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.

“How to Deal When in a Shitty Place” from Apprehensive Girl 101

We all get into a bad headspace every once in a while. Unfortunately, mine has lasted the last couple of weeks and at the expense of my poor boyfriends patience and goodwill.

I couldn’t tell you how to snap out of a bad mood for the life of me, but I can share some advice on how I make (and how I am trying to make) this terrible time a little less aggravating.

I am super stressed right now. I know, I know, so is everyone else… However, due to my personality and MAINLY my anxiety my emotions can be a teeny weeny incy little bit over dramatised…I mean I have a heart attack when the sheets aren’t on the bed perfectly.

This stress stems from a lot of things right now. Pressure and expectations being the main offender. As of lately I have heard comments about my anxiety being used as ‘an excuse’ and that I should be working and doing all these things a normal 20 year old is supposed to do. The pressure of others and their expectations has been just sitting in the back of my mind and with each word it is just slowly expanding, I feel like my head is going to explode.

I get very emotional when people judge me or talk about me in a nasty way and I think these comments in particular have weighed me down. I start workplacement soon though so I hope that helps the weight subside. In saying that though this leads to another stress factor… HOW THE HELL CAN I WORK WHEN I STILL STRUGGLE TO GO TO A MOVIE?!

You can imagine the anxiety I am having over that even though it is still over a month away. PRESSURE THOUGH.

My partner and I go on a holiday in 3 weeks and I am already freaking out about whether I’ll be sick, whether I’ll be able to sit through the hour and a half flight, whether I’ll be able to catch a train (nightmare for my anxiety!) and just whether or not I’ll be nervous about everything! Like jeez Teigan, get a grip.

This then leads on to the fact that my partner leaves for his training in the Defence Force in October and I have no idea how life will be without him! I’ve been living with him for the past year and before that he was the person who saved me from the horrid place I had previously lived in. He is the only person who knows my anxiety almost as much as myself and he is simply my rock.

Aside from a few other smaller issues, can you see why this anxious mind is working over time?

“Take it as it comes, Teigan. Go with the flow,” you might all say, but let me tell you this… It’s not that easy.

So here I am, sharing with you, how I am currently coping with the mess in my head.

Today my method of finding some ease was to buy a weekly planner. I have no clue if I’ll use it… I used to buy diaries and write in them for a week only to never lay eyes on them again. However I found some relief in feeling  a little bit more organised. I intend to use it and incorporate it as a daily strategy to any ‘scheduling’ anxiety issues.

I also like to do Yoga. Cliche you may say but in the right environment it’s just you getting out of your head by getting into your head… you know what I mean?

Following on from that, exercise. Cannot stress this enough. When I feel good about my body, I feel good about myself and I see things more positively. It just works.

Another strategy… I blog. On here, on BayArt, on TurnHerPassion. I write and usually it is just my feelings being typed out through my aggressive fingers and it is relieving.

With all this I try to practice mindfulness, although I know jack crap about it. I like to watch and read things on this beautiful way of life and I wish to one day be completely mindful of the world and myself and to just be observant and non responsive. When I know enough on this topic I would love to write about it too. If you’d like to share anything about it with me, please feel free to comment or find me through social media.

I am beginning to think this post has lost its structure but the thoughts are flowing so I can’t stop, but I am glad you are still here.

Another release I tend to use a lot is anger. Not the most practical nor the most efficient. This is where I hope mindfulness comes into play… I get so angry and my partner takes the lash of my snaps and comments. I am aware of this now, so I hope with the awareness I will be able to control it. I intend to not hold it in, but release it in another form. Through typing, through physical activity or something else. I intend to release the anger through anything but hurtful words or actions.

I find comfort in food. NO, not junk food. In sourcing ‘good for your body’ foods. I enjoy looking online, through shops, researching and discovering things about new/healthy foods. I enjoy cooking, eating and trying these foods and living healthily. As I said before, I feel better when I feel good about my body and that comes with what I do and what I put in my body.

I like to talk as well, about my problems. I find a big rant can be so relieving and this can take off some of the tension I feel. Sometimes it’s hard though. Don’t get me wrong, talking about how you feel can be extremely difficult. Once it’s done though (and to the right person with a kind listening ear) my little heart feels a lot lighter.

I feel like I’ve wandered off a little bit on this post and I don’t think it turned out to be as useful or structured as I’d originally planned. I would conclude with something great but I am really dying to drink my tea and watch The Vikings…

With that being said I want to give you a little bit of a reminder that it is ok not to be ok. I am positive person ( I like to think) but I too feel sadness, anger, resentment, nerves and so forth. To be emotional is not something to be embarrassed off, it’s how you deal with those emotions that define you. You could be anxious, but that’s ok. Acknowledge that anxiety, don’t be consumed. Hard I know but I think together we’ll learn.

(Not proof reading as I am currently too interested in the life of Ragnar Lothbrook, so please enjoy me, unedited)

 

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.

A Little Younger and A lot Dumber – Tonights Random Thoughts With Teigan

I’ve always heard that depression stems from staying in the past and anxiety stems from looking too far into the future, but I swear a lot of my anxiety stems from past situations.

About 20 minutes ago as I was scrubbing my underarms in a warm shower and I started to do some serious thinking. Isn’t the shower where all our ingenious ideas evolve? Well tonight that wasn’t the case.

Instead I took this time to really dwell on what a horrible person I was. Not in a ‘I’m such a bad person please give me your sympathy’ kind of way, but in a ‘hey, I really used to be a dick subconsciously to people who didn’t deserve it’ kind of way.

My actions were always selfish, unintentionally, but I was always looking for anything that would benefit me. In high school I was always after friends, always after boys, I nearly lost everything about me because I let my selfishness get in the way. I am lucky my now friends stood by me through that time.

I thought if I gave myself up entirely people would have to like me. Along the way I made some enemies, stepped on some toes and gave myself a bad name. I can swear on my life all the people I hurt I never did it with any intention to do so. My vision was blurred because I was so focused on ME and in the wrong way. I didn’t take care of myself, of my mind, of my heart and of my soul. I let myself get trampled on over and over again in hope that people would just like- not one person was enough, I needed to be liked by all and when I got the attention I was happy.

I remember one day I was so preoccupied with socialising and fitting in and impressing others that I completely forgot (or just shook off) that my BEST FRIEND was moving to Gladstone and that day would be the last day we would all hang out together. Instead of spending time with her I left with a bunch of friends. At that point in time I was forgetting the minority was better than the majority.

I continued to make some mistakes, and when people got mad (in reality I only ever upset one person but they made their own little army that hated me) I thought poor me. Now I realise I was responsible for my actions.

One person took everything I did very seriously and began to bully me excessively. I’m not saying I didn’t deserve to be called out on my actions, but the way it happened was horrible.

The threats, the phone calls, the name calling, the social media posts and the rumours were constant after graduation. When my partner (not at the time) stood up for me against the army of bullies he was then outcast as well. This was a wake up call to me in two ways…

  1. I only then realised I had such a kind hearted person who loved me, and that I didn’t need a majority when I was so blessed with a caring minority
  2. I was above my previous actions and I needed to change in order to appreciate these people

And so I fell in love with Josh and I focused on being a better friend. I did try to forget the past and I don’t think I’ve ever apologised to the person who bullied me. One day I think I should. I am not entirely in the wrong, the person took everything way too far, but I should apologise for not realising my actions would hurt them. I do not regret my past, I regret the people I hurt a long the way and the kind of person I was trying to be.

It’s not as horrible as I am making out to be, we’ve all been a little selfish here and there… But I think my anxiety amplifies my feelings of guilt and self worth so that’s what was on my mind tonight.

I want to be a better person than I used to be and I think I am, I hope I am.

 

 

What a Misbehaving Mind I Had Tonight

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As the afternoon began to roll on in and the errands were run and the jobs were done, I sulked over having to continue eating healthy. It’s a hard cycle if I’m being honest… one minute I am all down for self improvement and the next I just want to cry into a big bowl of ice cream.

Although technically I have been eating healthy for a while now, I’ve only just started to control my calorie intake and really get rid of my favourite things in the world- BREAD AND ICE CREAM.

After some sulking we went for a jog/walk and it was a nice reminder that not all of this is for nothing. I can jog for much longer than I used to be able too and I think that is a massive improvement. I also don’t scare as easy when I decide to leave the house for a run and my anxiety subsides within seconds.

I read, I cleaned, I started to sulk a little more. There was a lot of self loathing today. Self loathing as I scrolled through my social media seeing these supposed ‘friends’ or acquaintances leaving subtle posts about how much better they are. I just don’t understand it. Women (men too) bring others down to build themselves up. I want nothing more than to support others, but how do I support these people that so easily could tell me how much better they are than me?

I saw these posts today and I just felt worthless. I do know their lives are not as peachy as they make it out to be on the internet but it still bothers me. The looks they give me, the slight comments that I read into, they love to point me out for all my flaws, for all that I have, but won’t take a look in their own closet.

So I dwelled (like I usually do) over why it bothered me so much that some people won’t like me and then I questioned if I was just over thinking everything.

After some self loathing I dived into the stress of my future. What the hell am I going to do as a career? All these people my age have jobs and such, am I a slob for not? But I couldn’t handle a job right now, could I? So why do I send my mind through this monotonous cycle? Oh that’s right, because I have anxiety.

I get so down that I am not working, knowing full well I am focusing on nursing my mind back to health, but I still itch when I see others throwing it in my face. People looking down at me because I am not working right now, people making me think twice about who I am and what I am doing, it’s just too much. I shouldn’t have to explain myself but why do I feel the need too?

Technically I AM working, I am pushing my mind, pushing my limits, doing things I do not want to do, trying to finish my study, trying to balance life, trying to balance my million appointments, my exposure therapy, my everything… SO dang it Teigan stop!

Anyway, I have walked around for the night dazed and with my mind battling something similar to what you just read. I’m so exhausted, I might sleep. Another big day for little ol’ Teigan tomorrow.

 

Reminder to myself:

I am 20, I do not need to know everything.

I am going to live completely and fully indulged in whatever I do, I know that much. Time to be excited and not scared.

My life is great, my only flaw is my anxiety and so far I have been taking that on head first. LET’S TRAVEL, TAKE RISKS, JUST LIVE… It’s time!!

 

Something I will forever hold dear to my heart…

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I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with 51 penguins the other day!

Both species, King and Gentoo, are beautiful loving animals and I wish I could spend all day, every day with the funny little creatures. To my surprise they loved to play and were quite sassy when they wanted to be. Each penguin had a name that their trainers could remember.

I do believe in animal conservation and protection and if I am being honest I am not sure if these penguins (rescued) were living their lives to the fullest in their enclosure. I know the bare minimal on zoo animals so I don’t want to be criticised for spending some time with these guys… but I would like to learn more in order to know what I should and shouldn’t support.

In terms of my anxiety- I was sick most of the morning before hand and a little after. Once I was in with these gorgeous birds though I didn’t feel a thing (other than the FREEZING cold!) and I had a blast. I am so glad my mind was able to stop and just appreciate this beautiful moment…

I guess exposure therapy isn’t all that bad.

;

Tattoos aren’t really my thing. I have nothing against marking your skin with beautiful designs- it is art- but I am so indecisive I can’t decide on what I want on my body forever.

I guess the issue comes with my anxiety. I mean I get anxious when my partner says we should swap sides of the bed. Change is scary and so is my mind.

My anxiety however inspired me to go ahead and permanently ink my skin. I didn’t have to cover my whole body in tattoos, so why the hell not? At the time I had to prove I had some sort of control over MY mind and MY body. I am not my anxiety, it does not consume me.

Sometimes I still feel that I am not in control but there are things that remind me I am. When I just can’t believe that I have that power those things remind me I will when my mind clears.

My tiny wrist tattoo is a symbol of that control I have. It is proof that I can do something I didn’t think I would ever do. I can sit in a room with a man and let him hold the pen that marks me with something that will be there forever.

Now, almost a year later, the thought of it being there forever isn’t as terrifying because my pride overrides the irrational fear.

;

A semi colon is printed in ink on my left wrist. Not only is this tiny punctuation mark a symbol to me of my control but it is a representation of how my story shall continue.

A semi colon is used as a pause rather than ending of a sentence. To me this is a constant reminder that sometimes I will struggle, I will need a break, I will feel broken but this doesn’t mean my sentence has to end. I will continue on writing and I will finish my story.

There is a movement called the semi colon project and many others that suffer from mental illness group together and find meaning in these simple punctuation marks (here is some more information… please take a look). They are a sign of struggle but also achievement. They are a representation of the good and the bad. They are proving there is a story after a pause, all you have to do is keep writing.

I’m not saying find peace in tattooing your body or in some form of punctuation; I’m saying find peace in knowing that life is tough but it is not the end.

So this is my little tattoo… I doubt I’ll ever get another… If I did I’d want something badass like ‘warrior’.

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Getting Rid of that ‘Stache and that Anxiety

Friday was interesting. I had another Laser & IPL appointment for my little moustache (yes I am a woman and yes I do get hair there) and it went surprisingly well.

I dislike the appointments thoroughly though. All the staff are pretty, thin and intimidating and stare at me whenever I come in. It may be because almost every appointment I stand outside the clinic… I just can’t stand waiting rooms. My stomach turns and gurgles loudly and then my chest starts to feel heavy and the tears begin to swell. The waiting sends my anxiety sky rocketing and the silence increases the panic. Nothing worse (well there is but my mind tells me different) than lingering in a silent, crowded waiting room 20 minutes.

So as you can imagine every two weeks I feel the “I can’t do this” mindset come on. Each and every time though my other half is always there for me to confide in. He deals with the tears, he deals with the anger and he deals with my pain.

Friday he wasn’t there. I told him to stay in bed all day as he had a long drive to Sydney that night. Instead, we made it a girls trip and planned for some shopping. My mum, two sisters and cousin were who I had to confide in that day and even though I am close with all of them, no one comforts me quite like he does anymore. I rely on him way too much.

I don’t tell him that enough either. How much I need him and how appreciative I am of him. My nurse described our relationship as the sea and a mountain. Josh is the mountain, he is grounded and solid (also has a great view if you know what I mean…wink wink). I am the ocean, my waves crash everywhere but I am deep with so much to explore. Together we’re beautiful and we’re a beautiful sight, from both below and above.

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Ok… that sucked… my nurse explained it better but you get the picture.

So when I felt like I had to face the appointment alone my heart began to race. I was sick in the stomach, literally. Which made it even worse because my anxiety is usually, and by usually I mean always, triggered by my stomach or bowel.

I spent the morning following my usual routine before a stressful event. Walking to and from the toilet, sitting in a warm shower sulking through the pain, trying to catch my breath when possible.

I did some yoga practice (mainly handstand practice) to send some endorphins running through my wildly over stressed body. It worked for a little while, but obviously I couldn’t exercise in the car.

We got there, I ran to the bathroom. When I came out I could feel the tears just waiting for their shining moment. No one really said anything except my cousin- she’s like a best friend. I think most people just don’t understand that to me my anxiety feels like the end of the world but to them it is just another feeling- my family are very support but I don’t think they saw the mental struggle that day.

I checked in with the receptionist and all my family took a seat in the waiting room. Sometimes I feel so childish almost 90% of the time having to have someone with me at every appointment.

When I saw them sit down automatically I could feel my blood prickling against my skin. This was not good I told myself as I stood in front of them. I refused to sit down, my mind always tells me it will make things worse and then my body reacts to that and… it does.

My cousin looked at me and said, “You’ve done this before. You know you are going to be alright.”

The words were comforting. Josh says them to me a lot and although my face doesn’t show that I’m grateful for him telling me that, or my angry “you don’t understand” lecture says the opposite, I am extremely grateful.

In my mind I tried to think of something else and then suddenly my name was called and the anxious feeling disappeared. As soon as I walked in for my 2 minute lip and chin hair removal session  everything was ok.

I find it funny how that works. How my mind can be so repressing that it makes me feel as though I have no control over my body. I’ll be so nervous for something that I could swear on my life I have a stomach bug or I am having a heart attack but as soon as that stressful event is over I am left with just the embarrassment of being worried in the first place.

I always feel so relieved when my appointment is done. I have a rush of adrenaline that makes me want to go out and celebrate. It’s a feeling I enjoy having even after doing something that would be so minute to another person. All achievements should be celebrated I guess… So horrah to my hairless lip!

The rest of the day went swimmingly. I even wondered for a second why I was anxious in the first place.

It’s a repetitive cycle, this anxiety business, each time just as hard, but with more exposure to appointments, social events and uncomfortable situations I hope they all just slowly become… easier.

Fingers crossed. 

 

An Anxiety Disorder VS. Feeling Anxious

 

 

We feel anxious, yes, but do we know the difference between feeling anxious and suffering from a disorder?

Self diagnosis seems to be the way of 2015 and now 2016. Often people don’t know the extent of the illness but claim to suffer from it. In no way am I categorising or defining anyone BUT from experience it’s vexing to observe others claiming they suffer from anxiety or another mental illness when in reality they just get stressed from time to time.

There is and will always be a fine line between feeling anxious and suffering from an anxiety disorder.

An anxiety disorder is a prolonged feeling of nervousness. It is ongoing, and especially in the lead up to an event, the feeling can last weeks if not months. You can have a range of symptoms from nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations, heavy chest, irritable bowel, lack in concentration, headaches and more. These symptoms could come on right before a stressful event or at any moment. I have my driving test coming up (I am more than a few years late due to my anxiety) and it has my anxiety on a high 24/7. I have trouble sleeping, my head is always aching, I get random chest pain, mood changes, continuous bowel trouble, nausea to the point where I think I have a stomach bug, hot and cold flushes, pins and needles, trouble breathing etc.

I feel some of those symptoms whenever I know I have to leave the house. Sometimes there is a trigger and sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes the symptoms are mild and sometimes I think the world is ending.

That is what anxiety is BUT the feeling of being anxious is fleeting. It doesn’t sit with you. You’ll feel it right before an exam or right before a job interview but it is not there months before hand making you hurl over the toilet bowl until you feel like you CAN’T do it anymore.

We all feel anxiety. By feel I mean we FEEL the emotion not everyone lives with the disease. Many confuse feeling nervous in a large crowd, feeling uneasy before a big event or feeling worried about a situation as suffering from anxiety. The truth is we are all humans that feel emotions and anxious is just another word to describe the feeling of being nervous, uneasy or worried.

The false claims and self diagnosis makes those who suffer from this disorder feel as though what they’re going through is unimportant. If we could feel nervousness right before a big event I’m sure we’d take it hands down instead of living in fear of almost everything.

Anxiety isn’t cute. In fact it’s the exact opposite. It is LITERALLY messy both mentally and physically. You can lose control of your bladder or bowel, you can behave irrationally, angrily and sometimes even violently. It is not pretty. Stress can cause a sore stomach or make you emotional too but there is a fine line.

Anxiety is a perfectly normal reaction to stress that we all feel from time to time. 

An anxiety disorder is usually centred around an irrational fear, worry or nervousness about the future. 

There is a difference.

If you think you have anxiety, please seek help from a professional.