Contrary to My Desires

I thought I’d tell you the bad news first, so the good news seems even better after. That’s how I do, so let’s plunge in, shall we?

I’ve been puny this week. I got one of my infamous cold sores last weekend and the on-call doctor never called me back, so no meds for me. The pharmacist recommended some cold sore medication which worked amazingly. I’m really impressed.
I never got the fever or the deformity that comes with these sores, and for that, I am truly grateful.

Of course, I have anxiety disorder, so without fail, I spent the week worrying about and waiting for the fever and deformity to arrive.
In the meantime, I’ve had low energy, which makes me worry even more. Isn’t that fun?
Now, I didn’t sleep well all week, even though I went to bed early and even took a nap on Wednesday.

For an unknown reason, I got up at 4:40 on Thursday, then I received one of those automated calls that the bus would be 25-30 minutes late, and had 3 panic attacks before 7am.
All that left me in anxiety hangover state, which is where I lived for years and years, so I cleaned the coffee pot, dusted, swept, got laundry done, finished a book, played Mario Kart, and wrote a substantial amount before the girls came home. I’m glad I didn’t have any caffeine in the house, or I coulda easily had 3 more panic attacks by 7pm.

Being sick in any way brings me the worst bouts of anxiety. No matter how well I’ve been functioning, anxiety has a way of convincing me that my arthritis is bone cancer and my weather headache is a brain tumor.

The weather conspired with my energy levels, meaning I didn’t get to what I planned this week, which was planting Sassy’s giant cabbage, cutting back the clematis, and pruning the roses.

The Mister says I’m battling exhaustion, and thinks I’ll feel much better in the coming weeks, since school is out and I can sleep longer. I want to believe him. I’ve had fitful sleep lately, which means I wriggle out of my hairband and spend half the night killing the imaginary spiders that eat my face while I sleep.
Here I am, upon awakening, realizing there’s not a spider circus on my face and that I had every right to scratch.


But — Look at these roses! Just look at em!

roses roses1

I haven’t done a thing with them yet this year. (Over the winter, I toss them some compost.) When we moved in they were overgrown, without bloom, and there are hibiscus interwoven with them, so JLW told me to hack that sucker back and I did. Last year, I got maybe 20 blooms all season, and I pruned carefully. Wow have I ever been rewarded!
Rewarded for ignoring them, me thinks.

The clematis doesn’t care, either.


That giant cabbage will not plant itself, though.

Do you suspect my death is imminent? What does your anxiety lie to you about? Do spiders eat your face while you sleep? Are you impressed by my roses and clematis? Do you believe in giant cabbage?

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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94 Responses to Contrary to My Desires

  1. Victo Dolore says:

    Lovely flowers! Yes, spiders do eat your face at night. My anxiety lies to me about giant cabbages. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. orbthefirst says:

    My paranoia has been in high gear lately. Sometimes I wonder if things in my life have been carefully orchestrated just to test me and make me crazy. Dreams about being lost, but knowing exactly where I was, not being able to get away..all things that make sense to my rational waking (and medicated) brain, but are so persistent, Im starting to think otherwise.
    Headaches like, blah..which make me think worse things are going on, suicidal friends I cant help (So much so craziness, my old bffs 15yr old kid friended me the other day on the fb to see if I could talk some sense into her dad, and to find out wtf was going on with him. I havent told her..much. She doesnt need to know, yet.)

    So, yes. Stress is a powerful thing, and does funny things to our brains, does it not?

    Pretty flowers though. Love the roses. So pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting. Yes, Stress is terrible. I can see why your brain makes those dreams, because your environment is not pleasing to you, and you long for home, and so yeah, I get it. But I can also see why your worries make you question the depth of that.
      I’m glad you’re helping your friend’s daughter. Just the word suicidal makes me feel despair.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anxious Mom says:

    I feel your pain. My stomach has been iffy lately, and I’ve probably suggested to my husband the possibility of stomach cancer a dozen times this week. When I get a migraine, there’s a good chance that it’s brain cancer in my book. WebMD does nothing to ease my mind there.

    Nice flowers. I’ve given up on those, since I manage to kill everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. reocochran says:

    I am so sorry about your cold sore, anxiety and other emotional reactions. I love the pretty roses and violet flowers. Is this a columbine? I love the way you ‘roll with the punches,’ keep your chin up!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan Antion says:

    I feel bad for you given the week that you’ve had. I didn’t have a cold sore but Maddie smacked me in the mouth with her front paw and tore a small hole in my lip that feels like a cold sore now that it’s healing (who’s a good dog?) I don’t have enough hair for it to do anything, night or day. The flowers are beautiful and of course I believe in giant cabbage – what kind of question is that?

    I hope you get some sleep and rest (which I understand can be different things).

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Carrie Rubin says:

    I AM impressed by your roses and clematis, especially since before now, I didn’t even know what clematis was. But I’m sorry you’re feeling anxious and ill. That’s no fun for anyone, no matter how many pretty flowers are around. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Carrie 🙂
      Clematis is known for being finicky until it’s in the right place. When it’s in the right place, it flourishes and easily tolerates neglect. They come in so many colors and varieties 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Giant cabbage leads to giant sauerkraut at my house. Or maybe a whole corned cow to go with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sammy D. says:

    I’m sorry, Joey. The two things that kept me going during my worst years with depression and anxiety (still occasional) were understanding that it was cyclical, and the ‘feeling better’ days would come eventually (altho’ never for long enough) AND having a very, very patient and accepting husband.

    Sleep deprivation can deprive you of coping ability. I sleep now with sleeping pills and it has made my awake hours much more manageable. Not for everyone but I decided I need to make my ‘todays’ the best they can be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tell you Sammy, I did have two good weeks of high energy and happiness before the cold sore, and they were exemplary.
      I know how important sleep is for mental health, but sadly, the sleep meds do not work for me at this point in my life. (while people depend on me) I have tried two, with the same results.
      I’m looking forward to the extra rest, and the fact that the girls will be home so much more — that’s a lot less stress, compared to 6am and bus drama. Good days will come. Hell, today might even be one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sammy D. says:

    PS i do love clematis 😀. And will look forward to your ‘cabbage patch’

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sammy D. says:

    And PSS i can’t help but think about numerous artists and authors who, despite mental and physical challenges (or actually maybe because of them) gifted society with some of our most creative works. Your blog flourishes in a similar fashion from my perspective ( perhaps small comfort to you in your suffering!)

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Sammy D. says:

    I bet this is the point where the WP consultants would say “if you’re going to write a long comment, write your own f’ing post”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jewels says:

    Haha I love your questions at the end! And I’d like to answer them, if I may…

    -Yes, definitely, for sure. But probably not for a looong time. 😉
    -All sorts of stuff. Mostly that I’ll be alone for the rest of my life
    -I sure as hell hope not! Spiders are my worst nightmare
    -Yes, VERY, and quite envious of them as well. Gorgeous, Joey!
    -A great philosophical question to be passed down through the ages… but I would have to say “yes,” yes I do believe in giant cabbage. 😀

    Sorry you’ve been puny this week. I’m glad you didn’t get all that other yucky stuff that usually comes along with your cold sores.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. SwittersB says:

    Lovely roses and clematis….lovely, anxious you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I remember when I discovered the word anxiety. It was a revelation. Like you, for me it’s cyclical, but the older I get the greater the swings. Especially since menopause. Is that common do you suppose? I can always tell when I’m about to get a hot flash because I get this jolt in my gut. A burst of adrenaline, as if I’ve had a fright. One-two-three Mississippi’s later and sure enough. I’m hot.

    Yes, my anxiety lies to me. When my husband and I quarrel, I brace for the divorce papers. When he gets sick, I brace for my widowhood. Today it’s hotter’n stink and he’s outside putting vinyl siding on the sunny side of the house. I expect sunstroke is imminent. When my BP measured 157/100 at the emerge the other month? I lost sleep three nights running.

    I have some idea what you are dealing with. You have my sympathy. Especially given the nature of our medical support system. HA! WHAT MEDICAL SUPPORT SYSTEM?!

    Sorry for the outburst.

    I agree with the Mister. Sleep/rest is vital. We woman need more than men, too.

    Now, about those posies. I love that you can find the glory in your world when spiders are gnawing on your nose. But I must confess – I never heard of giant cabbage. Pumpkins, yes. Slaw? Nope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG, thank you.
      I was so pathetic last evening, I asked The Mister, “If I am dying, you’ll do everything you can to make me comfortable, right?”
      Yes, I have read several articles that associate anxiety with hormones, and many women claim once menopause was over, so were their symptoms. I’d like to be one of those women.
      Yeah, the BP thing would drive me nuts, and of course, it would increase my BP!
      I’m going to pay better attention, to see if anything happens to me before a hot flash. All my hot flashes are in the evenings, which I find odd. I previously had the cold achies as a result of hormone fluctuations, and believe it or not, I didn’t prefer them. The hot flashes are quicker and I just stuff ice packs around me (or Moo does.) Plus, winter is my friend when I have hot flashes, haha! I do not look forward to hot flashes in public. Any chance I’ll die instantly from hot and embarrassing?
      I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this comment. — And the link, I’ve read those articles, too.
      Flowers always cheer me up 🙂
      I’ve never seen a giant cabbage either. I’ll have to take pictures and scan in that flyer that came with Sassy’s seedling, cause it’s hard to believe…


  15. I don’t know if I believe in Giant Cabbage or not, but I do believe you have made me laugh and that is always good. The flowers are gorgeous, so impressed. I was moving rocks and pavers today and I saw a wide variety of spiders. They were not having a circus on my face though. It might have caused me to have a LOT of anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You have very nice flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Benson says:

    You do a good HARRUMPH. I am truly sorry that you aren’t feeling well. Maybe you’re one of those creative crazy kinds. That’s all I got. I am very jealous of your green thumb. and your pictures. When my spiders used to crawl they used to tell me to beware of all things green. Maybe that’s why I can’t grow anything. Or why I can’t hang on to money. Well anyway Good Luck with your Giant Cabbage. I hope you make some great sauerkraut.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Love how you wrote what seems just a
    Stream of thoughts unfiltered. Since my mum died of cancer I have regular morbid thoughts on what my pains are all about and I don’t tell anyone that. I believe I am
    Going to die at least once on a plane flight ie I have ‘that’ experience where my life flashes before my eyes. I used to believe the grim reaper stood beside my bed when I was a kid. In fact reading this back I may well have issues lol

    Liked by 1 person

  19. markbialczak says:

    Your roses and clematis look striking, Joey. And, like Carrie, I am getting my introduciton to clematis here. Here’s where I have to admit is sounds like a cross between an STD and a clam/tomato juice mash-up. Sure looks pretty, though.

    Sure your death is imminent. Mine, too. We all have so much more to worry about, though. Sorry you are panic attacking these days, my friend. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. ouidepuis1 says:

    I have always been really good at not getting anxious or worked up or stressed or worried about anything. I would always think “oh well, there’s always tomorrow”.
    Until this Christmas.
    I had been without work and therefore income for months (I’m not entitled to benefits). The bf is in uni but has a lot of money in the bank. But that won’t last long when you’re deeding two people fulltime… So I spent many a night staring at the ceilin, dozing in and out of sleep that wouldn’t be blissful in any way shape or form.
    The yoga and breathing exercises my mum taught us as kids ‘for fun’ helped (a little). Focusing on your breathing and making yourself push away any thought is freeing. Have you tried something like that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, that’s actual stress, your financial situation.
      What I have is a disorder that makes my body respond to normal life as stress. So yes, things like focusing on breath, meditation, yoga, exercise, sleep — all useful, and essential, but there is no cure for the illness. I’ve come a long way in the last 5 years, and am much better than I was.
      Am I the first you’re hearing of Generalized Anxiety Disorder?


  21. Anxiety is a bear. I can completely relate to how it just drains your energy. I have to say that it hasn’t phased your sense of humor or writing skills, though. You are hilarious! I also identify with the nighttime spider attacks. I sometimes wake up flinging covers and smacking at the sheets, too. I hope you get some rest and feel better soon. Your clematis and rose are gorgeous! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. jetgirlcos says:

    Sorry to hear about your rough week! And the spiders. Especially the spiders. yikes! Your flowers are absolutely gorgeous though, it seems that they are trying to be extra pretty to make up for your spider attack 🙂 I wish you flower filled, spider free weeks ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. meANXIETYme says:

    Oh Joey, I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing that horrendous health anxiety (and the panic attacks). How our bodies (and our brains) lie to us! It’s a travesty…a travesty I tell you! I send you good juju and happy thoughts. (And I do believe that our hormones are involved in the anxiety!)
    Your flowers are beautimous. I’m jealous because I don’t do flowers (cuz bees), but I will enjoy through your pictures (and my mom’s garden, cuz she’s got the green thumb like you).
    Feel better, friend Joey!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Susan says:

    My anxiety lies to me about my fear of failure. I like the Clematis more than the roses, don’t know why. And sleep, I’m not sure if I really sleep – I’m tired all the time. I love naps. I’m fifty and I still need a nap every day, even right after work. I hate cabbage and I love your post. I love this free form post!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: Buoyancy, Baggage and Beyond | bemuzin

  26. Sherry says:

    aww sorry you are suffering. I know a bit of what you speak of, but only in milder form. I was (not so much now) a worrier all my life, wasting a lot of time on “what if” crap. So I feel for ya there. By the way, you are a talented gardener. The roses look lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Prajakta says:

    Your clematis and roses are lovely ❤ I just hope that you get some good peaceful sleep in the coming weeks. Except for some time in the last few months, I have never "dealt" with anxiety… I don't know. Maybe I am cold or just learnt to separate different parts of my brain. Still deciding…

    Liked by 1 person

  28. My garden thrives on a sort of a benign neglect too. No room for high-maintenance anything in my life and the plants bloody well know it. I come out with my pruners and they suddenly perk up and behave themselves. I would like to tiptoe into your yard and avail myself of a rose cutting or two. Does that rose rebloom?
    Sleep fixes most everything. And it is tragically elusive for many of us. I notice a huge difference in my Jekyll and Hyde persona if I’m well-rested. Hope a good night’s sleep is ahead for you soon, Joey.


  29. cardamone5 says:

    Sorry for your anxiety and illness. It always interests me (sorry) to learn what makes other people anxious. No sleep is my trigger, and I assume it’s the same for everyone, but, obviously that’s not. It’s actually reassuring to hear because it means anxiety is not abnormal but universal and much broader than I think.

    Your roses and clematis are impressive. Nice job. Go ahead, take credit.


    Liked by 1 person

  30. hollie says:

    Sorry you’re feeling puny lately, Joey. I’m a little behind on my reading, so I’m hoping by now you’re feeling more like yourself. My anxiety doesn’t always manifest in a specific way. It isn’t like I’m fearing my imminent death or afraid of diseases I probably don’t have. I worry in specific ways, sure, but when anxiety overtakes me there is not always a boogeyman to point to. Sometimes I just feel anxious and I can’t tell anyone why or how long it will last or how to help. I just feel like the floor is about to fall out from my life, or something bad is about to happen. The other shoe is going to drop. I find myself holding my breath and even the most mundane tasks seem completely overwhelming. I think the Mister is probably right, though, that once you can sleep in and get into a less hectic summer routine you’ll start to feel less puny. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your anxiety with me. It sounds like hopelessness, when you write it out. Sounds awful.
      It’s much easier to cope with the health anxiety than it is the random sort. (For me.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • hollie says:

        I have a tendency to do the opposite when it comes to my health. Like if I avoid thinking about it, it will just go away. If I refuse to acknowledge a problem, it won’t be a big deal. I kind of hurt and feel crappy all of the time, so it is sometimes tough to tell if I just feel achy and crappy because that is how I normally feel, or if it is something else. Sharp pains in the general direction of my ovaries will get a “eh, I probably had a cyst burst.” Back pain will “hmm, wonder if I’ve got stones.” I did convince myself last year I had skin cancer (thankfully, it was not anything to worry about) but usually I’ll just will any ickiness away and just not deal with it. Not the best plan when your health is concerned, but it is what I do.

        Liked by 1 person

        • ” I kind of hurt and feel crappy all of the time, so it is sometimes tough to tell if I just feel achy and crappy because that is how I normally feel, or if it is something else.” <— that is how most people with anxiety feel.
          Even I try avoidance for awhile. lol

          Liked by 1 person

          • hollie says:

            I am not sure what I’d do with myself if I woke up feeling rested and awesome and nothing hurt! I’ve functioned well like this for so long that it is my normal. For me, the worst is when I wake up in a heightened state of anxiety. Sometimes I’ll wake up on the verge of a panic attack. I feel like that isn’t fair. I know you understand that, but it sucks to try to explain it to anyone else. “I don’t know, nothing happened, I just feel like this!”

            Liked by 1 person

  31. Luanne says:

    Lovely roses! Ugh, your description of anxiety sounds so familiar. I’ve developed a lot of anxiety in the past couple of years, and nights are the worst. Add a bad dream to that and . . . awful. I hope your spiders don’t show up in my bed tonight. And I also hope you can get some good, refreshing sleep soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Sounds like you have had a really tough time, Anxiety is cruel and heartless, and I am sorry it has made you feel so awful. On a lighter note, those roses and clematis are beautiful. How lovely to have those to look at when you go outside, 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Wow, I’m so amazed by your roses! Being a terrible gardner myself, I’m always in awe of anyone who can grow things successfully. I also do believe in giant cabbages — I’m hoping by the way that you mean a cabbage big enough to make a little house in. No pressure there, but I have high hopes for your cabbage planting skills, having seen how good you are with flowers 😉

    Sorry to hear you’ve not been well though. Anxiety is the absolute worse, I can totally sympathise. Hope you get more sleep and that the cold sore disappears very soon!


  34. Your flowers are truly beautiful, and I’m pretty sure your NOT dying (I’ve called my doc for fear I was having a heart attack when my anxiety was particularly bad – the EKG confirmed I wasn’t). But can I just say… what’s up with those sleep spiders anyway?!! I get visits from them often and even wrote a whole blog post about them (which I welcome you to check out if you ever want to compare notes.) I know they aren’t real, but they freak the hell out of me every time!

    Anxiety and exhaustion are a challenging combination, for sure. I do hope your anxiety subsides and that you are able to finally get some good spider-free rest!!


  35. Giant cabbages can easily hide cold sores until they disappear. Or if people visit, continually point out what phenomenal gardening talents you possess by highlighting your exquisite floral showcase.
    They really are stunning. Sleep better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. kirizar says:

    My anxiety tells me I have to do things…so many things that I get little to nothing accomplished while jumping through hoops for my imaginary fiend. (I am so stealing that phrase, which was a typo, for a book or story.) Last night involved hanging all of my object d’arts at the wrong height. I will need to start wearing high heels to compensate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      LOL 5’6″ at center or 3-6″ above furniture unless it’s a grouping, then who the hell cares, because I just eyeball it all and I love myself too much to wear heels!
      Anxiety is a bear!

      Liked by 1 person

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