Living Anxiously

Anxiously Ann

Continuously Recovering — August 15, 2018

Continuously Recovering

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Dear Reader,

My last post has been some time ago. Shortly after starting this blog I suffered some of the most horrific anxiety I have suffered to date. I went through months of feeling as if I was starving for air.

A lot of soul-searching has taken place.

I realized that I was putting too much pressure on myself. I needed to have something, be something important in order to feel validated. However, I never created this blog to make money or be somebody.

I did it so that I might be able to help someone. So that maybe someone will read this, be able to relate, and take comfort in the idea that they are not alone.

I will not be a blogger that posts daily. Hell, I may not even be a blogger that posts weekly, but what I can be is a blogger that will try and try and try again. Cause giving up is never an option.

You may feel the need or want to give up. Reside yourself to the life you were given, but don’t. The only life you were given is the one that you make for yourself.

YOU are capable of anything. YOU can do anything. The fact that you are reading this and searching for help is a sign that things will get better.

Get up and get out there! Be the Beautiful you that you are and I will be here. No matter what I will always be here!

Sincerely,

Anxiously Ann

Finding Yourself When You Feel A Little Lost — February 9, 2018

Finding Yourself When You Feel A Little Lost

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It is now February and 2018 is only just beginning. For me this year is about new opportunities and finding myself.

Yes, I know I’m 30 years old.
Yes, I know I shouldn’t have to find myself.

Honey, I have lost myself and found myself so many times that I can’t keep count.

We do that you know. All of us.
We are rarely ever the same person we use to be.

I wonder if that is what Alice in Wonderland was all about? That people are constantly changing.
We are different people when we go to bed than we were when we woke up that morning.

Sometimes we can lose interest in things we used to be interested in. We can lose interest before we even have a chance to develop new interests.

So now we’re stuck in a sort of “in between”. Maybe we lose sight of who we are. This is the time that I go on a journey, an adventure if you will, to find myself.

What do I like to do now? What will make me happy? These old things don’t feel like me anymore.

This is the best time to try new things. Go just a little outside of your comfort zone and find what makes you happy. Find yourself.

This year I am taking this journey and sharing with you any ups and downs I may have, any thoughts or views of life I may discover, or things I find help me relieve my struggles and live happy.

This year I take back my life and find myself all over again.

If you are having trouble finding yourself, take some time to think about what makes you happy.
Take that yoga class you have been wanting to take.
Read that book you bought 3 months ago, but still haven’t picked up.
Try new things and find what makes you happy.

Let this be the year of happiness!

How to Be There for Someone Going Through a Panic Attack. —

How to Be There for Someone Going Through a Panic Attack.

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Notice that I say “be there for someone” and not “help someone”.
A lot of times when you see someone you love going through a panic attack the need to rush in and help them or save them can be overwhelming. When in all actuality “helping” them may not always be helpful.

 
Here is a few ways to be there for someone going through a panic attack:

 
• Make sure they know you are there for them.
Sounds redundant I know, but it is really important. Hearing it verbalized from a familiar voice or from someone they love can keep them grounded when they can feel as if they are spinning out of control.

• Don’t overcrowd them.
I know the desire to scoop them up and hold them can be hard to resist, but during a panic attack they could be experiencing shortness of breath, a bit of claustrophobia, or they could be hyperventilating. Any tight embraces could cause more fear and panic than intended. Make sure they are okay with physical contact first.
Instead you could offer to get them a drink of water, or offer to hold their hand, or if they are up for it to go outside and get some fresh air.

• Let them know that everything is going to be okay.
When going through a panic attack it can often feel like the world is caving in on you. Small problems can seem colossal and never-ending. We may not always want to hear that “everything is going to be okay”, but we need to hear it none the less.

 

Some things that are not the most helpful:

 
• Trying to get them to calm down sooner than they are ready.
Constantly telling someone to breath, relax, and calm down while they are having a panic attack can do more harm than good; even with the best intentions.
Now there is the added pressure of getting better for your benefit and not theirs. They don’t want you to worry, but that will make them worry more.

• Make any overly concerned faces.
This one seems like a no brainer, but it is probably the easiest one to forget. There is concern there for the person that you love, but usually those with anxiety can be pretty insecure and sometimes your look of concern can make them feel more ridiculed than cared for.
I suggest to talk to them in a calm and soothing voice that denotes concern without wearing it too much on your face.

• Give them space
Unless they specifically ask you to give them space then do not leave them alone. Giving them space can seem like the right idea, but it can make the one you love feel abandon or like you don’t want to be bothered with their “issues” and long term it could trigger depression or even resentment.

 

Those who suffer from panic attacks:

It may seem very often that no one understands what you are going through. It can feel isolating, but if you are one of the lucky ones that has someone there for you that is willing to try then let them try. We often push them away because we think they will never understand. We have to be willing to allow them close enough and allow ourselves to be vulnerable so the ones we love can understand. Remember that it is not easy for them either. With love, communication, and a whole lot of patience we can get through this together.
We all deserve to be happy!

2am Wake up Call — February 6, 2018

2am Wake up Call

 

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Photo by Lukasz Dziegel on Pexels.com

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Dear Restless Sleeper,
Why is it that when it is 2 o’clock in the morning that is when anxiety wants to come out and play?
The great thing about anxiety (you’ll learn to pick up on my subtle sarcasm; though I’ve been told I sound too serious) is that all your senses are heighten because your body has gone into fight or flight mode.
Yay!
So now you’re lying in bed at 2 in the morning and suddenly you can hear everything. Which is crazy considering you only have partial hearing in your left ear and your good ear is only slightly better, but now you have super hearing.

This is not actually what I was talking about when I said I wanted a super power.
All the sounds.
Of course, now anxiety starts getting worse and awesome, now here comes paranoia.
So was that sound the heating unit cutting on? Was that sound real or did I make it up?
Uh great. Now I have to go to the bathroom.

You know nothing is there. You know that most if not all the sounds was just anxiety trying to freak you out.
Yet, you still hold it till the last minute because you have seen way too many scary movies as a kid and you do NOT want anyone or anything to grab your foot from under the bed.
Alas, the desire to use the restroom far outweighs your knowingly irrational fear of essentially nothing. So off you go and back to concur anxiety (albeit unwillingly) and not let it get the better of you.
It can be almost a battle every night with your own self. Even those who are fully aware of their anxiety and the irrational fears they cause are not immune to the 2am wake up call.
I say next time you sleep till 11:30am or 12pm or however long that may be, don’t feel guilty. You were up late hours fighting a battle and the best part is most of the time you win those battles. You fall asleep and then begin a new day again.
Wasting time feeling guilty for sleeping late only brings negativity to your day and you already had a rough night.
So drink a cup of coffee or tea and leave your troubles behind and enjoy the day.
We only get so many of them you know.
Sincerely,
Anxiously Ann

A Cup of Tea, a Little Yoga, & a New Day — February 5, 2018

A Cup of Tea, a Little Yoga, & a New Day

pexels-photo-251288.jpegDear Tea Drinking Yoga Lover,

My favorite cup of tea to start the day is matcha green tea because it makes me feel like I’m going to lose weight.  Though I know good and well the percentage that my favorite tea is the cause of my losing weight is relatively small; still I drink the tea.

In this game we play (we being those of us who suffer from some form of emotional disorder), will choose to accept some things we know not to be completely true because it makes us feel better. Another example for me is that I started drinking black coffee because I told myself there was more caffeine in black coffee. Though, I also know it to be untrue.

We like to do what makes us feel good.

It may not always make sense to some, lucky well adjusted, emotionally strong individuals.  We could be looked at as being odd or quirky (personally I love the word quirky; so much fun to say).

Maybe the volume HAS to be at a certain number, or maybe you NEED 3 pillows instead of 2, or maybe you HAVE to drink the same cup of tea every morning.  Whatever makes you feel good then by all means be quirky!

Do what feels good.

Seems like such a simple concept, right? If you knew me you would not be the least bit surprised that I forget to do what feels good almost daily.

Yoga is what makes me feel good. I am far from an expert and most of the balancing positions are a continuous struggle for me, but I love yoga. Yoga was something I started because of back and shoulder pains. However, it has done more for my anxiety and depression than any medication/therapy session combined.

It helps to find the right yoga instructor for you. Of course me sitting here with limited cash flow and empty pockets and a desire not to embarrass myself in public turned to the only logical source; YouTube.

Yoga With Adriene is a wonderful Youtuber that specializes in instructional yoga videos with the ultimate message being “Do What Feels Good”. I highly recommend watching her videos or visiting her website, definitely a life changer.

It is such a small idea, but it can have a large impact. Do what feels good.

Thank you Adriene for teaching me this.

So before I get on my mat and attempt the tree pose (yet again) with hopes of finally not toppling over, I sip my tea.

Today I’m going to do what makes me happy. I’m going to be my oddball quirky self and just feel good.

Sincerely,

Anxiously Ann

It’s Okay to Feel — February 4, 2018

It’s Okay to Feel

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Dear Poor Emotionless Souls,

Maybe the reason that so many people are driven mad by their emotions is because we live in a society that tells us that any feelings that we could have that isn’t a positive one is bad and that we should do everything in our power to eliminate those feelings.

Maybe we don’t feel too much.  Maybe we feel exactly the amount that we are supposed to, but the world tells us we are wrong for it. So now we are put in a situation where we are made to feel guilty for our feelings.

“Don’t be sad”, “Work on that anger”, “Don’t be so sensitive”.  Maybe we are not “too sensitive”. Maybe, just maybe we feel exactly the way we are supposed to feel and it’s the world that has it backwards.

Maybe it’s the world that is not sensitive enough.  We as a society have increasingly become desensitized to things that should appall us. For example, bloodshed, violence, anger, hate, corruption just to name a few.  All things that should make us feel something negative, but we are told constantly to push our negative feelings aside because if not we are viewed as “too sensitive”.

There’s that phrase again; “too sensitive”.  Who says? Who is the one giving you and us this information? Who is the one in charge of saying that we are “too sensitive”?  Has anyone even asked themselves why anxiety, depression, and a whole slew of emotional disorders have become more and more popular today than it ever has been?  Have we become “too sensitive”?

We are told constantly that we should only feel things that make us happy.  Sounds like a marvelous plan.  So why isn’t it working? I believe the answer is simpler than we think.

As human beings we feel more than one emotion.  In fact we feel a plethora of emotions. I couldn’t name every range of emotion if I tried. There are so many different levels of sadness, anger, and happiness that I could spend all day discussing the complexities of each and still not scratch the surface.

We don’t allow ourselves to feel.  Anger is bad. Sadness is bad. Pain is bad; don’t feel pain.

What happens when you build a society around the notion that anything other than happiness is bad?  You have people who struggle every single day to understand the emotions they are dealt.

Why do we have the emotions if we are not meant to feel them?  I feel anger. I feel sadness. Yet, I’m told not to.  Well problem solved then. I just won’t accept those emotions anymore.  Every time those emotions come to surface I will push them right back down.  Only happiness it is for me.

Well that doesn’t quite sound right either.

There must be a reason that I feel better after a good cry or why, when I’m really angry it feels good just to scream.  It may be just this one girl’s opinion, but it would seem that we are meant to feel these emotions.  We are meant to be sensitive, we are meant to get angry, and cry, and hurt, and laugh, and be miserable, and feel lonely, and smile, and the many many many other feelings we feel.

IT MAKES US HUMAN.  We are meant to feel.  We are meant to know how to feel and how to cope with our feelings. We are meant to accept other people’s feelings.

We see children do it every day.  They can cry, pout, get mad, laugh, and at the end of the day they are just as content as when they woke up.  They haven’t been taught yet they need to keep their feelings to themselves.

Where would the world be 20 years from now, 10 years from now even, if we taught our children that it is okay to feel? If we taught them that if they get sad that it’s okay for them to be sad? Or if when they feel angry that that’s okay too?

How would you feel right now if someone told you that the sadness that you are feeling, it’s okay for you to feel that? You don’t have to feel guilty for being sad? You can take your time and feel when you are ready to feel? It’s okay to feel.

Maybe I’m just being “too sensitive”, but I rather like that I feel all the emotions that I feel.  I don’t want to be so void of emotions that all the horrible things in this world go by unnoticed to me. I don’t want to be desensitized.

I want to feel everything, always.  I know that means I have to learn how to handle my emotions.  My anxiety and depression will love it I’m sure, but I’m tired of living only halfway.  I’m tired of learning to live with anxiety and depression because I believe that I’ll never be without it.  I want to breathe, I want to feel, I want to be free.

I will be free and love and live and feel and there is not a damn thing wrong with that!

 

Sincerely,

Anxiously Ann