When life gives you lemons… Make cakes.

From the moment I opened my eyes this morning, I knew it was going to be one of those crap days that aren’t worth getting out of bed for.. I woke up feeling extremely anxious, and that’s never a good start to a day. Last night I was looking for success stories about people in similar situations to me, and whilst I can find a fair amount of success stories surrounding anxiety, I can’t seem to find any regarding my specific fear, but I can find tons of stories by people in near enough the exact same situation as me, that have had these issues for 10,20,30 odd years, and don’t seem anywhere near being on the road to recovery. This makes me really sad, and it’s kind of made me lose a bit of faith/hope in getting better, so I’m kind of back to feeling like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel which sucks, because that usually leads to weeks/months of low periods.

However, as I’ve been on annual leave the last 2 days, I decided than instead of laying on the sofa eating copious amounts of food and feeling sorry for myself, I would put my negative energy into something instead. So I cleaned out the oven (Most.Boring.Job.Ever), cleaned the windows (Took hours, but once I’d realised my judgement error, I was already in too deep), cleaned the kitchen, put a clothes wash on (Twice, because once it was done I tried to use the drying option on the machine and did it wrong so it ended up filling with water!) The cooker didn’t come up as clean as the product suggested it would. I accidentally stained our wooden stained/varnished worktop with some dettol and the only way to fix it is to sand the worktop down and re-stain and varnish which takes a ridiculous amount of work and drying time which makes the kitchen basically out of action for a week.

So yeah… Me ‘Trying to be positive and productive with my day instead of feeling sorry for myself’ didn’t actually work out and everything I touched turned to shit! BUT, I did not let this horrid day defeat me.. I had a moan to my boyfriend when he got in from work about how crap my day had been and how angry I was that I had spent so much time and effort on trying to get everything in order, yet none of it worked out, talking to him made me less angry because he tried to make the effort to say how well I had done and how clean the house was etc, and suggested he helps me with the oven tomorrow, and he will repair the worktop in the Summer when it gets warmer. As much as I felt less angry, I was still really disappointed in my day and felt a bit useless, but then I made some cakes with no assistance from the other half (I am the worst cook!) and it cheered me up.

So in summary, today was really super crap, but I am really quite proud of myself, for not letting an anxious start and testing day defeat me, and for making the effort to do something (Or several things) productive rather than lay around thinking about how crap everything is and how I am never going to get better and all those horrible thoughts that come with anxiety and depression. I’m going to try to do this again when I’m feeling low. Maybe I will end up a pro baker! Who knows 😉

Happy Friday ladies and gents, hope you have a good weekend. Below is a picture of my cakes. I didn’t get the consistency/texture of the butter icing correct, but I’ll forgive myself considering it was my first attempt at solo baking.

X

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Crashing back down to earth.

Hey guys,

I’m not sure if any of you saw my last post, but basically it was about how I was feeling really positive and I felt like I was ready to kick anxiety’s butt. So that was on Sunday, and like always it was short lived and today I came crashing back down to earth unfortunately. I’m really really tired of losing the war against my irrational brain.

I’ve had a really crappy couple of days at work, and I think that seems to have a dramatic affect on my mental health. I’ve been really struggling to find happiness/satisfaction out of my job for the last 6 months, just being there makes me miserable, every day is stressful and then I get home and can’t shift the bad mood for a few hours. Luckily I have my boyfriend on hand to tell me appalling jokes in a bid to make me crack a smile. Then I go to bed and dread getting up for another miserable day. I know some of you are probably thinking “If it’s that bad why don’t you leave then” but unfortunately the anxiety situation is standing in the way of that at the moment.

My anxiety has hit an all time high again recently, I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I’d mastered supermarkets and some other busy places without having a panic attack and running for the nearest exit, but that’s kind of dwindled off now and I haven’t been anywhere other than work in the last couple of months. I’m so disappointed and mad at myself because I feel like all the progress I have made is now wasted. But at the same time, just a small trip down the road to pick something up for dinner takes so much of my mental energy up that avoiding the situation is easier. But I shouldn’t be going for the easier option because avoidance is what got me into this mess in the first place.

I’m just feeling a bit low and to be honest a bit freaking scared guys. I really thought I’d have my anxiety under control by now but I’m starting to wonder if I have it in me to overcome this. I feel like I’ve been fighting for so long to be happy, not just fighting anxiety but bad situation after bad situation since I was a kid, I just genuinely don’t know if I’ve got any energy or willpower left to fight with. When do you call it quits and admit defeat?

I just want to be back to “normal”. What even is normal anyway. Ok so I just want to be well. Better. Rid of anxiety. Rid of mental illness. Happy. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of happiness and I feel like I can’t really enjoy it because it’s temporary. How lame is that. I was looking at some photos the other day of me before my anxiety, and it made me so incredibly sad. I felt kind of like I was staring at a picture of a girl that I used to know, like an old friend, because that’s not me anymore. Take me back 2 years and let me do this all differently.

I need a virtual hug or a super lame joke ladies and gents. Help me out would you.

X

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Waves of positivity

So today I am feeling really positive. The sun was shining and I feel like I CAN DO THIS. Anxiety has stolen a large chunk of me and my life, and I’m not willing to let it take anymore. I am not under any illusions that just because I am feeling positive suddenly all my worries will dissappear but I am DETERMINED to get through this. It’s going to be really hard and horrible and stressful, but no pain no gain right?

I really hate change, good or bad, so not only am I anxious about the situation I am in and anxious about confronting my fears, I am also anxious about being better, isn’t that odd? I had a really low week last week, a few months ago I would have sunk right into the lowness and that would have been me for a few months, depressed, crying and negative. But I find with every low point now it just makes me stronger and that little bit more determined.

Life is tough it is really really tough, but THIS is temporary, anxiety is temporary. This isn’t my life, this is just a part of it and it’s a part that I CAN overcome, and even though some days I feel like I can’t get past this, I know one day later on I will be able to look back and realise that I was strong enough to. I think it will remind me that I CAN overcome difficult situations. Anxiety and stress and worry do not define me. I hope in the long run it will just make me a better person.

Anxiety has put my life into perspective a little bit. All of the trivial things that I spent all my time annoyed or worried about don’t seem so important anymore. I didn’t really love the life I had or live the life I wanted before anxiety became a part of my world in the way it did, and that has made me realise that I need to get better and value life more than I have. There are so many opportunities out there in this big wide world, and I am entitled to them just the same as anyone else is. It’s time for me to focus on getting better, not focus on all of the things that have gone wrong, instead focus on the things that go right.

I have a lot of things to be thankful for.

I have a supportive and understanding boyfriend

I have some amazing friends and family.

I have a good job that I have worked hard for.

I have a house that I’ve made home.

I have learnt a lot of life’s really hard lessons, and in return I have gained wisdom.

I am (relatively) healthy.

I am ALIVE.

And I have really good eyebrows. Bonus.

Remember, it’s a bad day not a bad life.

Time to get better and grab life by the balls.

Hope you will all be here with me cheering me on.

X
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Is it time for bed yet?

So I haven’t written a blog post in a few days. I’m going through a low phase at the moment, I am absolutely shattered both physically and mentally, and it’s hard to want to write when I feel this way. I warn you in advance, when I’m like this my brain is a bit of a jumbled mess so this is just a blog post of me feeling sorry for myself and seeking a bit of guidance really. Fun, huh?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my future over the past few days and to be honest I can’t really see one at the moment. I am so scared that this is my life, and this is how it is. I am 22 years old, I shouldn’t be suffering from mental health issues, no one should. I feel like I had only just started to live my life before my anxiety got severe, so what did I do to deserve this? No one deserves this. What if this is how it’s always going to be? What if I never get to live a fulfilling life? What if CBT doesn’t work? What then? What if I wake up one morning and can’t go to work anymore?

Realistically I know it’s not helpful thinking these things, but if I don’t voice my concerns then I think I may just go to bed and stay there until this year is over. I just feel completely exhausted at the moment. I feel like for the last two years, my whole life has revolved around anxiety and what I can and can’t do and what I should and shouldn’t think and I am just TIRED of it. I just want to wake up and say ‘Hey, let’s go for lunch!’ and enjoy it. But instead I wake up and know that it’s another weekend spent watching TV whilst everyone else is out living a life I’m dreaming of because I am too scared. Yes, I know that the chances of everything going wrong if I went out are slim, but anxiety is part of me now. Panic attacks are part of me. Anxiety wins time and time again.

Because I’ve been low I’ve done the old classic ignore everyone until they go away move. Not helpful. But I just don’t have the energy to deal with anyone else’s chit-chat and drama at the moment. I know that is completely selfish because people need me too. I’m not the only person having a rough time. But at the same time I kind of feel like if my brain has to register any more feelings or situations then I might just explode. Plus, I just don’t care today. Sorry, I know that is horrible, but my brain isn’t interested. I’M TOO TIRED.

I just wish I could get my shit together, I’m an adult for crying out loud. I make plans to exercise, to get up earlier and make breakfast, to eat my 5 a day, to drink the right amount of water. Do I do it? No. Not exactly helping myself (Although I have been gluten and caffeine free for the last couple of weeks, so GO ME! I miss Gluten and caffeine.) I feel like I just need someone to get my shit together for me. But that’s wrong. I am quite capable. I just don’t have the energy. I kind of feel like what’s the point? I hate it when I am in this mood. I’ve been like this all week. I think it’s because Valentines Day is coming up. I’m like this around any time a celebration is due, because it makes me feel guilty that I am STILL suffering from anxiety, and that I can’t celebrate in the way that I should be able to. I think it’s getting scarier at the moment because every time a celebration happens I think back to what I was doing at the same time last year, and it’s the same thing.

I know I have got better than I was. Hypnotherapy helped me tons. But since the people doing my CBT told me I had to stop any kind of treatment for 2 months before they could help me, I think I kind of gave up. I’ve not been doing anything other than go to work for the last 6 weeks, and I feel like I’ve lost a lot of progress. I am kind of feeling a bit like I’m back where I was at the beginning again. I am angry at myself, I shouldn’t have let this happen.

Anyway, that’s enough of me bitching for one night. Thanks for listening/reading, as always. Knowing there are people across the world that feel the same as I do sometimes, makes me feel better in itself.

Happy Friday ladies and gents, hope you have a fantastic weekend, you deserve it!

Wishing you all of the luck in the world (Maybe save a bit for me!)

X

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Chopping Onions: The Truth is in Our Core

This is so incredibly lovely and true!

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“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”

If you take an onion and cut it as close to the roots as possible, without cutting the roots, it can grow larger and larger every time. We are like this, we grow and become wiser and more loving by giving away what we get, as long as we keep the roots. This is a lesson I never believed to be true, I thought how can you gain more by giving things away? I thought I needed to keep it all to myself. That is what we are taught. This is the story of the day I realized I was much like an onion.

These toasts and things are common at weddings. They are also common at graduations and…

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Yes I know I am being irrational, please stop telling me.

I understand that it is difficult for people to understand anxiety, and I really do believe no-one could every truly understand how life changing and horrendous it is, unless they had experienced it their self. However, whilst I understand this, it doesn’t stop me being angry when people express their opinion on how I should behave/life my life with anxiety. I know some people are trying to do/say what they think are in my best interests, but I wish I could tell them that it REALLY doesn’t help. If I could tell these people how I feel it would go something like this:

Dear Family/Friends,

I know you are trying to help me, but please stop trying to do this in unhelpful ways. I did not ask to be like this, and nor do I enjoy it.

When you try to chat and I am having a low day, I am not being ‘Moody’ by giving short answers, I am depressed. I have no answers. My mind will not produce a sentence, and I apologise for that, please just remember that I love you and that you are my favourite people to talk to.

When you ask me to join you and others in a social activity out of my comfort zone and I politely decline, please do not make me feel guilty for this, it’s hard for us all. I know you think I need to get out of the house and live my life again, but this is nearly impossible for me, please just accept that for now and in return I will promise you that things won’t always be this way.

When I tell you that I don’t know if I can go through with something that has been planned like going out to an appointment for example, please do not get angry and tell me that I have to and how I am not helping myself. Why not just try to re-assure me, and tell me that I just need to try? Forcing me is only going to make me feel more anxious. I know you are scared for me and are just trying to make me better, but hey, I’m scared and trying too.

When you ask me to travel miles to come and see you and I say ‘I can’t at the moment, maybe soon’, please do not treat me like my anxiety is stupid and that I can control it. I assure you, there is nothing that I would love more than freedom right now, I would absolutely love to come and visit you in your new place, but that is just not possible for me right now, and I am sorry. Rest assured though, it’s on my list of things to do when I am better, please just take comfort in that for now, I know it’s not much, but it will have to be enough.

But most of all, when I am having one of my extremely low days/weeks/months and I start questioning whether this world is the right place for me, please don’t be angry at me for telling you that I don’t know if I want to be around, you need to understand that when I am going through this phase, I have been thinking dark and horrible thoughts for longer than you know, and it has taken me every little ounce of courage I have to tell you that. Please refrain from telling me I am ‘Just being silly’, because to me I am living in a world with mostly grey skies and some days I just don’t know if I have the strength to continue. I can almost guarantee that in my darkest hours when I really just want to sleep/hide/crawl in a hole until all the bad goes away, I wouldn’t do anything that I may regret. Do you want to know why? Because I’m telling you instead. I am telling you that I am scared of the future and I am scared of myself. I am begging you to hug it all better. I am letting you in and I am asking for your help, like you always ask me to. I am relying on you to remind me of the good days and to re-assure me that this is temporary. Please, just understand that if nothing else.

So please, stop telling me that my fears are irrational, I know they are. My brain and my heart argue every day, and that’s tiring enough without having to argue with you too. Please do not get me wrong, I know you care and I know that from the bottom of your hearts you wish that you could help, but please listen to me when I say all I need you to do is be there, waiting to listen, waiting to hug and waiting to re-assure me. All I need is your love and compassion, I’ll do the rest.

You are the lights of my life, you brighten up my sky and you push all the clouds away. When life gives me lemons, you drink lemonade with me and you lighten up my heart every single day. I will be forever grateful for that.

X

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HOW TO TAKE BACK CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS – PART 2

The Unmarked Road

Trigger alert: I understand in times of distress articles like this can be a trigger so please be aware that I wrote this while my anxious mind was quiet, which allowed me to see things clearly – a brief window of opportunity! It should in no way make anyone feel overwhelmed. Achieving a healthier mind is a long process – allow yourself the time. Just know that I get it, I’ve been there, and it can be different 🙂

Earlier on in the week I wrote a post about the anxious and depressed feelings that had taken control of me. I have so much to say on this topic (I got to 1500 words and decided not even I wanted to read all that!) so I have had to simplify each section. I will no doubt go into more detail in later posts, but please feel free to email me if you would like to ask me…

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My 5 Truths.

So, I have written a little about how anxiety graced my life with its presence, and a little about treatments I’ve tried, but I feel that maybe I haven’t really got much off my chest. The whole point of this blog being anonymous is so I can tell the world my worries, and not be judged for it, well, not by people I know at least 😉 so here are 5 truths, about me and how I feel today.

1. I am more scared than I ever thought possible. I have suffered with depression since I was around 14-15 years old, so my sky has been a little cloudy for around 8 years now, and then the hurricane that is anxiety came along and wrecked my world when the clouds were just starting to disperse. I am scared that anxiety is always going to be a part of me now, I feel like even if I do get better, it’s always going to be at the back of my head, waiting to present itself again, so I will never be able to live the life that I want. I think most of all I am scared that the people I know and love will give up on me. At the moment, I don’t exactly have much to offer. But hey, I can go to supermarkets now, so if you wanna go food shopping, I’m your girl 😉

2. I made an anonymous blog because I am embarrassed of the person I have become. I don’t really want my friends and family knowing that I nearly shit my pants every time I leave the comfort of my own home. All in all I think around a maximum of 10-15 people know about my anxiety. And even they don’t know the extent of it. The rest would just think I’m ‘Going through a phase.’ I’M NOT 5 YEARS OLD.

3. I buy too many pairs of shoes. Which is quite ironic really considering I don’t actually go anywhere to wear them. But they look pretty, and they make me feel better. Vans and converse incase you were wondering. Not high heels. If I have a day where I can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, I buy a new pair of shoes. I should probably stop that. Maybe.

4. Recently I’ve been going through a major ‘THERE’S TOO MUCH STUFF IN OUR HOUSE, WE NEED TO THROW IT ALL AWAY’ phase, but no matter how much I get rid of, or how much I tidy it up, it doesn’t feel enough. I feel like I want to throw nearly everything away and start again from scratch, and only keep things that have a place where they can actually ago. Nicely and organised so the house doesn’t look cluttered. I think this is just because I can’t get my own issues in order, I am taking it out on our possessions instead. Or maybe I’m just over thinking it and we have too much junk. Why couldn’t I go through a phase like this that involved something productive like taking up running?! Damn anxiety, stop fucking with me.

5. There is not one thing that I like/love/enjoy about myself. I’ve been asked the ‘What is your favourite thing about yourself, COME ON there must be one thing?!’ Question a million times, and I normally just end up lying and saying something like my fingers to get people to quit hassling me. But honestly, there is not one thing that I can thing of that I think is pretty damn cool. Fingers will have to do for now. This was meant to be ‘My 10 Truths’ But I got to number 5 and felt like I’d been open enough for one night.

I would love to hear your 5 Truths, happy or sad or somewhere in between. Even 1 would be cool.

X

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Anxiety Treatments, my experience so far.

When my anxiety was at its worst, I was having panic attacks daily, and as I couldn’t go to any support groups/therapists due to it, I decided to look up some therapies online.

The first thing I tried was Cognitive Behavioural Therapy books. I had read amazing reviews online about how they had changed people’s lives and their big black clouds had dispersed and all they could see now were butterflies and rainbows and all that super neat happy stuff. Yeah so, that didn’t happen for me. The books are often huge, and extremely repetitive.  Maybe these books do work for some people, and I am really glad for those that had good experiences and managed to change their lives, but mine however was somewhat unaffected, I was just left a little bit disappointed because I thought it would be some miracle cure, and that once I’d read the books I would be leaping out my front door begging for adventure.

The next thing I tried was anxiety websites that claim to fill you with so much anxiety related knowledge that your brain will suddenly understand the reasons why this is happening to you, and then you will be on the road to recovery. Again, no. Ok ok so it was useful to know some of the stuff about how anxiety presents itself, why it does, how many people are suffering etc, but again, this isn’t a cure, it’s just knowledge. And they usually want you to buy something.

The final thing I tried was hypnotherapy. I was super apprehensive about this one. The only hypnotherapy I had seen was programs on TV where people were completely unable to control their own mind/body and made fools of themselves. My hypnotherapist was a really nice guy, we made an agreement that he would come to my home to provide sessions, and as expected the first sessions was SUPER AWKWARD because a strange man was in my house claiming he could cure me of anxiety by tuning into my subconscious mind. I of course got so nervous about meeting him that I was confined to the bathroom for the first twenty minutes after his arrival (Too much info? Hey I did warn you of my problem in my last post). When I originally requested he carried out sessions at my house, he didn’t seem too convinced that I wouldn’t be able to go to his workplace and detailed to me how many toilets were in the building etc, so at least this disastrous first session justified my reasons.

Firstly he took some details about me, age, diet, siblings, periods (Say what?!) and asked about my childhood/parents etc and I explained the issues I was experiencing with anxiety.

After we’d gone through my life history, I laid down on the sofa to start treatment. At first I was easily distracted, when you’re laying in silence you seem to be able to hear every single noise possible, noises that you don’t even know exist, but I continued to lay with my eyes shut and listen to him speaking. Then BAM, I was under. I mean, I was completely aware of my surroundings, I could hear my neighbours child running up and down their front room (Paper thin walls!) but I just didn’t care. It is the most relaxed feeling imaginable. You know the moment in between being awake and being asleep, where you aren’t really sure whether you’re still awake or not, it feels like that. It was lovely.

The first few sessions focused on different things, some were focused on my childhood and experiences that I may have held on to that made me the person I am today, and some were focused on more recent experiences where I’d had panic attacks. The aim of it was to remember how I felt in the moments leading up to a panic attack, and get rid of those negative feelings that I associated with those memories. It is easier than it sounds.

Every week I would set a new target for something I wanted to achieve before my next session, so we could then go through the feelings I had leading up to the event, the event itself, and the feelings after. At first this was pretty simple, I started with small steps to places close to home so I could still dash out the exit if need be. Every time I managed to successfully complete one of my mini missions, I felt an incredible sense of achievement and it was a really warming feeling. But of course, I couldn’t make small steps every week, other wise I would never get my life back on track.

After a fair few sessions, I made plans to take larger steps, but it was harder than I expected. After a session I would feel super positive and ready to take on the world for the next couple of days, and I think I kind of took that feeling and ran with it, so I was then scared to make bigger steps because I didn’t want to feel the anxiety part. I did make a massive amount of progress, and it was definitely what I needed. Ok, so it didn’t completely cure me, but it opened up a massive amount of my life again. Before the sessions I was waking up with anxiety on my mind, spending all day with butterflies in my stomach thinking about it, doing a fair bit of crying and then going to bed dreading starting the next daily cycle of anxiety. Now, I sometimes don’t even think about it more than once a day and I can do a lot more stuff now than I could a few months ago. Because now I kind of know how to deal with the anxiety a little bit more. I know that I have not failed in any of the tasks I have tried to do, and I have gained some knowledge on how to kind of postpone a panic attack before it starts, and just deal with the moment rather than automatically think about the worst case scenario. Don’t get me wrong I still have a long way to go, and as soon as someone mentions the possibility of me going somewhere out of my comfort zone I have a mini meltdown, but my progression following treatment has shown me that there is hope, and that anxiety is just a small part of my life, as opposed to my life revolving around it.

I stopped my hypnotherapy sessions after having them for about 3 months, one reason for this was because although I did feel I had seen improvement, it kind of got to a point where I wasn’t making any more progress, and I had already spent a large amount of money on it. The other reason was because I got referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and I am not allowed to receive two treatments at the same time, because there won’t be clear evidence of how well the treatment is working. (I am still waiting for this)

So yeah, if you are considering hypnotherapy but are a little bit on the fence, I would give it a shot. Any questions, I will be happy to answer.

Look out for my next blog 🙂

X

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A little bit anxious.

I’ve always been a little bit anxious, I remember laying in bed when I was a kid, staring at the glow in the dark stars on the ceiling (You remember those right? They were AWESOME.) planning out where I would run and hide if WW3 broke out. The news used to be on every day at 6PM when I ate my dinner, and then I’d spend the rest of the evening worrying about what I had seen. Now that I’ve left home, I refuse to watch it, I will just talk loudly until I can find the remote to turn the channel over.

Social media sites are another thing that force news in your face. I have deactivated my accounts several times when videos start getting shared of animal abuse, child abuse, terrorism, violence etc. I am not naive, I understand there’s really bad stuff going on all around the world, but what does me knowing this achieve? I can’t save the world. I can’t stop people from dying or hurting, and I can’t teach people who I’ve never even met the difference between right and wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t ignore that problems exist, I do donate to charities, but that’s all I can do. Sharing a horrific photo or video isn’t going to prevent any of these things from happening. It just makes me want to build a fort out of duvets and never leave the house again. I know some people won’t agree, but I don’t expect them to, I have my opinion and they have theirs.

Anyway, back to where it all started and why I started this blog. Like I mentioned, I think I’ve always been an anxious person. My friends have always joked about it. I worry about the smallest silliest things. I went to see a gig in London a couple of years ago, and you weren’t allowed to smoke in the arena, and once you were in, you couldn’t go out, so me and my best friend had a sneaky little cigarette in the ladies toilets. Even something small and slightly rebellious like this would push my mind into over drive and I would be thinking ‘Oh god what if we get caught, or what if we start a fire, what if we get kicked out and miss the gig, what if the police get called’ (I know, over dramatic) and my best friend is standing there saying ‘If we get caught, they’ll just tell us to put it out, stop worrying!’ For every one rational thought that she had, I had ten irrational ones. That’s always been me. In every single situation I have ever been in. As I’ve got older it’s got a lot worse. I’m not really one of those people who can live life on the edge, and I worry about the people who do.

Regardless of that though, I managed to get through life with a certain amount of enjoyment and kept the worrying under control until around 18-24 months ago. I’ve been having issues with my stomach for around 5 years, I’ve seen several doctors and they’ve mostly been pretty unhelpful and unsympathetic, so I kind of just dealt with it. Then around 2 years ago I developed an irrational fear that whilst I was out in public, I would need to use the loo (The embarrassing type). I know it sounds super silly but to my brain it is some horrible monster fear that is completely and utterly out of control. At first I would just stay in the odd weekend, and then me and my boyfriend moved house and I was closer to work so that then lead to me cutting more and more activities out until home and work became my safe places. Anything outside of that was a whole different ball game.

For the first year of my anxiety, it was manageable to a certain extent, I could do most normal day-to-day things like food shopping, doctors visits, family gatherings etc. The first thing to go was long car journeys. Then shopping centres. Then supermarkets. Then any shops in general. Then any type of car journey. Then anywhere at all except for work. I started having major panic attacks around 8 or 9 months ago, just thinking of going out would make me panic and in turn I would get a bad stomach which was the one thing that I was scared of. Any time I did try to venture out of the house, I would arrive at my destination, have a panic attack in the car park and have to leave promptly, like my life depended on it. So it became easier to not try, then there were no disappointments.

I didn’t really acknowledge I had a problem until it got to its worst. I managed to keep it from my family and friends for the most part. My boyfriend was obviously aware, but like me, he didn’t realise it was happening until I couldn’t do anything about it. When I started getting panic attacks at work that was rock bottom for me. Anxiety had already taken over nearly every aspect of my life, and I couldn’t sit and watch while it took the last normal thing that I had. I managed to get to the doctors, and sit through a panic attack which was horrible, because I was so used to dashing towards the exit as soon as I got the warning signs. It turns out that my doctors are really not very competent when it comes to mental health issues. After a few visits they gave me a couple of numbers to ring for support, but they were more interested in filling me with antidepressants rather than actually helping me resolve my problems. I couldn’t go to any of the support groups they offered, because they couldn’t seem to grasp the fact I couldn’t go out, so I turned to the internet for help.

I think I will leave this here for now. This is my first blog post and it’s ended up being longer than I anticipated. Maybe no one will even read this! My next blog post will be about my experience with trying out some therapies that I found online, so if you are suffering or have suffered from a similar experience to me, look out for it, maybe I could help in some way, or maybe I could at least remind you that you are not alone, even if it really feels like it.

I hope my story hasn’t been too boring, there will some laughs later on, I promise!

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