Being Honest

Right now I have the urge to procrastinate. Every muscle. Every thought. Every impulse is pulling me away from writing this. Whatever ‘this’ is? But like how a child clings to her mum or dad with their little arms, not wanting to let go or like those cartoons when it’s really windy and your grabbing onto a lamp-post, here I am.

So what is it that makes me sit here? Somehow destined to write ‘something’ but I don’t know what. Well let’s find out shall we.

I don’t know about you but I find it hard to be completely honest here. I’m not talking about lying or what people may call ‘hiding’. But remember I’ve been conditioned by society to be a closed book. Just like you. That it’s somehow impolite to release that darkness in hope of light.

Take one of the most annoying things that happens all the time! So, you’re  pretty depressed. Right now you’re not in the mood for people. Let alone polite society conversations. But, you have to or supposed to rather answer that question. Yeh that question. Polite but does anyone actually care? How are you?

If you’re like me. Perhaps you’re not, but let’s go with it. You feel obliged to make some effort in your response. Especially since I get so entangled in judgement, but to that stuff later. So, I have to grab around my mind for an answer. And usually I get the same one. I smile as much or as little as I can bear and say the word fine. Because after all this is just a phatic conversation or what the Americans call ‘small talk’ which purpose is to create this illusion of meeting the other persons’ needs.

Yes, an illusion. Sometimes when we ask this question to others we expect a short response too. If I’d just met you and you asked me How are you? and I said Crap, everything is going all wrong. [Sobs] I’m constantly fighting myself. My therapist says I have Social Anxiety, Generalised Anxiety, Emetophobia… Things would get really awkward very quickly. The same thing goes with blogging.

To you I haven’t gone anywhere. Well within words. But in between writing the above: I’ve survived a driving lesson which consisted mainly of information bombardment; played the indecisive food game which meant a trip to the supermarket; temporary been distracted by family coming home and have been engaged by the parade of negative thoughts stomping in my head. So you could say my flow has been trampled on. That and it left it wide open to temptation to leave this post undone.

So here is for the honesty talk – oh no [shrinks back into chair and looks blankly at the screen]. There is a certain bravery to reveal your whole self. And perhaps in this way it feels as if a more flawed version of me – because well I’m anxious and depressed. I’m not suddenly write a of list how amazing I am. You know as well as I when you have to talk about yourself when your depressed to someone your brain doesn’t even count the positives. In fact it’s like they go whoosh past our minds. It’s kind of like all the positives are hidden under some Harry Potter style invisibility cloak.

I think more than anything else. I feel choked with expectations. Society’s expectations. The ones we want to defy but then get sucked into. I’m alone most days. Even just saying that makes me feel an attention seeker. The same way sometimes I’m made to feel like when I’m talking about my anxiety.

I feel trapped in my house, yet I feel utterly powerless about it. It makes me grudging and all the things I don’t want to be made out of. I say I’m only 18 as if it would be some sort of excuse for something. I decided University was not for me. I was eager to be a writer and a young business woman.

I finished school on a very anxious note. My anxiety had just reached a new level I had never experienced before. I was totally at sea, and although I told people about my anxiety and had done some CBT it wasn’t really taken seriously by my school. So, now I know before one of my exams I experienced some form of hallucination. But before you get freaked out it was when I was asleep. Apparently I was inbetween sleep and consciousness. I was having a nightmare that I was failing my exam. I felt like I was really taking the exam, but I could also see my room. Plus the nausea was horrible, especially with my fear of being sick.

But back to the other situation. I don’t know if you are in the same position as me? Isolated. Completely isolated. I’m trying. I swear I am. Making friends when you’re socially anxious without school is difficult. Everything is up to you. You have to go searching for it. So, although I do voluntary work once a week to combat my worries. I am looking for a ‘normal’ job because that’s what I ought to do. Plus it makes conversations go flat very easily.

But I always get in a muddle when I really think about jobs. Yes you earn money. Yes that’s well and good. You need money to live in this world. But the actual reality of work is that you experience the same world over and over then to get to a hard part. We’re told by society you either go to university or get a job. Then it changes to get a job.

Then your forced into this circle for life, where most of us are just chasing money with no real happiness. Doing things we didn’t want to do, for little pay.

Anyway. The fact that I’m unemployed makes me feel tainted. Looked down on by society. I’ve nearly reached a thousand words. So, I will write another honest post soon!

I love you. And if you liked my honesty post please give it a LIKE. Please do SHARE if it will help someone else. Congratulations you have managed to get to the end of my long rant! All the love and hugs xx

Anxiety Diaries: 20th February 2015

I want to write, but don’t. My idea for this blog was not to influence people with my well-known pessimism or sarcasm, but to show a positive journey of overcoming anxiety. Let’s just say it’s not going to plan. And I have forgotten all the witty lines I thought of putting on here about an hour ago. In someway I feel I failed. But I guess you’re gonna hit some bumps on the road, stupid potholes! Humph

One word for today… overwhelmed. It was one of the gradual incline days. You know the ones your perfectly fine well ish and then something catches you? Cue emotional breakdown. You feel like you have reached what everyone has called Rock bottom. This must be it you think. What it’s meant to be like? If depression in height is the bottom then this must be where I am. I had been alone in the house, enclosed in its walls that I have almost become part of the furniture (is that a line from Oliver!?). Then some weird symptom has had me freaking out. It just set me off. But am I  at rock bottom, the invisible metaphorical place?

Well here is the glitter of positivity. Which has now just astonished me. It’s weird what can happen when you write. Today we walked, when I say ‘we’ I mean my mum and I to a cafe. Frustrated we couldn’t get into the cafe (hungry mind) with a view because a random wedding party was crammed in there. We headed back to the car. I noticed mum trudging beside me her eyes straight on the dull pavement ahead. She was missing it! The view was just there, beautiful and yet she was distracted by the ugly concrete slab. When I told her this she almost shuck her head in realisation. There while she was not looking, were clouds that looked as if they were the shading of a masterpiece not my reality. Perplexing nature, birds swooping down to the water logged marshes. Formed pools gleaming in the light which escaped the veil of the clouds. It was all there.

So, although I’ve had a good cry and have not been the perfect role model I wanted to be. This is my lesson of the day. Look at the view. It’s beauty. The many complexities. It’s already there. We’re just not turning our heads to it. Why is the concrete more appealing? Concrete is dull, man made it swallows everything up and paralyses.

Considering I like my metaphors. Not an English geek or anything – pah? Concrete can be our suffering, anxiety, depression, society’s opinion either way it encases us and draws us away from reality. The view is who we really are. I know beautiful is an over used adjective so I will find another. Ambrosial check that out! You are complex, human with all added complications and perhaps you and I with an extra helping. But, who doesn’t like an extra helping to an amazing desert?

I don’t need to know you to know how delightful you are. You are. Like the view you may be waterlogged with thoughts, have a few muddy areas underfoot, but when you look UP. The wider picture it’s there staring you in the face!

Hello Anxiety

LIKE & SHARE this post if you enjoyed reading it! Here is today’s virtual hug from me. Love you all xx

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Anxiety Diary: 18th February 2015

Anxiety is a weird thing?

It’s like when you’re trying to fit your whole wardrobe into a suitcase, right? Of course you knew that you put too many things in the first place, but you need your spare pair of… just in case.

So, you sit on it. Use your ‘multitasking’ skills to jump on it like a monkey hoping the momentum will allow you to snap it shut or zip it whatever. That’s kind of what my anxiety is like at the moment. Overwhelming!

The excess clothing is like the excess thoughts just wanting to burst out. Or rather that I’m filling myself up, packing and packing until I can no longer deny all those thoughts. I can no longer close the suitcase and hide all the contents to the people I fear will judge me.

This passed while has been the toughest. Anxiety has taken over my body and it was no longer a matter of just trying to combat my thoughts. My stomach is constantly tense live wire. Scratch that my whole body is, especially my tummy! Appetite is playing hokey pokey, I can’t stop thinking about food being able to eat – not being able to eat. You know the what ifs.

My whole digestive system is playing a bad game of Tetris paused. I feel obligated to people all the time. My thoughts ring past me in a negative swarm constantly. Let’s just say for the first diary entry that I don’t feel all that good and there is hardly a minute goes by without feeling anxious.

However, yesterday I achieved something big. Well for me anyway. Normally, I’m the hide under the rock type. If you don’t know already I have social anxiety, so getting invited to places ordinarily has me in a worry frenzy. And it takes me ages to make a decision whether to say yes or no. On one hand for me, is the obligation I feel I have for the person inviting me and the other terrified voice that is telling me not to go or something really bad will happen. So, I seek reassurance from my family, hoping they would make the decision for me.

I think I will let you into my mind a second. When I get invited to something it takes over everything. All I can think about. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat constantly. For hours I will procrastinate, not make a decision. During that time I’m imagining all that could possibly go wrong or how awkward I’m going to be. I’m scared about being scared. My whole body feels a wreck. An annoying circle.

Yesterday being pancake day, I was invited to a social gathering – if that’s what you call it (I had challenged myself by joining a Church group to make some friends, scary stuff). My appetite has been low, my stomach tighter than anything and I can’t stop obsessing over what I eat so, I was really anxious that I would have to eat something when I was there and what then they would think of me. Or if I forced myself to eat it and be sick. That and all the social stuff… what will I say? Do I look ok? What happens if there is an awkward silence? Will they judge me etc?

Guess what? I had a good time! And I was able to say no! Two things I thought would never happen. I also started conversations and focused on asking others questions. Although my stomach is still in knots as I type, in a small way things are getting better in all the worseness!

This is the first of my anxiety diaries, so I should get the hang of it. Hopefully I will be able to open up more the more I do it, so I can show what it is like to live with anxiety! Thank you for reading and here is a virtual hug from me. It’s not easy. No matter what way you experience it. But we’ll get there, I know we will.

Hello Anxiety xx

Please remember to like it if you enjoyed, share it to spread the word!

New Year: Put 2014 Behind You

 

So here’s the honest truth. Somehow in the spider web of the unimaginable Internet universe you have landed on this blog. Looking for something. Searching for something.

If you want some pre-wrapped article with all the leftover Christmas paper and all, I’m sure there’s plenty of them that will tell you weird facts on New Year or an article to make you green with envy with some celeb glitzy party. But, today I’m thirsty for the truth, earnestness. Aren’t we all?

Everyone expects a philosophical answer on New Year’s New Year’s day. For whatever reason New Year’s has us feeling stripped bare. Taken away from the blurry distractions of droll routine. We feel forced to assess our success. It’s this weird emotion.

It’s like when you learnt about magnets at school and kept playing with the same poles that couldn’t attract. Between the repelling forces was an invisible orb that defended the truth. And in a way that’s what the feelings like.

You heard the saying two negatives don’t make a positive. You still with me? In my own mind of whirring cogs, I have decided just now on the notion. During this time when we strip search our minds from the last day of December to January. Walk through the electronic doorway thingy. Pulled aside with a beckoning finger and a tray of all last year’s crap.

Back to the magnet simile. The poles repel because they are the same – opposite attract. Because we have a double negative aka the labeling of a failure. Searched ourselves for the bad. We decide to take the tray of crappiness with us. Somehow fearing what it would be like if we just left it.

Soon we have a list of everything we haven’t done. Soon the thoughts feel written on our skin and wriggle under. Regret flashes through our veins. Or bad events come back to your brain like a rerun of a bad sit-com. But, instead you can feel those emotions again.

May be this is just me? Who when the numbers begin to role from 10 all the way down to one, has the urge to pull it back. That when the TV rolls the fireworks on the London eye. When I stay awake till 12, always under the illusion that, that one minute into the New Year something big is going to happen. I don’t know the presenters jump out the TV. For me to feel whole and glad. There is that always want for something.

I don’t know. May be it’s all just hype. More money in others’ pockets. Think about it. Supposed New Years traditions (I never have done this by the way) are to get drunk and kiss someone at 12 o’clock. Whether you did one or the other both. Or perhaps if you are like me neither. Both show a need to feel complete and whole in some way. An aversion to these feelings.

In some ways it feels we are back to square one after having climbed and scrambled through the year. So, what is the truth. New Year merely hides the truth of everyday. Most of us are overwhelmed with this sense of change as the minute passes. But, we forget about the days and weeks. Perhaps we should not just be really thinking in years, but living for the days!

Wherever you are now reading this. Don’t miss out on the good of last year. And don’t let the bad cast a shadow. You may have made mistakes. I sure did. But, good. Now we know at least this year our decision making might improve!

You can do anything. After all as scared as I was to write this blog. Went and procrastinated, I did it. So, here is to not letting the past stop you!

7 Different Types of Anxiety

  These days there is a word for everything. Take erinaceous which means ‘like a hedgehog’. Yep congratulations if you got that one, but seriously there is a word for that? Why? Because we humanoids like to define everything otherwise, it is becomes an unknown. And boy are we people screamish of unknowns.

So, that is why for me… Little anxious girl, was somewhat weirdly to say it relieved (lets out breath) when I was told I had social anxiety. This would be when I would use the metaphor it opened my eyes. It seriously did. It made things sort of add up.The anxiety wasn’t just a dark googly monster in the corner of my mind. Or this phantom that no-one else thought was real.

I will let you into a secret of what I learnt. You can’t just put yourself in one box i.e. for me social anxiety. You might experience a combination of them at some point.

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

For short GAD, is the most common type of anxiety. This is when you have been feeling anxious for over a long period of time (for a minimum of 6 months). Often you find it hard to remember when you last felt relaxed. And as a result get mental and physical symptoms such as: irritability, difficulty concentrating, continual worrying, muscle tension, headaches.

Basically if you are feeling constantly anxious, worried or stressed whether be physically or mentally, perhaps both – to the point where it is having an effect on your life you might have GAD.

Please do click on the following websites for some good information on GAD and symptoms:

2. Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is often mistaken as shyness – trust me I know. It is also a common anxiety – so you are definitely not alone. It is the fear of people and social situations.
 
You fear judgement from others. Scared of being rejected or talked about. It is having the fear that somehow you are going to embarrass yourself in front of others. This then has an impact on your everyday life. Perhaps it prevents you from doing things like talking to someone on the phone or going shopping.
 
Please clicky on the link below to find out more about social anxiety and symptoms:

3. Panic Disorder

At some point we all will feel panicked. In fact at least 1 in 10 people have panic attacks now and then. But, panic disorder is the recurrence of panic attacks and about 1 in 50 of us suffer from this. It is no wonder that panic attack after panic attack can leave with this cloud of doom and fear.

 If you think this is you please find more information on the NHS Panic Disorder


4.Agoraphobia

According to my anxiety book the term Agoraphobia is Greek for the fear of the market place. Which makes sense when agoraphobia is the fear for busy, claustrophobic and crowded places, right? 
 
Like most anxieties we are anxious in order to protect ourselves – likewise with agoraphobia. The majority of people who suffer from this at one point from another have experienced a terrifying panic attack that has resulted in you wanting to stay at home – a safe place.
 
If you want to find expert information on agoraphobia click on the following links…

5. Phobias

Undoubtedly we all know what a phobia is. We all usually have one. Of course the usual line up of phobias are: spiders, heights and snakes. Yes those people couldn’t last in I’m a Celeb. All it is, is an irrational fear of some thing that can cause a lot of anxiety and panic. 
 
If  you want to find more about phobias or a phobia you particularly have, you might want to virtual take a ride over to these sites:

6. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I’m pretty sure you have come across the acronym PTSD and this is it. You may know this already but PTSD is cause of an event that has been distressful and traumatic. It is important to remember that PTSD can develop soon after the event, but it can also be years after it.
 
These events can range from natural disasters to violent attacks to accidents. An occasion that has been fight and flight and truly terrifying. Naturally when events such as this happen in our lives they can have a profound impact on us. For PTSD you may relive this event or become anxious when things remind you of this event 
 
If you are suffering from the result of a distressing event or want to simply know the symptoms, please take a look at these:
 

7. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

People often associate OCD with this idea of extreme cleanliness. However, this is not always case and disregards the depth of reasoning for each individual.  OCD is when you feel overwhelmed with scary, intrusive thoughts, images or impulses that conclude with the urgent need to perform certain actions to protect yourself.
 
If you want to learn more about the symptoms of OCD here are some useful links:

If you feel you suffer from any of these anxieties please go and see your GP. Talk to someone. Tell someone you trust. Here are some helpful sites in this particularly baffling time: