What I Want to Achieve
Anxiety , Mental Health / December 31, 2018

The end of a year. What a big step for people (just kidding it is the change of a date but whatever). New Years Eve was always a mixed holiday for me. I love the party with my family, the sparkling cider, and counting down till midnight (having my soul mate with me at midnight for the past five years hasn’t been the worst either). However, for the most part, New Years Eve is a somber day in my world. I am extremely nostalgic, like painfully. I can bring myself to tears thinking about everything regarding the past. I miss being a child, I miss living at home, I miss my sixth grade English class, you get the point. Therefore, New Years Eve was always slightly painful. It was a whole day to look back on the fact that another year of my life has ended, and to “miss” all the things that I experienced. This year, however, the feeling is different. I am not nostalgic or sad, I am mainly fearful (shocking I know). 2018 was the most wild year of my life, and not in a good way. It was a time of incredible lows, and a lot…

What I Want You To Know For Your Birthday in Heaven
Anxiety , Mental Health / December 28, 2018

Today is your birthday. Your fifth in heaven. What a mix of emotions. I am so glad you are having your birthday in heaven, because I know it is so joyous. I am sad that you are not having your birthday with us, because it would have been so amazing. Yet, the part that makes your birthday the most sad is that you were the one who decided to celebrate in heaven. There are so many things that I would love to say to you if I could. Things that to you may have sounded selfish, but to me are just all the reasons that I wish you had stayed. So, to one of the greatest people I have ever know, on your five year heaven birthday anniversary, here are things I want you to know. I Know You Struggled At the time, I was young, but even then and especially now I know, you struggled. You fought mental illness so hard. You had a diagnosis that is extremely hard to contain, and I honestly do not believe that you had much support. I cannot imagine how hard and how scary it must have been for you to be in…

My Body Image
Anxiety , Mental Health / December 22, 2018

This post may go a little bit all over the place, but only because it is one of the most emotional part of mental illness for me. Whenever I would think of mental illnesses before I experienced one myself, I always thought that they only affected a person’s brain. Therefore, you could never tell who was struggling with mental illnesses unless you talked to them directly about it. However, when I look at myself today, I wonder how someone could possibly look at me without thinking that I was sick. My mental illness is not hidden. My body has gone through transformations that I could not even imagine in the past year. So today, I am going to take you on a walk through the past year of my life with anxiety as documented through pictures of my body. This is so incredibly hard for me to post, because even looking at these pictures brings me to tears, but I think that it is important to be transparent, and to also let other people know that they are not alone. My Body Before Anxiety You will have to excuse the low-quality IPhone 5 photo from two summers ago, because I…

Why I Don’t Take Medication for My Anxiety
Anxiety , Mental Health / December 11, 2018

I have disclosed in a previous post (my review of multiple anxiety relief methods, you can view it here), that I do not use medication for my anxiety. There are a lot of different opinions on whether or not medication should be taken for anxiety, and to what extent. Before I begin, I just want to say that every person is different. What works for me may not work for someone else. My experience will be different than anyone else’s, and not everyone will share my views on this. That is okay. I am not asking for you to submit to my viewpoints, I just want to share what my experience has been and give the reasons for not taking medication. I found alternate opinions extremely helpful when I was first trying to navigate the world of mental health, and I also would like you to get to know me a little bit better. My Experience with Anxiety Medication: It was in January of 2018 that I first went to the doctor for my anxiety. I had been told by my counselor at the time that it may help me to stay in school, and to work through my feelings for the…

A Letter to My Anxiety
Anxiety , Mental Health , Uncategorized / December 10, 2018

Dear Anxiety,  Since you happen to be around for 99% of my day, I figured it was time that I addressed you directly. I used to hate you with a burning passion. You stole my life. You took me from a fiesty, independent woman with great opportunities ahead of me, and turned me into a dependent, suffering shell of myself. You took my career, my degree, my relationships, and my freedom. At night after a panic attack you left me crying alone in the bathroom, wondering why you had chosen me, what I had done to deserve such a cruel fate.  I stayed in that state for months. Apathetic, loathing you and loathing myself. I didn’t try to change. You had me beat, convinced that I didn’t deserve a better life, and that even if I did, I wasn’t strong enough to beat you.  But you know what, anxiety? Something changed. I don’t hate you anymore. I don’t hate myself anymore. I am not weak, and I can beat you. There are parts of you that actually help me in life. You let me know when I am getting too in over my head, which was a skill I never…

Words of Freedom
Uncategorized / December 8, 2018

Over a year ago, when I first began having issues with anxiety at work, I wrote a poem. I have always been a writer, and have a certain soft spot for poetry. In that moment, I really wanted to capture what an anxiety attack felt like through writing. I jotted it down on a piece of scrap paper and shoved it into the pocket of my uniform. I forgot about that poem for the most part until months later when I was working for my college’s fine arts magazine. We were doing an open mic, and the head of the magazine wanted me to perform. I knew that I had the piece, but I did not feel comfortable sharing it with my friends from school. At this point no one besides a few close friends knew that I had issues with anxiety. I overcame my nerves and recited the poem to the mostly silent crowd of peers. It was such an empowering moment for me, and one that will stay with me for a very long time. It is so hard to be vulnerable with those who know you, and worries of criticism and hate abound. Yet, once those fears…

My Husband Is My Rational Mind
Uncategorized / December 6, 2018

Most of the time, I deal with my anxiety by myself. My husband works a 9-5 job, he has obligations, he has friends to see. I try as much as possible not to keep him from doing what he loves, even though I cannot participate. Therefore, I have an average of 9-12 hours a day where I am completely alone at our apartment. For that portion of the day, I handle my anxiety. Yet, it is always a relief when I see my husbands headlights turning into the driveway (darn you winter with your darkness at 4:45). The reason I am so relieved is because my anxiety is handled differently when my husband is home. When I am alone, I use survival techniques the majority of the time. I do yoga, take a shower, get fresh air, distract myself. When I am anxious, I am not normally in the state of mind to “self-talk”, and therefore cannot convince myself that the anxious thoughts that I am having are not rooted in reality. I just use another method ot get through the panic. This is okay on a surface level basis, because I am able to cope on my own and…

I'm Not Failing, I'm Growing
Uncategorized / December 2, 2018

Throughout anxiety, I have been struggling with a large misconception about the way that recovery is viewed. I also have had problems with using unhealthy language to guage my “outings”. In order to overcome my agoraphobia, it is extremely important to push myself and leave the house. My therapist and I have talked extensively about how to go about improving myself and my life. Let me be honest: leaving my house is not easy for me. When I try to go out places it is not always sunshine and glaring success. Therefore, in the eyes of my therapist, progress is not immediately fleeing from the situation I am feeling anxious in. Progress is working through the feelings, and practicing overcoming my anxiety. However, I have an issue with that system. I have always been an “over-achiever”, and I get extremely impatient when a situation does not resolve as quickly as I would have wanted it to. While a year may not seem to be an extended period of time, when you are stuck in your house, or within ten minutes of your house, it becomes a very long time. I always fall into a bad habit when I am working…

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