Setting goals is one of my favorite things

It’s super nerdy of me, but I love the weeks leading up to the new semester. I love being able to plan things, thinking about how cool my classes are going to be, and just getting another start to try something new. I’m good about working out (mainly Pilates and yoga), and I usually end up averaging about 5-7 miles of walking everyday at school. But I tried out cycling last semester, and it was alright. The class was a little too fast-paced for me since I was so new, but I was reading this article about cycling earlier today. So the whole planning/organized/goal-oriented side of me came out, and I just got so excited about being able to plan playlists and days of the week for cycling.

For the most part, I only work out when there’s a class I can go to. It’s just so much easier for me to have someone tell me exactly what I should be doing. Whenever I try to work out on my own, I can only think of stuff for maybe 30 minutes, but when I’m in a Pilates class, the hour just flies by. It also helps that I can always find someone to go with me.

Even though working out by myself isn’t something I’ve been great at in the past, reading about ideas for cycling workouts just makes it seem so simple and great. I mean it really is pretty easy so just go to the gym for 30-45 minutes, but actually getting myself to go through all the motions is a lot. I’ve done enough cycling to understand how to vary the pace enough to get a good workout in, but that isn’t really the issue here. I know that I’ll be nervous about working out all alone in front of so many people. I have gotten a lot better with this kind of stuff, but it will take some effort to get myself to actually go. And I always have the fallback of inviting a friend to go with me.

But seriously. You can’t understand how exciting it is for me to plan out the music I’ll listen to and the time(s) of the week that I’ll be able to go do this. It sounds so lame writing about it, but whatever. I enjoy it, and thinking about it so much makes it so much more likely that I’ll go do it. Honestly, I know I won’t actually end up becoming this cycling goddess who goes to the gym 5 days a week, but that’s also a pretty unrealistic goal. And that’s totally fine because in the end I’ll probably end up going cycling 1-2 times a week on top of what I already do, and that’s a pretty good improvement in my book.

Also it’s not like I’m some gym rat whose only focus is on working out. Definitely not. Really it’s just that working out is the goal that I’m most excited about in this moment. I’m still working on my list of goals for the semester too, so by this time next week, I’ll probably be this excited about some other thing I want to do this semester.

Anxiety isn’t just a mental struggle

To me, the worst part of my anxiety is it’s physical manifestation.

I’ve been really stressed out and panicky the past few days because the semester is starting soon-ish and we have to move in to our new apartment. All of the details involved were really worrying me because there are a lot of things we can’t have a definite answer for right now. I’ve been pretty good yesterday and today, but whenever I have a super stressful period, I’ll feel it for at least a few days after.

The thing that usually happens is my chest hurting. Not like general chest pain, but for a second or two a random place on my chest will hurt. It’s always like someone is just pressing really hard with their thumb, but for such a short amount of time. It happens quite a few times a day, and it hurts but too bad. I think it’s because I’m just so tense when I’m anxious that all my muscles tense that I’m actually sore for a few days after I calm down.

It’s not the physical pain itself that makes it so bad. It’s the fact that it makes my anxiety even worse for a while. Logically, I know that my chest hurts because I’ve been stressed out and there isn’t anything wrong with my chest. But it’s too easy for me to get sucked into thinking I have some life-threatening problem because anxiety is anything but logical.

I’ve gotten so so so much better at handling this in the past 6 months or so. Back in October or November, I would have probably cried then had to talk to someone, google it, or even go to the doctor to convince myself of what I already knew – nothing was actually wrong with my body. Now, I just get a relatively small spike in worry every time my chest hurts, and maybe five minutes later I’m totally fine again. My attention is totally focused back on what I had been doing. For the most part.

Another good thing is that these episodes of anxiety-then-pain have happened much less often. It’s definitely something for me to be proud of because it used to be so much worse. I just can’t wait to be past the chest pain thing. I know I’ll probably never be without some anxiety, but the physical pain is only around for the very worst of my anxiety. And the very worst is not a life sentence.

So while my chest might hurt randomly for the next couple days, I have know that it is fleeting.

Why am I even starting a blog??

It’s weird to me to even call this a blog because it’s not like I’m expecting anyone to even see it. I don’t have an issue with random people seeing this because I really don’t care since I don’t know them, but honestly this is just for me. I’ve kept journals and diaries in the past, but lately I’ve had a really hard time writing. Like physically getting myself to sit down and hand write exactly what’s going on or what’s bothering me. I just can’t do it because it feels like too much of an effort. So I’m thinking if I do a blog version that typing will make it too easy/effortless for me to make excuses.

I really need to write more. I feel like that’s one of the things that helps keep me sane. I’m really bad a talking to people about what’s bothering me or what I’m worried about because I feel like they’ll just judge me. A lot of that is because I know my fears are irrational, but I also need to either talk or write about what’s worrying me to help myself stop worrying about it.

It’s pretty clear that I have anxiety issues. I spent a while dealing with panic disorder and some anxiety in general, and I’m definitely much better than I was. But that doesn’t mean that I’m totally fine and don’t have to keep working on it. I’ve accepted that dealing with anxiety is going to be a very long-term thing, which is fine, and it’s not like I haven’t always been a worrier. So anxiety/panic really wasn’t a huge shock. Even when it got past the point of what I could handle. And while dealing with all of that I realized that writing really helped me keep the anxiety in check.

Also there are just so many things that I am so not comfortable telling people or talking about, so my only way to “discuss” these things is to write about them. The biggest of these things is that I’m bisexual. I have no desire to tell people. It’s not relevant at all, so I’m not going to tell people when it will do nothing but cause drama. Instead I’ll just write about it and get my fill of queer talk that way.

So overall, this blog is to make myself write more and about more things. It’s to keep me from being too anxious or panicky. It’s to let me write as much as I want about whatever I want, especially things I don’t think anyone wants to hear about or things I don’t want to talk about. I feel like this whole thing is just one big stupid cliche, but I just have to keep telling myself that this isn’t for anyone else. The sole purpose of this blog boils down to me helping myself be better and feel better. Hopefully I’ll actually use this and write often enough to keep myself together.