A Day In The Life Of………

I wanted to share with you what it’s like having both anxiety and depression. An outgoing personality but anxious mind. Of course, this is just what it’s like for me. It’s my personal account of my thoughts and feelings. Not everyone experiences these issues the same. What affects one person may not be a problem for someone else. It’s not a one size fits all. Everyone suffers differently. It’s an extremely broad spectrum and we are all unique. Having said that, we are nevertheless, part of the very unwelcome and ever growing club of sufferers who battle everyday, most of the time without anyone knowing or fully understanding. So here’s an insight into what my experiences are. Waking up with dread sometimes, not wanting to face the world. Knowing you have to putting on a brave face, a facade, a show that everything is fine. The constant feeling of worry and panic. For me, it’s not even about something catastrophic happening, just a general worry about everything. Over analysing, over thinking situations, outcomes, conversations. Questioning everything. Doubting everything. The sheer paranoia that you start to feel. Thinking your being watched, judged, criticised. Thinking everyone will abandon you because of how you are, that you’re just too much hard work and a burden on everyone. That everyone around you will give up on you. That you don’t deserve what you have and don’t deserve to be happy. The feeling of letting everyone down, being a failure, a disappointment. Feeling inferior, unworthy. Not being able to focus or concentrate. A disoriented disconnection from reality. Unable to find calm or to relax. Like you’re on a rollercoaster that you can’t get off of. On edge, fidgety, restless, jittery. When you can’t sleep, just laying for hours awake. Or waking up constantly through the night. Your mind on overdrive. Feeling exhausted and drained everyday. The need to be doing things all the time to keep busy so that you don’t let your mind take over. Wanting to just be alone but not on your own. The sudden urge to just get away and not be around anyone but then the loneliness of realising you want to be alone. Feeling isolated, trapped in your own mind, a prisoner. When you want to see friends and go out to have fun but the overwhelming dread of making plans or arranging to go out, sudden changes in plan or routine will set my panic into overload. Not wanting to go anywhere or see anyone or leave the house. Not wanting to be anywhere crowded or busy. Having to spend hours mentally preparing for the times that you do go out. The constant need to be in control of things, wanting everything to follow a plan or pattern, having to stick to routine so rigidly. When you have to have things done a certain way and then feeling that you have to do everything yourself because no one else will do it properly. Negative, intrusive and irrational thoughts. Horrific thoughts that enter you mind even though you know they’re bad and ridiculous. Your mind playing tricks on you constantly. (I won’t go into detail in this blog about my thoughts, that’s another blog entirely.)
It’s the wanting to shut yourself away and hide. Feeling that there’s no point to anything. That you don’t matter. But not only is there the mental and emotional pain and torment, the sheer draining exhaustion, it’s the physical pain aswell that comes with the stress you put on your body by living this way. I’ve had excruciating, crippling pain in my stomach for years which comes and goes. Some days it’s worse than others. After countless doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, scans, tests and a laparoscopy, it’s still deemed as ‘unexplained’ the medical profession can only put it down to stress and anxiety. It’s a very long uphill climb when you reach your lowest ebb and hit rock bottom. But it’s so important to know that as much as you feel alone, you really aren’t. 1 in 3 people now suffer with some form of mental health issue including depression and anxiety. There is so much help and support available. It does get easier, there are ways to feel better and to overcome your issues. It’s not a quick fix, it’s a gradual day by day, baby step kind of process but it’s so important to take those steps if you want to make a change and move forward. You don’t have to go through it alone. We are stronger together. It’s ok to not be ok.

Together We Are Stronger

Do you ever get days when you feel totally rubbish but you can’t put your finger on why? When It can be hard to explain how you feel. You just don’t feel yourself. When you want to say so much but just can’t talk at all. It’s not that there is anything particularly wrong as such but you’re just not right. For whatever reason every colour of your rainbow has faded to grey. When you get days where you’re so emotional and exhausted and feel like the world is on your shoulders. When you’re frustrated, agitated, restless. When you’re mind isn’t at peace. When the mask goes on and you have to put on a front. When everyday you have to pretend everything is ok. When you look after everyone else but yourself. People on the outside would never know that secretly you’re screaming from within. The days when you wish you could be invisible and shut the world out. When you want to be alone but not on your own. Sound familiar? Please know that you’re not alone. You are not weak. You are not a machine or superhuman. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be vulnerable. But actually it’s usually the bravest, strongest people that can suffer the most. Because they’ve been so brave and so strong for too long. For me, the combination of an outgoing personality and an anxious mind is a constant torment. 40 million suffer with some form of anxiety and depression affects 1 in 3 people. It’s so important to talk about it. Or at least just write things down. I find it easier in words than to say it out loud. Don’t let it eat you up inside. It will get easier, you will find your spark again. Together we are stronger.

The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful

There’s something good and beautiful in everyday. Even if you think you’ve had a rubbish day or things feel like they’re going wrong, look a little closer. What is the one thing however big or small that has made you smile, or that you’ve seen, heard or felt that’s made things seem a little easier today? Hidden within the busiest, stressful, chaotic and miserable days, is something good. You just have to look. Challenge your negative thoughts, what’s made you feel bad, or upset or angry? Look at things from a different perspective. Think of all the things that have gone well, that have gone right, the things that you have smiled at or enjoyed? It’s easy to think as soon as 1 bad thing happens or not to plan then we just write off the whole day. Go against how you feel and seek to find something positive and happy to make you feel better. Write down how you feel, what’s going through your head. Talk it out to someone, get it off your chest. I’m so lucky and grateful to have so many amazing people in my life. My daughter and my husband will always make me smile and make everything better if I’m feeling rubbish, they are my reason, my everything, my happy place. On the days where I feel rubbish, I challenge my negativity. If I don’t want to go anywhere and would rather shut myself away, I force myself to go out just for 10 minutes, I call it the 10 minute rule. Because I know by going against how I feel, by going out, I’ll feel better,  it in my head I’m not putting pressure on myself as I’m telling myself it’s only for a short time. So I will get out in the fresh air, walk my dog and be grateful for all the good things. Then before I know it, an hour has gone by. I think about everyone who loves me and values me. I think about those people who I love and what they think are my strengths and good points. I listen to my favourite music. I listen to motivational and empowering audios. I do things I know will make me smile. I know it’s hard, but it’s about even on the bad days, pushing your bad thoughts out of the way, and doing things to overcome how you feel. Keep pushing forward. Don’t let your bad thought have the power. Seek the good and beautiful in everyday.

What’s Your Poison?

The word family isn’t just about who you are related to by blood, it’s who comes into your life and never leaves your side. Arguably,  it’s the people who are there for each other no matter what, who love and support each other unconditionally. The people who, when you are with each other, feels like home. A sense of safety, security. Don’t waste your time and energy for people who don’t give their time and energy in return. If there are people in your life causing you pain, turmoil and unnecessary stress, then you have to ask yourself if it’s really worthy of you and your time. People come and go, some may not always be right there with you all the time, but it’s about who is present in your life adding value, happiness and love. Even if you’re just at the end of a message or phone call to each other, it’s people who are there for you in your time of need and who you can be there for in return. For many people, even they’re own family let them down and cause them this anguish. Just because your family are joined by blood it doesn’t mean that other people can’t be just as important to you. In some cases, it’s the people who aren’t ‘family’ that show more love and support than those who are. That’s what determines the true meaning of family. Don’t be afraid to cut the poison out of your life. Know your worth, you know who your true friends are and who will be there no matter what. You can’t people please and bend over backwards causing yourself grief for others who wouldn’t do the same. The people who love you, support you, guide you and have your back through thick and thin are the valuable ones. I’m very grateful and lucky that I happen to be surrounded by a loving family and friends. But not everyone has that. Not everyone can rely on their family. You don’t need to justify yourself or your actions to anyone, if it’s causing you heartache and pain, you don’t need it in your life. Put yourself first. Ditch the drama.

“A Smooth Sea Never Made A Skilful Sailor”

Life can throw all sorts of storms and rough times at us. We all have ups, downs, struggles & strains. Some worse than others. We are tested to the limit and at times feel like the bad out-ways the good, often wondering if and when it will ever end. When we are hit with an almighty bolt out of the blue, a trauma or tragedy, or when we are constantly knocked down over and over again. Our strength fades and we are at our weakest. Not knowing if we have any strength left to get back up. For some it’s a feeling like all we do is fail or that our best isn’t good enough. Sometimes we feel we are a burden to everyone around us. We feel inferior, unworthy or undeserving. That everyday is a struggle and an uphill climb. But it’s how and who we can over come these times with. Having support and love is so important. There’s nothing worse than feeling alone. I just wanted to say to anyone else who finds themselves in the dark, that eventually, somehow everything will be ok. The pain, the heartache, the torment will subside, it may never truly leave you but will get easier in time. The bad days are only temporary. You’re not alone. It’s ok not to be ok. It’s ok to crumble and break. It’s ok to feel weak. Especially for the people in my life who are experiencing whatever kind of struggle, please know that I’m here, even just someone to be silent with and know that I’m here for each of you night or day. You know who you are. Sending all my love and thoughts to you all who are struggling. I hope reading my blogs can give some of you a sense of comfort.