The Good, Even In The Bad

Yesterday was an interesting day. It was interesting in that, while it was difficult, it was also great. Where I live it was 90 degrees. I went to my relative’s house. They don’t have air conditioning. Enough said, right?

The day started off really well. I had a doctor’s appointment and I did really well. I mean, really well. Even at one point, when I became slightly anxious, I didn’t let it take over. I’m so proud of myself that putting it into words doesn’t do it much justice. It was an amazing feeling to overcome my anxiety and have it not take control of the rest of my body to an extreme level.

Later on in the day was when things got a little more difficult. I decided to go outside a little bit and spend some time with Cali (an adorable stray cat my mom and I take care of). At first I felt okay with a small fan blowing, but soon I needed a break from the intense heat. I went inside and wasn’t able to go through the rest of the house like usual due to my relative painting. Therefore I had to head to the basement where it’s cooler. After still being too warm, I had to go back outside and retrieve the fan and bring it inside.

Perhaps to some, none of these things seem like a big deal. However, in addition to feeling overheated, I felt extremely anxious. My relative was busy and so instead of asking for help, I decided to try to do as much as I could on my own. I admit, it wasn’t easy. However, I got what I needed done.

In addition to the above achievements (and yes, I believe they were great successes), I also made a decision that was tough to make, but I believe was right. While I felt it was in the best interest of my relative, they seemed upset with the decision I made. I apologized and explained that my decision was meant to decrease their stress level and they said that they understood. They then thanked me for thinking of them. It still felt like they weren’t happy with what I did though. Still, I feel that I did the right thing and definitely, for the right reason.

All in all, I had a great day full of accomplishments. It’s a little challenging categorizing the day as ‘great’ when there were points where I felt very uncomfortable due to the combination of the heat and my anxiety. However, it did feel great to get through these moments.

I hope that everyone is doing well. Please remember how strong you are, even when things are difficult and when you’re struggling.

-B.

Being Proud With Your Progress…And Not Comparing Yourself With Others

Hi everyone! Long time no write! As I touched on in my last post, I began my first official job. Therefore I’ve been busy and don’t have as much time to write. However, I wanted to take the time today to share with you the importance of being proud of ones progress and trying our hardest to not compare ourselves with others.

I’m not going to lie, it’s hard for me not to compare where I am in my life with where everyone else is. In terms of where I am, there are a lot of people who are further. I am almost thirty and as I reach that milestone, I start to reflect on where I could be in my life and yes, I begin to feel a little depressed. However, I start to realize something else – that I have made a lot of progress and you know what? It feels amazing! For the longest time I thought that I wouldn’t be able to get better at certain things because of my anxiety and you know what? I have! For the longest time I thought I wouldn’t find a job where I could work at home. You know what? I have! Not only that, but I truly feel that I’m doing a great job.

So yes, maybe I’m not as ‘far along’ with my achievements as some other people are at this age. Yes, I still struggle with anxiety and I still wish that it didn’t hold me back from doing certain things. But you know what? I’m trying my hardest and I am making progress. There is no doubt in my mind about that. None whatsoever. I am proud of how far I’ve come. I’m proud of my success and achievements. I’m going to keep working hard to get through my anxiety and I’m not going to give up. I believe that if I continue to face my anxiety on a consistent basis that I will make even more progress and hopefully, one day reach a point where anxiety will no longer hold me back from what I want to do.

I know that it’s hard not to compare ourselves to others. We see others who are closer to their goals than we are. Then there are some people who make rude comments or say hurtful things. It stops and makes us wonder if they’re right. I know what it’s like to wonder if I’m a failure. Let me tell you something. If you’re trying your hardest on a consistent basis then you are not a failure. Things take time and it’s okay if you’re not exactly where someone else is in life. What matters is that you continue to strive to make your life better. If you want to compete with anyone, compete with yourself. Make it your goal to make more progress so you can be more like the true version of yourself, the one that is not held back by negative obstacles.

I wish each and every one of you the best. Please remember to be proud of your progress!

Feeling the Difference

There’s a great sense of achievement and calm that washes over you when you have an especially good day. When you see yourself doing things without anxiety making you feel unsure of yourself and unsteady. When you feel a sense of normalcy, one that comes with doing things with ease and comfort.

I had a really good day today. I went to a relative’s house and hung out, walking around and getting more done than usual. As a bonus, when I was doing these things, I felt calm instead of frazzled and full of stress. There was a point when I really focused on just how good I was doing.

To be honest, all week has gone pretty well. While I have been going out more than usual this week, I’ve managed to get things done for the most part with minimal anxiety.

I want you all to know that with hard work on a consistent basis, you can and will get through your anxiety. I know I’ve said this a lot, but it’s true. I know how hard it can sometimes be to remain faithful and believe in ourselves. We sometimes look at how we struggle day after day and it makes us wonder if we’ll ever overcome our obstacles. I don’t want you to lose faith. You are worthy of believing in yourself and worthy of winning the battle against your struggles. Stay strong and don’t give up on yourself!

There is something truly amazing about feeling the difference between feeling anxious and feeling confident and relaxed. Just as I have, you can feel that difference if you try your hardest to face your fears.

Firsts

A couple of days ago, I did something for the first time in a long time – I went out with someone other than one of my parents. Not only did I travel with someone other than my mom or dad, but I did pretty well.

This was a very big deal. It is something that I am extremely proud of. While I am almost thirty years old and needed help going out, I went outside of my usual comfort zone and that is a humungous accomplishment. It’s been so long since I’ve trusted myself and been calm enough in terms of my anxiety to go out with a friend or relative who is not in my immediate family.

It honestly took me a while to realize just what a big accomplishment this occurrence was. Sure, I realized that I had gone out with a friend and did well, but I hadn’t really focused on how this was a new first – or at least how it hasn’t happened for a few years.

Without mentioning this individual by name, I would like to thank the person who went on this adventure with me. Thank you for being there for me; for supporting me. Thank you for being patient with me and not making me feel like a burden. I cannot express just how much your friendship means to me. 

To those of you out there who worry you’ll never make any progress, I can assure you that as long as you work on facing your fears on a consistent basis, you will make progress. It may take a while and probably won’t happen over night, but you will get better. If you take small steps and challenge yourself bit by bit, you will see yourself improving.

There is something else I want you all to know. Any steps you take in the right direction and any progress you make, should be celebrated. Some people may tell you that you should be further along. Heck, you might feel that way. However, progress is progress and no step towards getting better is insignificant. Instead of getting upset with yourself that you’re not doing even better than you currently are, try to focus on what you have achieved. Also, remember how far you’ve come and that you can continue to make progress.

I wish you all well. If you need to talk, please let me know. Stay strong and believe in yourself. You can overcome your anxiety!

Update

Hi all! A few days ago I wrote about the sometimes difficult decision we have to make. The decision to stay home or go out and face the possibility of becoming anxious. I mentioned how I had somewhere I really wanted to go and that I had chose to venture out.

I ended up having a great time – even better than I expected. A couple of friends came over to have lunch with me and a relative and afterwards we headed out to our destination. Not only was the food amazing and the trip breathtaking, but I did extremely well. While I did have to take several breaks so that I could sit down, I was able to enjoy myself without becoming too anxious.

Something I also want to touch on is just how wonderful the people I went with were. They were patient and understanding. That truly can make all the difference. They didn’t make me feel like an inconvenience or burden. I am so happy to have them in my life.

There are a lot of things that can be learned from this and many other positive experiences I’ve had. Here are some of those lessons:

1.) We are stronger than our fears. They may try to make us feel otherwise, but that is simply not true.

2.) Having kind, understanding people in our lives is important. I know they can be difficult to find at times, but there are people who will support you and stand by your side even through difficult times.

3.) Having faith in ourselves is essential.

4.) We need to practice facing our fears in small, manageable steps. With consistent effort, we can and will overcome our obstacles.

I hope you’re all doing well. If you ever need to talk, I’m here.

The Ultimate Decision

Here’s the situation – you want to go out somewhere but you’re afraid your anxiety will interfere. You worry that instead of having a good time, your anxiety will make things difficult. Then you fear you’ll somehow embarrass yourself. You start to wonder if it’s even worth the trip. Of course, if you don’t go, you’ll regret that too.

I know this conundrum all too well. It’s like the Clash’s song, Should I Stay or Should I Go. It’s a tough choice and at times, no answer seems like the right one. Still, we have to make a decision. Should we take the risk that our anxiety might try to take over and make us miserable, or should we let it win without us even trying to do what we so badly want?

In a few days, I might have the opportunity to go somewhere amazing. It’s somewhere I’ve never been before, but know that I’ll enjoy it. I’d even be going with some great people. The problem? I’m worried my anxiety will cause issues. I want to enjoy myself and I don’t want anyone to suffer if my anxiety kicks in.

I know I shouldn’t focus on the negative. I know that. Still, I think back and remember the other times where my anxiety has effected my outings in a negative way. I don’t want that to happen again.

However, there is another side to this. The positive side. The people I’d maybe be going with know about my anxiety. They are kind people who I think would be supportive and patient. Also, I am making progress with getting through my anxiety and I have that to hold onto.

If you’re trying to decide whether or not you should do something because you don’t know how anxiety will effect things, consider this:

1.) If you’re going with other people, will they be patient and understanding? If not, can you handle that? Will their negativity and how they treat you if things don’t go perfectly spoil your good time? If so, maybe you should reconsider. However, don’t allow negative people to necessarily change your mind about going out or doing things. Remind yourself how strong you really are.

2.) What would be worse? Going out and maybe becoming anxious or not going out at all and possibly regretting not at least trying?

Please believe me when I say that I know how hard it can be deciding if you should do something when anxiety can be involved. Thinking about all the negative things that could happen can be scary. However, at the same time, so can not doing something you want because you’re giving into your fears.

I, personally, like to try. I like to go out and give it my best shot. I know that can be easier said than done. Trust me, I do. Still, I’ve gone out to find that I’ve overcome my anxiety and had a great time!

 

Using Good Times As Proof

Today I had a great day! I went to my relative’s house and only got anxious for a brief second. It was hardly even that. In addition to minimal anxiety, I walked around more than usual and did things with ease. In addition, while I usually return home exhausted, I felt relaxed.

I know what it’s like to experience difficult times and wonder if you’ll ever get better. I know what it’s like to feel helpless and hopeless. It’s important to remember just how strong and capable we are.

Our good experiences are proof. Our progress is proof. What are they proof of? Our ability to do well, to get better. The good moments are proof that we are stronger than our struggles. So pay attention to when you have a good moment, day, week, month, year, etc. These times matter! Be proud of your success!

How To Dismiss the Negativity of Others

Hi everybody. This afternoon, I would like to discuss the topic of negativity. Specifically, the negative words and comments that we hear from others. While some of you may be familiar with why I am writing about this topic today (I recently posted a little about it on Instagram), I will provide the background story.

A couple of days ago, I was at a relative’s house. As I usually do when I go to this person’s house, I spent a good part of the day outside. Due to the heat, I ask that my relative bring out the fan and yes, sometimes I do ask for help getting around. For the most part, however, I felt I did well outside getting around the other day.

I did, at one point, get panicky. To make matters worse, my relative does not have air conditioning. I’m not sure what the logic is behind this, but severe heat seems to only add to my anxiety. So, yes, I asked my relative for more help – to bring me a fan and water.

The point of me telling you all this is because I want to prove that I am not blinded by how my anxiety can not only be frustrating and a pain to myself, but to others. Still, I still know I deserve respect. All of you do as well.

At one point, I simply called my relative’s name and I was snapped at. From then on, things only grew worse. I was told that my relative “could not accommodate my needs” and that they had been hearing me calling their name all day. Here was a person that was supposed to help me and be kind and understanding, treating me as if I was a burden.

I expressed how I felt. I told them that I was trying my best. They said they knew that, but it certainly did not seem that way. While later on, I did receive an apology from the individual saying that they were sorry they snapped at me, the first apology was hardly one at all. My relative had at first said, “I’m sorry you’re mad at me.”

Once the person I’m referring to was out of earshot, I went in the other room and cried. I truly felt like an inconvenience. While this person is in no way a horrible individual or constantly cruel, when they are, it hurts more than I can explain. As I’m sure some of you know, being treated like a burden – especially by someone you love – is not easy.

What I find really difficult sometimes, is not believing I’m a burden. It can be hard when I’ve heard the negative and cruel comments of others. It can be hard when people sometimes make it like being around me is a chore. So how do I remember that I’m not a burden? That I’m trying my hardest and am loved?

I focus on the progress I’ve made. I focus on those who love and support me. I remember that even if someone has been mean to me about my anxiety, that it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t care or love me. Some people just don’t understand, are impatient, or can be cruel at times. I also remember that it’s okay that I’m not perfect and that no one is.

Just because someone may treat you like a burden, doesn’t make you are one. We all struggle. Some people just aren’t good at sympathizing with and understanding others. They focus on how hard things are for them and tend to forget that someone else is struggling and trying their best too. I know how much my relative does for me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not doing a lot too. It just means that sometimes, because of my anxiety, things are harder, I can’t do things as easily, or always all at once.

For anyone who has ever been treated like a burden, I’m sorry. You don’t deserve that. No one does. Also, please know that you are not one. You are strong, brave, and worthy of someone’s time and love. We all struggle and none of us are perfect. Instead of focusing on the cruel actions and words of others, please focus on your progress, loved ones who show you kindness, and the fact that you are cared for.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great weekend.

-B.

 

 

 

 

“I just don’t like struggling at all”

Tonight I had another panic attack. I got really anxious and I could hardly stand. Everything seemed difficult. I hate that feeling.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been getting better. I’m very grateful for this. However, I still have moments where I get extremely anxious and I feel in those moments, like I’m falling apart and losing all the progress I’ve made. I know that isn’t true, but in that moment, that’s how it feels.

Sometimes I think that maybe I shouldn’t complain. After all, I used to struggle a lot more. Maybe I should just be appreciative that I’ve gotten better and not get so upset when I have a panic attack or become extremely anxious. Still, as I just told a relative, I don’t like struggling at all. And you know what? That’s okay! We don’t have to like it! In fact, we should strive to overcome our anxiety and get to the point that it no longer controls us. We shouldn’t just sit back and accept that our anxiety tries to control us. We should work hard to defeat it.

I think the secret is this: to get upset at our anxiety, not at ourselves. When we start to struggle and find our anxiety is taking over, we should try our hardest to stand up to it; to take charge. We shouldn’t get mad at ourselves. After all, it’s not our faults that we struggle.

Making Progress Is No Small Thing

Making progress is a wonderful thing. Period. Though I have struggled with anxiety for a while now, I have come a long way and I am very proud of myself. I have made accomplishments, some small and some large, but all important. However, while I consider all of these accomplishments important and worthy of appreciation, not everyone sees it that way.

If you are like me and struggle with some sort of issue, you may find that there are people in your life who try to belittle any progress you make. They may even find some negative aspect of your progress and try to use it to make you feel bad about yourself.

I attended college and graduated with two degrees – a BA and an Associates. While there were times when I struggled to go to class or stay without leaving, I did manage to eventually make it through. Graduating college is an amazing accomplishment for anyone and it was an amazing one for me.

Even with the fact that I graduated college, I am a bit embarrassed. Why? Because I had to have my dad attend some of my classes with me. I sometimes became so anxious that if I needed to leave, I needed him with me. Still, I tried my hardest to go to class and as I stated earlier, I did graduate. It wasn’t always easy, but I got through it.

I didn’t deserve it, but the fact that my dad came to some of my classes was used against me. While it kills me that I haven’t, I’ve never had an official job before. Again, this is due to my anxiety. Unlike what some might think, I really do want to be able to work. I’ve even thought of some places where I might be comfortable working. When I asked my mom what she thought of me working at this specific store, her response was, “Your dad wouldn’t be able to stay there with you”. She treated me as if I was unintelligent; as if I didn’t realize this. I’m all for honesty, but that doesn’t mean that what she said and how she said it, didn’t hurt. In that moment, instead of focusing on how great it was that I graduated college, all I felt was pathetic because I needed my dad to be with me when most students were becoming more independent.

No matter what, progress in the right direction is a good thing. Not that it would have made me a failure if I did, but I never gave up on going to college. I never gave up on achieving that goal. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. It does not make you weak. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise. Also, no bit of progress is too small or worthless.