I had a short debate today about anxiety and people understanding it. My view is, unless you live with it and have to learn to control it, you’ll never fully understand it. Their view? Someone has wrote books and information about it so if you read up about it then you’ll understand. My reply was, you can read about anything and know facts about it, learn how it makes people feel, but does that mean you’ve lived it and know first hand how things feel? No.
I could know everything about professional ice skating from reading about it but does that mean I can do it and know what it’s like? No.
Even I, an anxiety sufferer, don’t know everything about it. It’s too complex and different for each person to understand it.
I’ve walked away from the conversation because trying to get someone who thinks they know everything to actually know slightly more is too frustrating for me.
Being unhappy in a relationship is a horrible feeling. For most people however, they would just cut their losses and leave. But for someone who is emotionally abused, things aren’t that simple. You feel like it’s your fault, you feel guilty and if you try to talk how you’re feeling through, you’re told you’re silly and overreacting.
Emotional abuse is normally done over a long period of time. Slowly you lose control, confidence and your life. You question yourself, no longer trust your gut instincts and think you’re going mad.
Being controlled, mocked and put down is an awful feeling that no one deserves to go through. It takes bravery and courage to stand up to the people that have walked all over you.
There are many signs to look out for, including being told you’re always wrong, having your bubble burst and the person having no empathy towards you and situations you’re in.
Living with this is hard. You’re asked a million questions about where you’re going, what you’re doing, what are you spending money on but your partner will do whatever he/she wants without consulting you.
Being in a relationship is about teamwork and supporting each other. If you don’t feel happy, loved and listened to, trust me, getting out is the best thing you’ll ever do.
I’m nearly two years out and I have recently found myself at my happiest. I’m supported, listened to and hugely loved. I’m learning what a real relationship is like, how happy I can and should be and what love really is. Sometimes the hardest and bravest decisions you make can lead to the most amazing and wonderful things.
Listening to music makes me happy. No matter what mood I wake up in, music will sort me out. My taste in music isn’t really broad but it’s broad enough. Here is my happy playlist that I’m listening to at the moment:
- Demi Lovato: Sorry not sorry
- Little Mix ft Stormzy: Power
- Dua Lupa: New rules
- Little Mix & CNCO: Reggaetón Lento
- Will Smith: Miami
- Ed Sheeran: Barcelona
- Bruno Mars: Perm
- Chris Brown: Questions
- James Bay: Best fake smile
I’m really into going to concerts too. I’ve seen 80% of the featured artists on my playlist! It’s such a good atmosphere and gives me such a buzz! I also love having shows lined up to look forward to. I have Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift lined up for June (thanks to my boyfriend and my sister for amazing Christmas presents!). Little Mix are a must every year so they’re lined up for July. I don’t have a favourite as all shows are so unique and fun. From the intimate shows of James Bay to the wild dancing from Jason Derulo and Bruno Mars, going to concerts should be a must for any music fan!
Have you ever felt pressure to do something you don’t want to do? An overwhelming pressure to agree with someone. Pressure to follow what everyone else is doing. Me too. Today was one of those days. I can’t go into too much detail about it but I’ll try tell the story best I can.
I listened, even though I didn’t want to be there, I listened. I heard every sales technique, horror story ‘this could happen to you but it won’t if you join us’ and sign-up perks. Then I witnessed something weird. Everyone around me signed up, rushed to fill the form in and grab their debit card. ‘Have I missed something?’ ‘Why would I want to pay for something I might never need?’ Ohhhh, because ‘you must be part of it’, ‘it’ll be so beneficial for you.’ ‘No thanks!’ I got the ‘why?’ question. My answer? Because I don’t want to. I am not a sheep. My opinions will not change because of what people around me are doing. I say no.
So I’m sat here, immensely proud of myself, for not backing down or giving into the pressure. My family are proud because, for the first time, I’ve stuck to my guns. I’ve said no, meant no and haven’t changed my mind, nor will I.
I’m happy, I’m learning and I certainly don’t feel guilty. I have a voice and I will continue to use it. My mind will not be influenced. I am me, my opinions are my own and they are valid. Saying no is actually a good feeling after all!
Today is an important day. A charity that means a lot to me called ‘mind’ are running a day called #timetotalk. It’s to help people to become more aware of mental illness and rethink what having a mental illness means.
No one should be discriminated against for having a mental illness and it’s a lack of knowledge that stops people from speaking out. There are too many people with mental health problems that are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless. Being more open about it can change lives. Make sure the subject is broached carefully and respectfully, treat the person just the same as they were before they spoke out and most importantly support them. Keep things just the same.
Talking is the best medicine.
It took me over a year to talk about my depression and anxiety for the fear of being looked down on and pushed away. I, however, was fortunate and had/still have amazing support from family and friends. It’s easy for them to tip toe around you and try to overcompensate for their lack of understanding, this still happens to me, but just remind them, you’re still the same person.
Mental health affects all of us in some way but too often it is left up to us, the sufferers, to talk about it. It’s not to be treated as a taboo subject, everyone needs to talk about it. So today, spread the word, any place, any time, talk about mental health and help change someone’s life for the better.
Looking back on January I realise my life has changed quite a lot. It started perfectly with my best friend and boyfriend in the same room. I started this blog for a new way of clearing my head and sharing my thoughts. Then came my 26th birthday, spent in Leeds with the best boyfriend. We had a cosy cinema night, room service breakfast, shopped and played ping pong in a bar. Next was my doctors appointment which ended up in me getting discharged. Last weekend was spent with breakfast in bed and an evening meal both cooked by my boyfriend. Then we took Bella to Goathland for the day and had a lovely walk and pub lunch. All month I’ve worked hard at the gym, having amazing gym buddies helps and I’ve made lots of plans for the month ahead.
Having things to look forward to keeps me happy and looking back on the month I’ve had makes me realise how lucky I am.
Here’s to January, tablet free, discharged, stronger, happier and healthier. Who said it was the worst month of the year?!
So this post is unplanned and unwritten (I like to write them down before I type them up). It’s short and sweet but I’m so proud of the people I get messages from. I’m so happy I can help you, give you fresh ideas and steer you in the right direction. It’s because of you that I write what I do. I want to help as many people as possible that feel the way I do and the way I did.
My experience of depression and anxiety isn’t one to be ashamed of, especially when I know I can help others. I struggled when I had no one to talk to, but now I have so many, family, friends and strangers.
Thank you to each one of you, for your kind words and your encouragement. I’ll do my best for you.
Today I locked my depression box. It’s been a 4 year journey in which I’ve learnt so much. Over this time I’ve built the box, shoved depression into it, closed the lid and finally, finally, it’s locked. It will always be a part of me but it’s in its place now, right in the corner of my mind. The things I have learnt through the years should mean it stays there, but if the lock breaks, I have the tools to fix it.
At the end of last year, so really not that long ago, I ended the relationship I had with anti-depressants. It was kind of an accident. After my doctors advice I started weening myself off them, gradually getting down to one every three days. One morning, after a month or so, I realised I hadn’t taken my tablets in a week and I felt fine! So, since then, I haven’t had one. My doctor said today ‘that’s when you know, when you forget about them’. For all the good they have done, I’m glad I no longer have to rely on them.
Someone I do still rely on though, is my therapist. She continues to help me with my anxiety and thanks to her I’ve learnt so much. My anxiety is different to my depression. It will never be in a box. It will always rear it’s head, but I’m confident now in the ways I can control it.
Finally, I’m proud of who I was, who I am and what my amazing mind can do. Without this difficult journey, I just wouldn’t be me.
Recently I posted about different methods I use to find my calm place and I mentioned binaural beats. I’ve had a few questions about these and what they are, so here are some answers.
Binaural beats are a form of sound wave therapy in which the right and the left ears listen to two slightly different frequency tones yet perceive the tone as one.
They’re complicated to explain but there are many potential benefits that include reduced stress and anxiety, increased concentration and confidence and also improved mood.
Binaural beats are best listened through headphones for 15-30 minutes in a quiet, relaxing place. Don’t listen to them while undertaking tasks that require full attention, like driving.
They may not work for everyone but I’d say they’re definitely worth a try.
Here are some that I use personally to get you started.
My final post on breathing techniques for now. This one will help de-clutter your mind.
- Close your eyes and sit up straight. Keep your feet flat on the floor, feeling the ground beneath your feet.
- Relax your shoulders and sigh.
- Notice your breathing. Be aware of your inhale and exhale. Imagine the air going in and out, like a wave.
- Breathe softly and deeply in and out through your nose, pausing a little.
- Guide your inhalation to your belly. Focus on the rise and fall.
- Stay present in the moment, just focusing on your breath.
- Exhale your worries and any tension.
- Inhale energy and positivity.
- Practice this for 2-3 minutes. Stay in the moment.
Credit: Rebecca Dennis
Book: Calm by Fearne Cotton