The Prickly Part

In my last post, I mentioned how I changed my blog’s background and how I thought it fit with the theme of the blog perfectly. While dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues can be prickly and painful at times like a cactus, if you work hard on a consistent basis to overcome your obstacles, you can achieve progress – a beautiful thing.

While I have experienced many beautiful days of witnessing my progress, today included one of the painful and prickly parts that oftentimes occur with struggling with anxiety. Today I saw myself slip backwards, something that is never easy to see.

I went out with a relative today and because it took longer than expected, I began to grow anxious. I’m embarrassed to say this, but sometimes when I’m out and I feel so anxious that I can’t move, I end up sitting on the floor. It makes me feel pathetic.

I haven’t done this in a while. Lately when I go in somewhere (while it may not be for very long), I usually do pretty well. I might need a little bit of help, but I don’t resort to sitting down. Today was different though and it reminded me of all the times in the past when I did this – too many to count.

I like to keep this blog pretty positive, but sometimes I admit that it’s hard. It’s hard to give myself credit for at least trying to go in where I went today and not leaving early, or saying that sometimes things just don’t work out. It’s hard to stay positive while inside, I’m beating myself up for not doing better.

That’s the thing with struggling with anxiety, or any other mental health issue for that matter. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the positivity and light when you feel like you’re surrounded by negativity and darkness.

Here’s what we have to remember. We have to remember all of the times that we’ve faced our fears or overcome our obstacles. We have to remember all of the times that we’ve made progress. Though it may be difficult to believe, just because we struggle or experience times of temporary regression, it does not mean that our past progress or current progress is erased. It also doesn’t mean that we won’t make progress ever again.

So let’s all do ourselves a favor and cut ourselves a break. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t get a little upset when things don’t go how we want (after all, sometimes getting a little upset with ourselves shows us that we have to work harder), but what I am saying is that we have to stop always getting so down on ourselves and, instead, focus on all of the amazing things that we have accomplished and how hard we try on a daily basis to be successful!

If you’re currently struggling or if you’re feeling down about not doing as well at something as you would have hoped, please remember that we all struggle. Also, please try and focus on all the good that you have accomplished and can continue to accomplish with hard work.

 

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“It’s Always Something”

WARNING: This post details an issue that I’m struggling with. If you suffer from reading about certain issues and then making them your own, you may want to precede with caution. 

As of late, I’ve been feeling a little better when it comes to my anxiety. While still not exactly where I want to be, I have noticed myself making more progress and I am quite grateful!

I recently started taking a different medication and while I can’t be sure, I do think that it might be helping with my anxiety. I also think that I’m feeling better over all on the medication. However, I do admit that while in the process of taking the pill in its crushed up form, it doesn’t taste so great. Let’s just say that due to overthinking, I’ve been feeling a bit sick every time I take the medication lately.

As mentioned above, I know that the reason I feel this way is due to overthinking. I think about feeling sick so much, that I almost make myself feel this way. I don’t do this on purpose, mind you, but it’s become almost a habit.

Last night, it happened again. I thought about getting sick so much that when I took the medication, I felt like I was going to throw up. I know that a way to solve this problem is to focus on something else while taking the medicine, but it’s not always that easy. After taking the medicine (I did not get sick), I was upset. I was upset that my anxiety seems to constantly try to take control of my life and make me feel miserable.

When I was seeing my therapist, he had told me something very important. Even though we want to get through our anxiety, our minds have a way of trying to throw us off. Our anxiety tries to swoop in and take over.

We cannot let our anxiety take over. I know that this can be difficult, but it’s a necessity. Please try to focus on something else when you’re struggling. Watch something on TV, read a book, try to think about something positive. Also, if you do end up struggling, try not to beat yourself up. Try to concentrate on all the positive achievements you have made. You will get through this!

 

Progress In Itself Is Its Own Reward!

Hey guys! Today I’d like to talk to you about a subject that is very important to me – progress and self-recognition.

I think many of us can agree that due to our struggles with anxiety (and any other mental health issues we may deal with) being so challenging, it is nice when any progress we make is recognized. While we don’t make progress just for others, we do like to know that our hard work is being noticed. Unfortunately, not everyone may appreciate or acknowledge just how much we’ve accomplished.

We need to remember the importance of self-recognition. Just because someone else may not appreciate all that we’re doing to overcome our fears and other obstacles, does not mean that we’re not making a great amount of progress. There are some people in the world who simply don’t understand that some things that seem simple to them can be extremely challenging to others. Also, while unfortunate, some people think that if you don’t attain perfection, then the progress you’ve made isn’t good enough. This isn’t true.

When we make progress – any amount of progress – we have to pat ourselves on the back. We have to tell ourselves what a good job we did and how we can overcome any obstacles that threaten to stand in our way. I understand wanting to share one’s progress with others, but we can’t always expect others to be as joyful as we are. However, we cannot let their possible lack of enthusiasm diminish ours. We must take pride in our accomplishments.

Also, while it’s more important that we appreciate our achievements than having others appreciate them, please remember that just because the people we tell may not seem overjoyed by our success, doesn’t mean they’re not. Sometimes people just get caught up in their own lives and don’t always show how happy for us they truly are.

The bottom line is this: making progress is reward in itself. Don’t let the possible lack of appreciation or acknowledgement shown by others make your progress seem less important or worthy of praise!

Do It For You!

Due to health reasons, my therapist of about three years recently retired. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of months, but I had planned to return when I found out that he would no longer be seeing patients. To say the least, I was upset. I truly believe that he was the best therapist that I have ever seen. He was kind, caring, and in my opinion, had the best methods for helping me get through my anxiety. I could tell that he genuinely wanted to see me get better. I will miss him dearly.

For now, and I think at least for a while, I don’t plan on seeing anyone else. I know what I have to do to make the progress that I want to make – I have to face my fears in small, manageable steps on a consistent basis. I have to continue to work hard.

I have to admit that it’s strange not seeing my therapist anymore, but not just because of the usual reasons. Not only am I not physically going to his office as much anymore (I’m still seeing my psychiatrist), but I was regularly sending progress reports of how I was working daily to get through my anxiety. It’s strange not sending these reports on a daily basis. When I first decided to stop sending the reports (I was never told to stop, but out of respect for my therapist, I decided it would be best), it felt weird not reporting to him about my progress. It almost felt unnatural.

The thing is though, that I was never working hard to gain my therapist’s approval in the first place. Sure, there may have been some days where I didn’t feel like doing anything productive, but I did in order to look like I was trying (I know that sounds awful, but I’m only human), but I never once tried my hardest to get better for merely my therapist’s sake. I want to get through my anxiety for myself – so I can enjoy my life to the fullest and do things with the people I love, along with being more independent.

I realized that just because my therapist retired and I wouldn’t be sending him emails citing my progress, did not mean that I couldn’t and shouldn’t still be recording said progress. Every step that I take in order to get through my anxiety is important and in order to remind myself that I am strong enough to conquer my fears, I should be writing down the progress I make – not for my therapist, but for myself. After all, I am working hard so that I can be happy with my life, not so that someone else can be satisfied.

The point is this: you should be trying your hardest to get through your anxiety and over your other obstacles for yourself – not for anyone else. If you want to keep track of your progress, don’t just do so because you’re told to do so, do it because it’s beneficial for you. I understand the desire to want to get better so that you can spend time with the ones you love and that’s fine, but your main reason for getting better should be so that you can improve your life!

*Please know that I am not trying to state that if your therapist retires, that you shouldn’t search for a new one if you believe you should keep going to therapy. I may eventually see someone again for my anxiety, it’s just that at the moment, I think I need to simply utilize the tools I was given – to work hard on a consistent basis to get through my anxiety!

 

Friendly Reminder!

B.W. Ginsburg

Rest in Piece by [Ginsburg, B.W.] Cover Design: © D. Ginsburg “Though decades apart, two young girls are connected in a way that is both fantastical and surreal. When twelve year old Louise Erikson finds out that she holds the key to saving a nine year old who disappeared twenty years earlier, she decides to accept the challenge. Will Louise be able to rescue the girl and the others locked away with her before it’s too late?”

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Remember Who You Really Are

Many of you who deal with anxiety probably already know this, but it can make you think some pretty irrational things. Not only does it make you doubt yourself in terms of what you can do physically, but sometimes anxiety also makes you doubt other things about yourself – such as your morals, etc. Sometimes you get thoughts in your head that aren’t true and the more you obsess about them, the more you feel convinced that they’re true.

I hate this about anxiety. I pride myself on who I am and sometimes anxiety makes me question myself and even, at times, my beliefs. This can be scary since as I mentioned, I’m really proud of my morals and what I believe as a human being.

We have to remember though who we really are. I’m a caring, loving person who fights for equality, social justice, and support of those who struggle. I’m someone who stands up for those I care for and who tries her hardest not to hurt anyone’s feelings. I’m going to fight my hardest to make sure that anxiety does take that away from me or make me doubt what a wonderful person I am.

If you’re someone who over-thinks and obsesses about things that you know deep down aren’t true, but sometimes they feel that way due to anxiety, make sure that you constantly remind yourself of who you really are. Remind yourself that you’re a good person who does and has done great things and then distract yourself in a healthy way, so that you don’t focus on the negative thoughts. Don’t let your anxiety make you doubt how wonderfully kind, loving, and moral you are!

Peace, Love, &…..Politics?

Kristian writes an amazing post on politics and religion and how friendship is more important!

Life Lessons From Around the Dinner Table

I can’t tell you the number of times I have sat down and started to write about my political views, because..well, quite frankly; I am fed up!  I can’t tell you the number of people who have told me they have lost friends over this years political debate. All I can do is shake my head. Can’t we just agree to disagree? If I decided to stop being friends with people who didn’t share the exact same political views that I do, well I wouldn’t have any friends. Seriously people, when your heart is hurting & you need to reach out to someone are you going to be able to call Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton? No, they have far more important things to deal with than your broken heart…it’s a shame you let your friends go, isn’t it?

Every time I try to write about politics it leads me…

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Realizing You’re Amazing!

Serenity

Realizing that you’re amazing – it’s not always easy, is it? While some of us constantly hear praises and words of positivity from others, some of us are used to hearing more negativity than we would like. Whether this negativity comes from the mouths of others or from our own thoughts, we need to realize just how amazing we are!

Today I went to the therapist and while we were discussing things, I realized just how much progress I’ve made. I still have a long way to go, but I’ve done a lot of great things. I’ve managed to get much more involved with my writing and I’ve taken more steps to get through my anxiety.

While I definitely hear praises and positive comments, I also hear people saying things about me that aren’t so kind. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people deal with this. We hear rude comments…

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The Butterfly

Today was horrible, seriously. I went to the doctor’s with a relative and things did NOT go well. My anxiety was incredibly high and my relative was not understanding.

I know I’ve said this a million times before, but I hate going through this. I hate how everything has to be so difficult. I try so hard but I know it must seem to others like I’m not trying at all. I constantly see myself failing to do as well as I would have liked and to be totally honest, it hurts.

I love my relative, I do. I also know how challenging it can be dealing with someone who has anxiety. Hell, it’s hard for me to go through it! I’m often tired of myself! Still though, I don’t find it that ridiculous to hope that someone so close to me would be helpful, patient, and supportive. Is that really too much to ask? Apparently it is.

The doctor and nurse were nice and caring. They told me that there was no pressure and that I needn’t apologize (I apologized like five times per person). I felt horrible and I didn’t want to put my relative and the staff through what I did, but my anxiety was awful!

Afterwards, I was waiting in the car while my relative went into a store. I was listening to music trying to calm myself and vent my frustrations when out of nowhere, I saw a butterfly. This butterfly was beautiful and for a moment, I smiled. There it was, this gorgeous orange butterfly just flying around. The weather was grey and ugly, but it was pretty! I guess what they say is true: even in the darkest of times, you can still find beauty.

I’m not saying that today went well – it didn’t. What I am saying is that there were times that I did okay. Plus, I did get through it. I went to the doctor’s and when you think about it, that counts for something, doesn’t it?

I want to remind everybody that even in difficult times, you’re not a failure. I want to thank Carla for reminding me of this. I know it can be hard when you’re going through something and all you feel like doing is crying to remember how great you are, but it’s true. You’re an amazing person and you can get over your obstacles!

Please don’t give up. Please don’t think you’re a failure just because you struggle. Please don’t let others make you feel like you’re not good enough or like you’re unsuccessful. Think about all of the progress you’ve made and all of the times you’ve been successful!

Thank you to everyone who supports me and all the kind doctors and nurses out there!

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