Tag Archives: mental health

Grabbing the wheel…with both hands

img_20180212_135907_534-284299248.jpg

Last week I wrote here about how I was increasing feeling like a passive person in my own life. Always reacting to events happening to me or to those around me rather than actually making things happen!

After writing it then reading it through and chatting it through with you guys who had read it I realised actually it wasn’t so much about not being in control , more to do with being unmotivated and absolutely lacking in get up and go!! Those of you who suffer with poor mental health will realise that this can be a red flag that all isn’t well in the old head! Losing interest in everything , to me certainly is a flashing red light with a siren accompanying it! Only on this occasion , thankfully, it wasn’t a signal of a mental health wobble. It was as simple as feeling uninspired and unmotivated.

So what was I doing to seek inspiration , how was I looking at getting some of that Kelly motivation going?? Well nothing actually . I was sitting around waiting for motivation to find me , for inspiration to ‘hit’ . We’re back to being a passenger in my own life again. Waiting for life to seek me out and kick me up the bum…..hmmmmm think I’ve tried that one many times and strangely enough there’s never a knock on the door to answer with motivation stood there hand outstretched hand to shake

” Hey , I’m motivation -I have been looking for you EVERYWHERE!!!”

Nope on this one Kelly , you’ve got to get off your bum and do this yourself.

The most amazing thing about this story is that I did!!

One of my worst character traits , that winds me up let alone anyone around me is that I’m very much of the mindset of why do today what you can put off until tomorrow! Therefore nothing gets done until it becomes of critical importance and that’s just a very stressful way to live. Someone once observed that I spend an awful lot of time crisis managing when it’d be completely unnecessary if I just stopped bloody procrastinating!

Definitely something in that.

Last week i began to pull it back.

I made arrangements to do things I know make me happy , make me relaxed , keep me mentally healthy. Things that have slipped by the wayside one way or another. I didn’t make excuses to myself about being restricted by time , by money, by my mental health. I just did it . I ran ,I wrote , I went back to a yoga class for the first time in years, I went to my very first art therapy sesson ( blog post on THAT revelation to come) , I’m sat here writing this post rather than draft a title and add it to the hundreds of potential outpourings currently languishing in my drafts folder.

I’m not going to say doing all these things have me on fire , super motivated and out there rocking life. In fact I don’t feel so much different to this time last week. What is different though is that I’m so looking forward to the week ahead. I’m excited to get back to yoga again , to revisit art therapy , to writing some more.

I’ve always been someone who needs to fill her time. The less i do , the less I’m motivated to do!

So here’s to a good week …and as for the world changing super motivated and inspired stuff. Well I’m sure it’s coming .

Watch this space…

You can find me on Facebook

Twitter and Instagram

Advertisements

A little win is a win nonetheless…

I love that word – nonetheless . It just feels quite wrong and doesn’t fit to either the pen nor the tongue does it? Arrggh already waffling on and haven’t even begun yet!

When you suffer from social anxiety it’s really tricky to explain to people how difficult it can be to do usual day to day things. How tasks and interactions that other people wouldn’t give a second thought to can be and feel impossible.

I wish this wasn’t the case. I wish I could click my fingers and make my social anxiety disappear . That I would find myself sauntering down the street with confidence , head up, shoulders back .Striding along looking people dead in the eye .

NOT attempting to take up as little space in the world as possible.

NOT choosing self service tills to avoid human interaction.

NOT struggling to express myself on subjects I know I am knowledgeable about for fear of other people thinking I’m wrong and stupid.

These are big things though , big deals . I don’t expect to wake up tomorrow and be able to suddenly be a changed woman with a changed brain that doesn’t tell her lies about what other people think of her.

I’m left then charting progress by celebrating little victories . Chalking up the small wins. The times I don’t let the voice of social anxiety that lives in my brain whispering ” everyone thinks you’re pathetic” win whenever I have to engage with fellow humans.

I thought maybe if I tell you some of my recent little wins , and some of them are really tiny , maybe some of you could relate and give yourselves a pat on the back for your recent little victories.

I ANSWERED THE PHONE (MORE THAN ONCE)

I wrote here about my phone anxiety . I bloody can’t stand phonecalls . Often because of my accent I think (that’s what i blame anyway) people don’t always understand what I’m saying and all it takes is a “pardon?” or “can you repeat that?” and that’s me done .

Anxiety voice telling me the person on the other end of the phone thinks I’m an idiot who can’t even talk properly.

NOT this week. Now this is not a courage mind over matter thing. It was a backed into a corner type thing. They were important phonecalls , I had no choice. Were they as awful as I’d feared ? Course not ! It was fine .

That’s anxiety though isn’t it , it’s power is having you worried and catastrophising (my therapist’s fave word!)

I TOOK A JUMPER BACK TO A SHOP

Again pretty easy stuff here , surely ?

Errr well no not for me !

I bought a jumper , the sleeves were so long they could have made a straitjacket (not lost on me !)

Now it wasn’t very expensive so ordinarily faced with the choice of taking it back and dealing with someone who might ask me all kind of questions or just putting on the charity shop pile – then congrats charity shop you bagged yourself a nice new jumper.

Anxiety voice would be telling me the shop assistant would be thinking I was so stupid and how could she not even be able to buy the right size jumper.

This week I did it , shop person was lovely – win for me!

I ASKED FOR SUGAR

Now this is what I meant when I said some of these wins are tiny. However as it was big enough for me to point out to the friend I was with at the time then it deserves a mention here.

We were in a cafe . I was slurping away at my tea as per. However when i went to pour my second cup – shock horror , there was only brown sugar cubes left in the bowl. Ordinarily I’d have just used them so as not to make a fuss and silently berated myself for ruining perfectly good tea because I was too lame to ask for some more white sugar (yes it DOES make a difference , I’m from Yorkshire I am picky about my tea!)

On this occasion I asked the perfectly friendly and helpful gentleman for some white sugar and guess what? He brought it . It was that simple , the earth didn’t crumble beneath my feet or anything!

Social anxiety sucks !!

Little wins though , they’ve got to be little carefully trodden stepping stones to a big one . I have faith in that!

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
Mission Mindfulness

A 35 year love affair with the library …

It’s National Library week.

I’m a library fan , but this past fortnight I realised that it’s way more than that.

I remember getting my first library card. My cousins took me to the library with them and there it was , my key to books. Loads of books . Any book I wanted I could pick up and take home for a while . I must have only been 3 or 4 but I remember getting that card , the stamp in the book.

As my sister and I got older family trips to the library were a Saturday morning staple. My parents ,my sister and I would head off to the library . We’d be in there ages. There was never any rush and pushing to pick quickly (like my kids have had from me plenty enough times) We’d all be in our separate sections of this quiet ,calm building filled with books. My dad looking for a clever spy novel , mum finding a gruesome horror , little sister finding something ghoulishly funny and me looking for the next author I could discover and binge ! Like a Netflix box set marathon , only with books !!

We’d go do a bit of family visiting then home and we’d all disperse and read . The concept seems quite funny to me now a household of 4 – no TV on , no games consoles just sat with our books and probably a cup of tea.

As years passed and that tradition of a Saturday of ours faded for one reason or another and I became a teenager the library was still a big part of my life (I wasn’t a cool teenager !!). My summer holidays were spent biking to library and back then just sitting on my bed and gorging on Paula Danziger and Judy Blume books . My mum would implore me to get outside for some ‘fresh air’ but I had all I needed. A pile of books ,my brain and my cosy bedroom.

When I had kids of my own the library becomes an exciting trip out – a free exciting trip out ! You can’t argue with that. Before small girl started school we used to go to the library so often we virtually had our own beanbag spot!!

So I’ve always loved the library ,it’s always been a staple in my life. I can almost document my life in books . I remember the books I would get out on a fortnightly basis because I loved them so much I had to read them over and over .

Then the recent dark days in my life happened . Not just a murky grey kind of time but as black as it can get. My mental health took such a crash for a couple of days I could barely speak , I couldn’t think straight certainly. I needed comfort but I didn’t want people. I definitely didn’t want people .

I walked to the library. I don’t really remember the walk for the swirling, crashing ,jumbling of thoughts going on in my head . I just felt drawn to it .

I walked in , collapsed at one of the desks and just felt calmer . I don’t know if it’s the still quiet of the library (I know you are allowed to talk now but people dont really) or if it was being surrounded by books the one thing I’ve been able to turn to given any mood . Something about sitting there though , in that building , with the smell of books and the quiet whirr of a computer printer and the chairs that have seen better days . Something grounded me a bit , calmed me a little . The whirling in my head slowed to a gentle cycle .

The library is my calm place. Any library , any building filled like that with books and people wanting to read them is good for my soul.

I’m aware that libraries are being shut , and downsized and having their opening hours cut and this angers me and upsets me but that’s a rant for another day.

I’ll just leave you with a quote I read on Twitter by the author Matt Haig

Libraries are and always have been magical to me. A gateway to creativity that doesn’t care how old you are , what race you are ,how rich you are .They just sit there full of all those glorious words , waiting for us to go and discover them.

As the young ‘uns may say . Cool af !!

DIY Daddy

Aaarrgghh…what is with the phone related anxiety??

I love my phone , I do!! Probably a bit too much . I wrote only last week here about how I think I could make  a few changes in my life in order to use my phone less.

My phone is my blog , it’s amazing articles fab people share on Twitter that I never would have seen otherwise. It’s chatting on Twitter about Bake Off and Strictly with folk I’ve never met but share common interests with. 

My phone is Facebook , it’s keeping connected with people who are as busy as I am and don’t always have time to catch up with personally! It’s bickering with my siblings whilst we find ourselves so unbelievably hilarious it probably should be a bit embarrassing.

My phone is my teenagers sending memes and articles they think will amuse me ,and they do. My phone is even for texts (yeah I still text! i am that old!) 

A ‘Good Morning’

A ‘How’s your day been ‘

A ‘saw this and thought of you’

A ‘good luck’

It’s a way of letting people know I’m thinking of them and that they are me too!

Do you know what my phone is not for though?

It’s certainly,absolutely not for phone calls.

No way. 

(unless it’s my sister)

I like to think on a day to day basis I am on top of many of my anxiety wobbles. On the whole I can deal with people , even strangers. I can walk into a room full of people I don’t know without feeling as though I’m going to faint or get those horrid stomach cramps or feel my face begin to go numb. It’s taken a long time to get here and I’ll fall backwards from time to time but I can do it. 

The phone though??? Making phonecalls , even answering phone calls just make me want to find a nice black hole somewhere to hide in! I can’t stand it.

It’s irrational I know that , I have never come to harm because of calling someone up but nothing strikes anxiety into my bones like the thought of having to call a stranger. 

Having to make a dentist or doctors appointment takes hours of psyching myself up . Then when I do build myself up to do it and I’m asked to repeat myself (I live away from ‘home’ and my accent can be tricky on the phone for some reason) then I’m all put in a spin and decide it’s best I never speak again.

Calling a venue to enquire after details of an event is unbearable . I will always always email if that is an option.

Seeing errors on bills has me weighing up whether it’s worth just losing the money so as I don’t have to speak to someone.

Phonecalls are my kryptonite , my Achilles heel,my weak link. 

They’re the thing that when I’m proud of how far I’ve come with my anxiety, how much better I feel ,how much progress I’ve made sniggers at me from the sidelines.

“yeah you think you’re over me ???How abouts you call up that night class you fancy doing now you’re all social then?? – loser!”

It’s really frustrating and irritating that this thing , which should be a tiny nothing is still the thing that has my tummy churning and breathing off kilter and heart racing.

Maybe I need to just bite the bullet , spend the whole day doing all the phonecalls I need to make as some kind of  anti aversion therapy. …those of us who do suffer from anxiety though are so aware that doing things that provoke anxiety are often about as easy as flying to the moon!!

I will overcome this one , as I’ve overcome so many other anxiety triggers. I just don’t know how yet is all!!


My Facebook page is here



<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

<a href=”https://www.motherofteenagers.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”https://www.motherofteenagers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Tweens-teens-beyonf-logo.png&#8221; alt=”Mother of Teenagers” /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />




Me, Being Mummy



The Pramshed




One Messy Mama

Tammymum

My Facebook page is here

How my words ended up a real actual book!!

This little blog of mine began life as a secret anonymous blog.

I’ve always said I can only tell my story , I can’t speak for any other woman’s experiences . I wrote about life after domestic abuse, my emotional intimacy issues , about parenting a whole tribe of children. All the things that were specific to me.

My blog developed , it became a place to just write about what was going on in my head at my given time. It’s my little spot in the internet to talk about shared parenting woes and how teens and toddlers are similar and about how much I fancy Andy Murray *swoons*

Writing about my mental health struggles though. That was terrifying. I was so scared of pressing publish on the first post I wrote about it I did that thing were just just shut your eyes , click and squeal ? What do you mean you’ve not a clue ?

What if everyone thought I was nuts? .What if everyone thought me an awful mother ? What if my family and friends were embarrassed of me ?

I needn’t have worried of course . Suffering with anxiety doesn’t even register on the reasons people are embarrassed of me !!There are way too many better ones (yes one is the Andy Murray thing!)

I suffer with anxiety.

When I first moved away from home it was an all encompassing , debilitating condition. It was every day , it had a huge impact. As time has passed I’m lucky it’s eased a lot . Still shows up at times to bite me on the arse ,remind me I can stumble at any time but nowhere near as bad as it as that first year.

Writing about it helps.

So when I was asked for permission for one of my posts to be used in a book I was surprised but proud. That must mean my writing isn’t utter horseshit right?

My post had been published on the I am 1 in 4 website previously and now they were making a book as a fundraiser in order for them to keep up the amazing work they do to tackle stigma associated with mental health.

I’m very proud to be featured alongside some raw and heartfelt pieces by some great writers.

Also…. seeing your words on actual pages in a book feels pretty special

The book itself is here … it’s a fundraiser so I promise I’m not trying to force it on you so I can buy a holiday home in St Tropez…. that’ll be my novel!!!

The I am 1 in 4 Facebook page is here if you want to join a supportive community without any worries of stigma.

My Facebook page is here if my ramblings are your thing!!!

Reflections from me

<img src=”https://lucyathome.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/badge.png&#8221; alt=”Lucy At Home” style=”border: none;” /></a>

Bringing up Georgia

A little relapse, a stumble backwards doesn’t mean back to square one 

I’ve had a weird couple of weeks

.

Nothing huge has happened, no trauma, no incidents of note.

I’ve just not felt ‘right’. I’ve not had a real anxiety attack for a while and none of the usual triggers were present. I could just feel it creeping up on me. That sinking feeling walking around ASDA, you know the kind you get  when you’ve messed up in a big way or forgotten something really important? You feel panic and nausea and dread. Well that feeling has been present intermittently for no reason at all.
The reassuring thing about my personal anxiety disorder is that it’s usually fairly predictable, but this was new. So I’ve spent  a couple of weeks permanently looking over my shoulder waiting for the prod that my anxiety was giving me to turn into the huge shake that usually follows.

Only it didn’t.

So of course this made me anxious. I was anxious that my anxiety disorder wasn’t presenting as I expected. Well played anxiety.

This escalated over the last few days into another classic of mine but one I really thought I’d seen the back of. The waking up in a morning, not even opening my eyes but already feeling my breathing pattern wasn’t right, feeling  dread and panic. It’s been a real nuisance and left me shaken a bit and unsettled.

Shaken and unsettled, in my case then trigger the big guns of my anxiety. Ridiculous thought patterns culminating in horrible self loathing and self doubt and all round a lot of thoughts about how rubbish I am.

Last weekend this little blog of mine had been read lots and I’d had the most lovely, flattering comments about it. Such positive words that ordinarily I’d have been proud as punch about. Now when this happened whilst anxious brain was in charge of things my thinking went more like this “Oh no people are saying nice things about my writing because they feel so sorry for me about how shockingly shit it is. That’s it I’m deleting the whole thing – who did you think you were anyway putting your nonsense out there? ? Why on earth would anyone want to listen to you? ”
I suppose one good part of knowing your own mind can go rogue on you from time to time is that I can acknowledge I’m anxious and never to make any decisions at that time!

 

I mean, I was feeling rubbish and hating on myself a bit so reached for the tortilla chips and salsa for comfort. Between the salsa jar and my mouth the salsa dropped  off down my pj’s. Now ordinarily I’d roll my eyes at my clumsiness and carry on. Not when anxiety brain is in the house though. Thought process then was “Oh for goodness sakes  you can’t even EAT now? Is there anything you can do you useless arse”  At this one I’ve got to admit once the feeling had eased I even managed to giggle at my own craziness! Tortilla related trauma, that’s a new one.

I talk often recently on this blog about how healed I am after the abusive relationship, how I’ve never been stronger mentally. This is true, really it is.

So then if I don’t document the slips, if I gloss over the hard times I feel like a bit of a fraud.

The thing I’m taking from this bout of crapness though is this-it’s a not a big disaster, not really.

A couple of hard, horrid weeks doesn’t mean I’m back to the beginning again. It doesn’t mean anxiety wins. It doesn’t mean all huge steps forward and the achievements I’ve made are wiped out.

I’m still here looking forwards, I’m still lucky enough that an anxious period is the rare thing not the 24 hour nagging noise that it once was.

I know it will pass
I’ve  stumbled.
I tripped, but I’m back on my feet now and surely it’s the continuing to get back up and try again that counts, it’s talking about the highs AND lows that helps.
So let’s keep trying.


Here’s my Facebook page