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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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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Mental Illness Tag – B.G.

As mentioned, I’m going to participate in the Mental Illness Tag created by Becca at Becca Does Life Things. I tag everyone who struggles with mental health issues to complete this tag! If you do, please let me know in the comment section. I’d love to read your answers! For more info on this tag, read here!

1.) What mental illness do you have? Not to be picky, but I don’t consider anxiety an “illness”, I consider it a mental health issue. Anyway, I have severe anxiety.

2.) When were you diagnosed? I’m not exactly sure. A long time ago, I was diagnosed with OCD. I do think that I have a little bit of that sometimes, but I think that it mainly comes from my anxiety. I still have obsessive compulsive moments, but like I said, I think it’s all part of my anxiety. I’ve known that I’ve had anxiety for a long time. It got really bad my Junior year of high school.

3.) Who knows about it? Pretty much everyone I know. Unfortunately, my anxiety is very severe, so I explain it to a lot of people I know. It doesn’t always help because people don’t seem to understand that it’s a real issue and not just an excuse to get out of things, etc.

4.) Do you receive treatment for it? Yes. I take medicine every day and I see a therapist. I hate taking the medicine, but if it helps, it helps.

5.) Has your mental illness stopped you from doing anything? Yes, too many things. There are so many things that I used to do on a regular basis that I don’t anymore. My anxiety is very strong and oftentimes I don’t feel like I can do the things that I once did all the time and loved. I don’t think that everyone always believes it, but I really do want to go back to doing the things I love with ease.

6.) Is there anything in particular that has helped you? Yes. Having people who try to understand and who support me is really important and helps a lot. Also, seeing a therapist who understands what I go through and is helpful is beneficial. Lastly, practicing exposure therapy and exercising on a consistent basis helps as well.

7.) Can you describe what it feels like to have your mental illness? Horrible. I worry that I don’t have control over my body although I do. For example, sometimes I obsess about things that most people don’t even think about. Obsessing about things too much makes it feel like I’m unable to do things, even though I know that nothing’s physically wrong with me.

8.) What is a common misconception about your mental illness? A lot of people seem to be under the impression that I “fake” my anxiety or that I experience it because I’m “immature” or need to “grow up”. A lot of people don’t seem to understand just how scary and serious anxiety can be. Anxiety has nothing to do with being immature and most people don’t “fake” having anxiety. Anxiety is a very real issue.

9.) What do you find the most difficult to deal with? Struggling with things that should actually be simple. Also, seeing the people around me saying or thinking things that are negative and not true. It hurts to see some of my loved ones treat me the way they do because of my anxiety. Not everyone is understanding. Also, I miss doing a lot of the things I used to enjoy.

10.) Do you have anything else you’d like to say? I want to remind everyone who struggles to have hope and to try their hardest to get through their mental health issues and illnesses on a consistent basis. Never give up! To those of you who don’t struggle with mental health issues and have trouble understanding those who do, please try to be kind to those who struggle and try your hardest to try to understand.

*Image found on Google Images

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Natural Anxiety & Panic Attack Remedy in 4 Minutes

Man am I reblogging a lot today! Please check out this great video and Jen’s great blog!

The Anxiety Chronicles

After doing my daily guided meditation, for my anxiety, I decided to look at other videos by  BEXLIFE. I came across this short video, where she explains how to control an anxiety or panic attack in 4 minutes, using 2-3 techniques. Please check out the video or share it with your loved ones. It may be very helpful and beneficial. Also, if you have time, check out her other meditation videos. She has suffered with anxiety for over 20 years, and through meditation, has found ways in controlling it and living a more peaceful and aware life.


-Jen xo

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The Truth

The Truth: You are not a failure!

When we see ourselves struggling and not doing as well as we know we can, we tend to sometimes feel as if we have failed. Sometimes even though we are strong enough to get through our anxiety, we find ourselves feeling otherwise.

Anxiety has a way of making us feel incapable of achieving our goals. Our minds can play tricks on us and allow us to think that we are weaker than we actually are. When we give into our anxiety and allow it to take over, we tend to start to believe that we cannot overcome it and therefore, we are failures. The truth though is that everyone struggles. Some of us just struggle more in certain areas than others. Also, some of us just have to work harder to overcome our obstacles. This does not make us weak or pathetic. This does not make us failures. It just means that we struggle and that we have to work hard on a consistent basis.

Some days are going to be harder than others, there’s no doubt about it. Whether or not you struggle with anxiety or a mental health issue, you’re going to have bad days. Some days may seem impossible to get through. They’re not. I know it can be hard not to feel like a failure when we don’t achieve what we wanted to, but that doesn’t mean that we actually are failures. We are only failures if we give up on ourselves and our goals completely.

 

baddaysfighthardest

Here is some advice on how to remember that you are not a failure – even when you feel otherwise.

1.) Remember all of the times when you have succeeded in accomplishing a goal. Remember all of the progress you have made. I guarantee that you have made some progress.

progressnotperfection

2.) Remember that you are not alone in your struggles. Everyone struggles with something and everyone has bad days. We may all struggle in slightly different ways and our bad days may be difficult for different reasons, but no one is perfect and no one goes their whole life without having a difficult day.

baddaynotlife

 

3.) Remember that as long as you try, you’re not a failure. Trying is essential and as long as you never give up, you’re not a failure.

 

youonlyfailwhen

4.) Remember that even if you struggle at something, you’re still stronger than your anxiety and any other issue you that you may have.

 

youarestronger

5.) Remember that you are an intelligent, talented person!

 

*All images found on The Seeds 4 Life

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