Soul Searching

Every six months I am obligated to see a nurse at my local doctors. We reevaluate the plan of attack on my Generalised Anxiety Disorder and see what is working and what is not. I always love our little meetings. From day one she was supportive and shared her experiences with the mental illness and also self discovery.

When first meeting her I had a small awakening. It wasn’t much, but she opened me up to being a little bit more accepting of my own nature. She was mindful and it inspired me to be the same.

After a few appointments she informed me that she could see I was a very sensitive person to the world around me. This was the ultimate epiphany. I was oblivious to the fact that I was so sensitive to not only my own thoughts and feelings, but to others and their thoughts and feelings, and when she explained this some things began to make sense.

I could understand now why arguments with friends and families took a very big toll on me, or why the mood of waitress would determine how I felt for the rest of the night. A smiling baby would bring about happy tears and an argument between friends in the street would make me mad.

I consume the universe around me and only now do I feel I am understanding this.

I’m not sure if this will aid in my determination to beat my anxiety but I know it will aid in finding myself. Discovering I was lost has shone a light. I guess you could call my anxiety a blessing… I’ve learnt so much about myself from it.

Before all of this, I would just do what is expected of me. Be intelligent, not too much intelligent, don’t ask questions, do ask questions, go to school, go to University, know what you’re going to do with your life, live a little, don’t waste time; the list goes on. I still am, in a way, a follower but now I am not so naive. My mind is open even when my mouth is not. I am on this journey to mindfulness, to self discovery; I am a soul searcher!

The term soul searcher has really stuck with me since beginning to read Emma Mildon’s incredibly enlightening book, The Soul Searchers Handbook: A Modern Girl’s Guide to the New Age World.

Although only a quarter of the way into the book I’ve already discovered how much of an “enlightened” person I am. She explains how a lighted soul is someone that feels connected to the suffering but also the growth of other beings. I wish there was another word I could use here, but again, I’ve discovered that my sensitivity is due to my enlightenment.

I am so open to others and there ideas or suffering. I am accepting and now I know I am happy to be so. I always thought I was so dramatic to feel and be so affected by the world around me. People I know just ponder through life so untouched by the things they see, feel or hear from others. I didn’t understand why and thought I was a drama queen.

Maybe a lot of other people need to “walk out of confinement” as Emma Mildon writes and it’s not me who needs to move backwards, it’s others who need to move forwards.

I feel this is the beginning of my spiritual journey, so I wish to share it all with you. Although I have other people and other experiences that have aided in my road to self discovery (a long one that I’ve just realised I was on and it has a lot of bumps), I thought to share these with you as it is the first thing that has really resonated with me.

Yes, I love Yoga. Yes, I love meditation and crystals and a bunch of things, but this simple connection between my mind and soul has been a real eye opener.  Discovering my enlightenment has helped me get to know a huge part of myself.

So you’re witnessing the beginning of Teigan’s never ending soul searching road trip! Exciting, I hope you stick around.

Sydney Diaries- An Anxious Woman

DAY 1- 7.50am, Thurs. 15th of September

 

I am currently cramped between the window of a very small airplane and my sleeping boyfriend. Being up at 3am with about 3 hours sleep has taken its toll on him… And me, we are exhausted. I’m typing this on my phone from the plane on our way to Sydney. We still have 25 minutes left of the flight and I have nothing to do except stare at all the other people sleeping. Not very entertaining, unless of course

 

DAY 2- 7.00am, Fri. 16th of September

 

Sorry about that! My partner awoke from his slumber mid sentence and then after that yesterday was just GO go go. Surprisingly, I went really well yesterday. My anxiety was low for most of the day and it was great. It gave me the confidence I need for this trip.

On the plane, for a few seconds I felt enclosed and my skin got hot and my stomach rumbled but it went away and that’s the focus. It will go away, it won’t kill me. I was also overwhelmed by the amount of people in Sydney yesterday. The big city is so daunting and people are so inconsiderate. I could see how this place could drive someone mad… pushing and shoving, in and out of peoples personal space. But I thoroughly enjoyed seeing another, more fast paced way of living.

We walking around the city, through the wax museum, to Harbour Bridge, To the Opera House, it was beautiful. By the afternoon we were exhausted and laid around until 5pm where we walked to the casino ( I hobbled with blistered feet) and bet the tiniest amount because we’re tight asses.

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My anxiety began to spark a little knowing the big day we had today, so last night I was relieved to get out of my head when I got into bed. Ahhh, too tired to think is perfect. We’re headed over on a ferry to put cruise, I’ll check in when I can.

 

DAY 3- No idea what time it is, Sat. 17th, September

 

We made it on the ship! It was such a long walk. We walked about 10kms yesterday trying to get here. The waterfront entrance was so far from where we needed to be. However we made it, thanks to the help of a little old lady & also my partner. She literally yelled out at us and asked if we were walking to the cruise terminal. When replying yes, she was pretty shocked as she said it is such a long way, even though we could see the cruise ship right beside us! There just wasn’t a way down the cliff side and to the dock without following the LONG winding road.

The ship is huge. We booked in a spot in the thermal room at the spa, checked out all the shops and gym, had a cocktail, browsed the casino and ate from the buffet. The annoying thing is though I felt awful so we went to bed at 8.00pm! What a way to spend the first night. I just wasn’t used to the rocking, I felt dehydrated and my anxiety was begun inning to make me panic- I had spent all day in small rooms around lots of people and I think the realisation was catching up with me.

I’m awake wondering if I should wake up Josh because I’m bored. Let’s hope today goes well…. Positive for no anxiety attacks.

Day 4- Again, no idea of the time, Sun. 18th, September

 

Update: have not had legitimate sea sickness. Been anxious as hell though. So paranoid of getting sick, which then makes me sick. Crazy hey? This is our last full day on the ship and I’m extremely anxious for the trip home tomorrow. I am worrying about worrying, how ridiculous. I’ll let you know what we got up too today.

 

I AM HOME!

 

I am extremely sorry about jumping so much throughout this, I was trying to document as well as I could but also live in the moment. Our last full day on the ship was nice. We saw some comedy shows which were brilliant! If you ever get the chance google Mark Twain (stage name is Bob Down), Hung Lee and some red headed woman named Kat! Oh they were a laugh.

The Marquee room where they had their shows was VERY rocky and made me feel very ill. I was anxious to sit near people, in a small and dark room, so there was a lot of, “I want to leave soon,” said to my partner. But I didn’t leave, and with each joke my chest got a little lighter. We also met some beautiful people and had some awesome conversations. I squeezed Josh’s hand and shook my head when a waitress said we’d be seated at a joint table. Well, it worked out well. Although my anxiety was high, I hid it until it eventually subsided and conversation flew naturally.

The commune home was exhausting. Hurrah for land but damn my legs were tired! We caught a very from the terminal to Circular Quay and wandered aimlessly until about 10.ooam wondering what to do. Our flight wasn’t until 6.00pm, which was a good plan to see more of Sydney until we realised we didn’t know what else to see. I began to feel very ill, I think from being on solid ground and from the anxiety of the flight.

I looked over at a giant wall and realised there was Chinese gardens in Darling Harbour. The best $6 we ever spent. It was beautiful. Josh also bought me a beautiful tea and we sipped it in the most tranquil place I had ever been. You wouldn’t have imagined it was in the middle of the city. The gardens were called The Chinese Garden of Friendship and the tea was Pin something or other…. I can’t remember.

After a few hours there we communed to the airport, where we ate food and felt so sick. Anxiety was high as we boarded the plane and I doubted myself if I could make the trip home. In my mind I tried to be mindful of my feelings but not feed them, eventually I felt alright and the flight home was easy.

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So, these are  the anxious entries of an apprehensive woman. I know I haven’t given you a lot to work with here but I plan to document my anxiety more on my next travels, alongside my adventures in order to be mindful of what my body and mind are doing.

 

Here is a link to my video of our trip.

The Road So Far

Since I’ve had a fairly new flow of traffic to my little blog I thought I would share a little bit more about myself and my fitness journey… I find this a little daunting as I am not a topic of interest but maybe there may be some inspiration here.

Last year after finally being given a medical diagnosis to the horrible fear and weight I carried around on my shoulders (Generalised Anxiety Disorder), I began to realise I wasn’t just carrying weight mentally. Physically my face was a lot rounder than it used to be, and my stomach made me look pregnant (sometimes this was due to anxiety as it would make me ill).

I realised that I was bigger than the norm. I wasn’t healthy and the weight gain had happened (in my eyes) so suddenly.

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Me at the beginning of 2016 at an unhealthy 79 kg. 

I had always tried to lose weight… I just always did it the wrong way. I would do a few push ups or try a HIIT workout at home and get upset when I didn’t see the results. Not only was my anxiety in the process of blooming, my health was weighing down my mind as well. I got anxious for photos (And I never worry about photos- I am the selfie queen!) and felt disgusting in everything I wore.

I don’t know when the switch flicked and I developed a more healthy lifestyle. After some research and some questions I eventually began to cut out big bad carbs like bread and potato. With that change alone, walking up a 700m mountain every couple of days and drinking a lot of water I already began to feel lighter.

All of this was with the advice of others but especially the help of my partner who drove me to this mountain when I didn’t have license because I was too anxious. On the days I couldn’t climb a mountain I tried to go for walks with our dog. Eventually I tried to change my diet to eating raw and natural foods, anything processed and packaged was not on the list. I started to think of my fuelling my body with food not just eating because I wanted something.

Bananas became a staple food. Although full of natural sugars (which means too much can be not so good for you) I could make anything from those suckers. Pancakes, biscuits, smoothies, banana bread, ice cream, it is a never ending list.

Sourcing out the processed food for the natural foods was the best decision ever. I still make mistakes though, a lot of them. It’s only been about 4 months of complete change and some days I still reach for the tub of chocolate chip ice cream, but I’ve also learnt how to control those cravings and I’ve learnt how to not BINGE!

Those walks I began eventually turned into jogs with my partner and I signed up at his gym. By this point I had probably went down from 79kg (174 pounds) to about 75.5kg (166 pounds).

Although I don’t necessarily believe you be defined by a number on the scales.. Nor do I believe that 79kg is an unhealthy weight for everybody. You can be whatever size you please, no judgement from me, as long as you feel comfortable in your own body. I however did not feel comfortable in my own body at that weight.

My first goal was 75kg and then I would aim for the big one which was 70kg. Gym became super fun, although I could only go once or twice a week. Our mountain climbing scheduled was put on hold for a while as my partner got super busy. I began to jog on the treadmill for a bit instead of just walking. I learnt more about cardio and strength training, I learnt more about calorie intake and healthy foods. This  new lifestyle was becoming fun!

Come June I ran my first 1km on the treadmill without walking. To a lot of people this might not be an achievement but to me this was my body telling me it was healthier and it was strong. I was strong!

I began to compare myself less to the other people in the gym or the fitness freaks I saw on social media.

Then when I hit 72kg I began to plato. The weight didn’t come off as quickly and this made it  a lot harder to stay motivated. I kept at it though, every time I slipped up I would try again.

I’m now 67.5 kg with my new goal being 65kg. Pretty crazy stuff huh? I’ve hit a plato again, I keep slipping up with chocolate biscuits. When I’m stressed those sweets look so darn good. But it’s okay to treat yourself and it’s okay to indulge, a little indulging is better than some serious binging.

So here I am today, healthy and happier and pushing to reach my goal right now.

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It’s not impossible to smash a goal, even with a mental illness, there is always a way to reach for exactly what you want.

 

 

 

Shady’s Back

Oh hi there blog… I’m sorry, a lot has happened and I haven’t intentionally neglected you. Well in a way I have… I have just wanted to take everything in and the spill it all out on here when I really felt the need too.

So… I got my license! And a car! Horray for this anxious beauty! I must admit… I bawled after I’d finished the driving test. It was a lot of stress and my mind was struggling to process it- I cried even more once I’d found out I passed.

I think passing my driving test was a real hurdle that I managed to sort of pull myself up over. It’s opened the door to so many other things and it’s exciting but I wasn’t prepared for how daunting it is too. I’m so overwhelmed with my achievement that for a few days there I thought I could take on anything… And then when I tried and I failed I spiralled down.

We went to MovieWorld and I was so confident once I went on one ride, the anxiety would go away… But it didn’t, and this was a huge set back for me.

A continued appointments and my usual apprehensive self potted a long like usual until I finally got my car. Having it was meant to be great but ended up being super stressful. Now I had to drive on my own. TERRIFYING. I cried a lot, and made a lot of nervous mistakes (none life threatening and all simple) but I’ve kept driving and I’m glad.

Now my partner and I are staying at his Mum’s house while she is in Ireland. We are helping his older sister watch the younger sister (as she is a nurse and works odd shifts & my partner works odd shifts) so I am always here willing and able to pick his little sister up from dance or school and to watch her and just help out. It’s been a crazy experience for me.

I’ve loved it but I’ve also had my down moments. I’m very anxious if I have to drive somewhere I haven’t driven. I don’t know how to get there and I have to have my partner show me on google maps so I am prepared and I know what lane to be in etc.

I’m getting better though and I pray with time I will be able to just jump in the car and not think, just drive.

Dinners are also a struggle. As I’ve said before, I hate being stuck or feeling trapped and even though I am not stuck at the dinner table I feel like it. I feel rude to leave if I feel the need too and I panic majorly if there is any silence.

Week 1, with some major struggles is down. Week 2 is up next.

So far I’ve done well. Definitely had some bad days though. I haven’t slept away from home like this in almost 3 years. You can imagine the change is throwing me off. Physically I get very sick, and mentally I am so exhausted.

But hey, it’s all about exposing myself to these uncomfortable situations right? As my psychologist says anyway.

My partner likes to say, “You’ve got to be uncomfortable for a little in order to feel comfortable.”

And I get it, I do, I just want to always be comfortable. Haha.