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Found 7 results

  1. Hey Guys, I want to thank all who have reached out. It’s greatly appreciated. Even if I don’t verbalize it. Update on my anxiety progress. There’s been noticeable improvement with my anxiousness on the new meds. I’m not obsessing on everything said and done. Going out is proving difficult, but I am going out. Keeping a routine to help overcome my recent fear. While meds address my anxiety... They have shown some side affects. Disconnected and in the clouds. Leaves me feeling like I have no control. Lack of concentration has been extremely difficult... Especially when I’m accustomed to a strict, structured life. While I do my daily meditation and lists, focus dictates everything. I’ve been struggling to write. The one thing I always turn to, but I’ve hit a block. Writing journal has felt like a chore, because I hear therapist on repeat. A very dear friend asked me to write something. I’m working on it. I appreciate her effort in me finding motivation and inspiration. My therapist told me to write what you know. I have been having difficulties verbalizing. Until today. Ah-ha moment. Accountability has been thrown out a lot lately. My therapist telling me to be accountable to her and myself. Writing an email today brought out this word again. I’m being accountable by writing what I know. Accountability weaves through all that I am. I thrive, and survive on it. My lifestyle depends on me being accountable. My focus depends on me being accountable. My confidence depends on me being accountable. Everything depends on it. Sorry for the rambling, but a brief moment found my voice. That’s progress for today.
  2. Hello All, I hope everyone is having a good 2019. I’m alive, so there’s something positive to say about it. I logged on the other day for a bit. First time in months. I tried before, but just couldn’t. I’m writing this message for those who sent private messages with concern. I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder as a teenager. Anxiety has been my sidekick through life. Managed by meds, but it can’t always be controlled. Dealing with people, crowds, and many other things set it off. Only amplified by my blindness in certain situations. Anxiety also has played into confidence. Doubting myself, not feeling worthy. Something which led to isolation. Self destructive behavior and harming myself. Therapy, and lifestyle have always been what I turn to and how I coped. Along with writing, meditation. However, in dark times... Your routines just aren’t enough anymore. The last year was rough, but I kept getting back up. A breakup I didn’t see coming, some health issues. It came to a head after taking my mothers ashes home to Connecticut and the family plot. I’ve had a tenuous relationship with my family. Always an embarrassment and never good enough. Needless to say... The trip was too much. I left early. Some things just will always be. Even with 15 years away. The year started with increased panic attacks. So bad that it felt like a heart attack, or limbs were frozen for long periods. The worst came when I became agoraphobic. I’ve never been afraid to leave the house before. Completely debilitating. Again, the cycle of doubt, being useless... Why am I even here? I have new meds, and things are slowly getting better. I’m leaving house for short periods. Seeing friends again. I’ve also been told I’m dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder this year. I would get the “Blues” in Jersey. This is a first for Vegas. It was a colder and darker Fall/Winter. We had snow multiple times. So now I’m doing light therapy daily. Just didn’t want people to still worry. I’m slowly finding passion in things again. Things involving large crowds are a process. That includes sites with many people to interact with. It can be overwhelming and paralyzing. Sending you all my best and deepest gratitude. jp
  3. I think there's an unfortunate side-effect to mental illness that many experience. It's not one that's easy to understand or admit to, even to yourself, but I do think it's fairly common. At least I have observed it in both myself and many people I know (and I have a lot of friends irl with mental illness; it's like we're drawn together somehow, us weirdos who suck at fitting in because our brains don't function very well at times). As an example, I have a friend with ADHD and PTSD who often has a burning need to rant about all her problems and everything she's going through. She does so to me quite often, and I try to listen, but it's exhausting when I'm going through an episode, especially when she doesn't even bother to ask how I am doing despite knowing that I, too, suffer from a mental illness. So I 'hm' and 'ah' and say, 'Oh, yeah, that really sucks, I'm sorry.' But I don't really listen always because I haven't got room in my head. And she doesn't have room in hers so my need to do the same is overruled (part of the problem, I think, is that she should be in therapy but isn't; I am, so I may be a tad better at realising that my brain is not her problem, though far from all the time). It's not a great foundation for a friendship and can far too easily turn toxic, but I haven't got the energy or the capacity to tell her that I haven't got the energy or the capacity to deal with her shit on top of my own. Vicious cycle. This kind of self-centredness, if you will is, I think, natural and, to an extent, healthy. It's a defence mechanism. When we're going through an episode, we really don't have room. We need to focus on ourselves if we want to get out of it. Sadly, that means that we often haven't got many resources left for what other people are going through. No matter how much we genuinely care about other people, it can be hard to express empathy in a kind and constructive way, even to those closest to us. Not saying everyone who suffers from mental illness is like this, far from it. There are strong and beautiful people in this world who, no matter how shit they feel, somehow still manage to make room for others (though often to the detriment of their own mental health, I think). In the end it's often a question of how we deal with this tendency. In my blog post on anxiety that I wrote last week, I talked about the ways in which my brain functions (or should I say doesn't function) when I'm suffering from anxiety, in relation to other people. I'm afraid that people hate me, that I'm hurting others, that I'm the reason people are sad and annoyed. I have also realised lately that the way I overcompensate in trying to relate to and express empathy for other people when I'm like that, can appear overbearing and downright offensive. All of these things are born from this unfortunate self-centredness that arises when I just don't have the capacity to make room for other people. When I think that everything is my fault, I'm making other people's problems about me. When I overcompensate in an attempt to relate and empathise I end up shifting the focus onto myself. When I'm depressive, if I even interact at all, I just turn into a whiny bitch. And when I'm hypomanic, I genuinely believe that I can fix everyone (because I'm just that awesome!) which, of course I can't. It's not intentional. It's not an inherent part of my personality. It's because my brain lies to me and, in the midst of this overwhelming storm of emotion, I don't understand that that's what's happening. This behaviour can be annoying to people who don't suffer from mental illness, and downright harmful to those who do. What I should be doing when I get like that is step out of the world for a bit, deal with my own shit, calm the fuck down, and then I can rejoin the rest of the world again, as myself instead of this ball of self-destruction. But I don't always have the capacity to understand this. So, to end this weird rant of a blog post which, surprise surprise, ended up being all about me even though I was planning on talking about a generalised problem that I think many people have, I have a request: Tell me. Say, 'You're doing the thing again, Thorn. I think you need a break.' I have not, perhaps, been the most receptive of this message in the past, but I think I'm in a place now where I can be, because I understand better what I'm doing now. I may whine about my problems for a bit, but I won't bite your head off. I promise.
  4. It takes many different forms in different people, really. It took me a long time to recognise my anxiety for what it was, because it wasn't like what I saw in the movies, or what friends with anxiety told me it was like. My anxiety generally manifests in one of two ways. The first is anger. This was especially true when I was younger. My panic attacks manifested as temper tantrums. Instead of panicking, I would scream, shout, throw things. Nobody ever recognised this as anxiety. I began to realise that's what it was as an adult, looking back. I know that temper tantrums are common in young children, and these are not generally a symptom of anxiety, they're just kids who struggle with expressing perfectly normal feelings constructively, because they're kids. But when someone is still throwing temper tantrums at the age of eleven, twelve years old, I think somebody ought to ask why. With me, they didn't. I don't know what they thought it was, but I can't recall anyone ever trying to help other than attempting to calm me down in the moment. As I grew older, these became less frequent, as I learned to reign in my emotions and bottle up that fear, but I still remember being a teenager and literally hitting myself in the head with a hairbrush to prevent myself from breaking something. Shaking, hyperventilating, screaming until I was red in the face. This all started to happen after my father died, when I was eleven, which is when I believe my bipolar disorder was triggered. The second is a physical response, settling in the pit of my stomach and making me feel sick. It doesn't often cause me to throw up, most likely because I'm emetophobic and terrified of vomiting, but yesterday it did, in combination with a coughing fit. (My phobia is reasonably mild; once it actually happens I deal with it, whether it's doing it myself or a friend. The smell and sound of it easily sets me off, though. Needless to say, this phobia does nothing to help alleviate my anxiety when it takes this form.) Nausea is how my anxiety has manifested in the past few days. In the past, I've felt this way for several weeks straight. I particularly recall the summer many years ago before I went off to do the final year of my bachelor in England. I could barely eat. People commended me for losing weight. How fucked up is that? My anxiety is most often triggered by social situations. The fear that I have disappointed or upset someone, that I've fucked up in some way that either causes someone harm or just pisses them off. Then I fuck up even more by trying to fix it and over compensating and making things worse. It's all irrational; most of the time it turns out that I haven't actually done anything wrong at all. Sometimes it turns out that I have, though, and that's what makes it so difficult. That's why it's so hard to tell one from the other. The most destructive thing for my anxiety is when nobody tells me that I've fucked up, or what I did wrong. It gives me no way to fix it, and I continue to feel anxious for days, often can't bring myself to eat proper food, and can't sleep unless I utterly exhaust myself because my brain just won't shut up and stop telling me, 'You're a fuck-up, everybody hates you, you did something wrong, they're all going to abandon you.' I would never do this shit on purpose. I grew up being bullied and having few friends, and those I had often forgot about me or abandoned me. You start to wonder why that is, start thinking that it's really you there's something wrong with. You start thinking, no wonder they bullied me and shut me out when I'm this pathetic. When I do make friends, I tend to get kind of... I don't even know what to call it. Over-zealous, maybe. So desperate to fit in that I either suck up, or talk up a storm, and I don't know when to stop. Suddenly I've said the wrong thing, or I feel like I've said the wrong thing, and it all just starts all over again. I am terrified that people won't like me. And really, what's the worst that's happened to me? I was bullied, I lost my dad. I'm bipolar. So many others have gone through so much worse stuff, so what the fuck am I whining about? I'm not writing this because I want pity. I'm writing it in part because I think it's important for people to know how anxiety manifests differently in different people, and how destructive it can be not to recognise it for what it is. Mostly, I'm just writing it to get it out, to explain to myself why I am the way I am. I've been writing a lot of poetry the past couple of days to try and get these feelings out as well. I posted one yesterday. It's here, on the off chance that anyone is interested. Writing about it, whether figuratively or literally, does help. Right now I just want to crawl into a hole and hide, but I'm gonna try not to. I love GA. You guys are my family, and I want to be here. So I'm gonna try to be, even though I'm scared.
  5. in life, there are unintended consequences. today was full of those for me. getting ready to leave the house just before noon, i asked Phil if He'd like to go to the store with me, as i had to go to WalMart for this week's shopping, and i know He enjoys wandering around there. miracle of miracles, He said yes. He normally passes as the meandering, slow crowds try His patience. unintended consequence number one, had to go to a pawn shop to look at a thing, some kind of tool. unintended consequence number two, He had His own agenda. a trip to Costco to take advantage of a new benefit from the city. now, our town is too small for a Costco, so we had to go 15 miles up the highway to get there. so, we got there, listened to the spiel, got the cards, looked around liked what we saw, and grabbed a bite at the snack bar. unintended consequence three, we weren't done! ran back to Georgetown to pick up Number One from work, then back across town to the Costco to shop, then back to our town to get Number 2 and Daughter from the library. unintended consequence number four, with the Christmas Stroll yesterday and today's adventures, none of the laundry got done. so while dinner is being cooked, laundry has been started. on the positive side of this whole adventure, since Phil was there, and i was not in charge (as i usually am when shopping keeping in mind the given budget) i was able to conquer my anxiety regarding the crowds and the final total at the cash register. i was talking to a friend who has anxiety in just shopping for two. he said that shopping for 5 (my little army) would give him palpitations! i admitted that oftentimes, i do get those. so, i made it. i did very well, received a "Good Girl" for my efforts, and just now a thank you and a kiss. i'm pooped, but i am a happy girl.
  6. LillyLee

    Anxiety

    Girls with Anxiety I little diddy someone posted on facebook that really spoke to me. It was like that thing that I wish everyone understood and saw and thought when they see me. Like for those days when you just want to grab someone and shake them and yell at them, "can't you see how hard I'm trying!" Of course, same thing can be said about "boys with anxiety" i would like it best if it was "people with anxiety". But this will do. I work in retail. My job is to convince people they need expensive electronics, with all the bells and whistles (and protection of course), by making an emotional connection to instill trust and false sense of security. It's fucking draining. My job is sometimes my biggest nightmare and i wake up in the morning with desire only to crawl into bed and borrow under the covers and just forget i exist. And sometimes i'm walking the aisles at work and see a customer nearby and all i can think about is how I have to approach them and offer this stranger,who probably wants nothing to do with me, a piece of myself. It's like all those things you wish you could ell someone who tries but just doesn't understand. One of those things you see online and you want to show it to everyone you know because "this is me, get it now?" but you're to scared that hey still won't get it. or they just won't care. and it's that line between wanting to explain because obviously they haven't felt it so they don't know but also why the fuck should i have to explain why i feel that way cant you just except that i do? Can you just stop telling me "I'm lazy" or "a procrastinator" and see that right now I just can't. I'm exhausted by my own thoughts. Those days where it's a battle between fear of failure but o energy to be productive. Sitting there making a list of all the things you have to do but can't make yourself do any of them. When thinking about doing something stressful is so exhausting you can't get up and do it. It's like, "no i didn't forget, I thought about doing it. a lot. too much and that's why I can't do it" Those days where you are just so lonely, you feel almost desperate for huan contact. but then when you actually make plans you dead having to follow through ith them. It's seeing your friends or people online posting about how much fin their having, wishing you had been invited, but choking because you know if they had invited you, you probably would have blown them off. I feel aged. Old. I hate being told "i'm too young to be tired" or "I'm young, i should have more of a social life" my body may be young but my stress makes me feel old.
  7. I have been thinking about writing professionally for years now but have never managed to go through with it. Much of my trouble stems from me being a rather random thinker in addition to being unfocused and lazy. When thinking about things in greater depth, I think the problem lies deeper in my psyche. I know I am capable of writing because this is flowing easily out of my mind, through keys on a keyboard, onto the virtual page on my laptop’s screen. Throughout my life I have been quite capable in expressing myself both verbally and through writing. My experiences at high school and university attest to this fact. Only when I was a small child in The Netherlands did I struggle with writing- the physical act of putting pen to paper and creating something legible- until I was challenged by my teacher in year 4. He ‘took no prisoners’ and insisted on me producing better quality work, daubing messages of disappointment all over my untidy and messy written work: “Sloppy” appearing on nearly every page in my various notebooks. I soon learnt to put more effort in right from the start, and even though it required more thought and forbearance, it allowed me to actually go out for recess. When I moved to a new country (Canada) and new school, I found myself blossoming as a student and managed to produce such good quality work in grades 7 and 8 that I ended up with the General Proficiency Award at graduation. My diligence in the presentation and content of written work continued through high school and university. I have had some work published in university community publications too. Apart from teacher’s appraisals and input, never have I received harsh negative feedback on my writing. When I launched into my career as high school English teacher, I knew I was capable of writing and assessing the quality of others’ writing too. Incidentally, the children’s picture book I wrote for my Teacher’s College English module was enthusiastically praised by my professor who said it was outstanding. Then why did I go on putting my own writing career on hold? Why am I still struggling and procrastinating? When I dig deeper, I think it all has a great deal to do with my self confidence and its manifestation in the anxiety I experience when it comes to producing written work. What am I scared of when it comes to my writing? As my personal life coach I have been working with over the past few months put it to me (paraphrasing) “Who decides if the writing you produce is good quality?” She also suggested I pose myself the following question: “What would it take for me to set my own benchmark and not to require external validation?” Writing this blog in a public forum is my first step to acknowledging that anxiety around my writing is a concern I have. I think the only option I have is, using Susan Jeffers’ words “to feel the fear and do it anyway.” Only by putting myself and my work ‘out there’ can I move forward and progress. Every writer has to deal with criticism and rejection along the way- I accept that- and who knows, maybe the worst critic is the one I’ve always feared most: the inner one that exists deep within me!
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