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Daily Mundane #14: It’s a Wonderful Life

8/18/14, 2:27 PM, Bryce’s Apartment

With this blog acting as a cathartic release for my anxiety, most of what I discuss is presented in a negative light or features more negative topics over all.
However, contrary to what my writing leads you to believe, I’m generally contented and optimistic.

I sure as hell worry more than the average person, but I’m aware of how very fortunate I am.

Like any other human being, I have my bouts of depression, ill health, and spontaneous misfortune. There are things that go wrong, of course, but all-in-all there are many things I can be thankful for.

That’s something I consistently try to make people understand: having anxiety as I do doesn’t mean I’m unhappy. I am happy.

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To those who would label people like me who have somewhat of a more difficult time with certain aspects of their behavior “abnormal,” and to those like me who would whisper to themselves, “I wish I was normal”:

Having a psychological disorder doesn’t make you any less of a person. You are just as much as a human being as everyone else. You’re normal. You just need a little help every now and again.

The Theory of Emotion (And a Personal Anecdote)

I’m the furthest thing from a seasoned  psychologist or philosopher—actually, my college major has nothing to do with either—though I have dabbled in both subjects for my own self-indulgence and personal interests.

The origin of emotion is one of the most interesting things I’ve independently debated.

For anyone who has taken a introductory classes or read up on emotion and the human mind, the James-Lange and Cannon-Bard theories should sound fairly familiar.
The former refers to the idea that we experience emotion after physical sensation. With the classic example of encountering a bear, the James-Lange theory suggests that a person would tremble and feel their heart racing, then register that they are afraid. “I am trembling, therefore I must be afraid.”
In contrast, supporters of the Cannon-Bard theory of emotion argue that we experience the emotion primarily, then our body reacts (or that both occur simultaneously). With the same example, seeing the bear would cause fear which would in turn cause trembling and palpitation as a result.

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Initially, I was completely behind Cannon and Bard. 

I just couldn’t readily pull an example of a situation where I would notice my body showing symptoms of an emotion before actually feeling. It just made sense: if I were upset, then I’d cry, right? Otherwise, the process made human emotion seem laconic and impersonal, robotic: “What is this? A tear? A tear is usually a sign of upset, and because I currently have one, I must be feeling sad right now.”

For a long time, I deemed James-Lange less credible.

As I’ve grown, however, I’ve found myself also experiencing emotion in the light of James-Lange. Sometimes I will hear something disheartening, feel my chest get tight before I realize just how hurt I truly am.
In regards to my anxiety which stems from no logical reason, I experience pain in my body and aches in my muscles long before I admit, “I’m feeling anxious.” No stimulus required.

Read More

Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self 

 

Daily Mundane #13: Stand and Deliver

8/6/14, 12:54 PM, Bryce’s Apartment

"You’re always working."
Bryce said that to me last night and I instinctively agreed.

I mean, that’s been my reputation for as long as I can remember. My parents raised me to work.
Kids in school have always called me an overachiever.
Managers call me a diligent and dedicated.
My friends think I’m an outright perfectionist.

I’m known as the girl who never stops moving. Always finding something to do, whether it be an extra shift or job or more classes…
Hell, I’d be liable to run a 5k, save someone’s life, finish a novel, write a dissertation, and trudge through work after 15 credit hours of class in one day alone.

I don’t like sitting still. It makes me anxious.
Part of me is always striving for more just for that reason: to keep myself from sinking. I feel like if I stop, I’ll essentially cease to exist.
Perhaps that sounds nonsensical, but that’s how I feel.
It’s like something straight out of Greek myths: I’m to keep going and going like the Energizer bunny. And if I stop working, I’ll die.

It feels like a curse. But people have complimented me and looked up to me for all I do. Shit, yesterday my dad said he and mom were, “Incredibly proud.”
But you want to know the God-honest truth?
I don’t feel like I’m working hard at all.

I’m not going to deny that I balance a lot.
I pay for my overpriced university education on my own, buy gas and food—thankfully I’m not directly responsible for rent, though I was at one point paying nearly $700 a month out of my ass—worked two part-time jobs over the summer, am in a dedicated and long-term relationship, am active in three clubs at school (officer in 2), and still have free time to sit down to paint a picture and finish Orange is the New Black and have sex three times before the clock strikes 12.

Time management is a strong point of mine.
Quantitatively, I work.
But deeper than the surface, I’m not doing all I can, y’know? I can do all these things but I there are only a select few things I truly care to do wholeheartedly.

Sure, I take a ton of classes in the Fall/Spring, but I don’t get straight A’s. I could, if I wanted to, believe me. But I don’t care to. I just want enough to be better than the majority.
And right now while I sit in a wooden chair simply telling you about all I do, I could be doing something else: working on my painting or my scrapbook, cleaning the bathtub, volunteering somewhere, whatever.

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I’m not trying to sound arrogant. I’m aware of my flaws and weaknesses. But I can say confidently that I could probably accomplish anything if I just desired to.

Problem is I lack that ganas.
I could work and be like Angel Guzman. I’m on my way to being the next Jaime Escalante.
But I just don’t care to push myself to the limit.

And maybe that’s alright. Maybe you’re not supposed to go at 100% all the time, 24 hours a day. Maybe doing that would give me a heart attack.
But part of me believes I should do it anyway.

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I’m always telling Bryce that I am smart. I am able to do anything.
I’m always saying the problem is apathy. “It’s the apathy that will kill you.”

Daily Mundane #12: “Don’t fall in love, rise with it.”
8/3/14, 11:27 PM, the ‘Rents

Why do I feel the need to have these prolonged discussions  with myself on love…?

There’s really no use repeating myself over and over about how enamored I am. I mean, how droll could I be?

Every song reminds me of him.
Every free moment of time, I want to be with him.
Everything that makes me smile or laugh I wish he was there to experience with me.

I acknowledged that I love him down to even his posture, the way he sounds when he’s tired, how he sneezes three times, or to that face he makes when he’s reading something.

You get it. I know you do.

And yet, I still write about it.

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Don’t get me wrong, the love I harbor for Bryce is true. It’s mentioned often, not because I have nothing else in thought or that I am infatuated, but because I had never felt this type of unconditional, deep-rooted enchantment before.

I wish I could tell you that I’m just in a phase, acting crazy. I’m just attached, bewitched, obsessed.

But the truth of the matter is that I am none of the above.
I am simply in a situation where—really, for the first time in my life—I care for someone above all else, to the point where his presence in my life has become one of the most substantial desires for my future.

It’s such a foreign place for me, I can’t help but want to write about it.
I mean this feeling is the type of thing literature is written about. I’m experiencing the butterflies and passion girls gush over in movies.

It’s a new part of my life and myself that I am adjusting to and learning from. It’s something I am coming to grips with, learning to live with—or better yet, accept. I can’t ignore it; I’m reminded every morning when I turn over to meet his eyes.
And even when I’m away, as the sun’s coming up, he is the first thing on my mind.

Yes, I write to cope with my anxiety, but I also write to share my thoughts. I’m sorry, readers, but I’m in love and rising to the occasion.

What is love?

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