Cupcakes are Nice

It's like a lifestyle blog except my lifestyle is anxiety

Month: September 2017

Stop using “TRIGGERED” as an insult

Triggered. That’s the insult of choice on social media these days. You see triggered pop up when someone expresses their displeasure with something political. It comes around when someone points out that another person is being sexist or racist. The “triggered” fingerpointing especially tends to come out any time a woman dare shares her opinion on the internet. In fact, I am 100% positive I will be called triggered either in the comments or on social media for even writing this post.

You think that’s sexist? Oh look at you, you triggered little snowflake. You don’t like what the president had to say? Triggered. Oh, did I hurt your feelings, snowflake? Look how triggered you are, you spoiled brat. You’re just saying people are racist because you’re the racist one and you’re triggered by the truth, you bitch.

Y’all. Stop using “TRIGGERED” as an insult. You are hurting people who have mental health issues. You are making the stigma surrounding mental health issues worse.

So let’s just say someone says something that you think is ridiculous, and you call that person triggered when you know they are not actually triggered. When you do this, you have used “triggered” as a way to insult this person. In using triggered as an insult, you have twisted being triggered into a character failing. When you make being triggered a character failing, you have accused everyone with Anxiety, PTSD, Panic Disorder, and the whole lot of mental health disorders of having a character failing.

You’re really making a stretch here, Cupcakes. I’m not here to hurt people with mental health issues. In fact, one of my best friends has PTSD and he agrees with me.

Look, here’s the thing. Whether or not your statement is harmful has nothing to do with the intent of your statement. You don’t have to realize that your statement is harmful for it to be harmful. It doesn’t have to bother 100% of people affected by it to be harmful. You don’t have to believe me right now, but I hope that you will at least think about what you’re doing and consider what I’m saying.

But Cupcakes!” you say. “When I call someone being whiny ‘triggered,’ I’m actually *helping* people with mental health disorders! I’m calling them out for acting triggered when there are people out there who really have mental health issues and really do have triggers!

No you’re not. Be honest – your intent when you become a keyboard warrior isn’t to share understanding about mental health issues. You’re irritated at someone and want to call them out. You’re using triggered in a negative connotation, and the more people use triggered as a negative word, the more people will accept it as negative.

But let’s switch up the scenario I just gave you. Let’s just say that someone irritates you, you call them triggered, and you think that they might actually be triggered.

If you are calling out a person for being triggered who is actually triggered, you aren’t being clever. You are being cruel. A person who is triggered cannot help what their triggers are. A person who is triggered is already in emotional turmoil, and on top of it, they’re having to deal with you forcing your judgment upon them.

“Well people who get triggered just need to learn how to stop having hurt feelings. And how am I supposed to know what’s going to hurt someone’s feelings? I shouldn’t have to be censored just because someone is being a brat.”

First of all, that’s not how triggers work. I don’t sit around thinking of things to be offended by. There are some words, scenarios, and accusations that just cause my chemistry to go out of whack. Triggers keep me from responding like a “normal” person, and instead, my emotions skyrocket, and it takes me a long time to come down from the emotional high.

Second, it’s true that you are not always going to know what hurts someone’s feelings, but generally, being a jerk to someone isn’t helpful. Also, I can tell the difference between someone being a jerk and someone saying or doing something that is unintentionally triggering. If someone says or does something that is a trigger and I can tell they meant no harm, I’m not going to be angry at them for that. I’ll try to communicate it to them so it won’t happen again.

Third, I’m not saying that you have to censor everything that you say. All I ask is that you be more mindful of how the things you say affect other people – and keep in mind that it might affect more people than the person you’re speaking to.

 

So, y’all. Please stop using triggered as an insult. People who have triggers don’t have character flaws. Their bodies and brains just handle the world in a different way. You can slow down the stigma associated with mental health issues by choosing your words wisely.

Dating someone with anxiety

This is most definitely a stock photo

Dating can be difficult.  Dating when you have anxiety can difficult. Dating someone with anxiety can be difficult.

When I first started dating my now-fiance, I was very open about my anxiety, as I knew that I would not be able to sustain a long-term relationship with someone who was not okay with my mental health issues. I was really fortunate that he embraced me as I am, that he didn’t judge my emotional swings, and that he was willing to give me space when I needed it. Some people may be less open about their anxiety, but if they’re willing to bring up the fact that they have it in the first place, they’re probably willing to talk to you about it. If they’re willing to talk, this is a great opportunity for you to ask them about how anxiety affects them, what their triggers are, and other information that will help you be more sensitive to their particular needs.

In addition, here are some things that were helpful to me in my relationship. As always, you’re going to have to feel it out for yourself and listen to your gut and to reason, but it’s a good place to start.

1. Ask if there’s anything you can do to make things easier or to help – Do this every single time the person you’re dating is having an high anxiety episode. My answer to this is usually “no,” but the fact that someone is even asking usually makes me feel better. There’s something very comforting about knowing you have support. Even if you can’t fix the problem, you help by being willing to fix it.

2. Answer her texts or pick up the phone in a timely manner – Take the “wait three days to call” rule or what have you, and throw it out the window. If I didn’t hear back from someone in a timely manner, I always assumed that either they never wanted to talk to me again or that they had died in a fiery car crash. That sounds kind of ridiculous – and it is! – but that’s what happens in my brain! Do everyone a favor and just pick up the phone.

3. Understand that she’s not going to be able to will herself to feel better – Anxiety is a mental health condition. This makes it a health condition, period, and just like the flu, people can’t just up and decide that they’re cured all of a sudden. There are ways she can treat her anxiety, but it’s not as easy as taking a pill or deciding to be strong. Be supportive as she works through her treatment.

4. Respect her need for physical space – My anxiety symptoms are very much physical. I feel tightness and unease in my chest and my limbs tingle. Sometimes the *thought* of being touched makes things worse. I’m not saying to avoid giving the person you’re dating a hug, but know that if she doesn’t want to be touched, it’s possibly the anxiety and not you. (I mean, it could be you. But it’s not necessarily you. You should probably ask.)

5. … But understand that sometimes she won’t want space – Safe touch is important, too. Anxiety feels very lonely sometimes. Sometimes when I’m upset, I need that hug that I was pushing away earlier.  This is why it’s good to refer back to number 1, ask if there’s anything you can do to help.

6. Be prepared to cancel or change plans – Sometimes, I don’t want to go out. I don’t want to interact with people. I will do everything in my power to accompany you to wherever you want to go – especially if your friends are involved – but sometimes, I just can’t. So if the person you’re dating really really is having a hard time, you will make her feel a lot better if you’re willing to modify plans and maybe stay in.

7. Recognize whether this relationship is a good fit and act appropriately – It took a very special person to love and accept me just as I am. Being with a person with anxiety can be wonderful, but it does present challenges. If those challenges aren’t for you, that’s okay. But please be kind if you do decide this relationship is not a good fit.

If this is overwhelming to you, please don’t let it be. This isn’t meant to be a list of rules – it’s meant to give you some guidelines to make this relationship as happy as possible for both of you. Anxiety is only one part of the person you’re dating, and you have the opportunity to have a kickass relationship with a kickass person.

Yoga for Anxiety, part 1

In part one of this two-part series, I give you information on what has helped me have the most effective yoga practice possible while coping with anxiety. Part two will be a yoga sequence I like to do for my anxiety, and I’m excited to be filming that at YogaGypsy, where I completed my 200-hour teacher training. Part one is below. Part two will be coming your way in a few days.

 

 

This video is not intended to be treatment for anxiety – I’m no doctor, I just know what works for me and my practice. Sorry about the crappy lighting, too.

Coming this week to Cupcakes are Nice

Part 1: Overview of how to practice yoga with anxiety

Part 2: Example sequence

 

Part 1 *should* be uploaded by Saturday.

Have any questions before then? Shoot me an email at cupcakesontwitter at gmail dot com

Activities to do when your anxiety won’t let you leave the house

If it’s the weekend, I don’t care much for just sitting around and mindlessly watching TV. Then again, if my anxiety is on the high side of things, I don’t necessarily want to go out and interact with the masses. I’ve found a few standbys that work really well for me when I’m functional but don’t want to leave the house.

1. Make use of library apps. Many local libraries offer apps where you can download books, audiobooks, music, movies, you name it – without having to step foot in the library. My library offers the Overdrive and Hoopla apps. They’re great because everything on there is free, and added bonus, the stress relating to returning items on time *vanishes* because returns are automatic.

2. Plan a trip that you may or may not go on. I love hopping onto flight sites, Airbnb (click my referral link for $20 off your first booking!) and TripAdvisor and planning trips to places I’ve always dreamed of traveling to. Sometimes, when the price fits my budget, I’ll actually go ahead and book. I make sure everything I book is refundable, just in case I panic last minute and decide not to go.

3. Give yourself a spa evening. I put on a face mask, make a foot bath using Epsom salt and essential oils, and do my nails. I love getting those full nail sets available at Dollar Tree. They only last me a day or two, but they don’t destroy my nails like gels and acrylics, and they are *two freaking dollars* for nails + glue. I swear I didn’t write this one to have an excuse to post a picture of my engagement ring.

4. Do at 10-minute yoga session. When the anxiety is high, I know yoga is good for me, but I also usually can’t get myself to do an hour-long practice. There are lots of resources available with quick yoga classes – including the Hoopla app I mentioned earlier! YogaGlo is also a good resource. You can search by class style, length, and specific need, and they have a two-week free trial.

5. Do a puzzle. So I really like this because it keeps the brain busy, it keeps you occupied for a while, and when you get tired of it, you can leave it and come back later.

6. Text or email your long distance friends. This is a double win – you get to connect with people, but you don’t have to get anxiety about them asking you to go out. They’ll be thrilled to hear from you.

7. Clean out the cabinets. Okay, this one isn’t fun, but I did it this weekend and I felt a lot better. And by “I did it,” I mean my fiance did it. I kinda helped. In any event, I’m not very organized, but getting rid of the clutter helped me feel so much better.

8. Order in. Y’all, restaurants that allow you to order via app are great. They increase the chances of you getting the correct order and decrease human interaction.

9. Fall down the YouTube tutorial rabbit hole. There is so much to learn from YouTube videos. Makeup advice, basic car care, history. Pick a topic, and keep on clickin’ when the video is over.

10. Sell your crap online. I have no reason to read the Twilight series ever again. Someone else will be happy to read it, and they will pay me to do so.

11. Snuggle with your dog or cat. Of course, you have to own a dog or cat first. I cannot recommend enough getting an animal from your local shelter. I can’t tell you how much more manageable my anxiety has become since getting my little shelter bubby.

12. Plan your meals for the week. I don’t really like meal planning subscriptions because I usually have to buy a TON of food, and they rarely meet my dietary needs. I figure out what I want to eat for the week and order using Walmart Grocery Pickup (click my referral link for $10 off your first order). Lots of places have started offering the option of order and pickup, which I absolutely love because it’s easier to compare prices and I don’t have to spend time in the store.

13.  Write. You don’t have to write about your anxiety. You don’t have to write on a blog. Just take out a piece of paper and just put pen to paper. Maybe you’ll write a story. Maybe you’ll just doodle. However, you now have an outlet and a place to focus your energy.

14.  DIY the heck outta stuff. So I’ve already suggested selling your crap online, but some of your stuff probably won’t sell, and some if your stuff is actually still useful. Last week I made some homemade mascara and one of those selfie ring lights.

and when all else fails

15. Ask for help. Sometimes the anxiety goes from not being able to leave the house to not being able to function. Resting turns into crying uncontrollably. People will be willing to help you if you reach out. Reach out to your family and friends. If that’s not an option, find a like-minded online community. If it’s more serious than that, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline if you’re in the US at 1-800-273-8255.

So I know the tone of this post turned dark suddenly, but that’s how anxiety works, too. If anxiety is something you experience, please know that you are supported and loved. If you don’t experience anxiety, reach out to someone you know who struggles with it and let them know you love them.

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