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Chin Up Buttercup

Nothing wise or inspiring to say today. Just wanted to remind all my readers that life happens. When it does, you gotta keep looking forward and keep your chin up buttercup. Life usually gets worse, before it gets better. But remember that it does get better.

top: anuvou "blossom ruffle wrap top" in black
pants: topshop "jamie high-waisted ankle grazer" in black
sunnies: bonnie clyde la "olympic" in red
jewelry: marida jewelry "intent necklace" in gold
shoes: sam edelman "yumi" in black

Post "Post-It" PTSD

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Dear Brain,

Can you just stop with the flashbacks and bits of anxiety? You’re really cramping my style.

From,
Jen


After what happened, I gave myself a week to be sad and upset. I'm one of those Type A people that calendars anything and everything. I went to bed at about 7pm each night with the help of wine and xanax. This past Sunday, I pulled myself together. I woke up went to the gym, ran some long over due errands and finally tackled the mess that was my nails. If you know me in real life you know I wont go more than 30 minutes with chipped or worn out nail polish. I'm incredibly anal about my manicures. But this past week... woof, my manicure was a hot mess, my life was a mess. In short, I got my shit together.

I woke up the next morning in such a good place. Accepting of what happened the previous Monday with the “post-it”. (If you read “How Do You Single?”, you would know that I related his “don’t hate me” text message to Burger’s “don’t hate me” post-it) I spent that past week writing everything out and it honestly was incredibly cathartic. I finally got to a place where I was okay. I was getting back into the sync of things at work, fast-paced me, working my way down my to-do’s for the day. I went to lunch with coworkers and as we were finishing up, out of the corner of my eye I saw a group of people coming towards us on their bicycles decked out in gear/outfits from the company he works for. So in my head there was a high probability that this was him. I immediately got nauseous, felt sick to my stomach and could feel a panic attack coming on. One thing was clear... as much as I tried to convince myself I was okay, I was not fucking okay. This has been a fear of mine because we work so close to each other that we’d run into each other. It wasn’t him, but it took less than three seconds for me to go from smiling and laughing at lunch, to scared, anxious and panicked.

After what happened at lunch Matt said that I probably have PTSD. I thought he was kidding. But when we got back to the office, he looked up the definition and sent it to me.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD: Anxiety and flashbacks triggered by a traumatic event. The condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions. Symptoms may include nightmares or flashbacks, avoidance of situations that bring back the trauma, heightened reactivity to stimuli, anxiety, or depressed mood. (Source: The Mayo Clinic)

At first when he said that I could have PTSD, I thought it was insulting to those that actually suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Most commonly you hear of veterans and our servicemen and women suffering from PTSD. What they experienced sacrificing for our country gives them every right to have PTSD. The fact that I was this stressed out by the off chance of running into him at lunch made me feel like I was insulting those brave men and women who actually have PTSD. But you know what, this was traumatic for me. I was not ready to run into him. One day everything is sunshine and fucking rainbows and the next, it’s like hell froze over. My world was rocked and not in the good way.

It was clear that as much as I was telling myself that I was okay, convincing myself that I was good. I was not okay. I think I’m still affected because I have so many unanswered questions. As much as I feel like I deserve an honest answer to these questions, I don’t think I’ll ever get them. But I thought because they still run through my mind... maybe I should just ask him. I typed out all the questions as if I were to send them to him, but I stopped myself (more like Matt stopped me). I didn’t ever expect him to answer them or respond to me, I just thought that if I typed them out and put them into the universe, I did all I could do to try and get the answers I felt I deserved. If he did respond, great… maybe I’d get some closure or the truth and if he didn’t… that would speak volumes and again I’d get closure. But Matt put it in perspective when he said that I couldn’t depend on him to get closure from this no matter how much I deserved it. I had to find closure for myself.

Still these questions run through my Type A brain. Nothing bugs me more than having unanswered questions. I’m one of those people that just needs to know. So here are my questions:

I’m curious if he even meant any of the things he said to me while we were dating? If he did, I can’t imagine he just woke up one day and thought to himself that he was done. So does that mean he was pretending? Because even in my darkest moment, I would never treat someone I cared about with that kind of disregard.

I get that he was stressed out about certain things happening in his life but a lot of what he brought up was there when we first started dating or even before. So that just confused me even more, why would he keep pursuing us?

Was I being too demanding of his time? I don’t think I was and if I was, he could have just told me. I understand being busy and not having enough time. I was able to manage everything I have on my plate (work, blog, Whim Things, events and friends) on top of him so I guess it didn’t ever occur to me that maybe he couldn’t. And if that’s the case, I’m sorry… but he never talked to me about it and he decided that wasn’t being fair to me because he couldn’t give me time or attention. If anything, what was not fair to me was when he decided to text me the “don’t hate me” text message without any regard for how I would feel. He made it a point to let me know that he felt horrible having to write this out… Well, then why did he?

If he meant any bit of the things he was saying to me I would have expected him to have enough respect to talk to me about it. He said that he doesn’t know if he could put everything he has into us, but I don’t recall ever asking him to. He decided that without talking to me about it. Why didn't he just talked to me?

One day he’s saying things that insinuate that he could see us progressing over time and the next this happens. Why did he say those things? Everything he said I took with a grain of salt because even though we went from zero to sixty we were still fairly new, in that everything is bliss “Honeymoon Stage.” But after our weekend in Palm Springs, I took everything he said at face value and believed him.

These are my questions. This is what runs through my Type A brain because without answers to them, it makes me feel like I did something wrong that warranted being treated this way. But I’m gonna tell you, I was fucking amazing. I was honest. I was me and I genuinely fell for him. No ulterior motives and no pretending. But right now, I feel like an idiot and a fool. And apparently no matter how much I tell myself I’m okay… Right now, I’m not okay.  I’m suffering from post post-it PTSD.

I’m one of those people that believes that you can will something if you try your hardest. I tried real hard to convince myself I was okay and I started to believe it. I put my ColourPop London Fog red lipstick on and was ready to conquer the week ahead. But it took the possibility that I was about to run into him at lunch to make me realize that is not always the case. But me being me, I’m gonna keep telling myself I’m okay because eventually I’ll wake up one morning, say I’m okay and the post "post-it" PTSD will be gone and I will really be okay.


top: tobi "bella black jersey knitted blouse" in black
jeans: topshop "moto leigh super ripped ankle skinny jeans" in mid denim
shoes: sam edelman "bates mule" in golden caramel
sunnies: zerouv "women's half frame gradient lens sunglasses a928" in gold orange yellow

Weighted Words


Dear Men,

If you have nothing truthful to say, say nothing at all.

From,
A Woman Naïve Enough to Believe You


I’ve always been taught that you should never say anything you don’t mean because your words have an effect on others, no matter what you think. A couple days after the “don’t hate me” text message I did something I shouldn’t have fucking done. I sat at my desk and re-read our entire text conversation from start to finish to see if I was hallucinating his feelings towards me. Apparently I'm a masochist?! But nope, I didn’t. I almost wish I had, so then it would give me a reason to get over this. I highly doubt I hallucinated all the perfectly sweet things he was saying. What I didn't realize at the time is that he could have just been saying them without meaning it.

I’m one of those people that ever rarely says anything I don’t mean because I understand that words have weight behind them. So unfortunately, I expect others to follow suit. This is why I’ve only said "I love you" to one man. I understand that those three words have a world of weight behind them. They are powerful words. They’re not words that should be blurted out over a mutual love for salt and vinegar chips or a disdain for Joseph Gordon Levitt. (This happened IRL with him) Words are extremely powerful and in the end his words hurt more than I could've imagined.

I feel like I was conned and lied too. What's funny is we had a running joke about "the long con." How he was dating me to murder me, ha. If you know me I'm really intrigued by murder and crime shows. On our first date I told him one of my fears about dating apps was that I could end up murdered. In the end I'm still here, still alive but definitely conned. I’m the naïve woman who believed him and what he was saying. It’s extremely hard for me to sit here and not feel like a stupid idiot, but I have to snap myself out of it. I have to remind myself, I was completely honest and truthful the entire time. I was me. I was not pretending. I did nothing wrong.

After spending four days feeling sorry for myself, eating my weight in pie and ice cream, I have to say I’m proud of myself. Don’t get me wrong, my feelings are still fucking hurt and I still feel like a damn fool. But I’m extremely proud of myself for taking a risk. My friends are amazing enough to remind me of that as well. I’m a VERY guarded person but with him, I let all my guards down. I went into this experience open and honest, excited for what would come from it. But let me tell you, what happened was the exact opposite. I never imagined he would break things off, let alone in a text message. I feel like that was a new low I experienced as an adult. If he was feeling a certain way, I would have thought he would have enough respect and courtesy for me to communicate that to me in person.

For any parents reading this, teach your sons (and daughters) that if they are in a similar situation to mine to have enough respect to break things off in person, face-to-face. Also, they shouldn’t be adding a “don’t hate me” at the end. The person on the receiving end is entitled to how they feel in that moment and days to come. If they hate the person after all is said and done, they are allowed to. I don’t harbor any hatred or resentment towards him. I’m hurt and disappointed by him but I’m more mad and upset with myself. I’m mad and upset for not realizing sooner that he could have been saying these perfect things without believing them. To him they could have been empty words he was throwing out loosely to get me to fall for him. Not only did I fall, but I feel like I crashed and burned.

He fooled me. He conned me. He lied to me. But hey, now I know for next time. As much as I could say I wish I had never met him, that would be a lie. I had a couple conversations with my friend Matt about this and he reminded me that no matter how hurt I was and wishing I hadn’t met him, would I trade in those feelings for never experiencing the good I did with him? I had to think about it... but in the end, no I wouldn’t. You take the good with the bad. The time I spent with him was wonderful, we went from zero to sixty fairly quickly and I was genuinely happier than I've ever been. I learned a lot about myself and found out how open and honest I could be about my feelings. It’s unfortunate it ended in the manner it did, but I’ll be okay. Moving forward this is something I’m just gonna have to make clear to the next person I choose to take a risk on. “If you have nothing truthful to say, say nothing at all," because your words are weighted and I (unfortunately) will believe them.


top: zara (sold out), similar here
sunnies: zerouv "oversize moon and start sunglasses a331" in black
pants: topshop "jamie coated skinny jeans" in black
purse: aliexpress
shoes: zara "flat shoes with bow details" in black
choker: whim things

My Journey With Anxiety

Dear Me,

I don’t know how to tell you this but you’re a major stress ball with a lot of anxiety. I know the word alone makes you anxious. Let’s talk about your anxiety and what happens when it does kick in.

From,
Me


I feel like I’ve been dealing with anxiety forever. I was officially diagnosed with anxiety in 2006, my first year in college. I notice as I get older it gets worse and worse. Nowadays I try and avoid situations that make my anxiety worse, however I’m not always able to. I think in my college days, I would just drink to cope with the massive amounts of social anxiety I would get, which would lead to several blacked out nights. That was college Jen. Let me also add, one of the worst social anxiety black outs I experienced also led to me getting my grandmother’s vintage Louis Vuitton purse stolen. Yup... It was a bad night.

There are 6 different situations in which I notice my anxiety is starting to take control of my life.

1.     Avoiding social situations
I don’t know exactly when I started avoiding social situations altogether, but it’s something my friends do bring up quite a bit. In college I was someone who was always down to go out, take shots and party until the sun came up. But now days, I don’t even bother trying to come up with a creative excuse. I’ll literally tell someone I’d rather be in bed, Netflix-ing with wine and a bag of hot cheetohs. On the occasion that I do end up “out”, I’ve mentally prepared for at least two weeks. My girlfriends are really good about sending me calendar invites weeks before a big night out so it’s on my radar and I have enough time to put my party pants on. Gosh, how lame do I sound?! Recently, my social anxiety has gotten better. I’ve been the one texting my friends, trying to plan nights’ out so I thought I was slowly overcoming this. However, last week at a blogger brunch, my anxiety kick in bad. I found myself just very out of place, very quiet and getting really nervous. Which I find to be really odd. I think attending blog events really helped my social anxiety, it put me in situations where I needed to put myself out there and really make an effort to engage with others. But hey, I’m only human... I have my good days and my bad.

2.     I lose my voice and become mute
Even though blog events and networking has really helped me overcome my fear of public speaking and large social settings, sometimes these environments get the best of me. When that happens I can feel myself shrinking, getting smaller and smaller and I just shut down and stop talking. This is still something I am navigating; I haven’t quite figured out how to snap myself out of it when this happens. I tend to just excuse myself and go home. Although this isn’t the best way to remedy this situation, it’s the only thing I have found that slowly snaps me out of it. I’m still working on this day in and day out.

3.     Overanalyzing anything and everything
When my brain goes into overdrive and my anxiety comes at me in full force, I overanalyze anything and everything. Why did this person use an exclamation point and not a period? Why haven’t they texted me back? Oh my gosh, they hate me. What did I do? Maybe I should have said this or that. I was recently talking with a girlfriend of mine and she put things into really great perspective for me. What you are overanalyzing, is it a fact or a feeling? If it’s a feeling that’s fine because you can feel the way you feel but unless you know it’s 100% fact don’t stress over it. I know, I know, it’s a lot easier said than done but unless you know something is 100% happening or gonna happen no use giving yourself an anxiety attack over it.

4.     Thinking the world is going to end (not literally, but my brain always goes to worst case scenario)
I think this ties into how I over analyze, but in addition to over analyzing my brain goes to worst case scenario. When that happens, check yourself. This isn’t Armageddon… the world isn’t gonna end. Sometimes I forget how strong I really am. I’m a child of divorce, struggled with bullying and some other things I am not so proud of…so I had to grow up strong, really depend on myself and my choices. Yes, there have been some hiccups here and there but I think I’ve done pretty well for myself and am extremely proud of the person I am. Whatever bad comes, I need to remember that I will survive it.

5.     I eat anything and everything
I am an emotional eater. When I’m sad, I eat a pint of ice cream, an entire bag of hot cheetohs and can probably chow down about 3 cupcakes. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an emotional connection to food. When something good happens you go out to a fancy dinner and drink to celebrate. When you experience a heartbreak you curl up on the couch with your bestie and go through a lot of Ben and Jerry’s. I hate how food controls my life, especially because I don’t work out. If anyone has any tips on how to break this emotional connection to food… I’m all ears!

6.     I’m mentally and physically exhausted
There are days where I feel just drained. Like I’ve been put through the ringer, been hit by a bus and just been told that I’ve failed at life. I hate this part of anxiety because it makes me feel worthless and for someone who really values their worth, this feeling sucks. The feeling that you can’t do anything right, the feeling where you’d rather stay in bed than face the day. I haven’t experienced very much of this lately but when I do I hate it. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who continuously uplift you and also find something that makes you happy. I’m lucky enough to have a really close group of girlfriends who have known me for long enough to know that when I get into one of these mental exhaustions they very bluntly tell me to snap out of it, no sugar coating allowed. I also have found some activities that put me in “good moods” and make the day cycle through pretty quick. As cheesy as it sounds, go find your bliss. Do what makes you happy. Anything that stresses you out or gives you anxiety is not worth it. These two things will help snap you out of your mental and physical exhaustion and make you really happy that you’ve carpe’d that diem.

Although I have yet to find the solution to tell my anxiety to kick rocks, slowly but surely I’m finding things that help ease me out of it. You just need to remember to let yourself know that you are strong and you will survive whatever comes.


top: forever21 "mesh fringe sleeved top" in black
jeans: topshop "coated jamie" jeans in black
jacket: zara "metallic biker jacket" in dark silver
shoes: steve madden "paiton" in tan nubuck
photos: photobyvincent

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