Apologies & Recognition

Yesterday I went out with one of my relatives. While I did become slightly anxious and needed their help coming and going, I think that all and all, I did pretty well. I got through the experience and for a long time, that was something that seemed impossible.

Even though I ended up doing okay, once I was back in the car, I found myself apologizing that I struggled a little. Now, sometimes, even much later on, I realize how difficult my anxiety might have been to deal with. However, later on yesterday after I had calmed down, I realized that I really didn’t do too horribly. I went out, I stayed the entire time, and I even enjoyed myself for a little bit before I became anxious. All in all, I did an okay job. The thing is, though, that for some reason I still felt guilty.

I think part of the reason that I feel guilty so often is because I wish that I didn’t struggle at all. I wish that I could do things without feeling so anxious – without asking at times for help from others. The thing that I have to remember though is that I have made progress and that the journey to get through anxiety is often one that takes a lot of hard work. It doesn’t happen over night.

Also, while I’m not trying to play the blame game, there are some people who seem to try to make us feel guilty. They come off (and might well be) as embarrassed of our struggle. Sometimes their feelings are quite obvious and this can be hard to deal with. After all, it’s hard enough for us to go through this let alone witness our loved ones being embarrassed of our issues.

We need to remember to count on ourselves for approval and recognition. Yesterday after apologizing to my relative, she said, “Sometimes you just need to push through”. While this may be true, I also think she tends not to realize how hard ‘pushing through’ anxiety can really be. Sometimes it is so strong that it doesn’t just allow you to step through its hold.

Instead of apologizing yesterday, I should have simply told myself that I did pretty well. I should have just mentally assessed that while I could do better next time, there was a time when I would have struggled even more. If my relative couldn’t see that, it’s too bad. Relying on her to tell me how well I did was pointless – especially when she tends to only see the mistakes I make or struggles that occur.

Apologizing isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes when I really feel like I’ve caused a lot of frustration because someone had to deal with my anxiety, I think apologizing is the right thing to do. However, there are times when no matter what, you can’t satisfy the person who you’re dealing with. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, if you’re not absolutely struggle-free, they’ll grow angry.

The bottom line is this – we are not burdens. While our anxiety might be frustrating for both ourselves and others, we’re not burdens and it is not our fault that we struggle. As long as we are trying our hardest on a consistent basis to get better, this is what matters.

There may be times when others try to make us feel guilty for struggling with anxiety or other issues. There may even be times when others grow embarrassed of our struggles – maybe you’ve been embarrassed of your struggle yourself. I know I have. I hate to admit it, but it’s true.

Please know that you don’t have to be embarrassed of your struggle. You are not alone. We all go through things. While we may all struggle in different ways, we all deal with hardships. Whether or not it always feels like it, there are people whom you can trust and who will support you.

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Manipulation and Guilt

I’ve talked about both manipulation and guilt before, but I’d like to talk about the subject again.

Struggling with anxiety, there are a lot of things that I feel guilty about. I feel guilty that I don’t do things with family like I would like, that I need help when I go out and in other situations, and that I sometimes drive people crazy with my anxiety. While some people find it hard to believe, I don’t enjoy struggling with anxiety or putting people through this.

I think a lot of people can relate with the fact that some people tend to try their hardest (or so it seems) to make us feel guilty about struggling. Maybe these people don’t always intend on placing guilt on us, but many times it appears otherwise.

For example, last night I was asked if I’d go somewhere with someone. I told this person that I would consider it. They called me again today and I said that I still needed more time, they said they would call me before they picked me up to see if I wanted to go.

Upon calling, this individual said that they were “on their way”. I immediately got upset and mentioned how they said they would call and ask first if I was up to going. They said that they were so excited for me to go so that they were just coming. Honestly, my feelings were hurt. I felt like this person was putting me into an unfair situation. I said that I would go but I was clearly not happy.

When I got off the phone, I realized that I had made a mistake. I didn’t feel up to going and I shouldn’t have said I would. I feel that I was manipulated – this person said they would ask if I was up to going, but instead said that they were on their way and continued to go on about how excited they were for me to go. How was that supposed to make me feel if I said that no, I wouldn’t go?

I tried to reach the individual on the way and tell them that I didn’t want to go, but they didn’t call back until they were in my driveway. Once I told them that I wasn’t up to going (I didn’t feel physically well in addition to my anxiety), they got upset and left.

I feel guilty. While I’m upset that the person manipulated me and tried to make me feel guilty for not going, I shouldn’t have ever said that I would go. I should have said that I wasn’t up to going and just not gone. However, due to the person sounding so excited over going and practically begging me to go, I felt guilty saying no.

The point of this post is to share with you that if you’ve ever felt guilty because of your anxiety or if you’ve ever felt manipulated, you’re not alone. You need to remember that YOU need to be the one who makes the decisions as to when to go somewhere and when you’re feeling up to it. It’s a good idea to take small steps and face your fears, but you need to feel comfortable doing so and choose yourself when to take those steps. Don’t let others manipulate or guilt you into facing your fears. Choose steps that you feel safe taking. If someone asks you to go somewhere and you’re up to going, then go. If not, thank them and tell them that you’ll have to pass.

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Try Not To Let It Get You Down

Today I had a psychiatrist appointment. During the appointment, I was asked if I had a job or boyfriend. The answer to both was no. Would I like to get a job and work? Absolutely! Would I like to meet some nice guy and maybe one day get married? Of course! However, due to my anxiety I don’t feel like I’d be able to work yet and I don’t get out a lot to meet a lot of people.

My psychiatrist wants me to take more medication, he’s wanted this for a long time. I am taking more than I was the last time I saw him, but he still wants me on an even higher dosage. While I want to get better in getting through my anxiety, I also don’t want to be on a lot of medicine. It’s just how I feel.

I know my psychiatrist means well, but he often times makes me feel pressured and guilty for not taking as much medication as he wants me to. He said how the longer I wait to work, the harder it will be for me to get a job and how if I want to have a boyfriend and get married, I have to get through my anxiety. I know this. I want to get better, get a job that I love, and have a relationship with someone special. Still, I don’t think that these things should be used to make me feel guilty for not taking more medication. I just don’t feel that it’s right.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand where my psychiatrist (and therapist) is coming from. He feels that if I take more medication, my anxiety will be easier to control and I’ll be able to accomplish more. However, I still want to be able to accomplish my goals and manage my anxiety without taking tons of medication. Is that so wrong?

Also, when I go in for my appointment and I hear things like, “If you want to stay this way, then you can keep taking a low dose of medication…” it hurts my feelings and I find it frustrating! Just because I don’t want to be on a high dosage of medicine, doesn’t mean that I don’t want to get better! Also, maybe my psychiatrist doesn’t consider a certain dosage high, but maybe I do. Doesn’t that matter?

My point is that while you should listen to your doctors, you should also make sure that you don’t allow them to make you feel too down about yourself. I know sometimes it can seem like they’re trying to make you feel guilty or putting a lot of pressure on you, but sometimes it’s just the way they say things. Also, while you have to work hard  and while you should listen to what is being said, don’t allow negative comments to make you feel hopeless. If you work hard on a consistent basis, you will get through your anxiety and succeed!

*This post is not meant to say that you shouldn’t listen to your doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, etc. Instead it is meant to say that you should not allow rude comments or other things that are said that may rub you the wrong way, bring you down.

 

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Feeling Like A Burden

I know I’m not a burden, but sometimes I feel like it. Having anxiety and needing others to help you can sometimes cause you to feel that way. I know for me that when I need someone to pick up medicine for me, help me get through my anxiety, or even try to understand what I’m going through when it seems so hard for them, I begin to feel guilty. The thing that we have to remember though is that it is not our fault that we struggle and that there are people that care about us, even if they get frustrated at times.

I want everyone to know that even when you’re dealing with someone that doesn’t try to understand what you’re going through or is just downright mean to you because of the fact that you struggle, that this doesn’t mean that you’re a burden. What it means is that they can’t deal, or don’t know how to deal, with what you go through. Instead of being kind and trying to be helpful, they act out in less than kind ways.

I didn’t ask to suffer from anxiety and I don’t want to have to take medication. In fact, even though I understand that I may need it right now, I still don’t enjoy taking it. I don’t like needing other people to have to pick up the medicine for me when I run out and I’m not happy when I have to ask others for help with getting through my anxiety because it’s hard for me to get through it on my own sometimes. It’s not my fault that I struggle and most likely, it’s not yours either. You are not a burden and neither am I. Some people in this world just feel the need to put others down or even if they don’t try to, they manage to. It’s understandable that these people may bring us down with their negativity but we all have to try to challenge these negative words and feelings.

So next time you feel like a burden, remember you’re not. Sometimes people just get frustrated because they don’t understand what you’re going through or they get tired simply because. It doesn’t mean some of these people don’t still love you, it just means that they don’t completely know what it’s like to go through what you do.

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Feeling Guilty

Chances are that if you struggle with anxiety, you’ve felt guilty at some point in your life. Whether you’ve felt guilty because you had trouble doing something you felt should have been simpler or because you’ve asked others to help you in your struggles, there have probably been many times when you have felt like you’ve done something wrong. Sometimes we are responsible for making ourselves feel guilty while other times, it is due to the words of others.

Unfortunately, the fact is that due to not everyone understanding what suffering with anxiety is like, it can lead to some people being less than kind. In fact, some people may even make rude comments and may even say that they are disappointed in you or disappointed in the situation that you are going through. However, we cannot always concentrate on pleasing others.

While we should try our hardest not to make others suffer due to our struggling with anxiety, it is not always too much to ask that those who love us try their hardest to help. However, we cannot expect everyone to be understanding and helpful. Sometimes we need to learn that just because someone may be disappointed in us does not mean that we should be disappointed in ourselves. As long as we try our hardest and try to help ourselves, we will be able to be proud of ourselves.

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