I have a heart condition that mimics an anxiety attack. So, for extra fun when I feel something like an anxiety attack I get to ask myself if it’s me or my heart. Well, guess either way it’s me, but I have to check myself.

This is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, or at least that’s how the song goes.

Those among us that suffer from anxiety and are introverted would like to beg the differ.

Family situations give me anxiety. I have anxiety about finishing school. I hate change and the way things are. I can’t help it I’m human.

These last couple of days I’ll been a bit under the weather and drinking more caffeine than I should and not taking my medication like I should. So… When the tight lung feeling sets in I have to decide which malfunction is happening.

If it’s my heart, drink some water. If it’s anxiety, meditation exercises.

I just want everyone out there to know that you’re not alone in being bad about taking your medication and staying hydrated.

Drink lots of water and take your medication as prescribed or it isn’t going to help.


The Introverted Brain

Introverts brains do not operate like the brain of an Extrovert.

I learned a lot about introversion from a book called The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Psyd, Marti Olsen Laney. In this book, she explains the physiology behind how the brain of an Introvert works versus how the brain of an Extrovert works.

Extroverts wake up full of this stuff called energy and they are so ready to seize the day. On the other hand, Introverts have this slow moving hamster on a wheel that we use to wake up. Let me tell you, those little Russian Teddy Bear Hamsters bite… So, we have to get that hamster going and get our brains going. I like to think of the first home computer my mom bought. It was a Tandy, it had windows 3.1 and if you wanted it to do something, you’d better bring a book or your knitting.

The book explains that there are different operating systems in brain. The Introverts use the Limbic System.

This operating system, or OS, takes a while to get booted up and running. Now, once it’s up and running that does not mean that it’s got the processing power of the operating system the Extroverts use. No, no, no, no, no, no…. and Nope. We still have the original intel processor chip over here. We are dialing up to the internet and we are going to need a moment to think.

When I say think, I mean like Pooh Bear… “Think, think, think, think, think….”

So, when you ask us a question. Please be aware we gotta think about it. You may encounter some silence while you wait, but I promise the answer we come back with will be more than you could ever ask for. Why? Because Introverts have the innate ability to consume and retain knowledge. I will admit that some of it may be quite useless, but we have it.

Extroverts, however, use the Sympathetic System. This means that the all important go-go juice (Dopamine) has a short route to travel and they fire up faster and go, go, go, go… The Parasympathetic System is the e-brake that stops the…. go, go, go, go…..

Here’s the Dopamine route for an Extrovert:

Here’s the Dopamine route for an Introvert:

So… yikes. That’s why it takes us so darn long to think and get going. But we introverts don’t need a whole lot of Dopamine. Extroverts are like Top Fuel Race Cars that need a constant influx to keep it going… and going…. and going…

Too much to an introvert makes us want to cry and run away. OH, and hide. In dark places, in music… away from you me the world… BYE.

Extroverts and Introverts have different brains!

Sleep is a cruel mistress

Introverted, depressed, or anxious?

Good luck sleeping.

Good luck shutting off the mind that wants to bring up every little thing you have ever said. That demon on your back is pouring poison into your ear to feed it and egg it. It whispers about that time and that thing you said.

You anxiously watch the time slip away as you begin to panic that you’re not going to be able to sleep. You lay there staring at the ceiling looking for some sort of sound to focus on so you can clear your mind.

Good luck fighting off that anxiety attack at 1 am when you realize you only have 4 hours left to sleep.

Good luck waking up when you alarm goes off after you’ve been asleep for two hours.

Insomnia? No. Just a very busy mind that curses introverts everywhere.

My anxiety is high. High anxiety is dangerous for me, because it’s when my demon does his best work. He promises that if I cut my arm it will make me feel better. Empty promises.

Oh sleep, you are a cruel mistress… I am tired, I am willing. Please bless me with some sleep.

Give me something to believe in…

Sometimes, you just need something or someone to believe in. There will always be that point in your life when someone causes you to faulter in what you believe.

Depression and anxiety can suck your ability to believe out of you.

You accept the status quo and let go of any hope you had.

A child learns from his/her friend that there is no Santa Claus from a friend. That child’s belief system to that point in his/her life has been rocked. Altered for ever more.

So, I ask these people that are out there squashing people’s beliefs, why is it not ok for them to believe in what they believe?

In my opinion, atheists have what they believe in and what they believe to be the truth. Some leave Christians, Muslims and Jews alone. They take their belief of non-belief and use it against what other people believe to make them feel less about themselves.

The Poison song is old, but it still poses a good point. We as a human race have the need to believe in things. Every person makes that choice as to what they believe.

Basically, everyone believes in something. It is this free will that lets people believe in different things.

But I do not think it is fair to tell someone how their faith or belief is less than yours. That is pushing your opinion on others.

Yes, magic isn’t real, but wouldn’t it be sweet if it was? Yes, the force doesn’t exist, but wouldn’t it be sweet if it was?

Just because something isn’t real, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a story or movie about it.

I believe that the truest power that every human posses and should use regularly is the imagination.

It’s called make-believe and it can take you places.

You could meet Merlin in the Crystal Cave or ride into battle with Arthur. All it takes is an open mind, an open heart and the ability to imagine the impossible.

Believe in the unbelievable and there are no barriers to hold you back.

Yes, Virginia there is a Sants Claus.

Never let go of the innocence that your imagination brings. Always imagine and always believe in yourself.

An Introvert and Music

I have a deep connection with music and enjoy many different varieties.

The world and life of an introvert is not an easy place. Many of introverts suffer from depression and anxiety.

Introverts do a lot of self-infliction which is generally caused by our wonderful nature of over thinking EVERYTHING. We are the ones that lie awake at night and think about something we said 5 years ago and how we regret it. We regret EVERYTHING. We think EVERYONE hates us or is mad at us about something that we cannot control.

NEVER EVER tell an Introvert, “Don’t over think it” because that does not work. That’s like telling an alcoholic, “Don’t over drink”. It just does not work.

Introverts loathe mornings and that’s due to the fact that psychologically our brains take a while to start. We are that 1992 Windows 3.1 computer that you turn on and wait 20 minutes for it run through everything so you can type the command to load windows. We are that dial up connection that dials up 3 times before a successful connection and it will take about 30 minutes, so get your coffee. So, we think mornings can take a long walk off short piers or cliffs. But that’s another topic…

Music… oh sweet precious music. Music can set my mood, trigger flashbacks, or make me cry

The song Jumper by Third Eye Blind for instance has a profound effect on me.

It speaks to the person who is at that edge and ready to take that step off. The ledge is a place where a lot of people find themselves with depression and anxiety. They may not be able to express or share their feelings, but this song speaks out and says, “I would understand”. Those are the words are what people are looking for when he/she is depressed and ready at the edge.

These people are the ones that police officers talk to that are standing on that overpass bridge ready to jump to his/her death. These people have remedied within their own minds that the only way to solve a problem is to kill themselves. This is something that introverts do. We overthink and find our own resolutions that we think would make others happy.

This song comes to mind when I hear about someone killing his/herself and it comes to mind when I find myself tempted by the demon to harm myself.

This morning, I listened to S.O.B. By Nathaniel and the Night Sweats. It sounds like a song straight out of the movie The Blues Brothers, but it does have some language as you can tell by the lyrics. I was having a bit of a morning and wishing for a drink. I was scrolling through my music to find it and found it by the name of the song. The next song to play was Sabotage by the Beastie Boys.

Listening to Sabotage reminds me of when I was kid and I watched the video on MTV. In the video the boys play like they are Police Detectives with bad suits, bad wigs, and bad glasses. The music has a distinct guitar rhythm. This song hypes me up and makes me want to run around and slide across car hoods. This song got me through my morning. My later music choices of the day are blurry.

If I am having a hard day or feeling overwhelmed, I can pop in my ear buds and blast off a song. Last night, I felt overwhelmed at the pizza shop my boyfriend and I were eating at. I tend to use my ear buds when I go grocery shopping and people give me the strangest looks. I think it’s because they do not understand what it is like to be an introvert.

Being an introvert means that you get over stimulated when you are in stores like Walmart or Publix. You have to take breaks to recharge your batteries and get going again. For me, the best recharge is a good solid song. One that can reach deep into my soul and zap it with a full charge.

Which leads to why I enjoy being alone in my car…. yes, I sing. Yes, I dance. And, no I don’t care…