Thursday, 16 August 2012

We are All Mental - Ellie Mack

This week’s guest, the eloquent Ellie Mack, discusses a topic I think we all can relate to. Her post resonated with me as I am in the process of building my house. I remember when I went to the bank and filled out that withdrawal slip almost emptying all I have saved over the past few years, I walked out in almost cold sweat. I went home and instructed the workers to cut the trees and set the foundation. I watched them work and my heart seemed to beat in my throat. Walls began closing in around me and I felt as though I would pass out. All it was in my life was a progressive change. I heard a youth on the road last evening repeated saying, “scared money don’t make money, fearless money makes money.” It made a lot of sense to me, my money was sitting in the bank and my fiancé and I are living apart even after having a child, it was time to as my guest puts it below, become a “box smasher.” Ellie Mack’s posting below not only resonates with me but it feels like a pep talk for all those of you scared of change and the unknown.

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We're All Mental

By Ellie Mack

Let's face it we are our own worst enemy! I know there are many of us with this affliction. We try to hide it, keep it under lock and key but the strange thing is others can often recognize it before we can see it in ourselves. It robs us of simple pleasures, prevents us from participating in life and hinders us from stepping outside of our box.

We play these mental games with ourselves, and then either pander ourselves out of doing things or admonishing ourselves for our failings. Sickos - all of us! Shame, shame, shame!

What is it? Anxiety Disorders. OK, you may not be fully diagnosed with it but we all have various stages of this budding affliction.

I am notoriously one who is daring, willing to try things. Bungee jumping, parasailing, snorkeling, spelunking - ok won't be doing that one again anytime soon, and even rappelling are not things for the faint of heart. Instead of giving into peer pressure, I was the kid your parents warned you about. Yes, I did daring stupid things. Yes, I jumped off a roof. Yes, I took a dare more often than I gave them. But as I've gotten older and become responsible for the lives of others (parenting changes you - it really does), I've detected a line of thinking that is akin to an anxiety disorder.

My 17 year old daughter is getting ready to begin her senior year in high school - yeah! Go Sarah! However today she is nearly in a panic, because of the unknown.

She stated it like this: "When you're going to do something that you're nervous about it, it's best to just do it and not think about it. Sort of like getting on a roller coaster, you don't think about the physics of the design of the roller coaster, or the g-force, or how dangerous it is. You just look at it and think - ooh, fun!"

Yeah, if we all could remember that! However, when we face a new challenge our brains go into high gear and we over analyze the situation, adding the terrifying what ifs. Choosing a new hairstyle, starting a new phase like starting college, starting a new job, making a career change, going to a different gym, taking a different route to work, they can all be intimidating. Personally, I don't think it's a matter of anxiety disorder but fear. It's scary to step out sometimes but as you talk yourself out of it, you convince yourself it's scary and not worth trying, therefore next time it's easier to stay in your box. Before you know it, the box has shrunk and your stuff has an inch of dust on it.

Yep, you know it, I'm a box smasher! I come in like a tornado and rearrange the furniture, move your stuff, shift things "6 inches to the right"; sometimes tearing out an entire wall to expand a wing. For those who think I never get scared - get real! I just do it afraid.

Fake it till you make it, or never let them see you sweat. Either one works. I know a person however, that over the years has let themselves be overwhelmed by the smallest of things, allowing their box to close in so that it's such a cramped little affair there's barely room to turn around. It's sad, really.

Now there are individuals who really do have anxiety disorders. I have some of the symptoms that I will list below, but I don't let it dominate my mind. I am not dead yet, and I've got a lot more life to live. In fact, I intend to live mine out loud! If you're not so bold and brazen maybe you could start with baby steps. Wear a different color; it can be a huge shock to the system. Smile at someone you don't know - I know, shocking. Try a new food - I don't know, that could be risky. Read this blog - omg - we may be moving a little too fast. One step at a time!

My point is that as we get older we are more prone to settle into routines. Routines then become ruts and before long the rut is a grave with the ends knocked out. We allow worries and fears to dominate our thinking and before long we accept failure because we are afraid to try. I don't want to be that person. It's humorous to watch Mr. Monk, but in reality it would be a sad existence. I know from personal acquaintance, the above mentioned person's box is beginning to resemble a coffin.

So here's what WEbMD has to say about it:

What Are the Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:

  • Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
  • Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic experiences
  • Nightmares
  • Ritualistic behaviors, such as repeated hand washing
  • Problems sleeping
  • Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • An inability to be still and calm
  • Dry mouth
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tension
  • Dizziness

I'm sure we can all recognize some of those symptoms but it doesn’t mean we need to run out and get a prescription for Xanax. I rebel against the pharmaceutical companies need to overmedicate the world population when all we need to do is put on our big girl/ big boy pants and live life - to the fullest measure experiencing everything it can throw our way! Just dodge the tomatoes.

Yeah, and some call me an adrenaline junkie as well! It doesn't matter though, I'm having a blast.

Write on my friends, write on!
About the blogger.
Ellie Mack lives in a small town near St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a BS in geography/cartography. She has worked for Department of Defense, county government, as a substitute teacher, and various other jobs.  Her hobbies include reading, bicycling, playing Tombraider, and Dance games such as Dance Dance Revolution, and Zumba. Between being a mother to two teenage girls, a wife, homemaker, and a mortgage loan officer, Ellie writes paranormal romances.
Ellie’s first erotica piece is appearing on

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Do you ever feel like you are having an anxiety attack? What are the sort of things that bring on these attacks for you? Do face fear head on like Ellie? Share your thoughts below, we are curious to know what you think on the topic.


  1. One of my favorite blogs to read thus far! I wish I had read this when I stood hooked up to a harness while below me several several feet below me someone was yelling for me to jump and my boyfriend at the time was screaming, "Free Bird!" I had wanted to bungee jump but when I got to it-I chickened out. This blog might have saved me from it. Oh who am I kidding-I would have cried, snotted, and peed my pants. lol.

  2. WoW Nikki, one of the things I want to try but wonder if I would do just what you did when the time comes, lol, especially since I get a slight motion sickness. But I agree with you Ellie's post is quite empowering.