Irene North


Some things you should know

If I were a cow, this would be me. Going where I’m not supposed to go to get something good. A part of the herd, but apart from the heard.

Life is very difficult for me right now. And I don’t use the word โ€œveryโ€ often.

After returning from a short vacation to visit my mom and not seeing everyone in my family that I wanted to, I have been working. Literally. It’s all I have done. I returned from vacation on June 27. I have had five days off since then. I can feel it. Something inside is about to break.

I’ve been working on a large project at work. I worry it’s not good enough. I check and recheck, and worry that my words might seem too similar to other people’s words except most of the things I’m writing about can really only be written one way. Writers can only be so creative before it all sounds the same. But I will check and recheck those words 100 times before my deadline and I will still worry.

On Sunday, August 6, I am going to read something I wrote in front of a bunch of strangers and a few friends. I have never done this before and I am terrified. If you are reading this on Sunday afternoon, I’m probably standing up in the Kimball Public Library trying not to vomit as I read a bunch of words I strung together.

Some people don’t understand anxiety. Others don’t want to. Anxiety makes my life harder than it should be. It hits when it wants to, not when it’s convenient for you.

I need to stop working so much. I sometimes feel I’m the only one that cares. So I do the work that needs to be done while the lazy do the minimum. I am rewarded with exhaustion.

Our country is turning to shit and many people don’t seem to care. We are now okay with a serial liar, a bully, a misogynist, a thief, a racist and possibly someone gravely mentally ill being our representative on the world stage. This is normal now and I don’t know why.

I don’t know what to say to people when their ignorance bubbles to the surface, especially given the nature of my job or if it’s a friend. In the middle of an interview at the Scotts Bluff County Fair, a nice, well-meaning person said they were worried about traveling to certain places, such as New York City and London because there are โ€œno goโ€ areas where it isn’t safe and the police are afraid to go. It’s all a lie. I was just in NYC. I went everywhere. But this person has bought the fear and lies shoveled out by the conservatives.

I am getting tired of people telling me if I am not their kind of Christian, I am a despicable human being. I am a patient person. I am an atheist. I don’t ridicule people I know for believing in deities, but it is getting more difficult to keep my mouth shut in the face of hypocrites.

We all wear a mask in public. Mine is a lot heavier than others and I’m getting tired of bringing it with me everywhere I go.

I need time alone to write all the things in my head and sort out what has happened in the past six weeks and where things are going to go with my life in the near future. Yes, that was a run-on sentence. No, I don’t care.

So, please excuse me if I really don’t want to do anything with any of you for a while. I need some time to myself to recover and start to feel normal again.


A walk down (mostly food) memory lane


When will you step up and speak out?


  1. Amber Schiltz

    Thinking of you today reading from your heart. You rock Irene, your resilience and unwillingness to bend who you are has always inspired me. Thanks for posting this, and continuing to be a steady rock of honesty in a such spurious times.

  2. Katrina Tylee

    Hang in there and find some alone time. It is invaluable.

  3. Amanda Gibbs

    I totally understand. It is why I didn’t cancel my trip next week despite everything going on. I’m near my breaking point again. Just hang in there and do the best you can. Remember to just take time to decompress.

  4. Alesia Hollmann Kaufman

    Hang in there Irene!! You need some good quality me time!!

  5. Judy Amoo

    Irene, I want to scoop you up and hug you! Breathe. Breathe deeper. Take solace in knowing you know who you are. Smile. believe you are loved. You are enough. Go to nature. Breathe. Repeat. ๐Ÿ’œ

  6. Karen Anderson

    Take care of you! You are delightful! You are very gifted in many ways! I will hold you in my thoughts!!!!

  7. Stacy Wilson

    I hear ya, sister. Come to yoga sometime. It might help. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Mindy Larson Baird

    Just know you are loved my dear friend! Take care of yourself! You are an inspiration to so many!

  9. Rae Ann Schmitz

    I understand anxiety. I have migraine headaches. On a physiological level both of these conditions respond well to magnesium. There is a magnesium product at Nutters (not available at Tamaraks), also probably cheaper online, called CALM, made by a company called Natural Vitality, a vegan, anti-stress drink that is easily absorb-able. It is a powdered drink that tastes good. I take some before every public event I attend. It was recommended to me by Dr. Roth. I am amazed how differently I feel when I remember to use it! You have made a lot of friends here. You are loved!

    • SoAppropos

      I second this. I have also used CALM, mostly when I feel jittery, which may be a form of anxiety, but for me, it’s an overabundance of scattered energy. CALM really does calm me right down. Good stuff.

  10. Betty Kelso Kenyon

    Be good to YOURSELF Irene.

  11. Candice Fisher Pederson

    Like we talked about before, I can completely understand about the anxiety. It never lets go and it’s even worse when you can’t get that alone time to yourself to recharge your battery. I’ve gotten to that breaking point before too.

  12. SoAppropos

    Sending love your way, Irene. I appreciate you very much, hope you feel better and more in balance soon. Stacy is right, check out her yoga class. It does help.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén