Month: March 2011

Full Plate

Yeah, so I haven’t been sleeping. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know this isn’t something new. I’ve had trouble sleeping for a long time. I think I remember it beginning to be a problem around my sophomore year of college. I would imagine that if any psychologists have been reading my blog they would probably find enough evidence to suggest that I’m depressed. I mean look up the symptoms: sad mood, ruts, weight gain, loss of interest in activities, and of course, lack of sleep. It’s all there people.

The thing is I don’t think I’m depressed, I just think I have too much on my plate.

My first year out of college I started teaching high school. It was a stressful job because a) I’d never done it before, and b) I taught super honors students who were to be frank, pains in the ass. I also was living at home, which can make any person go insane. I started getting panic attacks. I had to wear one of the heart monitors for a week. You want to know when my heart raced the most? When I was driving home from work. That’s right people, when I was headed away from my job. Now if that doesn’t freak you out…


My panic attacks subsided in grad school. Every once in a while I got a panic attack, where I couldn’t breath or my heart was racing so fast, or both. I usually got panic attacks towards the ends of semesters when I had papers due, and had to grade my student papers as well. The ability to sleep, never returned. On occasion, if I’m wicked tired or have been awake for a long time, or had a great workout I’ll be able to conk out, but this is rare, if ever.

Well this semester the panic attacks are back, and with a vengeance. I’m not having one right now, but I have been getting them more often that I like to admit. When I first started having anxiety it was during the day, lately though, I’ve been having panic attacks in the middle of the night. I wake up from them.

Oftentimes, I’ll have had a nightmare. Two nights ago I dreamt about a serial killing priest–I’ve been reading the Dexter series–a few nights before that I dreamt that my wedding dress came in, but it was the wrong size, and I had to lose like 50 pounds in 2 weeks to fit into it–I’ve been watching a lot of Girl Meets Gown, and Say Yes to the Dress (oh shush, you know I’ve been good about the wedding talk). I wake up because I need air, because my heart feels like it is attached to an explosive.

Last night, I woke up and all I could think about was the papers I needed to grade. It was ridiculous.

My plate is full. I teach an absurd amount of classes. Beckettian even. I have about 120 students all of them turning in an average of 4 papers a semester, not to mention the presentations. I get paid part-time,  but I work overtime. Most instructors (not tenure track professors) teach 4 sections a semester. Four sections is manageable. Six is not.

Oh and did I mention I’m planning a long distance wedding.

Okay, I know that there are a lot you out there who have way more on your plates. Honestly, I’m blessed that I don’t have to worry about a lot of things like paying my bills, my health (knock on wood), the well-being of children,  and other issues that plague others. ( I’m not saying children are a plague–Freudian slip?).

My problem isn’t that I have a lot on my plate (that’s part of it, but not the whole thing). My problem is that I don’t know how to handle the things on my plate.

And so for the first time in almost four years, I’m dealing with panic attacks in the only way I know how. And that means shutting the hell up and getting my crap done.

Sometimes, that’s just good enough.

Here’s to trying.


Life Flash

I may have lost my flashdrive. The flashdrive that got me through undergrad and almost 5 years of teaching. How I’m not in panic attack mode is beyond me.

I have a very small inkling of feeling it is at work. Please cross your fingers.

All my cover letters, my CV–it’s all on this flashdrive.

Oh, I think I’m going to be sick.

It is About Damn Time

I’m about to make an embarrassing admission. Currently, I’m reading, Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Anything. As much I as I enjoy reading fiction, every once in a while, I get the urge to read a self-help book. So sue me, I need a little inspiring every now and then.

Since, I’m getting married this year I’ve been forced to reevaluate my weight and food situation. No, I’m not about to turn this into a dieting or wedding blog (don’t panic readers). Recently, I purchased my wedding dress and when the seamstress measured me and the sales girl told me the size they had to order, I almost fainted. I knew I wasn’t a size 6 anymore, but I hadn’t realized I’d lost complete control of my weight.

I am well aware that formal wear runs small. Even if I had been a size 6, I would have probably had to order a size 8 or even a 10, still, I couldn’t believe it.

My whole life I’ve struggled with my weight and there was a brief time in college when I was thin, but I learned at the bridal shop that I’m back to the size I was in high school. Not. good.

FH is a very honest and straightforward person and he always says I need to embrace the calories in-calories out rule and go with that. He is right. I also have absolutely no willpower. At least I like to workout.

So, what does this have to do with the self help book? First off, my Kindle tells me I’m about 35% of the way through, so I still have some learning to do, but according to Roth, there is something deeper than willpower, or lack of,  that fuels compulsive eating. I believe this–hence the memoir in the works. While the book is not about weight loss in a direct sense, it does talk about the relationship people have with food and how it is directly related to how we live. This is an interesting thought. In fact, Roth just released another book about how our relationship with food is related to how we spend money. I feel like there is something to this.

As I’ve been reading, I realized that I need to come face-to-face with my demons and write the memoir.

I recently was home to do some wedding planning and while I was there (as is always the case) there was some drama. The past decade and a half, my family has been through one traumatic event after another. It seems continuous. They haven’t gotten a break from the drama at all. It’s ridiculous. While I was home, I found myself feeling the same pain I had happily escaped when I moved out and went to college. The pain I experienced at home, was never dealt with and while I was in school, it surfaced in the form of severe migraines and depression. I got over the depression. I think.

There is something about getting ready to wed that is making a lot of feelings surface. I find myself remembering a lot of the events I thought I had safely hidden away. I find myself eating a lot more. Eating to the point that I’m so full I feel sick.

As I read, page by page, I realize it is finally time to write the memoir. While I’m sure, if it ever gets published, it will piss off most of my family (especially my father). Still, I don’t really care. I believe I feel this way because, getting married is like chopping off your hair after a bad break up. It’s a fresh start.

In fact, I’m feeling so inspired I may get a haircut too. I’ve been wanting a change, and while a haircut is totally a metaphor, I’m a writer. I live for metaphors.