All About my Anxiety #realtalk

Anxiety runs in my family. I have had anxiety since I was as little as three years old. I remember being anxious about being away from my parents when they where having my little sister. Yes, my first memory ever is of been anxious. I wanna be clear that being anxious and being worried are two different things. Anxiety is a physical, bodily feeling and worry is just in your head. Anxiety is more general than worry too. I wish I had the words to explain what its like. This is the best I got.
Anxiety is the feeling of ‘something is going to happen’ good or bad. That anticipation and riled up heightened senses, raised blood pressure and heat rate, sweaty palms and butterflies in the stomach feeling. Usually, it’s uncomfortable and annoying feeling that is extremely draining. It’s a stress on the body like your body is preparing to act when nothing is coming, nothing is going to happen but your body is in fight of flight mode getting ready.

Anyway, I live with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Diagnosis:

I was formally diagnosed with Anxiety in about 2013-2014. I always knew I had it and what it was in about 2012, but choose not to seek diagnosis because I didn’t want to be on some psych med for anxiety. Plus I thought I was able to handle it okay. (Jumping forward: really I didn’t know life without anxiety, so I thought I was managing it, I wasn’t.)

Symptoms of Anxiety that I Experience Daily:
I wanna preface that I am on the autism spectrum so some of the symptoms are exacerbated by that.

  1. Over thinking/rethinking the same thought again and again
  2. Twitchy, nervous wiggling.
  3. Irrational worries. Like I know they are okay but I worry anyway.
    1. Did I lock the front door?
    2. Are the kitties safe?
  4. Trouble with sleep
    1. Falling asleep/staying asleep.
Just to name a few….

Dealing With It:
At some point in all the diagnosis’s and psych meds and frustration. I had to realize that God made me this way, and he doesn’t make mistakes. That helps me deal, a lot. I am a big believer in that everything has a purpose and so I am inclined to believe that I have a purpose in being anxious. Is it annoying/tiring/frustrating of course. I have been so anxious that I have have a panic attack, I have been so anxious that I cried (not a big crier), I have been so anxious that I had to cancel plans with friends/family. There are days where it’s worse than others, like all things. Being around a lot of people or what I call “peopling” a lot can lead to high anxiety for me.
The important thing is knowing how to handle it. Usually, for most of my anxiety I can talk myself down. Logically reason that my anxiety is what is causing this feeling and not something else. If that doesn’t work, I isolate, and listen to music or lay in bed, or sleep. If that fails, then there is one key trick I have learned that always makes anxiety go away. Give it to God. I am still learning that that should be my first plan, not my last resort. Sometimes just singing a song of praise in your head is all it takes.

Medication:
I know many people are again taking a medication for anxiety. Honestly, I think there are a lot of cases where people can live with anxiety disorders and never need a med. However, I think there are situations where a person is living with such high anxiety that it’s taking away from their ability to live life. Thats where I think a medicine is needed. You know so many people think it’s a weakness to be on a anxiety med. Yet its the opposite. It takes strength to admit it when you need help and it takes even more strength to get that help.
In 2014 after some incidents of drinking more than I should have, (and drinking because I was anxious) I decided to give an anxiety medication a go. It was meant to be a temporary fix so I could get the stressors in my life under control and then go off the medication.
I’m still on an anxiety medication. I went though about 5 or 6 different ones till I found one that had the least or most livable side affects. Then about a year of finding the right dose.
The med I am on now only side affects are it makes me tired, and it makes my mouth dry. So I’m constantly thirsty. I don’t want to go off an anxiety med. I thought I would want to but I don’t. Its helping me right now and at this point in my life I need the help. So I will keep taking them.

Well, that’s my anxiety in a nutshell. I am happy to go in to details about it with people or even talk more about it here. Just say the word.

Thanks,
Ky

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Law School: A Day in the Life of a 1L

I am always curious about people’s lives and their day to day. So I thought I would write about mine. I was so curious how law school was going to be. I scoured the internet for information on what it was like. Blogs, and Pinterest, and articles later I still had no idea. Now, I get that every experience is different this is just mine. Enjoy. This is going to be super boring but I figure I will ease the curiosity of my handful of readers.

Schedule:

I actually take one less class than my classmates for disabilities purposes. So this is my schedule. Yes, its amazing this semester. I am done everyday before lunch. Which leaves me the afternoon-evening for everything else.
6:30am – Alarm goes off. Well, first alarm goes off the one that would provide me time to shower blow dry my hair pick out a cute outfit, eat something and leave on time.
7:00am – I actually get out of bed. Either shower quickly or throw some dry shampoo on the hair. then throw on whatever is clean (usually leggings a long-sleeve tee and a sweater and some Toms/Slip on shoes.)
7:30am – Leave for school. It takes me about 6 min to get to school depending on traffic. I usually allow myself 10min to get there. I like to be early this allows me to sit down get all my stuff situated on my desk and usually check my morning email while I drink a Red bull at my leisure.
 
8:00am – Tues/Thur I start class, Mon/Wed/Fri I am usually just leaving right about now and do the drink red bull and check email from the comfort of my couch.
From here on It’s lecture time and I am fully engaged listening trying my best to take good notes and understand the material. Also praying I don’t get called on/mentally preparing incase I do get called on.
If the class allowed a computer I take my notes there, if not I take them by hand and have my briefs printed off.
 
12:00pm – Home and hungry, as you may have noticed I don’t usually get breakfast and if I do it’s just a banana. So usually I am cranky and hungry and tired of listening to people talk. So I head home. I usually take a lunch break and eat, watch some Netflix while I eat and catch up on my email’s and usually relax on social media. All this lasts about an hour.
1:00pm – Study time begins. I start with my planner and get a good solid ToDo list for the afternoon/evening going. This list will have everything on it from what to prep for the next class to what to outline that day. It’s detailed and everything gets a check box.
Start with prepping for the next days classes. Read the assigned reading/brief any cases and get the material underway feet for the next day.
Next would be any assignments that are due. For example I had a annotated outline for my LRW class due today.
Then it’s time to outline. Start putting it all together in a single document. (Fridays I review it)
6:00pm – Time to bother my sister and see what we are going to do for dinner. That usually means she cooks and I start the laundry. Then I study again till dinner is ready.
7:00pm – Around now I start my evening of self care and relaxation. Unless the work needed for tomorrow is not done in that case I keep going but I’m usually done by now and so I might do a face mask, paint my nails, shower etc.
8:00pm – I like to be in bed at this hour leaving me a solid hour of watching youtube/playing games/scrolling the internet etc. for an hour before I attempt to fall asleep.

Livin’ Life Sober #realtalk

Well, it appears that people wanna hear about how I decided to quit drinking… I wasn’t nervous about writing this post till I started writing it. Now, I’m nervous. Mostly, because I’m embarrassed. You will see why.

2013: I turned 21 in June. I had never had an alcoholic drink to myself till well in to my 21st year. Once in 10th grade I was at a friend house and everyone got in to his parents booze and I remember being handed a wine cooler and looking at it and being scared. So I set it down and left. Neither of my parents drank, ever, we never had alcohol in the house growing up, it was taboo for us.

2014: I started dating a boy that liked alcohol. It was a hobby for him. How it was made what made the taste what it was and all that. So naturally, as we started to spend time together we started drinking together. I liked drinking. I was young and resilient so I hardly ever got hungover and so it was all good for me. I quickly discovered the secret in the bottle, that alcohol takes away the anxiety. Just get a little tipsy and I was set, I could finally relax. However, I am the personality that lives by the rule that “if enough is enough then too much it just right” and so I never stopped at one drink, or two, or three… etc. I made a lot of stupid mistakes because I was drunk.

2015: I moved to Ohio. I still drank when I was in Ohio despite all the mistakes I had already made from drinking. I wanted to fit in and it was something that law students do A LOT. Surprisingly drinking and being a lawyer go together. Why? I will never know. Maybe because it can be so stressful.

2016: I still lived in Ohio, and somewhere just before I moved home I had a revelation. Drinking wasn’t for me. I couldn’t drink responsibly and so it would just be easier if I gave it up all together.

What drives my decision to not drink, today is a few things.

  1. I am too focused on law school and serving the lord to depart from that for even a second. 
  2. Nothing good comes from drinking… ever. 
  3. I don’t like who I am when I drink. I like the feeling but I don’t like the actions.
Can I still be around drinking? Probably. I would prefer to just not being in a setting where there is drinking just so that I don’t even have to think about it. 
Do I think less of people who drink? Nope. If you can respect it more power to you. If you choose to drink and you can’t respect it then I do think you have a problem. 
Will I expect my husband to not drink? Yes. I choose to live life without alcohol and it would only rub it in to me that I can’t handle it if he were to drink. Plus I don’t want it in the house. Like I said, I am a all of it or none of it person. I do nothing half way, so I choose sobriety and I have to do that all the way. 
Anyway. That’s my choice in a nutshell. Happy to talk about it and share with anyone that has questions. 
Thanks
-Ky

All About my Aspergers #realtalk

I got a little feedback from my post on ADHD so I figured I would test the waters and do a post on my Aspergers as well. If you don’t know, I have Aspergers syndrome. It’s a form of high functioning autism. This post will be all about it. From diagnosis to where I am today.

Diagnosis:
I was diagnosed with Autism in about 2013-2014. After finding out I had ADHD I took an interest in psychological research and started learning about new disorders and came across Aspergers. When I read about it initially I thought nothing of it. It was not till I read an article called “Aspergers in Females” that I stated to piece it together. I actually cried when I read the article the first time. I will deny that I ever did later but it was such a relief to hear that all these things I knew to be corks in my personality where not only real but shared among other people. I was finding out that I wasn’t broken and that I was just made differently. A Mac in a PC world if you may.
Anyway, I focused my research to Aspergers in females and its significantly different in girls than in boys. Boys externalize their angst and pain and emotions and women with Aspergers are more know to just absorb the pain and frustration and take it out on themselves emotionally. Seeing their differences as faults and internally killing themselves over it. This was me. I was a chameleon. I was highly trained in blending in. I would mimic others behaviors to fit in, and it worked. I got good at it. Maybe even too good. Because I was living a double life, who I wanted to be and who I was pretending to be to fit in with the world. Sure I was more my self at home but even then I was still shielding my “faults.”
After weeks of research I made an appointment with my doctor who I’m sure thought I was crazy. I brought him my research and played out that I felt I fit the characteristics of autism and that I wanted to be tested. He told me he didn’t think that I had it and that I just had ADHD And because that was on the Autism spectrum I got a few little autistic corks. I knew in my heart he was wrong so I pushed him and he caved and referred me to a behavioral psychologist.
At my first appointment with who would become my psychologist for the next 5 years. I was nervous.  I brought my research and laid it out, verbally as i sat on his couch and he sat in a desk char across from me. He watched me and listened intently. When I was done he asked me if I was being a chameleon right now. I replied. Yes. He instructed me to turn it off and just be me. I was unsure even how to do such a thing. So I just started with what was conformable. First thing I did was break eye contact. People with Aspergers struggle with eye contact. I can do it, but at a uncomfortable cost. From then on the meeting progressed, we made a pact that I would be 100% honest with him and he would be 100% upfront honest with me. I liked this deal. So I was frank with him, and I liked this. As we talked about my childhood, puberty, my relationships and school. Finally, with only a few minutes left in out session I asked, “Do you think I have this or am I just trying to fit in to some category because there is comfort in that?” He replied. “Does it matter either way?” I replied “Yes, one way I can combat this knowing what it is and the other i’m back to the drawing boarder trying to decide what is causing all this anxiety and differenced from society.” He must have understood me because he said “I’m pretty certain Aspergers describes you.” That was my official diagnosis. He even charted it and emailed my primary care provider that he felt it described me.

What Diagnosis Meant for Me:
In 2013-2014 I was in a new relationship, with a boy who had a passion for alcoholic beverages and I was newly 21. Needless to say I was doing a lot of drinking. I quickly found out that when I drank enough I was not anxious and my Aspergers walls that I had built didn’t need to be held up anymore because I was drunk I didn’t care. This was a bad combination. It quickly became an escape. It allowed me to turn off the thinking and mind racing of ADHD and allowed me to stop trying to process my new diagnosis and just let me relax. There was a rock bottom in there and a realization that I can’t respect alcohol like others could. If you want me to do a post on drinking and my choosing to be sober lemme know I’m happy to share.
Diagnosis was hard on me. It let people know that I was hiding behind walls and let people know that I was secretly struggling just to function. That was a hard pill for me to swallow. I didn’t handle it well. But as time went on it was easier to identify with being autistic and easier to overcome some of the symptoms when I knew what I was fighting instead of just trying to be normal.

Symptoms:
I wrote up a list of symptoms for my doctor when I first went in seeking diagnosis. It was a page long 12pt font list of characteristics I saw in myself. Here is that list.

  • Echo’s words or phrases sometimes both when I speak and when others speak.
  • Stimming: I move my legs, hands constantly. I rock back and fourth when upset.
  • Struggle with eye contact, I can manage it, but it’s really uncomfortable.
  • People tell me I lack empathy. I don’t see it, but I simply think I am seeing the logical answer.
  • I like to be wrapped up. I wear hoodies a lot, even if I am too hot just because I want to be wrapped up. I feel safer that way.
  • I’m happiest, and most relaxed at home.
  • I played with toys weird as a kid.  Instead of pretending with my dolls I liked lining them up.
  • I like sameness. I hated it when my Mom would rearrange the furniture, almost to the point of meltdown. When plans change I get so angry it makes me so anxious.
  • I flap my arms when I’m excited.
  • I have “special interests” and like to be left alone when I am with it. I get mean when people bug me in my office. The same anxious mean I get when things are changed.
  • I’m not coordinated. I really sucked at sports. Got C’s and D’s in P.E.
  • I have bad handwriting.
  • I don’t dress age appropriate and am not in to fashion or what’s in style.
  • I prefer to be alone.
  • I appear to be insensitive to pain, from other people’s perspective.
  • I have difficulty expressing my needs. I never express emotional needs.
  • I dress comfortably instead of fashionably. I cannot stand to wear things that are uncomfortable, have a different texture.
  • I don’t enjoy personal grooming.
  • I often like to play with toys and games, even though I’m an adult.
  • I’m not very feminine. I tend to hang out with the boys more. When I was a kid I in the back of my mind wondered if I was a boy in a girls body because I identified so much more with boys than girls.
  • I’m a control freak. I use control as a stress coping mechanism.
  • I HATE crowds, being around so many people make me feel like I just want to curl up in a ball and cry. I think it’s the movements that bother me.
  • After being out with my friends, or people in general. I need time to my self to make up for having to be around people.
  • I only have two friends.
This was only the tip of the iceberg. If you google Aspergers, I fit all the characteristic. What was hard for people around me was that I was hiding all this and so when I told people I had Aspergers they didn’t believe me, or didn’t think I had the characteristics when really I had them all I was just faking that I didn’t. It was hard. It still is. I don’t really tell people I have Aspergers till I know them it’s like letting people see in to my secret bubble. 

Tools of the Trade:
I did a post on Tools of the Trade in relation to Aspergers/ADHD. You can view that here.
The basics are in two categories.

  • School:
    • Planner, Planner, Planner!
    • ToDo lists
    • Hyper organization and ALWAYS put things back where they rightfully go. 
  • Home:
    • Comfy clothes. I don’t wear uncomfortable clothes, like ever. I wear leggings and hoodies/t-shirts most the time. My new dirty habit is sports bras, every day… If I wear something uncomfortable to look good I immediately change when I get home. 
    • Weighted blanket in a cave. If I could sleep in a hammock with a heavy blanket on me, cave I would be set for life. The things I like when I’m trying to relax enough to sleep are weight on me, so heavy blankets. I bunch up pillows and blankets around my head so its like i’m sleeping in a cave, and finally I like just being tightly bundled up. 
    • Emotional Support Anismals. Lulu and Grayson are more a emotional support to me than anyone. When I was in Ohio and I was alone they were my saving grace. I would talk to them like they were people so I didn’t feel so alone. Now I still need them. I can’t even put words to what they are doing for me but there is just something about scooping up a kitty and rubbing your face in their fur as they purr that makes everything better. 
What’s it Like to be an Aspie?:
This question makes me wanna ask. What’s it like to be a normal person? I don’t know what its like to not have Aspergers its the only lens I have ever looked through. So I can’t really say what it’s like. Other than to say this. It’s a constant balancing act. Balancing my sanity and faking normal. There is give and take. To just be around people is taxing to me. The currency of that tax is anxiety. It’s a pain for sure. I assume life without Aspergers is easier in a lot of ways but I have to be content in that God made me this way for a reason and I need to make the most of it. So really I try not to compare. I just try to cope. 
If you have any specific questions on Aspergers, feel free to ask me!
I love to hear about other people’s experiences with Aspergers and other viewpoints on it. 
Thanks, 
Ky

Organization: Law School 1L

Planner:
The first tool of the trade is the planner. The most key point of the system. I make my own planners, it’s a cross between a bullet journal and a planner you can buy at any store. I was never happy with store bought planners, so I started making my own.  Here you will see the cover, covered in stickers. 
This here is the inside. This was this week. Each box is a class and in the box is the assignment that is due that day. I cross it off once I have done it. I also have meetings, and special occasions in here too, as well as due dates and things like that. 

ToDo Lists:
I use ToDo lists like crazy. I make one everyday and for the weekends. Here is my weekend todo list and it covers all the homework through Wednesday as well as my outlining schedule for Midterms and my bible reading schedule .
Binder System:
I use a binder per class, and a binder per project in Legal Research and Writing. (Not pictured) In each binder has a Syllabus, Notes, and Handouts tab. Civ Pro has a book tab so I don’t have to take that ginormous binder to class everyday and can only take the assignment reading. Pictured is my 4 class binders and all my books, well I forgot my Bluebook in the picture. 
Pencil Pouch:
Pictured here is my pencil pouch and it’s contents. I take my pencil pouch to school every day and use it invert class. It’s contents are as follows. 
  • Stapler
  • Tape
  • Highlighters
  • Pens (3 kinds, all gel)
  • Pencils
  • and Random extra pens for fun moods. 
  • Sticky notes
  • Stick tabs
  • White out

Backpack Contents:
Finally, my backpack. The binders for what class depends on what classes I have that day. But the things pictured always stay in my backpack and go to and from school with me. Laptop usually goes as well, but I chooser to leave it out here. 
Contents:
  • Planner
  • pencil pouch
  • Clicker
  • pills
  • headphones in their pouch
  • Unicorn shaped emergency kit (See it’s contents, Here)
  • Inhaler
  • Fidget Spinner


"Better Watch Me Shine"

You know that scene in legally blonde where Elle realizes that Warner is a loser? And that if she is going to do law school it’s going to be to show everyone that she can. Here is the clip.

Thats how I feel at this moment. I was looking at my mile long ToDo, list and felling discouraged, having my daily doubts that I can even do this. Cuz when its this hard not a day goes by where you don’t have to reconvene yourself that you can do this.
Anyway call it Jesus call it fate but this song came on. I was just reminded that I got a lot of people thinking I’m going to fail. I can’t let them be right. I gotta dig in deeper. I gotta figure this out, pull strength from places I didn’t know I had and press on.

Why Kyra? What is it about law that you want it so bad? Why go through all this just to be a lawyer?
Because, there is a desire in my heart to serve the Lord with a law degree. It has been there for a long time and I can’t shake it. Believe me I tired. I can’t do anything else till I win this, till I fight this battle. The lord called me here, and I WILL serve the lord.

So… ToDo list. We have a date, and we are going to get personal.

Bring. It. On.

Bible 2018: Book of Genesis

Very excited, because I just finished the book of Genesis. This is the longest I have ever kept a Bible reading plan and the most of the bible I have ever gotten though. I know that seems odd, and sort of embarrassing that as a follower of Jesus, I have read so little of the holy book, but you gotta start somewhere.

Time it took to read it:

  • 2/16/18-2/23/18

Scriptures that Stood out to me:

  • 2:18
  • 3:11
  • 3:16
  • 5:5
  • 4:7
  • 7:17
  • 8:21
  • 12:7
  • 13:15
  • 15:1
  • 15:4
  • 18:14
  • 17:19
  • 19:24
  • 24:1
  • 25:5
  • 25:17
  • 25:24
  • 26:4-6
  • 26:24
  • 28:22
  • 31:35
  • 32:10
  • 32:28
  • 37:3
  • 39:21
  • 41:12
  • 41:45-46
  • 47:28
  • 48:7
  • 49:28
  • 50:26
Notes I took:
  • Yahwen – yireh =  The lord will Provide.
  • Eve means to give life.

Reoccurring Themes I noticed:

  • I noticed that women where not held in a very high regard. However they where deceitful, manipulative and icky. From reading just genesis I don’t have a very good outlook on women in general. 
  • When Rachel lied and said she was on her period so she didn’t have to get up and show the idols she had stolen. Like really? Thats crossing a line Rachel. 
Overall, Reactions/Thoughts:
  • It was so cool to read the stories I have been told all my life. It made them so real to see them in print. I know thats lame on my part but it’s the truth. I found myself not wanting to stop at certain times because I wanted to see what was going to happen next, even though I know the stories by heart they meant something different to me this time. 
Anyway, excited to be on they journey with reading the bible. Happy you are along for the ride. More to come, I stated Exodus today too.