Self-Help

4/30: I want to break free!

This seems to be a reoccurring topic of conversation for my fiancée and I. She’s mostly fearless and I’m fearful of a lot. We’re an odd pairing when it comes to how we live out our lives but we somehow make it work. While she genuinely means well, her blunt opinions of me always stir up a ton of feelings for me. “You never leave your comfort zone.” My instant reaction was to be defensive. How could she say that? I do a lot of things outside of my comfort zone, especially with her. But, after collecting myself out of “my feelings” I decided to really take a look my inner scope and workings. This happens a lot when she talks. I like to think, it’s a mix of her opinions mattering to me more than anyone and she’s someone I admire and trust. When she’s on, the girl lives and dies by logical thinking; a trait I wish I could capture.

Today’s prompt questions my preference on safety net or taking risks. See below for the full question asked in the 300 Writing Prompts book by Piccadilly.

“Do you prefer taking risks or having a safety net?”

My heart pounds when I’m about to do anything that I have a fear of. My body tightens up, my face drops and I’m ready to curl into a ball and shut down. My knee-jerk reaction is to always go to what’s safe or what feels safe in my eyes. However, a safety net hasn’t always been kind to me. While it protects me from these fears, it’s also robbed me of experiences. I skipped out on amusement park rides, going places with friends, going away to school and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve been afraid of so many things. I don’t like the dark, I don’t like going out of control fast, or being at a height any bigger than myself. I don’t like to shy away from routine or what I know to be normal and safe. As a child and teenager, the world is your oyster for adventures of all kinds. However, I spent a lot of time terrified of what could happen; would I get hurt? Would I fall? Faint? Be alone? You name it and I’ve probably ran the scenario. This is paralyzing to feel and the more I age, the more I want to turn away from fear and into adventure and love. We’re given one life and I want to make it count.

I’m not totally denouncing my comfort zone. It’s a great place that isn’t just built on fear but my moral compass of right and wrong. It has kept me out of trouble and for the most part on a clean and safe path away from harm. It’s not all bad but for the most part, I want to break free like Freddie Mercury in front of a packed crowd. Life waits for no one and I’m ready to at least /try/ and step away from the same old thing and find some new places, new ways, and live with an open mind.

What do you prefer? Are you a risk taker or do you like to play it safe in your safety net? How do you carry out these lifestyles? Let me know!  

3/30: Always be grateful!

It has been a WEEK and it’s only Tuesday. Life is very busy, so my anxiety is a little bit peaked by that. I feel like I’m getting pulled all over the place and the balancing act isn’t my thing. However, I am still very lucky to have what have and be where I’m at. A couple of months ago, I was in a big fat limbo after losing my job of four years and now a few months before my wedding I finally got that on track. I have a fiancée and a family who loves me, my health is good. I couldn’t ask for more. One of the practices I do to keep me centered when in an anxious state is practicing gratitude. In my experience when my anxiety is at its peak, this practice can sometimes feel pointless or cheesy but when I actually put focus on the positive, the negative tends to fade away.

I did a search for prompts online for today. I wanted to give the book a break and also plug some sites that could potentially help out other bloggers like myself. Check out the Link for this prompt and others.  I’ve always done this exercise in a list, so check out the 10 reasons below:

  1. I am grateful for a family who loves me regardless of the distance or time we spend away from each other.
  2. I am grateful for technology. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to maintain relationships with the people most important to me. I always try and visit people and spend real-life time with them but when schedules don’t permit that, it’s nice to have the technology at your fingertips to see friends and family far and wide.
  3. I am grateful for the ability to learn on a constant basis. Age and maturity has given me a thirst for knowledge on a daily basis. There is always room for growth and betterment.
  4. I am grateful for a job that doesn’t make me feel like the other shoe is going to drop out from under me. I have always been fearful of the “firing boogeyman” on a constant basis but this new firm has not given me anything to fear.
  5. I am grateful for a steady paycheck and being able to afford to live in a big city. Not a lot of people have that luxury.
  6. As much as I complain, I am grateful for the gift of aging. It’s a privilege denied to many and I hope to God, I get to see even more years ahead.
  7. I am grateful for my fiancée for a multitude of reasons. The one that sticks out the most right now is her ability to soothe my overactive mind. I drown sometimes in a sea of scenarios and what ifs and oh my gods, and when she’s feeling 100% she’s an anchor of logic. I need that and I love that I have it in her.
  8. I am grateful for Twitter. I recently started one for this blog. Follow me @JMWeberWrites on there. Twitter has given me access to the #WritingCommunity where I can get to wander around so many talented people and dwell in the same space as them; learning, networking, and chatting away. It’s been such a help!
  9. I am grateful for my anxiety. It sounds weird but it is a measuring point for my stress levels and having it peak allows me to know when to slow down and re-evaluate.
  10. I am grateful for all of my streaming services because without it I’d be watching the same 10 seasons of Friends permanently on loop! I do that anyway, but at least not 24/7 much to the delight of my fiancée :p

What are some of the things you’re grateful for? I’d love to hear them!

The 2018 Annual Attitude of Gratitude: Bloggers Flood The Internet with Positivity!

I almost missed this! Thank you to Dawn from Tales from the Motherland for the January 31st extension. The end of the year brought a ton of chaos for me. I was let go from my job of 4 years. It was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing for fresh perspective but a curse for the financial worry that came with the loss. 4 years was gone in an instant, igniting every job related insecurity I’ve had bottled up. October to December brought two months of soul searching, bad temp jobs, and finally a new job to settle into. January has been the light at the end of the tunnel so I am happy to be able to share positivity with the blogosphere. Please visit Tales from the Motherland to have a look at Dawn’s entry in this beautiful movement and use the instructions in her entry to write your own. Without further ado, please enjoy my list.

  1. Family – they are the foundation for everything.
  2. Routine.
  3. My dog.
  4. A clean house. Marie Kondo isn’t lying, clutter makes you crazy but maybe you don’t have to thank your things.
  5. Clean water to drink, shower, and cook with.
  6. A warm bed filled with love and comfort.
  7. FaceTime/Snapchat/FB to keep in touch with my parents and family out of state.
  8. My fiancée.
  9. My education – for success and for expression.
  10. A job that appreciates and wants to invest in me.
  11. My cell phone.
  12. Coffee.
  13. Take-out.
  14. A good sale at Old Navy.
  15. Professional Wrestling.
  16. Nerd culture.
  17. Comic-Cons and soon to be Wrestle-Cons.
  18. Friends, both digital and lifelong.
  19. My imagination.
  20. My DVR.
  21. A steady TV program line up that I love.
  22. Autobiographies.
  23. Time well spent in good company or alone.
  24. Public transportation.
  25. My anxiety – It’s a weird perspective but it’s brought a lot of positivity to light and forced me to highlight the /good/ in everything.
  26. Being able to legally marry the love of my life.
  27. Cheap rent.
  28. All the self-help outlets I found this year.
  29. Being able to explore downtown Manhattan.
  30. Video games with good stories.
  31. My Fitbit versa forcing me to walk more.
  32. Having my parents’ home in Pennsylvania to escape to.
  33. My growing knowledge of technology.
  34. Good people to learn from.
  35. A roof over my head to shield me from the elements and keep me out of danger.
  36. My childhood on 61st.
  37. Working in retail this year and remembering the perks of making friends.
  38. Twitter.
  39. Instagram.
  40. Freedom of speech and expression – it’s a gift, believe it or not.
  41. The ability to freely think and the encouragement to do so.
  42. The news.
  43. The DARE book.
  44. The places I’ve traveled to.
  45. The places I will travel to.
  46. Boston Gay Pride every year.
  47. A good relationship with my mother.
  48. Sweet and savory foods, can’t choose one.
  49. My struggles.
  50. Being able to make this within the deadline and join a very talented group of bloggers.

This is the first year I’ve made 50 within the 15 minute timer so I’m very proud of that. Shutting myself up and keeping it simple has always been a struggle but I’m glad I did!

Starting over (Again)

My writing has been a never ending journey of stops and starts. Some months, I’m full of muse and ready to share my vision and myself with the world. Whereas other months, I am drowned in the voices of opinions, the crushing stress of navigating adult life, and general life happenings that make it feel impossible to carry out this passion I love on such a precise schedule. I have started over many times, so I am not going to sit and promise consistency any longer. However, I will promise quality over quantity in my posts and hope that my vision is put forth honestly and sincerely. Just like anything else in life, my writing is ever changing. Topics, style, and most of all purpose have evolved since 2014 when I embarked on this blogging journey.

Tales from the Anxiety Ridden began as a coping mechanism. My parents retiring and leaving New York City was a hard transition. I was scared, angry and confused about not seeing them daily and being on my own for the first time. I have always thrived on routine so being thrusted into this new world was hard. Change is hard for anybody but with somebody with anxiety like mine, it felt impossible.  Anxiety has always been something I struggled with but this felt like a hurdle I couldn’t jump over. Writing has always been my easiest form of expression so I created this blog space in hopes that sharing my feelings with like minds and reading others struggles would help me feel not so alone.

Fast forward to 2019, I am a few months shy of my wedding, I was fired from a job that I hated but found a job I could really see myself in long term. Anxiety is bearable (thanks to a lot of soul searching and research) and I feel like a person who could manage day-to-day life. While I feel “healed”, I am not naïve to the fact that it could all change on the flip of a dime. However, I am going to spend every second given to me celebrating any small victories that come my way. The intention of this forum is no longer singular to the betterment of myself. For me, it is important to “pay-it-forward” in a society that can be so self-driven. I hope to share my story as it continues growing and thriving and be able to help others along the way.

I’m here starting over again, but I’m optimistic that setting a purpose and a goal will provide the quality of content I’ve always wanted to produce rather than the quantity of content that feels appropriate. Welcome to Tales from the Anxiety Ridden, almost 30 years of experience in navigating my own mind, swimming in my own gene pool of mental health short comings but I am more than that. This is my story and I cannot wait to hear yours.