Experience #1: Anxiety

Something I am not afraid to admit.

Something I am not afraid to admit.

Happy Wednesday to you all!  I hope everyone had a great day!

I mentioned in my previous blog about sharing some of my experiences that helped me get to a better, more stable place mentally, emotionally, and physically.  So in this blog, I’d like to spend time immediately talking about one of these experiences: ANXIETY.

Ever since beginning graduate school in August 2011, one of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced consistently was, and still is, anxiety.  To be more specific, anxiety was brought on in a few different ways: a) interacting with my professors and supervisors, b) knowing that I was being observed, and watched over via a video camera, by my supervisors while I conducted therapy sessions with my clients, and c) when I had an insane amount of schoolwork to do, all of which had to be done within a rather short time frame.  All these situations usually occurred simultaneously, which made me completely batty.  I felt like everything was spinning out of control.  My heart would beat fast.  My breathing would feel short.  My mind would keep racing.  My shoulders and facial muscles would feel immensely tense.  It was nightmarish and it sucked.

When feeling anxiety, what do YOU feel?

When feeling anxiety, what do YOU feel?

What worse, as all the aforementioned symptoms were occurring, I would be trying to have conversations with either a supervisor, or professor, or classmate and whatever they’d be saying to me would fly over my head.  The result would be me missing important information, such as important tips or facts that I’d have to remember for the immediate future.  This happened on way too many occasions.  It was beyond frustrating.  My colleagues would probably think, “Man, this guy is an idiot!  What’s wrong with him?”  Well, it’s not the fact that I’m an idiot because I know very well that I’m not.  It’s the fact that anxiety caused me to focus too much on how I was feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally and not on the people that are talking to me.

I cannot begin to tell you how frustrating this was.  I was beginning to think a lot of negative thoughts about myself.  Maybe I am an idiot.  Maybe I am abnormal for having this much anxiety when doing something.  How come other people don’t have these issues, and if they do, how are they handling it so well?  Moreover, I did not have this kind of problem before I entered graduate school, and if I did, it certainly wasn’t this severe.

I was thinking that it was something that would just go away on its own and that I’d find a way to manage it constructively.  The more time went on, the more I felt the physical symptoms take over, and the more I missed information that people were telling me.  It even boiled over outside of school and into my personal life where I would be feeling the same way when talking with my friends.

I spent the next three-plus years battling this anxiety issue.  It wasn’t until October 2014 that I finally decided to deal with my anxiety another way.  I had spoken to a very trust-worthy friend about my problems.  This person has been taking anxiety medication for a number of years, and what better person to speak to than he.  He gave me valuable information about medication, and afterward I did a lot of research on it.  My biggest concern was that I was going to be addicted to the medication and that I wouldn’t be able to kick the habit.  I didn’t want to end up being the guy who is addicted and reliant on pills to function every day.  I just needed something to take the edge off, something that would last me until I finished graduate school, and something that could relax me during horrible anxious moments.

I took my questions and concerns to the nurse practitioner on my college campus.  After about an hour’s worth of consultation, he alleviated my concerns and said that there are medications in which you don’t have to worry about being addicted to.  Consequently, he provided me with a prescription of 0.5 mg of Xanax.

My initial thoughts exactly.

My initial thoughts exactly.

A couple of days later, I took my first Xanax pill.  The nurse practitioner told me that the effects of it would take about 20-30 minutes after taking it.  I took it about 30 minutes before I conducted therapy with my client.  After about 15 minutes, I felt very mellow, very calm, and very happy.  Nothing was spinning out of control.  My heart rate was reduced.  My breathing was normal.  My mind stopped racing.  My shoulders and facials muscles were relaxed.  It was a fantastic feeling.  Additionally, I was able to retain information from my professors, supervisors, and classmates.  Nothing went over my head.  I would be able to hold a conversation with them without feeling rushed.  I felt like everything was going in slow motion and I was able to keep up with everything and everyone.  Also, I didn’t have much anxiety when it came to taking exams.  Not that I had bad anxiety before exams, but it helped me focus more when writing in answers.

To this day, I still take Xanax.  I don’t find anything wrong with it either.  I don’t take it every day, like I originally feared.  Instead, I take it when I have to take it.  My nurse practitioner advised me to not let everyone know that I take it for fear of people casting judgment on me.  That is true, as I have told only a select few people about this.  But I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of really.  I mean, who cares what other people’s judgments are?  But I wanted to share this on my blog, especially to people who have had anxiety issues just like me.  As time has gone on, I’ve realized that I’m not the only one who has anxiety issues and that I’m not the only one who takes medication for it.  Hey, some people might need it while others don’t, and that’s fine.  Everyone is different.

I encourage anyone that has anxiety issues to the point where it affects your daily functioning to seek help for it, whether if it’s medication or seeing a psychologist or whatever else there is.  Anxiety can be VERY debilitating, and no one needs to suffer with it.  To not do something about it is foolish and will only hinder you further.  I also encourage anyone to share their experiences as well regarding this blog.  I’d love to hear other’s perspectives about anxiety and how they’ve dealt with it.

So that’s my story… next time, I will share another experience that I’ve struggled with: FEAR.  Lots to talk about regarding this topic.  Until then, stay classy WordPress peeps!  :o)


25 Get to Know Me Questions

Ugh, it’s certainly been a while since I’ve been on this site (again).  How’s everyone doing??  I hope everyone is doing well!  Things have been tremendously busy on my end with graduate school since the last time I posted and it hasn’t stopped.  But, knock on wood, I will be finished by the end of the spring, and then I never have to worry about seeing another textbook or going to another class ever again.  OH YEAH!  Until then, I’ll continue to chug along and fulfill my dream of getting my master’s degree!

Soooooooooooo, I was reading the most recent blogs to catch up, and I found one of my favorite bloggers, Megan (check out her blog at http://meganhasocd.com/) do a questions survey.  (BTW, thank you Megan!  I’ve always enjoyed reading your blogs!)  I’ve always liked doing these surveys, as I enjoy sharing information and experiences.  For the far majority of you who are my newest followers (if I’ve even had any new ones in the past year), I thought this would be a great ice breaker to see what I’m all about.  Hopefully i’ll get to see some responses and see what my followers are all about to.

Before the survey, I’d like to mention that for the first time in a very very very long time that I’m currently in a much better place mentally, emotionally, and physically than when I first started this blog back in June 2012.  It’s amazing to see how much my life’s changed since then and how much I’ve grown.  I feel great, no question.  I will share some of these experiences in future blogs.  I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and friends.  I owe them a great deal.  I’m very grateful for all of them, and I love them with all my heart.  Thank you guys.  I’m eternally grateful for what you’ve done for me.

And with that said, here is my survey.  Thank you for reading, and have a great day all!!!

 25 Get to Know Me Questions

  1. What is your middle name?: Jules. (Side note: my oldest sister named one of her daughters after my middle name)  :o)
  2. What was favorite subject at school?:  No question, MATH. Two reasons: a) I had the best math teacher in 7th and 8th grade and I thoroughly enjoyed it because of her, and b) there was a kid in my class who was dubbed “the Math Whiz,” and I wanted to take that moniker away from him.  I don’t think I ever did, but I do know that I became an exceptional math student all throughout school.  I was on the varsity math team in high school and also won an award as one of the top math students in the school.  Math must be a musician thing because all the musicians I know love math.
  3. What is your favorite drink?: Water. The most basic drink in all the planet.
  4. What is your favorite song at the moment?:Hmmmmmmmm… damn good question. I’m gonna say “Malaguena Salerosa” by Chingon.  This song is from the Kill Bill Vol. 2 soundtrack.  That movie has been on cable a lot lately and I love everything about the song, from the music to the lyrics.
  5. What is your favorite food?: EVERYTHING. I’m not particularly picky with food. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Filipino, American, Vietnamese, Italian… you name it, and I’ll eat it!  :o)
  6. What is the last thing you bought?: A textbook for my biology class. Thrilling, right?
  7. Favorite book of all time?: I’m not exactly a book reader, but the book that changed my life would be “Meditation for Dummies.” I’ve learned so much from reading that book, and I apply all the principles from that book into my daily life as much as possible.

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    The book that changed my life.

  8. Favorite Color?: Blue.  Such a calming and peaceful color, and it matches my personality pretty well.
  9. Do you have any pets?: Currently, no. But thanks to my sister, I would love to own an English Bulldog.
  10. Favorite Perfume or Cologne?: Aqua Di Gio by Armani.  It’s been a staple for me for the past eight years, and I get compliments every time I wear it, especially around my lady friends.  :o)
  11. Favorite Holiday?:Thanksgiving.  It used to be Christmas, but Thanksgiving has overtaken it.  It’s the time of the year where I am truly thankful for everyone in my life and everything in my life that has been given to me.  It also gives me the chance to remember that nothing should be taken for granted.
  12. Are you married?: Nope. And right now, I’m too focused on other things to consider a relationship, let alone marriage.  But I’m open to anything, and I would love to get married some day.  I’m sure it will happen.  I’m not worried.  :o)
  13. Have you ever been out of the country?  If so how many times?: Eight times that I can recall.   Twice to each of these countries: the Philippines, Sydney, Australia, Mexico, and Canada.  It pays to have family in other countries!
  14. Do you speak any other language?: Only English. My parents are Filipino but they never spoke the language to me, which is crazy to me.  So I consider myself one of the “disgraceful’ Filipinos that neither speaks nor understands his home country’s language.  On the other hand, I have taken Japanese classes a while back and would love to continue one day.  The language and the culture have always fascinated me.
  15. How many siblings do you have?:Two older sisters, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
  16. What is your favorite shop?:Define “shop.” If it’s clothing, I’m going to say UNIQLO.  The majority of my wardrobe is from this place.  Other than that, my favorite shop is any music shop that sells guitars and musical gear, such as Sam Ash and Guitar Center.  My eyes light up whenever I see walls of guitars hanging and amplifiers lined up like an assembly line.

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    My interpretation of heaven.

  17. Favorite restaurant?:I don’t think I have one.  I’m a BIG steak person, and Ruth Chris and Bobby Flay’s are aweome places for steaks.  But at heart I’m a Brooklyn-nite, and one of the big mainstays here in NYC are Greek diners.  Throw me in any diner in the five boros with a triple decker sandwich (turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato on whole wheat) and disco fries (French fries with cheese, preferably mozzarella melted on top with gravy on the side), and I’m golden.
  18. When was the last time you cried?:Late October 2014. I studied for almost seven weeks straight for my comprehensive exams for graduate school.  Between that, classes, working in a clinic, and working in an elementary school, it was all too much.  I cried my eyes out and had a breakdown.  All of it was too much.  But I dusted myself off afterwards and got the job done.  I’m happy to say that I passed my exams and got the news the day before Thanksgiving. Definitely something to be thankful for!  :o)
  19. Favorite Blog?: I like reading everything I’m subscribed to.  Not fair to say which one is my favorite because ALL of them are.
  20. Favorite Movie?: WOW. This is a VERY tough question. I’m going to say Terminator 2.  That movie was bad-ass in so many ways.  Arnold was one of my heroes growing up.  But there are other favorites I need to mention: Wedding Crashers, Old School, Clerks, Horrible Bosses, Snatch, and American Beauty.  I’m all about the comedies.  I love a good laugh.  Laughter is what keeps the mind and body young at heart.  :o)

    Terminator 2.  Such a kick-ass movie.

    Terminator 2. Such a kick-ass movie.

  21. Favorite TV shows?: I don’t have much time for TV shows these days, but two big shows come to mind: Game of Thrones and Impractical Jokers.  The former is a bad-ass show from top to bottom, and the latter is nothing but raw laughter.  The only other shows I will make time for are “The Ultimate Fighter,” ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” and “NHL Tonight.”  But hands-down, my all-time favorite TV show is “Married with Children.”  Al Bundy will always be the ideal dad to me.  

    The model for how all families should be.

    The model for how all families should be.

  22. PC or Mac?:PC. But I’d love to own a Mac one day!
  23. What phone do you have?:Samsung S4. But I’m hating it more and more every day because it inexplicably resets itself while I’m texting or in the middle of a phone call.
  24. How tall are you?:5’10″
  25. Can you cook?:I sure do. I wish I had more time for it though!

Gimme five people! :o)

Hello everyone!  Wow, it’s been a LONG f’n time since I’ve checked this account.  I had to check this account and see what’s been up in the blogging world, and clearly I’ve missed out on a lot.  It’s been precisely 253 days since I’ve last logged on… yikes.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing… regardless, HELLO EVERYONE!  :o)

I’m in a Stanley Cup kind of mood this week.  My LA Kings have made it to the playoffs again this year, and I am PSYCHED!  :o)  Some people ask me how in the world I love a west coast hockey team when I’m from the east coast.  I can answer that in two simple words: Wayne Gretzky.  I loved it when he was in Los Angeles and made that run for the cup in 1993.  I was hooked since.  So I’m sure I’ll be making some posts in the next few days regarding hockey playoffs.  As long as the NY Rangers and Boston Bruins don’t win the Cup, I’ll be happy.

Alright… you’ve been served!  Thank you to my new followers from a while back.  :o)  Hope to hear from at least one of you… now gimme five!!!

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Are you gonna give me five or what??


Do As I Say… Or Not…

Remember when I said that I wouldn’t post any more things about my sister’s dog? Well, I lied… LOL I swear though, I couldn’t pass up on this!

After two unsuccessful attempts at playing fetch, I thought I’d try my hand at teaching her a trick: the basic handshake with the paw.  Most dogs can do this, right?  After all, it is standard operating dog procedure.

Did it work? Ummmmmmm… you be the judge. :o)


When Playing “Fetch” Goes Wrong…

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Okay, one last dog post and I promise I’m done! The last time I played fetch with Heidi (shown above), she streamlined towards me and head-butted my crotch at full speed with the toy in her mouth. (I’m not gonna lie; that hurt pretty bad.)

That was two days ago. Today, I tried to play fetch with her again. I didn’t get head-butted in the crotch like last time; however, the following sequence transpired: I threw the ball; she ran after the ball and caught it; she ran back to me with the ball in her mouth; she plopped down and decided to fall asleep on the ball before getting to me. Seriously. She hasn’t moved since. Sheesh… this dog is clearly not a fetch-dog.

What a funny dog she is. Hopefully, this will be my last dog post… unless she decides to do something else comical. Stay tuned. =)

WOOF!


Study Buddy, Part II

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My study buddy, Heidi, is back for Round 2. I assure you: she’s happy in these pictures.

I’ve been asked by my sister and brother-in-law to dog-sit Heidi, their adorable English Bulldog, again for a week. She was my “study buddy” as I was prepping for school work last semester as noted in my earlier post Study Buddy Sunday.  Of course, I couldn’t resist.  So here I am once again, reunited with my study buddy as I enter my last week of summer courses and write out two more papers in a 10-day span.  I love this dog.  She may not be the most graceful, but she’s the most loving and loyal pooch I’ve come across in a while.

Doesn’t she look like the perfect motivational cheerleader??  :o)  WOOF!


Please, make yourself comfortable…

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While in the college library yesterday working hard and writing a research paper, this was what the dude to my immediate left was doing. Now I’m a fan of naps in a library… but seriously?? I was tempted to pull the “warm water on the hand” trick, but decided against it. Let ’em sleep. He looks comfy. Besides, the roaches in the library will wake him up.

Good night all. =)