Life, Love, Learning & Anxiety: Part Two

Mom's Bunnies

Last week, or rather over a week ago, I posted about my anxiety attacks. They’re  a big part of my adult life, something I never really experienced as a child. Well, at least in their present sense. I have always, always been a nail biter. (Which is why you will never see me post about nail polish.)Various studies say people grow out of it in their thirties, I suppose that remains to be seen.

I can remember my first panic attack, though I didn’t call it that. I was just, “stressed the fuck out”, when it occurred. You see it happened at my job at the time. I was working in a call center in one of Birmingham, Alabama’s illustrious suburbs when they started. I learned then that I do not handle being micro-managed well, having your job reside on how quickly you can rebound from one asshole to the next pretty much drove me crazy. “You’re spending too much time off the lines.” They counted to the second. I admire the people who can do that job, but I simply can’t. I was coming home a complete basket case and by the end I was having a hard time breathing on my breaks.

I eventually left that job. I actually walked out on it and didn’t come back. Looking back that was bad form, but it was literally causing me to hyperventilate. Thinking about it now is putting me on edge. Keep in mind, my profession of choice is security or law enforcement, that high stress situations do not bother me at all. My best days in my late teens where those spent in the fire station with little to no sleep.

2002 Sr Picture Smurf Grear

I spent the week thinking about what triggers them. I really only had one serious issue over the course of the week, but definitely noticed a few specific stressors. The biggest one is family. They’ll inevitably read this and get irritated with me, but it’s the truth. I love them, but they’re loud, disorganized and very, VERY moody. This in turn feeds into my own crazy and in the end I just feel like crap all the way around. There are no good solutions for this one, I just have to limit my exposure.


My bedroom and more specifically my desk. It was under my bed. It caused all sorts of uncomfortable feelings, never mind all the times I’ve concussed myself on the base of my bed. The solution to this was easy, well…sorta. I ended up moving my desk. Only to find the other part of the problem was pain.

You see, my shoulder is in a permanent untreated state of screwed up. This is a combination of a near-lifetime of poor posture, computer usage and height issues relative to working environments. There isn’t a single stock, adult desk in this world made for someone under 5’8″. This has resulted in a rather impressive backlog of Etsy listings and general organization. You see, after twenty minutes on my computer, my shoulder hurts like hell and I have to get up and get off my computer. The solution here is a modified desk.  I will be posting over the next week or so my progress on my room and office space as I transition from the desk as pictured above to a standing desk.

Clutter. Clutter is a huge stressor for me. Especially when it starts falling over, off it’s shelves, onto my feet, etc… I have this fear of dying under a stack of crap belonging to someone else. Specifically, The Roommate’s comic books. Over the last few weeks, as a result of my friend’s short-lived 30in30 project, I ave made a conscious effort to get rid of things I wasn’t going to sell on Etsy or eBay. I have a lot of stuff to go through and I also need to convince myself that I cannot collect everything.

Inefficiency. You see, I hate when I have to expend extra energy because I or someone else didn’t plan for shit. I have this issue a lot at work, things tend to be very redundant and it gets to me. I’m not really sure why, it doesn’t effect anything other than the amount of work I have to put into something. This is probably the number one reason why it was for the best I never made it into the military. Just the redundancy I hear about from my military friends makes me cringe and usually rant about why we can’t get ahead in this country. I can’t do anything about work, it is how it is. So all I can do is improve the work flow in the rest of my life. Moving to a standing set-up should greatly help with this, I am hoping that I can tether my camera and work on getting things listed on Etsy much faster than I used to. “Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.” ~Tom Clancy

Socializing, groups of people and relationships. I’m an introvert and a homebody. Though home drives me nuts at the present time, when I was living alone it was pretty much where I spent all my time. Once or twice a week I’d go out to my redneck dive and line dance, but that was the limit of my socializing and that would exhaust me for a few days. I’ve been trying to hard to be “normal” on this front and it’s worn me out. So I’m going to revert to what I know. Spring should be coming and hopefully that will help improve my mood. This cold makes me hate going outside at all. It just feeds into the pain.

So, these are the results of my self inventory. I could easily add debt to this, but that no longer gets to me like it used to.

So to anyone out there reading this, what stresses you out? Do you have panic attacks? How do you cope? What have you done to improve or rid yourself of your triggers?

Cheers & Beers,




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