Archive for the Category »Me, me, me! It’s all about me! «

About Me

D and I thought it made sense to draw our stories on the About Us page instead of using lengthy text for our Knowledge Distillery site. Here’s my portion:

about me

Done on marker paper with various-sized Microns and Sharpies. Used Tombow for the grey.

Healing Over Time: A Butterfly Poem For My Daughter

6 years ago today. 6 years and about an hour ago I walked into that dreaded hospital. I was very hopeful. I had faith. I truly believed she was going to be better. I never felt so right about something. But no.

The doctors pulled me into a special room, a room I hadn’t been in before. There were many other doctors in the room. Pretty much every doctor that had been involved in our nightmare were there.

I knew she wasn’t going to make it when the doctor said, “When someone asks you how many children you have, you will always say 2.” I knew what he meant. And I lost it. I don’t feel like reliving the nightmare today, so I’ll end the story there.

Instead, I’ll share a poem.

A butterfly alights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world.
But then it flies on again,
and though we wish it could have stayed,
we feel so lucky to have seen it.

- Author Unknown

I miss you baby girl.

Hugs, kisses, and high-fives,
Mommy

How Social Anxiety Affects My Game

For the past few weeks, I just haven’t felt like myself. It’s not that I’ve been particularly antisocial, but I began to dread the idea of interacting with new people or getting myself into unfamiliar situations. And meeting new people and trying new things is such an important part of my life and my business that I knew I couldn’t keep feeling that way. So I sat down and had a chat with Dr. L about it…

Me: I’m not sure why, but I’ve had the hardest time getting outside lately. Even if it’s just to go to the store. It’s the weirdest thing; I can’t get motivated to do anything that requires me to be out in public. Picking my son up from school is a big deal, too. I do it because I have to, but I really dread it. And it’s not because I’m lazy. At home I clean and do chores like crazy.

Doc: So it sounds like it’s not due to fatigue or depression. What’s this block you’re talking about?’

Me: I have no idea. I don’t want to talk to people, I don’t want people talking to me; I don’t want anyone to even LOOK at me. If D is with me I can go out and do anything. As long as he’s by my side, I have no problems. But it’s doing things by myself… just talking about it is making me flustered.

Doc: I can see that. I can see you’re blushing… Tell me, when you were in school were you always in the back, never raised your hand and dreaded the teacher calling on you?

Me: Yes!

Doc: And it wasn’t because you aren’t bright and didn’t know the answer. In fact you’re probably extremely bright but your teachers didn’t know it because you never spoke up in class.

Me: You’re totally right.

Doc: In business meetings you probably never spoke up even if you had a brilliant idea, because you were thinking: “What if I say the wrong thing?” or “What if they make fun of me because I say something stupid?”

Me: Yep, been there. And I’ve found it very hard to pick up the phone to do business-related stuff these past couple weeks. I’d much rather email. I can get on the phone, but not without a cigarette. But I’m an introvert. Don’t all introverts feel this way?

Doc: No. This is beyond introvert/extrovert. I’m an introvert and I don’t have those fears you’re talking about. What you’re describing sounds like social anxiety. It’s characterized by intense fear in social situations. To some it only occurs in new, unfamiliar social situations.

Me: I’m scared I might say the wrong thing and then replay the words over and over in my head. But I also say: “It’s okay. In a week you’re probably not going to remember you said that stupid thing. And most likely that other person has already forgotten you said that stupid thing.”

Doc: Right. People with social anxiety have this fear of being judged by others and a fear of being embarrassed and humiliated.

They're all gonna laugh at you!

So the doc went on about it, describing my past few weeks to a T. I told him I didn’t want to be on any more medication; that I wanted to try and tackle this on my own and find other tools to help me, especially since I’m already on bipolar medication to stabilize my moods and I feel like a zombie at times.

And perhaps most frustrating to me, the situation he described doesn’t ALWAYS happen. I’m not always curled in a ball of anxiety, dreading the world around me. Some days I’m perfectly social. I’ve gotten up on stage and spoken in front of hundreds of people before with no problem! I’ve done motivational talks to small groups. I’ve competed in jiujitsu tournaments with hundreds of people watching me. I used to have a job that required me to meet new people every day. Some days it’s not even anxiety, but fatigue or depression that keeps me from interacting. But when it does happen, it seems as crippling and restrictive as any other mental disorder. So I might take his advice and seek group therapy. I’m kind of looking forward to putting myself in a group with other people that feel the same things I do.

Because I do like making new friends. I do like getting to know people. I like to be present and authentic and share my stories and listen to others. I like to show compassion and be a good listener. That’s ultimately what I’m most passionate about: Helping others. But how can I do any of that if I’m limited by this thing called social anxiety?

Sometimes I wonder where I’d be if not for this occasional block. I wonder how far I could have taken my businesses if not for the fear of speaking.

So I guess I’ve always had social anxiety. But when I’m hypomanic–and only when I’m hypomanic–I can speak to people no problem. Now I’m on medication that prevents me from seesawing into a hypomanic state and the one bit of armor I had is stripped away, revealing the anxiety underneath.

It wasn’t really good news. Knowing there are apparently several layers to my mental health is always going to be a challenge as I cut through each of them one by one. But just knowing means I can recognize that I’m not being lazy or purposefully anti-social. It makes sense to me.

And it gives me another justification for my intense love of World of Warcraft. I can be social. I can think about my responses and mitigate the fear of putting my foot in my mouth. I can laugh out loud and not be afraid of sounding stupid to anyone. I can greet new people without instantly thinking they’re judging me. I can contribute my thoughts to a guild chat discussion without worrying about what other people might think.

But this also explains why I sometimes have a hard time speaking up in Vent, even with guildies. Even though I know they’re all super cool and for the most part drunk or at least buzzed and won’t remember that stupid thing I said or the stupid way I said it. There’s just this underlying fear that holds me back from saying what I want to say, even if it’s on the tip of my tongue.

It might also explain my recent Arena frustrations. I want so badly to be good at it. My teammates say I’m doing great. But there’s still this thing in the back of my mind that believes they’re lying. They just can’t tell me how much I suck to my face. They talk behind my back about that thing I did where I fucked up and lost us the match and how much they hate me and the world is coming down and it’s all my fault… Yeah. Do you hear how redonk this is? It’s so totally irrational and I’m smart enough to know that. But there’s just that SOMETHING that lingers within, telling me I’m the root of every problem imaginable.

The sad thing is, there’s a shred of truth here; I’m at least partially responsible for our record. While we win more than we lose, almost every one of our losses can be chalked up to lack of communication. Could it have something to do with my half of the team being too afraid to say anything on Vent?

And my Arena partner… Light bless his patient soul… Listen up @ShifteaIRL (And @KrisstinaWoW when we do 3s): I’m pledging right here and now to communicate better! I know we’ve already made strides toward it. On Friday after each match we talked in Vent and evaluated what went right and what went wrong, and we’ve already gotten a lot better! (Could be that he’s running a DK instead of the Warrior… not sure).

I want to be able to communicate at the highest point of stress when it matters the most. Because I’m a damn good disc priest. Okay, maybe not damn good. But I’m not shitty. I’m that annoying priest in BGs that you can’t kill (unless you’re a rogue). I’m that “Shoo pally! Go be efficient! Help get your flag back and stop wasting your time trying to kill me! Or if killing me is really THAT important to you, come back with some friends” priest.

I may be good. But I want to be great. I’m talking 2200+!

I have decided to tackle this on my own. I don’t want it to limit me. I don’t want to be held down by anything. This isn’t a passive affliction I’m going to let rule my life. This is a challenge I can conquer just like any other.

Funny how the “thing” that’s been holding me back… was myself.

If you have symptoms similar to the ones I’ve described— symptoms that have kept you from doing the things you want to do in life—please at least check out the links below and speak to a doctor. Life doesn’t have to be this way. We deserve better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_anxiety_disorder

http://www.socialanxietyinstitute.org/define.html

*Photos from http://www.trialx.com and http://www.anxietycounseling solutions.com

Change Your Perception and Gain 5 Skill Points In Optimism

You’re having a shitty day. Nothing is going your way. You left your iPod at home and anytime you’ve tuned in to the radio, it’s been nothing but commercials. You’ve been running errands and somehow end up in the longest check-out line at the store. Traffic is horrendous and as hard as you try, you can’t seem to get in the faster lanes. Finally, some WoW time at home, but only after an hour-long patch.

Fuck your life.

By the time you actually do log in, the server’s unstable and nobody can stay connected for more than 5 minutes. After a rollback and restart – and a tank who’s 30 minutes late – you run Dragon Soul for the 10th time and that trinket still doesn’t drop. Or it drops, but some warlock prick wins the role, when it was so clearly a healer trinket. more…

Tagged by Shiftea: 17 Questions Answered

I was recently tagged by @ShifteaIRL in his recent youtube video to answer some questions. So here we go!


1. Best and worst year of school
My best year of High School, about 20 years ago now, would have to be my Senior year where I started hanging out with my BFF and ditched a shitload. In fact, I ditched so much that I didn’t graduate! They let me walk at the ceremony, but I had to go to summer school in order to get my diploma. My worst year would have to be all the other years, where I hung out in a corner with another friend of mine, detached from everyone else.

2. Haircut you wish you could pull off
Shaved. I’m talking a #1 or #2. I just don’t know what’s under all this hair. What if I have a lumpy head?

3. If you could live as a character in a movie who would it be?
Great question. Is there a character that flies but doesn’t have the responsibilities of being a super hero? more…

Living With Bipolar Disorder

Disclaimer: This is 2-3 times longer than my usual posts. I had thought about breaking it up in two, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I had heard of Bipolar and Manic/Depression; I learned about it in school but never put two and two together.

I was pregnant in 2009 with baby #3 when my brother handed me a school paper he was very proud of. A research paper on Bipolar Disorder. As I read the list of symptoms I felt strongly that he was trying to send me a message. Was he trying to tell me that I fit the description of this paper perfectly? And that I was bipolar? more…

I’m A Closet Blogger

I’m a closet blogger.

Aside from D, only my brother and one other friend know I have this blog, and that’s only because they used to play with me heavily. But aside from that, none of my friends or family knows about it. I don’t share any of my posts on my personal Facebook page. And while I do keep an active Twitter account, I don’t expect anyone I see face to face on a regular basis to read it. Even then, I only tweet about my blog because my Twitter followers (I <3 you, btw) play WoW or SWTOR on a regular basis. more…

No BlizzCon? Let’s Throw Our Own Damn Party!

Yesterday’s top news: BlizzCon is cancelled this year. While continuing to lurk on Twitter, I observed a convo between @DruidMain and @BraveTank about having regional Blizzcons to give everyone an opportunity to attend.

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May I One Day Be Creative Enough To Post Daily!

I recently received a gracious gift from a fellow WoW blogger: a WordFind puzzle from @NavimieDruid of The Daily Frostwolf. Her blog recently celebrated its 2nd birthday and as a Thank You to everyone who commented on her Happy Birthday post, Navi made a poem, puzzle or picture about them. I wanted to post it here for everyone else to enjoy. Thanks again, Navi! more…

Letting Go: Conquering My WoW Addiction Part 4

This is Part 4 (and the last) of a series. Click here for Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3.

Over the next few months, I manically tried to rebuild my life. I met a wonderful man who accepted that I was still a work in progress, and as far as I’d come I still had a long ways to go. I did eventually return to WoW when we moved back to Los Angeles. My life finally seemed to be somewhat stable again. And when I found out I was pregnant, I had to find low-impact activities to keep me occupied. So one night when I was bored and my son was asleep I decided to dust off the laptop. I seized every moment I had to spend with my son and my boyfriend and only played while my son was asleep or at school. WoW wasn’t my lifeline anymore; it was just a game.
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Letting Go: Conquering My WoW Addiction Part 3

(This is Part 3 of a Series. Click here for Part 1 / Part 2)

Installing WoW on our work computers was a big mistake. I ran a small office with my brother and he WoWed too. Maybe we thought that if we played at work more, we’d play at home less. I was trying to take a step toward not being glued to the computer every moment I was home, but it was definitely a step in the wrong direction.
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Letting Go: Conquering My WoW Addiction Part 2

(This is Part 2 of a series. Click here for Part 1).

Outside of the game, my husband and I were sleeping in separate beds. Divorce became the next logical step, instead of something we never thought we’d consider. And I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was painful to be with my son. Every time I looked at him, I just felt empty, reminded of the fact that he used to have a sister. I couldn’t take him to the park because the three of us had gone to the park, together. The sight of other young children was like a knife twisted in my chest. I couldn’t even walk by a Starbucks without remembering her asking, “Mommy, want coffee?”

This is what grief does. It carves a hole inside of you; a treacherous cavern that you know will cave in with just the slightest touch. But I didn’t want to face grief. I thought I could outpace it, and even if I was just one step ahead, it would be okay.
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Letting Go: Conquering My WoW Addiction Part 1

I never imagined I would need an escape from my day to day life.

At the age of 30 I was married, successful in my career, and mother to two beautiful children. But that year, my world came crashing down. My daughter – just two years old – was forced to fight a devastating bone marrow disorder called Aplastic Anemia. Her bone marrow was unable to produce new blood cells. My husband and I were left helpless and we agonized as our baby girl fought for her life.
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Changing Directions

Last week, I had vocalized my desire to share my story about how World of Warcraft came into my life, (and why I couldn’t get it out of my life), on Twitter. A couple of my new Twitter friends voiced words of encouragement, so I told them I would write about it. I didn’t personally know these people, but I felt some sort of obligation to tell my story, yet again. I’ve told my story before, even on stage and in front of groups of people, but not quite in this way. I’ve always left the World of Warcraft part out.
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Why I (Originally) Started This Website

There are a ton of World of Warcraft sites out there ranging from how to spec your character to how to get more gold. Unfortunately most of these sites are confusing, don’t have the information you thought they would, outdated, or obviously trying to promote products. I got so annoyed with this that I decided to create a page listing the pertinent sites that I found useful, with all the crap weeded out. It’s my hope to do most of the homework for you, save you some time, and find you the best of the best. This is a work in progress and I’ll do my best to keep the lists updated. If you’d like to suggest a site to add, please email me at info (at) good-terms.com Thanks for visiting! More recommendations to come!