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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A Really Good Day!

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and had a wonderful weekend!

Yesterday, for Easter, I went out with a couple relatives to visit my aunt and uncle. Let me tell you that I had a great time. Usually when I go out to someone’s house, I tend to spend my time sitting on the couch. However, this time, I got up and walked around without any trouble and truly enjoyed myself. Though my anxiety did hold me back from a few things, I’m proud to say that I think I did the best I’ve done in a while at my aunt and uncle’s!

In addition, while usually when I get home I feel a little drained, I didn’t feel as weighed down by the burden of anxiety. I felt relatively calm and went on to get a few things done and then relax.

The reason I’m sharing this experience with you is because, whether you haven’t felt this way in a while or you rarely feel relaxed when going out, it is possible. With hard work and a lot of practice, you can overcome your anxiety and get back to feeling ‘normal’.

It felt truly amazing for me to spend time with my family and be able to walk around the house at times without feeling too overwhelmed. It felt great for me to walk in and out of the house without feeling the need to hold onto somebody. I made sure to really soak up the feeling of success.

What I experienced yesterday was proof that I have the strength to overcome my struggles – I don’t have to be enslaved by my anxiety. You don’t have to be either! I wish you all the best and please remember that you can get through this!

“By Now…”

Hey everybody!

In less than a month, it will be my birthday. I’ve always been excited about turning another year older and while I still am, I must admit that I am a bit disappointed. By now I thought that I would have accomplished a lot more in life and, honestly, I thought I would be much further along in making progress when it came to getting through my anxiety.

While the above statement is true, I also realize that I’ve made a lot of progress. While there are still a lot of things that I struggle with, I have overcome a lot of obstacles and I am very proud of myself.

I think it’s hard not to compare ourselves to others and get depressed about what we wish we would have accomplished by a certain point in our lives. We look into the future and worry that we’ll forever struggle with what threatens to hold us back. It’s very hard sometimes to see ourselves getting through what we’re currently dealing with.

What we all need to focus on, though, is the progress that we’ve already made. There was a point in my life when I didn’t think I’d be as far as I’ve come. The fact that I’ve made the progress I have is proof that I can make even more – even if it does take some time.

I completely understand if you find yourself feeling down about the fact that you may have not achieved as much as you would have liked by now. I’ve been there – and I am there. However, at the same time, I guarantee that you have made some positive progress and that’s what we all need to focus our energy on. We can get through our anxiety and overcome our obstacles. All we need to do is work hard, have faith in ourselves, and be patient.

“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!

 

!!!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.

“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!

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!

 

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!

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!