An Adventure in Orlando in which I Discover Barbie Beds in Hotel Rooms and Grab #soulmate’s Husband’s Ass.

One of the things about traveling to do book signings is to figure out the logistics on how to get all your book stuff  to a signing.  Some signings, you can ship your books and such to the hotel where a signing is being held.  Sometimes, I have managed to pack as much as I can fit into my bags (trust me when I fly standby, that carry on is HEAVY) and sometimes, I am lucky enough to know someone in the area to ship my books to ahead of time and they bring them to me when I get there.  Back when BFF and I went to Shameless Book Con in Orlando, we used this last option, as it turned out that #soulmate’s hubby, The Marine, was going to school in Orlando.  In order for this story to make sense, you have to understand one thing:  The Marine and BFF.  They have the best relationship.  It is almost like #soulmate and I and STRICTLY platonic.  They just love hanging out and are practically the same person anyways.  Plus, The Marine is an amazing guy on his own, even if he is married to my #soulmate. But, I digress.  This turned out to be quite the adventure that even ended up with me grabbing my #soulmate’s husband’s ass.

Now, I knew at some point, I needed to retrieve my boxes I had shipped to The Marine because of the signing (duh).  I figured when we first got there would be appropriate so I asked if he could drop them at our hotel the night we landed so I would not have to worry about it.  The Marine, being the great guy he is (I am almost positive he wanted to see BFF as well) offered to go one step further and pick us up at the airport.  Of course we said yes.  I mean, he had 2 boxes of my stuff and BFF and I do not travel light for a week away from home.  BFF and I decided we would take The Marine out to dinner to thank him because that is how we roll (plus you know she just wanted to hang out with her favorite husband).  We landed in Orlando, collected our bags and texted The Marine where we were waiting.  It then occurred to me I had no idea what kind or color of truck he was driving. I did not want to bother him, as we were oh so nice and landed in rush hour, so I called #soulmate to find out.  As I turned to tell BFF what The Marine drove, she was already jumping up and down and hugging him as he had already pulled up to us.  We loaded up our stuff and climbed in and headed to the hotel.

What I did not realize at the time, was that The Marine really went out of his way to take us to The Swan and Dolphin hotel as it was no where near his apartment.  Nowhere.  Basically, he drove 30 minutes (which in rush hour took us more like an hour) from the airport and then back to his apartment.  I am sure spending time with BFF and the promise of dinner and adult libations did not hurt.  The Marine then announced he needed to get gas for his truck so off we went in search of a gas station.  Seriously, this was so hard.  Why Orlando why?  It felt as if there was never a gas station to be found.  We finally used gps, went out of our way again, and turned down a street to pull into the only gas station we had seen.  The Marine got out to pump gas as BFF and I were discussing how ridiculously hard it was to find a gas station and he suddenly got back in and said “Fuck that.  They want $5 a gallon.  Hell no.” Choosing not to be raped by the gas station, we left.   BFF spots another gas station down the street so we pull in only to find they are out of gas.  Hey Orlando.  Buy some gas would ya?  Now we understood why the one gas station was raping people with over $5 a gallon.  We turned around and headed back to the freeway still in search of gas.  Finally, we find one that isn’t going to rape us and that has a restroom (which has now become necessary).  We head to the hotel.

As we drive to the hotel, a magical site awaits us.  The official sign that says Walt Disney World:  Where Dreams Come True. The amount of squealing that occurred in the truck at that moment may have made The Marine question whether or not he should have picked us up.  Good thing he loves us.  We check in and head down to our room to have bell services bring our bags because we were not going to make The Marine schlep those heavy boxes.  Upon entering our room, we all stood there for a few minutes I think with the same look on our faces.  What was with the size of the beds?  The Marine looks at both of us and says “I think those are full sized.” I quickly said “Nah.  They can’t be.  What hotel still has full sized beds?  They have to be queens.”  I believe we all even had a slight tilt to our heads as we finally figured out they were indeed full sized beds.  Huh.  Who knew that they still made those for hotels. Wanna know the funny thing?  The marine didn’t even fit in the bed.  Have you ever slept in a full sized bed when you are a bigger girl?  It was like a hotel bed for a Barbie.  I, for one, was glad I was not sharing as this would have been such an issue.  Barbie bed for one please!

After dinner, libations, and much laughter, we knew we needed to send The Marine on his way.  As we waited for valet to bring his truck around, BFF handed me a $20 bill and whispered to me to put it into his pants pocket for gas money.  Slyly, as he was talking to BFF and hugging her goodbye, I slipped my hand into his back pocket right as he stepped back.  This action ended up with me full on grabbing The Marine’s ass.  Like a whole handful.  He raised his eyebrows at me as I nodded my head and said “Nice ass Marine.”  and hugged him.  #awkward.  We waved goodbye as BFF said “I cannot believe you grabbed his ass. What are you going to tell his wife?”  I just shrugged.  What is a little ass grabbing between #soulmates?  Later on that night, #soulmate calls me to tell me that she was on the phone with The Marine and he was telling her what a great night he had with BFF (oh yeah and I was there too) when he stopped and went “Hey.  What’s in my pocket?  Oh!  THAT is why Kristann grabbed my ass!” To be honest, #soulmate said she didn’t even question why I grabbed his ass but laughed instead saying he did have a nice ass to grab.  Funny thing was, he didn’t even think it was odd I grabbed his ass.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did experience that apparently Orlando does not like to have gas stations off the freeway, discovered barbie beds in hotel rooms and grabbed  #soulmate’s husband’s ass but I didn’t die.  I am The Fat Girl who likes to grab The Marine’s ass and make it awkward Running.  The experiment continues…

On Meeting My Kiwi Or How I Almost Ended Up In a True Crime Documentary

I meet a lot of readers when I attend a book signing, but one such meeting was EPIC. When I attended my first Book Bonanza in Denver two years ago, I had never experienced a reader coming to see me as one of their primary authors. Never. It was a surreal but the most epic meeting ever. Especially because she came all the way from New Zealand! New Zealand people! I was blown away that someone would have ME as one of the authors that they would come to a signing to see. Sometimes my life is so surreal to me. Like why would someone want to come to meet me? To marvel at my awkwardness? To admire my 12 chins and my stoob? To kidnap me, shove me in a suitcase and leave me in the woods? But I digress. Let me tell you what it was like to meet one of my readers, My Kiwi.

It all started with a tweet. No, really. I got a notification that someone had mentioned me on a tweet and I went to check it out. There was a tweet about a reader who was excited to get her tickets to Book Bonanza and meet her top three authors: Colleen Hoover, E.L. James and me. Wait? Did I read that right? Was I mentioned in the same tweet as Colleen Hoover and E.L. James? Nooooo. That could not be right. There was no way someone would want to come meet me. Like specifically have me as one of their top three authors. This had to be a mistake. Curious, I tweeted her back. Something totally as lame as “Me? You want to see me?”. That is how cool I am ladies and gents. I couldn’t even think of some good snappy reply. With that tweet, we started messaging back and forth, became the infamous Facebook friends and soon My Kiwi became one of those rare in real life friends that I was super excited to meet.

It took one year from her posting about getting a ticket to the signing in Denver. To say I was excited to meet My Kiwi is such an understatement. But I was also terrified. What if I did not meet her expectations? What if I was super lame? I was sure to be awkward as that is given. I don’t know if I will ever not be awkward when you meet me in person. It is just part of my nature. I was just worried I would not live up to her “favorite author” category. What if she was really a Hobbit in person? Well, I can’t say I would be disappointed if that was true. Wait. What if she was a stalker? Would she single white female me and steal my identity and become The Fat Girl Running? Would I end up on some true crime show because I have gone missing only to be never seen again? These are all the crazy thoughts that went through my head as I contemplated meeting My Kiwi. We got to the hotel and after checking in, grabbed some food and were sitting in the lobby. BFF asked if I was going to message My Kiwi and see if she was there yet. I admit it, I was so nervous! But, I took the plunge and messaged her to see if she was there and told her we were in the lobby. Then I waited. Would she know who I was is the first thought that ran through my head. DOH! Hello my picture is all over my profiles and my book covers! Of course she is going to know what I look like and who I was. What a dumb thing to be worried about. And if she is a stalker, then we know she already has a shrine set up to me in her house. And then it happened. My Kiwi came into the lobby.

Insert lots of squealing and hugging here. No really, I am pretty sure half the lobby heard us as we saw each other. I jumped up, food halfway to my mouth, when I saw her and proceeded to squeeze her so hard. I didn’t care anymore what she thought. I didn’t care if I would somehow end up shoved into a suitcase as my internet stalker killed me and took my identity. All I cared about was that she was REAL. A real reader came all the way from New Zealand to meet me. And no, she was NOT a Hobbit. I know, insert slight disappointment here. I might have been slightly awkward with the trip grime still on me and food hanging out of my mouth, but I did not care. It turns out she is just as sweet as I had hoped. I was so overwhelmed by My Kiwi that the next day, when I was on a panel about reader relationships, I actually started tearing up talking about her. Yeah that is right. I got misty talking about how she came all this way to meet me in front of like 500 people. It was awesome and not at all a little embarrassing.

My Kiwi

Meeting readers is one of my favorite things whether I am at a signing or somewhere else. Meeting My Kiwi was epic. We are still good friends and I hope someday to go and visit her in her native habitat and hopefully we will go to Hobbiton together (a part of me still hope she is a Hobbit). Do not ever be afraid to come up to me in public or at a signing and say hello. I may be awkward with you and there is sure to be a hug given, but please come up and break that barrier. As long as you are not a stalker and will not put me in a suitcase and leave me in the woods to never be found. I really do not want to be part of a true crime documentary. So let’s keep the stalking and murdering to a minimum please.

Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did have an epic meeting with one of my readers and it was epic and I was concerned I might end up in a true crime documentary but I didn’t die today. I am Fat Girl who is slightly disappointed My Kiwi is not a Hobbit Running. The experiment continues.

How I Almost Became a Yeti Snack

Recently, BFF and I did a thing. We went to Florida and Walt Disney World for the first time! Well, technically, it was not my first time as I had been as a small child, but I do not really remember any of it. So, when I got invited to be a part of the Shameless book signing, we decided to make a vacation and spend a week out in Florida playing as only the two of us could play at all the parks. By all, I really do mean all. Go home or go big, right? We really had no idea what to expect having never been there before and had no idea that people plan their fast passes out in advance. We just decided to go with the flow and grab whatever fast passes for rides that we could on the day we were in the parks. BFF and I are pretty laid back and really just wanted to experience the parks. Little did I know, one of the rides would be one of the most terrifying and thrilling rides I have ever been on.

We decided to hit Animal Kingdom as a half day as I had the book signing to get to that night. WOW. We totally underestimated how amazing Animal Kingdom truly is. Next time, we have decided to spend a full day there as it exceeded our expectations. I was in awe over all there was to see and do. Once we were in the park, we were able to grab a fast pass for a ride called Expedition Everest. We had no idea what the ride was or what was going to happen when we rode it. We decided to walk towards it and see what it was. As we approached, we saw what looked to like the Matterhorn and we were excited to see that Expedition Everest was a roller coaster as we both love coasters. I was a little apprehensive as I do not like the unknown but I was also excited.

The scene as we walked up to what would soon be the source of terror and panic

As we got in line to ride the ride, I convinced myself that this was some sort of take on the Matterhorn at Disneyland so there must be a Yeti. Oh the Yeti. I have a love hate relationship with that Yeti. I love the story and the atmosphere of the Matterhorn, but I truly hate how terrified the Yeti makes me feel. No really terror is how that Yeti makes me feel. It is dumb, I know. But all his growling and the darkness and the fast jerky movements of the Matterhorn makes the little girl in me terrified. I would even close my eyes as we approached where I knew the old school Yeti to be stationed before the ride was refurbished.  Now with the new scarier upgraded Yeti, it is even worse.  I have no idea why the Yeti terrifies me so much but it really does.  And we will not even talk about how much riding the Matterhorn at night makes me panic but I do it anyways.  So my panic over the unknown of Expedition Everest was now rising with the thought of the Yeti being in the ride as well. It was a panic mixed with excitement of the coaster and I was anxious to ride it and see what it was like.

We climbed into our train car and I could already tell my anxiety was rising. The story in the ride line definitely told the story of the Yeti so I was hoping he would not be in the ride scaring me. But something told me he would be. Damn. We climbed in and I got ready. As the ride took off into a huge hill, my panic and fear also included not knowing what was going to happen and I started my nervous giggling that BFF finds hilarious. She knew I was nervous and just told me it would be okay, patting my hand like I was a small child. Then the ride took off down the hill and I was left screaming and laughing as I saw the signs of the Yeti flashing by me at high speeds. Oh no.  I was right.  Then, all of a sudden, the ride stopped. I mean a dead stop.  At the top of the mountain, the track in front of us was all mangled.  It was obvious the Yeti was to blame for the destruction. Having the ride at a complete stop made my panic rise even higher. I turned to BFF and this conversation happened:

Me (in a panic filled voice which might have been an octave higher): “Is this normal? Is the ride supposed to stop? Why is the track mangled? What is happening? Am I going to die? Is the Yeti going to eat me?”

BFF: “Why are you asking me? I have never ridden this either!”

Stranger in front of us turns around all excited: “OH YEAH! This is totally normal! We are about to plunge backward into total darkness as the Yeti chases us!”

Me (now totally terrified and my eyes popping out of my head): “WHAAAAAAAAT?”

BFF to total stranger: “Um, thanks for absolutely terrifying my best friend. So glad you didn’t say anything before we got on!”

And then I was plunged to my doom backwards in the dark without any warning with the growling Yeti chasing us and I am sure all BFF could hear was my total screams of terror. The ride stopped again in a few seconds. In a cave. A Yeti cave. WTF. This was the worst ride in the history of rides. What is going to happen? Is the Yeti going to come up out of this cave and take me into his lair to be his next snack? Why Disney why? First the almost gassing when I met Thor and now I was to be devoured by the Yeti in some cave in Animal Kingdom? Disney why you got to be like this? Luckily I did not have time to do anything but leave my screams of panic and terror in the cave as the ride quickly continued. Thank goodness I was not to be a Yeti snack. This time.

As the ride came to an end, BFF turned to me with her smile of glee and saw the fear, panic and tears on my face (which in reality were from the speed of the coaster and not my sheer terror of the Yeti) and she immediately was like “OH NO! Are you okay?” Shakily as the adrenaline of the ride surged through my veins, I replied “That was fun! And so scary! I hate the Yeti! I thought I was going to be eaten!” and I meant it. I really did enjoy it, terror and all. The total stranger that had been in front of us was laughing as she climbed out of the car, probably at my screams throughout most of the ride as BFF again thanked her for not telling me about the ride in advance. I walked out of the ride, my limbs feeling like jello from the adrenaline and fear, my heart racing, and I actually was clutching my chest as BFF and I discussed how fun the ride was even though I secretly thought the Yeti might still be behind me waiting to eat me. I might have sneaked a look behind me when BFF wasn’t looking just to be sure. Damn Yeti.

Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did almost have a panic attack on a ride at Animal Kingdom because of the Yeti but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl who was almost a Yeti snack Running. The experiment continues…

How I Became The Star of an Avant Garde Adult Film or How Not to Be Rude in the Theater

Just this last week, BFF and I traveled down to Satan’s Armpit AKA Phoenix to go see the So You Think You can Dance tour show. For those not familiar with the TV show, it is a competition dance show and the top 10 contestants go n tour every year to showcase some of the dances done on the show. We have gone for several years and we were excited to see some amazing dancing and have a good time.  What we were not expecting was to encounter some unbelievably rude people in the theater.  And I do not man just inconsiderate people. I am talking abut down right rudest people we have probably ever encountered in a theater.  I mean I thought at one point I was the star of some weird avant garde adult film as a result.  So let’s talk about how not to be so rude.

First off, don’t be obnoxiously drunk.  We all know theaters now serve adult concessions and BFF and I even grabbed us a good old whiskey and diet coke for the show.  If you do decide to imbibe at a show, please stop before you become the gals a couple rows in front of us that were so loud, obviously drunk, and stood up to perform their own version of the routine.  Nobody wants to see that.  They luckily were escorted out by staff before someone fell and got hurt, but it should have not gone that far.  This was not a rock concert.  This was a dance performance.  No need to get that intoxicated that you get thrown out of the theater.  Nice waste of your over $100 tickets.

Secondly, know how your phone works if you are going to take photos or film.  The gal in front of us obviously did not know how hers worked.  Every time she turned on her camera, her light went on as well. And not just once.  Nope.  EVERY time.  Then, she would act surprised the light was on which was blinding those in front of her, probably the dancers on stage and annoying the crap of those of us behind her.  She must have done this five times before the intermission.  During intermission, she gave her phone to her husband who also could not figure out how to turn the light off or the flash for that matter.  So guess what she did?  She KEPT TRYING during the show.  How about you just enjoy the show and not try and film the whole thing?  UGH.  There is a special place in hell for people like this.

But the worst offender?  The absolute worst was the guy sitting next to me.  Now let me preface this by saying I had no issue with him during the show.  What happened afterwards was the single most rudest thing I have ever had happen.  The show ends and what do you do after you finish clapping?  You gather your things and wait for people to start filing out of the long rows.  Now, mind you, we were in the middle of the row so we knew it would take a bit.  I stood up and started to grab our stuff and put on my leather jacket when I heard an “Excuse me” from behind me.  I turned slightly and there is this guy and his wife trying to get past me.  Um. Where do you think you are going to go?  There is a line of people gathering their things and attempting to leave at the same time as you Buddy.  He then pushed on my arm and said it again.  At this point, I turned around and politely told him it would be a few moment as the row was just starting to empty.  Was this good enough?  Apparently not.  As I bent over to pick up my purse, this asshole behind me, grabbed my arm and pushed me into my seat, blazing his way past me, He even shoved his wife behind me so I could not even stand up.  At this point, I am stunned and bent over the seat with my booty in the air like I am making some sort of weird avant garde adult film, when I hear BFF say “Excuse me!” as he attempted to push past her as well.  She luckily stepped slightly back in her astonishment so he did not push her into her seat as well.  I am still there with my ass in the air as I hear BFF start to go full out angry girl Mexican on him.  I was half expecting her to hand me her shoes and earrings as she loudly starts to shame him.

“Ooooh. So glad you could push right past us to get right in front of me. Why are you in such a rush?”  Her voice got louder and louder as he continued to try and push past the gal in front of her.  “Where do you think you are going?  Think you can just push women around? Nobody else is going anywhere Buddy!”

I was struggling to get my ass out of the air to help her and all I could say was “Yeah!” as I stood up.  I am so helpful to BFF in a confrontation.  Finally upright, I witnessed his shoving continue as he shoved the gal in front of BFF causing her to drop the entire contents of her purse on the floor.  We watched, astonished, BFF continuing to yell at him, as he shoved his way out of the row and out the door.  I mean, who does that?  As BFF turned to make sure I was okay and not starring in some weird avant garde adult film, she noted that if he had gone the other way in the row, he would have gotten out faster and how it was actually closer to the exit.  I still am stunned that anyone would be so rude as to shove their way through the row to get out instead of just waiting your turn.  Did he have to pee that badly?  Was he hoping to beat the traffic in the parking garage?  Hint:  then buy your tickets at the end of the row, not the middle.  Did he think the zombie apocalypse was starting?  Was he trying to escape before we all got eaten?  Do I need to start planning our escape route?  Did he release the virus?  Whatever his thought process, it does not excuse his behavior.  Do not be like this guy. Unless you are really trying to make some sort of avant garde adult film in which people are ass in the air over theater seats.  Then at least have me sign a release and give me some Skittles for my performance.  Geez.

So next time you go to a theater, make sure you are not like the people we encountered at this show.  Do not be rude.  Be polite and enjoy the show.  Unless the zombie apocalypse has truly started.  Then it is every person for themselves in the theater.  For real.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did experience some extremely rude people at a dance show but I didn’t die.  I am the Fat Girl who does not want to be the star of an avant garde adult film or rude in the theater Running.  The experiment continues…

In Which I Learn BFF Has Limits to Saving Me or How I Almost Gained Lame Superhero Powers

You know how people state things like “I would do anything for you” but then you learn those limits of the things they absolutely will NOT do? I learned BFF has a limit on our last trip to Disneyland. Don’t get me wrong, she would absolutely do anything if my life was threatened but there was one thing she will not do apparently and it involves giant June bugs.

We had decided to ride Guardians of the Galaxy because the wait was less than 30 minutes. We were in the outside portion of the line and trying to go from one shady spot to another as it was slightly warm, discussing what we were going to eat next as it was almost lunch time and let’s face it, we both like to eat. I happened to see and hear the giant June bug first flying around. Ew. I personally hate June bugs. If you have never seen them, they are not that pretty except for the emerald green color. They also have a tendency to hang on tight to anything they grab on to. Trust me, I once lip locked with a June bug when I was a camp counselor in Iowa and it has scarred me for life. But that is another story.

Nobody wants to lip lock with this thing. Just saying.

So there we are, minding our own business when I see and hear the giant June bug flying around out of the corner of my eye. Knowing how creepy these things are, I kept a side eye on it as I didn’t want it any where near me. It landed a little bit behind BFF, who was blissfully unaware of said huge bug. Let’s get something straight. This bug was VERY large. No really. Probably the size of 50 cent piece. Now you can see why I was keeping an eye on it. I did not want a repeat of the lip locking situation that had emotionally scarred me when I was 19. Imagine getting a large bug stuck on your lip and see how you feel about them. The guys behind us were also watching the bug, commenting on how HUGE it was so I was not alone in thinking that maybe this was a mutant June bug. Could it have come from a nuclear reactor? Was it a government experiment? Maybe it was part of the Marvel Universe, I mean we were in line for Guardians of the Galaxy. Could it have superpowers? Would it make me have some sort of June Bug attributes if it lip locked with me like in Spider-Man? Either way, I did not want to come close enough to the mutant June big to find out. And that is when it happened.

I heard the mutant June bug take flight and in the moment I saw it, it came straight toward me. It was something out of my nightmares. In my fear of being lip locked, I turned and ducked my head, emitting a squeal as BFF realized I was in mortal danger of becoming some sort of superhuman June bug. She also made some sort of fluttering movement with her hands in an attempt to disrupt the bug’s flight path toward me to no avail. I HEARD it come straight for my ear and then I did not hear it anymore. Terrified and not seeing said Nuclear reactor June bug, I spun around to BFF and asked the question: “Is it on me?” The look on her face said it all as she said “EEEEEP. Yes.” I attempted not to scream as I implored her to get it off me. This is where I learned her limits. BFF looked at me in pure horror and said “NOPE. Sorry I cannot help you.” as she turned away in her own terror. BFF was just as terrified as I was at the giant June bug now fully ensconced in my hair.

Now convinced I am stuck with this June bug that will certain burrow into my skull, fear begins to take over as I being to try and find it to remove it from my hair. It is STUCK fast to my hair and headband. Finding it attached so firmly begins a swirl of panic in which I begin to flail my arms and squeal for help. BFF is of no use, refusing to save me from the fate of becoming something out of the Marvel Universe and instead beginning to panic herself. I feel my doom is sealed to have some sort of unknown super powers when the two guys behind me jump to my rescue. Quickly, they stop my flailing arms and hands and reach up to remove the mutant June bug, as I emit whimpers of fear and BFF does some sort of interpretive dance in circles chanting “Get it. Get it” as if this will somehow release it magically. Even though the giant bug has latched on firmly to my headband and hair, the guy manage to release it, and not knowing what to do with it, since we are in a crowded line, they throw it to the ground and squash it so that it cannot release it’s mutant powers on anyone else. I stop myself from throwing them into their arms with relief and almost sobbing but instead turn to BFF and say

“You didn’t save me What kind of best friend are you?”

She looks at me, eyes wide: “Did you see how HUGE that bug was? NOPE. Big hard pass.”

Me, still incredulous that she didn’t help save me from the mutant bug: :You said you would do anything for me. Obviously not.”

BFF: “Nope. Not when it involves a mutant bug. You are on your own. Love you. Mean it.”

The guys behind us who saved my life and my brain from being burrowed into are now laughing hysterically as BFF thanks them for saving her best friend’s life. If it were not for the kindness of two strangers, I would probably be starting my life of crime fighting as some weird emerald green Superhero with some lame ass power like lip locking with complete strangers. Lame.

The guys who saved me! Thank you for removing the mutant June bug from my brain.

Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did have a giant mutant June bug try to burrow it’s way into my skull and had to rely on the kindness of strangers to save me from certain doom but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl with a BFF who will not save me from getting lame superpowers if it involves a giant mutant June bug Running. The experiment continues…

When life feels like Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree

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…

Stop the Ride. I Want to Get Off

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…