My Intro

“Greetings fellow anxious souls, or perhaps you are just the curious passer by who stumbled upon my website and wondered what it was about. I am just an ordinary woman, in her mid 20’s suffering from anxiety with a pinch of depression. I had always wished that there was a book, or some sort of website like this featuring someones daily anxious occurrences which I could read and take in. Mostly to feel like I wasn’t the only one suffering in silence because as I now know, I am most certainly not. I wanted to understand that I wasn’t the only person in the world who got cold sweats and an uncomfortable knot in their stomach every time the phone rang whether it was a friend or a family member. So here’s my gift to you, an open diary of my daily doses of anxiety, for you to relate to, and perhaps even giggle about as I try to do.”

This week has been tough…really tough

Dear diary,

It is now Saturday and I feel like these past few weeks have been nothing but tough, tiring and testing. The three T’s if you will. Trying and testing times indeed, and so many people say that when you go through tough times you end up becoming a stronger person, but when you have anxiety and depression mixed in, i’m not so sure they know what they are talking about.

It’s hard when people don’t fully understand your random crying, sleepless nights crying because of A) not being able to get to sleep and B) feeling so depressed and sad about nothing. Depression is a weird thing, you know fully well that you have a lot of things to be grateful for in life, you have food on the table, a roof over your head and a few friends, and yet in the pit of your stomach something just feels off.

You start getting that guilt because of feeling so lonely and sad and that is ok. It is perfectly normal. My therapist has told me that when I am crying for no reason and when I feel depressed without a pinpoint of what it may be about I should try to narrow it down and count all of the things I am happy for to distract me. She was also telling me about Mindfulness and how we will be working on that. I think it will help me a lot to be in the moment, and be able to go on a walk without thinking about things that have happened, might happen, and random worries that wouldn’t make sense to any ‘normal’ person.

I need to try to go out on a walk, listen to the birds, touch that beautiful snow covered branch of the tree, listen to the crispy leaves as I walk around and just take in some of that icy cold air without thinking about silly worries which make no sense. I am trying to feel positive and hopeful that I will have the strength and motivation to test these new methods and perhaps they will help, but as always when you have depression everything feels like crap and everything feels like there is no point. But there is. There is a point in trying and at some point we need to get out of this comfortably numb cycle.

This week has been so tough with getting work done. I am a freelancer, but a full-time freelancer where I work normal hours just from home. This has it’s ups and downs for someone like me with anxiety and depression, because you get into that comfortably level of not wanting to leave the house because you don’t need to. My partner goes to work every day living a normal life in an office environment. Sometimes I envy him, and sometimes I don’t. It depends on the mood, but at some point I do know that I would like to get to that stage when I can have a normal job.

I have started getting into a morning ritual where I make myself get changed out of my pj’s every day because I find that it does help a little bit, it makes me feel like more of a normal person rather than just lounging around in my onesie and working. It’s these small steps that will help in the long run. Depression and anxiety is hard, it’s a long and winding road, and I think it will always be with us, but we will find ways of coping whether it being medication or consistent therapy and practice. I am not sure if I will go through the ssri route again just yet, I am still extremely traumatised and I don’t know how it will go down. Let’s see.

It has been a while, a lot of anxiety, and a lot of depression

Hello my anxious unicorns

First and foremost I would like to apologise for the lack of posts recently. There has been a lot going on and yes I know it might not be the best excuse because life does happen for everyone, but hear me out.

First of all my beloved fur baby of 13 years passed away. I know he has been sick for quite some time, but I just didn’t see it happening so fast. It was day and night. I had taken him to the vet pretty much out of the blue because I felt it in my gut that I needed to. So the day came for me to take him and I can’t explain it but I had a feeling that it was going to be bad news.

This vet was by far the best vet I had ever taken my baby to, we were in there for a good hour and she was thoroughly checking over everything…his eyes, teeth, legs, heart…absolutely everything. I was extremely impressed but also very nervous.

The bottom line was that he was not a well pup. He was in a lot of pain and a lot of discomfort and told me I had two options which was really only one. She was basically telling me that I had a few days to decide whether I wanted my baby to go through many surgeries including leg, hip, dental, jaw and possibly heart surgery, or if I can just put him out of all of this misery and let him sleep knowing that he has had an absolutely incredible life.

I spoke with my partner, and many packets of tissues later I knew what was needed. It was THE HARDEST DECISION OF MY LIFE. No words can ever describe what it felt like knowing that I was pulling the trigger on my soul mate, my whole world and my beloved companion. I know it was for the best, but God it was hard. Hard doesn’t even describe it.

So as you can imagine it has been an extremely, extremely tough and depression-filled few months. I am still battling, still fighting every day and still questioning my life without him. I miss him so damn much. Every day I still think in my head “did I give him his heart meds today?” And then I remember that he isn’t around in the physical form.

It’s heart breaking. I am heartbroken and I feel sick. My depression and anxiety has spiralled. Thank goodness for my therapy because honestly, I don’t know what I would do without that and of course the love and support of my partner who loved my baby just as much as me.

My fur baby was number 1. He will always be my number 1 and no one, and no other dog will ever be able to take his place. He was one of a kind, and I know that so many people say that about their dogs, but he was special. Not only was he my baby, but he was my emotional support animal, my shadow, and the one who I needed when I was having a panic attack and anxiety attack.

Days feel so much longer without him and I don’t think it has completely hit me yet so I fear that the worst is yet to come. Everyone keeps telling me that I am being so strong, but I don’t feel it. I feel weak, frail, scared and wonder what the hell I am going to do without him. I never want another dog, I don’t want another dog because I feel like I wouldn’t be able to love them as much. We still have our other beautiful fur baby and I love her dearly, but it’s not the same.

I know that all I can do is fight on, stay strong and keep trying, just as you all have to too. We can do this <3

My second therapy session, anxious but good

Dear diary,

I had another therapy session this Monday, it didn’t feel as stressful as I thought it might have been considering it has been a pretty hectic week filled with so many emotions and stressful situations. I thought I was going to get those ‘omg i need to cancel my session’ panic feelings but I didn’t. Of course I did feel anxious, but also sort of calm knowing that I will be getting the help that I always wanted.

My therapist is a woman, and I feel like I may have needed a woman therapist when I did therapy before but I had a man and It somehow feels a lot different with a woman. She is very kind, and it feels as though she genuinely cares about my issues. We went through my anxiety and depression test that I had to take before starting, and my anxiety is in the highest level, and my depression is in the second from highest level. It made me feel really emotional, for some reason whenever I hear that word depression being directed at me it feels like someone has stabbed me in the stomach. It’s like I am still in denial about having it because I don’t want to be depressed. I don’t want to be one of those people and yet that is the harsh reality.

The positive thing is that I will be getting help, and my therapist told me that it will be intense so it might be a good idea to ask my doctor for some anti-anxiety medications because it could get bumpy. I told her about the whole lexapro ordeal and she felt really sad that I had to go through that, especially since I was so nervous about starting them and then I had to have extremely bad side effects from them. It was the perfect storm. But anyway, I will book in an appointment with my doctor soon and see if I can try out some sort of medication like xanax which I wouldn’t have to take every day but perhaps only on days where I am having therapy or feel like a panic attack is on the way.

I think good things will be coming my way, it’s really time to focus on myself and getting my mental health where it needs to be. I am going to try and force myself to go for a run today because I still haven’t been able to do that even though I promised myself that I would. It’s just taking that first step. But that is what life is always about, those first steps and then once they have been taken the second step seems a lot less steep. I can do this, I can do this.

The struggle is always real with anxiety

Dear diary,

I don’t care what anybody says, you can never fully cure anxiety or depression. There are no medications, no amount of therapy sessions, and no mystical voodoo shit that will ever fully cure this curse. It’s something that unfortunately many of us will be riddled with forever and it is messed up. So messed up. There is nothing more important than having your health, and to be honest I think I truly learnt this from what I went through when taking those poisonous anti-depressants. They showed me that no matter how dark things may seem, they can definitely get a whole lot darker. I wish that there was just one single magic pill that would take away everyone’s pain in this world but of course I know that is definitely not realistic.

As you can probably tell I am frustrated. I am so frustrated with not being normal and not being able to do anything about it. It sucks. Why can’t we all just be wired as we are meant to be. I find myself constantly browsing instagram posts and following pages promoting healthy minds and ways to deal with the daily struggles of mental health but there is nothing that will cure it and this is what frustrates me. I want to be able to just walk into a coffee shop and order my drink without feeling rushed for no reason or get embarrassed for saying the wrong drink because I feel under pressure. I want to be able to make plans with potential friends and keep them rather than make plans and dread the day they come. I want to be able to travel on an airplane and not get constant anxiety up until that day of travel and then suffer panic attacks whilst at the airport. Is this so much to ask for?

I know I am not alone in this struggle, so I shouldn’t feel alone, but it’s just not fair for any of us to have to deal with this, especially the people that have to deal with this alone. It’s sad. One thing I am trying to remain positive about is the fact that I am starting my therapy sessions and trying to eat as healthy as possible, get more exercise, go out more and try to work on my mental health as much as possible. It feels like such a tremendous mountain that I need to climb but I know it is possible if I put my mind to it. I also know that there will of course be days where I just want to lay in bed and watch friends whilst eating a tub of Haagen Daz, but that is also ok because no matter how smooth the road may seem, there will always be twists and turns because that is life.

I will try to applaud myself each morning I wake up and get out of bed because in my book that is a battle I fought for, and I will applaud myself on every day I get out of the house for more than 10 minutes a time, and I will applaud myself every day for fighting the anxious and depressive feelings that come along because all of these are reasons in why I am a fighter and why I am enough. We can’t cure our illness, but we can certainly fight each and every day for a better day.

Day 2 of meds – What hell I went through

Dear diary,

So, day 2 of taking lexapro was absolute hell to put it lightly. I woke up crying my eyes out wishing I was normal, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to become normal from just taking 1 pill so I decided to give the second dose a try. What a mistake that was. Just a few hours after it kicking in my brain and whole being was in full on panic mode. I felt dizzy, nauseous, anxious, frequent panic attacks and I saw the deepest and darkest depression that I had ever witnessed. I was in the bathroom crying to my partner saying “I can’t do this anymore, I can’t do this”.

I had visions of myself dying and what my family would say, it was all so darn scary and I can’t believe these pills are supposed to help. I did know that some of the side effects were dizzy spells, feeling unbalanced, and your depression and anxiety can become a little heightened, but I felt it in my gut that something was going wrong here. My partner called a hotline and asked what we should do because I was shaking uncontrollably and could not calm down. Thank god for xanax is all I can say. If It wasn’t for me taking a xanax I don’t know what could have happened and I had visions of myself being locked up in a psych ward. Everything was so dark and so scary and I had absolutely no control over it. The nurses on the hotline told my partner that it is unusual to have such effects from the 2nd dose, and it could mean that my serotonin is extremely unbalanced but I should continue to take them and the side effects would get better. This was hard to swallow because I knew I did not want to take another pill the next morning. I just wanted this poison out of my body.

The next day I didn’t take a pill and I called my Dr immediately. I told him what was going on and thank goodness he put my mind at rest and told me to stop because there is clearly a bad reaction going on and I should not be having such terrible side effects from the second day. He told me that I should begin my therapy and take it from there, and he mentioned that usually when you have such severe anxiety as I do, whenever a foreign substance enters your body your anxiety can go in overdrive thus making everything 100 times worse. And I believe that is probably what happened.

One good thing that came from this experience was that I actually witnessed what real dark depression is like. It made me bawl my eyes out thinking of all the poor people who have to go through this alone every single day. I thank God for having my partner who helped me get through this because if he wasn’t home that day I honestly don’t know what would have been. This experience has made me want to take my depression and anxiety even more seriously. This is real, and things can get dark if you don’t take it seriously and actively do things to help yourself even on those days where you want to just lay under the covers and watch friends all day because the world seems like a dark place.

I truly feel for those fellow anxious and depressive unicorns out there. We are all fighters. Everyday is a battle for us, and every morning is a new struggle and fight, but always remember that we are stronger than we think, and there are so many people out there in the exact same position as us fighting the same fight. So smile at those who seem to be in a bad mood because you don’t know what they are going through in their mind, and one smile can cause a chain reaction. You could make that persons day just by saying hello or giving a friendly smile. Depression is dark, depression is excruciating and most of all, depression is worldwide. It’s nice to see that in 2018 mental health has sort of taken off and people are becoming much more aware of the world surrounding mental health. We can do this fellow unicorns, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel no matter how dark that tunnel may be, there is always a light even if it seems to be far, far away. It is there.

 

Starting depression meds after waiting way too long

Dear diary,

the plank has been walked and I am diving in, finally giving in to medication to try and fix my mood and my brain. I went on my trip to see my family and when I came back I felt at an all time low. It feels as though this may be my absolute rock bottom, I don’t know exactly what triggered it, It may have been the goodbye’s or the fact that everything felt so perfect whilst on holiday where everyone was in a good mood, my parents were loving and fun, and my bond with my sister grew even more.

I had previously thought that when I came back from holiday I would start the antidepressants, but a part of me was still in denial about it. After realising just how low I could go, it was time to make a change and try to help myself. So here I am, day 2 of lexapro and I feel lousy. Day 1 was filled with nausea, headaches, crying and wondering why me? Why do I have to be the one to take medication? Why can’t I be normal? And day 2 so far, woke up struggling to get out of bed, my alarm went off and I just wanted to carry on sleeping for hours with my head embedded under the covers. My fiance was struggling, I could see him breaking inside and it kills me and yet there is nothing I can do. It sucks when you see how this illness affects people around you because they feel so helpless and yet you feel even more helpless.

I managed to get out of bed and turn my laptop on with the help of my dog, I had to be persuaded to take my second dose because I had a burst of denial and didn’t want to have to go through the side effects again, but here I am, I did it. It isn’t even mid-day yet and I have a headache and feel extremely tired. I just hope the only way is up from here.

My upcoming travelling and constant anxiety

Dear diary,

So it’s coming up to the time where I am going to be travelling on an airplane and as usual I have that constant anxiety niggling in the pit of my stomach and every inch of my body. I hate it. As soon as I booked the ticket I immediately wanted to cancel it just from the horrible rush of anxious adrenaline that filled my whole body and made me feel sick. I booked it around 4 months ago and now is the final countdown to that day as I have only 5 days left till it becomes a reality. I am excited for the initial holiday since I will get to see my parents and family, but I wish I could just blink my eyes and be there rather than go through the whole travel process.

I am not afraid of planes and I am not afraid of flying, the thing that I absolutely hate and the root of all of these emotional feelings is the whole getting to the airport, checking in, waiting in a long queue through security trying to look normal even though my heart is beating out of my chest, finding the right gate and calculating the amount of time I need to get to the gate and then worrying about if I should eat anything before the flight incase I have a case of self-induced nausea from overthinking. It’s just a whole lot of worry and a whole lot of anxiety. I do have xanax to get me through it, but since I only use them for travelling it’s hard to think that they will make me feel ok and they will take the edge off and make me feel like a normal traveller before having taken them.

I am constantly taking those deep and long breaths every time I think about the day since it is just around the corner. Why can’t I just enjoy each day as it comes and not consistently worry about the future. Why can’t I be like every normal person in that airport who doesn’t have to deal with anxiety about getting through security and finding their gate and having enough time to walk around to calm down a little. Maybe other people do feel like this, i’m pretty sure there must be fellow anxious travellers but if only there was a designated place we could all go to at the airport and get through the ordeal together. That would be the dream right?

My plan is to do what I usually always do, make a checklist of each step of the way. Step 1 – getting to the airport with the taxi, step 2 – checking in, step 3 – getting through security without having a panic attack because of the 100 other people waiting in line getting hot and sweaty and feeling like i’m going to have a panic attack, step 4 – find out where my gate is and how long it takes to get there, step 5 – board the plane and sit in my seat and not get up for 4 hours. Once that last step is done I will feel much more happy, I will feel like I beat anxiety once again and I CAN do it. For so many people this may seem like a pathetic scenario, but for those of us who find travelling the epitome of hell and a panic attack waiting to happen, just keep telling yourself you can do it because you can, and I can.

How can I feel happy with anxiety?

It’s coming up very close to the time when I go for my very first therapy session in a new country. There are so many different feelings going on, and I feel like it couldn’t come at a better time. I am pmsy, grouchy, angry, and constantly crying about nothing. It was just my birthday the other day and it made me tip over the edge because im living in a new country therefore have no friends to really celebrate with apart from my partner who did the utmost to make me have a fantastic day. Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing just spending my 26th with him, but I couldn’t help feeling that I was still a little bit lonely knowing that I didn’t have a friend to call up and say come over let’s have some wine, or let’s meet up for a drink.

Birthday’s are always hard I think, for everyone. It’s another year of your life gone by, you are getting older and start to question more and more what are you doing with your life. I still have no idea. I have no idea of who I am, what sort of person I am, and what I want to do in my life. If someone asked me what my hobbies and interests are I honestly wouldn’t have an answer. My animals are my hobby pretty much, and staying home with anxiety. If I didn’t have my amazing partner I think I would still be living at home with all of these emotions being locked up inside of me, but the fact that I am a ‘free’ woman away from home and get to be myself I started to realise that every day isn’t actually happy even if there is a smile plastered on my face. It’s weird how leaving the bird cage can really change you. Is it better now that I know my true issues? Or was it better living a lie and keeping everything bottled up? Would I have completely burst at some point?

I did always have extreme anger issues living at home, I would scream, shout, drive off at 60mph and be a very angry person. I would go out, get drunk and want to start fights, I had this urge for someone to start on me so I would get the chance to let out everything. That was never the case though because I am a nice person, no one wanted to fight me or start on me. It’s strange. It’s a very strange feeling because I miss living at home, or I more so miss the fact that being a child was easier. I felt like I had less worries but more hidden emotion. I don’t know what is best, but I do know that I have grown into a strong person because every day I am fighting to see the sunlight, fighting to get up and ready for the day, and fighting to find something to feel happy about and not beat myself up.

Taking that big step, with anxiety

Dear diary,

I took a really big step in my life today, I went to that appointment I made with a doctor to talk about my anxiety and depression. It was the day that felt like my life would turn around and where everything would feel better, but to actually take that step and get out of the door felt like it was impossible. The night before I was so antsy, I could not sit still for the life of me. Just so many thoughts spinning round, and around my head, and that gut wrenching anxiety travelling up my stomach and choke-holding my throat. I was wondering what will they ask me? Will they believe me? What if they think that I am perfectly normal and they don’t believe that I have anxiety? So many weird yet believable thoughts were twirling round all night.

The day comes and I need to be at the clinic by 8:00am, the walk there felt like it took 2 seconds, it’s always the way when you don’t really want to go somewhere it seems to take a lot less time. But anyway, I get there and it feels pretty ok, they have a fish tank in the waiting room so I tried to just focus on that and not get too caught up in my thoughts and what I need to say. The dr calls me in, I go in and she asks me why I am there and what extent my depression and anxiety is at. I explained to her that I had previously been to therapy and it worked up to some point, but I feel like I need more, I explained to her about my bulimia and that when my depression is at its full extent my bulimia chimes in and everything just seems to crash. We had a long and thorough talk about it all. It actually felt good getting it off my chest and talking to a professional.

She told me that I would benefit from a pill which is for anxiety, depression and in some cases can be used to treat extreme pms. Tick, tick, and tick it felt like in my head. But at the same time I was extremely scared because I grew up in a family that didn’t really believe in mental health…there was no such thing. And god forbid if someone wanted to seek help for it, let alone take ‘looney pills’. Those were the thoughts weighing at the back of my head. I don’t want to tell my family about it, but I am also very worried if they end up sensing something is different with me. Then I worry about the side effects and if I will go even ‘crazier’. I did talk to the dr about all of this, and she told me that if they don’t work, or if I don’t feel that great on them then we can change and find something that does work because not everyone is the same.

She asked me if I wanted to begin them now, or wait for my first therapy session in August. I decided to just take the prescription and think about it, knowing that my therapy session is booked in anyway and I don’t need to decide right away. It was a mix of relief and stress leaving that clinic, I felt so emotionally drained and relieved at the same time, it was weird. I told my partner everything and he was so so proud of me for going, and told me that there is no wrong or right answer with where I want to go with it. It is up to me, and I can take my time.

I feel like the smart answer would be to have my first therapy session and see how that goes, and also monitor my ups and downs to see. But I do think the main reason I am not jumping on the ‘get well’ train is because the second I pop that first pill it becomes real. It means that I am not well, I will feel like a failure even though I shouldn’t, and I will feel like I am officially crazy which is ironically crazy to think. There is absolutely no shame in having a mental illness, it’s like telling someone with cancer that it’s their fault, or that they should be embarrassed. It’s unfathomable to think like that and yet I feel like I would be able to change myself without helping myself. There is a lot to think about, I need to process it and give myself some time. But most of all, I feel so darn proud of myself for taking that big step.

 

 

There’s no reason to cry, but there is for me

Dear diary,

It’s one of those days where I just want to curl up in my bed and bawl my eyes out. What am I even saying, that’s pretty much what I have been doing all day. There is nothing specific that has even happened, no one has hurt my feelings or made me sad, but I have this overpowering need to let out all of my emotions and cry my eyes out to let out the pain. I absolutely hate these days, and they happen a lot. It’s a combination of feeling utterly lonely, and completely hollow inside.

This is the depression part, and I need to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t last forever and it’s just one of those days. It hurts, or at least it feels like it hurts because my serotonin levels are at a complete and utter low. I know that going for a walk in the sunshine would probably make me feel better, I might cry along the way but seeing the pretty Spring flowers and listening to the bird sing would definitely help in some way, but it’s not that easy. Just getting out of the house is hard enough when I feel like this and just by saying it out loud makes me cry so you can imagine the state I am in today.

I think I prefer having an anxiety or panic attack over this feeling because at least my eyes don’t swell up, and at least it doesn’t last for as long as this feeling. I wish I could just go outside into the garden and do some yoga to relax the mind, not that I am some yogi, but I took a few classes and really enjoyed it and found it helps with coping. But I can’t even do that, I don’t have the energy. I don’t have the energy for anything and I just want to be alone by myself with my sad thoughts and my tissues.