The story of ‘A’

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The Introduction of ‘A’

Have you taken time out of your day today to breathe?

I won’t bore you with figures but I am one of the 450 million people estimated to suffer from ill mental health worldwide.

Yes, you read that right. Why is it that so many people suffer with ill mental health and yet the subject still feels so taboo?

I can’t talk for you but for me it isn’t a part of me I discuss. It isn’t a part of me that is on display for all to see or a part of me that people meet. What it is, is a part of my insides; inside my head, inside my heart, running through my body.

I call it the unwanted hitch hiker, it’s a part of me I don’t choose to have or want. The part of me I detest and the part of me that is shameful and disgusting. How could I possibly tell people about this unwanted hitch hiker without their judgement? Without feeling like I want to turn my body inside out and remove everything because I am diseased?

Riddled. Unwanted. Judged. Broken.

You see my hitch hiker is medically referred to as ‘Anxiety’ (with a side order of ‘Depression’). Ok if you want medical talk, its officially called Mixed Anxiety & Depression Disorder. For me though I welcome the depression side, after a particularly hard few days fighting with the anxiety it’s nice to feel exhausted and the crying provides a welcome relief sometimes, not always. (Imagine trying to explain that to someone who doesn’t suffer with ill mental health? The look would be an epic Kodak moment!)

As I have previously mentioned my hitch hiker is a part of me without my permission. It has taken me a long time to accept this squatter; I issued a plethora of eviction notices, I tried to poison it, starve it, drown it out but with no success did it leave. So just like when you buy a pet, plant, car or cuddly toy, you name it. It isn’t known as you, it has its own identity.

So ladies and gentlemen, without further delay, I’d like to introduce you to ‘A’, the unwanted hitch hiker. Don’t get too close though;

  • ‘A’ is not friendly
  • ‘A’ spares you no remorse
  • ‘A’ will want constant attention
  • ‘A’ never gives up
  • ‘A’ requires acknowledgment
  • ‘A’ is a stubborn bitch
  • ‘A’ is the dog shit you step, slide and fall in which smears all up your backside.

I have chosen to fight my battle without medication. I have tried every type of medication on the market over the last 15 years and some have helped me greatly. I am not against anyone living life on long term medication if it’s right for that individual. I personally have spent the majority of my life controlled by prescription drugs and I just want to be free. (‘A’ is loving this, quite often mocks me for being such an idiot.)

If you find yourself lost, alone and listening to your own hitch hikers spite, please remember;

  • You can beat this
  • You can do this
  • You deserve to be happy
  • You are worthy of love and kindness
  • You didn’t look at your boss funny six months ago and now he hates you
  • You don’t need to worry about the future
  • You didn’t say something wrong to your bf/gf and they are now going to leave
  • You wont die from sore throat because Google says you will
  • You wont end up alone with 27 cats or dogs (unless you want to).

Just breathe. Everything will be ok.

In company of ‘A’ will be a page filled with my life experiences with my unwanted hitch hiker. Some may be written by me, others by ‘A’. Either way they are a look into my life whilst I fight and win my wars with my mental health.

Defeat isn’t an option. Find strength in numbers.

 

 

Letter to my mum

This time last year I was laying next to your bed, in intensive care, being told that your kidneys have failed, your lungs were in respiratory failure and there was nothing more they could do for you.

Crying hysterically at your side as my body started going into shock to protect my heart from exploding. I couldn’t begin to image not seeing you everyday, not having you in my life for many many more years to come. I needed you. I was not ready to be without you.

The 14th of April 2017 was officially the worst day of my life. The day a piece of my heart died with you.

I miss you mum with every beat of my heart,

The pain i feel is indescribable, i hate being apart.

What i wouldn’t give to have one more hug,

One more kiss, one more moment of love.

That feeling of being safe,

Of feeling like you have a homely place.

To see your name pop up on my phone,

To hear your voice; happy, sad, angry or just for a general moan.

You never judged me,

You helped me to see,

A world of love and memories.

Always there to hold my hand,

To be my strength when i felt i was sinking in heavy wet sand.

You were my best friend,

My angel god send.

I hate life without you,

Its a lonely place without my mummy Sue.

I love you mummy with all my heart, i hope you are ok even though we are apart. i hope you have found grampy up there and aren’t causing too much chaos.

Thank you for showing me what strength and courage are and for the upmost love you gave me everyday.

You were my best friend, my pillar of strength.

I miss you deeply everyday mum!

I’ll try to keep making you proud.

I’ll take you with me on all my journeys and together we will take no shit!

I am so lucky to have had a mum like you, so caring and understanding.

You were taken from me way too soon 😦

‘A’s Easter twist

Happy Easter to you all!

Its a weird one isn’t it? (she says munching on a hot cross bun with a chocolate egg for dessert……)

Everywhere you look today there are people posting pictures of their chocolate on Facebook or Instagram. Since Boxing day we have been surrounded by sweet treats, bunnies and chicks.

It’s made me wonder how celebrating Easter became more about the Easter bunny delivering chocolate eggs and not the crucifixion of Jesus and his rise from the dead?

Easter this year is uncomfortable for me but i am trying to stay positive. The mind is such a powerful part of us and it can easily lead us down a dark path, when infact the sun is shining brightly around us.

Good Friday of 2017 (what an asshole), I was saying goodbye to my mum and its ironic because every year at Easter i would ask my mum about Jesus;

“Which day was he crucified again mum?”

“Why was he crucified again mum?”

“Which day was it again mum that he rose from the dead?”

Every year she would roll her eyes, tut at me and tell me the story all over again, it became a routine. For some reason i always forgot…

Last year on Good Friday i was praying she would rise from the dead on Easter Sunday! No such luck. Was it my mum having the last laugh? I’ll never forget it now that’s for sure.

Now i know Easter changes so its not exactly the same time as last year but i still feel sad and ‘A’ wants me to re’hash the memories and overthink the details. Instead i am trying my new approach of thinking. In my previous post ‘A’s mind games i detailed this approach and the cause and effect of our mind games.

Today i have the power to waste my day obsessing over the details of last years Easter, getting upset and spiraling down a negative thought pattern or i can take a moment and let the thoughts come and go. (The importance being – of letting them go!)

Is it uncomfortable? Yes but it doesn’t have to engulf my whole day and the rest of my life.

At the moment I have the upper hand with ‘A’ because I have spotted its pattern of destruction therefore eliminating the element of surprise it normally has on me. (HAHA IN YOUR FACE ‘A’!!!)

I’ve previously mentioned that i have been journalling all my life! i have hundreds of diaries spanning my life time and its probably one of the best decisions i ever made.

Are a lot of them full of trivia? Oh gosh yes!! Its a great read!!

They also provide me with a huge release; sometimes the only way we can rid ourselves of intrusive thoughts, overthinking and ‘what if’ scenarios is to write them down. I looked back at this day last year, not the date, but Easter Sunday, (which was a risky move because it could have fueled ‘A’ into overdrive) and what i read has really started to make me think about how amazing our life is…

It seems more relevant today than any other day.

I will share my journal entry with you……
” Sunday 16th April 2017
There are no words, there is no pain, I feel nothing.
I am completely numb.
Everytime i close my eyes I see you mum, or is it everytime I wake I see you mum? Which is reality?
It doesn’t feel real, I don’t feel real, is this my life?
How am I surviving this??? “

I felt numb for a long time, I literally felt nothing. Everyone around me was waiting for me to break but I didn’t. (I was clearly fueled by Duracell batteries…)

How incredible is the mind and body, that they can go into survival mode without you even realising? How it can protect you without your say so?

I watched my mum die, I lay with her body afterwards for 5 hours (in the hospital, nothing weird) and then my body walked me home.

The inner strength we have is incredible.

Don’t you think so?

I then spent the next 4 weeks organising my mum’s funeral, sorting out all her paperwork, finances, house etc. I picked new clothes for her to wear, I contacted everyone she ever knew to tell them and then I stood up at her funeral and read out a poem I had written for her. Not once did I break.

Yet since reality hit me ( new years eve 2017) I have felt like a bus has knocked me down, followed by a steam train and then a heard of elephants for laughs. ‘A’ has been telling me to feel this way now even though its been so long, people around me and telling me it cant be because of my mum as that was ages ago! (Idiots!!!)

I would not have survived this feeling this time last year. My body now feels ready to accept reality and here I am.

I will never be the same person I was before 2017 struck but that’s okay.

I don’t want to be, I am re-born into a beautiful survivor and I am proud of where I’ve come from.

We are amazing. Our mind and body is incredible.

Have you ever sat back for five minutes and thought about it?

With Easter being about the celebration of Jesus and life itself, i wanted to dedicate this post to all of you….

YOU ARE AMAZING!

Ignore the demons, ignore the negativity and remember that within you there is strength.

I thank Jesus Christ for my inner strength and I trust that God’s plan will guide me to happiness but it starts from within.

You have to let the love in first, go on, I dare you to!

Learn to praise yourself, learn to see the good and train that brain to erase the bad. Its hard work, ill be honest with you, but its so so so so so worthwhile!!

You can do it.

One breath at a time

One step at a time
One day at a time

‘A’s mind games

Throughout these past few weeks of reflection I have been journaling A LOT. (The majority of the time is when my unwanted hitch hiker is casting a spell of anxiety over me.)

I wanted to try and breakdown some of ‘A’s mind games so I could spot them in the future and be able to defuse a situation more effectively.

If you suffer from any mental health disorders I really encourage you to journal. It’s so helpful to be able to get your thoughts out and onto paper and it’s an awesome point of reflection where you can start to see some patterns emerging.

Journaling doesn’t come easy to everyone so stick with it. I spent my childhood keeping diaries so I have been conditioned to journal from a young age. (I’ve always been a sucker for a nice writing pad and pen!)

You can journal at the end of your day as reflection or during the day, at the time of an event. I find writing when I’m anxious very therapeutic and it helps to calm my mind.

My unwanted hitch hiker has many sides and I thought it might be helpful to list some them and how I break out of ‘A’s spell.

  • Can you relate to any of these?

All or Nothing

You see everything as black or white – no in between.

If something isn’t perfect or something doesn’t go exactly to plan, ‘A’ starts telling me:

“I am a complete failure”

I can’t blame ‘A’ solely for this as I think its part of my personality to be an all or nothing thinker. I am either all in or all out. This isn’t a bad trait to me, I love having the all in passion and determination and I think it’s a beautiful strength to have. Its only poisonous when ‘A’ starts telling me I am a failure because I got 87% on a test and not 100%, but I still passed, so I should still be happy of my achievement, but I’m not.

What I have taught myself to do with this one is simple. I reflect on why I think I am a failure and turn it around to focus on the good points and reasons why I am not perfect but I’m not a failure also.

For example:

Yesterday I had a call to say I wasn’t successful in securing a job I had interviewed for the previous week. It was extremely close; I scored 2 points less than someone else who effectively got offered the job. I was told the company felt like I would be an asset to the team and would fit in well and to keep a look out for future job vacancies. They would love to have me; it was just unfortunate that someone else scored slightly higher on the day.

‘A’ wants to focus on the fact I didn’t get the job, so again it tells me:

“I suck, I am a failure, no-one will employ me, and I will be unemployed forever”

Normally that’s where I focus my attention; I would spend the day beating myself up over it and hating myself but because I am aware of this mindset now, I challenge the thoughts.

“Okay, I didn’t get the job and that does suck but I came very close to getting that job. It was my first interview since quitting my job and I went to the interview, I managed my anxiety and I interviewed well. They want me to apply for any future vacancies and they think I am an asset. I am a strong candidate; I just wasn’t the strongest on the day.”

Instead of feeling rubbish, feeling like a failure and beating myself up all day, I congratulated myself on the achievement and the experience. Did I feel sad I didn’t get the job? Of course, that’s natural; it’s the unhealthy negative frame of mind that’s the poison.

This brings me nicely onto my next one…..

Mental Filter

You pick off a single negative detail or event and dwell on it exclusively, and then your vision of all reality becomes darkened.

Keeping with my job example, if I had continued down ‘A’s darkened path of the all or nothing thinking:

“I didn’t get the job, I am a complete failure”

‘A’s mental filter would dwell on the fact, “I lost out on the job by 2 points”. ‘A’ would obsess over this detail.

” I didn’t get the job because I scored 2 points less than someone else, where could I have gone wrong, where could I have gained those 2 points, what if I had written that instead of that, what if I had said this as opposed to that.”

It would have clouded my reality for the rest of the day. The world would be a darker place because of this. My frame of mind would be negative and poisonous.

However, I didn’t succumb to ‘A’s evil spell, I spotted it before it was too late and I flip reversed that bad boy and therefore I spent the day feeling positive over the situation and didn’t fall under the mental filter trap.

Disqualifying the positive

If I had been hooked into ‘A’s all or nothing thinking of “I am a complete failure” and fallen into ‘A’s mental filter trap of “I didn’t get the job because I failed by 2 points” then I would have rejected the positive experience of being placed second and of interviewing well, by insisting it doesn’t count because I didn’t get the job. This then spirals a negative frame of mind of that experience which had positive elements.

By focusing on the positives;

” I went to the interview, I was successful, the company feel I’d fit in well, I was only 2 points away from being offered the job. I did so well for my first job interview since my breakdown”

I congratulated my efforts. I felt a sense of achievement and I praised myself for a job well done. I didn’t disqualify my efforts because I didn’t get the job and dwell on that fact and only that fact and allow everything else to be discounted.

  • Can you see how my unwanted hitch hiker’s mind games can affect an outcome so drastically?
  • Can you relate any of your own experiences to these frames of minds?

It’s so easy to fall into this trap without even realising it. I spent months spiraling downwards because of this and didn’t even notice. It felt like a normal, comfortable, go to mindset which I was use to travelling down.

By simply journaling my thoughts every day, then reflecting on them, I was able to spot this pattern and it has helped to change my way of thinking.

It has prevented dark days of negativity and allowed me to love myself a little more, to focus on the good points in situations, instead of the bad.

I can spot that some of ‘A’s mind games go hand in hand. If i can successfully beat one at the start of the thinking pattern, the rest will fall like dominoes. (Very satisfying!)

One step at a time

One day at a time

YOU CAN BEAT THIS!

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Springing into action

A few weeks have passed since I went *under construction*, a time where I have tried to celebrate the awesome parts of myself and ignored the negativity coming from ‘A’.

Throughout the past couple of weeks I have seen a HUGE improvement within myself.

This has been as a result of a few changing elements:

  1. I went back onto medication
  2. I went back to therapy
  3. I quit my job
  4. I attended church

All massive elements that impact your life 100%, wouldn’t you agree?

Here’s my journey so far……..

1. Medication

I didn’t make this decision lightly, if you have read any of my previous posts you will remember I was on medication for a long long time and decided I was ready to come off at the start of 2016. This went smoothly and I was living a medication free life, the happiest I had ever been (even with a few moments of anxiety). My plan was to be able to manage my anxiety symptoms by myself, as they arise, and get stronger and more like Wonder Woman after every attack. (I didn’t quite master the Wonder Woman part…)

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I lost my mum very suddenly in April 2017 and for the most part of 2017 I was coping, I was surprising absolutely everyone. I was a strong machine of numbness and denial and I thought I was winning the grief battle. (hahahahahahaha as if right?)

Que New years eve 2017…..10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…….HAPPY NEW YEAR……….WAIT……WHAT………..

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

I went crashing into 2018 with a hard hit from reality, a realisation that I wouldn’t have my mum by my side. After that everything was a massive blur of sadness, tiredness, isolation and guilt. I tried to carry on for a while but I simply wanted to die.

My unwanted hitchhiker was attacking constantly, I feared everything, I couldn’t leave the house, I couldn’t wash, I wanted to die but feared death at the same time. One Sunday evening in early February I stood in the kitchen holding a knife having visions of killing myself…Monday morning I was at the doctors.

Since then I have been battling with the side effects, one being increased anxiety, suicidal thoughts and crazy vivid dreams. I preserved and stayed strong and have finally come out the other end.

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I am on the lowest dose possible and I’m starting to feel a difference.

I know it was the right decision to make now I am here.

Why do we torture ourselves?

Why do we listen to others instead of our own bodies crying out for help?

Everyone around me was saying:
“don’t choose medication”
“it will just mask the symptoms”
“it will pass”
“just think positively”
“chin up”

….blah blah blah…..more like…………

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2. Religion

All my childhood I grew up surrounded mostly by Atheists, I knew no different. I even got dumped by a boy in school because I had no idea who Jesus was. (abit harsh I thought). My mum was Catholic and started attending church when she split up with my father but I wasn’t living with her at the time.

It was during one of the side effects of my medication – vivid horrible dreams, that I found religion. I was having a very emotional dream about my mum, she was crying and saying her goodbyes to me, telling me how proud she was of me, how she loved me and never wanted to leave me (a moment I never got when she died). In my dream I was crying my eyes out and awoke with a crash and a sob, it felt so real. Whilst dreaming I had managed to knock over my bed side table, at the time I was so emotionally raw I got out of bed to get some water. I was sobbing uncontrollably, I felt so sick. when I returned I put my bedside table back where it belonged and noticed a book had fallen out and opened up. I picked it up to discover it was my mum’s bible and it had opened up at the start of John. So i read it.

Just from reading the book of John I felt stronger, I felt as though there was hope for the first time in 12 months. I was interested to learn more so I visited my local church and have been attending bible study ever since.

I know religion isn’t for everyone, but it seems to be helping me. I ignore the remarks, the smirks and the talking behind my back from my atheist family. God has reached out to me and I welcome him into my heart.

3. Therapy

As a person I am better at helping others, I get strength from being needed and being helpful. I can listen and offer encouragement, I can guide and offer support. Easy Peasy.

I can’t however lean on others for the sake of myself. I cant reach out, I cant let others in and I keep everything close to my chest and in my head. It’s just how I am made. I have realised that although i don’t want to be a burden to anyone, not talking about what i’m going through has only set me back further, and only damaged myself more, so I decided to give counselling a go.

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It’s tough, my goodness it’s tough. The first couple of sessions I was like one of those old shaky dogs waiting outside the supermarket for its owner. It was uncomfortable and emotional and it brought horrible sensations along with it. I haven’t given up though.

I am learning techniques to be able to manage my anxiety and my grief side by side and after 8 sessions so far I am starting to see/feel a difference.

Again people around me told me:
“counselling wont help”
“it will make you feel worse”
“why would you want to talk about it?”
“it’s a waste of money”

They are right, for some people, counselling doesn’t work, makes people feel worse and wastes their money but for me? It is helping.

Did it make me feel worse to start with? Hell yes!

Did I want to talk about it? No!

It’s helping me and that’s all that matters. I choose to ignore people’s comments and opinions because they are not me and they do not know what is right for me.

We are the only people who know whats right for us. Don’t let others opinions manipulate you into not doing something you want to do.

ITS YOUR LIFE.

4. Jobless

It’s pretty scary to quit your job without another job to go to right? Most people are unhappy in their jobs and just get on with it right? Some people spend their days wishing their weeks away until the weekend right? Wrong.

If your job is making you ill you shouldn’t have to endure it just because everyone else apparently hates their jobs but they get on with it. You don’t need to pull yourself together and you certainly dont need to get a grip.

My job made me ill, I was a ball of anxiety from the minute I left the house until the minute I got home (sometimes longer…), I was constantly run down, constantly negative and I hated everyone around me. I spent hours in the toilets trying to hold it together, trying to calm anxiety attacks and get my breath back. If you can deal with that everyday and still go to work and live your life fine, then good for you. I couldn’t.

So I quit. I have re-evaluated my life and what’s important to me and realised i need to be kinder to myself, i always try to do too much and it comes crashing down. I am always way too hard on myself to prove to everyone that I can succeed. Do they even care? Probably not! So I’ve decided to look for part-time work instead, this will give me a chance to work on myself more and build myself back up to the awesome person I once was.

I will never be the “2016 happy girl” I was striving to get back, she’s gone, but I can be the “now girl”, a new and improved wonder woman machine. I cut my hair, us girls know what that means… I’m ready and serious to change my life!

Baby steps though….

One step at a time

One day at a time

I’ve spent way too long trying to prove to others I am ‘normal’ that I can succeed the way they want me to. Well screw them, not any more, I will strive to be my weird and wonderful unique self and the only success will be for me.

Who wants to be ‘normal’ anyway?!

Don’t ever let others dictate your happiness, or try to steer you away from a decision that you feel is best for you (unless that decision is life threatening!!)
Be yourself

You are unique, You are powerful, Your are beautiful

Find what feels good and stick with it.

Even if it does turn heads and start people talking….

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‘Under Construction’

Ever since I lost my dear mum, I have been striving to get back to that person, the person who had her shit together, the person who was strong,  the person who felt happiness in her life.

With Mother’s day looming, what I have finally realised is that I am being too hard on myself.

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I am never going to get back to the person I was before the loss, how can I? I have lost one of the most important people in my life, I have lost the only person who cared for me and the only person who was there for me day in day out, through good times and bad, through stupid decisions and great ideas, through the I told you so moments, through the come here have a hug and let it all out moments.

There is never going to be someone in my life whose whole existence was to take care of me, who I wanted to make proud every single day. There is never going to be someone who I love as much or who loves me unconditionally; even when I am being an utter monster.

I need to stop trying to get back to what I think is normal me, erase that idea and start building a new me.

A me I am proud of

A me that I love unconditionally

A me who will always be there for me

A me who is a survivor

A me who is a fighter (even at times I didn’t want to fight)

A me who has somehow still managed to live my life without my mum

A me who is strong (even at times when I have been my weakest)

I don’t give myself enough credit for going through such a sudden loss and still being here today.

Is my life a mess? 100%

Is my mental health shattered? 100%

Am I an emotional wreck all the time? 100%

Have I given up? NO. – I don’t give myself enough credit for that.

Have I been able to do this without the help of medication? NO – but I tried my hardest for months on end and I couldn’t function.

I know my mum would want me to take medication to pick me back up because she knows it will only be temporary, she knows I am strong, she knows I am the most stubborn MOFO to exist and will want to conquer this. I get all those amazing traits from her. Even at the end she fought so hard.

I miss my mum every single second of every waking moment, I even dream of her when I am asleep. It’s never nice dreams at the moment but I know with time it will ease, I know with time the feeling that my body is splitting into two will ease also, I just have to weather the storm.

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Last mother’s day, my mum was too unwell to celebrate it, a week later she was taken into hospital and never returned home.

So to all who are reading this, don’t wait for Mother’s day; ring your mum, go visit your mum, tell her you love her, hug her that extra second longer because one day who’ll think back to those last moments and wish you’d held on. I never got to say goodbye to my mum, I never got to tell her it was ok and that I loved her very much one last time and that will forever stay an unfinished chapter in my life.

Did my mum know I loved her? Yes, I told her all the time

Did I hug my mum one last time? Yes, but I wish I had held on longer.

I shall begin my new chapter, a chapter of me, a chapter of reconstruction.

One step at a time

One day at a time

In the words of Sylvester Stallone “Keep Punching!”

 

To my fellow readers out there, who are ‘under construction’, take your time, reconstruct yourself with love and kindness and remember to enjoy the ride.

You are awesome, you are strong, you can do this.

 

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Me, Myself & ‘A’ return

My hitchhiker and I are back….

You probably didn’t notice but….

I retreated into my shell of armor for a few weeks, everything got on top of me and ‘A’; my unwanted hitchhiker, was screaming at me constantly. There was no peace and quiet, the storm was raging on and the waves were crashing into me over and over and over again, no pause to catch my breath and straighten myself back up.

I was drowning, ‘A’ was laughing.

What use to happen was ‘A’ would become uncontrollable and I’d disappear into my shell for a few days and normally come out past the worst of it but since my mum died and I am dealing with ‘the wanker‘ grief, it seems that both of them twist me from the inside and days turn into weeks, where I am retreating and hibernating.

This time it became unbearable because I couldn’t function. I couldn’t go to work, I couldn’t leave the house and I couldn’t live like a human being. (I was more like a Duracell bunny that had run its batteries low and was just twitching on the same spot until eventually the battery died completely.)

I think the trigger for me was the night I was planning on going out for food with my friend. It had been planned for weeks and I was dreading it. When my friend got here I put on my war paint and pretended I was fine, ignored the knot in my stomach and tried to act like an acceptable human being. (One of the first signs of anxiety for me is going cold and I was shivery cold that night.)

We stepped outside and ‘A’ started attacking, I had a very bad anxiety attack which I couldn’t control and completely freaked my friend out.

She couldn’t understand what was happening to me.

She kept telling me:

“SNAP OUT OF IT!!!

She kept yelling at me:

“YOU’RE BEING STUPID!!”

“ACT YOUR AGE!”

“YOU ARE INSANE!!!!”

I tried to explain it’s ‘A’, my anxiety.

She called me:

“A LIAR…”

“A COWARD…”

She kept repeating that I should just tell the truth, if I didn’t want to go out I should of cancelled, that I don’t need to make up lies about anxiety when I was fine to go out for a meal before Christmas and am perfectly fine now…

(I was completely broken, infront of her, crying, shaking, hyperventilating. I was like one of those old shakey dogs you see sitting outside a supermarket waiting for its owner)

I was telling the truth, for the first time, I was telling someone the truth and I was called a liar for it.

How many times have you cancelled on someone because your anxiety has been too bad?

I didn’t want to let my friend down, I wanted to try and beat ‘A’ but I failed.

Now normally no one would have seen that anxiety attack and I would have been able to keep it on the inside, but the grief doesn’t allowed me to conceal any feelings anymore, it smashes down my walls and allows the flood gates to open.

My friend left me in the peak of my anxiety attack; I crawled into bed with a hot water bottle, turned my phone off and cried until I passed out.

It was a week later that my sister turned up at my home, seven days without any communication with the outside world, seven days of crying, self hatred and lack of nutrients. (This was very new to me because in the past, no matter how crappy I felt I always had to keep going because my mum needed me, without this need I had no strength or desire to fight it.)

On day 8 I was taken to see a psychiatrist and put back on medication, ever since that day I’ve been riding the side effects rollercoaster.

I didn’t want this day to come, especially after being strong and able enough to come off tablets completely in 2016 but I have to be kind to myself and understand I am dealing with a great big loss and sometimes extra help is required.

It’s not forever; it’s just for the now.

One week into my new medication I was having a horrible, vivid nightmare. I must have been moving around in my sleep quite spectacularly as I managed to push over my bedside table, which woke me up from my nightmare. After getting up, picking up the bedside table, grabbing some water and heading back to bed, I noticed a book had fallen out of the draw and had landed open on the floor. I picked it up to reveal it was my mum’s bible and it had opened onto the book of John. I read it, not once but twice, I don’t know how or why but the gospel gave me a small glimmer of hope and so much strength and since that day I have started to gain mental strength bit by bit. Every day is still a test but I am rebuilding my resilience once again, in my own time and at a pace I can manage using the bible as my guide.

I don’t know whether it was the Lord himself, my mum or sheer luck but someone wanted me to pick up the bible and seek guidance from it and that’s exactly what I am doing.

So here I am on this new path, hopefully I will lose my hitchhiker on the way…I definitely lost a friend.

Remembing to breathe, take each moment as it comes and keep fighting!

When everything overwhelms you, what’s your coping mechanism?

Do you also find strength from the bible? Send me your favourite passages 🙂

‘A’ and the public

Before I begin to waffle on about my waffling waffles of life…. (hmmmm waffles) I wanted to touch on breathing.

Breathing you say?

Yes that’s right, the thing that gives us life. The very thing most of us go through their everyday lives not even noticing that we do it.

Breathing in life, breathing out waste.

For me ‘A’ has always focused on my breathing. Whether that’s shortness of breath, hyperventilating, day to day breathing and the occasional choke on your own saliva kind of breathing. (I don’t recommend the last one, very unpleasant!)

Infact the very mention of breathing gets me all tight in the throat.

I quite often go through my days watching people breathing and swallowing, observing how their own body is self sufficient enough to breathe without reminder. (I am also aware how strange that is for me to observe but if you have read any of my other posts you’ll already understand that it’s a pretty normal thing for me to do really 😂)

Anyway moving on…..

Are you aware that there are so many different ways to breathe?

It’s the one thing I struggled with when starting my Yoga journey because as someone who was already more conscious of my breathing, to have to focus on it even more, was an anxiety attack just waiting to happen. (It did happen…over and over and over again)

I do however find it extremely useful in anxious moments to take a few moments to inhale deeply filling my lungs completely, holding the breath for 3 seconds then exhaling in a controlled slow manner for the count of 6 seconds. I repeat this until im feeling more in control.

The great thing about it is you can do it in public with ease.

So, have you taken time out of your day to day to breathe?

Try it.

Now we’ve taken a moment to breathe, onto what I originally planned to write about today.

‘A’ with other people.

You see ‘A’ isn’t content to cause anxiety just for me, oh no that would be selfish! ‘A’ also torments me about others. I literally worry my little brunette head off for the sake of others, strangers, passers by and maybe even the occasional animal.

  • Does anyone else?

We live in a techy society now where people don’t even need to watch where they are walking for fear they will bump into a lamp post or human, instead they surf the web using the power of WiFi to guide them. A society that would rather stare at a phone screen than watch the world go by. This saddens me.

How can you live in the now if you’re not paying attention?

How can you be present?

Sometimes I think if I wasn’t present in these situations then maybe I wouldn’t have ‘A’ on my back all the time but if I am looking at my phone screen I am missing the world go by and therefore not in this amazing, not to be missed, limited time only now….

For example…..

If I had sat and surfed social media in the doctors surgery yesterday I wouldn’t have noticed the gentleman sitting opposite me. He seemed like an average person. Nothing stood out to me as strange, except one thing…his shoe laces were un-tided and flopping about like long dog ears.

Off goes ‘A’….

Why are his shoelaces un-tided? Should I tell him? What if he knows they are? What if he has a phobia of tying shoelaces? Wouldn’t he just tuck them inside his shoe? He’s going to trip, what if he trips and falls on me? What if he hurts me? What if he falls on the walk to the doctors office and there’s blood? What if he has a blood virus? What if I get his blood on me? Maybe I should tell him? No I won’t, he must know? He has a wedding ring on, why did his partner let him leave the house like that? Was he in a rush? He looks clean, I should tell him? No I won’t…i should though…he might hurt himself? Why do I care? It’s his life maybe he likes taking risks?

*name gets called by doctor*

“Excuse me, (he surely can’t be aware) your shoelaces are un-tided…”

“….I know”

Oh. Well. That ends that. Idiot!

I spent the next few hours thinking about this guy. Is he ok? Did he fall and trip somewhere? Was he trying to fall and trip and claim compensation? I should have recorded his response incase i see him on the news! Why were his shoelaces intentionally un-tided?! I guess it will have to stay as one of life’s long unsolved mysteries!

Another example….

At the train station I was particularly focusing on this one women because she was going to town on this sausage roll, it was sickening. I have zero tolerance for loud eaters, I won’t hold back. I was imagining shoving her sausage roll up her left nostril when I noticed her handbag on the floor. I thought to myself if she pays anymore attention to said sausage roll she will lose that handbag! Then her phone rang so not only was she inhaling sausage, she was also talking and venturing away from her handbag!

Que ‘A’…..

Is she aware her handbag in under the bench? What if someone steals it? What is she leaves it behind? I should tell her? But she eats like a pig? Screw her. Maybe I still should tell her? What if she has a family heirloom in there or a long lost treasured letter from her great aunts, nephews, brothers, son? What if her purse has cash in it and only cash? How will she get home from the train station she gets off at? Should i tell her? Screw her, she clearly doesn’t care either way.

*train arrives, we all pile on…i wonder if the handbag made it…

Next thing I’m sitting opposite the sausage monster and have front row seats as she slowly realises her handbag is nowhere to be seen. She’s clawing at the window, unable to do anything but watch the train drive away with no handbag in tow.

I should have told her 😭

I then spend a good couple of days what iffing about what would of happened. Why didn’t I just tell her? What if she was stranded the other end? What if it had valuable in it? (Normally at 3am when I’m trying to sleep)

Still want more? Okay, one more 😂…

A night out in my city, a very rare occurrence! I was out with my sister and her friends and I noticed a girl at the bar, tall, dark hair and wearing a gorgeous sequin black dress. (It sounds tacky but I’m a magpie, I love anything that’s sparkly and in the lights it sparkled, so cut me some slack here!) I was revelling in the beauty of this dress when I scanned down her legs to see an almighty ladder in her black tights… (Oh no what a party pooper to my dress ogling!)

Drumroll for ‘A’….

Does she know she has a ladder in her tights? If she does she must be upset about it? Wait she can’t know, if she did she would surely have taken the tights off? It’s ruining her look, maybe i should say something? I’d want to be told wouldn’t I? What if she gets mad at me? What if she punches me? She might break my nose? There would be blood if she did that, everywhere, then my dress would be ruined too. What would we have gained? I’ll leave it. Why do I even care? Stop thinking about it….

*2 hours, a few vodka’s and a bathroom trip later…

“Excuse me? Hi, firstly can I say I love your dress? Where is it from?” Blah blah blah. “Secondly, I noticed a few hours ago (oh why did I have to mention that?) that you have a ladder in your tights, I’m guessing your not aware because you still have them on so…”

“Thanks, I’m aware, I just don’t care and neither should you. Enjoy the rest of your evening.”

Oh. Right. Well yeah she is right. Why do I care?

I then spend the rest of the night convincing myself she has told everyone what a weirdo I am. Why did I care? Why did I bother to mention it? Why didn’t I just wash my hands and keep my mouth shut? Now she thinks I’m a weirdo stalker women. I bet she calls me the tights police or something. I’m a loser.

This is a daily occurrence for me. Literally daily.

Why can’t I just go through my life ignoring everyone and walking by a problem like the majority of the human race do? When I do butt into people’s lives, it’s not well received and when I don’t I wish I did!

‘A’ makes me over care and sometimes it’s not a good thing!!

Will I stop? Probably not, I can’t.

‘A’ makes me….

The annoying thing is I can’t remember what day it is half the time, or even what planet i am on, yet I can remember every single awkward ‘A’ run in!

  • I wonder if anyone can relate?

I’ll probably over think about it for a while now…🙄