There are days I struggle. Struggle so hard with depression and anxiety that my life feels like I am on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree spinning round and round but without all the laughing. Days where getting out of bed is a struggle. Where putting my thoughts and words on paper seems impossible. Days where I don’t feel like being funny or cheerful. Where just breathing seems like it is all I can do. Sometimes I just want the ride to make me happy and sometimes I just want to get off.
Lately, the days filled with anxiety seem to be getting more and more frequent which to me is odd or maybe I just didn’t notice them before. Maybe I was content to be quiet and by myself and didn’t seek out situations that forced me to be uncomfortable. My job both as a writer and as a nurse make me step outside that world and learn to be more interactive with people. And let me tell you, it is hard. But you know what? It’s ok. It is ok to feel uneasy and anxious. Meeting people at book signings is so hard. I don’t ever want to let people down because I am awkward and weird and laugh too loud and say inappropriate things like a 12 year old boy. Trust me, you can as my co-workers how many times I have said “That’s what she said” in a meeting. I am the worst.
I was recently told I was intimidating and I laughed. Me? Intimidating? I am the biggest softie around. But then I stopped to think about my RBF and my standoffish attitude sometimes. I could see maybe how that could be misinterpreted as intimidating when in reality, it was me being anxious or unsure of myself. It made me pause and think about how I want to live my life.
There is a sweet spot in my life when I wake up to face my day and the weight of the world has not come crashing down on me. Where it is quiet and I can think about mundane things like what to wear or if I need to pee. It is in that time that I think about how my day will go. Will I let anxiety run me? It is just like the time right before you step on the ride and decide if the ride is going to scare you or be fun.
Let’s decide to make it fun.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I decided to enjoy my spinning out of control life and just live. I am the Fat Girl Running and I LOVE Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. The experiment continues…
It is a normal day. Nothing exciting. I can feel my heart starting to race. My breath quickens. The feeling of dread comes over me. My chest feels tight. I start to bounce my leg to alleviate that feeling of wanting to flee. This is all too familiar and comes on without warning. I know exactly what is happening and I cannot stop it. It will control me even if I don’t want it to. Hello anxiety my old friend. Thank you for showing up unannounced and bringing your friend panic attack with it. Anxiety and panic attacks are no stranger to me, unfortunately, but what happened this time around was different. This time around, I suffered from severe vertigo. Someone stop the ride. I want to get off.
I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks since I was a teenager so when I feel that anxiety starting, I just try to use my breathing techniques or a quick walk outside to calm myself down. But the vertigo? Where did that come from? The first time I got it, it was sudden and violent. I stood up from bed and my whole world spun so quickly that I had to grab the wall to not fall down. It was terrifying and I was immediately sure I was either having a stroke or I had a tumor. There could be no other answers. Also, would the paramedics come in and find me naked on my floor? All I could think was please let this stop so I could at least not be naked. The vertigo left as soon as it came and I was dumbfounded. When it happened again the next day at work, I thought maybe it was an inner ear thing. But when it kept happening? For almost 2 weeks? That is when I went to the doctor. Only to be told to go to the ear doctor because of course, there was nothing wrong that my primary doctor could find. That must mean a tumor. I was partially convinced I was going to be told I had months to live when I went to the ear doctor. After a round of some testing, I was told the one thing I was not expecting. The vertigo was stress and anxiety related. Excuse me? Wait. That could not be it. I left thinking the doctor was full of it. It had to be a tumor. There is no way this is stress or anxiety induced. I was frustrated. The vertigo disappeared and I was left wondering if it was all in my head.
Then this past weekend, I was sitting at home minding my own business when I started getting texts about work. The room started spinning. What the heck? I was totally fine all day till I started feeling anxious. I sat there and realized I did not have a tumor. I had anxiety induced vertigo. Ugh. So that is a fun new level to my anxiety. I thought about what the ear doctor said about lowering my stress and I want to laugh. Not possible right now but thanks. So now to monitor these symptoms and see how to handle them. Anxiety and I are old friends and it can show itself in weird ways. I know I am not alone.
I write about stress and anxiety and panic today because I want you to know if you suffer, you are not alone. Most of us do not talk about it and we should. We should tell people how we feel. We should reach out when we are not ok and get the help we need. It is ok to tell someone you are sad, depressed, stressed or anxious. I went through a period in my life that the anxiety was so bad, it cause me to not want to leave the house and going to any social situation was so painful I just could not. I would throw up before going to work because I had to leave my house. But I would plaster on a smile and nobody knew I was suffering with such debilitating anxiety. I should have said something. I should have reached out. But along with the anxiety came some crippling depression and I felt like I shouldn’t tell anyone. I want all of you out there to understand something. IT IS OK TO FEEL LIKE THIS. This was a hard blog to write, but I am always honest with you and if this can help someone else realize it is ok, then that is the purpose. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I almost had to be found naked by paramedics and thought I was having a stroke or a tumor but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl with anxiety induced vertigo Running and I am not alone. The experiment continues…
Ever have an event and you were late? Or almost late? All because you woke up late? For whatever reason, whatever your excuse, it makes you feel so flustered. We all have been there. We hit snooze one too many times. We don’t hear the alarm. We just cannot plain wake up. How about waking up late for a HUGE event? Yeah…that might have happened to me. In Denver. At Book Bonanza. The biggest signing event of my career, and I set the alarm wrong. No really. I felt like The White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. This really did happen though and was not a dream. How did this happen? Let me try and explain.
Book Bonanza was a 2 day event with panels and signings over two days. I was lucky enough to be invited to participate as an author and I was super excited to be there. BFF and I drove out (12 hours y’all) which you know meant a continuous concert provided by us to us in the car. I mean how can you go on a 12 hour road trip and not have an amazing playlist? You really cannot. So you know I went and made an epic one. There might have been car dancing. Who am I kidding. You know there was.
The first day of the signing was packed full and more about that later. We were up late hanging out with BFFE and before we fell asleep, BFF and I discussed what time we needed to get up to be ready for the 8 am signing. We decided we needed to be down there around 715 am to make sure we were all all ready and to help #soulmate set up if we needed. I set my alarm and we went to bed. The next morning I felt like I fell down the White Rabbit Hole as it started with this conversation:
BFF: “Hey what time did you set the alarm for?”
Me (still half asleep): “Why? What time is it?”
BFF (panic has now set in): “Holy shit! It is 715! What happened?”
Me (jumping out of bed and checking my phone): “Oh crap! I set the alarm for 715! I was so tired I got mixed up!” Frantic panic has now set in as we both rush around and I text #soulmate to let her know.
BFF (who somehow has magically got dressed already): “I thought I heard a lot of people lining up and wondered why! We got this! We can do it!”
Me (half in my spanx and half trying to brush my hair at the same time): “I am so sorry! Biggest signing of my life and I might be late. I am a hot mess.”
BFF (looks at me half dressed, struggling to even put on Spanx and a brush stuck in my hair. She laughs.): “Oh my God. You are such a hot mess. Stop trying to do two things at once. Would you at least put on your Spanx? You cannot go down there in your bra and half your unders on.”
Me (realizing she looks completely put together. I have now attempted to put deodorant on my legs as lotion and my brush is still stuck in my hair): “How the hell do you look so good right now?” I am also wondering if I put on deodorant at this point.
BFF (gives me a look as she removes the brush from my hair): “Because I am obviously not a hot mess. Duh. I am the BFF and I am amazing.” That she is. Maybe she is a magical creature from Wonderland. Hmmmm.
With that and in 20 minutes, we are out the door and down to the signing. Needless to say in that time, BFF also managed to make me a stiff Arnold Palmer for the signing. Because sometimes a little whiskey helps calm the nerves. I don’t know when she found the time nor do I know how we got ready so fast. We normally are both primpers and take about an hour to get ready. This was a miracle. A Wonderland miracle I tell you.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I was almost late to the biggest signing of my life and realized BFF is some sort of magical creature but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl who wondered if I even put on deodorant that day Running. The experiment continues…
Let me tell you a story. Bear with me here. This is not one of my funnier ones, but I always promise to be honest and share all parts of my life with you. So keep reading. It is worth it. I promise. Take a breath. Just one breath.
The last year has been one of the worst periods in my life. No really. It has. I dealt with losing two members of our family, my Mommy being in the ICU twice and the closong of InknBeans Press. To top it off, I was miserable at work. Miserable. I don’t even know if that word accurately describes how I felt about my job. No, I don’t think it really does. I sank into a deep depression and had a hard time seeing the good in anything. I decided to take one step. Just one.
That one step? I decided to change my job. The push to do so was knowing that where I was at was seriously making me cry every night. I sat one night on the couch and decided to get off of it and apply for different jobs. Living in a small town means there is not a lot for nurses to choose from and it also means a pay cut. To say I was scared was an understatement. I was terrified. Who is going to want me? How can I afford it? Can I even start over after 20 years at the same facility? All these doubts races through my head and honestly made me want to crawl right back in hed and never get out. But, I did it. I put in applications and decided whatever happened was meant to be. I never expected how it would happen.
I was sleeping for a night shift and got a phone call from a care facility for an interview. Yes! An interview. Ok that I can do. Well at least I can try and not sound like a complete moron who maybe knows how to speak English during an interview. I could only hope that my personality would shine theough and I would not have to complete the interview by interpretive dance. How embarrassing would that be? I laid there contemplating what I would say in an interview that would not make me seem like a complete moron when my phone went off again. I got a message from the place that was making me miserable and I knew. I knew I needed another job. Right then and there, fifteen minutes after agreeing to an interview, my whole world had gone upside down and I needed to make a change fast.
I crawled back into bed, stressed and tired. Defeated and exhausted. I needed to figure out what I was going to do. The world felt like one crazy merry-go-round and I really wanted off the ride. But you know what I did? I laid there and took one breath. Just one. That one breath allowed me to stop and listen to my soul. That one breath allowed me to take control of my life once more and see above the water of life I felt like I was drowning in.
I realized my self worth was not wrapped up in a dollar amount. I realized through that one breath that I could take that one step. I finally was able to see myself as capable. I slowly treaded the water of life. I pulled myself up out of that drowning depression and took a step. I went to the interview two days later. I took the job they offered me a week later. Six months later, in a company that appreciates me for who I am, I am taking a promotion. Change sucks but change can also be good and make you better. As long as you don’t change into the Stay Puff Marshmellow Man like in Ghostbusters. That is still terrifying to me.
So take that step towards happiness. Take that breath. You will be glad you did. Just one step. Just one breath.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did step back and make my life better and i didn’t die. I am The Fat Girl who can take just one breath and does not turn into a giant marshmellow figure Running. The experiment continues…
I started a new chapter in my life this month. It was hard and exciting but I did it. I joined the world of self publishing and the result of all my tears, hours on the computer and a million questions to #soulmate comes out on July 12. We all know I have been missing from the publishing world for about 6 months and I actually have not been blogging as much (which is going to change as well). It was hard to figure out what to do after my publisher died and they closed the doors abruptly, leaving all of us authors with no way to continue. But, I did it. I self published a better version of Book 1. I feel a little like the way a book must feel if you crack its spine (you monsters who do that). A little broken and a little relieved. I never knew as a writer/blogger that it could be so painful at times, but it really is. And this whole self publishing thing? Kind of scary and I feel like half the time I have no idea what in the heck I am doing to be honest. But what came out of this process is a new and improved version of me. The Fat Girl Running version 2.0 I guess you could say. Let’s talk about how I came to be this new version.
You see, after my publisher Boss Bean died, I was stuck. Stuck without a way to get books, my files or even the rights to my cover art. So I was at the beginning. I actually had to cancel book signings because I was unable to get any copies of my books and I was so very frustrated. I was determined to not pull out of Book Bonanza though. For those of you unaware, Book Bonanza is one of the BIGGEST signings around and I was actually invited to be an attending author. Me. Little old me. Six months of no contact from the publishing company and I decided enough was enough and looked for my files myself. I am glad I was able to find all my files for books 1-4 on my computer. There was a pint where I couldn’t find Book 1 and I was entertaining the thought of retyping out the entre thing from a hard copy I managed to have. That made me cry for sure. No really. Ask #soulmate. I cried. Then I found the file and I cried with relief. Files being found, I could proceed.
First of all, I needed an editor. All of this stuff my publisher did for me before so I had no idea what it all entailed. Luckily, I had an editor recommended to me that was willing to take me on. That was the hard part. You see, most of my author friends are romance authors and we all know I am far from that. Before I could send the books off to an editor, I needed to go through them all and revise things, self edit, take out chapters and add new content. That alone made me want to pull my hair out. You see, part of me cringed over some of my older writing. It just sounded like a four-year old came in and wrote down some gibberish. I mean, how did you all actually stand to read it? Wait. Are you all just real life stalkers? Because that would be cool. Unless you are SOTL Man. Then that would not be cool. It would be slightly terrifying. But I digress.
Once I got the books sent to an editor, I needed to also line up a formatter and a cover designer. Seriously, I cannot thank my author friends enough for all their help in this direction either. Oh yeah. I also had to figure out what to do for my cover. I wanted to cry and be angry at the same time. Have we ever talked about what an indecisive person I really am? I finally decided to do something completely out of my comfort zone and put myself on the cover. It made me want to throw up in my mouth a little, but I called a local photographer and decided to do a photo shoot.
Can we discuss how awkward that was? I mean I am as awkward as it comes and then put me in front of a camera? Oh my heck. I cannot even imagine some of the photos she must have gotten. There were definitely some gems for sure. There had to be knowing me. My photographer was a genius. She made me do things I thought was stupid. In fact, the one pose I thought was going to look so dumb is actually the cover. Huh. Guess she knew what she was doing. We both were laughing a lot during the shoot and I think that helped me relax and be myself a little more than I would have otherwise. The pictures were all so cute that it was hard for my cover designer to actually pick just one. But we managed and all of a sudden, I was excited. Excited to try this whole self publishing thing because my new covers are the cutest. And a little sassy.
Book edited? Check. Cover concept? Check. Cover designed? Check. Formatted? Check. Next step? Actually get it set up to publish both in paperback form and e-book in time for Book Bonanza on July 19. Ack. Biggest signing of my life and I didn’t have books for it. But with the help of #soulmate, I got it all set up and approved by the all mighty Amazon. Paperbacks of Book 1 AND 2 are actually sitting in my kitchen in boxes right now. Because the lucky people who come see me at Book Bonanza get a sneak peek of Book 2 and a chance to get it early (that one comes out in August). Now for those of you familiar with my books, these are revamped editions of the old ones with new content, formatting, editing and the like. I mean I would get them just for the covers alone. So, if you want, the pre-order is already live and the book goes live on July 12. In case you need it, here is the link: Climbing Off the Couch
I still might cry on Thursday because this is the first time I am doing this all on my own and boy do I miss Boss Bean. But I know she would approve and love the direction I am going this time. And once again, my books will be available for you guys. In fact, they are better versions of the old ones. It really was a little bit what I can only imagine giving birth is like, except without the gross bodily fluids. Because let’s be honest. People coming out of other people is gross. Lots of sweat, tears and love went into this new version of my books and I really hope that maybe a few of you pick them up and stalk me. Let’s just hope SOTL Man doesn’t blow up my cover into a poster to hang in his house. Creeper.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did, however, venture into self publishing and have a book releasing this week, but I didn’t die. I am the Fat Girl Running version 2.0 and I hope you love it as much as I do. The experiment continues…
This week I expelled a demon. No really. I mean I am pretty sure that is what happened. It for sure felt that way and might not have been a real demon. But you don’t know. Don’t judge me for thinking that I had a demon living inside me after what happened. It really could have been. I have watched enough Supernatural to know that expelling a demon can be quite a messy business. But, what I didn’t know was how painful it can be.
It started out with me waking up and feeling rotten. I mean super rotten. My stomach hurt and I was trying to sleep for work, but the pain would not stop. I laid in bed, wondering what the heck was wrong. I do have some trouble with my gut in general, but this felt out of the norm, even for me. Then the abdominal cramps and nausea hit me. Ugh. The worst. Let me clue you in on something. There are two things I hate the most. Sore throats and nausea. Sore throats…what the heck are those and why. Why does your throat have to sometimes feel like you ae swallowing razor blades every time you swallow? Never mind trying to drink or eat, or even sometimes talk. There is no need for that. It’s not like you can sit there and not swallow your own saliva at all. I mean, I guess you could and wear a bib and just let it all drool out onto yourself, but that might be frowned upon in public. Or you could pretend you are a loose mental patient and just wander around drooling and making noises since you can’t talk due to the razor blades that are in your throat. Totally doable. As you can tell, I really do not have a very good tolerance to a sore throat and even less for nausea. I can deal with abdominal cramping because I would much rather poop up a storm than vomit. Vomiting is the worst. So there I was, trying to figure out what the heck I ate and then realizing I hadn’t eaten anything since like 4pm the day before. That was 16 hours prior to all of this starting. There is no way this is food poisoning. Food poisoning, for those who do not know, has about a three-hour window where you get sick. I was trying to figure out if this was an ulcer attack when I had to jump up and run for the restroom. Luckily, it didn’t start out as vomiting, if you catch my drift. I thought to myself “while this is not pleasant and feels like fire water coming out of my butthole, I can handle this. This is ok. I can pee fire water out of my butt.” I seriously would so much rather have fiery water coming out of me with cramping, then hugging the toilet bowl and vomit. I could take something to stop it and still work. All right I got this.
I got back in bed and took something to help with the cramping and such and fell back asleep for about an hour. Then, the obvious creature dwelling inside me decided to stir. Holy crap. It was that moment when you can’t decide what is going to be worse, waiting for the nausea to pass or just vomit. I decided to try to wait it out and took another form of medication called Zofran to help. 20 minutes later, everything took a horrible awful turn. I ended up running for the toilet, grabbing a hair clip to pull back my hair and just in time getting my necklace off. If you have long hair, you get it. Nothing worse than your hair ending up in the toilet bowl while you are dying. As I knelt there on my bathroom floor emptying my stomach contents in a violent fashion, the wort decision of my life happened. Can I stop vomiting long enough to get my butt on the toilet? Nope. Totally did not happen. It was like that scene in the movie Bridesmaids where the bride with uncontrollable diarrhea says “It’s happening. I am shitting in the street.” So that happened. Worst thing ever to have absolutely no control over what is coming out of either end of your body at the same time. Humiliating. This went on for hours. I didn’t even fell like I could leave the bathroom. Work was out of the question. In fact, I decided to lay on my bathroom floor, sans chonies, because why bother at that point if it was going to come out both ends at the same time. I pulled a towel down to lay on and wondered what the heck I did to deserve this. Then it hit me. This is a demon. I am expelling a demon. Has to be it. There is no other explanation. Totally what it is. Has to be. A demon. Yup.
Now, you have to realize, at this point I am delirious with pain, dehydration and have taken even more anti nausea medication to try to stop all of this without any success. It really does have to be a demon. I looked around trying to see if maybe my Bubby or BFF had snuck into my bathroom or bedroom and drawn a Devil’s trap there to help me out. Because maybe I didn’t realize I was possessed by a demon and they did. Maybe the Winchester brothers were going to come any moment now and there I am, laying on my bathroom floor with no panties on, covered in a sheen of sweat, smelling like death I am sure. Oh that would be so unfortunate. No one needs to see that, least of all Dean Winchester **swoon**. That would be so my luck. Fat Girl humiliation at it’s finest. I wondered if I even had enough energy to go grab some salt to swallow to try to expel the demon even faster, but opted to just go to bed instead.
12 hours later. No. Really. 12 hours this lasted, the expelling of the demon that was in me. Finally, it left. Exiting me, leaving my soul intact (or at least I hope so), but without the big plume of black smoke they always show on Supernatural, to find another body to invade. I woke the next morning and went to get out of bed and realized there was a lasting effect to throwing yourself on the floor and hugging the toilet bowel for so long when you are older. My back was out. Are you freaking kidding me? This had never happened before. The fiery pain of the diarrhea had now been replaced by shooting pains into my ass in the form of sciatica flare up. I hated this demon. My ass was on fire in such a worst way and I could barely stand without pain. Awesome. So glad this was now my life. Stupid demon. Stupid getting old. Is this now what is going to happen to me every time I have to vomit violently for hours? My back is going to go out? What did I do to deserve this? Great. So now, after expelling the demon that was living inside me, I ahve back pain. Thank goodness for pain medication, a tens unit, lidocaine patches and a visit with my massage therapist in a few days.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. Oh my goodness, I felt like I was going to die for 12 hours but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl who actually threw my back out violently expelling a demon and wondering if the Winchester brothers were going to witness my humiliation Running. The experiment continues…
Hello! *waves sheepishly* Do you remember me? It is just I….The Fat Girl Running and I know you haven’t heard from me in quite awhile. My life kind of got turned upside down and it has taken me a bit to find my bearings. I hope you are still here, eagerly anticipating a new post from me. When I logged on, I half expected a layer of dust needing to be cleaned off in here. I even brought one of those duster thingies. Oh who am I kidding. I don’t clean. I am literally the world’s worst housekeeper. So I wouldn’t have even known where one of those duster things live in my house. No seriously. I wouldn’t. So let me explain something about my absence because you are about to see some changes around this joint (starting with firing the current housekeeper in here. I am pretty sure a dust bunny as big as my car just rolled by). Yup. Change is coming. But just in case you forgot who I was…here is my face.
December brought with it a very sad event and the one for the catalyst of change. Our beloved Boss Bean decided to leave is and go have coffee and chat books with The Big Guy upstairs. Cancer is a bitch my friends. A big, mean spirited bitch and she came around and took our sweet Boss Bean from us way too soon. I lost not only my publisher, but a fantastic friend and mentor in this book world. I will be forever changed by Boss Bean and her believing in me. She is sorely missed. This leads me to what is happening. Book 5 was due to come out in February but obviously that got put on hold when I got the news about Boss and the subsequent news that Inknbeans is to close it’s doors permanently. A slight hiccup to say the least. Hmmmm. So now what you ask? Never fear! The Fat Girl Running and her books will still be around but I will be rebranding them all and republishing them myself soon. This means that the originals will soon be disappearing off Amazon and you will soon hold in your hands unicorn covers! I wish I could say they came with glitter and a fancy horn, but that would make them cost more. I wish I could rig them to explode with a glitter bomb when you opened the covers. Wouldn’t that be awesome? As long as I don’t have to clean it up. Because obviously I would just leave it to make the world a more sparkly place. So look for new covers and hopefully Book 5 and beware of glitter bombs.
A couple of other bumps in the road happened recently that I need to write about to tell you. So more new posts will also be coming. I was rearended and had to get a new car (ugh but a new car!). My Mommy had another trip to the ICU in which certain words were used and I also changed jobs. There also are some trips to my Happy Place that I need to fill you in on, but for now, let’s just say I am happy you are still here. You are still here, right? *peeks around the giant dust bunny that is once again tumbling but now has glitter in it to see* Ok…just checking.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did drop off the face of the earth for a bit and stumble through life, but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl still wondering if I can dig glitter bombs in my book covers Running. The experiment continues…