Tag Archives: anxiety

I’m Back Baby!

I’ve been away from blogging

(the featured image is of a cherry grown from a tree I planted 10 years ago. It fruited in July. A timely metaphor for this period of time.)

I can’t point to any one reason why I haven’t blogged this past month-plus. Guess the creative tank was empty. I tried to force myself to write a couple times the past month…

Last month I installed an app that tracks my phone use. Its called “StayFree” (I’m not being paid to say this, though I’d sell out to). And my results have been… Embarrassing.

I have a serious internet addiction problem. (Though I guess the app missed all the time I spent listening to audiobooks on audible. I don’t count that time since it’s good for me.) I’ve known this has been a problem for a while, and especially the past year. But damn. 274 hours?! Oof.

Wow, I expected my total use time to be much lower than 8 hours 😐. I certainly didn’t spend much of that writing.

The content I did write didn’t feel up to par. I don’t know. I’ve felt scattered and unfocused when writing. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself, or stuck in perfectionist tendencies. (Edit: today I cut up and saved the useful bits. Which became this post)

Whatever it is, I feel like my life is at another transition point. I feel a shift to something new.

French Toast, Donny Burgers, Peanut Butter, and Lemon Slushee Weed oh my!

It’s been a bit since the last blog post. (34 days!) I’ve simply been busy. Well, not that busy… More focused on doing well at my new job. Hyper-focused. I like what I do for work: trimming weed, my coworkers, and the company. (I wish that I could post pictures. I can’t because this is a form of social media. I wonder if it’s okay a)

Eat, work, sleep. Repeat. As for writing, it’s felt like the creative well was low, and I needed a small break.

Everything is going well, and I’m slowly feeling secure the company will last more than 4 months. ( I have no reason to see that they’d close or fail. Thanks anxiety… )

I’m giving it my all, and am happy to. The goal of the company is to have the best cannabis in the state. Its a mindset shift. At my last job, they also had high standards for trimming, but you can only do so much with average quality product. Its so refreshing to work at a company like this. Its like a high end restaurant… Without the soul destroying stress, heat, or snobbery.

Last week, we were ‘bucking’ which is to cut cured and dried branches of product to a smaller size for storage, and the work room smelled like french toast. The kind that uses fake high fructose corn syrup, imitation vanilla extract, butter, and ground cinnamon/nutmeg you can find in a grocery store spice shelf.

A huge perk of working with weed is the aromas. The best stuff or dank, can smell like so many things. From diesel, to skunk, to flowers, to a tropical island, to french toast. Grown perfectly, it sticks to your gloved hands.

Pictured above: Peanut Butter Crunch cannabis. I received this as a sample to smoke. Getting samples is a perk of working in the cannabis industry. Thanks Fire Bros! This strain is available at recreational stores in WA state!

They’ve been around 5 years, built a massive new warehouse to grow multiple times more product due to demand, and hiring people to meet it.

The work is pleasant, yet challenging. I feel it’s opened my mind back to a time when I enjoying being the best I can. To grow every day at work. I had this at my last weed job too. Its a very different culture when everyone is in the same building. My last job was a branch location. (Except for our growing team. There is a massive warehouse where our weed is grown. It used to be in our building.) Its a nice change to regularly see the owner and upper management around doing whatever needs done. They ask how we’re doing. They want feedback for improvement and mean it.

So many green flags, yet I’m paranoid. I’m trying not to worry about the other shoe dropping. I don’t want to lose this job. Good people, good work place, good company.

Once again, the coronavirus pandemic has been the antagonist.


(AKA: Yes, but) I had two separate covid scares week. I was feeling sick on Monday — fatigue, fever, muscle soreness, and common cold symptoms– so I left work after 45 minutes. I drove to the drive thru testing center and got a precautionary Covid test to be safe. The test center said results would be ready in 24-48 hours. So, I had that stress along with not knowing what’s up.

Tuesday morning, the first covid test was negative! What a relief… I’m just sick with a cold. So I took it easy. I had just enough energy to fill my ballot, and dropped it off at a local community center voting drop box…. Driving there in my new car!

I finally have my own car! A 2013 Toyota Prius! All thanks to my Dear Aunt M! Love you Aunt M!

Picture of 2013 prius
Yeah, like that. I’m not comfortable sharing my car yet. This’ll do for now.

Wednesday I went to work driving by myself in my car for the first time in… like 7 or 8 years. That whole time I was sharing a car with my mother because it was convenient and I couldn’t afford another car. Basically because of poor mental health and working minimum wage jobs. But hey, my mental health has improved so much due to therapy and the right mix of medications. If it wasn’t for my own persistence for my health, and good decisions, I would not be in this good spot where I have options. I still have stuff to work on, but l’m treading water. I’ll take it. With this I can progress. I am so grateful all of that.

I worked the day, double masked for safety. I got through the day, but was exhausted. I should have stayed home.

Thursday morning, I turn on my phone and get a message on slack from one of my bosses. Another potential Covid exposure at work on Monday. Work was cancelled, everyone who got tested got a sick day. I got tested again and had to wait another 24 hours for a result.

Friday. That morning the result was: Negative! Whew. It seems most of my coworkers tested negative too, so that is reassuring. I decided to take Friday off too as I wasn’t much better.

In Summary, Two negative covid tests, but a strong cold. Waiting for test results is fucking stressful. While we have a mask mandate at work, it could be enforced a bit more. I feel like there needs to be a company meeting going over what masks are considered safe (A few coworkers wear neck gaiters, which don’t provide proper protection), how to properly wear a mask (Aka over the nose, on at all times inside), and we need a vaccine requirement for employment.

I’m fucking tired of being considerate anymore. Way past being patient. It’s been 16 months. The pandemic is still raging, and I’ve done everything right. It’s fucking bullshit that only 50% of people are vaccinated at this point. I wish our government would save the remaining vaccines for the kids under 12, send the rest out to the parts of the world that actually want them, and force the unvaccinated adults (who do not have a valid medical exemption) to have pay for it through our insurance system. I want to run up to a denier and shake them. Don’t you care about kids? Don’t you care about the elderly? Don’t you care about the sick? Don’t you care about the well being of your friends or family? Don’t you care about your fellow human?

This lyric from A change gon come by Sam Cooke sums up how I feel right now as an American, as a person of the world:

“Then I go to my brother
And I say, “Brother, help me please”
But he winds up knockin’ me
Back down on my knees”

This came up on Genius.com for the song lyrics:

“This line refers to Blacks in the United States who did not openly support the Civil Rights Movement. Often, these people were afraid of violent retribution, and preferred to keep their fellow men “on their knees” in front of whites to avoid conflict. Cooke’s record producers were especially guilty of this.

They were more interested in keeping him popular among white listeners, than allowing him to speak out against race-related injustices in his music. This song was the first politically charged recording of Cooke’s, and was his way of “getting off of his knees.”

Ironically, the track was initially buried on the B-side of a semi-popular single by his producers. Rather than being released to stand on its own, the executives were too worried it would degrade Cooke’s popularity with whites.”


It’s no wonder why it another civil rights reckoning is happening during the pandemic. (Fucking stalled in the Senate by the same people making the pandemic worse, Republicans). Everyone is equal in the face of a virus. Corona Virus doesn’t care about your skin color, your feelings, your politics, anything about you. It exist to spread in the ideal conditions. The only way you are safe is to get the vaccine. To wear a mask, and distance from others.

You know… I think I need a Pandemic Anger Anonymous support group. Something. Another year of this? Ugh.

Oh, I finally feel a sense of peace and understanding regarding all the grief I went through last year. I’m truly sorry, and vow to never act that way ever again.

Its nice to not have that weighing on me everyday… on top of 2021’s stuff.

Rest in Peace, Aunt Ann.

Thank you for reading this, I realize I haven’t been consistently lately… And I want to get back on the blog horse. If you enjoyed this, please give it a like, and tell me what you think in the comments! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!

Please GET VACCINATED, wear a mask indoors or near people, that covers your mouth and nose. Wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19! 

© Reilly Anderson. 2021. All rights reserved.

In a Viktor Frankl mood; Migraine hangover.

Struggling to write lately

I haven’t been feeling well physically lately. Had a really bad headache on Saturday that felt like a migraine. I haven’t had one in a while, and had forgotten how awful they feel. My guess is that it’s due to my lack of self care. I haven’t been exercising or moving around much, eating healthy– eating too much processed foods such as ramen– spending all day on a screen watching anime or anxiously browsing the internet, and not doing fulfilling non screen activities. I need to get back on my meditation routine.

For now, I need to recover from this. Just when I thought that I wouldn’t have migraines again. I guess it wasn’t due to my previous medication combination. Fuck.

Dizziness, sensitivity to light and certain sounds, mental fogginess, and a mild headache? That’s a migraine hangover alright…

While I need to continue to work on figuring out new goals, passions, meaning, and dreams for my life, for the immediate future I need to recover from this. I can barely look at my phone screen as I type this.

Burnout 2021

Cloudy forest road.

I am spent. Totally wiped out. Numb. Again. It’s merely Sunday in the pandemic.

None of the usual stuff is giving joy.

I’m tired of suffering. Tired of being depressed. Tired of the pandemic. The loneliness is killing me.

It’s frustrating living with mom. 1 year of a pandemic is enough. I desperately need to move out. We are just too different people to be living together. But, I can’t move out to an apartment because I don’t have a job or steady income.

It feels like I’m not suited for the work available right now. I can’t do variable schedule, customer service, or fast paced work because of my autism needs. I don’t like using this as a crutch.

Tired of daily, new PTSD from reading the news. Enough with the historical events.

That isn’t to say that Trump or his enabler Republicans shouldn’t be held accountable. They do. Treason/Sedition must be brought to justice. Our democracy and country is more important than any individual or political party.

Can’t even get a breath of fresh air by going outside or into the world. Shielded for safety behind a facemask. Going grocery shopping gave me a mild anxiety attack in the store. It’s like everyone doesn’t care that over 400,000 + have died from covid. Barely any distancing, business as usual at Safeway.

I’m not sure which is more dangerous right now: never leaving the house and being isolated, or getting covid. Therapy, medication, and self care only help so much in this difficult world. Yet, the worst of the pandemic is yet to come.

I need to get a car, so I have some agency. So I can get out of this area any day of the week. But then I’d have to choose between savings or a car. And unemployment is almost done.

I’m tired of this prison I’m in. I committed no crime, yet I feel punished for doing the right thing and staying home. I want to see friends. I want a life. I’m tired of no job = no life.


I feel like I’m about to fall apart and shatter. Damnit.

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19!

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

Waiting for results

Can't see the forest from the trees while I wait for my covid result...

Waiting for a Covid test result…

I got a covid test today.

It was simple as calling the doctor’s office yesterday, and getting an appointment.

I drove to the facility and parked at a designated parking spot. I arrived to nab the one open space. Three white tents with a taped piece of paper: call ***-***-**** to check-in.

I open the phone app on my phone, and enter the phone number. As it connects, I press speaker option. Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring… Nobody is picking up. The parking lot is about 80 percent full, and it’s 110pm, so they must be busy. The call ends.

I connect bluetooth and put on the Cloud of Unknowing.:

It’s a somber, soulful song which matches my worries. I don’t know how this test will turn out.

I call the number again, and check in. Now I have to wait.

I don’t have long to worry, as the man in the car in the parking spot to my right has a medical professional approach his car. The professional is wearing a white lab coat, N95 face mask, a plastic face shield, and disposable gloves.

I pause the music to observe.

The man in the car opens the door ajar, wearing a baby blue disposable mask. The professional explains the procedure to him.

Put the swab in each nostril and swab inside each for 15 seconds. Then you hand the swab back to her with your mask back on.

He finishes his test, hands the swab to her, and she tells him to expect results in 2-5 days depending on how busy the lab is. The man asks about work, and the professional says that the office will write a letter if requested for a positive result.

A moment later, the medical professional repeats the covid-19 test procedure with me. She ends with “Until you get your results, act like you have it.”

I drive home. Pondering my life. While it’s unlikely I have it, and there is a high chance I recover, I could die. I could die in the next two weeks.

I feel like I’ve barely become an average man. Never known romantic love, what it feels like to achieve a dream, never been independent, haven’t even had an amazing date… Haven’t had sex.

Is this really it? Is this really the best I could do in 34 years?

I’m trying to be positive about my life. But I’m not satisfied how it is. I hope my destiny isn’t to die from covid.

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates! 

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19! 

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

Update 12-15-2020: Test results negative for me and everyone at work!

Xmas, South Park, and Texting. These are a few of my favorite things…

A batch of candy cane cookies I made in 2016. These are so delicious, yet I can’t have this recipe of this cookie because it requires butter. And are high in carbs, sugar, and calories. I need to find a low carb, sugar free, and dairy free recipe of these cookies. …I need to work on mastering low carb sweets. I’m looking forward to this project!
This is our family recipe my mom got from cooks.com years ago. Delicious gluten, carbs, sugar, and dairy. Sugar is a hell of a drug, lol.

Pandemic Xmas, 2020:

I’m dreaming of a regular Christmas this year.

A regular Xmas with no threat of a virus. When I don’t have to worry about Covid-19, just because I want to visit with people. I’m frustrated because I’ve been following the rules since March. It’s nice to to know im not alone in feeling this way. One day the pandemic will be over. Don’t forget to be mindful and appreciate what is going well in your life.

It’s hit me that Xmas is coming up. And I really love Christmas. I like to show my appreciation for people in presents. Giving and quality time are how I express affection. I’m not sure how I like to receive affection yet. Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages is on my audible wishlist to read.

This is normally the time when I get my Christmas shopping done. This year isn’t my first lean Xmas either. So that means being a clever shopper and getting my Mom and Brother what they want on a budget! While all of us are on lean budgets for presents, that doesn’t mean we can’t get exactly what each of us wants.

I wonder what I want for xmas… That I couldn’t buy later for myself, that others can give me. Sometimes asking for presents feels weird because I don’t need much, and usually buy what I need. Patron Liberal Saint, Senator Bernie Sanders, please forgive me. Avoiding products that support the 1% is hard, and I’m only human.

I miss the joy of waking up on christmas day as a child. Only wanting a few things, and still feel utter joy from the presents I did receive. Like you had won the lottery because I got the newest Optiumus Prime or Power Rangers Zord toy as a present. Xmas as an adult is quite different from the experience of it as a child. It felt like you could ask for the world… I want to rediscover that feeling of wonder from childhood.

A dream Xmas present list

  • World peace.
  • Equality.
  • Nobody would be rich or poor.
  • Happiness for everyone.
  • A world free of suffering, free of disease, and starvation.
  • Universal understanding. Is this enlightenment?
  • A cure for coronavirus.
  • A a satisfying life where I meet my needs and give back to the world.

Sometimes text communication is hard.

“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.” Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard Star Trek: The Next Generation Imdb source

At times, I find the above quote helpful, said by Captain Picard from Star Trek: TNG.

“Geek wisdom: Life isn’t fair all the time. Sometimes you will given lucky breaks and sometimes unlucky ones. There are also going to be times when, even if you think you’ve thought of every possible bad thing that could happen and prepare contingencies for them, things may still not swing your way. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try things anymore. The important thing is that you try.Source

Sometimes things don’t work out, and that’s okay. Keep on trying. I’m grateful that I learned this lesson this year. Life goes on. (Man therapy, and self care are awesome!)

I was going through the situation described in the link below this weekend with this new relation I’ve had entirely over text on Whatsapp with a new person:


While the target audience for this article is for women, this part spoke to me as an anxious man:

“In a new relationship, texting can be both exciting and filled with anxiety. Before you over analyze his texts, read this to find out how to text in style.

On the opposite end of the digital spectrum, the absence of a daily text or a change in routine can send many in new relationships and the lovelorn into an unnecessary panic attack. Let’s face it. Women often tend to over-analyze the word count and sentence structure of every text they receive from men.”

Turns out, what I thought was a red flag was easily fixed by communicating, and the situation is good. Guess this success at communication shows my growth in relationship skills this year. It wasn’t a disaster, it was my anxiety! And I handled both skillfully! Yay!

I’m grateful for this budding relationship, that’s life!

Understanding the pandemic through South Park episodes.

Lately life feels like the episode “Gluten free Ebola” from South Park season 18. And I feel like the lead characters Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman. In the episode, they return to school after trying to get 10 million dollars from a startup. They failed, and try to make up their arrogant failure by doing something good to make up for it. The Gluten-Ebola outbreak in the episode is solved by turning the established thinking upside down and taking a new approach to a problem the world faces. They learn and adapt to the new reality.

Spoilers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten_Free_Ebola?wprov=sfla1

Song of the post is not Christmas music. That is reserved only for December 25, not the entirety of November and December this posts song is: Imagine By John Lennon.

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19!

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

In a Haze

Picture of the forest fires from my residence in Seattle.
Picture of the smog from the backyard from last saturday

It was dark inside my bedroom.

I turn on my phone, check the air pollution index. It’s green.

I get up, put some pajamas on, and go out to for the newspaper. I take a long deep breath.

The smog is gone. Air crisp with a hint of sweet pine.

For the first time in a week I can breathe fresh air.

I feel my inner smog dissolve.

No wonder I’ve been so anxious. Lethargic.

It was dark inside my bedroom.

I remember the smog rolling in that first night.

It slithered through the window grates.

It had an odor like weed and alder in a bonfire.

By the morning it became a slow poison… Smog.

I felt closed in a prison when I closed the last open window in the house.

It felt like the slowest week of the year.

I am ready for 2020 to be over.

For today, I’m grateful to have fresh air to breathe.

Through the haze I have clarity.

I don’t want to work awful minimum wage jobs.

Need to get a car.

I want to go back to college. For what? I can’t say.

I feel ready to date again.

For now, I need a job for all these.

I can do this.

Songs of the week:

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates! 

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance from others to fight Covid-19!

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

Anxiety shock

Anxiety Shock: An art piece I created with Tombow green and black markers in 2016. It's my attempt at a tornado style Jackson Pollock piece.
Something I made in 2016… Reflective of how I feel when anxious.

Anxiety Shock

I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I shouldn’t be afraid.

Why? It’s Tuesday.

Anxiety? Anxie-day.

The worst possible things have already happened to me. It was my fault.

Zapped of energy, laying on the couch.

A human anchor.

What am I afraid of?

That I’m too old at 34 to be a good human.

That it’s too late to turn life around.

I’m afraid that I’m crazy. When is it a flaw, and when is it mental illness?

I’m afraid that nobody will love me in a romantic way.

I’m afraid that I will hurt someone. That I won’t be able to handle it.

Anxiety is torture because you think the thoughts above… And the following:

I am enough, as I am now.

I am not a victim. I am capable.

It’s not too late. It’s never too late.

You ain’t too old yet.

You’ve been here before. You’ve handled it well, and not. You are learning from your mistakes.

Everyone is worthy of love.

Being worried about causing harm shows you have empathy. It shows that you are considerate of others.

Everyone makes mistakes. You choose whether to learn from it, or not. It’s your choice.

You know, maybe I’m feeling anxious because the air quality sucks right now.

My kitten Coconut has been sneezing through the day. All the windows inside are shut.

Maybe a month left of summer here in Seattle.

The emerald city is covered by smog.

Great… Forest fire smog during a pandemic. This year’s a damn apocalypse bingo.

Last night around 10:30pm, I could smell the smoke rolling in the space between the houses. Smelled like a mix of alder wood and weed.

Fuck it, I want cold rice and pickles.


Time for a cold shower.

Song of the post:

The 54321 Grounding Method

Here is a DBT skill I learned this week. It’s called 54321. So you choose a sense: Taste, Smell, See, Hear, Touch, and noticed that number of things in the room around you with the number until you have calmed yourself.

The 54321 grounding technique is simple, yet powerful. Like gradually attaching anchors to the boat, this method slowly pulls you back to earth. 

First, take a moment to become mindful of your breath. Just a few deep breaths invite your body back into the moment, slowing everything down. Then, become aware of your environment.

  • Look For 5 Things You Can See: Notice the wood grain on the desk in front of you. Or the precise shape of your fingernails. Become aware of the glossy green of the plant in the corner. Take your time to really look and acknowledge what you see.
  • Become Aware Of 4 Things You Can Touch: The satisfyingly rough texture of the car seat. Your cotton shirt against your neck. If you like, spend a moment literally touching these things. Maybe notice the sensation of gravity itself, or the floor beneath you.
  • Acknowledge 3 Things You Can Hear: Don’t judge, just hear. The distant traffic. The voices in the next room. As well as the space between sounds.
  • Notice 2 Things You Can Smell: If at first you don’t feel like you can smell anything, simply try to sense the subtle fragrance of the air around you, or of your own skin.
  • Become Aware Of 1 Thing You Can Taste: The lingering suggestion of coffee on your tongue, maybe?”

More on it here:

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates! 

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19! 

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© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.