On Anxiety

So apparently it is mental health awareness day today, or so Facebook tells me. As you all know I suffer from anxiety and depression and it still sucks major ass. Lately I’ve kinda got a bit more of a grip on life thanks to a mixture of support, better organisation, medication and just life situations being a bit better. But I still struggle and in a way it’s even harder to deal with when it hits because when you’re feeling shit everyday it becomes routine but when you have been doing well and it just (often) comes out of nowhere it’s got that extra shock value. You feel like giving up. You feel like all that hard work was for nothing because the crap never goes away. But anyway, I digress. I’m writing this post because I feel like there are some things I would like to explain about my anxiety because I know they might not be obvious to other people. This is probably going to be pretty badly written and kinda rambley but I felt like I needed to get this out. I’m pretty sure that this post in incredibly cliche and a million people on the internet have already said the same things but damn it, it’s important to me so I’m gonna write about it!

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  • Trust me- I know it’s annoying when I cancel on you. It annoys me too and I hate having to cancel on people and it often makes my anxiety worse for a while, sometimes even sending me into a panic attack. When I cancel on people I often feel like they then hate me. I worry that you think I’m just making excuses when I say I’m having a bad mental health day. But sometimes I literally can’t leave my house, my room or even my bed. I would love to be out having fun with you but I sometimes can’t. Which leads me on to my next point…
  • Please don’t exclude me from plans. I know it’s frustrating when I cancel on you a lot but even if you think I’m not going to come please still invite me to events. That inclusion helps ease the fears that people don’t like hanging out with me and are mad at me for cancelling on them. It’s nice to feel like someone is thinking about you.
  • I can’t just “not worry” about it. Worrying is what I do. Even the smallest little worry can easily blow up into a massive worry. Telling me not to worry about something often adds to the worry and sends me spiralling into an introspective state where I start worrying about my inability to stop worrying about the thing I was originally worrying about.
  • I’m sorry I say Sorry a lot. Another thing that my anxiety causes me to do that I know is annoying and I wish I could stop. If I do something that I think is wrong or has upset you I will worry about it for ages, even if it’s a tiny thing and I will say sorry way more that you think is necessary. There’s a good chance I will message you later in the day to say sorry again. I know it’s annoying, sorry!
  • Yep- I am a confident person with anxiety. I’m pretty sure most people who know me would describe me as confident, outgoing even. I mean I’m fairly loud both literally and in how I present myself physically. But surprisingly confidence and anxiety can coexist in a person. I know, it’s confusing for me too. It’s a super frustrating experience for me. When I’m in a bad patch of anxiety, especially if it’s to do with some sort of social event, I often get very self critical, thinking back over all the parties I’ve attended recently or speeches I’ve given or new friends I’ve made. And it’s super frustrating- it’s like there’s two of me- the confident me and the anxious me. The fight and it sucks and I can’t really explain it but it’s so shitty to have to live with!

And breathe. That was pretty intense to write and I’m sorry if it makes absolutely no sense. There are so many more points I could raise but I’m gonna stop now because ironically writing this is making me very anxious. Just remember- you can never tell what a person is going through. Be compassionate.

Toodles.

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Time To Get My Shit Together

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Time for yet more honesty and opening up from this chick. Things are still pretty tough right now. I’m still struggling with uni, social situations are still tricky and there are still days where I can’t even get out of bed. But I can see improvements. I’m only having to apply for an extended deadline for one essay. I just got a first on a presentation in class. I’ve been out with friends a lot more. I just went away for the weekend to Bristol for a meetup. I am trying and it is working. I’m an impatient person and I wanted things to be better just like that but the realist in me knows that’s not how things work. There’s no magic wand that can fix my mental health. But there is medication, therapy, friends, family, eating well, positive thoughts and actions. I might never be free of this but a mixture of those things sure will help.

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It’s coming up to summer break now and I want to work on making more positive life changes so that third year will be the best yet. I’m a typical Virgo so I love making lists so here’s a list of things I want to do over the summer that I think will vastly improve my state of mind:

❤ Read at least 3 books– I have been having massive problems with concentration lately and I used to be such a book worm so I think working on getting back into reading will really help this.

❤ Have the house tidy AF– My part of the house is embarrassingly messy. I put this down to my depression and my general messy habits. But enough is enough. I am fed up of this and I am going to make this place organised and spotless!

❤ Sort out my clothes– My style has taken a bit of a U-turn lately and I have brought a lot of clothes to go with that… most of which are living in a suitcase cause my wardrobe is full. I need to let go of things that don’t fit and things that don’t make me feel fabulous as hell.

❤ Get back into blogging– Hey I’m making a good start on this already! I’m not going to set myself any massive goals but if I’m blogging at least once a week I will be happy. I have a whole list of things I want to write about so hopefully that will keep me going.

❤ Sort out my sleeping pattern– because going to bed at 3am every night really fucks with my head.

❤ Practice my spirituality more– I have a new, beautiful pack of oracle cards I brought over a month ago that I still haven’t touched. I need to get back in touch with the earth and my soul.

❤ Stop biting my nails– I did achieve this goal for a while, then things got stressful again. I want to get to a point where my nails are so nice I wouldn’t even dream of ruining them.

 

So there we go. This summer I’m gonna get my shit together. I’m not saying I’m going to be all better and hunky dory but I am determined to get myself in a better head space than the one I’m in now.

Thank you for bearing with me!

Toodles!

 

Breaking My Silence

Okay, time to be honest. I haven’t been very well lately and I am really struggling. It’s taken me a really long time to come to terms with this and actually reach out for help and give myself a break. I suffer from depression and anxiety and have done since I was about thirteen or fourteen. I didn’t know what was going on back then but that was what it was then and what it is today.

Back in my first year of uni in early 2014 I tried to get some help but gave up too easily and just tried to keep pushing through, constantly exhausting myself and making excuses for not meeting up with my friends or attending my classes. However this year I decided I have had enough and went to the doctors and got a formal diagnoses and some help. My doctor was really lovely and a felt like I could open up and be really honest with her about how much I have been struggling to just survive. I sound like I am being over-dramatic but trust me I’m not. That’s how it can feel for people with depression- you just loose the will to live and find basic everyday tasks like getting food and having a shower virtually impossible. When you throw anxiety into the mix it makes things ever more frustrating. I panic and worry about all these things I could and should be doing but the depressed voice in my head tells me that it’s not worth the effort anyway and there’s no point even trying. It’s a constant contradiction and it is so tiring to go through again and again.

I’m currently on some medication to attempt to sort out the chemical imbalance in my brain that is causing the depression so I can start working on coping strategies to overcome the anxiety. Annoyingly right now after five and a half weeks the tablets are making my anxiety much worse and my mood hasn’t really lifted that much overall. However I’m not going to give up, there are different doses and different medications that work best for different people. I was so scared to go on medication because it felt like giving in but it’s not like that at all. It’s a super strong thing to do. It’s stepping up and saying “hi, I need help, I can’t fix this illness with sheer willpower” and there’s nothing wrong with that. Depression is an illness and just like any other illness you deserve to get the right treatment for you so you can live your best life.

I’m having a pretty good day today which feels pretty weird as I have been feeling so shit lately. It makes me feel somewhat guilty which I know is ridiculous. My rational brain hates this illness. To combat that guilty feeling I decided to write this post to share my truth and let other people know they are not alone. I also hope if you are one of my friends reading this it explains why I have been so distant lately. Since being open and honest with myself I have felt so much less pressure.

My university has been amazingly helpful since I told them how bad things have been for me. I have an extended deadline for my work as I literally cannot focus on anything, not even a movie, on a bad day. The living support team and my personal tutor have been amazing at pointing me in the right direction and letting me take things at my own pace. My friends and family have also been way more understanding than I ever imagined. I know that won’t be the same for everybody but you never know until you speak up.

Speaking up can be the hardest thing for some people, let alone people with mental health conditions but it really does lift so much pressure from you to just tell someone and start down that path to a better life. I don’t know if I will ever be fully better but I do know that things can improve. I will always have good days and bad days but being open about my depression and anxiety means that people know why I’m acting the way I am, even if they don’t fully understand it. Anyway, I’m going to stop rambling on now. I hope this blog post explained some things and maybe gave some people some hope. Thank you for reading this far. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.

Toodles.