Adoption, anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, sobriety, stress, Women's Health

Reflection Time

I’m sitting here. It is a rainy day. It has been a rough past few days with storms and anxiety. We brought one of my dogs to live with us, Rollie. He is scared of storms and fireworks. The past two nights we were up with him calming him down with storms.

Anyways, I’m sitting here drinking a hot cup of peppermint tea to hopefully help my stomach a bit. It has been really off the past few days. I’ve been listening to Anberlin as I work on my dissertation. They have been one of my favorites for a long time. Fun fact, Stephen Christian, their singer, graduated from the same school I attend, and has the same birthday as me, same age! As I sat and filled out the title page of the dissertation paper, I began thinking of how far I have come.

Sometimes in the middles of all of the stress and anxiety, we need to take a step back and see where we were and look at where we are now. Eight years ago, I was in my last year of drinking. I was a mess. One of my best friends lives in England, and he never fails to remind me how far I have come. He always says it is night and day from when he met me nearly ten years ago to where I am now. He met this girl who he saw had potential who did not see the potential in herself. She was this drunk hanging out at a shitty bar, trying to drink away the years of pain and unhappiness. He may not know this, but meeting him kind of kick started my journey. His questions of why are you living like this if you aren’t happy? You don’t belong here. You need to get away from all of these negative people in your life. You deserve more. For some reason, this time I listened.

I had spent so many years believing that I was not worthy of a good life. My life was going nowhere. I was not happy with who I was. I was not a good friend. I’m surprised that my bestie is still my friend honestly. I was not good to her when we first met. I hurt others because I was hurting so bad inside. I hated myself. So first came the quitting smoking. Then I ended up in the hospital because of drinking. That was my day where I told myself I am not doing this anymore. I had another good friend with me at the hospital that day. Another person who saw more in me than I did. He has been one of my biggest cheerleaders throughout this journey.

I was not quite an alcoholic like my brother is, but I used alcohol to numb the pain. I used people to buy me drinks. Just one more drink to numb that pain. Quitting drinking was only the beginning. See, now I had to actually feel things and face things sober. I actually ended up having a nervous breakdown four months after quitting drinking. My family was all living back together. My parents had lost their house to foreclosure, my brother had been kicked out of his girlfriends because of his drinking. My mom nearly died from sepsis and had to have a toe amputated. I was taking care of her and getting my brother to and from work (at this point he had lost his license). I had an eight hour panic attack. One of my friends came and took me to the hospital. I had already been prescribed Ativan, but that was not working. That night, I do not remember getting home. They gave me more Ativan to calm me down. I woke up in my bed with my friend sleeping on my floor because he was that worried about me. The hospital got me hooked up with my therapist that I am still seeing and a psychiatrist to get the right medications to help control the anxiety and depression.

Through therapy, I have learned to let go of many of the bad things I did in my past. I even learned to love myself. I learned to not let people take advantage of me. I went back to school because I had always wanted to get my bachelor’s. I had only had my associate’s. When I was nearing the end of my bachelor’s, I was already enrolled in the master’s program. I finished my bachelor’s with a 4.0 and my master’s with a 3.9 GPA. I took a few months off and then I was like well, why not prove to myself that I can go all the way and get my terminal degree. Here I am, working on my dissertation.

Not only am I working on my dissertation, I got married to a man who I honestly could not have asked for better. He is patient with my anxiety and depression and does whatever he can to help me. He has been supportive with school and everything else. We have never really had a bad fight. We work together as a team. I think going through so many years of therapy has helped me be able to communicate what I want and to get him to communicate what he wants back. He has become my best friend and I can not imagine my life without him. My family loves him. He is such a good man that was also dealt some shitty cards in life. I think together we have both been healing from our pasts. We want the same things in life and enjoy the same things in life. We are both sci fi nerds. We even had a Doctor Who themed wedding.

When we first began dating, his youngest and I began spending a lot of time together. It started because she did not want to be home alone. She had some reservations about getting to know me so soon after her mother had passed away. When I first met her, she didn’t even know the full story behind her mother’s death and could not even talk about her. When others brought her up, she would shut down. She was a hurting young girl. We finally got her in and got her a diagnosis of autism and got her into therapy. She has since blossomed. She talks more, she does more, she laughs more. She can talk about her mom now. She does not have really good memories of her mother. I feel bad that she does not, but she is the youngest and as her mother went further downhill, she got less than the other kids got. Her and I have bonded over certain things that happened to both of us growing up. She is still unsure of herself and still does not have the best self-esteem, but we are working at it.

It took a bit longer with my now son. He began reaching out to go to lunch and go shopping and we slowly got to know each other. He was also a hurting kid and still is to some degree. I think he feels torn between two families. It definitely hasn’t been on our end. He has been degraded by his other side of the family. I can see it hurts him, but he is learning to let it go. He now has a family life, something stable. We all do. We were all missing stability in our lives. I have seen him grow into someone who laughs more, talks more, and is wanting more out of life than the status quo.

Things are not perfect by far. But together we grow. We heal. We have all come a long way from where we were and have more to go. Throughout life, you continue to grow. One thing I learned from my friend that made me realize I could do more is that if you are unhappy and stay in your situation, it is your fault you are unhappy. You cannot heal and grow if you continue to stay stagnant in life. You have to let go of the past and move forward. Never forget what the past taught you and cherish the good memories it has given you, but you cannot live there. I never thought I’d be where I am right now, but here I am. I am here because I fought my demons and continue to do so. I have learned that not everyone has to like me. I have learned that I will fail along the way, this is how we learn. Fear of failure holds me back sometimes, but I have to push through. I also suffer from impostor syndrome. I have to keep reminding myself that I have worked for all of this and I deserve it. I allow myself to have bad days. I try not to be so hard on myself. There is so much more to life than staying stagnant and unhappy.

Adoption, anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, stress, Women's Health

Anxiety and Depression

The past week and a half have been a roller-coaster of emotions. My anxiety is at a high. My stomach has been having a flare up. I have not been doing the best at self care. I have not done any yoga, I have not meditated, and I have been eating like crap. I have a few older family members that have tested positive for Covid and it is worrying me. My brother’s seizure put me on the edge. So far, he has been staying sober (as far as we know). I have been listening to back episodes of the podcast, Owning It: The Anxiety Podcast. It has been helping quite a bit.

This podcast has opened my eyes to times in my childhood that I felt off and was actually having anxiety. The last episode I listened to had a hypnotherapist on there. My therapist is a hypnotherapist and I have done regression therapy. It was a tremendous help. There is a new treatment called havening. When he was explaining what it was, I realized that my therapist has actually used some of these techniques on me. I can also relate to the woman that does the podcast in that when I feel good, I forget to do upkeep. When you feel good, you forget to meditate or do yoga. Those are things that need to be done. I need that daily check in to see how I am feeling, even on those good days.

I have been getting requests for interviews for more content writing positions. Some are remote and some are in office. I am scared to do a full time, in office position. We are making good progress with my daughter. We made a chart for her to do self care and be more independent and responsible. If she does all of the items she is supposed to do, she gets allowance every Sunday. We are in our fourth week and she has not missed one allowance. I did have a cute experience with her. She texted me that she is a meagling. Then she came into the room to put that into context. She was telling her friends about her allowance. I guess some of them were saying they wish they got that and some of the other perks she gets. She told them to get them a Meagen. They decided they wanted to be adopted to become meaglings. She is so cute and funny.

Things are better with our son. We worked through what was bothering him. He was not happy doing what he was doing and once he talked to us about it, he seemed much happier. We overheard him on the phone calling us his parents. My husband and I just looked at each other and smiled. He is the sweetest boy, well young man.

It was also quite stressful last week with it being my first week of dissertation. I had to take a bunch of short courses and take tests to get certifications that I will be conducting my study according to the law and in a moral way. They changed my dissertation chair halfway through the week and made a typo in the email putting me in the project course rather than dissertation route. I panicked. My new dissertation chair actually called me because he was just as confused. He seems nice and gave me some good tips on my dissertation. I am a bit worried because he is a bit slow in responding. I changed my problem statement and research questions a little bit, so I am waiting on him to approve and then send that on to the dissertation team to approve. Then I can work on the rest. This first part of the dissertation is basically explaining my problem statement, how I will conduct my study, and conducting a literature review.

We had my parents over for dinner last weekend. I know, breaking the social distancing rule. It was good though. My mom is so much better with the kids than she was with me. I think that happens. I think parents sometimes mess up with their kids and then treat the grandkids like gold. The kids have been really taken with my parents. My mom is always getting them goodies. I can’t wait until all this is over so that we can see more of my husband’s side of his family. We did get a video of our niece opening her birthday gifts that we gave her. It was so cute. My mother-in-law and me check in at least once a week to see how things are going. I am lucky to have them in my life.

I was so scared to meet them. When I was 22, I dated a guy who was very emotionally abusive and his parents were very religious and conservative. He went to Iowa State, so when I first moved to be closer to him, I lived with them for several months. Lets just say they were also very emotionally abusive. My husband had told me his parents weren’t very nice to his first wife. Well, it turns out it was gaslighting on her end. She was not nice to them and as other abusers do, used the tactic of trash talking them to separate him from them. Now he has a much better relationship with them and so do the kids. There was so much hurt there and now everyone is healing. One day, I will tell the story of my abuser (the worse one). Once you get into an abusive situation, you tend to get into others until you see your worth. It took me a long time to see my worth. In fact, I still have dreams that I am not really married. I have had so many people walk in and out of my life. When I wake up from these dreams, I am nearly in tears because my husband is still there. My therapist said these will continue until I can trust he isn’t going to leave like everyone else.

As for the anxiety, I keep reminding myself that it will pass. It always does. I’m trying to keep busy in my free time. We have had some family game nights. Uno Flip is a new favorite in the house. I bought a crochet kit to make start wars characters for my husband for father’s day. I’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet. His aunt made us this gorgeous blanket for our wedding gift. I love getting homemade gifts. I also love giving them. They are so much more personable.

Anyways, I keep rambling on and on. I need to get some actual work done. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Remember, this won’t last forever. Anxiety and depression comes in waves, but it does not last forever.

Adoption, anxiety, depression, Health, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, sobriety, stress, Women's Health

Mother’s Day

My first mother’s day, let me just say I do not want to do it again. The day started out sweet. I woke up and there was a balloon with flowers and cards. My mom gave me a beautiful wind chime. I painted decorative crosses for both my mom and my husband’s mom. I had such sweet messages from his mom and sister. Then, I called my mom. I could tell something was wrong when she answered. She kept telling me I did not want to know. You can’t say that to someone.

Last night, my brother had another seizure from detoxing from alcohol. I guess it was a bad one and they had to call an ambulance. My mom said it lasted longer than the one he had about 8 years ago. She said he didn’t come right out of it this time either. I went over to see him, he seemed okay. My parents were supposed to come over to our house for the first time tonight for a lasagna dinner. Both parents have been to the house, but not since the walk through before we moved in. He was shaking from what they call the DTs. My parents have to monitor him to make sure he does not get worse. He is being stubborn right now saying he is still going to work tomorrow and will make a doctor’s appointment. He says he isn’t going to drink anymore. Honestly, I don’t know. I go to bed and every day I wake up looking for a missed call or a text that he is gone. My heart is just hurting right now. His brain is so far gone from this disease that he cannot see the damage he is doing to himself and the ones that love him. It kills me.

So, instead of lasagna, we ended up just ordering pizza. I was not in the best of moods to celebrate. I feel like a fraud.

Yesterday, I took my adopted son to the store and bought him flowers to put on his mother’s grave. Then, all four of us went so he could put flowers on her grave. He was the only one to get out of the car. My heart hurt for him watching him walk up to her grave. I wanted to cry for him. Today he slept most of the day and left a bit ago to go back to visit his mom’s grave. I cannot tell you how my heart hurt. I know he misses his mom. And I know it is different with boys and their moms. My brother was treated completely different than I was. It is just like my dad was different with me than him.

Maybe I am extra emotional today and feeling sorry for myself. I stepped into a position that I did not ask for, and in honesty, I was not ready for. But I did and things have gotten better. My daughter takes care of herself now. She smiles and laughs more. But, I will never be their mom. I think I just fool myself into thinking that. I know my stepdaughter has told me I’ve done more for her than her birth mother. And maybe I’m just extra sensitive because of the things going on with my brother. I am scared I am going to lose him.

I am definitely having an off day. I have not eaten well, I have not treated myself well mentally, and honestly, I just want to go cry. Dissertation begins tomorrow. The thing that irritates me the most is that I write this to get my feelings out, but there are some asshole people that stalk me and use it against me. Why, because they are unhappy jerks with nothing better to do with their lives.

anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, stress, Women's Health

A Talk about Anxiety and Food

I went for my first appointment with the nurse practitioner for bariatric surgery yesterday. This is the woman that I will be meeting with once a month for the next six months. She was amazing and has me very excited that things can change. Basically where I am right now is that my gut is unwell. I need to fix my gut to fix my mind. It is a chicken and egg thing. Does my stomach hurt because of my anxiety? Or, is my stomach hurting driving my anxiety? She liked the fact that I am data driven. I like to have numbers of what works and what does not. She sent me home with several homework assignments.

So, beginning today I have started keeping a food journal. It is not just a food journal though. This particular journal that I found online records my food and drinks, but it also asks how I feel before and after each. This will help me figure out how different foods effect my mind and body. I am doing a high protein, low carb diet. Because I still need to burn energy, I need to make sure I have good fats when letting go of the carbs. I have to go in at the end of May to have a full blood panel done. This panel will allow them to see how my body handles insulin and which vitamins I may be deficient in or that I may have too much of. Having PCOS, insulin resistance is a major thing. Basically my body’s cells do not react to insulin in the correct way. My body does not use glucose for energy like normal people. So, in reaction, my body creates more insulin, causing my blood sugars to go up. Insulin promotes fat storage. So, while losing weight is possible, it is much harder for a woman with PCOS to do so. There are women who have PCOS that are not heavy, so this is not an every person thing. This panel will allow them to see if I need to be put back on Metformin. Besides birth control pills (which I cannot take hormones), Metformin is the only other way to treat PCOS medically. It is not approved to treat PCOS, but it is the most common medication for PCOS. It is not a fun drug to be on. It can cause stomach issues. For someone who already has stomach issues, it is important that I figure things out before possibly going back on it.

One thing that I have learned is that your gut has more serotonin receptors than your brain. Isn’t that insane? This means that eating crappy will make you feel crappy. Now I have this new woman on my team to add to my regular doctor, my therapist, and my psychiatrist. Through all of them, I am learning that self-care is so important to keep anxiety at bay.

Lately I have been extremely irritable. There has been a lot going on. I am writing my final paper for my coursework. It is due on Friday. Once that is turned in, I switch from doctoral student to doctoral candidate as all of my coursework will be done. All that will be left is the dissertation. I also have all of this research and reading to do for self-care. I have all these books on anxiety, PCOS, diets, and so on that I have been meaning to read. I am hoping that things will settle down and I will have a bit more time to do that. I have to keep reminding myself that two years ago my life was completely different. I was working and traveling a lot for work. I was in school, and my biggest worry was who was going to watch my dogs while I was out of town. I was kid free and only looking out for myself. Fast forward to today and I am now married, have two kids, bought a house, and still have dogs. It is no longer just about me, but I also need to care for me in order to care for all of them.

It is rough when I feel like I am constantly cleaning up after everyone else. And it is little things, like someone not hitting the trash can. I feel overwhelmed with the fact that nobody else seems to be able to deep clean the house. That means moving things and scrubbing things. Everyone else just wipes around things, including my husband. Drives me crazy.

Anyways, enough about that. What I need to be focusing on is some self-care. I have a writing test to do for a women’s health site that is quite popular. Lots of things to do, but I will find time for some yoga and meditation.

Adoption, anxiety, depression, Health, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Women's Health

Beginning a Journey

I have begun my journey to weight-loss surgery. Apparently this is something that is controversial. I made a post on my personal Facebook (I have yet to set one up for my blog). I got so many recommendations about diets and medications. Only one person, who had the sleeve done, was positive about it. Yes, I have done dieting, I’ve spent hours at the gym. I still gained weight. Having PCOS sucks. I am comfortable in my body, I like my curves. But, I also know that the extra weight makes me feel sick nearly every single day. The thing is, it is not that bad of a surgery. I’ve chosen to do the bypass surgery because there is a greater success rate. It is nearly the same surgery as what my mom had, just not as complicated. Yes, I do have to diet before I have the surgery. Insurance has a rule that I have to meet with a doctor once a month for six months to check in with my weight. I have to keep a food journal.

So, my husband and I are going to begin the south beach diet. I need to do a high protein and low carb diet. Some have suggested keto, but I don’t think they realize how dangerous that diet is. It is not a sustainable way of living. I am excited to begin this journey. I had a long talk with my therapist the other day because I have been having nearly daily panic attacks. I am going into the office next week to have some hypnotherapy. We are planning on doing another regression session to help with moving forward. Hypnotherapy may sound weird, but it has helped me be able to live my life. I still have anger towards certain individuals, I probably always will. I still have some PTSD from my past, but it gets better as time goes on. Lately though, I have felt it crippling me again. I know, so many things are going on in the world and things are changing. It is extremely hard to explain to a 20-year old why they cannot just go sit in a car with friends right now. Even with face masks, it is too risky. We have seen my in-laws twice since all of this started and they do not come near us, nor us them. When we go see the dogs, we stay outside of my parents and do not go near them.

I have emailed a dog trainer to work with Jaxx and his aggression towards Olive. I honestly don’t think he likes female dogs. We plan on bringing Rollie to live with us this weekend. We have all been trying to keep busy. We sign my daughter’s adoption petition papers tomorrow finally. She turned 17 yesterday. They are both growing up way too fast. One thing that was brought up by the bariatric surgeon is that if I wanted to have children, I could not have the surgery. I told him that ship has sailed. We have spoken about possibly adopting or even doing foster care. But I think at this point, we are happy with the way things are. I got accepted into dissertation and that will be my next year busy. My husband wants to go back to school for his master’s degree. We each have three degrees at this point and will both be getting a fourth. Too bad we couldn’t have kids. They could probably rule the world. Not saying that the ones we have now couldn’t. Both are extremely smart.

Right now I am battling yet another sinus infection with an ear infection. I cannot wait to get the sinus surgery done! I feel like I may be coming out of this funk. I try to look around when I get bad and see all of the people in my life and all of the accomplishments. We are still enjoying our new house. We have been working on the yard and have so many ideas of what we want to do. The inside is coming along nicely. Home ownership has been fun so far. We’ve had a few snags, but it is so cute to see my husband looking up landscaping ideas.

For now, I will keep trying to look at the positive and try not to focus so much on the negative. I’m still working on getting negative people out of my life. Some people can never be supportive or happy for you no matter what.

Adoption, anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, stress, Women's Health

Managing Anxiety in Uncertain Times and PCOS Flare Ups

To begin this blog, we ended up losing Relish on Saturday. She went downhill after seeming to get better. My husband has been heart broken. She was his baby. It was a sad day. She never did get to come home to our new home.

We had a long talk and will be bringing my two boys here in a few weeks. My husband was angry again with his past. He didn’t realize how far he had let things go and did not realize that the dogs were not being cared for in a proper way, which included being fixed and having regular vet visits. From now on, this will not be the case in this house.

My PCOS has been flaring up. I started bleeding earlier this month, which I hardly ever do because I have an IUD in. It stopped and then started again last week. I went to see my obgyn and she seems to think it is from stress. I have been cramping and it hurts. It has been on and off and for now I just have to watch it. It is frustrating.

My anxiety has been kind of under control. I’m on a new medication and it seems to be working. My doctor is upping the dose and getting ready to bring down the Zoloft. I’m not going to say that this whole Covid 19 thing is not scary. It is messing up my routine. I have been trying to stay busy. I have plenty of art to catch up on and plenty of books to catch up on. I’m waiting for my problem statement for school to be approved so I can move forward with my research concept for my dissertation. I have several freelance writing gigs that are on hold because of this virus.

Lately I have been feeling sluggish and in pain. I push through it to get things done that need to get done around the house. Parenting has been hard the past couple weeks. I have had to put my foot down with my stepdaughter, soon to be adoptive daughter. It is because I love her and I see her going in a way that I do not want her to go. She has so much potential that she does not see. Tensions have been high between her and my husband. I have watched him cry over all of it. I cannot be like her birth mom and just not make her do things. I care too much to watch her not do anything with her life. She has so much talent and is so smart and for some reason she does not see it.

As of Monday, our adoption went through of our son. I really wish things were not the way they were so that we could have had a celebration. There will be an adoption party when we can all get together again. My mother-in-law texts every couple days to see how things are going. She says she hates this distancing thing because she just wants to give us all hugs. On the other hand, my brother is continuing to drink and go out. He lives with my parents and it is pissing me off that he is putting them at risk. I go see my dogs maybe once a week and that is about to stop if he continues to be so careless.

I am wondering how others are managing their anxiety during this time. How are you all keeping yourselves busy with staying at home, if you are able to stay at home. I am hoping that people continue to listen to the orders to stay at home, and those that aren’t begin to. This cannot last forever and hopefully soon life can get back to normal. I am hoping to write more now that I have more time.

Adoption, anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, stress, Women's Health

The Mental Struggle

I have been absent lately. Last week was a busy week with packing and cleaning. My stepson helped me throw a little get together for my husband’s birthday. I was pretty stressed out before it. I have hosted many parties sober, not to mention family friendly parties. It turned out to be really fun and my husband enjoyed it. My stepson and I work pretty well together as a team. We have gotten his court date for the adoption. It is right after we move. It is pretty exciting.

I have to be honest, the past few days I feel as if I am on the verge of a mental breakdown. There is so much going on and I am completely over stressed. The day after the get together, I was so beat. I know that PCOS plays a role in it. It also plays a role in my ups and downs of anxiety and depression. I had thought that Saturday would be a one day thing. I had no motivation, no energy, and could not think straight. I was in a complete brain and body fog.

Sunday I woke up feeling a bit better, but has to spend the day on school work. School…it has become a major form of stress. I have this huge final paper due Friday. I have some health issues that have popped up and it may be because of stress, or it may be because I have something wrong. I have never let school stress me out so much before, but everything is changing. I cannot register for summer courses as usual. I have to go through this next eight weeks on edge waiting for acceptance into the dissertation courses. I have no idea what these next eight weeks consist of. I do have next week off, but it is not a relaxing thought to me.

I am frightened of buying a house. What if we cannot do it? I am turning 40 in July. I had never thought I would turn 40. I thought I would die early. Here I am, turning old. My mom keeps saying how 40 was easy for her. It is not for me. I keep thinking of how my youth is gone, yet I do not mentally feel 40. Turning 40 just makes me think of death. It scares the hell out of me. Change scares the hell out of me.

I was driving to the doctor yesterday and I had all of these thoughts running through my head. Thoughts about the cornavirus, turning 40, moving, school, adopting the kids, being married, buying a house, my brother’s drinking, not feeling well. It seems that every time I get stressed about life, I begin to worry about my health. By the time I got into the doctor’s office, my heart rate was through the roof. I had to have an EKG done. The student doctor thought she heard my heart rate go from somewhere in the 80’s to 120. The EKG was good, but I have to wear a heart a monitor for 24 hours. I will be setting that up. I already have to do a stress test next week. I just feel like I have so many appointments coming up. It is stressing me out!

I had a bit of a breakdown at the doctor’s office and cried. I think it freaked my doctor out because I am usually cool and collected. But they kept bringing up school and how far I was and asked about it. Then they said something might be bad with my heart. That along with all of the other thoughts, I just started crying and didn’t really stop until after I was home.

The thing is, PCOS raises your levels of cortisol in your body, and then anxiety does the same. So here I am with all this cortisol running through my body. I could not get my heart rate to slow down. I saw my psychiatrist today and she thinks the Zoloft has stopped working. That is the medication we are trying to wean me off of anyway. I am being put on another new medication to try since I am allergic to Prozac. I am hoping this one works to eventually get me off of the Zoloft. She told me that I need to focus more on the right here and now. I keep catastrophizing. It is common with anxiety. I have been doing plenty of that lately.

I began listening to a podcast by Caroline Foran on Spotify. It is called Owning It: The Anxiety Podcast. I have yet to read her book, but between her last words on the first episode and my psychiatrist, I was crying again in the car. My psychiatrist said stress does not last forever. Both said there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The one thing the podcast said was that it does get better. I will find my way through. The fog of anxiety will lift. It is nice to hear that this is not how it is going to always be. It is hard to remember that when you are so far into the anxiety fog. It is hard to remember that you are not the only one. There are others.