Stop Downplaying Your Progress and Success!

Hi everyone! So last week, I had a great time shopping with my mom. While I didn’t do a ‘perfect’ job, I did do really well when it came to going out and not allowing anxiety to get the best of me. I never had to leave the store early, I walked around, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

With that being said, there were moments when my anxiety did increase and I found myself doing less than spectacular. At those moments, I found that I began to beat myself up. My mom kept saying how well I was doing and yet, I still felt down on myself. Here’s the thing – there was a time when I wouldn’t even try to go into those stores. There was a time when I’d have to sit on the ground whenever I got too anxious to stand (true, they were furniture stores, so instead I sat on the couches, but I did get right back up and continue shopping!).

In the back of my mind, a part of me is still wishing I would have done even better. For example, I wish that I wouldn’t have had to hold on to my mom for the majority of the shopping (there were times when I didn’t). You know what? It’s okay to wish that. It’s okay to wish that I would have done better. Why? Because it’s good to set goals for ourselves and it’s good to want to accomplish more. At the same time, however, we have to give ourselves credit for what we did accomplish. I am so proud of myself that I went shopping to so many stores! I haven’t done that in a long time. All week was full of getting out and having a good time. It felt great! The more we practice facing our fears and overcoming our obstacles, the more progress we’ll make!

So stop downplaying your progress and success. The next time you hear yourself saying or thinking I did okay, but… or I did really good, but… stop yourself and realize that you did a wonderful job. Tell yourself that you’ll continue to work harder (and follow through with that promise), but at the same time, be proud of what you’ve already accomplished. None of us are perfect, but the fact that we continue to make progress makes all the difference in the world!

I hope that you’re all doing well and please remember that you’re not alone in your journey to be free from anxiety and any other issues you may be dealing with. Thanks for reading!

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What’s Been Going On

Hey guys! I hope you’re all doing well. I thought I would update you as to how things have been going.

For starters, just last weekend, I went to a restaurant I’d never been to and hung out with my mom and her two friends. I had met her friends before, but never spent much time with them. I had a great time and even fell in love with a new food – Crabmeat Rangoons! Anyway, in terms of my anxiety, I did really well!

Yesterday, I went out again. After heading out to my mom’s (where I did well, as usual), I went out to see her best friend. I’ve known this individual for many years and while she can be nice at times, she can be very cruel and can say some very hurtful things.

While this friend of my mom deals with anxiety, she isn’t always the most understanding when it comes to mine. This is frustrating both because I find it simply rude and hypocritical. How someone who suffers with anxiety themselves can treat someone else with anxiety so horribly is beyond me.

I will tell you all something that while I’m not proud of, is important to share for this story. Sometimes due to my anxiety, I hold on to someone I trust’s arm when walking. Upon seeing this, my mom’s friend said “That’s enough of this,” and tore my hand off of my mom’s arm, making me feel unsteady and anxious. Her friend went further to say that I could “hold on to her” and made me do that instead.

I was extremely upset that my mom’s friend made the comment about me holding onto my mom ‘being enough’. It’s already hard enough seeing myself struggle, let alone having someone say cruel things and literally rip me away from feeling comfortable.

After that incident, my mom and I went out to a store. My mom told her friend that we would both be back. Going into the store, I did well, but upon leaving, I began to become anxious. Upon having to sit down (unfortunately on the floor), I noticed a few people staring at me.

I understand why people do this, I do. I know it’s not normal for someone to simply sit on the floor. I hate that I go through this. I understand one’s curiosity in seeing someone sitting down in a strange spot. Still, I wish that people would be more supportive and less judgmental. Also, I think if someone thinks that something might be wrong, or that someone might be going through something, that they should maybe check if the person is alright, instead of blatantly staring at the individual. We’re not stupid, we see you staring, and it only makes things worse for us.

To continue, while I was trying to get my courage back up so that I could head to the car with my mom, I saw a literal sign in the store. My eyes were drawn right to it and I truly believe that I was meant to see it. Maybe that sounds strange to some, but it’s what I believe.

I know some of you may not be religious and that’s fine, but I thought I would share the quote on the sign. I hope it inspires you like it did me.

“Good things happen when you believe in God, who always believes in you.”

Also, here’s something else that is important to remember when you’re struggling. You have made progress before and just because you may be having a difficult time at the moment, does not mean that you’re not stronger than your obstacles or that you’re not improving. We all have days that are better than others and none of us are perfect. It’s okay if we struggle sometimes, it doesn’t make us any less successful.

I wish you all the best. Please remember that you are strong and that it doesn’t matter what others say. As long as you are working hard on a consistent basis to reach a positive goal, that’s all that matters.

New Novella by B.W. Ginsburg – Crimson Vows!

New Novella Available Now!

B.W. Ginsburg

Hey everybody! I have some very exciting news. My new novella, Crimson Vows, is now available in ebook and paperback formats on Amazon.com!

Here is what the book’s about:

Emily Bradford has just turned sixteen. She’s about to experience something she never thought possible. As Emily grapples with the fact that she has a special gift and holds the key to stopping a horrible crime, she must work hard to save the life of a young woman and many more to follow.

Vince Ashcroft is not in a good place in his life. His father is abusive, his mother struggles to keep her head above water, and no matter what he does, Vince can’t seem to be truly happy. When faced with an impossible choice, Vince finds himself falling off the edge of sanity and into an ocean of cruelty and malice.

To purchase your copy of Crimson Vows, please…

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May: Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness month. While I admit I didn’t find out until I saw it on Instagram, I still consider it an extremely important topic.

As many of you know, I struggle with anxiety. I’m happy to inform you that through practicing on a consistent basis, I’ve made a lot of progress. However, I still struggle with a lot of things and there is still a lot of improvement to be made.

There are a few things in particular that I’d like to talk about today. First and foremost, never give up on yourself. I know how easy it is to wonder if you’ll ever get through your anxiety and other issues. Trust me: with hard work on a consistent basis, you will. It may take a while, but you’ll get there.

Another thing I want to talk about is how it seems that many people are under the impression that anxiety and other mental health issues are always a ‘silent struggle’. While some people do keep it all bottled in, there are people that express what they go through – whether or not they want to. Also, while some issues can be invisible in that it’s hard to tell that someone is struggling, sometimes it can be pretty obvious that someone is going through something. No matter how mental health issues are illustrated (or not illustrated, for that matter), it does not indicate that someone is weaker or stronger than someone else. It is simply how their mental health shows itself. Either way, we need to support each other and help each other overcome our obstacles.

I’d also like to talk about something that’s a pretty big problem in the world – misconceptions about those who struggle with mental health issues. There are too many to name them all, so I’ll just focus on the ones that I’ve actually been accused of.

1.) My anxiety is just a way for me to stall growing up – This can’t be further from the truth. I want so badly to get a job, be able to do the things I once did without feeling anxious, etc. I hate that anxiety has gotten in the way of that. I don’t enjoy it at all.

2.) Anxiety is easy to ‘snap’ out of – Another misconception. It’s not always that easy to just ‘think yourself’ out of feeling anxious. Anxiety has the power to hold on for dear life at times. Sometimes it takes great force to get rid of it.

3.) Anxiety isn’t real – When a person is anxious, it can feel like it’s the end of their life. Everything can feel impossible and what was once easy, seems like the hardest thing in the world. Anxiety exists and it can be debilitating if you don’t learn how to take control.

4.) Anxiety is just an excuse to be lazy – This kind of goes hand in hand with number 1. Again, I hate not being able to do some of the things I once did without feeling anxious. Also, I enjoy doing things and working hard. Anxiety is not being lazy.

If you’re reading this and you struggle with a mental health issue, chances are that you’ve run into a plethora of misconceptions about whatever you deal with. I’m sorry you have to go through this. Stay strong and remember that it doesn’t matter what others think – it matters what you know. For those of you who know someone who struggles with a mental health issue, please try to be understanding and rid your mind of any misconceptions. If you have any questions about what someone struggles with, please ask them kindly. Don’t just make assumptions.

 

Being Proud of Progress (even when you’re not perfect)

As human beings, I think it can be difficult not to be tempted by negative thoughts. It’s hard when we struggle not to beat ourselves up, to put ourselves down for all of our missteps. However, it is important to remember that we are making progress and that even though we’re not perfect, that does not take away from our success.

Let’s take yesterday, for example. I went to church and did extremely well. I usually sit next to a relative and this time, because someone was sitting where my relative usually sits, I couldn’t. Therefore, I sat in my usual seat in back next to someone I’ve never met, and my relative sat in the pew in front of me (a good few away). You may think that doing well during mass while someone that usually sits next to you, instead just sits a little further away, isn’t a big deal, but to me it was. It meant that I could be independent and have enough faith in myself to believe that I could get through mass without becoming anxious – which I did! I didn’t really get anxious at all!

After church, I discovered that my relative and I would be staying after a while to help decorate. Even my relative was unaware of this. We ended up staying after (a whole two hours) and while I did struggle a little, I did pretty well all in all!

Now here’s the thing: I did get very upset with myself when I struggled. I felt miserable and I was mad at myself – mad that I couldn’t stand up to my anxiety and overcome its power. I allowed my anxiety to take control and for that, I was very upset. However, at the same time, I did get – in the end – get through it in that I didn’t let that one moment control the rest of my day. I got through that moment and I continued on with my day. You know what? The rest of the day went well! How awesome is that?!

I understand how difficult it can be not to get fed up with ourselves when we allow our obstacles and struggles to take control. At the same time, though, we can’t forget about the progress we’ve made or the fact that we are able to overcome our obstacles.

So, don’t forget to be proud of your accomplishments! Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t allow your moments of hardships to convince you that you’re not strong enough to get through whatever tries to hold you back!

When Things Don’t Go Quite As Planned

I’ve been doing a lot better lately in terms of getting through my anxiety – I really have. That’s one of the reasons that, when my mom invited me to go out with some friends and relatives for St. Patrick’s Day, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to have a great time and not worry about my anxiety holding me back.

My mom and I made plans to go to church and then later go out together. While I did well at church, I struggled leaving – something I haven’t done in a while. Then while eating at the restaurant, and then while leaving the restaurant, I struggled some more. I hated it! It made me feel like a failure and when our friends and relatives saw me struggle, I felt utterly embarrassed!

So many things bothered me about becoming anxious. For one, becoming anxious never feels good. For another thing, I’ve been doing so well and all of a sudden, things weren’t going so well. I also hated that my friend and relative saw me struggling and that to them, it looked like no progress on my part had been made. Heck, I felt that way and I know I’ve made progress!

Here’s the thing though: I do know I’ve made progress. Nothing can take that progress away. Also, it doesn’t really matter what other people think. I know I’m trying my hardest and have been improving.

I’m proud of how much progress I’ve made and while I’m upset that I struggled so much the other day, I know that I’m getting stronger and better at facing my fears. No one is perfect and just because I still experience a great deal of anxiety sometimes, it does not make me a failure or any less successful.

So, if you find yourself still suffering from anxiety – or another issue – don’t feel as if you’re a failure or not making any progress. Look at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve improved. Everyone has bad days; it does not make you weak. Continue doing your best on a consistent basis and remember just how strong you truly are.

 

More Progress!

Hey everybody!

I have some great news! On Sunday, I made some more progress with getting through my anxiety!

When I go to church, I usually sit in the back against the wall. I’ve gotten used to sitting there and I do extremely well. This last Sunday, however, someone was sitting where I usually sit, meaning that I had to sit somewhere else. While I was nervous at this idea, I felt confident that I would be okay. Still, during the service, I became a bit anxious.

It wasn’t easy sitting in a new spot. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but sitting against the wall where I know I can lean my head if I have to (I haven’t had to in a long time, but just knowing I can is a huge help), was nerve-racking. As many of you who deal with anxiety probably know, when anxiety hits, it can feel as if you’re trapped and while sitting in a different spot, that’s how I started to feel at one point.

When I started focusing on how I was sitting somewhere different, that’s when my anxiety hit. You might be thinking that I should have just stopped thinking about it right away, but that can be way easier said than done. My mind was focused on it and then I started thinking about how there was nowhere to rest my head if I needed to. Panic began to settle in.

However, I got through it. It wasn’t easy, but I did. I started focusing on other things – on my grandparents (who have both passed away, but used to be at church with my mom and I when I was younger), on the necklace I was wearing around my neck that reminded me of my grandpa, on what was being said in church, and on my hair which I was twirling nervously, but that helped me relax. Eventually, I calmed down and I got through mass! It wasn’t easy, but I did it!

While to some, this may not seem like a big accomplishment, I know otherwise. Ever since I’ve started going back to church, I’ve been sitting in the back (other then one time when I sat in the front when my grandpa died – another sign of progress), but this time was different. I did something that I’m not used to – even though I was anxious – and I got through it. Taking small steps towards reaching one’s goal does matter and being able to stay the whole time during mass while being anxious is a big deal!

It felt great that I got through my anxiety on my own. Yes, my mom was sitting right next to me, but I never told her I needed to leave or anything like that. There would have been nothing wrong with that if I did, but I didn’t. I got through it on my own and that hasn’t always been easy for me in the past. Counting on myself to calm down has always been difficult – I tend to obsess on my anxiety, which leads to me feeling the need to leave wherever I am. Even now as I write this, I feel slightly stressed. It’s a scary thing feeling anxious and not knowing if you can get through it. But again, I did and it felt amazing!

To all of you out there who struggle, with hard work on a consistent basis, you can and will get through your anxiety and over any obstacles that come your way. It just takes time, patience, and a lot of effort. Try your hardest to have confidence in yourself – you deserve it!

 

The Poetry Continues!

B.W. Ginsburg

Hey everybody!

I believe in my last post I talked about how I was writing some poetry after feeling stuck when it came to writing a new novel. While I am in no way giving up on writing fiction, I have decided to work on writing and publishing a poetry book!

First let me remind all of you that Gary Ginsburg and I do already have an inspirational article and poetry book out that is available for purchase on Amazon.com, entitled Inspiration Unbound. I’d like to thank everyone who has already purchased a copy and continues to support our writing. If you have any questions about this book, please feel free to ask.

While in the last article and poetry book that Gary Ginsburg and I came out with, Gary wrote the poems and I wrote the articles, I will be the sole author of the next poetry book and it…

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A Great Day / Getting Better

Hello everybody! Today I’d like to talk about something wonderful that happened over the weekend. I’d also like to touch upon the importance of connecting with others who struggle with the same (or similar) issues as yourself.

Let me start out at the beginning. I attended church with my mom Sunday morning (something that I’ve been able to do more and more as I make progress in getting through my anxiety). My mom had told me how a friend of hers struggles with anxiety and how the week before (when I didn’t attend church), they had talked briefly about the subject. I had never seen the woman when I attended church before but lo and behold, I did on Sunday. We got to talking and while our anxiety does differ slightly, we found that we have a lot of things in common. She had a lot of advice to give and she was very kind. We exchanged phone numbers and told each other to stay in touch.

It meant a lot to me to meet someone face to face who struggles with anxiety; for her to understand what I go through and to be genuinely concerned for my well being. This woman could truly sympathize with my pain and relate to what I go through. Also, I do sometimes struggle to make my mother understand my anxiety and I honestly think that having a friend that goes through it might make it more comprehendible to her. That might be a sad truth, but there it is.

Something that meant an even greater deal to me was that this woman offered to give me her number; to be there for me in my darkest of times. Not everyone in this world is that kind and it meant the world to me to know I have another ally.

After church, I headed to a relative’s house for a while. After having a great time, which was for the most part anxiety-free, I headed out with my mom to a store. At first, I didn’t plan on going in, but then I did! While I admit that I did feel nervous and towards the end needed time leaving the store, I did a great job! The fact that I went in at all and didn’t leave before my mom was ready to alone means that I made a great deal of progress! I was so proud of myself and even my mom thought I did a great job (though in all truthfulness, she did get annoyed when I couldn’t leave the store right away and had to relax first).

As you can see, I had a wonderful day! While I did struggle at times, I did better than I have in a long time and was able to do things that I haven’t felt confident enough to do in quite a while. It doesn’t matter if my mom got slightly annoyed with me or if I didn’t do everything perfectly well. What matters is that I made progress and that I know deep down what a great accomplishment that truly was!

Working hard on a consistent basis to face your fears really does bring success! Please don’t allow others to strip away your confidence or pride in your accomplishments. Also, don’t be afraid to open up about your anxiety to those you trust and make new friends and allies along the way!

Have a great week and be proud of your accomplishments!

-B.

I Did It!

Hey everybody! Today I’d like to share some exciting news with you!

I used to love shopping – seriously. However, once my anxiety began hitting hard, it became more and more difficult to go out, especially for long periods of time. While I know I’ve made significant progress over the years, I still have a long way to go.

In terms of shopping, there is really only one place where I feel somewhat comfortable, and even there I struggle with walking around without getting anxious. It’s hard for me to focus on simply looking at things and enjoying myself while I’m worrying so much and I tend to get shaky and have to sit down. However, I will say that in general, I do pretty well there.

Today I did something amazing. My dad and I went out to buy some gifts for the holidays and when he asked if I’d like to try to go in, I said yes. I asked that we use a cart so I could hold on and he said alright. While I did hold onto the cart while we walked around, I stayed in the store the whole time and did great! I held onto my dad’s arm while we left the store because I felt a bit shaky, but I’m extremely proud of myself! There would have been a time when I would have either not tried going in the store at all or would have had to leave the store before we were finished shopping. Today I stayed inside the whole time, helped with finding everything, and didn’t get overly anxious. I can’t tell you how good that felt!

The point of this story is that even though it may seem like you’ll never get through your anxiety or over your obstacles, you can and will if you work hard on a consistent basis. There was a time when I wouldn’t have thought I could go shopping like I did today; when I didn’t think I could possibly stay the whole time, walk around, and leave without getting uncontrollably anxious – but I did! If I never would have gone in today and tried, I never would have seen how well I could have done!

So if you struggle with anxiety or some other issue, don’t feel like you’ll never overcome these obstacles. As long as you work hard and never give up, you can and will continue to make progress!

I wish you all the best in overcoming your obstacles!