Things my anxiety keeps me from doing

Anxiety and therapy

I’ve been in therapy for about a month now and I am finding it really beneficial. I might write a bit more about therapy later however I wanted to do a post on something that my psychologist asked me to do the other day. I was mentioning to her that I have found over the last few years, and especially recently that my anxiety feels like a roadblock or mountain sometimes when it comes to doing certain things that either I used to love doing or that I want to try. We talked about it for a while and she asked me to make a list to bring in for my next session of things that my anxiety has either prevented me from doing or stopped me from trying and I thought it was a great idea and would also make a good blog post as well.

She knows I blog, its something I told her right up front on our first session and she was really happy to hear that I blog and she mentioned in the last session as well that she thought it would be a good idea if I wanted to post it on my blog so I can keep a record of the things as I mentioned I am at a point right now where I really want to push through some of these fears and anxieties and give these things a try again or for the first time. We both figured it would be something very therapeutic for me to not only blog the list but also blog each step of tackling the list and the results so that in years to come I can reflect back on it if needed.

I had mentioned to her about going back through some of my old posts from some of my darker times and reading them and some of the posts since then to see how far I’ve come along over the years as well as remind myself that if I have been able to overcome all this before and live a life almost without depression or anxiety for a number of years that it is possible that I might be able to get to that point again with or without medications and give me a goal to look forward to and achieve.

1. Returning to school

One of the first things I would like to tackle and actually already am in the process of doing before even deciding to make this list, but that I am going to include is going back to school. It’s something I have wanted to do for a long long time. Before Eddie and I even got together. I have been wanting to do it so bad but I have been so anxious about the application process, funding and mostly the work itself and how I would be able to handle it, that I have literally been sitting on this for over 10 years letting it fester and annoy and confuse me. Everything that happened over this past 2 months has actually been a mixed blessing in disguise and has pushed me outside my comfort zone so much that making the decision and starting the process to act on it has been almost easy

I am applying as soon as my tax return money comes in, which I filed tonight. I’ve had a bit of an issue saving up the money but then earlier today I filed our taxes and realized I will have enough to apply from it. I netfiled our taxes so we should have the money direct deposited within two weeks. My EI for the last few months has been approved as well and backdated so that should help out. I am still having a lot of anxiety over the process of applying for the student loan/line of credit and also with doing some of the other things I need to do before I apply and have been putting them off. I need to update my name on my Alberta student ID account and Revenue Canada. So these things have been getting in the way some but I am determined to get them done before the end of the week. Goals.

2. Going skiing again

I have loved skiing ever since I was about 5. We used to go all the time in Europe and in Calgary when we lived there. I have also gone here as we have a ski hill about an hour away. I so badly wanted to go this year and though finances have been a big reason for not going and time to go as well has been an obstacle I think if I am absolutely honest with myself the biggest hurdle for me has been anxiety. Mostly about the shape my body is in, and by that, I don’t mean my size. I am not worried about that what I am referring to is the pain I am always in and the fact I get hurt fairly easily.

I missed my chance this year but I want to use the summer to get into a bit better shape, again not meaning losing weight so much as just building up my strength and endurance. Losing weight would just be an added bonus at this point as I have already lost some. One of the things that terrifies me the most about skiing is falling. I remember some of the falls and just getting up and shaking it off and I am scared that I won’t be able to do that now. What if I break something or end up back on crutches again? The hip injury I had the summer before last weighs heavily on my mind and makes me anxious. I think I am scared more over the fact that I will go and not be able to do it then not trying at all. I just don’t want that type of anxiety and fear to stop me from doing the things I love or trying new things.

3. Go river tubing

One thing I have always wanted to do but have always been really anxious about doing is going tubing on the Gaspereau River. We planned it last summer but because of my anxiety we never ended up going. I love the water. I love swimming and am not scared of the water and actually I kind of technically have gone tubing this past September on the Annapolis River but not really in the way that I mean. Tubing on the Gaspereau river you actually tube down the river on the tube quite a ways. What makes me anxious the most is the same thing I really had to overcome this past fall and really didn’t resulting in a kind of hilarious fail which I am now anxious about repeating

I am absolutely terrified of spiders and this fall I participated in a community race at Ciderfest in Bridgetown where we got into tubes off of a dock in the river and then using oars had to use them to get across the river to the other side, around a buoy and back to the dock. My anxiety at doing this is so high because the docks are full of dock spiders which are huge typically and the spiders tend to crawl all over the tubes. I managed to do it and get on and go all the way around the buoy and back (in last place) but not before trying to avoid the edge of the dock and jump on the tube, which resulted in me bouncing off it and landing in the frigid water in my clothes (it was the middle of September, a rather cold one at that).

Tubing the Gaspereau would be different and I am not really sure where we would get on the tubes and if there would be lots of spiders, but it still makes me so anxious just thinking about it, however, I can’t get it out of my mind and want to do it so bad. I am a bit scared and anxious about the water as well, I am told it is gentle but very murky and muddy which the Annapolis River was as well and I didn’t like that part much. I am absolutely determined I am going to do it.

4. Horseback riding

I used to horseback ride when I was younger and we lived in Germany and I enjoyed being around horses when we lived in Calgary though I didn’t ride as much, mostly just going to horse shows at Spruce Meadows. I really have been wanting to go horseback riding again. I would love to go on a trail ride. As much as it is something I really want to do anxiety (and weight) has kept me from doing it. Again it comes back to being anxious about failing, about not being able to get onto the horse or even worse falling off it Even though I am so much bigger (as in from a child to adult) then I was when I was a kid for some reason now horses seem so much bigger to me now then they did then. I am also anxious about getting kicked or hurt or stepped on. I am not sure my exact weight right now but I will have to look into finding places around to ride and see what their weight limit is and set it as a goal over the summer and maybe try and go riding in the fall.

5. Mud sliding

One thing Nova Scotia is known for is our tides and our sense of adventure and fun. Ever since I can remember, ever since I was a kid visiting here from other places, I have always wanted to go mud sliding. One of the best places to go is the Shubenacadie River. The tidal bores are pretty unique and when the tide goes out the muddy river banks make perfect places to go mud sliding. This is something I really want to do but at the same time, it really fills me with anxiety for a few reasons. The first one’s kind of dumb but basically I am anxious about ruining my clothes, the mud stains. Just wear old clothes right? Easy enough, except it still fills me with anxiety, I have no idea why. Secondly and a bit more of an actual problem is unless you do a full zodiak tidal bore tour and mud slide with them then really you have no access to a shower and well you need a car to get there and I have a brand new car (2019) and my anxiety goes through the roof when I think of all the mud in my car.

Obviously even someone without anxiety would feel the same but there is more to it than just the car and clothes. I am anxious about the tides even though I know you have to time it right and it’s not actually an issue but in my mind it is. I also am anxious about sliding down the bank and into a river that I might not know how deep it is or how fast-flowing, etc. Again, it’s not really an issue because you would not just go anywhere. You would go in certain places where everyone goes and you likely would not be alone as on a hot day the place would have tons of people, which for me causes some anxiety in itself. The whole bathing suit in public thing. Last year couldn’t care less but lately, I am getting more and more self-conscious at the idea which is weird because I never used to be.

No matter what I am determined that I am going to accomplish these things over the next year or two. I really feel like the only way to overcome the anxiety and fears is to confront it head-on and jump in feet first, carefully and safely obviously but still, just do it. Now, I’m at risk of sounding like a Nike commercial

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The job hunt & school

The photo has nothing to do with this blog post by the way. I just wanted to use one of my own photos for once. So far the job hunt is going okay. I hate the outbound call center stuff that I am doing from home plus they keep taking hours away as they are not busy at all and I have barely worked. I had applied to a bunch of other jobs at the same time as well as since getting it.

The day before yesterday I had an interview with one of the places I had applied to and it seems I may have gotten the job! It’s also working from home and was listed as “Transcriptionist” and basically it’ll be working for a company and taking inventory for moving companies from videos that were taken to determine what was needed for the moving job. So basically watch the video, listen to everything said but at the same time also take stock of what is shown as well unless told specifically not to and determine what the company will need to show up with on moving day.

A lot of big moving companies do it this way. I remember as a kid when we were moving each time Dad was posted somewhere either Dad taking our home video camera (this was before the days of digital) and filming the house or apartment we were in room by room or sometimes someone from the moving company would come a week or two ahead of time and do it. I remember loving to follow them around and seeing what they were up to. I remember trying to guess ourselves. Mom and Dad always made a game out of it. Something to distract me from moving to another province or country I guess but it usually worked.

Anyways, since I have been doing closed captioning on videos for some time now freelancing and also some freelance transcription work I am pretty sure I am going to enjoy this job. There will also be an opportunity for me to be cross-trained and take customer service and/or appointment booking calls as well. I don’t mind this so much as it’s no so call center-ish, more like a virtual assistant type job. I will be starting most likely on March 23rd as long as she gets the approval from the owner of the company and it’s a small company based in Ontario that is starting to grow fast it seems:) so that’s also good.

In the meantime, I am just doing freelance transcription and captioning through mostly just two different sites. I am not bringing in a lot but every penny counts and I am really loving it, to be honest. It just further cements me wanting to work from home while in school. I am saving up the money to apply. I have about half of it so far. My goals is by the end of next week to apply. There are still a few things I need to do. I need to update my last name for my Alberta Student Number as I was in school in Alberta back in the 90’s and have gotten married since then so I need to send them a copy of my marriage certificate next week.

Apparently I also have to update my info with Revenue Canada as well as somewhere years ago someone accidentally typed my name wrong into the system as Kirston and now it seems to be on some of my stuff coming from them and Kirsten on the rest of it. So I have to go through the process of faxing them my ID for them to update it. Again I will do that next week as well. So far though things are moving in the right direction and I am extremely happy about it. It’s a step in the right direction.

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Making a little extra money

Photo by Maitree Rimthong from Pexels
I don’t make any money off this blog at all and never will monetize it. It’s my personal blog. One day I hope to have a second blog that will be more of a niche blog that I have in the works. Well, I have an idea and a domain name anyways. This one’s not going anywhere. I just want one I can maybe make a little money off of, but in the meantime, while I get it set up and get it going and since I am practically jobless right now I am doing what I can to bring in any money that I can. I have a part-time job from home calling people for a market research company but it’s been a bit of a rocky start, to say the least, and not what I want to do. Obviously, school is still in the works so I have no student loan to fall back on and EI has not been approved yet and bills are piling up.

I mentioned in a previous post about transcribing and there was some interest in it and how I do it and how I got into it, so I decided to make a post about it and share some information on it and also on a few other sites I have been trying out with success so far. So first off, I started transcribing a number of years ago for a company my mom worked for. It was legal transcription. I have been doing it off an on for years and enjoyed it. Pay varied with the type of stuff I was typing but usually was about  $1.50 to $2.00 CDN a page. I could get about 25-30 pages a day so from about $37.50 a day to about $60 a day. Doesn’t seem like a lot, however when I started out I typed about 30wpm, now I am at 42wpm and increasing steadily. It went up for me to about $80 a day.

Not to bad for a job from home. I stopped doing it when I got a full-time position but after everything that happened in the last month with the bank, I decided that I wanted to transcribe again. I knew from before that there were some websites that pay you for transcribing, captioning and listening to calls. So I have made a list of 3 that I am using or trying out right now. I will update this post later with more information if it becomes available and might to more posts if I find more sites down the road. You will not get rich with any of these, in fact, sometimes it’s hard in the beginning to make money, but once you get going it can be a lot of fun and some extra spending money or money for bills.

Disclaimer: The only one I have personally gotten paid from yet is Rev.com as I have not been doing the other two long enough but in reviews online and looking up the companies online they have no major complaints and people have said they get paid on time. Also, none of the links on this page are paid links. I get nothing at all from them. This is simply just to let you know which sites I am using or trying.

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

Rev

Rev has both transcription and captioning jobs. By captioning, I mean basically closed captioning mostly YouTube videos. They also do translation as well. They pay by the audio/video minute, meaning they pay per minute of the video or audio, not the number of minutes you spend on it. This can suck but as you get better, you speed improves and you get used to it you can make some decent money. They pay by PayPal every Monday and you can make from $0.24 USD for basic transcription up to $0.90, and $0.45 to $0.75 for captioning up to $1.00 to $3.00 if you know another language and can do subtitles or translation.

In the past two weeks working only a few hours each week, I have made $37.09 USD. I am only doing small files at the moment and spending a lot of time on them to ensure the quality is really good before submitting so I am not really getting a lot done. I can confirm that I have gotten paid into my PayPal account and I have transferred it with no issues to my bank account. In fact, it paid for my hosting this year mostly. Once I get past the initial phase of it I am pretty sure it can bring in enough for me to make a small difference in our financial situation right now. One thing I have noticed is in the beginning stick with short files so that you can keep your metrics up and not run out of time to hit their targets. You can join or check them out here.

TranscribeMe

TranscribeMe is another one my mom recommended, she had heard good things about it from other transcribers. I have not yet been paid by them but reviews are decent. However, just a heads up, at the moment they are a little low on work it seems but I think it’s worth joining and just keeping the page open to grab whatever I can when I can. They say they start at $15-$22 per audio hour and top monthly earnings at $2,200 (average monthly earnings are $250). I think maybe this might be true when they have a lot of work and you are sitting there waiting for stuff and doing it as soon as it comes in. I do find the audio quality with the TranscribeMe files I have done much better than the transcription files for Rev and about the same as some of the caption files for Rev. You can request earnings at any time for the work completed on a weekly basis and it is paid via PayPal as well in USD.

Both Rev and TranscribeMe require an entrance exam but I found them fairly easy to pass. With Transcribe Me there are additional exams that will open you up to more work like legal, medical and translation as a few. You can join or check them out here.

Humantic

The last one I am going to talk about is called Humantic and it’s simple to join, you simply have to have or create a verified PayPal account and create/sign in with it. It’s also rather a simple concept, you listen to short calls, and categorize them for analysis for the companies. This one really doesn’t pay much, between $1 to $4.50 an hour, I think it’s in USD but couldn’t find anything to say for sure. I guess I will find out. If it is USD, CDN or AUS $ or some other form of $ once I get my first pay. You can request payment at $10 and it’s paid via PayPal as well. It’s really as simple as that. You can join or check them out here.

For the first two companies, I mentioned Rev and Transcribe Me, you are typing what you hear, so your typing skills are important. Don’t worry if you don’t type very well though as there are a lot of sites out there that help you improve your typing skills. My favourite one is Typing.com. They have a nice interface and some fun lessons, games and tests to help you build skills. I have been improving steadily and just working at these will improve your skills anyways.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. This blog as I said is a personal one so these kinds of posts are far and few in between but I thought it might be something that someone might enjoy.

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