I think the conversation around mental health is something that is in the front of everyone’s mind in today’s society. Surprising statistics show that so many people are silent sufferers. We know at least one person within our life struggling to keep everything under control.
Unfortunately I am a sufferer too and my enemy is my anxiety. Anxiety seems to be something that many people have heard of but not many understand. I have had my own family admit they can’t relate to what I am feeling.
For a long time I thought I was getting better thought I had it all under control but recently I have realised that this is far from the case. I had somehow managed to kid myself that I was finally rid of this dark shadow that seemed to loom over my shoulder constantly. Instead I realised I have just been hiding behind a smoke screen instead and I was close to breaking point.
It all came to light after a stressful few weeks at work followed by the demand of family and responsibilities and a few arguments thrown in there as well. It had to be one of the scariest points of my anxiety so far waking up unable to breath and having to ring 999 to get help.
I have been on medication for my anxiety for a while and had managed to reduce my dosages to s when I needed them so for all that to change and rely on them daily seemed to me such a set back.
The thing is it wasn’t a set back it was my body’s way of telling me when enough is enough. I had split myself in so many directions to keep everyone happy I was neglecting myself in the long run. So I have taken steps to help me get my anxiety under control.
I think the first accomplishment was admitting to people around me. I had been struggling at work for such a long time letting them know what I was suffering was a big step but one I wish I had taken earlier. They instantly wanted to help and have pushed me to seek help through many different organisations. I feel as though They will support me in all decisions that I make as well as keep my wellbeing in mind.
Another step was identifying my triggers and micro managing them. Taking that step back is just what I needed knowing when to push myself and when not to and being proud of the small victories I achieve.
My life so far has included a lot of change it seems never to stay still for too long but making the effort to stop and take time not only for my self but making sure my life is a constant has helped more than you would think. I t has helped me in dealing with the changes that have to happen and has made me slow down and appreciate the life I have made for myself before it all changes again. I have started to set small goals to work towards whether that is a holiday or a shopping trip or a weekend away it all helps me focus on the positives in my life at the moment.
The biggest thing I have come to realise is that talking about mental health is not the end of the world. So many people can relate to what I am going through and together we can help each other with tips and advice along the way. This journey is by far from over for me but it feels a lot more manageable now I know I am not on my own and no matter what someone has my back.
I guess this post is more for me than you guys but if somehow this post helps just one of you then I have made a difference.
For years I have suffered with anxiety and Depression.
A lot of those years I didn’t have a label for it I just thought something was wrong with me. It was five years ago when I was diagnosed officially and in some way it was a blessing in disguise to know what it was.
I have been through some very challenging times in my life that I thought I had dealt with but I guess I hadn’t.
I can’t ever describe it, it changes so often but if I had to I guess I would describe it as your own mind turning against you.
Its like you are in there and you can see things clearly but you’re not on your own and there are times where this panic jut sets in. You can see what is happening but you are completely helpless in doing anything about it. You are completely consumed by the feeling of panic and you don’t know when it is going to stop. The thing is you can’t work out what causes it to happen. You spend all day wishing that today is going to be fine and you won’t have an attack. It’s like living in constant fear.
I have bad days; really bad days where I don’t want to leave the house and just want to curl up into a ball in the corner.
However not everyday is like that, I have good days too. Days where I can feel that I can conquer this feeling and take charge of my life again.
The bad days are happening less and less but they still happen. I am on some strong medication, which makes things better. But it doesn’t cure anything it just makes the days more bearable. It angered me so much when I was put on the medication because I was so scared that I would become dependant on them, that they were the only thing keeping me from falling apart. Ever since I was given them I have vowed that I will not be on them for the rest of my life.
I have used them as a driving force to help me manage my own mind without any help. It even though it has been a long road it is working slowly.
But hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Other things have helped too.
The biggest thing has been my husband he still panics every time I have an attack but he lets me take charge and just waits for me to tell him what I want.
Meditation has helped to being able to control my breathing helps me calm myself down when it all gets too much. There are plenty of apps out there that are free that can get you started.
I think the biggest thing that has helped is space. Having a place that is just yours to help you clear your head. My place changes often whether if it’s having a day out somewhere quiet or sitting on the beach listening to the waves.
But having a place at home helps too.
I have a spare room which is filled with books where I just get lost in a book whether it’s harry potter or the newest edition to my collection having that quiet time helps so much.
Everyone who suffers from anxiety is different and has different things that help. The thing is anxiety isn’t something that you can see you can’t tell if the person who sits next to you on the bus suffer too.
I hope that by sharing my experiences if I can help one person then that is enough.
Remember you are never alone.
I guess this is another advice post on how to help you handle the big scary world.
I am at a transitional stage of my life and the truth is I am terrified!
We spend so long wishing we were grown ups as children we forget the other stuff that comes with it. I am at a point in my life where I am experiencing a lot of first. First house, first holiday, first job and starting a career. It is so scary to think that in a blink of an eye I have gone from being a naïve teenager to an adult.
I have heard the trick is not to panic but someone told me that a little too late.
But even though it is terrifying it is exciting. I guess it’s just another learning phase of our life just this time it is outside the classroom. So here is some helpful tips on how to cope in the big bad world.
Tip 1 – Don’t panic
I know clichéd but it is true the best thing to do is think about things logically these are big steps you are taking best not be a mess when you taking them.
Stay calm and think things through, push yourself but don’t be stupid, make sure you have back up plans. Remember one thing your life is going to change and you will have to sacrifice some of the things. Don’t worry to much in the long run you have got this!
Tip 2 – Don’t do everything on your own
I know that you are dying to be independent but it is very easy to get lost in everything. You need someone to keep you grounded and make sure you don’t go running away with yourself.
It’s also beneficial if you need to rant, this is a stressful time and everything is changing you need to have release somewhere. Remember everyone has had to do this at some point in their lives so there are people with the answers to some of your questions even the stupid ones. Just make sure you ask away, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can take on the world on your own.
Tip 3 – Embrace it!
This is exciting! Don’t let all the bad stuff weigh you down.
It will be scary but sometimes pushing your boundaries is for the best. This is how you are shaped as person and find out your true strengths. This is a big thing never forget that.
For those of you who have already been through this stage in your life I take my hat off to you. You did well!
For those of you yet to get to this stage don’t worry your time will come, it’s a big change but you will succeed!
As the title may suggest I am not a fan of the ageing process and all that comes with it. We spend so much time as kids wanting to be an adult and we spend near enough all of adulthood wishing we were kids again.
It’s difficult to get the balance right there is so much changing and trust me the responsibility is not all welcomed.
I think the biggest change for me was my friends. I was never a popular kid at school but I always had friends around me. As I got older my friendships changed they were more of a transitional thing than a permanent one. Finding that best friend when you are older is rather difficult.
When you are a kid having a best friend seems normal that ultimate friend who is like your sister. But as you get older and life gets in the way it changes from that innocent playground friendship.
I think what surprised me most was how easily you become two separate people. My best friend and I did everything together and our friendship lasted all through uni until it all changed. Having the stress of relationships, work and family made it difficult to make time for each other. We grew apart and starting becoming our own people but with separate lives and friendships. It seemed as we were only using the label of ‘best friends’ to prove everyone wrong.
It’s very strange not being a part of someone’s life when you used to spend every minute together. How easy it was to walk away from a friendship that had lasted years was what scared me the most.
I must admit that the one thing I have learnt from my ever changing friendship groups is that trying to label yourself as a ‘best friend’ is one way to see a friendship fail. Friends come in all shapes and sizes and surrounding yourself with people who will grow with you is never a bad thing.
Now I have more friends than I have ever had before. I hardly see them but when I do it feels right. We have no pressure in seeing each other every minute of our life or living like sisters. We have different experiences and that’s ok as we teach each other how to handle that situation if it ever comes back up again.
You have to be careful not to feel the need to label everything. Let things grow naturally and take it as it comes. Am I bitter that my former best friend and me have gone our separate paths, No it just shows how I have changed as I grow and nothing stays the same forever.