!!!Guest Blogger!!! B.W. Ginsburg: We Can Get Through This.

Guest Post on Travis and The Brain!

Travis and the Brain

Hello everyone! We have a very special guest today! This is a very good friend of mine that I met through the blogging community. She has been very supportive, and always there to encourage me. She also has similar struggles as me. She writes about her journey with extreme anxiety. I have learned a lot from her. Please give her a follow on her blog. She also has a fun Instagram. You might not meet her in person, but she is a wonderful social media friend to have. She has been a part of my blogging journey since day one. She cares! Well folks, here you go, my first ever Guest Blogger, B.W. Ginsburg!!!

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We can get through this!

So many people say to think positive; to not be so negative. We’d all like to be able to believe in our success, but sometimes, it’s not that simple…

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Simple Respect

Today I would like to talk about something very close to my heart – simple respect.

First of all, as many of you know, I suffer from severe anxiety. I overthink and sometimes I get so anxious, that my body feels weak. While I’m smart enough to know that nothing is wrong with me physically, that does not stop my body from going through the motions.

I am ashamed to say, that sometimes, feeling weak due to my anxiety causes me to sit down in inconvenient places – on the floors in restaurants, in stairwells when I was going to school (not actually on the steps themselves, but the landing in between), etc. I hate this! It’s embarrassing and I know what an inconvenience it is for others, as well as for myself. With that being said, I am not able to just snap my fingers and make my anxiety vanish without a trace. I wish I could, but I can’t. Also, I think that people around someone struggling should be understanding. If they don’t know how to help, fine, but they shouldn’t go out of their way to make things more difficult.

Let me give you an example. Today I went to a restaurant and became extremely anxious. I had to sit down on the floor. Am I proud of this? No. Am I embarrassed? Yes. People stared. While I didn’t like that, I understood. As human beings, we’re curious and me sitting there looking panicky probably seemed strange. Fine. However, one of the workers at this particular restaurant gave me an extremely dirty look and was very rude.

I understand that what I did was not appropriate or proper. I understand that sitting on the floor at a restaurant is not what is perceived as normal. Like I said, I’m extremely embarrassed. Even so, I do not think I deserve to be treated the way I was. I was not disruptive to any of the customers (I quietly sat down and waited about a minute before I could get back up) and other than people staring, I did not cause a big scene.

If you are reading this and you work at a business where you are around a lot of people, please remember to be kind and considerate. You may not understand what someone is going through, but that does not mean that they do not deserve your respect. Also, if you want to ask someone nicely to please try harder to get through their struggles, do so nicely. Trust me when I say that it is hard enough for someone to go through something difficult without others making them feel even worse than they already do.

If you would like advice on how to be kinder to those around you, please do not hesitate to ask. Also if you see someone struggling and want to help, but don’t know how, please ask them in a polite matter. Sometimes just trying your best to be kind can make all the difference.

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“I’ve Been Here Before”

I’ve been here before.

This is what I thought last night as I struggled with anxiety. I thought about how I was tired of ending up in the same situation – feeling both sad and weak due to my anxiety. I thought about how I wish I could go back to doing simple things without feeling anxious.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I never feel hopeless and downtrodden, because I do. I hate feeling burdened with anxiety; feeling like its in control. Believe it or not, I used to be someone who loved to go out shopping, hang out with friends, and be able to do things without much stress. I still like doing those things, but I don’t feel like they’re easy anymore. I hate that feeling.

As I sat struggling last night, I wondered how and if I’d ever get through my anxiety. After all, I’ve been going through it for so long, how can I be sure it will ever be a thing of the past? I don’t think this is a totally unreasonable question. It’s hard to have faith sometimes when you constantly see yourself suffering.

The thing that we all have to remember, is that many of us have made progress. Many of us have faced our fears and succeeded – I know I have. Just because we may have bad days or moments, does not mean that we haven’t experienced times of achievement or that we’re not on the road to recovery. All it means is that we have to work harder on a more consistent basis. We will get through our anxiety and over our other obstacles!

So if you’re wondering how you’re supposed to believe in yourself, you’re not alone. I think many people feel this way. It’s okay to sometimes feel less than 100% confident, you’re only human. What’s not okay is to allow these doubts to take control, to give them credence. We are stronger than our obstacles!

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Stop Beating Yourself Up!

Stop beating yourself up! Easily said, easily done, right? Not so much. I’m always trying to explain that just because one may struggle with something or not get something done at the same pace as someone else, that it doesn’t make them pathetic or a failure. I believe this, I really do, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when I don’t find myself thinking how pathetic I must be to struggle the way I do.

I’m not proud of this – but these are the facts. I don’t have a job right now, I still live at home with my family, and anxiety still effects me a great deal. I hate struggling with anxiety, I truly do, but that’s how it is right now. I try hard on a daily basis to get better and I hope that one day, anxiety will no longer hold me back from accomplishing all that I want to do.

Society tells us that if we don’t all do things at the same time, then we must be pathetic or that something must be wrong with us. THIS IS NOT TRUE! This should not be used an excuse not to try our hardest to overcome our obstacles, but we should not think ourselves pathetic or abnormal for not always meeting society’s standards. We all deal with different things and we all accomplish our goals at different times. What’s important is that we always try our hardest to get through whatever it is that’s holding us back and that we NEVER GIVE UP!

As I was lying down this morning, feeling pathetic, I realized something. I want to work, I want to be more independent, I want to get through my anxiety. The reason for me not having a job is not out of laziness or not wanting to do something more with my life, but because my anxiety is so severe. Also, it’s not as if I’m not trying to get better. I’m trying every single day! Also, I’ve made progress and I’m not useless – none of us are! I am a freelance writer for a great website, I’ve written and published two books and am currently working on my third, and I’ve made and am continuing to make progress when it comes to getting through my anxiety. All of these things are important! All of these things matter!

So remember, it doesn’t necessarily matter if you’re meeting society’s standards and expectations. What matters is that you’re trying your hardest to overcome your obstacles. No one but you knows exactly what you’re struggling with, no one but you can make your life all it can be. If you’re trying your hardest to get through what’s holding you back and if you refuse to give up on your goals, that’s what’s important!

 

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Progress Is Progress – Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Otherwise!

Maybe every time you’ve ever shared your progress with someone else, they’ve commended you. Maybe you’ve never had someone question how the progress you’ve made can really be labeled as such. I think that’s great. However, I know that I, for one, have experienced otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong, many times when I share my progress with someone, they are proud of me and express those feelings of pride. They understand that if I’m doing something that I previously struggled with – no matter what it is – that it matters. Even if the step towards success may seem small, they see that it’s important.

On the opposite end, I’ve had people question my progress. I’ve mentioned that I did something that I usually back away from and instead of hearing their praise or that they think I did well, they just ask how it’s a big deal; how it qualifies as progress. I’m not going to lie – it hurts. I’m not saying that I constantly need recognition, but the last thing a person wants when they share their accomplishments with you, is to feel belittled or shut down. Any of us who have ever struggled with anything, know how difficult it can be to overcome our obstacles. We also know how good and refreshing it feels when it’s clear that they we stronger than what is holding us back. We want to be built up by ourselves and the ones we love, not torn down.

If you’ve experienced what I have – that some people aren’t understanding or kind when it comes to our struggles and hearing about our progress – then here is my advice. I recommend trying to save sharing your progress for the people who will actually appreciate and respect it. I know it’s hard not to want to shout your progress from the rooftop, but sometimes lending your happiness to others is a risky concept. Not everyone will be supportive and instead of showing you the respect you deserve, some will simply share harsh or careless words.

Again, and this is important to remember, there are people who will support, respect, and care for you. There are people who will go out of their way to cheer you on and to make you feel as special as you truly are. These are the people you want to allow into your lives and share both your good and bad times with. Don’t allow others to take away your sense of pride and accomplishment. No one can take away your progress, no one!

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Society’s Standards

Over the years, standards have been set. You should have a job, have your own living quarters, and heck, even have sex at a certain age according to society. I can understand how some of these standards have become expected, but I think that for them to be set in stone and expected to be followed by every individual is simply wrong.

I can understand why certain standards are set – I can. People should try hard to find employment and their own living quarters by a certain point in their life. I don’t, however, think it’s necessarily up to us to decide when that point should be for others.

I think that when people feel they are ready to do something, that is when they should. While people shouldn’t use this way of thinking to shirk their responsibilities or not work hard, I do think that it’s okay that not everyone does everything at the same time. We’re all different and sometimes things are harder for some of us than they are for others. This does not mean that we give up or don’t keep trying our hardest to accomplish our goals, but rather that we don’t constantly beat ourselves up for not always meeting society’s standards.

A word that I really don’t like is ‘pathetic’. So many people who are less than understanding throw this word at people when society’s standards are not met. No one is perfect and people struggle – struggling is difficult and no one enjoys it.

It may be hard to see at times, but even those who struggle are often trying their best. Things may not be as easy for some of us as for others, but this does not mean that we’re not putting our best foot forward.

If you find yourself struggling and comparing yourself to others, remember this: no one is perfect! You are not alone. You don’t have to meet society’s standards. All you have to do is try your hardest and never give up on becoming the best you can be!

 

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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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