0 Me – 1 Anxiety.

I haven’t posted in a few weeks, for any of you that read my last blog post (those of you who didn’t, you can read it here) I had planned to conquer ASDA to find smelly candles, but I was so wrapped up in the excitement of kicking anxieties arse in a hectic Argos on a bank holiday weekend that I didn’t realise it wasn’t open on bank holiday Monday! Fail. Rest assured, I’ve been several times since, so consider that well and truly conquered. Not much else has happened on the Graded Exposure front, I’ve done a few minor trips to B&Q and super markets, but no new progress to tell of.

The last few weeks have been a bit full of mixed emotions really, my day-to-day anxiety has reduced somewhat (Probably due to the lack of caffeine!) I can’t remember waking up feeling anxious over the past month, which is a good sign I guess. But I haven’t tried as much as I should have to go out. Leaving the house is SO mentally exhausting, so sometimes I just don’t even try. Although Graded Exposure is supposed to reduce my anxiety, it does when I’m out doing something, but it never makes it any easier to actually get the courage to go and do that thing if that makes sense. I still feel anxious before leaving the house, and I talk myself into and out of doing the activity repeatedly, it seems like that may always just be how it is, which makes everything seem a little pointless.

Last week I dropped into my mums after work as she hadn’t been well during the day, and I wasn’t able to get hold of her. I expected to find her sleeping off her illness but I ended up having to call an ambulance because she was pretty much unresponsive when I arrived. My mum has been poorly for a really long time now, she’s only 45 yet she’s had more than her fair share of bad luck on the health front, or any front really, but I’ll save that for another blog post. So yeah, an ambulance has been called a few times over the last year, just not usually by me. The difference this time is that my anxiety stopped me from being able to be there for her in the way that I should have. In the midst of her falling asleep and waking up every two minutes, begging me not to leave her, I had to try to explain to her that I wouldn’t be able to go to the hospital with her. When my mum is in her right mind she understands my anxiety better than anyone, but when she’s sick and delirious, she doesn’t remember. How awful do you think this made me feel?

When the paramedics got her into the ambulance I had to remind her again that I couldn’t come to the hospital but that I had already spoken to relatives and asked them to meet her up there. All I kept thinking was that the paramedics must have thought ‘What could be more important than being with your mum right now’, I wasn’t about to shout my problems from the roof top and explain to them why I couldn’t go. I felt like the worst human being in the world. I should have been there. If anything happened to her, I would never have forgiven myself. This is when anxiety makes me mad. This is when it limits my life more than any other time and I get angry at myself for not getting through it. This is when I see no light at the end of the tunnel. Why couldn’t I just suck it up for one night? Why does my brain have to do this super crazy thing and work against me when I really need it to co-operate. Why can’t I be better now.

I feel so  down on my luck at the moment. I feel like I have put SO much effort into trying to get better, and I can’t really see that I am being rewarded in any way. Yeah, I can go to Sainsbury’s on a good day, but who the hell cares? Not me. Because I am past that now. When is it time for me to be happy? When is it time for something to work out for me? How much can I give before I can’t mentally or physically give any more? I hate to feel sorry for myself, I hope that none of you get the impression that I am. I am just a little bit stuck in-between existing and living at the moment. I have my hospital appointment next month to look into my stomach issues, and at the moment I don’t even know if I will be able to go. Obviously I will try my hardest, but if anxiety wins then that’s just how it is. Keep your fingers crossed for me. A bit of luck sent my way would be greatly appreciated.

I have had a lot of good days over the past few weeks, and it’s hard to remember that when you’re depressed. If I think back to how my crazy brain was only a month or two ago, nearly every day was full of sadness and I lost hope somewhere, where as recently my outlook has become somewhat positive. Just not today friends, not today. Not yesterday either. And maybe not the day before. Still however, happier than I was not too long ago. Or maybe not happy, maybe just ‘fine’. Sorry to write a post of grumbles, but you guys understand more than anyone ever could, because you feel this too.

Lots of love x

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Every great story starts with a trip to Argos, right?

Yo bloggers,

As part of my CBT I’ve been trying out  Graded Exposure, last Monday I went to sainsburys, I started with around 70% anxiety on route, and by the time I’d walked up and down the aisles for a while it dropped to around 50% and then pretty much stayed there for the entire visit. Then on Tuesday I tried again, I started with around 50% anxiety and it dropped to around 20% within the first 5-10 minutes until I got back in the car and went home. I was ok with that, small but significant accomplishment.

Today I went to Argos. I am totally living the dream, I know you are all so jealous of my rock and roll life style but what can I say? It just comes naturally to me. First sainsburys, then Argos, what next? The possibilities are endless. I didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose me. So I started off with around 60% anxiety on the way, and this stayed steady until I got into argos and was queuing. Out of nowhere my anxiety levels increased to 100% when I was at the point of no return waiting for my item (a hoover incase your interested) I started panicking, it was super busy and all I could hear was too much noise and all I could see was too many people. I was sweating and tingling all over, and I called over my boyfriend to make up a back up plan. This was totally against the rules, my boyfriend is supposed to be a silent partner in my graded exposure experiment, he is my get away driver only, and is not supposed to give me any form of reassurance. I am such a rebel. He didn’t give me any reassurance though, I couldn’t really get my words out properly, I just ordered him (politely, obviously) to go back to where he was previously so I could panic in silence. Then something great happened. I got over it. We both carried on with our separate tasks and I lived to tell the tale. It’s practically a miracle. I conquered the war that is Argos on a bank holiday weekend. Somebody pour this girl a drink.

This is apparently called Prolonged exposure, because like graded exposure isn’t torture enough, I also have to stay in the situation that makes me want to pass out on the floor crying for my mum. So you heard it here first guys, not only did I manage to peel myself off the sofa that I was fairly confident I had become a permanent fixture of, I got my clothes on, and I went to argos even though I just wanted to stay in my own little bubble and laugh at the outside world, and I actually survived.

What’s tomorrow’s adventure I hear you ask? ASDA. Because I’m going to look for some smelly candles. ASDA’S where it’s at guys. I heard all the cool kids go there.

I rewarded myself with a relaxing bath and a Lush Cosmetics bath bomb, and I smell funkin DELICIOUS.

HAPPY EASTER WEEKEND. Try and do something out of your comfort zone, anything counts. Lots of love and luck to you all. I will update you tomorrow if it doesn’t go disgustingly wrong with me ending up an emotional wreck because either A) I can’t find any scented candles that dont smell like Christmas (Why is Christmas the main ingredient in candles?! I love Christmas guys don’t get me wrong, but there’s a time and a place and it’s not April in aisle 12) or B) I have a major panic attack, drop all my shit on the floor, run to the designated get away vehicle and cry all the way home.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

X

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The lost pieces of me.

When I was in my early teens, I was a completely different person to who I am now. I know as we grow older we all lose parts of us, I guess that’s what growing up is about, maturity, but there are parts of me I wish I hadn’t let slip out of my sight. I was always one of those people that never let a bad situation get me down. I would laugh in the face of uncertainty and use comedy and sarcasm as a distraction. I of course have always been a little bit anxious, I have mentioned that previously, I didn’t just become an anxious mess over night, it’s been niggling away at small parts of me for as long as I can remember, but I knew how to deal with it then. Well, I didn’t give it a great deal of thought, I didn’t treat anxiety like it was anything, because I didn’t know what it was, and I’m beginning to think that was pretty smart. If only I could have kept that.

 I am not one to ‘Toot my own horn’ as the saying goes, I am not very confident or self assured, but because I feel like I am talking about past me rather than present, I feel confident in saying that I used to be a bit funny. I was quick witted and sarcastic, and I didn’t need anyone to tell me that. Somewhere over the years I lost that, I stopped finding enjoyment in life and it’s hard to be funny when you don’t really have an interest in anything. Sometimes I catch glimpses of past me and it makes me both happy and sad at the same time.

I don’t want this blog to be about my past and what experiences I had that lead up to the person I am now, because I don’t necessarily think that anyone or anything should be blamed for my mental health issues, but I guess there were/are contributing factors that have made me the person I am, and some stories can’t be told without a bit of back ground. I did write a couple of long paragraphs about my childhood, but I found myself feeling uncomfortable with what was written so maybe another time. 

Someone mentioned to me recently they are finding it difficult to adjust to the person I have become over the last couple of years, and I’m finding that hard too. I feel a bit like I don’t know myself anymore, I remember the person I used to be and I know the person that I want to be, but I’m having trouble getting there. I’m feeling a little like I’m stuck out at sea, and the more I try to make my way back to shore, the further away the waves push me. It’s a really horrible feeling watching everyone moving on with their lives when you are too anxious to make any plans for the future. I do understand that it’s hard for other people to watch me falling deeper into a miserable black hole with no way of making things better for me, I think sometimes I forget that. I lost me, but my friends and family lost me too. Some people think that with the right support from the right people, I will get back to who I was but I feel like that ship has sailed now. I think anxiety and depression are always going to be a part of me and maybe it’s time to accept that. I’d like to think this doesn’t mean I will never be happy, I’d hope that I will find a new me that I love nearly as much as the old one, who knows, maybe I will even love myself more. Anxiety has taught me a massive amount, empathy being one of the top 5 things, and I think that’s a really great thing.

One day I will find my spark again, and maybe it will shine brighter than it ever has. Let’s just hope that one day is soon.

Lots of love to anyone that needs it, you got through today and that’s such an achievement. 

X

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