Mental Health Update

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well!

I don’t know how many of you still check out my blog on a regular basis, but you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t posted a lot about anxiety lately. This is in no way because I don’t struggle anymore (unfortunately, I still struggle a lot) or that I don’t care about mental health issues, but rather because when it comes to writing, I’ve been focusing on writing more positive things.

I feel it’s only right to update you on my mental health. As I mentioned, I still struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. The panic attacks aren’t nearly as bad and frequent, but the general anxiety is very difficult for me. I’m still trying on a daily basis to get through it. On a positive note, I have made a lot of progress in some areas!

In addition, unfortunately, I haven’t been exercising and facing my fears like I should. It’s a horrible trap to fall into – I think pure laziness and being occupied with other things has gotten in the way. On one hand, distracting my mind with working on my writing is a good thing, but on the other, I should definitely still be spending a lot of energy on working hard to get better. By just sitting around, my anxiety isn’t going to lessen or be easier to manage.

I want you to all know that I am still here for you – seriously. I’m not going to stop blogging about anxiety and mental health. If you need to talk, I’m here.

Please remember that the best way to get through anxiety is to do what works best for you. Taking small, manageable steps in facing fears is what I find personally helpful. It allows the anxiety sufferer to take their own, beneficial steps in order to overcome their obstacles.

Once again I hope you are all doing well.

-B.G.

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To Those Who Wrongfully Label – A Letter

Dear Label Maker,

 
Please resist the urge to label that which you don’t understand. I know that sometimes the world can be a confusing place and that it brings out the temptation to create definitions, but doing so can be harmful to others. If you want to understand what someone is going through, please have the decency to ask instead of jumping to conclusions.

 
Creating false labels is not only caustic to those who you label, but also causes misconceptions and stigmas. Stigmas are extremely dangerous because they put people into categories and set limits that no matter what, people cannot escape due to the fact that so many people put their faith in these false notions instead of faith in individuals to overcome their obstacles.

 
Mislabeling is also extremely selfish. While labeling someone may cause you relief because it leaves you feeling like you understand a situation, it causes the individual you are labeling unease and discomfort. It is hard enough struggling without having to deal with others making up their own conclusions based on what they hear, read, or simply make up in their mind.

 
Last but not least, mislabeling breeds ignorance. Being ignorant on a certain subject is never a positive thing; this goes for both the individual who labels and the person being labeled. Having false intelligence about something is not the same as being truly educated and having the wrong idea about something or someone, can lead to mistreatment – and incorrect treatment – of others.

 
I hope that if you are reading this, you realize the ramifications of labeling someone or something that you don’t truly understand. Mislabeling only leads to aggravation and hurt feelings. If you want to make sure you truly understand something and are not just creating your own definitions, please ask the person who is struggling in a kind way to explain what they are going through. I guarantee they will appreciate you coming to them first instead of going to others for information.

 

Thank You,

B.G.

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Doing Your Best

Anxiety sucks for countless reasons – seriously. I hate how there are so many things that I want to do yet don’t because anxiety gets in the way. I also hate how pathetic my anxiety makes me feel and, while I hate to admit it, how embarrassing my anxiety can be.

Today I was reflecting on how there was a time, when I didn’t over-think so much and I did things without thinking twice. I used to go shopping, go to school, and hang out with friends without worrying like I do now. Now, I need help doing things and to be honest, there are times when I feel utterly pathetic.

While I’d love to say that I never get embarrassed by my anxiety – I do. I get embarrassed when someone sees me struggling with simple things and I can’t help thinking, “Man I must look pathetic!”. I know that it’s possible that sometimes I’m too hard on myself, but it’s hard not to be when I’m not always proud of how I act. Plus, I know deep down that I’m able to do these things with ease and that it’s just my anxiety trying to convince me otherwise.

I think what’s important is that we try our hardest to do our best and focus on the positive. I know it may not always seem like there’s anything positive to focus on, but there is. Today I felt pathetic because my anxiety made me feel slightly dependent – a feeling that I hate. However, at the same time, I stayed where I was the entire time and didn’t leave, something that I easily could have done if I wanted. Heck, I didn’t even have to make the effort to go where I did in the first place, but I did. That’s progress.

I still must admit though that I hated the way anxiety made me look today. Anxiety has a way of making the strong look weak and the intelligent look stupid. I usually consider myself quite mature but sometimes when anxiety hits, I feel the exact opposite.

We have to hold on to the positive though and remember who we really are. I’m not my anxiety. In the past (though I’ve struggled with anxiety for a long time), there were times when I did the things that are now difficult, with ease. I know that there is nothing physically wrong with me and that the reason I struggle is just because of anxiety. We cannot let anxiety take over or make us feel bad about ourselves!

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Please Forgive Me

I know I talk a lot about judging others and how we should all try our hardest to avoid it. I have to admit though, that even I’m guilty of judging. Every time I hear someone say how they struggle with anxiety, I can’t help wondering how true it is – especially when there are no outward signs of them struggling.

I know this sounds horrible and many of you may never want to read this blog again. I’m not going to make excuses for myself. Yes I’m a human being and I think as human beings, we all have moments where we judge others, but that’s doesn’t make it okay.

First let me say that I’m not doubting anyone who says they suffer from anxiety. Rather, as a person who suffers from anxiety so much that it shows, I tend to wonder how bad a person’s anxiety can really be if I see no sign of it. Right away when they say they struggle, I sometimes think how I must struggle even more.

I’m not proud of this thought process. In fact, I’m embarrassed of it and ashamed to admit that I sometimes think this way. I know that some people are simply better at hiding their feelings and, really, whether or not there are outward signs of your anxiety has no bearing on how much you’re really struggling.

Still, I feel the need to apologize for these thoughts. Why? Because it’s not right to compare my struggles with others’. We all struggle in different ways and just because you may be able to tell that I struggle, doesn’t make my anxiety any worse or more real than yours. We all process things differently and we all have different symptoms.

I also want to add that whether your anxiety is something that others notice or not, it does not mean that you are weaker or stronger than others around you. Like I said, anxiety manifests for different people in different ways. Don’t feel like your anxiety or how you deal with it makes you weak. You are strong – far stronger than your fears!

P.S. Please understand that I know that just because you may hide your anxiety or be better at not showing it, does not mean that your anxiety is not as bad as mine or the anxiety of others. I merely meant that I can sometimes, like many others, be quick to judge and that I am truly sorry.

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Leave Me Your Link and I’ll Share It

Danny is hosting a Meet and Greet over at Dream Big, Dream Often! Feel free to check out his blog!

Dream Big, Dream Often

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One of the easiest ways to gain valuable exposure for your blog page is to have a larger blog share your site with its readers.  But how do you get another blogger to share your page you might ask??  It is easy.

Each evening at 6pm est I publish a link list which allows my readers to click through to your page.  All you have to do is leave me a link in the comments to your page or a post and I’ll add them in the order they are received.

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The ‘Norm’

So lately I’ve been feeling a bit down. I’m still struggling with anxiety and it still holds me back from doing many of the things I love. Also, while I don’t hate living at home still, I know a lot of people my age aren’t still living with their parents.

I’m not going to lie – it can be very depressing. I want to be more independent and have a job, but my anxiety stands in the way. Maybe to some people that seems like an excuse, but it’s not. Anxiety can be a very powerful thing and it can make you feel like your unable to do even the simplest of things.

The thing is that while it’s good to have goals, we sometimes need to stop focusing so much on what’s considered ‘the norm’ and instead focus on doing the best we can. It really does no good to sit around and feel guilty or pathetic that you maybe still live with your parents or don’t have a job. As my dad said, we all do things at different times in our life and while we should have goals and shouldn’t use our issues as an excuse, it’s okay if we don’t do everything at the same speed as others.

The important thing is that we continue to try our hardest and that we never give up on our goals. If we work hard on a consistent basis, we can and will be successful. I know it’s hard not to let what’s considered normal dictate your life and not to feel bad if you don’t fit in with what’s considered ‘proper’, but sometimes things happen that cause us to stray from the norm. Straying from the norm does not make us pathetic or weird, but rather means that we’re different or have different issues than some other individuals may have.

Before I end this post, I want to tell you this. Don’t let anyone make you feel pathetic that you don’t fit in with the norm. Like I said, sometimes life doesn’t turn out how we wish it would and sometimes there are circumstances that make things a little harder. The only real failure in life is giving up completely. If you’re not happy with how things are, you can always change them. Don’t allow others to bring you down and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just work hard!

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The ‘B’ Word – Burden

I’ve written about this before, but I think as anxiety sufferers, many of us know what it’s like to feel like burdens – to feel like we’re driving everyone around us crazy and making things hard on them.

Let me start out by saying that I actually really like my personality. I’ve always thought I was a pretty nice person, etc. What I don’t like is my anxiety and how, over the years, it’s made me struggle so much and, at times, made me feel like I hate myself.

Last night I had a panic attack – maybe the worst one in a little while. Let’s just say that it made me feel pathetic and while I’m happy I have seen some improvements in my anxiety (and am grateful for them), it still hurts to see myself struggle like I did last night. On top of that, two of my family members made mean comments and I’m not ashamed to say that the high level of anxiety, coupled with the cruel and hurtful comments, left me crying for quite a while.

I oftentimes feel like a burden when anxiety hits. When I’m at home and have a really anxious moment and need help or when I’m out and need help, I can sense people growing annoyed and it’s not paranoia. I know this because I’ve heard the cruel comments that sometimes come out of the mouths of loved ones. Don’t get me wrong I know they love me and care about me, but I also know that anxiety isn’t easy on anyone and since I’m the one with the anxiety, it’s hard not to feel like it’s all my fault – like I’m not a huge burden. My dad and others have reassured me that this isn’t true, but sometimes the actions of others speak louder than words.

I’d like to say that I’ll never feel this way again, but I can’t promise you that. I can’t promise you that you won’t ever feel this way either. Anxiety is hard to deal with and it’s hard for loved ones to deal with as well. Still, we must try to remember that we are NOT burdens, though we may feel otherwise. If anything is a burden, it is anxiety. We are NOT our anxiety. While we may feel wholly intertwined, our anxiety is a separate entity from who we are. We struggled with anxiety, we are not the same as anxiety. I know it can be hard to separate the two in our minds sometimes, but we don’t have to allow anxiety to control us or how we feel about ourselves.

Also, while I know how difficult it is to ignore, if someone is cruel to you due to your anxiety (or any other reason for that matter), remember how hard you’re trying to fight your struggles and get over your obstacles. Remember that the person who is judging you does not know what you’re going through and most likely, never will. Remember how amazing and wonderful you are and all the progress you have made. If you keep working hard, you will succeed!

Happy Valentine’s Day. Remember to have love for yourself as well as for others! ❤

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