I’m Sorry, Neighbors

Me in black and white

I’m sorry.

I am sorry, neighbors, that I look at you with terrified eyes when you try to say “Hi” while I am walking. That I rapidly turn and scurry in the other direction when I see you even begin to leave your front door. That I would rather pass by a huge black snake than you and your dog.

I am sorry, neighbors, that social anxiety seizes me and propels me away from other humans. That my heart begins to shake whenever I see a car drive by me. That I envision each person around kidnapping, torturing, and killing me.

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10 Ways to Battle Nightmares

Baby in pajamas

“Those with the greatest awareness have the greatest nightmares.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Each night fills me with terror. Sleeping, which so many people seem to love, is one of my least favorite activities. Not only does it feel like a waste of time, it also brings awful nightmares.

Perhaps I am the villain one night, killing millions of people until everything around me is red. The next evening, a friend or coworker is kidnapping me. Almost worst are the nights when people tell me how they truly feel, how much they really hate me. Sometimes that is the hardest to hear.

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Coping Skill: #55. Paying Attention to the Little Things



Sometimes, we get so stuck in anxiety and worrying about the future that we forget to look around us. Yes, there is much pain and hardship in life. However thousands of little things of beauty surround us each day.

This week, I took a walk a tried to notice some of the details in the world around me. Instead of overlooking a spider on its web, I crouched down and watched it scuttle about, trying to find food. The ripples in the stream were no longer just moving water but a beautiful pattern of flowing liquid. Birds singing and lawn mower growling added a bit of sound that I normal drowned out with music. Experiencing these small things was rather magical. To help you see how much it impacted me, I too some photographs.

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One Thousand Thanks: 588 – 598. Oxford so Far

Duke Humfrey's Library

I peeked into the ‘restricted section of the library’ or Duke Humfrey’s Library that was used in Harry Potter.

Being in Oxford has been like a dream come true for the most part. The people, the learning, the architecture, the history, the nature. . .I love it all so very much! Already, my thoughts have been consumed with ideas of how to return.

However, I want to enjoy where I presently am and by excited about that. Already so much has been happening. Thus, I will give you some of the highlights on this Thankfulness Thursday.

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Coping Skill #49. Exploring a New Place

Walking to class at Oxford

Walking to class at Oxford

What I have spent most of my time in Oxford doing is getting lost. Everywhere that I go, I tend to forget how to get back. It seems that I am not alone in this, but it still makes me feel silly.

However, exploring a new place and wandering about can be a great coping skill. That is what I have been doing in this amazing city.

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Encountering Little Red Riding Hood

Encountering Little Red Riding Hood

Every man’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s fingers. – Hans Christian Anderson

Yesterday was awful.    Hissing in my ears all day, the desires for restriction and self-harm soured my mood.  For every few steps I took forward, I seemed to slip back further.  After a stressful supper, I was ready to give up.  Grumpy and frustrated with myself, I just  wanted to start the next day with hope of a better outcome.

When my mother suggested after supper that I go for a walk, I grabbed my music and red windbreaker before slumping out the door.  Hiking through through the woods around our house is something that calms me down and brings me life.  However, I was pretty sure that tonight I would return just as upset as ever.  After all, I already had embarked on a walk earlier and it had not settled me down.  What could make this one any different? Continue reading

Coping Skills: #1. Mindful Walks

Purple Irises

Purple Irises in one of our gardens

A few days ago, I decided to take a walk. Not an invigorating walk like I usually take with upbeat music in my ears and quick bouncy strides.  Instead I grabbed a camera and slowly walked through the woods.

With no noise to distract me, I was able pay attention to everything around me.  Simply things such as moss, leafs, and mushrooms took on new beauty and worth.  Sights I had passed many times suddenly made me stop and catch my breath.  Little noises like distant lawnmowers, rushing water, buzzing flies, and soaring birds all caught my attention. Continue reading