A Dream is just a Dream

A year ago I was praying that my life would just fall into place. Everything felt so misplaced and I felt so limited. My mind trapped me and I allowed it.

I started off 2016 with the whole “this will be the best year of my life” thing, but didn’t really believe it. Who knew I would be doing what I am doing now.

Full disclosure here: my achievements do not consist of any extreme sports, promotions, unbelievable acts of kindness or anything too wild for that matter of what.

My achievements are a woman with Generalised Anxiety Disorder who feared they would never find independence in their life, landing a job, getting her license and a car, and taking the road to a more holistic way of living.

To someone with a mental illness that is SO hindering it leaves you physically ill, these achievements are life changing. I never believed I’d be able to go into a workplace and… work. Not because I am a lazy person, in fact I think I am a very hard worker when it comes down to it, but because I doubted I would ever be able to surround myself with unknown people and have my mind focus on anything other than my anxiety.

I couldn’t even attend my doctors appointments without crying out the front of the centre, completely petrified of the waiting room and in fear of making myself physically ill in front of the few people sitting around reading magazines. Now I sit inside, watch the TV, browse those magazines like the other sick people in the room. Although I might feel anxious I now have the ability to mask that enough to function almost normally. I can do what other people can do and I’m proud of that.

I can drive a car, I can go to the shops, I was able to sit through a movie at the cinemas, I can do THINGS!

I know now my dreams aren’t just dreams. Their reachable and the hard work is doable. I might have an extra load on my shoulders compared to everyone else but I’ll just have to be that little bit stronger.

If you take anything away from the post take away the fact that ANY achievement is an achievement and YES you should celebrate it! Did you get out of bed today? FUCK YEAH, you did! I knew you could!

It’s easy to not do anything, it’s worth it to do something!

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.