someone broken over a shattering loss, when there is a more important person somewhere suffering even worse over the loss. No matter how much we suffer about a loss like this, there’s going to be someone else seemingly more entitled to that suffering. Ours will forever be overshadowed, dwarfed by theirs. It feels like playing make believe or playing house or dress up because we don’t yet or won’t ever know the real thing. It makes it seem insignificant yet the pain is still so heavy and real.

“Heaven knows,” (for lack of a better term), I never asked for or wanted that traumatic experience or deep deep pain, that panic. It came at me. I never wanted to lay on my floor at 3:00am, eyes black, wide awake, gasping for breath, shaking in agony & panic at the thought of never seeing her face again. And I will say, I don’t wish I was one of the important ones. I certainly don’t envy the girl who lost her husband or the son who lost his mom or the dad who lost his daughter. This “lesser grief” isn’t about wanting to be a part of it or wanting to play the role of a grief victim, a loss survivor, but is just a natural reaction to something that is a loss to us in its own context, its own way. I may not be an important one and maybe it’s much less in magnitude than a real mourner’s, but for whatever reason this loss is a devastating one, and grief will reflect that.

My grief nearly ten years later is no longer as prominent as it was. It’s a quiet, deep, ache that sometimes washes over me. Sometimes it’s still heavy enough to feel it could have potential to bring me to the ground, but that feeling is very brief when it hits. It used to be heavier, threatening to bring me down in random places, feeling as if my body would collapse wherever I was standing. Sometimes I would leave for a store and on the way feel I couldn’t go on and thinking I may have to turn around and go back home. It would hit anywhere, on a bus, walking up a street, in a grocery store. Sometimes it was more panic than pain, like a claustrophobic feeling, but feeling like the world is too large instead of too small, feeling like she’s lost out there somewhere and I would never find her. Thinking about her never seeing her sons again, never meeting her new grandbaby she told me everyday she couldn’t wait to meet when he was born, never tasting her favorite strawberry ice cream again, never listening to her favorite song, never again hearing her voice, my body would threaten to collapse. I no longer experience the fear, the panic, just the sadness part, but it’s almost never overwhelming, deep but not threatening. It’s more sadness now than unbearable pain. It can exacerbate sometimes and be especially deep, either randomly or something that reminds me of her. I often feel it in the beginning of Fall because it’s my favorite. I still have a slight sense of something being cut off, missing but mostly faint. I can tell it’s not going to fade any more than this. It’s a part of me now. It’s like background noise usually, unless I focus on it or something brings my attention to it. Writing this brought it all back. There are moments I desperately wish she was here, not necessarily always for me to see or talk to, but that she was here to get to live and have her favorite strawberry ice cream and listen to Rod Stewart, to watch her grandkids grow up and yell at her sons.

Anyway, I’m not even sure why I’m inspired to post this, but I am. Just seeing that girl’s grief so raw and so well articulated, took me back to my own, as I was reading, I was shaking my head in agreement and saying yup to myself, yet I haven’t a clue what it’s like for her as I haven’t suffered a loss like that. I would never think I know. But it felt like some underlying part is similar or maybe it’s the surface that is, I would never say that to someone struggling though, never ever would I say or even think “I know how you feel.” I know there are more layers and aspects to some losses than others even if the gist of it feels similar. Then I had that feeling all over again like it wasn’t valid or real even though I know it was real.

Since I met her I have spent as many years without her now as I have with her, but the years with her feel like much longer than the ones without, packed with so much experience, so many memories. It doesn’t even feel long since I last saw her. I can still remember her love all these years later. I never felt that I lost that. Losing her never meant losing that love.

She told me of all the amazing things in this life she wanted for me, love, my dream job, happiness…the main thing she hoped for me is that I would always keep my sweet and kind and gentle personality even in the face of challenges and encountering difficult people. She said one of her worst fears was me becoming cold hearted when I see how cold hearted the world can be. She told me to always stay kind & keep loving no matter what.

And I want to say to anyone reading this, if anyone is, I’m sorry for YOUR loss, the loss of your online friend, your coworker, the loss of your neighbor, the loss of your brother or sister or sibling, that’s not just your parents’ loss or their spouse’s and children’s, that’s YOUR loss. And it’s ok to grieve. There’s, unfortunately, enough grief for everyone.

…the rhythm of my heart
Is beating like a drum
With the words ‘I love you’
Rolling off my tongue ❀️

Sending love to all in need,

Xoxo Kim

Elevator fear πŸ–€ {another dream}

This is an image I created using AI πŸ–€ I made it to represent my elevator fear and dreams

Content warning ⚠️: claustrophobia, brief mention of s*icidal ideation and self injury, but the self injury isn’t in a “depressed kind of way,” but a result of panic

This post was meant for yesterday!

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life πŸ–€

I’m going to share my nightmare while I was asleep but first will give it context by explaining my claustrophobia.

I shared here before about my lifelong struggle with debilitating Claustrophobia, actual diagnosed Claustrophobia, particularly fear of elevators. I have struggled with it since I was a little girl for an unknown reason. I used to run up 20 floors just to avoid getting into elevators, but in some buildings stairs going up are blocked off. Just walking by an elevator or having to go into a building knowing they’re in there, would be enough to experience intense fear. Sometimes being in an elevator I would go into such a panic, I would claw myself up with my fingernails until my skin bled, just out of a sense of not knowing what to do.

When I was young, I mostly could avoid elevators so it wasn’t as much a problem except on school trips and visiting people in hospitals. That was challenging. Also as a college girl, sometimes I had to get into elevators to get to class. I was embarrassed and insecure about my claustrophobia as a young girl. I did not know it’s a disorder or a defined thing. I thought it meant I’m wimpy. I was impressed when other kids could get into elevators and not be scared. I thought they were braver than me. I now know this isn’t true. Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder and doesn’t mean someone is weak or not brave. As a girl, I used to daydream that I got into elevators with no fear, and I longed to be this brave for real.

I am one of the phobia sufferers who would often face my fear and get into an elevator anyway and just suffer. I wouldn’t have a positive mindset about it. Many phobia sufferers cannot face the fear and will always avoid the source at all costs. It’s a cruel irony, as I have said before, to have to come face to face with the very thing we fear most, to get over it.

I “cured” it myself after trying out professional exposure therapy and seeing it just wasn’t needed for me; I could handle it on my own. I did use the exposure technique but on my own without the help of a therapist any longer. My claustrophobia was so severe and crippling, it would trigger s*icidal episodes. It’s a very powerful breathtaking fear. It’s so powerful, it inspires awe in me to get to experience something so profound. It’s one of the most intense feelings there is, and not everyone gets to experience something so powerful in that way. I don’t like it, but still intrigued by it and thankful for the experience. It reminds me of love even though it’s not pleasant, the intensity of it can be the same, like so strong, it could move mountains.

It got better, but then I suffered a relapse at the end of 2017 after making the mistake of watching the numbers and waiting for the doors to open. It seemed to take a fraction of a second too long, which made me crumble in terror. This is when I began the exposure therapy. When I first got better, it was after getting used to getting into elevators with a dog. Then eventually I could alone. For a while, I would imagine the dog in there with me even when she wasn’t. That helped. I did not have to get into elevators as much anymore so got unaccustomed to it after the relapse. Then I had to again and could not handle it. So I began organized exposure therapy and meditation. The Philadelphia Eagles won the Superbowl in 2018. Their motto leading up to it was Let us prey. I adopted this saying and attitude as my mantra and way of coping with my Claustrophobia. I chose to prey upon the fear instead of allowing the fear to prey upon me.

I’m not cured. I still have it. It’s just dormant. I can still always feel it beneath my surface and know that it can come back. It’s slightly threatening. I know it’s here possibly waiting to be unleashed. This is true even when I’m calm as can be closed inside an elevator. Sometimes this knowing is more intellectual, and other occasions it’s more a feeling with body and emotion. I don’t mind this. I just peacefully coexist with it. I have to keep getting into elevators to keep myself used to it. If I ever stop, it will come back. Some days just for no particular reason, I feel a flare up and avoid them if I can because I know not to push myself; that isn’t the same as having an active phobia and avoiding them when I have to encounter them to get better. But that’s seldom. Also, if I’m anxious about something else or am dehydrated (dehydration gives me anxiety in a physiological way, not anxious thoughts, but just a feeling of anxiety and physical symptoms), my claustrophobia will flare, not a full on relapse, just a flare. The anxiety of dehydration will latch onto thoughts about being stuck in an elevator and manifest as claustrophobia.

My claustrophobia was always present even being inside an elevator with people. But eventually I stopped being afraid as long as people were inside with me or a dog was. The thought of being trapped inside with a dog or other human stopped terrifying me, just being alone did. Even now, I wouldn’t be afraid or only slightly if an elevator wouldn’t open with a dog and me or another human and me. Before, that would have still sent me off the deep end. Even if it locked with just me now, I can handle it, I think, as long as I don’t have a relapse.

Since I was a little girl into adulthood, I have been plagued by recurring nightmares of being stuck in an elevator. In my dreams it’s an old familiar fear, as if I have been stuck in one before, like a knowing feeling, an intimate knowing, like oh this again. This again. Each dream brought with it the same old feeling, like an underlying thread connecting all the dreams together even spanning over years, decades. Like in each dream it was as if I remembered all the dreams before it, not necessarily consciously remembered, but knew on some level that this keeps happening, but in the dreams, it felt more like they were reality than a dream. Almost like I’m stuck in another world where I am sentenced to getting stuck in elevators again and again and again. Like Groundhog day lol Sometimes I would have multiple elevator dreams in one night. The dreams all start out like regular life, I’m going about my day then must get into an elevator then It happens. My worst nightmare.

This again.

It happens in all different ways, but it’s all the feeling of absolute dread where I just know. I know I am not getting out of here.

I stopped having them for so long.

Until last night.

No idea why, but last night, I had another elevator nightmare. I can’t remember when I last had one. I’m not anxious, and my claustrophobia isn’t relapsing.

But last night I had a dream that I was about to get into an elevator. There was a friendly, smiling petite woman already inside holding the doors for me. I remember her so vividly. She was pale skinned and around my age, maybe a bit older, around as tall as me, maybe slightly shorter, and she was slightly thinner than me. She had what may be called strawberry blonde hair, mouth length. She was wearing a navy blue and white striped long sleeved shirt. The stripes were thin. I don’t remember her pants. She wasn’t physically beautiful but not ugly, but she was beautiful on the inside. What some may call mousy or plain in appearance, but she had a cuteness about her, a humble prettiness. She was very sweet and friendly with a gentle air about her.

We both happened to be going to the 14th floor in whatever building it was. I have no idea why we were there. She was delighted and pushed the button for us both. She had a compassionate, warm, welcoming personality, like she never met a stranger, like she may have been open to developing a friendship or at least an acquaintanceship with me, just in that mundane encounter where most wouldn’t even give each other so much as a glance. It was like when she looked at me, she saw me. Not the way strangers around look up and quickly look away. It wasn’t her words that allowed me to know her nature, but her body language, her facial expressions, her energy, her actions, her smile. I remember her warm energy.

We got to the 14th floor, and the elevator sped past and went to the 17th floor and stopped and wouldn’t open. When it went past the 14th, we both knew. We knew It was happening.


It with a capital “I.”

I’m covered in head to toe chills just writing this. The fear and the knowing in the dream were not normal. We were doomed and knew it in a way that people in reality wouldn’t know it. It’s a kind of knowing, a kind of knowing fear that only exists in dreams or nightmares. Sure, real people who are rational may be anxious but wouldn’t already be in despair and *know* they will be stuck forever or die. We did know, and we were in despair. Real people would be thinking like let’s see how to get this fixed or hopefully this opens or what is going on or thinking we have to call for help or wait for someone to let us out…we had no hope and did not have to wonder, we were doomed. There was no one coming to let us out. And we knew. We knew the very split second that elevator sped past floor 14. The woman gasped and said something I can’t remember, and I stood there paralyzed in that old familiar intimate crippling panic. It was happening again. IT.

The elevator just froze there at the 17th floor. I was panicked that we were stuck. Then I suddenly realized we had a bigger problem than just being stuck. I realized being stuck at floor 17 means being stuck in the air, that high up. Just hanging in midair. I imagined it dropping and us falling to our deaths. Suddenly, as if to hear my thoughts and wanting to taunt, it began to go down very quickly. I wasn’t sure if we were dropping to our deaths or it would land safely, but I knew either way, we weren’t getting out of there, and so did she. Suddenly it began dropping faster and making loud noises and lighting up, then it began going back up and then down then back up, the flashing lights getting more and more intense. All the numbers were lighting up. The whole situation felt aggressive, like the elevator was consciously attacking us. Like it was out to get us.

The woman was screaming and had her head down, covering it with her arms in a defensive stance, as if to protect herself against whatever blows were to be coming to her. I wasn’t screaming or doing anything (typical of me in reality also), but my fear very much matched hers. The top of the elevator began to open up, and we both eagerly looked up to see if maybe, just maybe, there was a way to climb up and get out. There wasn’t. We saw something, I can’t remember what, that we both knew meant it was a hopeless situation for us. We looked at each other, her face contorted into a mask of horror and despair and a desperate pleading look. The crashing noises got louder, the lights more flashy, the elevator began to close in on us as we both got into the self defensive position and moved closer to each other, then clinging to each other knowing our end was very near.

Then I woke up.

And that’s that. lol

First thing this morning, I had to get on an elevator by myself for work. And I remembered this dream as the doors were closing on me. So that was fun. lol πŸ˜†

I have been having very vivid dreams lately. I always have but not as much as years ago when I was young, and I don’t remember them as much as I used to. But recently I have been having very detailed dreams that I remember. I generally don’t have unpleasant dreams.

I love that my mind made this character up and brought her to life so vividly. She wasn’t anyone I ever knew for real. I’m not sure how true it is, but I read before that our brain doesn’t make up faces, that if we dream a face very clearly, like my situation here, it means we necessarily saw that face before in real life, maybe even decades ago. It may not have been that person in our dream, just their face. So like this woman’s face could have been my 5th grade teacher’s (in fact thinking back, I think they did have a similar face, build, hair style…and she was warm, sweet, friendly, and around that age maybe lol) even if she wasn’t that person/my teacher in my dream. It was so creative of me lol πŸ˜‚

This is probably strange, but I kind of feel sorry for her. She was so real, and whatever happened to us, I got to wake up, but it was her ending. Not that it was real. But there is a lingering feeling that I got to be the lucky one who escaped because I get to be the real one, flesh and blood, who gets to wake up and continue being. Also, there was a hint of guilt because it’s my brain that created that world and that dire situation for that character. lol I should probably stop now before I sound batsh!t. πŸ˜‚

Anyone want to share an interesting dream experience/recurring dream/insight on dreams or anything, go ahead! Or even just your most recent dream you can remember, if there’s one. I would love to read! Dreams are so interesting! I’m especially interested in how, like I said, these dreams are like all linked with an underlying thread and how in dream world, we can know things in a way we wouldn’t in reality. Like we just knew we weren’t getting out of that elevator, not in a negative thinking kind of way but true knowing. In reality if the elevator sped past the 14th floor, most people’s initial reaction would probably be confusion. Like WTF or what’s going on. Our initial reaction was knowing. Then panic.

I don’t mind these dreams/nightmares. They are not pleasant but are fascinating. I am more intrigued than disturbed.

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are! And sweet dreams tonight lol πŸ˜†

Xoxo Kim ❣️

Last night I had the strangest dream…{for real though 🀣 total cray cray πŸ˜œ}

Pretty in pink today! I’m all pink, I even have a pretty pink bra/panties/socks/nail polish(it’s chipped though lol)/mask….lol πŸ’•

Ain’t nothin’ gonna to break my stride
Nobody gonna slow me down, oh no
I got to keep on moving
Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride
I’m running and I won’t touch ground
Oh no, I got to keep on moving
You’re on the road and now you pray it lasts
The road behind was rocky
But now you’re feeling cocky
You look at me and you see your past
Is that the reason why you’re runnin’ so fast?
And she said
Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride
Nobody gonna slow me down, oh no
I got to keep on moving
Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride
I’m running and I won’t touch ground
Oh no, I got to keep on moving πŸ–€

Trigger warning ⚠️: Mention of depression and s*icidal contemplation, may be disturbing or triggering to some, may be slightly graphic details

This post was meant for 11/28/2022 It’s after 12:00am now so the date changed.

Last night I had the STRANGEST dream/experience. Actually, early this morning. It was BIZARRE! I think it may have been mild/partial sleep paralysis, which happens sometimes when I’m depressed, ever since I was young. Usually my sleep paralysis when it does occur (which is not often and even less the older I get), is severe and extremely unpleasant. This wasn’t but was certainly strange. It was actually beautiful and inspiring and just so weird! Usually when I’m experiencing sleep paralysis, I try hard to get myself up and experience a sense of panic and being deeply disturbed and terrified. With this, I was accepting and not trying to force myself awake.

First I will mention for some context that I have a tooth infection that I have had for months now(I’m embarrassed to admit this but over half a year, actually). A few years ago, I cracked my tooth flossing(I have very soft teeth). A few years later (now), that break is infected. I work seven days, morning through evening, sometimes lighter weekends, and we are understaffed so I been doing home remedies and putting it off. My boss doesn’t want to lose clients, and I’m basically the only worker now. We have a few people helping out, but what they do is very limited. I’m a full worker. He said me taking off when we’re so busy would be disastrous for his business. So I been trying to hold off as long as I can. I warned him that it’s life threatening and I can succumb any day(he said ugh! I’ll lose so many clients! I can’t afford that! Just try to stay alive! πŸ˜†). Months ago my whole face was swelled up, and I was in agony. I got it under control and swelling down, but cannot get the infection gone. A couple nights I walked myself to an emergency room when it was flaring worse but decided nah I’m not sitting in there for 12 or more hours and don’t want to overwhelm our healthcare workers any more than they already are. Last thing they need is another dental patient running there when they have so many other patients needing them. I just can’t. So I left and got it under control again. One day, at the end of October, I woke up at 3:00am feeling as if it was spreading. I got out of bed and walked to an emergency room then decided I couldn’t stay because I was taking care of someone’s dog and couldn’t leave him alone so walked to cvs instead for some first aid stuff. It helped a bit. I thought I was dying that morning. I had pain & mild flu like symptoms (wasn’t this virus). I was a regular blood donor for years and haven’t been able to donate in so long because of this.

Recently I was very very sick, as sick as I have ever been in this life, and I seriously never get sick. I couldn’t even get out of bed. I had to tell my boss I literally couldn’t work. This is unheard of. In the six years I worked here, I never ever took hours off for being sick. I did work that day, all day, but got too sick by the evening to do my evening work. I thought it was my infection making me sick, turns out, it was just some virus(I wear a mask and don’t go near anyone, don’t work with humans). But being sick like that showed me what can happen but worse if I succumb to my infection. I NEVER get sick like this and it was like seeing another side of myself I did not know. It was so uncharacteristic of me. I am healthy and energetic as can be, walking 10 and more hours a day. I never even get tired. I never just lay around in bed, I’m either out walking or dancing around my room blasting Oldies. My body feels so healthy it’s palpable, the feeling of health I experience each day. And I am very conscious of how healthy and full of endless energy I am/feel.
Any physical sickness/cut/injury I get usually heals in a day and doesn’t take me down. This took me down for days. I couldn’t even stand, and I had to work, but had to keep stopping places to rest. So this was so so unusual and I was taken aback. It was like a wake up call. I don’t want to get sick like that but worse with sepsis, which untreated tooth infections lead to.

Also, I have been struggling with s*icidal depression off and on because of lack of close true friendships for a few years now. This gets me to not care as much about myself, feeling I’m not worthy and my own life doesn’t matter anyway. It’s not a philosophy I hold; it’s the depression. It triggers depression then depression tells me I’m a worthless loser with no friends and no purpose and no accomplishments in life…And it just weakens my will to survive. Recently, a fifteen/sixteen year friendship of mine that used to be close officially ended like Facebook unfriended ended lol That’s how we make it official these days. πŸ˜† I went to unfriend him and lo & behold! He already unfriended me(so I went a step further and blocked his account πŸ˜† good to know we still think alike!)! I guess it wasn’t very surprising. We have been drifting apart for years (on his part) and resentment was building for a while, on my part and apparently on his part too since he saw reason for unfriending. And we were inseparable for years. Even whenever he would get a new boyfriend, he wanted to spend every second with me. He would invite me on dates with them, even on their valentine’s day celebrations. We met at a dance and danced all night and that was it, we were bff’s. He even included me in family only events shortly after meeting each other. He came to visit me everyday during my psychiatric hospital stays for my depression. He became very unhappy with his own life through the years and began acting differently in unhealthy ways. Recently he began showing signs of a midlife crisis. He also has severe depression. I held out hope he would change and go back to being himself, but he wouldn’t. His behavior became toxic to me. It would trigger my depression or make it worse. This unfriending doesn’t help my depression, but I was already emotionally done with him (after so much turmoil over the loss of closeness through the years and having no other close friends – we had mutual friends, but we drifted apart too – we were mostly all friends through him, that’s the problem when one person holds a group together) so it’s not the biggest blow.

Depression makes me very physically ill and fatigued when it’s to a certain point, but I still feel a sense of ingrained physical health. I want to keep it this way.

I finally made a dentist appointment a while ago, but there was nothing available til around a month away. So I can’t get help til mid December. I have no dental insurance so found a place where they give us discounts if we’re poor lol The infection seems to have spread into my sinuses, and my nose has been gushing blood for days on the side the infection is on. But there isn’t a thing I can do about it. Dentists and hospitals are overwhelmed and backed up. So I’m just here waiting to get sepsis and die or for my healthy body to hold me over til mid December. I am extremely healthy. I have a wicked immune system. That’s why I’m still alive. I looked it up, and basically I should have been dead months ago. lol I decided to stop neglecting/abusing my body in certain ways I have been, I’m going to get it the help it needs. It’s strong and beautiful and carries me and keeps me alive. It kept me alive much longer than it should have. I’m going to pay it back with kindness and basic needs.

So this is what happened early this morning.

I woke up, and it was too early for work. So I rolled over and fell back asleep. What felt like only a few seconds later, I woke up standing in the bathroom in my house walking to the toilet to pee. lol I had this general confused feeling like how did I wake up standing in the bathroom. And who wakes up standing? Suddenly I peed my pants a little bit before making it to the toilet right in front of me. lol (I recently read a funny post by a mom who has incontinence after giving birth to three babies, and she peed when she laughed and yelled to her husband “I just peed my pants, this is mom life!” and he burst out laughing at her, and they fell over laughing hysterically together. lol She posted a picture of them laughing together. I thought this was funny and cute but was thinking no thanks I’m glad I never had kids! I don’t want to pee my pants whenever I laugh{and I laugh A LOT, like full on belly laughs}! Not that it’s the worst thing and is very common in assigned female at birth people, particularly those who give birth, but I would prefer not to lol I would be peeing all day!)

So then I sat on the toilet to pee the rest lol I was concerned about the incontinence thinking why would this suddenly happen, but even more concerned about the sleepwalking. I sleepwalked my way into the bathroom which made no sense. I never sleepwalk! I was thinking so is this going to keep happening now, the incontinence and the sleepwalking? The incontinence I can handle, but the sleepwalking just isn’t ok! I also noticed I was wearing blue jeans as I was pulling them down. I fell asleep in soft blue pj’s. I don’t sleep in uncomfortable clothes. So that was off. Did I get changed in my sleep too? I was still wearing my red pj shirt though. Just the soft pj pants turned to blue denim ones.

After peeing (can’t remember if I washed my hands or not – I would in reality though πŸ˜†), I was walking out of the bathroom back to my bed and collapsed to the floor in the bathroom doorway. Something was pulling me down so hard beyond my control. Half of my body was in the bathroom still and the other half (my upper half) was in the hallway. (The bathroom in my house is in my bedroom! no hallway! It wasn’t my actual house even though it was supposed to be, but I did not realize when it was happening! For real I live in one of those super small houses with only one bathroom that happens to be in a bedroom where everyone has to walk through that bedroom to get to the restroom, and it’s in my bedroom, my sister did not want everyone going in and out of her bedroom lol This house was large) I wondered why I was collapsing. It was happening in slow motion. I couldn’t stop it. Then I realized I was dying. At first I wondered if I was dying then it hit me that I was literally straight up dying right there half in the bathroom, half in the hallway. It was not painful, and I did not feel sickly at all, could just feel the life slowly draining out of me. I remember thinking so this is what it is to die. And it’s my turn here & now. I felt helpless, powerless, but not really in a negative way. I just wasn’t attaching a negative perspective to it like most probably would. It was a powerful feeling. Not pleasant but can’t say it was fully unpleasant, almost neutral but more on the unpleasant side if it were a scale that was slightly tipped to one side or the other. I was intrigued. As I lay there dying, I was racking my brain trying to understand why. It made no sense. I am so healthy, so energetic, so physically fit (not fit like I work out level fit, but physically active enough), how could this be??? There was some anxiety at the thought of dying since it was a new to me experience and there was some uncertainty about what it would be like.

But my curiosity was more prominent than my fear. And I had a faint feeling of this is too bad that I’m dying and felt like I may be on my way to experiencing full-blown fear, I felt panic potentially arising, but more so I had a feeling of it is what it is, if I have to go now, I do, but why?? My age isn’t quite old enough just yet for my body to shut down because of age. Then it hit me. Oh, sh!t, that’s right! The infection is finally taking me out. I thought of my mom and how she wouldn’t be happy as she has been begging me all year to get it treated now. She said f your job and get taken care of. lol She said she can’t believe someone can choose to go this long with an untreated infection. She keeps asking me aren’t you scared?! lol I’m not. She tried getting me to get antibiotics off family members who had them, but I do not take illicit drugs.

I felt something non physical leaving my physical body as I laid there on the bathroom floor. It was like two of me, the physical body I am so familiar with, and a “spirit” me (I don’t actually believe in a spirit that can leave a body, but this was my experience this morning) leaving it. Both were me but like two sides of a coin. I was laying there unable to move at all thinking this is it, I’m dying. The spirit me was slowly leaving. My consciousness still identified more with the physical body. So it was nerve wracking to be leaving it even though it was still aware and going with the spirit me. It was almost as if the consciousness was a thing of its own, independently, watching its physical self and its non physical self. But it had to go with the non physical aspect. There was some anxiety and unhappiness about the thought that I will never be here on Earth again, all my thoughts, interests, experience… gone forever. The anxiety was just at the thought that it’s an unknown to me experience, and the unhappiness was just like I guess I’ll miss out on all the things I love each day. But I told myself it’s beyond my control and has to happen sooner or later anyway. It has to happen to all of us, and I’m no exception; we all have a time to go, and this is mine. It has to happen someday so why not now? What’s the difference if it’s now or in twenty years or forty years or whatever?? Same thing either way. This may seem wise. But in my case, it’s my depressed view. When I’m not depressed I have clung to life if I ever thought I was dying. Kicking and screaming and clawing at whatever I could to stay on Earth (not that I was ever really dying but a few occasions I have thought so).

Then I had another thought, wait! Could I be sleeping and this is a dream and I’m not dying but waking up back into my reality? I wasn’t sure but strongly suspected that. I felt that it’s dream me who is “dying” as the dream world is ending, not actually me dying. In a sense, dream me was dying as that version of me was ending and would never be again. At this thought, I felt more relief than I was expecting as I did not realize how put off I was at the thought of dying. Consciously, I was mostly indifferent to it. (This happens when I’m depressed and depressed I was both in reality and this dream) But I guess I wanted to live more than I realized. I noticed when I am at my most depressed s*icidal points, I often have dreams about wanting desperately to live even though in reality it feels I don’t. When I am dangerously s*icidal, which is not often but recurring, it’s common for me to have dreams that someone is trying to k!ll me, and I am trying desperately to run and get away and live. I noticed it through the years when my s*icide contemplation is serious. In my dreams I want to live and would do anything to survive. My depression produces very life affirming dreams.

Something was happening I just couldn’t quite grasp. My physical body was getting heavier and heavier and couldn’t move as I lay there sprawled out on the floor. The spirit me left physical me completely. It turned a corner, half walking, half floating, if I remember correctly (I think it meant to float, but since I am so used to being physical and walking, it was trying to walk out of habit – the consciousness was me, it was my sense of self, it felt just like me so still had some earthly ways about it even though it was no longer restrained by a physical body) in the dark hallway and was going somewhere with a strong sense of purpose, like it had a mission to accomplish (in reality I have been feeling I have no purpose lately, but this aspect of inner me felt deep purpose, and it was a beautiful feeling. It wasn’t clear at first what that purpose was, just that there is one, later I discovered the purpose was to wake up and live). There was no fear, only a deep sense of trust. I felt whatever is happening is happening and is ok. If I die, that’s ok, if I live and wake up in my bed where I remember falling asleep, that’s ok too, even better. There was a hint of anxiety about what if I somehow get stuck in this state and can’t wake up and don’t die and I’m just here forever(sleep paralysis always does this to me). But I chose to be positive and not let my mind dwell there, mostly I felt trust in the journey. I could feel myself cheering myself on. I felt that I had this, a feeling of “You got this self, just keep going.” I remember me in the back of my own mind keep thinking that’s right just keep going…and feeling joy each step of the way. It warms my heart now and stirs love & fuzzies in me. ❀️

Suddenly, I felt a strong force pulling the spirit version of me. I couldn’t see it but felt it. It was pulling so hard, and I realized whatever was going to happen, this was it, this was the moment I was either going to die or wake up. I still wasn’t sure which but strongly suspected I was dreaming and going to wake up. I could not move by choice. Physical me on the floor was immobilized or dead. And spirit me was being dragged somewhere by an invisible force beyond my control and felt so heavy. And the real physical me in my bed, was also immobilized. None of us could move, and we were all so heavy. (very typical of sleep paralysis but unlike sleep paralysis, there was no sense of intense fear and dread hanging over me, and no general sense of evil, ingrained throughout the dream, only curiosity, joy, determination, and a slight sense of anxiety and uncertainty, but nothing I couldn’t handle)

I did not want to admit this here (I actually wrote this for FB but posting here also) or anywhere, but I have been secretly contemplating h*nging myself recently, like seriously. I even have a cord I got for the purpose and a remote place in mind where I entertain the idea of going one night soon and ending it all. It helps me tremendously while depressed to know I have a way out and the resources needed; it’s less of a trapped feeling. Before I really did not know how/where I can go. Then it all fell into place the more desperate I got. I thought about getting the cord and did, and my concern was where without anyone around. Then I accidentally just happened to come across the perfect place one day where there isn’t a lot of activity, especially at night and in the cold. It feels so liberating just to have this potential plan even when it’s inactive. It helps ease my mind so much!! When I’m not depressed at all and am my usual happy self, I know it’s not the best idea to have this cord & place lined up for when I decide to go because it makes it much more likely for me to act on it. When I’m depressed, I don’t realize I shouldn’t act on it. When it lifts, I realize how messed up it is. But even when I’m my usual happy self, I know how much it helps me in that desperate depressed state just to have a potential way out, not just in my mind like before, but actually have the physical things necessary whether or not I go through with it. It makes all the difference. The risk of acting on it is greatly elevated though. Happy self isn’t happy about that. lol I’m not in a major episode of depression like sometimes that lasts straight through for a month or more, but keep having recurring waves of it that get bad for a few days then lift a while then return. I have felt for a while that I have no reason to live, that no matter what I do, even when it has practical purpose, it doesn’t matter, has no deeper meaning. And I struggle to give meaning to it because of my sense of inherent worthlessness. This is when my depression is flaring.

My body has been so heavy with depression, and while I still experience joy and some degree of interest in things like photography and movies and books and my work and iced lattes, it’s washed out joy, it’s here but numbed out a bit. Sometimes my depression is so bad I cannot even really tatse anything. With deep deep pain, significantly reduced pleasure and interest in things, a body that is so heavy it’s hard to move, no close friends/social support… it’s like why go on?? I keep getting so depressed about no longer having in person friends. I am very social and my happiest and healthiest when I have friends. Research even shows that lack of close friends can physically and emotionally sicken people and lack of physical touch. I am happy and well in every other aspect of life, but this is enough to depress me off and on, sometimes frequently, and permeate all of life. It eventually lifts and I am very happy again(still feeling the lack of friendship though). But it keeps coming back because I need a friend. I have been starved for the love of a friend, and my body has been starved for a hug of a friend. I don’t even have an acquaintance anymore just to hang out with. No phone calls, no texts, no meetups, no invitations anywhere, no message just to say hello or send a funny meme to make each other laugh… literally nothing. Online friends are real friends/family, but it’s not the same and doesn’t make up for in person socialization for those of us who are social/extroverted. Animals are just as important and loved, but different, animal companionship doesn’t make up for lack of human companionship just like the other way around.

Anyway, I promised into the air that if I wake up in my body in my bed, if this could just be a dream, if I’m not dying, I would try to stop giving into my depression, will get my infection treated, and try to stay alive and keep leaning into the joys all around me. That I would keep going. The spirit me was propelled then lifted into the air, up towards the ceiling. I was flying up up up beyond my control being pulled into the unknown then suddenly ripped back down and was falling falling falling so fast at lightening speed with such joy because I knew, I knew then I was alive and waking up. I knew I would find home in my own body. And dream spirit me crashed back into my body, my real body in my bed in my real house with the restroom in my room, not dream me body laying dead on that floor in that strange bathroom and hallway that isn’t mine, but the me who laid in bed, my actual bed. The real me woke with a jolt. It literally truly felt that something crashed off the ceiling into my body, giving me life. I watched and experienced in awe. Two aspects of me merging into one, making me whole, giving me life. That immobilized body in my bed could move again. I woke with a start and a smile. I was back in my soft blue comfy pj pants. The heaviness of my depression was mostly gone, and I felt immense joy, like I can go on. I fell asleep heavily depressed last night. This morning I was layers and layers lighter with a renewed will to live. I still felt the aftermath of being in a deep depression recently. When a depression lifts, if it was very severe, I may still feel some aspects of it lingering for a day or couple days, like the heaviness or a fog or some lingering self deprecating thoughts…, kind of like if you’re just getting over the flu or other physical illness and aren’t really sick anymore but still feel a vestige or hint or effects of it.

The thing that is so strange is how physical it felt. How it truly felt like a spirit or mind or something literally crashed into my body giving me life, waking me. It was so amazing!

I don’t believe in spirits or anything. I know it was my own mind making it all up. And we can dream something is touching us and wake up feeling as if it was real. I believe it was sleep paralysis. I have psychotic depression and have been hospitalized a couple occasions for it many years ago. It’s been acting up again The doctors said I had psychomotor impairment years ago because of severe depression, which can seem like sleep paralysis if we dream or hallucinate/have delusions with it. But I think it was sleep paralysis. It was still early so I fell back asleep. I had another strange dream. lol I woke up in that dream but woke up into another dream instead of reality and remembered the sleep paralysis dream I just had! So I remembered a real dream within another dream that was within a dream. I don’t know if anyone can follow that but anyway, don’t know what was going on with me last night, sounds like I was on acid or something but promise I wasn’t. πŸ˜†

I take no medication or drugs for anything currently. Will be needing antibiotics soon, and sometimes I take over the counter cold meds. That’s about it.

We don’t have to believe in spirits/evil/supernatural…to experience fear of it or believe it/feel it within the context of sleep paralysis. No matter how skeptic/atheist we are in reality, when sleep paralysis takes over and that feeling of evil is all around and we “sense” demons and stuff like that, our skepticism/atheism/logic/reason/non belief can be suspended while we are in that state, and we can feel that we are being taken by evil or a demon or taken to another dimension. Upon waking, we realize it was just a dream/sleep paralysis/night terror… whatever it was. Some people who believe in the supernatural wake up and believe they just had a terrible spiritual experience. A skeptic or atheist, like me, will not believe it during wakefulness. I don’t even necessarily believe it when it’s happening, but that does not make it any less real seeming or terrifying. But this one wasn’t terrifying.

It was a positive and enlightening and inspiring experience. I believe it was my unconscious mind sending me a message. My self sending a self love note, to keep going. I think it’s so funny that it involved a toilet and peeing. lol It’s just like me to bring humor into something and I’m immature like that and think bathroom stuff is funny 🀣 πŸ’©

The thing about this dream that was also so unusual is how my reality was incorporated into the dream and dream incorporated into my reality. In the dream I remembered just rolling over in my bed and was wondering how suddenly I got into the bathroom. And as I was walking out of the bathroom before collapsing, I was on my way back to my bed that I was just in. And my dream was incorporated into my wakefulness. The dream spirit me crashing into real me as I was waking into my reality. Like, dream state and wake state clashed, making it so bizarre and interesting. I’m sure there is scientific explanation; I think I read about it before, like when something happens during a certain stage of sleep. Maybe I wasn’t asleep enough and began to dream so wake reality and sleeping dream collided and merged, becoming a very intense, strange experience. I like it! I wouldn’t want it to keep happening or happen often though because it was too intense and engaging and wasn’t peaceful. I wouldn’t get enough rest. And there was anxiety involved. A little bit is ok, but I don’t need anxiety in my dreams every night.

And this seems like it could be a fun short movie clip if any artist out there wants to turn it into some kind of film, let me know! lol πŸ˜† I must say, I’m quite creative while I sleep! 😴 πŸ’€ lolz

If anyone is reading and has any interesting sleep/dream/spiritual stories you have experienced, please share!! And if you want to analyze my experience and/or provide any insight, scientific or other, be my guest! I’m not interested in supernatural explanations as I don’t believe in that stuff.


And these pictures are me this morning after I truly woke up once and for all into real reality. lol

Thankfully I wasn’t actually peeing as I was dream peeing πŸ˜‚

Also, I totally forgot in October to post my Halloween costume here! I will post it soon! Sexy/naughty nuns are in style all year anyway. πŸ–€πŸ˜†

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are! ❀️ sending virtual hugs to anyone who wants.

Xoxo Kim

Amber πŸ–€ {a poem – inspired by my true experience}

This photo above is my glitch art. I made it myself. It’s created with a tool called pixel sorting or processing. I thought it seems fitting for the dark poem ahead. 😁

And when I say dark, I do mean dark. LoL πŸ˜†

(In my last post, somewhat recently, I mentioned that I was going to share my experience with love & rejection as my next post. I’m still going to share that soon, but it’s not done yet. It’s complete but needs editing and stuff. It’s super long and detailed, and just needs more time. But I want to share this now.)

This is an old poem I wrote, inspired by my true experiences. I wrote it around fifteen years ago. I have always loved poetic writing, just for myself. I never shared much of it, just once in a while on an old blog or something. Once in a blue moon, I get in the mood to write creative/poetic things. I had so many through the years and lost most of them when my old phones crashed that I had them saved on. I prefer writing and saving on phones/electronic devices than notebooks. When I see they are breaking, I quickly save as much as I can. I guess I need a better system!

Losing years and years of my work was devastating. It triggered a depressive episode. After the depressive episode ended, I still couldn’t bring myself to think about writing new stuff after all the old stuff got lost. I have written more recent stuff after a while. It wasn’t necessarily good, and wasn’t for publishing or anything, but it was work I was happy to have for myself, things inspired by my real experiences.

This poem is one of the very few surviving old ones.

Content warning ⚠️: dark poetry – mental health issues

I mostly only like writing dark/serious poetry, and that is my favorite kind to read. I love happy, cheerful stuff in general, but artistic stuff and poetry, I love dark/creepy the best, usually.

This poem is called Amber.

It is dark and disturbing, heavy content, not everyone’s style.

Here goes!

I hear her loud screams
Through the night
As the walls shake
To the sound
That reverberates
Through severed veins
Managed to be sewn
Back together
After fountains of scarlet
Pouring out
Like red wine
Tainting everything it touches

My room is almost empty
The girl who was beside me
Night after night
Has been taken away
Her clothes and things
Packed up and moved
To another place
Her arms and legs
Now in thick metal shackles
To match the invisible ones
Chaining her
To some secret hell
No one else can touch

Now I am left alone
With Amber’s psychotic
And violent screams
That echo through me
Like broken galaxies
Lost in the endless darkness
Of space
They stick needles into her arms
While she protests
Violently kicking and thrashing
She is dragged to the quiet room
Just across the hall
Where she is alone
And drifts into a deep, dark sleep
But not for long
Soon enough
She is awake
With her hysterical sobs
And her dark fears
The voices scream at her
Inside her head
I hear them too
I can feel them pulsing
Through my own body
As I sit on the edge of my bed
And stare up at the white ceiling
And blank walls
How this place got so large
It seems to expand before my eyes
Limitless spaciousness
The vastness is almost unbearable
Making me dizzy
As the voices grow louder
More threatening
As they bounce off the walls
And back
But they all pretend they can’t hear
All they hear are her agonized screams
Through the night
That pound through my head
Her dark hair
Messy and scraggly
Her eyes filled
With dark horror
As she claws at her own face

Somewhere I know
There is a girl
Deep within her
Beneath layers and layers
Of pain, despair, fear
And screaming voices
A girl who needs and yearns
And loves
But the strange voices
Drown out her own voice
Quiet it
Until it almost seems not to exist
But I feel her
Deep within me
Her light
Dim and flickering
But still present
The doctors and nurses
And the technicians
Come into my room
Again and again
Telling me to turn off the light
Get to sleep
To forget about Amber
But the voices
Won’t let me sleep
Amber’s voices
Clash with my own
And become a choir
Of haunting screams
Something deep within me
Like empty rooms
With walls
Closing in
Suddenly, this place
Isn’t so large anymore
It’s small and stuffy
My walls close in
And my breath quickens
Along with my pulse
Fear paralyzes me
And I can’t scream
But her screams
Still blast through me
Like the moon exploding
In a dark sky
And I get cut
On the hot celestial shards
My skin bleeds
And my heart pounds
And I am dragged away
Into a deep, dark place
Where there is nothing
But loud
And voices
That never sleep
Echoing all
Throughout a night
That never seems to end

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

If you have any creative writing of your own you would like to share in the comments, be my guest! 😁

Xoxo Kim β™₯️

Clowns 🀑

Clowns 🀑 – Too Much Joy – song

“I have nightmares filled with clowns and you’re there too

You have a big red nose and stupid floppy shoes

You’re becoming one I can see the signs” 🀑

Trigger Warning ⚠️: Phobias mentioned here

Fun fact: Last night, I had a dream about coulrophobia. So I decided to turn myself into a clown. Lol

In the dream, I was watching a movie about a young man with coulrophobia(fear of clowns). I don’t remember what his job was in my dream but whatever it was, his coulrophobia was interfering with his quality of work. For something to do with his job, he had to see a clown 🀑 or something if I remember correctly. His job was not actually about clowns though. It was something he usually did not have to encounter but it just happened that he had to cross paths with a clown now at work, just a coincidence. Maybe he had to visit someone’s house for work where they had a clown figure or photo? I don’t really remember much about that but whatever it was, his quality of work was greatly suffering and his boss was angry. He ordered him to be treated with exposure therapy, a form of treatment often used to treat phobias. The young man was having emotional difficulty with the exposure. He had to walk alone into a dark room in an old warehouse or factory or something like that, at night, full of life sized clown mannequins so he can get used to them and no longer be afraid. He couldn’t handle it.

In the movie in my head, his boss called him and was angrily telling him to get his shit together and stop acting like a coward and get on with it because he had work to get done. He was tired of his “nonsense.” I can still hear his voice dripping with arrogance, disdain, indifference to someone else’s suffering.

The movie in my dream was about how people who were murderers, dressed as clowns just like the clown mannequins used for his exposure, and creeped into the building and stood in the room next to the fake ones so they could eventually jump out at him during his exposure treatment. Lol It wasn’t part of the therapy and his boss wasn’t in on it. They were just psychos who somehow knew about it. They were strangers.

In my dream, I somehow got into the movie. Like it somehow turned real. But this wasn’t strange in my dream like it would have been for real. Like in reality we would be amazed, shocked, or confused if we somehow got into a movie or a movie turned real. But in my dream it was just a casual thing. The movie was all of a sudden not a movie and was real life and I was in it. I was walking into the dark room with the clowns. I knew the killers were in there since I just was watching the movie and wasn’t sure if they would lunge for me or not. But I had something to do in that room. I don’t remember what or even if I knew in the dream but I wasn’t sure if I should keep going and fulfill my obligation or turn around and leave since the killers were in there. The young man wasn’t there and I knew he would be coming soon. I think whatever I had to do was for my own job. This is realistic of me to still consider doing something that needs to be done even if it may be dangerous to me. I work with dogs and sometimes they can be aggressive. There are occasions I still considered interacting with them even when they clearly wanted to rip me to shreds. Lol And occasions I had to still feed and give them water while they were coming at me because a dog has to eat. Lol So this part of my dream makes perfect sense.

I wasn’t scared in the dream but a bit anxious and my body was tense like it was deciding it maybe should run. Then I saw some of the clowns moving and a vague thought crossed my mind like is this real or is it part of a movie I was just watching. It was like reality (the dream’s reality) and the movie blended.

So I wasn’t sure what would happen. Are they going to get me or ignore me? I had a feeling like they weren’t going to try to kill me. This is how I am for real in general, very trusting and always expecting the least bad thing to happen. I generally have this feeling like everything will work out well. I am not very anxious. I have suffered a couple bouts with anxiety but am generally not someone who is anxious. So I wasn’t extremely concerned for myself.

This feeling like this is real but also not is difficult to explain but in the dream it made sense. It was like a blend of something. Like sort of real, sort of not. I think this is common in dreams.

I think I decided not to walk into the room just in case the clowns tried to kill me. Better safe than sorry. Lol I remember walking away with this feeling of being very safe.

Then I woke up. Lol Intrigued by the dream. I don’t know what provoked that vivid and detailed dream or if there is really a movie like this but if there is one, I haven’t seen it. My head just made it up.

I had exposure therapy myself in reality, a few years ago, for debilitating claustrophobia. It began as professional treatment but I quit and handled it on my own, continuing exposure on my own terms. My claustrophobia was interfering with life because I have to get on elevators for work. There is no option sometimes to use the stairs and my claustrophobia was taking over everyday even when I did not have to get on elevators that day because I knew I would soon have to get inside them. In my dream, I sort of remembered my real life exposure therapy and how it was absolutely frightening at first and I experienced empathy and compassion for the young man. It’s like cruelty, irony, the thing we fear most in life is the very thing we must come face to face with alone, to get better.

I used to avoid elevators at all costs. I used to run up 20 or more things of stairs just to avoid them. This wasn’t a problem because I am very healthy and fit and energetic, always have been. But in college I had to get to buildings early to be able to run up 20 or more floors without being late for classes.

Sometimes that isn’t an option and stairs are blocked off. Some years ago, my claustrophobia triggered suicidal depression in me to the point I couldn’t even hold my toothbrush to brush my teeth in the mornings. I couldn’t handle knowing on any random day I may have to go into an elevator and that triggered a depressive episode that became no longer about that; the depression took on a life of its own. So I was struggling with a severe depressive episode on top of a bad, bad case of claustrophobia.

I grew up claustrophobic for an unknown reason. I have been for as long as I can remember, mostly about elevators. But it was rarely a problem because I rarely had any reason to have to get into them. So it may not have been able to be diagnosed as claustrophobia back then. Sometimes I had to avoid visiting people in hospitals because I couldn’t get into an elevator to the hospital room. On the occasions I did force myself, I would have some psychiatric breakdown. I have collapsed in crippling panic and have embarrassed family in front of strangers at the mere thought of getting into an elevator. Now I think it’s hilarious, especially embarrassing my mom and dad. One day when I was little we were all on a glass elevator with a stranger and I began to panic. I screamed at the top of my lungs and began kicking and flailing my arms and yelling let me out, let me out, let me out….just to go up two floors. The stranger turned and just stared in shock. My mom and dad were so embarrassed. ” My mom yelled, “Kim, you did NOT have to act like that!!!” It gives me a good belly laugh now when I remember it. πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­πŸ˜„πŸ˜Ή I remember my body flooded with sweet relief when that door opened.

All these years later, if I wanted to keep my job, I had to get over it. And I did. Years of claustrophobia gone in just a few weeks of simple regular exposure. Exposure works wonders, at least for me. It made me realize how something so powerful and debilitating is actually very, very weak.

Whenever I had to step into an elevator, it felt like I was going to die. My mouth dried up and always tasted like metal, like literally tasting fear. My entire body felt squeezed in the chokehold of death. The fear is so powerful it feels like I would *literally* go insane, like lose all sense of language and awareness and bodily movements. I felt like I could claw out my own eyes and claw off my own skin. And one day I actually did claw my own skin off when I was in an elevator alone as a teenager. There was no way out of the building unless I got into an elevator. I went into a panic and just mindlessly began ripping my skin off with my fingernails. Everything turned white like this blinding light around my head. I couldn’t see or think. All I could do was claw at my own body, my arms and ab, all bleeding when I finally stepped out of the elevator.

Welcome to my nightmare. πŸ–€

(almost had a cow when I saw this a couple years ago 😳 🀣 Just sitting there, doors wide open as if to tempt me; it felt like it was watching me, daring me. Lol It’s an old out of service elevator in a building I visit for work. It hasn’t been in use for some years and is in a strange place, not near the rest of the elevators and looks all old and dingy while the rest are newer looking and its doors are ALWAYS closed. But one day, I walk by and the doors are open! Holy guacamole! My heart nearly leapt out of my chest. Luckily my claustrophobia was already healed by then but this thing made it want to come back 🀣😭😹 Some things you just can’t unsee)

It has always felt like an eternity before the doors opened again and a sense of deep, deep dread and despair & regret as I watched them close on me.

It’s a kind of fear that knocks the wind out of me and takes my whole breath away. I have been in awe at how powerful it is.

I had a relapse once after mostly recovering when it seemed like an elevator door took a second too long to open, when I was inside by myself. It came back with a vengeance. It was way worse than before. I got mostly rid of the claustrophobia on my own by getting into elevators with dogs and found it healing. Then it came back then the regular exposure on my own helped significantly.

Now even if a door seems to take longer to open, I don’t have breakdowns or relapses. I get into elevators everyday by myself with no problems at all and find them very peaceful. Like a very brief reprieve where the outside world and all its problems and noise and stress and drama can’t touch me.

I love how a place that once felt so dark and cold and deadly is now a place of warmth and security like being wrapped in a cozy blanket.

There are some random occasions, I am a bit anxious with elevators and avoid them or sometimes suck it up and get into them anyway. But it’s not frequent. And not severe. I know if I am already anxious about something else, something unrelated, and have to get into an elevator, it sometimes triggers the claustrophobia but it goes away again. I believe if I ever stop getting into elevators for a long while then I do again, the claustrophobia may come back. I have experienced this already. So I try to get into them as much as possible to keep it away. It’s a lifelong condition that has to be controlled with regular exposure or I will go insane with fear again.

I don’t know what is up with this dream. Lol But it reminds me a bit of my own real experience. Even the old, dark warehouse where the clowns were. My work office used to be in one. Lol

I am not afraid of clowns and never have been. This wasn’t a scary dream at all. It wasn’t a nightmare even though it may seem like it. I don’t usually have dark or scary dreams. They’re usually positive, happy, or mundane. Though I have been plagued off and on, for as long as I can remember, by nightmares about being inside elevators and being stuck in them, sometimes with people, usually alone. Or sometimes terrifying dreams knowing I will soon be getting into an elevator. Sometimes I wake myself up before it happens or I force myself awake after I get into one if I can. I still have them on rare occasions but almost never since the claustrophobia went away. They are horrifying dreams and just dreadful. I had them since I was little even when I did not have to get into elevators and haven’t been recently in one. My brain just obsessed with them for some reason. I don’t ever remember any unpleasant experience with elevators that made this happen, just grew up with it. My earliest memories are terror when near an elevator. Couldn’t even bring myself to look at them walking by. I used to curse whoever invented them. I felt like that person destroyed my life sometimes.

This dream is bizarre for me because I don’t usually have them like this and it seems a bit creative. I’m not someone who is a creative writer or anything. So I don’t know why my head made this up.

Very recently, like just over one week ago, I saw the word “heliophobia” and looked it up to see what it is(a fear of the sun or bright light) and while scrolling, the word “coulrophobia” showed up. I think this is what inspired the dream but don’t know why just seeing that word and a pic of a clown holding balloons would inspire a whole story in my head while I sleep. Lol It’s heliophobia I was was interested in, not the clown one.

And the dream was very, very vivid. I remember the clowns and their faces and their pastel colored pj’s and balloons.🎈 And I remember the young man very clearly but don’t remember ever seeing him for real in person. I read before that all faces we see in dreams are real faces we saw at one point in life, even if years ago. It doesn’t mean in the dream they were who they are in reality, just that the face is real. I don’t know if it’s true.

Horror movies are my guilty pleasure, which I think also contributed to the dream, and I think this would be a good movie! 😍

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever you are!

Xoxo Kim πŸ’œ

Just breathe πŸ’™πŸ•‰

Mozart: Canzonetta Sull’aria – YouTube song 🎡

Relaxing songs list – website

How to use 4-7-8 breathing for anxiety – website

Diaphragmatic Breathing – Short youtube video to quickly learn how to breathe most effectively

(Content/possible trigger warning ⚠️: In part of this post, I briefly & lightly mention BDSM, a kink, where people, with consent, may be t**d up, usually in a s*xual context. It’s nothing graphic that I explain but just mentioning something to do with breathing that I learned in a fiction book about BDSM, that helps with meditation. But anyone who has experienced trauma may be triggered even by non graphic things, even by seeing certain words so I may block some things out with *** It’s important to face triggers but only when ready as possible, not by suddenly seeing a post on the internet when not in the frame of mind. Also, some asexual people do not want to encounter anything that has anything to do with s*x even if they weren’t traumatized because it’s icky or repulsive to them[not prudes at all, just grossed out and/or tired of hearing about the s*x constantly when it’s not in someone’s nature to want/crave it].

I’ll put a warning before the mention of the BDSM so any trauma survivors or aces can skip it. And I will put the caution signs ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ at the end so anyone who skips can see where it ends and continue reading.)

The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as ‘relaxing breath,’ involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.

This is a very simple and powerful technique to stop anxiety in its tracks. Of course, it may not work for every single person but is effective for many, if not most. For me, it works instantly.

I haven’t been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and never struggled with general anxiety but I have suffered a six month long battle with debilitating health anxiety in 2019. And in 2015 I lost my close friend unexpectedly to a heart attack and after that have struggled with bouts of anxiety off and on and fear of others I know all of a sudden dying. Every now and again but not frequently, I have this terrible suffocating fear arise that someone I know will die soon or is dying right now or will suffer an illness. It’s something that comes and goes and even though it’s not constant or usually frequent, it is difficult to bear when it does occur. It can feel like it will never end and like I am the only one in the world suffering it. I have also struggled with crippling claustrophobia, which I have conquered on my own as I frequently must get on elevators for work. It was important for me to heal it.

So while I don’t have anxiety as badly or frequently as some people and don’t currently have a disorder, I know what it’s like to be plagued by anxiety sometimes. I believe my experience with health anxiety in 2019 would have been diagnosed as a fullblown disorder if I would have asked for help. It takes extreme strength and courage to battle anxiety. It’s a display of strength and courage to live with anxiety, NOT a sign of weakness or cowardice. People with anxiety are forced to be stronger than people without anxiety have to be, yet often feel we are weak and cowardly if we are anxious and fearful. There is no way we would be surviving it each second if we were weak minded. It takes emotional and physical strength to endure. To me, it’s worse than depression and I have suffered severe depression off and on for years. It’s difficult to imagine the strength of anxiety survivors who live with it regularly. Just six months for me was nearly unbearable.

My anxiety when it arises, more often than not, manifests as physical sensations and emotions as opposed to thoughts. Because of this, mine may be easier to calm down when it does arise than if I had deeply rooted fears and thoughts.

My heart pounds, nearly out of my chest, my breathing becomes shallow, my head spins, and bolts of fear run up and down my body, heart palpitations, and I have this terrible feeling that someone I know is dying, near death, or will soon die. Sometimes it lasts off and on for days, usually just off and on in one day. It tends to be worse at night and early mornings when it is occurring. And sometimes my health anxiety for my own self tries to return and convince me I have cancer. It’s absolutely frightening and life destroying when it’s constant like in 2019. I developed uncontrollable rituals each day, incessantly checking for lumps and marks on my body. I stayed on Google day and night reading about diseases and looking at pictures of diseases I was convinced I had. It was a fullblown obsession. How I survived those six months, I still don’t know.

When it’s out of control, it’s very difficult to meditate or just breathe so best to catch it when a symptom or episode is just beginning, or beginning to worsen, or not quite as intense. When my heart begins to pound or those bolts of fear ripple up and down my body, I do the 4-7-8 breathing technique and instantly my body calms. It’s not a cure, of course, but a good way to get instant relief and if it becomes a habit, it may just be a “cure” for some or at least make anxiety less frequent. It’s just it can be difficult finding the motivation or time to make it an ingrained habit. Or for many, their anxiety is just generally too severe to be able to sit there and breathe, mindfully.

But for me, it does work. When I’m out walking, if I am hit with fear or panic or anxious sensations, I do that breathing technique. Also, I haven’t made it a habit yet but at night/morning, I listen to a peaceful song/music and do the breathing technique even if I am not currently anxious. It’s very pleasant and can prevent anxiety. It instills in me a peaceful sensation all throughout.

One thing to be mindful of is if we meditate only infrequently or haven’t in a while, meditation may bring out more fear or anxiety or anger or sadness or grief…, because we have emotions and responses to everyday life and certain experiences already inside us and often pent up. Meditation will loosen it up and bring it all to the surface/consciousness like a plunger loosening all the contents in a sink or toilet. Lol It may make it seem like meditation or mindfulness is a bad thing or just not for us. But could just be we have to meditate more often. Everyday we experience things and our emotional reactions no matter how serious or not, build up. We get cut off in traffic, we drop things, we spill coffee on our white shirt, we see someone almost get hit by a car running across a street, we hear a loud noise that startles us, our coworker says something that ticks us off, we may remember someone dying years ago and feel current distress or sadness about it…all of our emotional reactions to these things stay inside us even if we quickly forget them. Then meditation brings it all out later and we may feel the stress, anger, fear for a while after a meditation session but it’s actually a good thing as all those emotions need a release.

Shoulder blade squeeze

As I mention when promoting breathing exercises, I suggest people who are physically able to, as long as it’s safe for them, do the shoulder blade exercise at the beginning to open up the airways and make breathing easier and deeper.

⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ Content Warning ⚠️⚠️ ⚠️

Some years ago, I read a fiction legal thriller series of books by Stephen Penner, for fun and learned an invaluable life tip. In one of the books, the medical examiner, character, Dr. Kat Anderson, explained that putting our arms back like that opens the chest cavity and helps us breathe better. In the book a woman was accidentally killed by her man while they were engaging in BDSM, a kink where they tie each other up and stuff; it looks and sounds violent but is usually safe and is one hundred percent consensual.

The characters were hooking up and he tied her arms back with her consent and he accidentally killed her. The doctor explained how she would have died sooner if not for her arms being tied back like that. The reason she died is he choked her (with her consent) and since her arms were back, she was breathing better so lived longer. I realized I can do that before meditations to make me breathe more deeply and just randomly throughout the day and then a professional fitness trainer told me the same thing, to do that all day, everyday. It aids in our breathing.

⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️END⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️

So put your arms straight at your sides then lift them to your waist, bend the elbows and squeeze shoulder blades for five seconds then loosen for a few seconds then do the same again however many sessions you see fit. Don’t shrug your shoulders while squeezing the shoulder blades. That isn’t necessary and may not be safe or effective.

This is only for people who can safely do this, don’t have pain or physical limitations, have arms…I understand this isn’t for everyone. I think the average person can do this though. Remember for counting seconds, 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi….I learned this is elementary school just saying one two three is less than a second so put the Mississippi after and it’s closest to one second. 😁

This song in the YouTube video above, Mozart: Canzonetta Sull’aria, is one of my favorite ones to meditate to. It’s beautiful and peaceful and scientifically shown to be one of the most relaxing songs on Earth. Weightless – ten hour version or Weightless – eight minutes version is the actual most relaxing (scientifically proven) and I love that one too. But this one is a bit too relaxing and can make us sleepy or go to sleep. I’m not always trying to go to sleep after meditation. Sometimes I’m meditating in the morning or afternoon or out walking or before work and Weightless isn’t a good idea those occasions. But it’s great right before sleep or if it doesn’t matter if we are sleepy.

When breathing, only the abdomen should move, not the chest. And breathing should always be inhaling through the nose with the stomach expanding and exhaling through the mouth with stomach deflating. It’s called diaphragmatic breathing and does matter. It’s the proper way to breathe, the most healthy, but most of us don’t breathe that way and our breathing is shallow. Diaphragmatic breathing is best for coping with pain and anxiety and just the healthiest in all of life.

Remember to breathe as slowly and deeply as possible, especially breathing out. It takes practice. And remember to gently bring your wandering mind back to breath. That takes practice too. Everyone without exception will have a wandering mind, even those experienced with meditation. It’s just the nature of the human mind. It’s not a flaw or something worthy of self criticism. It’s just important to catch it as best as we can because before we know it our allotted meditation time is over and was taken up daydreaming of our lunch later, or some task at work tomorrow, or stores we have to visit. Again, not a flaw! And not an indication that we aren’t good at mediation. It happens to everyone who tries to meditate or do breathwork. It’s just important to get into the habit of catching it as much as possible for mediation to be most effective.

Anyone who tries meditation or breathwork is successful. Just taking that step to better our own self and be better for those around us is an accomplishment.

Hugs, love, inner peace, and light to all! πŸ’—

Xoxo Kim

Got anxiety? πŸ’œ

Got anxiety? πŸ’œ

(Caution ⚠️ Someone messaged me and said this video I made triggers headaches in some so please watch with Caution or not at all if you have any health issues that may be triggerd – I did put a caution even before someone said that because things like this can trigger sensory issues and seizures in some and probably various other things as well)

Just watch this video I made with glitchlabapp , mirrorlabapp , and movee and take deep, slow breaths. Breathe in slowly, through the nose for four seconds (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi, 4 Mississippi) while the abdomen expands. Hold for seven seconds (1 Mississippi-7 Mississippi), then breathe out even more slowly, through the mouth, for eight seconds while the ab gets flat. Focus on breath and when the mind wanders, gently bring it back to breath. It will wander even for those experienced with meditation & breathwork. I would recommend bending your arms at the elbows and squeezing shoulder blades together if you’re physically able to and safely, before beginning the exercise. It opens up the airways/chest and makes breathing easier. Also, for those inexperienced, it’s easiest to lay down and hardest to be standing.

This often works instantly to calm down or feel a sense of inner peace, stop tremors, and heart racing, even if not done properly. Takes practice and persistence to get it down perfectly. But all it takes is a few seconds for results. May not work for everyone.

Anyone with sensory issues or seizure issues or any other extra/special needs maybe shouldn’t watch this video and anyone with physical limitations or pain maybe shouldn’t try the shoulder blade exercise. These things should only be done if you know you can do them safely.

Anxiety can be a fullblown disorder or just a mood we all experience on occasion throughout life. It can be mild to severe and can manifest in various ways, physical sensations, tremors, feelings of fear or panic, heart palpitations, difficulty sleeping, a deathly feeling…it’s different on different occasions and different for everyone and it’s never pleasant and is very, very common.

Sending love, peace, & light to all, xoxo πŸ’›πŸ•‰

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Xoxo Kim

Healing Anxiety ActivityπŸ–€

This is an Instagram post of mine I’m sharing here!

This is not a good picture but it’s the concept I’m sharing. Five years ago, I lost my close friend, who was my coworker, unexpectedly, to a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest, whatever the correct term is. Anyway, her heart just stopped out of nowhere and she collapsed to the floor and died. It wrecked & traumatized my whole world. I developed anxiety that I never had before. Not a fullblown condition but I would have sudden, insense anxiety/fear, out of the blue. Very difficult to endure. Not panic attacks but still a sense of panic. It was not interfering with life in general but definitely with my sleep and peace of mind. Not anxious thoughts usually, but anxious sensations. Bolts of fear surging through me and gripped in panic along with a couple anxious thoughts sometimes. Through the years those anxiety episodes have lessened but I still experience them. They are no longer about Diane’s death, exactly, but still rooted in that. Recently, I experienced a tragic pet loss and because of the circumstances, that fear has been coming back more again, in waves, and interfering with my sleep. My heart pounds when I’m laying as if I was running a marathon. And my insides are like in turmoil. It’s all day but worse at night. The way I see anxiety in my head is like small, sharp, gray/silver balls of activity wreaking havoc on my insides. Sometimes I imagine the balls of anxiety and visualize white or golden light around them, absorbing them into it until they are gone and only light remains. I decided to draw a picture of my imagination. I don’t draw or anything and not creative but decided to give it a try. I drew the balls in pencil then erased them til they became lighter, as if to lose much of their power, then colored them in yellow. I also wrote the word anxiety at the top and erased it then wrote inner peace over it. I colored around the paper in purple because purple/lavendar is soothing to look at and lavendar scent can have a calming effect. The pencil isn’t scented though. This is symbolic of healing anxiety. πŸ’œπŸ’› It’s a fun and soothing activity!

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are! It’s Morning here in Philadelphia, Pa, USA! πŸ’›

xoxo Kim

Look for the good {gratitude}❀

One way to practice gratitude that is different than an ordinary gratitude list is to write a list of things that seem wrong, difficult, challenging, bad….then put a positive spin on them or make a conscious decision to see the good or create the good in them.
Here’s mine.

1.) My hemoglobin/iron level has been dropping consistently for the last six months for a reason unknown (Scary!) but I’m thankful it’s still at a safe level even though it’s considered to be at an anemic level now. It only drops slightly and only just now became anemic but it shouldn’t be dropping at all, consistently. This is an opportunity for me to get even healthier now, healthier diet, work on less stress factors, more consistent meditation, self care…This should bring it back up as long as there’s no underlying issue/illness making it drop. Hopefully it’s just that I need some dietary/lifestyle changes. I work/walk/exercise excessively, to extreme levels, and under-eat(My body weight is healthy though). I don’t have an eating disorder. And it’s not a conscious decision; it happened over time and is not something I wanted to happen. It just did. But now my body is demanding I rest and make healthier decisions in other ways. And that’s a good thing!

2.) Because of this I cannot donate blood and I’m a regular blood donor. Very disappointing. The Red Cross wont let me because it’s not safe for me to lose even a small amount of blood even though it’s safe for any recipient to get my blood, but at least I have the desire to help and try to. Sometimes that just has to be enough! And another good thing…they still let me have the free snacks!πŸ˜‚

3.) I have these rainshoes that cut my skin and are very uncomfortable. But so is walking around with soaked shoes & socks all day. So it’s either severe blisters or soaked, yucky shoes & socks when it rains. Both are sucky. But at least my body has the ability to heal the cuts. It’s a reminder to be thankful that it functions the way it should. I choose the soaked shoes n socks. Wet feet can dry very quickly while cuts take longer to heal and can potentially get infected. Also, I probably shouldnt be losing blood with my low hemoglobin thing going on. I tried different kinds of rainshoes and none work out.
4.) I have been struggling with very severe, absolutely debilitating health anxiety (which I never had before) for the last two months and this was before I found out about my hemoglobin issue so imagine my horror when I found this out!! That’s all I need is to hear this now! I have been convinced for two months that I’m about to die (In just a month I was convinced I had over ten different kinds of rare cancer and Google had me dead in less than a year – it may be in your best interest to stay off google if you are struggling with health anxiety! For example, I had some little thing I cant even remember now and put it in google just to check. What’s the first thing that comes up? Pancreatic cancer. Thoroughly freaked me out until Im in a near panic. I was never like this!!) and now this(low hemoglobin can be a result of cancer)! But my terrible anxiety inspired me to do something and I found a beautiful meditation that is so inspiring and full of love. So soothing, calming, peaceful, serene, healing. Stunning. Kuan Yin – Om Mani Padme Hum

It’s a short meditation just over six minutes long. We can put it on replay to meditate longer or just play it as soothing background music while doing other things.

These are a few things that are not good but either because of them I found something good or I was able to see or create the good in them. Try it! We can never go wrong with that! No matter how seemingly serious or trivial, list it and look for the positive aspect. This gets our mind into the habit of being thankful or deepens our gratitude if we’re already frequently grateful. It can be uplifting to list good things but may be helpful in another way to list “bad” things then the good in those bad things.

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are! Hugs to you if you are struggling with health anxiety or any health issues. Meditation really helps me, even just a few minutes of conscious breathing in the morning and/or at night is powerful.❀

Much love, light, & inner peace,